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John Robert Cardillo

John Robert Cardillo

John travelled the world to learn the best training and nutrition principles and trained alongside top pro bodybuilders at Gold's Gym California. He was a student of Arthur Jones, inventor of Nautilus and Medx Fitness machines, and the pioneer of hi-intensity training. John developed the HIT3 Training System, which transformed his physique to win countless bodybuilding competitions at just 18 years of age! He was also the first bodybuilder to utilize Faradic Electric Muscle Stimulation in his training and intermittent fasting during his competition prep. John’s SHREDDED Nutrition Diet helped him build one of the most shredded physiques of all time. His diet program incorporates fasting and nutrient timing to help athletes build lean muscle while losing body fat.

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The Ultimate HIT3 Back Panel Workout By John Robert Cardillo Part 3

The final part of my HIT3 Back Panel workout is trapezius training. Well-developed trapezii add thickness and depth to a muscular back. Without adequate trap development, the back will look hollow and undertrained. Finishing a back workout with trapezius work makes total sense because the traps are engaged in most of the lat exercises we covered in Part 1 and the rear deltoid exercises we covered in Part 2 of this series of articles.

Trapezius Limitations

To exercise the trapezius, we have to be able to handle a fairly heavy weight and pull up your shoulders, which is what this muscle is meant to do. To activate the trap to its maximum ability, we must perform some form of high pulling motion so the trap can be pulled as high as possible and backwards behind the neck. The athletes with some of the best trap development are Olympic weightlifters. The trapezii are working every time the lifter is performing the clean and jerk or the snatch lifts.

For muscle strength and development, mimicking weightlifter movements such as high pulls works best for developing the trap. Because the hands will tire very quickly at this point, using lifting straps for this is recommended. The trapezius muscles are very strong, and the hands and forearms will give out first. Straps help you focus on the pulling required to contract the trapezius.

Trapezius HIT3 Workout

  1. Seated Hammer Strength or Atlantis High Pulls (or using two dumbbells) – 10 + repetitions
  2. Standing Hammer Strength or Atlantis High Pulls (or using one dumbbell) – 10 + repetitions
  3. Seated Hammer Strength or Atlantis Shrugs (or using two dumbbells) – 10 + repetitions

1. Seated High Pulls - Set the seat as high as required to allow you maximum stretch to use the lowest handles on the machine. You should lean forward so that your upper body is almost at a 45-degree angle. Pull the handles as high as possible as you sway backwards so that your back hits the machine’s back pad. Each repetition should be held in the contracted position with the elbows as high as possible for a count of two, and there should be a deep stretch when returning the weight to the starting position. Two negative repetitions and 1 static rep (which is a rep held in a fixed position) are a must on this exercise.

2. Standing High Pulls – Staying at the same machine, you now stand up to perform the same exercise. You’re pulling as high as possible with the body slightly swaying from front to back so that when you’ve pulled as high as you can, your back is once again against the pad. This version allows you to use a little more momentum to perform more repetitions than the seated version. Again, 2 negatives and 1 static repetition should be completed.

Without rest, start the 3rd exercise.

3. Seated Shrugs – Sit back in the machine and perform shrugs, rolling your shoulders from front to back. Once you reach failure, perform the exercise in the opposite direction. Finally, you’ll perform shrugs straight up and down at the end, pulling high like you’re trying to touch your ears each time. Each version should be performed for as many repetitions as possible.

HIT3 Back Panel Workout Conclusion

If you’ve followed my HIT3 Back Panel workout outlined in Parts 1, 2 and 3 of this series of articles, you now know how incredible it feels to thoroughly work your back in this manner. At the completion of this workout, you should now be able to experience an incredible “thick back feeling” from your hips to your neck, to the outer corners of your shoulders.

Make sure to check out PART 1: The Ultimate HIT3 Back Panel Workout - Latissimus Dorsi.

As well, Part 2: The Ultimate HIT3 Back Panel Workout - Rear Deltoids

For more on John Robert Cardillo, check out his website at johnrobertcardillo.com, his instagram at @johnrobertcardillo or right here at Muscle Insider at John Robert Cardillo.

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