Jay Cutler, a 4-Time Mr. Olympia, Shares ‘a Day in Paradise’ Training Back

Despite taking a step away from the competitive landscape, bodybuilding legend Jay Cutler hasn’t slowed down in the gym and showed as much with a recent series of back workouts

Another day in paradise. The weather is great right? Training has been going A+.

On April 29, 2022, Cutler went to the Fit Club, a gym based in Las Vegas, and got busy with a number of workouts designed to build a bigger and better back. Six workouts were featured in the YouTube video, which you can watch below:

[Related: Charles Griffen Wins 2022 California State Pro Bodybuilding Show]

  1. Back Day Exercises
    1. Reverse Grip RealLeader Machine
    2. One-armed Dumbbell Rows
    3. Lat Pulldowns
    4. T-Bar Rows
    5. RealLeader Pullover Machine
    6. Hyperextensions
  2. About Jay Cutler

Back Day Exercises

  • Reverse Grip RealLeader Machine: 5 (feel) sets 
  • One-armed Dumbbell Rows: 3 working sets of 10-12 reps
  • Lat Pulldowns: 3 (feel) sets
  • T-Bar Rows: 4 sets of 12 reps
  • RealLeader Pullover Machine: 4 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Hyperextensions: 3 sets

[Related: Terrence Ruffin Shares Back Workout and Training Mistakes to Avoid]

Reverse Grip RealLeader Machine

Cutler began his routine on the reverse grip RealLeader machine. The former Mr. Olympia winner says that he used to do this movement with a barbell until it began to bother his wrists. Before hitting five sets, Cutler suggested that his fans check out the innovative machine.

I just want to get a feel of the exercise.

Before moving on to the next movement, Cutler fired off a total of five ‘feel’ sets. 

One-armed Dumbbell Rows

Dumbbells have wonderful utility when it comes to training back. Varying grip orientations and elbow angles enable the lifter to target back muscles that are typically tricky to isolate. Cutler stuck to working sets and mentioned that he completed three sets for 10-12 reps, sticking to around 80 pounds. 

Lat Pulldowns

Lat Pulldowns are a compound exercise that helps develop and support a strong back by isolating the lats. When the elbows are flared out slightly, the rear delts also activate.

Cutler utilized a neutral grip, and emphasized the need to "get a feel of the exercise."

Three working sets there. Rolled right into it. I talked about these feel sets. I only do these on the first exercise.

Before moving on with T-bar rows, Cutler completed three feel sets of lat pulldowns.


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A post shared by Mr Olympia Jay Cutler (@jaycutler)

[Related: Bodybuilders Nick Walker, Kamal Elgargni, and Samson Dauda Build Roadmap Backs With High-Volume Workout]

T-Bar Rows

When it comes to thickening, T-bar rows are a great exercise. The plate-loaded specialized machine can be utilized for several different variations. T-bar rows allow lifters to train around hamstring soreness and the lower back, as the pad provides stability. Bent-over rows apply stress to the lower back and hamstrings, making them limiting factors in the movement.

While the Massachusetts native never thought he’d practice T-bar rows in retirement, he admits they "felt really good." Before completing four sets of 12 repetitions, Cutler explained that he’s still deadlifting every other week.

RealLeader Pullover Machine

A great alternative for the dumbbell pullover, Cutler uses the RealLeader pullover machine for four sets of 10-12 reps. He added that his weight for this specific movement hovered around 225-pounds on each side.

I did three sets. Stuck to around the same weight, two and a quarter on each side, and really squeeze. Focused on 10 or 12 [reps] there.

Cutler planned to do seated cable rows but forgot and moved on to lower back training. 


Like many other professional bodybuilders, Cutler opts to finish his back routine with hyperextensions. After extending the back from a flexed position, lifters extend the spine through a normal range of motion while the head and neck stay neutral. This movement targets the erector spinae. 

Did three sets holding a 25-pound plate. That felt pretty good.

After finishing the sixth and final exercise for a total of three sets, the 48-year-old legend found time to spot a fellow lifter doing shoulder presses.


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A post shared by Mr Olympia Jay Cutler (@jaycutler)

[Related: Terrence Ruffin Shares Back Workout and Training Mistakes to Avoid]

About Jay Cutler

During the mid-2000s, Cutler made a name for himself in the IFBB Pro League Men’s Open division with jaw-dropping size, and conditioning that few athletes could match. His epic rise in the sport coincided with the dominant reign of "The King" Ronnie Coleman, a bodybuilder who amassed eight Mr. Olympia titles (tied for the most Olympia victories in history with Lee Haney). 

In 2006, Cutler brought a package worthy enough to dethrone rival Coleman and asserted himself as one of the biggest names in the sport. From 2006 to 2010 (excluding 2008 Mr. Olympia won by Dexter Jackson), "The Comeback Kid" dominated bodybuilding’s grandest stage, earning Sandow trophies in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. 

Cutler remains one of the most beloved personalities in the industry. Despite taking a step away from competitive bodybuilding, Cutler trains as if he never left the sport, revisiting his old iron stomping grounds for demanding workouts.

Featured image: @jaycutler on Instagram

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