Tip: The NFL Seated Row

Seated rows are a back-building staple, but you've never tried them like this.

If you're looking for a potent mass builder for your entire back, try this modified drop set on the seated row. Besides making you freakishly strong, this is one of the most effective hypertrophy protocols I've ever used with my athletes. In the video, two of my NFL athletes, Jarius Wynn and Fernando Velasco, perform this protocol as we prepare their bodies for the season.

  1. Start the set by holding the weight in the stretched position (arms straight) for 10-15 seconds. Use a weight that's HEAVIER than your max row and hold it there. Most lifters should be able to hold at least 25-30% more weight than they would typically use for rows. This creates an incredible amount of mechanical tension and muscle damage for maximizing growth, particularly because of the combination of overload and stretch. You'll feel every muscle in your body as you hold this.
  2. Follow that hold with a drop set, decreasing the weight by about half. Blast out smooth reps with additional pauses in both the contracted and stretched positions. Because the nervous system will be hyper-activated from the prior heavy loading, the reduced weight for the rows will feel lighter.