IFBB pro bodybuilder Sadik Hadzovic is currently preparing for his return to competition at the 2022 New York Pro on May 21, 2022, in Teaneck, NJ. Hadzovic last competed at the 2019 Arnold Classic as a Classic Physique athlete and finished sixth overall. Currently, he’s training for a hopefully successful comeback in the Men’s Physique division.
Hadzovic uploaded a back workout to his YouTube channel on April 19, 2022, where he explained that Men’s Physique competitors are judged on two poses — front and back.
Your back is 50 percent and your front is 50 percent of your score.
Hadzovic will step on the pro bodybuilding stage in May for the first time in more than two years. Check out his back training session below:
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Sadik Hadzovic’s Back Workout
Hadzovic began his bodybuilding career in Men’s Physique and built quite a competitive resume. He racked up wins at the 2013 New York Pro and 2014 Tampa Pro before becoming the inaugural Men’s Physique Arnold Classic champion in 2015. He was the Men’s Physique Olympia runner-up in 2015. In 2016, the Bosnian-born bodybuilder switched to Classic Physique, placing third in his first Olympia the same year. He fell to a seventh-place ranking in 2017.
Check out the full details from Hadzovic’s back training session below:
Hadzovic likes to start his back workouts with a heavy compound movement. The rack pull involves lifting a loaded barbell from an elevated position (e.g., bar catches in a power rack, bumper plates, or blocks). In this case, Hadzovic used a power cage and set the bar at mid-shin height, which is more challenging than knee-high rack pulls.
The rack pull is an effective back and lower body exercise and allows the lifter to use max loads. Consequently, it’s also very taxing on the body.
When you tax your central nervous system, it…tells the body, hey…it’s time to grow.
Hadzovic is seen performing three sets with 315 pounds.
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Overhand Wide-Grip Weighted Pull-Up
Hadzovic moved to the weighted pull-up next. The former Classic Physique competitor pointed out that it’s great for stretching out the lats.
Weighted pull-ups is a great way to increase your…pull-up strength.
According to a 2017 study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, a movement’s stretch or eccentric phase is essential for muscle growth. Additionally, a study conducted by the American Council on Exercise comparing back exercises found the pull-up to be a superior lat-focused movement. (1)(2)
Hadzovic suggested placing a dumbbell between the ankles and interlocking them to keep the weight in place if you don’t have a pull-up/dipping belt. Hadzovic performed two sets of the weighted pull-up using a wide, overhand (pronated) grip.
Dumbbell Standing Bent-Over Row
The dumbbell bent-over row works the back and also challenges the core muscles. Performing the rows standing as opposed to kneeling on a bench can help emphasize the low back and hips.
If you want to grow, then you got to do rows.
Hadzovic offered some mental cues he utilizes to perform the rows with effective form:
We’re trying to lock our entire body like it’s stuck in concrete…raise our elbow up toward the ceiling.
The lower back can become a limiting factor at heavier weights without any chest support, but Hadzovic is still seen hitting three sets.
The fourth exercise of the back workout was the behind-the-neck lat pulldown, a movement that’s gotten somewhat of a negative reputation because of the potentially compromised position it can place the arms and shoulders in. However, those concerns arguably stem from improper form than inherent flaws with the movement.
Hadzovic feels more emphasis on the upper back and lats when he does the behind-the-neck pulldown. He retracts the shoulder blades to bring the arms back, allowing him to pull the bar down without bending his head forward. He did three sets using a lat pulldown bar with D handles and a neutral grip.
Seated Chest-Supported Machine Row
For the last exercise, Hadzovic likes the seated chest-supported machine row to build thickness in his back.
You can never have a too good enough back, especially in Men’s Physique.
Hadzovic finished the session with three sets of this exercise using a supinated grip before stripping off his shirt and sharing a physique update with a bit of posing.
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Sadik Hadzovic Full Back Workout Routine
Below is a list of exercises Hadzovic performed in order during his back workout. Due to the video editing, the exact number of sets and reps for the movements isn’t precise.
- Rack Pull
- Overhand Wide-Grip Weighted Pull-Up
- Dumbbell Standing Bent-Over Row
- Behind-The-Neck Pulldown
- Seated Chest-Supported Machine Row
Hadzovic is full steam ahead to the New York Pro in May, marking his return to elite bodybuilding competition. If his most recent back session was any indication, the former champion is determined to assert himself once again as a top IFBB competitor. We’ll see if the judges agree.
Schoenfeld, B. J., Ogborn, D. I., Vigotsky, A. D., Franchi, M. V., & Krieger, J. W. (2017). Hypertrophic Effects of Concentric vs. Eccentric Muscle Actions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 31(9), 2599–2608. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001983
- H. Edelburg, et al. What Is the Best Back Exercise? American Council on Exercise. 2018. https://www.acefitness.org/continuing-education/certified/april-2018/6959/ace-sponsored-research-what-is-the-best-back-exercise/
Featured image: @sadikhadzovic on Instagram