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Nick Walker Trains Back Raw 14 Weeks Out From the 2024 New York Pro

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Sandow trophy hopeful Nick Walker had to sit out of the 2023 Olympia due to hamstring and calf injuries. However, Walker’s hiatus from the competitive limelight was short-lived, as he will compete at the 2024 New York (NY) Pro, scheduled for May 18, 2024. Should he win that contest for the second time in his career — he won it in 2021 — he would qualify for 2024 Mr. Olympia.

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On Feb. 18, 2024, Walker published a video on his YouTube channel wherein he shared the back workout and training techniques he uses to sculpt a physique capable of clinching his second NY Pro title.

Nick Walker’s 2024 NY Pro Back Workout

Here is a snapshot of Walker’s high-volume back training session:

Check out Walker’s session below:

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[Related: Wellness Bodybuilder Chloe Pickford Shares How to Build “Whammy” Quads]

Pullover Machine

Walker revealed that he last used the pullover machine in November 2023 during his Olympia prep. Walker employed a narrow grip and paused at the top. Walker’s programming has trended toward more time under tension (TUT) to maximize muscle fiber stimulation and away from heavy loads for the sake of it.

A study published in Sports Medicine concluded that slower tempos with longer TUT can create an adequate stimulus for both strength gains and muscle growth while allowing the use of lighter loads. (1)

Walker emphasized the importance of warm-ups, particularly for the first exercise. Loosening the joints, tendons, and ligaments can improve blood flow to the working muscles and reduce injury risk. 

Machine High Row

Unilateral exercises can be effective for fixing strength and muscle imbalances. Walker kept his chest off the pad and pulled his elbows past the midline at the bottom of each rep. That full range of motion (ROM) is key for Walker’s development:

Most growth happens in the fully stretched position.

Walker used rest-pause sets to train his lats to mechanical failure (where form starts to break due to muscle fatigue) to maximize lat fiber recruitment. 

Walker opined that people who perform more than two sets of an exercise can avoid training to muscle failure on each set, as the higher total volume can result in similar hypertrophic results

Chest-Supported T-Bar Row

Walker flared his elbows during the concentrics to better engage the upper body, including the lats, rear delts, traps, rhomboids, and teres major and minor. He retracted the scapula to maintain a proud chest to achieve a tight contraction.

The 29-year-old takes long rests between sets. “Maximum growth comes from longer rest periods and making sure you’re contracting [the target muscle] as hard as you can,” Walker said. “If you go too fast into your next set, odds are, you’re not going to get as many reps as you probably could.” 

A randomized controlled trial published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that longer rest periods (three minutes) led to greater increases in muscle strength and size in the thigh and potentially the triceps compared to shorter rest periods (one minute) in experienced lifters. (2)

Seated Cable Row

Rowing exercises promote back thickness, whereas vertical pulling exercises bias back width. Walker used a wider-than-shoulder-width grip on the bar and pulled it toward his belly button to target the lower lats. 

“Cable rows are one of my favorites,” said Walker. “I can contract [the target muscles] with them really hard.” Cables keep constant tension on the target muscle throughout the ROM, which can help promote hypertrophy. 

The New Jersey native’s mind-muscle connection further promotes hypertrophy as he can more accutely squeeze the target muscles with each rep, applying more stimulation to that target. (3)

Bent-Over Dumbbell Row & Reverse Pec Deck Flye

Walker performed one set of single-arm dumbbell rows with 130-pound dumbbells to muscle failure. He kept his torso parallel to the floor throughout the exercise to ensure the lats moved the weight. 

Walker did three sets of reverse pec deck flyes to hit the posterior deltoids. Per Walker, his rear delts respond best at high-rep ranges (15-20 reps per set). After Walker hit failure in his full ROM, he performed partial reps. (4)

Rack Pulls & Hyperextensions

Rack pulls’ restricted ROM limits hamstring activation, allowing the lifter to bias the upper and lower back. Walker used a slow and controlled rep cadence to eliminate momentum

After rack pulls, I like to fry out the lower back with one to two sets of hyperextension.

Walker used a resistance band to maintain constant tension on the lower back throughout the ROM. 

At the time of writing, Walker is the only Men’s Open bodybuilder confirmed for the 2024 New York Pro. We’ll see if he has rebounded sufficiently from his injury to capture another invite to bodybuilding’s grandest stage.


  1. Wilk M, Zajac A, Tufano JJ. The Influence of Movement Tempo During Resistance Training on Muscular Strength and Hypertrophy Responses: A Review. Sports Med. 2021;51(8):1629-1650. doi:10.1007/s40279-021-01465-2
  2. Schoenfeld, B. J., Pope, Z. K., Benik, F. M., Hester, G. M., Sellers, J., Nooner, J. L., Schnaiter, J. A., Bond-Williams, K. E., Carter, A. S., Ross, C. L., Just, B. L., Henselmans, M., & Krieger, J. W. (2016). Longer Interset Rest Periods Enhance Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy in Resistance-Trained Men. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 30(7), 1805–1812.
  3. Calatayud, J., Vinstrup, J., Jakobsen, M. D., Sundstrup, E., Brandt, M., Jay, K., Colado, J. C., & Andersen, L. L. (2016). Importance of mind-muscle connection during progressive resistance training. European journal of applied physiology, 116(3), 527–533.
  4. Pedrosa, G. F., Lima, F. V., Schoenfeld, B. J., Lacerda, L. T., Simões, M. G., Pereira, M. R., Diniz, R. C. R., & Chagas, M. H. (2022). Partial range of motion training elicits favorable improvements in muscular adaptations when carried out at long muscle lengths. European journal of sport science, 22(8), 1250–1260.

Featured image: @nick_walker39 on Instagram

The post Nick Walker Trains Back Raw 14 Weeks Out From the 2024 New York Pro appeared first on BarBend.

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