Bodybuilder Sadik Hadzovic is currently training for another shot at an Olympia win. He came close in 2015 when he was the runner-up in the Men’s Physique class, and he followed that up by taking third in Classic Physique the following year. His last appearance at the Olympia came in 2017 when he placed seventh in Classic.
The veteran performer took a hiatus after the 2019 Arnold Classic, finishing sixth in Men’s Physique, and returned to competition in 2022 with a win at the Pittsburgh Pro and a third-place effort at the New York Pro.
He’s currently working this off-season to make his Olympia return after withdrawing from the 2022 show. He recently uploaded a back workout video to his YouTube channel to give fans a look at his progress:
[Related: The 25 Best Back Exercises for Strength and Muscle Gain]
Before the workout, Hadzovic says he had the following carb-heavy meal:
“For me, eggs digest very easy,” Hadzovic says. “I wouldn’t have a steak or a piece of grilled chicken. That would take a long time to digest.”
Of course, the more swiftly food digests, the quicker Hadzovic can work out.
Sadik Hadzovic’s Back Workout
Here’s a list of the back exercises Hadzovic completed during his workout:
Sadik Hadzovic’s Back Workout Tips
Throughout the workout, Hadzovic provides invaluable tips on how he’s grown and improved his physique over the years:
Trap Bar Deadlifts and Straight Arm Lat Pulldown
Hadzovic suggests starting your back workout with heavy compound movements (multi-joint movements) to ensure that the most important lifts are completed before getting fatigued. So he begins his pull routine with trap bar deadlifts, which place less stress on the lower back than conventional deadlifts.
Hadzovic mentions that the straight arm lat pulldown is a warm-up exercise for the rest of the back exercises, and he performs two to three sets with light weight before moving to heavy rows.
Machine Chest-Supported Rows
For the chest-supported rows, Hadzovic stresses the importance of taking one rep at a time and concentrating on getting a full range of motion. For this move, in particular, he says to “visualize your hands as hooks and try to drive back with your elbows.” The key is to drive your elbows straight toward the ceiling.
[Related: The 20 Best Biceps Exercises for Greater Growth]
Machine Lat Pulldown and Seated Cable Row
Hadzovic stresses that any rowing movements improve muscle thickness, while overhead exercises build a broader back.
“When you’re pulling back, use full range of motion,” Hadzovic says of the seated cable row. “Stretch back and bring your chest high. And when you’re going back down, go in a little bit to stretch out those lats. Don’t be so stiff at 90 degrees all the time.”
Cable Rear Lat Pulldown
As the name implies, cable rear lat pulldowns are a typical lat pulldown, except the load is pulled behind the neck. This exercise targets more upper back muscles — including the trapezius and rhomboids — than the standard version.
However, it does place excessive strain on the shoulder joints, so that’s definitely something to keep in mind.
Rope Kneeling Cable Pulldowns
Hadzovic did a hybrid of a pulldown and face pull by adjusting the angle of his body to lean slightly forward. This engaged both the rear deltoids and lats simultaneously. He says to let the weight pull the lats forward to stretch them on this movement.
Sadik Hadzovic’s 2023 Olympia Hopes
Hadzovic is working hard to qualify for the Olympia again this year. If he earns a spot on the big stage, it will be his sixth time competing at the show.
The 2023 Olympia will take place from November 2-5 in Orlando, Florida.
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