Krizo says he hasn’t spent as much time with his son as he liked during his Olympia prep.
Your back and biceps play a vital role in pulling exercises, as they are responsible for muscle activation during pulling movements. A strategic approach to training involves combining back and biceps workouts, significantly enhancing upper body strength. One effective exercise that achieves this is the lat pulldown close grip. By adopting this training method, not only will you save time, but you will also effectively target your biceps, resulting in increased arm size, and that is something anyone can benefit from. Michal Krizo’s back workout recently included this movement.
For a look at some effective back and biceps workouts that you can do, we’ll be following Michal Krizo. He’s a promising bodybuilder in the Men’s Open category who recently won the Empro Classic Pro to qualify for Mr. Olympia. He hopes to get at least a top-eight finish, improving from last year’s top-twelve finish.
|Full Name: Michal Križo Križánek|
|Men’s Open||2010s – Till Date||Slovak|
In this video, about four weeks out from the Olympia, we follow Krizo as he tackles his back and biceps using exercises like the lat pulldown close grip. He also talks about how training for competition means sacrificing valuable time with his son. Krizo says,
“What do I miss? Now that I have a young kid and I am prepping (for the 2023 Olympia), I don’t feel like spending as much time with him, go out, and so on… There is not much energy left. So I’m waiting till the season is over, and I’ll make it up to him.”
Michal Krizo’s Back & Biceps Workout
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After winning the Empro Classic Pro in Spain to get direct qualification to Mr. Olympia, Krizo took a few weeks off. He resumed complete competition prep in August, targeting his legs and sharing his full split training nine weeks out. We also saw his chest and shoulder workouts recently.
Michal Krizo does six machine exercises and one free weight routine for this back and biceps workout. He starts with upper posterior chain training exercises and then throws two biceps isolation exercises. Below is a breakdown of his workout.
|Seated Cable Rows|
|Straight Back Rows|
|Lat Pulldown Close Grip|
|Seated EZ Bar Curls|
|One Arm Machine Preacher Curls|
Michal Krizo starts his back and biceps exercises by doing the lat pulldown. He uses the V-bar attachment for this exercise, which allows him to use a neutral wide grip. The neutral wide grip effectively targets your upper back and biceps alongside your lats.
The lat pulldown is intended to improve your back strength, specifically your lats, while activating your shoulder girdle (1). This exercise uses an overhead pulling motion, which recruits your arms, shoulders, and back. The lat pulldown is an adequate substitute for the pullup and chin-up for athletes who find pulling their bodyweight challenging.
Michal Krizo uses the SportArts selectorized machine for the seated row to crank out effective sets. This machine also features pivoting flex handles, which help to reduce stress on your wrists and prevent injuries. Krizo’s trainer, Alexander Hlobik, spots him on some reps for this exercise.
The seated row is an exercise that builds your lats, traps, biceps, and rhomboids. It’s a great way to improve your upper body strength and posture. The seated row is a functional exercise that helps strengthen your posterior chain muscles, preventing lower back pain.
The low row is a beneficial exercise that emphasizes your lats. This exercise also works on your upper back, biceps, traps, rhomboids, and rear delts.
For this exercise, Michal Krizo uses the Hammer Strength plate-loaded machine. This allows him to target his back muscles from a different angle. This machine also has each arm individually loaded, which can help you work on any strength imbalances between your arms.
Straight Back Row
To do the straight back row, Michal Krizo uses a plate-loaded machine. He cranks out multiple grueling sets, watched by his trainer, before moving to this video’s final posterior chain exercise.
The straight back row is a compound exercise for muscle growth and strength in the upper posterior chain. This routine effectively targets all your back muscles, including the erector spinae. To do the straight back row, your back stays completely straight while your arm muscles move to complete each rep and target your back.
Lat Pulldown Close Grip
The lat pulldown close grip is Michal Krizo’s final upper posterior chain compound movement for this video. He uses the same V-bar attachment for a neutral grip but adjusts the distance to bring it closer. After churning out multiple sets, he moves on to a bicep isolation exercise.
As we’ve already pointed out, the lat pulldown is an effective exercise for your back, shoulder, and arms. However, varying your grip changes the specific muscles this exercise focuses on. This research shows that a close grip, like the lat pulldown close grip recruits your biceps more (2).
Seated EZ Bar Curls
The seated EZ bar curl is an isolation exercise for the biceps. It offers a great range of motion due to the design of the EZ bar. This design also reduces the strain on your wrists and improves your grip strength, allowing you to load and grow your biceps even more.
Michal Krizo did this exercise in the seated position as this helps to remove the need for stabilization. As a result, you can achieve better focus and use a mind-muscle connection to build your arms. He did some heavy sets before moving to the final routine for the day.
One Arm Machine Preacher Curls
Michal Krizo did the one-arm machine preacher curl to wrap up his back and biceps workout. As a result of the pad placement under his arm, he effectively isolates his biceps, letting them do all the work. This leads to more muscle growth and bigger arms.
The one-arm machine preacher curl is an exercise that focuses on your biceps peak for bigger arms. Doing this unilaterally can help you find and fix any muscle imbalances. Using a machine also helps to keep constant tension on your muscles throughout the range of motion.
You can watch Michal Krizo’s full back workout below:
Overall, Michael Krizo appears to be a force to be reckoned with this coming Olympia. Where do you think he will place?
- Ronai, P. (2019, March). The Lat Pulldown. ACSM’S Health & Fitness Journal, 23(2), 24–30. https://doi.org/10.1249/fit.0000000000000469
- Andersen, V., Fimland, M. S., Wiik, E., Skoglund, A., & Saeterbakken, A. H. (2014). Effects of grip width on muscle strength and activation in the lat pull-down. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 28(4), 1135–1142. http/doi.org/10s:/.1097/JSC.0000000000000232