Bodybuilder Shaun Clarida Destroys a Back Workout in Prep for 2022 Olympia – Fitness Volt

2022-10-02 01:27:41 By : Ms. Helen Jiang

Written by Andy Carnegie, NASM

Shaun Clarida - Image via @ShaunClarida Youtube

Shaun Clarida is an American professional bodybuilder that competes in the 212 and Open divisions of the IFBB Pro League. While he has won several professional bodybuilding competitions, winning the 2020 212 Olympia crown is the highlight of his career. Following a runner-up finish behind 2021 Olympia 212 champion Derek Lunsford, the 40-year-old made a transition to the Open division. Considering Clarida’s 5-foot-2-inch stature, the move was questioned by many experts in the bodybuilding community. However, Clarida proved everyone wrong by winning his Open division debut at the 2021 Legion Sports Fest Pro.

The win earned him a direct qualification to compete in the Open division at the 2022 Olympia. Clarida intends to create history by competing in both the Open and 212 divisions at the 2022 Olympia. However, he is yet to get a green signal for it from the Olympia management.

The 40-year-old started his competition prep for the 2022 Olympia in August. He recently went through an intense back and biceps workout as a part of his competition prep in Dallas, Texas. So without further delay, let’s take a closer look at the detailed account of this training session.

A post shared by IFBB Pro Shaun Clarida (@shaunclarida)

The Giant Killer warmed up his back with assisted pull-ups. While it might come as a surprise to some, Clarida performs pull-ups either with a resistance band or on a selectorized machine to eliminate the use of momentum. As you progress in your bodybuilding journey, the muscles tend to get stronger, and many people subconsciously abandon the correct form. To eliminate this possibility, the 40-year-old resorts to assisted pull-ups. In this session, he performed three sets of assisted pull-ups and jumped into the main workout.

Clarida then took to Meadows rows on a T-bar machine. While lats are the primary focus of this movement, it also works the middle and lower trapezius and rhomboids along with posterior deltoids. He performed the first set with a quarter plate and added a quarter plate to the machine in each consecutive set. He used five-quarter plates for the top set and moved on to the next exercise.

A post shared by IFBB Pro Shaun Clarida (@shaunclarida)

Clarida next did standing rows on the plate-loaded Hammer Strength machine. He performed the exercise unilaterally and cranked out a few sets with slow and controlled motion. The New Jersey native started with two plates in the first set and worked his way up to five plates for the final set. He wrapped up the exercise after a back-off set with three plates.

“Great contraction. You don’t have to go super heavy. If you can, great. But the key is to get a really good stretch at the top and drive that elbow as hard as you can. Keep your elbow close to the body and get a squeeze in the lat.” 

The chest-supported row variation removes the need to stabilize the upper body and helps focus on the target muscles. It works the lats, rhomboids, trapezius, and biceps. The 40-year-old performed the exercise on an iso-lateral Prime incline row machine. He started the first set by loading a single plate on either side and added one plate in each consecutive set, wrapping up the exercise with three plates on either side.

While explaining the benefits of this machine and the inclined posture to isolate the back muscles, Clarida said:

“That position it puts you in – chest against the pad… The one thing a little different with this pad is you can’t really cheat, right?… With the slight incline position, there is no cheating motion. If I were using a chest pad on the chest supported row, I can get a little bit of (backward leaning motion). With this being inclined forward, my chest is against the pad, I’m not gonna be able to do that… I have one job – drive my elbows back as hard as I can.”

A post shared by IFBB Pro Shaun Clarida (@shaunclarida)

Clarida next took to one of the most famous upper back exercises, the lat pulldown. He performed the close-grip variation of the lat pulldown. At 5-feet-2-inches, The Giant Killer is one of the shorter bodybuilders in the Open and 212 divisions. As the pulldown handles were at a height out of his reach, Clarida extended the cable by attaching a chain and performed three sets of this exercise.

The Giant Killer next performed seated rows to work the upper back. Seated rows are one of the most effective exercises to improve posture and protect the shoulders. This exercise served as the finisher to his back routine as Clarida next took to training his biceps.

A post shared by IFBB Pro Shaun Clarida (@shaunclarida)

At this stage of the competition prep, Clarida does not have a dedicated arms day in his training routine. He ‘sprinkles’ arms exercises a couple of times a week along with other muscle groups. However, he will dedicate a day to arms training when he is ten weeks out of the 2022 Olympia.

“Arms are a stronger area of mine, thank god for that. So I don’t have to kill them. Plus, let’s be real – when you’re hitting your arms hard, your biceps are gonna get worked. When you’re hitting your chest hard, your biceps are gonna get worked. So, when you train hard enough, most muscles will respond,” Clarida said.

Clarida then performed a few biceps exercises after warming up with biceps curls on the Gymleco curl machine. He performed the exercise unilaterally to concentrate more on the movement and contraction. Clarida next took to the cable preacher curl on the Gymleco machine and performed a few sets of this exercise to wrap up the training session.

Shaun Clarida admitted that the pressure and commitments of being a world champion resulted in reduced training intensity during the 2021 Olympia prep, which resulted in him getting dethroned by Derek Lunsford. However, he feels that the mojo is back, and with the right preparation, recapturing the 212 Olympia crown is an achievable task. With Lunsford’s move up to the Open division, 2019 212 Olympia winner Kamal Elgargni will be Clarida’s biggest rival at the 2022 Olympia. It will be interesting to see if The Giant Killer can climb to the top spot again. So don’t forget to catch the action live when Olympia returns to its home in Las Vegas from Dec. 15-18.

You can watch the full workout video below, courtesy of Shaun Clarida’s YouTube channel:

Andy earned a Master's degree in Exercise Science. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Andy has a wealth of experience in this field. He currently writes articles for multiple Fitness and Bodybuilding blogs, conducts live interviews, and creates pre- and post-event copy.

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