Method Man Shares the Workout He Uses to Smash His Back

"Method Man Shares the Workout He Uses to Smash His Back"
Originally posted on by BY EMILY SHIFFER | AUG 11, 2020

Rapper and actor Method Man got started in the gym in an unconventional way.

“What really got me started in the gym was I had insomnia real bad. I found myself waking up at 2 or 3 in the morning, playing video games, just wasting my time,” he told the Men’s Health crew. “I had this gym membership and I was like, ‘Well hell, I’m paying for it. Might as well use it.'”

After checking the gym’s hours, he decided to ditch the gaming and get to training.

“I looked to see what time the gym opened, and it opened at 4 a.m. So at 4 a.m. I find myself in the gym working out,” he says. “Two days went to three days, three days turned into five days, and I’ve been consistent ever since for the past two years now.”

And he hopes to get shredded like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

“My goal is to get to a point where I can take my shirt off in any setting and basically be The Rock, but without the tattoos and the accolades,” he says.

Here, he shares the back day workout he’s using to get to his goals.

Method Man’s Back Day Workout

Pullup Warmup

Wide Grip Pullups: 3 sets of 8 reps
Close-Grip Chinups: 3 sets of 8 reps

“I like to start the workout with a warmup, basically I do wide grip pullups and closed grip pullups,” he says. “Some people like to start from the top—that’s cheating! You have to start from the bottom.”

The Back Workout

Exercise 1: Deadlifts
5 sets of 5 reps

“I’m going to go for my max today, 455 pounds,” he says. For some extra advice on nailing deadlifts, check out this guide.

Exercise 2: Bent-Over Rows
4 sets of 10 reps

“When I do my bent-over back rows, the first thing I want to do is pinch those shoulder blades together as tight as possible. Each time you pull, you’re pinching the shoulder blades first. Don’t break your wrists. Make sure your wrists stay straight, and when you come down you want a full stretch.”

Next is a superset of seated cable rows and straight-arm pulldowns.

“Keep that blood flowing for a nice pump,” he says.

Exercise 3A: Seated Cable Rows
4 sets of 20 reps

“When I’m doing seated cable rows, the same rules apply: you want to shrug those shoulders, pinch that back and shoulder blades together with each pulldown,” he says.

Exercise 3B: Straight-Arm Pulldowns
4 sets of 20 reps

“You want to get a full stretch and pull down as far as possible,” he says. “You want your hands to come down a little past your waist so you can get that full squeeze on those lat pulldowns. Superset it, after that you can write your will ‘cuz you’re close to death after that.”

Exercise 4: Weighted Neck Extensions
4 sets of 20 reps

“This is the grit of the workout here, we basically do these everyday,” he says. “This helps a lot with keeping your neck beefy so no one can knock your block off, you know what I’m saying?” In other words, protect ya neck—but unless you’re planning to get into the ring, think about leaving this exercise to the fighters.

Ab Finishers

“This is the wind-down, this is the ab workout. I like to mix it up a bit, superset of course,” he says.

Exercise 5A: Ab Rollout
4 sets of 20 reps

“When I’m using the roller, the thing that I’m concentrating on most is trying to get as low to the ground as possible, damn near where my thighs are touching the ground,” he says. “The technique you want to use is you breathe in on the way down, exhale on the way back up.”

Exercise 5B: Cable Crunches
4 sets of 20 reps

“On weighted crunches, which I hate by the way, you want to engage your core,” he says. “Keep your core tight the way people do martial arts, ‘hiya, hiya’ (with their breath), you might want to do that to flex the stomach muscles, that’s a little trick I’m telling you. So every time I pull down it’s a little ‘hiya’. Engage your core, keep it tight. You can’t lose.”

After the workout, he offers his final thoughts on his training.

“We did a lot of back today, a lot of good things in there,” he says. “Hopefully you guys got some tips, and not just tips but most importantly motivation and inspiration. My advice to you is training is commitment and lifestyle. Make sure you get some.”