How Men’s Physique Olympic Champion Erin Banks trains during the off-season

Defending Mens Physique Olympia Champion Erin Banks entered competitive bodybuilding at age 31 in 2019 and turned pro in four months. Banks won the second most prestigious bodybuilding title in the division, the Arnold Classic Mens Physique, in 2021 and ranks as the top Mens Physique bodybuilder in the world due to his win at the 2022 Olympia and subsequent Arnold Classic 2023.

Banks has one of the widest and densest backs in Men’s Physique, giving him the edge over much of his core competition. On June 29, 2023, Banks took to his YouTube channel to share his back workout secrets. Watch the video below:

[Related: Chris Bumstead Shares His 10 Staple Exercises for Hypertrophy]

Erin Banks’ off-season back workout

The reigning Olympia champion performed five exercises in his back training:

[Related: 2023 Mr. Big Evolution Pro Results Andrea Presti Wins Mens Open]

Straight Arm Lat Pulldown

Banks opened with a straight-arm lat pulldown, an isolation movement that establishes his mind-muscle connection through his warm-up sets. The two-time Arnold Classic champion used a rope attack, keeping his hands together in the starting position, then spreading them apart during the concentric.

Banks’ hands end up next to her thighs during the peak contraction. Banks maintained a neutral spine with his torso at a 45-degree angle to keep tension on his lats. After her first set, Banks did a complex of muscle-ups and dips to showcase her calisthenics skills. I was easily doing 500 pull-ups a day, handstands and back flips, Banks said before returning to her hypertrophy-focused back training.

Chest supported T-bar rows

Banks’ favorite exercise is the T-row. He keeps his elbows flared as he performs this exercise to better engage his upper lats and rear delts. The reigning Men’s Physique Olympia champion rests two to three minutes between sets to allow enough time for his ATP levels to rebuild for maximum yield in each set.

Adjusting the amount of rest depends on your goals, but since Banks is in his off-season hypertrophy phase, maxing out each work set to failure is more important than getting your heart rate up. Banks performed two warm-up sets and two work sets.

Erin Banks
Image via @e_bankssss on Instagram

[Related: Brett Wilkins 3 Go-To Exercises for Adding Mass to His Hamstrings]

Row of seated cars

Banks have run queues sitting on a Strength of the Arsenal loaded plate iso-lateral spinner. He used a neutral grip and simultaneously pulled both handles pushing his elbows back for optimal lats engagement. Banks lowered the seat of the car to change its trajectory of movement. The angle of the pull allowed him to affect his upper lats, rear delts and traps.

Rack pulls

Banks adjusted the safety pins so the barbell was below his knees in the starting position. The Olympia champion credited this exercise with strengthening his back.

It’s not just an up-and-down motion, explained Banks, who said using a faster cadence affects the lower back. However, he uses this movement to develop his lats by lifting the barbell and slightly extending his back overhead. Banks arches his spine at the block so the weight rests on his lats.

Rows EBanks

For the final exercise, Banks did his signature backwards movement, the “EBanks Rows.” His namesake exercise is a hybrid of hyperextension and cable row. He set up a hyperextension bench a few feet from a cable pulley, set to the lowest setting.

Erin Banks
Image via @Erin Banks on Instagram

Banks’ torso was perpendicular to his legs in the starting position. She grabbed an EZ bar with a wide underhand grip and extended her arms above her head. The Olympia champion pulled the bar on his navel as he performed a hyperextension. Banks trains his posterior chain with this movement, including his hamstrings and glutes.

Way to go

Banks is confirmed to compete at the 2023 Legion Sports Fest Pro, scheduled for October 6-8 in Reno, NV. Since this show is four weeks before the 2023 Olympia in Orlando, FL on Nov. 2-5, the reigning Mens Physique Olympia champion should be in better shape than he is as he races to defend his throne.

Featured Image: @e_bankssss on Instagram

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