Wesley Vissers and Urs Kalecinski Train Back in Prep for the Arnold Classic

Classic Physique titans grow their lats

Two pretty big names in the Classic Physique division recently teamed up for a brutal back workout in preparation for the upcoming Arnold Classic. The two bodybuilders are Urs Kalecinski and Wesley Vissers, and although Urs Kalecinski and Wesley Vissers are rivals in the sport and will compete against each other this weekend on March 1-2, 2024, the duo demonstrate some great camaraderie by syncing up for a back training session.

Kalecinski and Vissers have upped their frequency in preparation for this year’s Arnold Classic, hitting a back day twice a week. Urs Kalecinski published a video on February 18, 2024 to his YouTube channel, sharing his favorite back exercises and some awesome training tips for getting his back stage-ready. 

Urs Kalecinski & Wesley Vissers Back Workout

Here is what the Classic Physique bodybuilders’ back training routine looked like:

  • Lat Pulldown
  • Seated Cable Row
  • Single-Arm Machine Row
  • Straight-Arm Lat Pulldown
  • Assisted Pull-Ups

Lat Pulldown

lat pulldown

The first exercise these two bodybuilders indulged in was a wide grip lat pulldown to work on the width. Urs Kalencinski made sure that he got a full range of motion on each rep, pulling the bar right to the upper chest at the bottom of each rep and going almost to full elbow extension at the top of the rep.

Wesley Vissers usually performs three to four sets of his first back exercise to feel a good mind-muscle connection in the muscles he is targeting. They took extended rest between sets to offer the muscles enough time to recover before the next set and ensure maximal output in each set. 

Seated Cable Row

seated cable row

Wesley and Urs then moved on to the next exercise, which was seated cable rows using a shoulder-width overhand grip. The two pulled the bar toward the upper ribs while flaring the elbows out a little bit to put an emphasis on the upper back muscles which consist of the rear delts, traps, rhomboids, and teres muscles. 

They also maintained upright posture throughout the movement, making sure to avoid leaning back or forward to keep the stimulus on their lats. Kalencski retracted his scapula on concentrics (pulling part of the movement) and paused at the top to make sure he was getting a good squeeze and getting that blood flowing.

Single-Arm Machine Row

urs kalecinski wesley vissers

The next exercise the two completed was a single-arm machine row, meaning they only trained one arm at a time. Unilateral movements can be effective for fixing strength and muscle imbalances, which is essential for bodybuilding. 4x Mr. Olympia champion Jay Cutler is a big fan of unilateral training, and check out his crazy physique. 

They really got a good stretch on this exercise by grabbing the handle with a neutral grip, dipping the working shoulder, and pulling the elbow past the midline, tight to the torso. The machine’s line of pull allowed the duo to better bias their lower lats. After reaching failure, Kalenciski used momentum by swinging his torso, which some may call “cheat reps”. Although they have the word “cheat” in them, these reps can be helpful for overloading the muscles.

Straight-Arm Lat Pullovers

wesley vissers

On the second to last exercise, these two indulge in a straight-arm lat pullovers on the cable stack. Unlike Arnold Schwarzenegger who did pullovers with a dumbbell, Urs Kalecinski and Wesley Vissers used a cable handle attachment with a narrow grip, positioned his torso at 45 degrees, and maintained a bit of elbow flexion (but not too much) during the movement to put the entire load the lats. They use slow reps to emphasize time under tension on the lats.

Assisted Pull-Ups

wesley vissers

The final exercise of the workout was three sets of assisted pull-ups. The assisted pull-up machine helps to lower your own body weight so you can perform more repetitions without using momentum. It is great for the end of a workout, when the back is fried and fatigued, and you are unable to do bodyweight pullups. 

Kalenciski used wrist straps (a favorite piece of equipment of Sam Sulek) to take away the focus on forearm engagement and maximize lat stimulation.

Wrap Up

Overall, the Arnold Classic is going to be quite the show this weekend. There are some great bodybuilders gracing the stage. Be sure to stay updated with the Generation Iron team!

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Dylan Wolf
I work mainly in content writing, focusing my free time on bodybuilding and strength sports. I was introduced to fitness in high school and after watching Generation Iron movies. I love to train. I have competed multiple times, even winning a junior title in classic physique. I have a bachelor's in criminal justice and business obtained through Alvernia University. When I am not focused on work or training, I enjoy watching films or reading about anything and everything.