After last year’s Olympia, I realized that my front poses were overpowering my physique. I needed to develop more width and thickness, but if I tried to achieve this in a single weekly back workout, I could be in the gym for 21⁄2 hours, even without any cardio. My body would be so exhausted that I wouldn’t grow.

So in January, I started splitting my back workouts. Now one session a week focuses on width and the other on thickness. 


I usually do three or four sets of 10 reps on six exercises. I do things like close-grip T-bar rows, seated pulley rows, single-arm rows, and a load of other exercises that are hard to describe because the equipment at Oxygen Gym in Kuwait is so specialized. 


I do about six exercises for a total of 21–24 sets. I usually do 10–12 reps for the rst three sets of an exercise and a slow-motion eight for the last set. I do a lot of dropsets and concentrate on the hold and squeeze. I do things like pullups, front pulldowns, wide- grip reverse pulldowns, seated wide-grip pulley rows, behind- the-neck pulldowns, and single- arm high-lat pulley rows.

One thing I don’t do for back is deadlift. Not deadlifting is one of the reasons I believe my waist is so small.

If you have a weak body part, try splitting it up and training it twice a week. I’ve also started doing this with legs. It’s easy to go in the gym and think “let’s cane it,” but it’s more important to think about doing what works for you.

Nathan deasha lat spread
Per Bernal


  • Barbell Row | SETS: 3–4 | REPS: 10
  • T-bar Row | SETS: 3–4 | REPS: 10
  • Pulley Row | SETS: 3–4 | REPS: 10
  • Dumbbell Row | SETS: 3–4 | REPS: 10
  • Machine Row | SETS: 3–4 | REPS: 10
  • Plate-loaded Machine Row | SETS: 3–4 | REPS: 10


  • Wide-Grip Pullup | SETS: 3–4 | REPS: 8–12 
  • Lat Pulldown| SETS: 3–4 | REPS: 8–12
  • Reverse-Grip Pulldown | SETS: 3–4 | REPS: 8–12
  • Wide-Grip Pulley Row | SETS: 3–4 | REPS: 8–12
  • Behind-Neck Pulldown | SETS: 3–4 | REPS: 8–12
  • One-Arm Pulley Row | SETS: 3–4 | REPS: 8–12