Bodybuilder Regan Grimes’ training is picking up pace as he prepares for the much-anticipated return to the stage later this year. Grimes took an extended break from competition but he is now primed for a comeback.
Regan Grimes is a Canadian professional bodybuilder that competes in the Men’s Open division of the IFBB Pro League. Although he is one of the highly touted prospects of the division, Grimes is yet to have the breakout performance that can cement him as the top contender. The 30-year-old had a great competitive season in 2021 when he finished second at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest Pro behind Shaun Clarida. He then pulled off an impressive win at the 2021 Egypt KO Pro, earning a direct qualification to the 2022 Olympia.
However, the year 2022 came with a series of difficulties as Grimes could only achieve seventh place finishes at the 2022 Arnold Classic and the 2022 Boston Pro. As a result, he decided to take time off from competition to focus more on improving his physique. Grimes recently revealed that his progress is on track and he will grace the stage soon.
Officially 53 days out of the 2023 IFBB Pro League Flex Weekend Pro that takes place on Sept. 9-10 in Milan, Regan Grimes went through a back workout focused on improving width. The 30-year-old plans to kick off the 2023 competitive season by participating at this show and then return at the 2023 IFBB Pro League European Pro Championships that takes place a week later on Sept. 17.
The back workout was a part of his quest to achieve statement wins at these shows and Grimes tackled it with furious intensity. So let’s check out how the Canadian bodybuilder is working to make a comeback.
Regan Grimes trains back in preparation for the 2023 Italy Pro
Regan Grimes revealed that he was fascinated by Jay Cutler’s training routine shown in the ‘From Jay 2 Z’ DVD that was released in 2007. The 7-hour-long footage captured different facets of Cutler’s life in the first year of winning the Mr. Olympia title in 2006. The back workout that Regan Grimes performed in this training session was in fact inspired by Cutler’s back workout in this DVD.
“It’s more of a width-back workout but we’re gonna follow it as close as possible today and that’s going to be fun.” Regan Grimes stated.
Although the exact same machines were not available at the Fit Club gym where Grimes trained, he tried to follow the workout as much as he could.
Regan Grimes’ competition prep diet includes six meals spread across the day. He finished the first two meals consisting of chicken rice and beef rice and then headed over to the gym for getting the day’s work in.
Grimes started the workout with assisted pull-ups on the machine. Although professional bodybuilders can easily perform pull-ups unassisted, quite a few of them choose the assisted pull-up machine to eliminate jerking movements or momentum. This helps focus more on the target muscles – latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, erector spinae as well as trapezius – and aids in muscle hypertrophy more effectively. Grimes utilized a wide grip since achieving width was the primary goal of this training session.
“Big time focus is on the stretch on the bottom, really focusing on that. That’s when you’ll see your lats actually popping out. And then when you’re coming up, squeeze hard up as high as you can and then back down,” Grimes stated.
After performing four sets of assisted pull-ups maintaining a 10 to 12 rep range, Grimes took to the next exercise.
Behind The Neck Lat Pulldowns
Regan Grimes admitted to not having done this exercise in a very long time. However, he followed Jay Cutler’s back workout in this session and adhered to it to the best of his ability.
Behind the neck pulldowns can lead to injury if done with poor form. However, they are still an effective compound movement for upper body strength and muscle gain.
Grimes pushed through a few solid sets of this exercise to work the latissimus dorsi muscles. He then moved on to a rowing exercise next.
While vertical pulls like lat pulldowns give width to the back horizontal pulls like rows impart thickness to it. Hence it is essential to incorporate both types of movements in the back routine for complete development. High rows are a great alternative to barbell or dumbbell rows. Also, it provides a different angle of movement than the lat pulldowns. Which makes it a great combination of both types of movements, targeting every upper posterior chain muscle.
Regan Grimes wished to perform the Hammer Strength high rows following in Jay Cutler’s footsteps. However, the gym did not have the same machine and Grimes did the exercise on an iso-lateral plate-loaded machine. As opposed to the Hammer Strength machine, this one had an underhand grip. Also, the mechanics were a little bit different.
Grimes annihilated a few sets of high rows using incrementally heavier loads and took to the next exercise.
Compound exercises like pull-ups, rows, and pulldowns are great for building functional strength and muscles. But doing some isolation work can stimulate the muscles further and help bring about hypertrophy. Cable pullovers is one such exercise that focuses on the back muscles like trapezius, posterior deltoids, levator scapulae, and latissimus dorsi.
Regan Grimes performed cable pullovers next to add the last bit of stimulus to his back muscles. He then wrapped up the training session.
Overall, the workout included:
Both the 2023 Flex Weekend Pro and the 2023 European Pro Championships are Olympia qualifiers. If Regan Grimes can win these shows, he can insert his name among top prospects. He then sits beside bodybuilders like Michal Krizo and Andrew Jacked looking to break into the top echelons of the Men’s Open division.
You can watch the full workout video here, courtesy of Regan Grimes’ personal YouTube channel: