There are few bodybuilders better to take cues from than Lewis.
Written by Robert Zeglinski
After sterling first-place performances at the 2022 Texas Pro and the 2022 Arnold Classic UK, Chinedu Andrew Obiekea, a.k.a. “Andrew Jacked,” is undoubtedly hoping for a shining debut at the 2022 Mr. Olympia. As the potential bodybuilding phenom of the 2022 calendar year, some established icons already think he’s destined for greatness. In light of that, the athlete seems to understand the value of taking cues from those who have been there and done that.
On Nov. 23, 2022, Jacked posted a video on his YouTube channel where he works through a back workout while guided by seven-time 212 Olympia champion James “Flex” Lewis. The video is appropriately entitled “Paying Attention to Detail,” given that it takes place during the final stages of Jacked’s preparation for the Olympia, being held on Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.
Here’s an overview of the back routine Lewis takes Jacked through as he prepares for the biggest competitive moment of his young career so far.
As directed by Lewis, Jacked starts his workout by warming up with a few sets of standard bodyweight pull-ups. Jacked uses a “suicide grip” — where one doesn’t wrap their thumb around a bar or barbell — to perform the pull-ups. The purpose of this change-up was to focus more on refining his back rather than strengthening his arms, while also disengaging Jacked’s forearms after he mentioned having a slight muscle strain.
Chest-Supported Low Row
Jacked and Lewis next shift to chest-supported low rows at a high volume. The aim of this specific movement was to build thickness in the back while forcing the athletes to isolate their back muscles. It is here where Lewis stressed an “attention to detail” beyond simply lifting heavy weight.
“To me, right now, it’s all about trying to get these little details out,” Lewis explains. “Because we all know you can train and put [expletive] six plates on the machine but to get a good detail out, that’s why you pose, pose, and pose. There’s no weight involved in posing, right? You’re just holding the pose, and when you’ve done that over weeks, you see all those [details].”
Chest-Supported Row and Bent-Over Straight Arm Pulldown (Superset)
Lewis wanted to challenge Jacked’s lattisimus dorsi muscles a bit more, in particular, making a superset of chest-supported rows and straight-arm pulldowns with cables a natural step in this workout. Lying face-down on an incline, Jacked’s lower lats were stressed with the rows, while the pulldown variation further worked the muscle without assistance from surrounding body parts. Lewis emphasized using a slow motion for both movements and little rest between sets.
Kneeling Lat Pulldown
Lewis and Jacked elect to do a variation of the traditional lat pulldown by performing it from a kneeling position while using a closer grip. The lats are still engaged and significantly stretched, while the kneeling position and differing grip also allow the core and pectorals muscles to also enjoy a measure of work.
Seated Machine Row
To conclude their workout, Lewis and Jacked throw in one more lat-muscle oriented movement with some seated rows. This closer, in addition to improving back strength and size, may also accentuate better posture for the athlete.
Knowing what Lewis has accomplished in his career, Jacked sees the icon as having a lot to offer someone still looking to make their mark. While he definitely knows how to take care of his body, Jacked seemed to appreciate Lewis taking the time to walk him through this workout. As the most important performance of Jacked’s career looms on the horizon, learning from the best could be the best way to properly prepare.
“The push [Lewis gave me] was crazy,” Jacked said. “That’s why I need someone that can take over. I just work based on my preference, and that’s why I am still in the maintenance phase. I need someone that can get me past my limits which is what I will definitely work on in my off-season after the 2022 Olympia. Because to be the best, I have to work with the best.”
Featured image: @andrewjacked on Instagram