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The Perfect Back and Biceps Workout According to Science

Do this as your new pulling workout.

Could this be the perfect back and biceps workout according to science? That is truly what Jeff Nippard believes.

Jeff Nippard is a natural professional bodybuilder and fitness coach who shares tips and training programs on his YouTube channel.

And how did he come up with the perfect back and biceps workout? How can he claim one exercise is better than the other? Partially, using EMG research.

There are valid reasons to approach EMG research with scepticism. Simply observing higher EMG amplitude in a study does not automatically guarantee greater muscle activation, although it is likely if the procedure was conducted correctly. To simplify this nuanced concept, he often uses the phrase “muscle activation” in his videos.

However, even with greater muscle activation, it does not necessarily guarantee superior hypertrophy over time. There are instances where muscles can hypertrophy without significant activation, such as during stretching. Nonetheless, in his view, all other factors being equal, it is reasonable to believe that more activation would generally result in better muscle growth compared to less activation.

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However, the extent to which EMG evidence supports long-term muscle hypertrophy is still uncertain in the current body of literature. While I suspect that it may be more valuable than some individuals in the online fitness community currently believe, it is important to maintain a sceptical mindset.

In this video, he is not using EMG evidence to make definitive claims like “Exercise X is better than Exercise Y.” Instead, he aims to demonstrate the variations in muscle recruitment among individuals using different techniques.

So, with that out of the way, see below Nippard’s perfect back and biceps workout according to science.

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The Perfect Back and Biceps Workout According to Science

The workout is made of 6 exercises that target the back and biceps. You can put them all together into a complete pull workout, or pick and choose the movements you would like to add to your own training split.

It all begins with a quick warm-up – 5 minutes on the treadmill or stairmaster, followed by a few quick dynamic stretches to get the joints loose.

Here are the exercises that, in Nippard’s opinion and research, make the perfect back and biceps workout according to science:

  1. One-arm half-kneeling lat pulldown – 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  2. Pull-up – 1 set as many reps as possible
  3. Kroc row – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  4. Cable shrug – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  5. Reverse peck deck – 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  6. Kneeling overhead cable bicep curl – 3 sets of 10-12 reps

And that is it. To fully understand how to perform each of these exercises and why they are so great to promote muscle growth on your back and biceps, watch Nippard’s video below.

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The frequency of training your back and biceps depends on various factors, including your training goals, overall workout routine, and individual recovery capacity. However, a general recommendation for most individuals is to aim for at least two to three training sessions per week that target the back and biceps.

Training frequency is influenced by the principle of muscle recovery and adaptation. When you train a muscle group, it undergoes a process of breakdown and subsequent repair and growth during rest and recovery periods. Giving your muscles adequate time to recover between workouts is crucial to avoid overtraining and promote optimal muscle growth.

Here are a few guidelines to consider when determining the frequency of back and biceps training:

  1. Prioritize balanced training: It’s important to maintain balance in your overall workout routine. While back and biceps are commonly trained together, ensure that you’re also dedicating time to other muscle groups for a well-rounded approach.
  2. Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your back and biceps feel after each training session. If you experience excessive soreness or prolonged fatigue, it may indicate that you need more recovery time before training them again.
  3. Training split: Depending on your training program, you may follow a specific training split, such as an upper/lower split, push/pull/legs split, or a full-body routine. These splits can influence the frequency of back and biceps training. For example, in an upper/lower split, you might train your back and biceps twice a week on upper-body training days.

Remember that individual variation plays a role, and it’s essential to listen to your body and adjust your training frequency accordingly. If you’re unsure about designing an effective training program or have specific goals, consider consulting with a qualified fitness professional who can provide personalized guidance.

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The process of body recomposition (losing fat while gaining muscle) typically involves the following key components:

  • Resistance Training: Engaging in regular strength training exercises helps stimulate muscle growth and development. It involves performing exercises using weights, resistance bands, or bodyweight to challenge and overload the muscles, leading to hypertrophy (muscle growth) over time.
  • Caloric Balance: Body recomposition requires paying attention to calorie intake and expenditure. To lose body fat while gaining muscle, you generally need to maintain a slight caloric deficit (consuming fewer calories than you burn) while ensuring an adequate intake of nutrients to support muscle growth and recovery.
  • Protein Intake: Sufficient protein consumption is crucial for muscle building and repair. A higher protein intake helps support muscle protein synthesis and can aid in preserving lean muscle mass during the fat-loss phase.
  • Cardiovascular Exercise: Incorporating cardio exercises, such as running, cycling, or swimming, can help increase calorie expenditure and support overall fat loss. However, it’s important to balance cardiovascular exercise with resistance training to ensure muscle preservation and growth.
  • Progressive Overload: To continue making progress during body recomposition, it’s essential to progressively increase the intensity, volume, or resistance of your workouts over time. This progressive overload principle challenges your muscles and stimulates further growth.

It’s important to note that body recomposition is a gradual process that requires consistency, patience, and individual adjustments based on your body’s response. It may not happen as quickly as solely focusing on fat loss or muscle gain, but it can lead to long-term changes in body composition, overall strength, and aesthetics. Consulting with a qualified fitness professional or nutritionist can provide personalized guidance to help you achieve your body recomposition goals safely and effectively.

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