The one element that doesn’t change is Shawn Ray’s warmup. On back day it’s always chins. These aren’t counted as an exercise, but neither are they trivialized as just a bit of fluff to get the circulation going. Quite the contrary. Shawn stretches his arms wide, uses an overhand grip, cinches up his lifting straps, crosses his ankles, tightens his body into position and grinds out 13 repetitions, slowing his pace as he goes to make it more difficult.
It’s obvious that Shawn is intellectually as well as emotionally involved in each repetition. His goal is not merely to reach the bar but also to allow his muscle to savor the journey. From bottom to top he distributes the work equally to every muscle in his back, consciously contracting one, then another, adroitly shifting the workload back and forth, step by step up the ladder of his back.
‘Kevin Neilsen, IRONMAN’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding