How Charles Dixon Built One of Bodybuilding's Widest Backs

The Tank's tips for building thickness and mass over 40.



Pausing only long enough for his two partners to go, his entire back workout of 25–26 sets eats up no more than an hour. “I like to keep moving,” he says. The other key component of his routine is the 10-to 12-rep range. “Early in my career, eight was my number. I was always trying to go as heavy as I could for eight reps, but now I like that 10 to 12 range better to really feel the muscles working and keep constant tension on my back.” It certainly works for the three-time pro titlist. There’s one thing you can count on. When it comes time to “raise the sails” of rear lat spreads, no one weighing less than 240 and few weighing more will take up more space, left to right, than the 5'4", 212-pound, 43-year-old Tank from South Carolina. 


  • “Make sure you’re stretched out and warmed up.”
  • “Don’t lift for your ego. I don’t go as heavy as I used to, but that’s OK. Staying healthy is crucial.”
  • “Get at least 10 reps per set. I like that 10-12 range.”
  • “Fast, jerky reps lead to injuries. Make the reps slower and focus on contractions. I started using bands in 2013 to get more pressure on contractions.”
  • “Listen to your body. If you have pain, take a day or two off. That’s better than trying to work through it and doing bad workouts or getting injured.”


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