Lee Haney is not only the champion in the number of wins in the tournament Mr. Olympia (8 wins) – the most prestigious title in bodybuilding, but also a landmark champion who changed the criteria for refereeing. Prior to Lee Haney, the criteria in professional bodybuilding, in particular at Olympia, were quite general. For example, an athlete with a better developed arms or pectoral muscles, or a back, as well as symmetry with the separation of muscle groups, could win, but with the arrival of Lee Haney, the attention of judges began to emphasize the development of the broadest. In those days it was a record achievement, such an extra powerful and wide back training Olympia has not yet seen. Naturally, Haney showed a phenomenal physique as a whole, but on the back part he was noticeably superior to all others. This can be compared to the bar of perfection set to a new level, the heights of which were now to be matched by the champions of subsequent years.

Looking at such incredible latitudes, the question arises, how do they achieve such results and is there a special method in the training approach? It turns out that yes, there are nuances. Lee Haney shares the secrets of the training:

Lee HaneyLee Haney – the traction of the upper block to the chest. Question: What were your simple training principles, thanks to which you won eight statues of Sandova?

Reply of Haney: You say “simple”, but training your back muscles is not simple, in fact it is a difficult job. In terms of training, I treat the back as a complex of three different parts of the body: trapezium, the widest (middle of the back) and the lower back (rectus muscles).

Each of these muscle groups should be worked from different directions. For the development of trapeziums, it is necessary to make the shags and rod pull to the chin. For the widest perform pull-ups with a wide grip, the pull of the top block, and the rod / dumbbell pull in the slope – for the thickness of the muscles. For the lower back, use hyperextensions. Since the back requires solely strength training, then doing exercises for all three of its areas will be too much for one day. In my opinion, it is better to divide the complex and work out groups of back muscles on different days.

Lee Haney – Shrikes with a barbell at the back Mostly I train a trapeze with the shoulders, making four sets of 10-12 reps of a scrag with a bar behind my back – one of my most favorite exercises.

As for the bottom of the back, his turn comes after training the hamstrings, when I perform a stiff pull on the straight legs and subsequent hyperextensions. And, finally, the broadest muscles (the middle of the back) I train on a single day, giving this group maximum attention.

My favorite exercises for massing in the off-season are: the pull of the upper block to the chest with a wide grip / pull-up, the pull of the upper block with the V-handle, and the pull of the upper block with an average grip to the chest or behind the head. I usually pick two of them for one workout. The secret to the effectiveness of any of these exercises is to target the widest muscles. Do not pull the block / handle with your hands, they only hold the weight. The main work should be carried out with the widest, it is important to learn how to feel and manage this process. Use the full range of motion.

For the study of the bottom of the broadest of my main exercises have always been: the thrust of the lower block to the belt sitting, the pull of the T-bar (or conventional), and the pull of the dumbbell to the waist in the slope. Again, Lee Haney – draft rod in the slope, the main role here is the full amplitude of the movement, allowing to stretch the lat. Keep your elbows closer to your torso. In addition, sometimes I perform pullover with dumbbells or with a barbell with straight hands.

Keep in mind, the exercises that I have listed are preferable to me, but not the only ones that I use. Others I do not so often, but, nevertheless, they are also great for building the broadest, more insensively working out the musculature. This group includes: pulling dumbbells in a two-handed tilt, pulling the lower block with one hand and pullovers in the simulator back training. Do them all wisely, and you will soon create your own unique kind of perfectly developed broadest muscles.

Lee Haney’s training for the widest and middle back:

  1. The traction of the upper block to the chest with a wide grip: 4-5 sets, 6-8 repetitions
  2. Pulling up the head: 4-5 sets, 8-10 reps
  3. T-bar thrust: 4-5 sets, 6-8 reps
  4. Traction of the upper block with V-handle: 4-5 sets, 8-10 repetitions
  5. Pullovers with a barbell: 4-5 sets, 8-10 repetitions