Shaun Clarida’s Back Training Leading Into His 2024 Off-Season

Clarida will bulk for the 2024 bodybuilding season after favorable blood test reports.

Two-time 212 Olympia champion Shaun Clarida relinquished the 212 Olympia throne in 2023 to Keone Pearson, who improved from his sixth-place finish in 2022. On Dec. 11, 2023, Clarida shared a video on his YouTube channel, revealing the back workout he’s implementing in the off-season to help reclaim the 212 title at the 2024 Olympia, scheduled for Oct. 10-13 in Las Vegas, NV.

Clarida will switch to a bulking phase after his blood work confirms all his health markers are on target. His off-season training involves heavy sets in the 8-12 rep range. Until then, though, Clarida lifts relatively lighter via high-volume back training with the programming like:

Shaun Clarida Back Training

Check it out below:

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Neutral-Grip Lat Pulldown

Clarida started his back training with close-grip lat pulldowns. He used an open row attachment with a neutral grip using four fingers. Clarida used lifting straps and kept his thumbs off the handle to minimize biceps engagement. 

Clarida led with his elbows — a useful mind-muscle connection to perform this movement as a row rather than a curl — and kept his arms tight to his sides. He maintained a neutral spine throughout, eliminating momentum. 

T-Bar Row

T-bar rows target the upper back, including the rhomboids, teres minor and major, and middle traps. Sticking to his form cues, Clarida kept his elbows tight to his torso to bias his lats more than his rear delts.

I put all the compound stuff at the beginning because I have the most energy. Toward the end, [I] focus more on cables and machines. 

Clarida used 35-pound weight plates and performed his T-bar rows while standing on blocks to extend his range of motion.

Dumbbell Row & Machine Row

Clarida performed single-arm dumbbell rows with a staggered stance. He lowered the dumbbell to a few inches off the floor, paused, and contracted his lats through the concentric.

The seated rows were performed on a Prime Hybrid Row machine, which allows Clarida to manipulate the resistance profile to overload his target muscles of choice. The converging handles allow for a deeper contraction at lockout as they are better aligned with his structure.

[Related: Hadi Choopan’s Shoulder Training Post 2023 Olympia]

Seated Cable Row & Rack Pull

Clarida performed seated cable rows with a supinated grip. He pulled the handle to his belly button to bias his lower lats. Clarida leaned over at the bottom of each rep to stretch his lats.

Since Clarida has two herniations in his back, he avoids deadlifting off the floor. He prefers rack pulls to train his erectors and lower back. 

Straight-Arm Cable Pulldown

Clarida concluded his back training with straight-arm cable pushdowns using a rope attachment to further stretch his lats and achieve a pump, which has been shown to promote better hypertrophy. [1]

Clarida is keeping his plan for the 2024 competitive season under wraps but is expected to compete at the 2024 Olympia in an attempt to reclaim his 212 Olympia title. If successful, it would be his third time atop the division.

References

  1. Hirono T, Ikezoe T, Taniguchi M, Tanaka H, Saeki J, Yagi M, Umehara J, Ichihashi N. Relationship Between Muscle Swelling and Hypertrophy Induced by Resistance Training. J Strength Cond Res. 2022 Feb 1;36(2):359-364. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003478. PMID: 31904714.

Featured image: @shaunclarida on Instagram

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