Construct your again higher with this vast lat exercise from Anna McManamey

Australian Anna McManamey is a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist who knows a thing or two about shaping her body and changing the body of her clients. The 35-year-old from Sydney is a hit on social media where she shares her fitness tips, recipes, and motivational back and shoulder workouts.

M&F Hers met with the bodybuilding pro and judge to find out more about their love of fitness and came up with a fantastic back and shoulder workout for building serious muscle.

When did you fall in love with fitness?

I grew up in a very sporty family. My (mother) was a sprinter and represented Australia in the Commonwealth Games, and my father is still playing field hockey at 65! Fitness has always been a big part of my life. I can't remember a time when I didn't train for something!

As a kid, I was a very competitive swimmer, dancer, and rhythmic gymnast, with several Australian titles. When I was 20, I retired from gymnastics and discovered the gym. Within a few months I became a group fitness trainer, which eventually led me to discover the world of body sculpting and competitive fitness modeling.

How do you go about improving your customers' fitness?

I feel like I can really address women's body issues because even though I have always led a very active lifestyle, I have certainly not always been healthy and I used to be really good at not liking myself.

As a teenager and in my early 20s, I was very self-conscious and had very poor body image, which ultimately led to a seven-year battle with anorexia and bulimia. I've never been fat or overweight, but since I was the perfectionist and achiever I was in sports like dance and gym that put so much emphasis on body shape, I became extremely self-critical.

Discovering the gym and learning to live the “fitness lifestyle” literally saved my life and ultimately led me on a new career path. I've learned that you don't have to starve yourself or punish yourself with hours of cardio to achieve the body you want. The opposite is the case: take care of yourself from within, and this is reflected outwards.

Helping women avoid the same mistakes I've made is why I am so passionate about raising and inspiring them to build healthy relationships around diet, exercise, and body image.

You like to build in trisets. What are some of the benefits?

Trisets allow you to put a lot of work into a shorter period of time, and they are extremely useful for fat loss and hypertrophy. It's a method I use a lot for myself and my clients as I prepare for a competition. There are several ways to structure a triset, but for a hypertrophy focus such as this, this back and shoulder workout (below) would provide the muscle group with significant stimulus and time under tension.

You will do three exercises in sequence for the same muscle group with minimal rest in between. I like to start with lower reps for the first exercise and then increase the reps in the following sets. That way, you can really increase the volume and lock in blood in the target muscle group.

And the drops will really add to the burning sensation !?

Dropsets are a bodybuilding favorite, and for good reason! They involve doing a set of weights and repetitions a set number of times until you reach a point of failure, you drop the weight immediately by about 20%, and then you continue doing a set number of reps until you fail. By lowering the weight and continuing to do more repetitions, you can tap into those “deep” muscle fibers and completely exhaust the target muscle. This is a critical component in achieving muscle hypertrophy.

What's next for you

In terms of training, after two knee surgeries this year, I'm working my way back for torn meniscus on both sides. I still carefully squat back down, so the focus for now is on the address

the underlying weakness that led to injury in the first place. My goal is to return to my previous training intensity without further damage so that I can avoid another operation later.

In competition, I'm eager to get back on stage. 2021 was supposed to be my big return after a 3 year hiatus, but COVID had other plans. I would love to compete in the competitions in 2022 but it will depend on business commitments. The stage will still be there in 2023! For the next competition I want to move up to the WBFF Pro Fitness Division.

Muscular woman and bodybuilder Anna McManamey wears a training bra and panties for her back and shoulder trainingDallas Olsen

Anna McManamey's back and shoulder training


A1: Eccentric pull-up, 10 seconds to lower 4 x 1

A2: Lat pulldown, pronated grip 4 x 8-10

A3: Seated row of cables, narrow neutral grip, dropset 4 x 12/12

B1: DB press while seated, 1¼ repetitions below 4 x 6-8

B2: Sitting DB sideways sideways, section 4 x 10-12

B3: Standing DB Side Lateral, Drop-Set 4 x 12/12 *

* (12/12 indicates a dropset. Do 12 reps until failure, then reduce weight by about 20% and do another 12 reps until failure)

The above example of a back and shoulder workout is advanced in the need to maintain shape when you are fatigued. Performing an eccentric pull-up is a great challenge even for a novice! So for beginners or those looking to gain more experience under pressure, McManamey has provided a modified workout like this. Maintain the same rest times, but drop sets are not included in this plan:

Modified training:

A1: Lat pulldown, medium pronation 4x 6-8

A2: Half-kneeling row of cables, high to low angle, medium neutral 4x 8-10

A3: Flat DB press, neutral handle 4x 12-15

B1: DB press seated, neutral grip, not supported 4x 6-8

B2: 60d slope Arnold DB Press 4x 8-10

B3: Seated cable oar, middle supinated handle 4x 12-15

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.