Archive for October, 2012

Weekend Spin & Back

I meet with the Personal Trainer during the week, so the weekends are my own.  But I have had a lot of lazy weekends in my life, and so if I feel I have the time and the energy, I am going to do a little more.


Saturday WAS a day off.  I slept in, played video games, generally vegetated.  Sunday I got up to go a morning spin class with my neighbour.  Spin class was great!  Best one I have had in a while.  Song 5 was GnR Paradise City, and there was a 2 min power race near the end (guitar solo) that blew my mind, it felt so good.  Eyes were closed, sweat dripping, legs were pumping, it almost started to feel euphoric.  Song 6 and 7 I was still feeling blasted, recovery time was imperative.  One of those Spin classes where you can cruise on the good vibes for the rest of the day.


But the time at the gym wasn’t over!  I had warmed up, now time for some Back!

Row Machine (overhand grip):  90 lbs x30, 25, 20, 15, 10

Superset – underhand cable row (105 lbs) & neutral grip pulldown (105 lbs):  20/13, 20/15, 20/15

Superset – reverse pec deck (40 lbs) & straight arm pulldowns (40 lbs):  20/20, 20/20, 20/20


The workout felt great!  And even better, it was short!  I could have done cardio after, but I felt like Spin before had me covered.

The 100 reps of machine rows felt good, I wasn’t going all out because I knew I had a lot more to go.  That’s why the reps are so proportioned, I stopped at that rep on purpose.  Not that it didn’t get hard by the end, but this was my first run through this workout, and I wanted to keep the intensity down while I checked out how it felt.  A test run, if you will.  Still, I kept the traps down and squeezed on the contraction.  Rest was determined by how far away I was from 100, so after doing 30 reps, I waited 70 seconds.  My rest periods were, respectively:  70s, 45s, 25s, 10s.  So it gets real hard by the end!


I had never supersetted back exercises before, so the weights weren’t crazy, but the reps were high, 20 is a lot of reps for me for a set.  The underhand grip cable rows felt good, heavy but quite doable, but when I jumped over to neutral grip, my grip was shot and my back was tired!  Try as I might, I couldn’t do 20 reps on the back end of that superset.  Each time, the underhand was fine, but I couldn’t get er done on the neutral grip.  So if I run this again, underhand weight goes up and 105 is where I stay on the neutral superset.  By the 3rd set, I had a real nice pump going on in my back, which is a nice feeling with such a large area muscle.

neutral grip pulldown

I wanted to do rear delt flys the way I wanted to do them.  I didn’t want dumbbells, they feel awkward, I wanted either the cables or the pec deck with the free moving bars.  There was a guy doing tricep stuff on the cables, and the machine I wanted was tucked away up in the “personal trainer” area, where PTs take their clients so they can work out with less traffic.  But that area was empty, just roped off and empty.  So I went to the person working the desk, and asked if I could go there.  She said that was only for people who have paid for a PT.  I said but there is noone there!  She hummed and hawed for 30 seconds, but then gave me a clip on id and told me to go ahead.

The flys and the straight arm pulldowns felt not too heavy, so I just focused on the SQUEEZE, exploding on the flys and squeezing a pencil between my delts and then slow on the negative.  Same with the pulldowns, down hard and up slow.  They are lightweight exercises, for lesser used muscles, a good ender.

reverse pec deck

I considered doing some pullups, but the back was tired and the grip was gone, so I happily called it and went home.  Great day at the gym!

See you tomorrow, back to the regular schedule!

A Sense of Renewal

Thursday was my offday.  At work though, the grind of the 9 to 5 got to me and I ate some junk food to give me a boost for the afternoon 7th inning stretch.  It wasn’t much, it gave me a pick me up for 5 min then I felt worn out again.  I felt guilty about it, so I decided to head to the gym Thursday night to do some work.  I asked Leslie what would be best for the focus so I wouldn’t step on the toes of whatever she had planned for Friday, and she suggested I do arms.  Hooray!  I luv arm day.  (Side note, Leslie hates her own arm day!  She says it agitates her to work her biceps.  Crazy right??  Arm day rules.)  After work, I napped, ate, psyched myself up, then to the gym for some late night training.

Group photo! Leslie’s arms, and my pecs. the excellence of execution right here.

Thursday night solo:

5 min warmup

(90 sec rest between sets)

dumbbell skullcrushers:  30 lb DBs x10, x10, x10, x10, x10, x8

2hand dumbbell extension:  55lb DB x10, x10, x10, x10, x10, x10

bicep curl machine:  60 x10, x10, x10, x10, x10, x10

seated curls:  35 lb DBs x10, x10, x10, x10, x10, x9

30 min on the elliptical

notes:  Good old arm volume training.  You don’t NEED 24 working sets a week on your arms to see progress, but it is nice every once in a while, and my arms need to work on their endurance.  My shoulder felt sore, so I was glad for arms vice chest or back.  Still, my shoulder got in the way of the skullcrushers, so my form was shaky by set 4.  I couldn’t keep it going in set 6, so had to clip it short.  Extensions felt good by the end, good strain on my triceps, so I knew tricep DOMS were in my future.

I wanted to do preacher curls, but the dudes in the gym had set up camp on the preacher rest, and they didn’t seem friendly, so w/e.  I went to the bicep curl machine.  I put on 60 lbs, which felt light on the machine, so I tried to make up for it by focussing mentally on SQUEEZING at the top of the movement, really tiring out my bicep and working on “the peak”.  It worked wonders.  By sets 5 and 6, my 90 second rest was devoted to stretching out my biceps, which felt really good.  Finished up with DB curls, and my biceps were tired enough that I couldn’t keep good form by the last few sets, so I will stick at that weight for a while.

Friday I woke up TIRED.  Late night sessions at the gym mean you are so buzzed when you get home, it is hard to transition to sleep.  Plus my shoulder stayed sore through the night.  So I slept in a bit, then took some strong anti-inflammatories for my shoulder and headed to work.  I was conscious not to eat junk, but I had to pop another anti-inflammatory, which leaves me feeling sluggish and bloated.  So lack of sleep and pilled to the gills, that meant I was not in prime form for my Friday session with Leslie.  It is unavoidable though, the shoulders need to rehab, can’t let them gather dust.

We talked for a bit, did a weigh-in (I lost 0 weight, which I will take as a concession considering the imperfect week).  We also talked about my future.  I definitely still need the help, with my form, with my focus, with my diet.  So I signed up for more sessions, renewed the commitment!  I am looking forward to working more with Les, I think she can help me a lot 🙂

short session, but weigh-in, renewal and pep talk was needed

10 minutes on the elliptical

triset:  squats with the ropes THEN stationary lunges THEN Australian pullups

20/12/12,     15/12(touch ball to floor)/10,     13(jump squats)/12(ball twist)/10

last set

last set

first set!

triset:  barbell curls THEN incline closegrip pushups THEN walking side planks

45×10/10/10,     55×12/12/10,     55×12/12/10

the transition

finished product

yoga stretch after:  cobblers pose for 3 min, pigeon for 90 sec or so each side

notes:  did all that make sense?  to some extent the exercises progressed to tougher versions as they went on.  As I got used to the version, we did a little more.  So the first stationary lunges were just that, then the second set I had a medicine ball I touched to the ground, then the last set, I twisted with the ball to the side.

The straps for the squats were just to keep my chest up, I didn’t pull or use my back.  That pic of me doing plyo is a rare pic!  Savour it, my feet don’t leave the ground very often any more 😀

Yeah… lunges… I am not very coordinated with lunges, haha.

Those wussy pullups… I can definitely go harder next time, they were easy (move my feet farther out).

The barbell curls were light, so I focused on the squeeze, and my biceps were tired anyways from the night before.

The incline closegrip was basically me racking the barbell after the curls then doing pushups against them.  On a sidenote:  there are no pictures of the curls or the pushups, because doing curls in the squat rack is a n00b move, and Leslie would lose her PT license if someone saw it 😀

Walking side planks are basically you transition back and forth from side to side.  They felt good, even slightly easy, so Leslie had me hold the side plank for a few seconds before the transition on later sets.

Then the yoga after felt GREAT.  It made me realize how much I miss yoga, it boosts my mood so much.  Thanks for that Leslie!  Good call.

October ends with a sense of renewed purpose.  I have a long ways to go, but I am working on it.  See you later!

Wednesday – upper body

I had had a few days to get used to cycling off the supplements and the caffeine.  Admiitedly, my mood was flat.  Not LOW, not sad, just dull and flat.  Hard to explain.  Actually, normally when I go off coffee, I have blinding headaches for a few days and I go comatose.  Going off caffeine pills, the only effect was to make me really sleepy.  no headaches!  Awesome, right?

Showed up, and just had this feeling in my heart Leslie was going to bless me with a superfun corefree upperbody ego boost workout!!  And I was right!  I am psychic.  I was also determined to not be such a whiney whiner like Monday.  All positive today!


warmed up for 13 min on the elliptical (was there early)

deadlifts:  warmup w bar, 135×12, 155×12, 155×12

no pixx of 155 sorry 😦

chest press:  120×12, 120×12, 130×12

incline flyes:  60×12, 70×12, 70×12

we manufactured drama, but really I loved it!

pushups:  10, 10

oh god! more pushups!

oh, you silly pushups

Shoulder Press:  90×12, x10, x10

pic not available because Leslie was busy forcing reps out of me

Lat Raise:  10 lb DBs x12, x12, 15lb DBs  x12

all the cool guys prerip their sleeves for Arm Day or for Lat Raises. I didn’t make the rules, people.

Alternating Front Raise:  20 lb DBs x8, x8, x15


notes:  LOVE upperbody day!  hooray!  Looking forward to doing more weight with deadlifts.  Onwards and upwards.  Also looking forward to Leslie trusting me enough to let me press some 80s, 90s or dare I break in the 100s??  I know in my heart I can do them.  I just have no proof, yet.

Have I ever mentioned the hidden bonus of upper body day is I make Leslie drag around the heavy dumbbells?  MUAHAHAHA dragging around the 100 lb dumbbells *rubs hands menacingly*

By the time we got to shoulder presses, my anterior delts were gassed, even from the presses and the pushups.  The second set I pretty much failed around rep 7 and Leslie had to help me through a few more.  I tried to rally for set 3, but was pretty much spent around rep 7 again.  That’s the bonus of a spotter though, assisted extra reps!  More overload!  Microtrauma!  Coconut shoulders!

My shoulders recovered quickly though, because for the front raises, I showed off and did 15 reps on the last set.  I can probably go higher on the front raises.  In general the lat raises and front raises were easy, time to go heavier on those probably.


Fun stuff!  See you next time!





Showed up for Monday session with Leslie.  She laid it out straight with me in regards to my diet, we went over what I need to do to clean it up.  Specifically, she wanted me to mostly drop caffeine, drop the supplements, go natural for a while, cycle off.  Just the thought of this was enough to put me in a bad mood.  I have to give up my powdery treats?  The caffeine?  The thermo?  The beta-alanine?  Arginine?  sigh

One of the other trainers at the studio recently posted her own video on supplements, check it out!  Did I mention she has her own blog too?

On to the Monday workout:  circuits, lunges, treadmill.  Jeremy sad 😦

Triset:  balls to the wall squats w 40lb dumbbells THEN crunches on the ball THEN one armed dumbbell rows (on a ball) w 40 lb db THEN jump on the elliptical at full speed

15/15/12/100 seconds  times 3

Triset:  walking lunges (prisoner arms) THEN dumbbell presses on the ball w 40s THEN a plank on the ball THEN on the treadmill at about 3.5

10(each leg)/15/30 sec/2 min  times 3

notes:  Lots of balls!  cardio in between weights had me sweating like crazy!  using the ball for everything I guess works the core more.  I am not a fan of lunges or the treadmill, so as the workout wore on, I found myself whining A LOT.  Then I noticed myself whining, and told myself internally to shut up.  So then I got really quiet, to where Leslie asked me if I was ok.  I was ok… I was just stifling my whining.

Those planks were only 30 sec?!  They felt like longer.  The workout itself was actually pretty short, our discussion on diet took up a lot of time, but was sorely needed.



I can be seen whining here

chest presses off the ball

planks for the memories

not fast or anything, but I still hate it!

the whining reached a fevered pitch!

Tuesday would be a mostly ceffeine free day (except for a cup or 2 of green tea).  I mostly slept through Tuesday.  I don’t remember much.





Tale of the Tape

Today I was supposed to get measured and weighed.  I was very nervous about this.  For 2 days all I could think about is all the things I could have, should have done differently.  How big was that cheat meal?  How big was that portion?  Is cotton candy gluten free??  All day I was cutting my meals extra small, not drinking as much water, hoping to not feel full, be less full, weigh less at the end of the day.  I know it’s immature, and Leslie wanted to smack me, but I just felt this strong urge to squeeze blood from a stone.

Showed up for my workout with Leslie, I got there early and hopped on the elliptical and tried to sweat some.  Kept the speed high for 10 min, sweat dripping off my face by the end.  Leslie wanted to weigh me before the workout?!?  wtf, I was hoping to sweat my guts out before the scales.  But we measured and weighed.  I am down half an inch to an inch almost everywhere, chest, arms, legs, and down 8 pounds.  It’s a start, but I don’t feel a lot of joy, all I can think of is I want more.  I know I should savour the little victories, but I am trying to get my mind and body right, so satisfaction is not coming for a while, while I nail down my motivation, which has been lagging this week overall.  I don’t FEEL it yet, believe it in my heart, so I need to work on that.

We spent some time going over the measurements and discussing my diet, my motivation, and ways to work on it in the future.  It ate into the workout, but I need the help with my focus just as much as the help with my form.

function, form, focus – it’s a full process.

Workout time!  Endorphins will wash away the doubt, lift the pain away, to paraphrase that Peaches song 🙂

3 min warmup on the battle ropes

no, I didn’t use another stock photo… that’s me! gettin it!

superset step up to shoulder press then step up to upright rows:  15×10/10, 25×10/10, 25×10/10

Triset – Bosu ball squat with hold at the bottom over to the straps to do a squat into an upperbody pull back up then over to the bench for some mountain climbers off the bench (30ish sec rest in between sets):  10/12/20, 10/12/20, 10/12/20

camera doesn’t really capture all the wobbly going on

Superset bench dips to rope pushdowns:  15(straight leg)/70×12(standing), 12(straight)/70×12(on knees), 15(bent leg)/70×12(knees)

Then goofed around:  overhead 2 hand tricep extension:  50 x 6 or so, hammer curls across body 65s x 5 or so, 35s x 5 or so (just asking Leslie to check my form on those exercises, she confirmed my pinwheels suck ass)

notes:  After the weird looks on my face from Wednesday, the ropes were a chance for me to display the most neutral face I could manage 🙂

The stepup weights were light, but I don’t know, you mix a bunch of moves together and they get harder 🙂  More calories burnt that way (I hope!)

With the triceps, it was supersetting triceps, so that tired me out fast 🙂  Started doing bench dips with straight legs, and extensions on my feet/  The machine wasn’t tall enough for me to get a good extension, so Leslie had me go on my knees, which made it a lot harder!  Weird that way, maybe I was drawing some stability and strength from my legs, and making me use my core more to keep stable made the weight harder a bit.  Then the second set of dips it felt bad on my left shoulder, so Leslie had me do them with 90 degree bends in my knees, which made them almost trivial, however the extensions stayed hard!  Just like my biceps, my tricep muscles lack endurance big time.  Something to work on.

The workout was short due to the convo at the start and I had some energy so I did a little extra with my arms and had Leslie give me pointers.  Have to profit from the expertise when I can!

Back home now, my shoulder actually still feels a little sore from those dips 😦  Oh well, will rest on it.

Upper Body Day & Cardio Day

Wednesday my foot was feeling stiff (I have gout), my sore tailbone was aggravated by the rowing machine on Tuesday, and my shoulders were just plain sore from hard work.  Whine, whine, whine.

Leslie gamely agreed to make this low to no impact for my feet.  So… upper body day!  Happy dance!

Thankfully, Leslie wasn’t offended by my diss of the arm component of a fullbody workout.  My arms are weak as shit anyways, I need the work wherever I can get it.

10 min on elliptical

assisted pullups:  6, 6, 6

bent over barbell rows:  65 x 15, 115 x 12, 12

mean muggin

close grip pulldowns:  180 x 12, 200 x 12, 12

pad for my sore tailbone

pushups on grips – from knees x 15, 15; regular pushups x 12

Dumbbell Flyes:  50 x 15, 60 x 12, 12

Seated Dumbbell Press:  90 x 12, 12, 10*

arching your back accentuates the gut

Superset Lateral Raises to Front Raises:  20×12/10, 20×12/30×10, 20×12/30×10

hard work for my bad shoulder

Bicep curls:  45 x 15, 15, 10



Notes:  no pix of the pullups, since Leslie was busy trying to keep me alive.  We looped a heavy rubber strap around my knee and had me do pullups.  First challenge was to keep from swinging back and forth, so Leslie had to brace me with her hands.  My first time using a band, was interesting.

side note:  clingy thin white shirts are not my friend.  stick to dark, heavy t-shirts for workouts where cameras are present.

My first time doing barbell rows, usually I use dumbbells.  Was not bad, can definitely go heavier as I get used to it.  Pulldowns also light.

Pushups are ok, still have a long ways to go before I am back to where I was.  I like using grips though, I should buy some.  Flyes felt really good, have been using the pec dec for months.  It was just one of those exercises where your body cries out YES, just what I needed!  Looking forward to doing more of those.

The shoulder presses got hard as my shoulder got tired, on that last set, they ran out of gas around rep 7, Leslie had to force/assist the last few reps.  By rep 10, by the look on her face I think she was realizing the next one would be all her, hahaha.  C’mon Leslie, you can do underhand front raises with 45 lb dumbbells!  wuss!  😛

Those bicep curls were sad, all I was using was the olympic bar.  My arms were just done, that last set of 15 was painful and sad (and only went to 10).  Curling just the bar… son, I am disappoint.  I can do better.  Part of it was how uncomfortable my grip was, my hands kept wanting to turn inwards so hard, my pinky was almost coming off the bar as I curled it.  Stupid straight bars!


Thursday (tonight), I went to Spin class after work for some offday cardio.  I will not put up a picture of that instructor, because she was HORRIBLE.  Just so bad.  I don’t want to identify her, that is wrong, but she is wretched.  I won’t even comment, I did the spin, got my cardio out of the way, she was a bad teacher, move along, nothing to see here.

So in it’s place, here is an older pic of me with my FAVORITE spin teacher!  Her name is Andrea, her classes are the goods!

men forget to smile in photos sometimes


After the spin class, I decided to “treat” myself to a double shot of fresh squeezed wheatgrass juice from Booster Juice.  Never tried it before.  UGH!  It made me ill.  It tasted spicy in an odd way.  The burps were revolting.  That was much worse than the wheatgrass powder I used to mix with water.  My body owes my taste buds big time on that one.


Well, need to get some sleep!  Big day tomorrow!  Bye!




Offday cardio

today was my day off, a day to do some cardio and relax and recharge for tomorrow, flush out. (man, I can’t type for shit tonight, some nights the fingers don’t want to type, misspell every other word, ugh)

After work, I came home, knowing I had to do some exercise somewhere, but not sure where.  I was thinking about maybe doing some weights at the gym followed by some elliptical.  But it was cold outside, and I felt tired.  And then I thought, hey, what about the “gym” in the basement of my apartment building?  It wasn’t much, but it had some treadmills and a rowing machine.  I haven’t been there in quite some time, it was some pretty ratty looking stuff.

I went for a scoop of protein, had to break into my new tub.  Realized I bought VANILLA.  Also known as the worst flavour invented for protein powder.  I never really liked vanilla flavour, but then in July when I was sick and throwing everything up for days, I tried to hold down some cherries and some vanilla protein.  I threw that up ALL DAY, until I was frothing at the mouth, doubled over in my tub.  So ever since then I associate vanilla protein with vomit.  So I am biased.

So why would I buy vanilla again??  I was really not paying attention, maybe I can sell this stuff to someone.  Anyone want an entirely full tub of vanilla whey  protein??  Leave a comment below.

So I put on some heavy clothes and went downstairs.  A couple of young Chinese peeps were on the only functioning treadmills (the free one has a really worn down and slippery track).  So I got on the rowing machine, loaded up some long-ass Metallica songs on the iPod, started working away.

About 5 min into that, right as Battery was winding down, another Chinese girl wanders in to join her friends.  OK, does it sound bad when I say Chinese?  I don’t mean any of them were Canadian.  They were from China.  Shy, awkward, don’t say a single word unless it is to each other, then it is rapidfire Chinese language like the dam is bursting.  Whatever.  My only point is they were from China and young, I wasn’t going to get much more out of them in terms of personality unless I learned Chinese.

This girl gets on a elliptical type machine, then proceeds to have HORRIBLE form.  Her upper body was all over the place, rounding her back out, slumping over the bars, then leaning all the way back, then forward again.  It’s like she thinks the only thing getting worked is her legs, so her upper body and core can act like a lazy spaz.  And the elliptical was sideways right in front of me.  So for 25 min I got to watch this girl go into convulsions on the equipment, right in my face.

Other than the freakshow, the rowing felt real good.  I don’t like rowing in general any more, but it was a lot of pulling, so I got to flush out my back and hamstrings a lot, I appreciated it tonight.  After the 6th Metallica song ended (it was One), I checked the time, and I had been going at it for 40 min, so I bid the kids adieu, then headed back up, took off my heavy clothes, then went for a walk outside in the cool night air.  I went to the nearby park and walked around for about 10 minutes.  the cold air felt great, someone nearby was cooking burgers, it was nice, even in the dark.

Then I went to a convenience store to buy some club soda.  I like to treat myself to club soda and pretend it’s actual soda, haha.  I buy it, crack it open right there in the store because I was thirsty, and it EXPLODED all over me.  I was drenched!  The other bonus of club soda?  It doesn’t matter when you get that shit all over you.  People pour club soda on their clothes when they want to REMOVE a stain.  So this wasn’t going to do any damage.

Then I came home to watch some Tosh and Sons of Anarchy!

Good night!

You know that Johnny Cash song?  I had that in mind today.  It’s a good song you play in your mind when you feel like you deserve to be punished.

On a side note, I hear them playing that tune during commercials for trucks now.  Thankfully, they take the words out – I don’t think it’s conducive to shopping for a truck.

Last week I went to the doctor ready for whatever was to happen with the infection in my shoulder.  It had gotten big, so I was honestly expecting it to get cut out.  Cut the infection out, pack gauze into the hole, antibiotics, ta da.  Instead the doctor just wrote a prescription for a cream (antuibiotics) and sent me on my way.  I don’t know whether to be relieved (who enjoys getting cut up?) or be angry at my doctor for his laziness?  Using a topical a/b means this infection was going to take a long time to work out.  Oh well, I’m not the doctor.  And yet, I walked away unsatisfied, knowing I deserved to get cut down.

Thursday I showed up for my workout, and Leslie treated me to an upper body workout.  She must have sensed my pleasure, I was jumping up from the ground to get to the next exercise!

elliptical warm up for 10 min

(1 min cooldown b/w sets or b/w supersets)

supersetted DB chest press to widegrip pulldowns:   120×12/240×12, 120×12/280×12, 120×19/280×12

supersetted incline DB flyes to standing crossover reverse cable flyes:  50×12/40×12, 50×12/50×12, 50×12/50×12

supersetted seated DB shoulder press to lateral to front raises:  80×12/20×6, 80×12/16×10, 80×12/12×10

supersetted bicep curls to skullcrushers:  45×12/45×12, 55×12/55×12, 55×12/55×12

mountain climbers for 30 sec, 30 sec, 30 sec

cooldown on elliptical for 30 min

notes:  I always do more weight with pulldowns with Leslie than I do by myself.  Conversely, I always curl less.  If it were just curls, I would say my form is bad when I curl on my own, but the pulldown thing has me stumped (maybe I am leaning back too much, but Leslie watches my form, so I dunno).  Oh well, I am not trying to throw the weight around, but I do take longer rests with my arms between sets, I don’t superset arms, and arms get their own day, not at the end of a fullbody workout.  Quite honestly, the value of arms in a fullbody workout is suspect.  I don’t mean to be critical, but if the purpose of a fullbody is to burn calories and keep the heart rate up, arms are such a small muscle group that you essentially cool down and lose that burn.  Arms during a fullbody are more of a fun thing.  I like doing arms so I am not complaining, but I may as well get all my thoughts out.

The flyes were basically following the compound up with an isolation, and those are a case where form is very important, so low weight like I put up there is trivial compared to properly isolating the underused muscles in question.

The shoulder work was hard!  My shoulder was tired by that point.  The lat to front raises were essentially lifting them by your sides, swinging them to the front, swinging them back to the sides, then lowering.  It was a solid endurance test for my left shoulder.  My left shoulder was sagging a lot during these, so obviously it was tired.  I had a really solid lactic acid burn by the end of those, no matter how much she lowered the weight (I got to break in the wussy dumbbells, yay!)

The mountain climbers actually started out on an flipped over Bosu ball, but my core is too weak to keep those up, so I was demoted down to an easier version…. sigh.  I still had energy, so I did 30 min of cardio after the workout.

On the weekend… my diet suffered.  I had junk food on Saturday night, then I had more junk food on Sunday night.  I felt bad about it.  Not just guilty, yes, but Monday morning I woke up feeling AWFUL, toxic.  That feeling stayed all through Monday at work.  I felt ill, so I didn’t have much food at work, very few carbs especially.

When I went to the Monday workout with Leslie (cancelling out honestly never entered my mind, but I was not looking forward to it, I thought of it more as my unavoidable punishment), everything was set up wrong in my own head and body.  My motivation wasn’t there, I felt physically awful, I was low energy from the very low carbs (I had an apple 2 hours before, but am used to some sort of bread or rice, I burn through an apple too fast).  Basically I showed up, ready to get cut down for my sins.

This does not make for a good workout.  My intensity wasn’t there.  I was phoning it in through the majority of the workout, like a prisoner on a death march.  This made the exercises even harder, so 10 min (to the weights portion), I was drenched in sweat.  It;s not like I was goofing around or distracted, but when your head isn’t there, and everything gets harder, you just start getting pulverized by the weight.  I couldn’t even catch my breath between exercises, lift my head, or smile.  Eesh, that must have been depressing to even watch, I feel sort of bad for Leslie 🙂

(1 min rest b/w supersets)

20 min of preworkout cardio on the elliptical

supersetted 1 leg box squats (strap assisted) to strap assisted pushups:  10/12, 10/12, 10/10

supersetted reverse lunges (braced) to Australian pullups:  12/10, 12/10, 12/10

supersetted Arnold presses to kettlebell swings:  40×12/30×12, 40×12/30×12, 40×12/30×12

supersetted supersetted short bridges on a Bosu ball to bicycle crunches:  12/20, 12/20, 12/20

supersetted ball slams to bicep curls:  10×12/50×12, 10×12/60×10, 10×12/60×10

supersetted rope extensions to core twists w/cable machine:  70×12/40×10(each side), 70×12/40×10, 70×12/40×10

notes:  considering how rough shape I was in, maybe pre workout cardio was a bad idea, it sucked the rest of my energy out of me, I was drippuing sweat by the end of my warmup!  1 leg squats were hard, as I already knew, we tried without a strap assist, but that wasn’t happening, so the straps made for a good brace.  Strap assisted pushups had me at a shallower angle than 45 degrees, maybe 30 degrees?  My feet were against the wall, so I was pretty deep into it.

By this point my focus was conspiciously absent, and my lunges looked like crap.  I was just going through the motions, and was pouring sweat, I felt like the way those fat people look during a workout they don’t want to be at (which is pretty much what it was) – no joy, no edge, sloppy form.  But I was full-on into the tailspin at that point, so I couldn’t get out of it, and there was still about 40 min of workout to go… the pullups I know I could have done more reps.

The short bridges we tried to do with one leg, but it was way too itense for my hamstrings, they felt like they would seize up if I tried to do it, so we stuck to both legs off the ball.

Rough!  I came home, and it gets better!  I forgot my keys at work, so the super had to let me in… for a cost of $20… This pretty much was the nail in my coffin, so after listening to some music and watching some silly videos to lighten the mood, I went to bed about 9:30, haha.

It can only get better!  See you later!

Legs Don’t Fail Me Now!

I am still nursing my shoulder until I can see the doctor to treat the infection, so Leslie the trainer agreed to make today leg and core day!  Hooray!

OK, Leslie could sense my lack of enthusiasm.  Not that I don’t have strong legs, all heavy guys do, but bodyweight leg exercises for heavy guys are both the greatest tool we have for losing weight, and our greatest source of embarassment.  If we were great at moving our bodies around, we would be less heavy, haha.  The only thing I feel more awkward and clumsy and ponderous at than a series of lunges, would be jumping around.  I fear the day I get asked to do plyometrics, haha.  (by the way, plyometrics for heavy people is dangerous, it can mess up our joints, be very careful)

But then again, I know leg days are my path to weight loss, along with oceans of cardio, so I accept it.  And yet, Leslie picks up on my lack of enthusiasm, haha.

Further complicating today was me still getting used to my diet after a full day of work.  It would be correct to say my energy was not high heading into the workout, for all sorts of reasons.

On with the show.

Deadlifts 45 lbs (just the bar) x 12, 95 x 12, 135 x 12, 135 x 12

We used the bar so she could check my form.  It was ok, but at the bottom, I start to round out my back a little bit, so I need to stay vigilant for that.  Last time I was deadlifting regularly, it was 185 lbs, so I am looking forward to working my way back up to that and beyond.  This series of sets was more about my form. (and my back was still a little tired from back day a few days ago, haha)

Vertical Leg Press:  225 x 12, 360 x 12, 360 x 12

I wanted to go as deep as I could to make up for last week, so Leslie and I made sure I went down as far as I could before the gut got in the way, haha.  Here is a pic at 360

8 plates = 360 lbs

My goal with going as deep as I could was to try and use my hamstrings too, since it is leg day 🙂


Wall Squats w Ball & 80 lbs:  12, 12, 12

Grabbed the 40 lb dumbbells and squatted down with the ball against the wall.  I still worry I am going to pop the ball, but I am trusting it a little more.

Lunges (bodyweight):  12, 12, 12

OK for these, my legs started to run out of gas.  I did 12 walking lunges, but I started to do 2 things:  my knee started to drop to the floor, and I was starting to lean forward when I lunged.  This meant my legs were tired and my core was tired.  In other words, my form was crap.  So to work on form, Leslie had me do them side by side with a wall corner, so I could brace one hand on the wall.  I did 2 more sets with the wall assist.  Kind of embarassing, but it’s the truth, my core and legs were tired.

Lateral Step Ups:  BW x 12, 40 lbs x 12, 12

OK, these say lateral, but it was more of a diagonal move, I kept one foot on the step, and brought my off leg back and to the side when I stepped down.  Bodyweight was too easy, so we added 20 lb dumbbells.  I probably could have gone heavier, my form was spotty and I was breathing heavy, but that was more of a reflection of me than the dumbbells.  Again, legs out of gas.

Lying Leg Raises:  12, 12, 12

Running out of time so our core work (other than the core work in all the other leg exercises) was leg raises, which I enjoy because I collect most of my fat around the lower abs, so lower ab exercises are just what I need.  I kept my palms up, I think it makes it a little harder, you don’t get to push against the ground.  Kept them nice and slow, legs weren’t straight as a rod, room for improvement.

I thought my calves were big, look at my upper thighs!  Crazy.


All in all, it was a hard workout, exactly what I needed.  On the other hand, it was a cold slap.  Lunges and step ups shouldn’t be so hard.  Leslie doesn’t know (noone does, actually) what it was like for me last year when I first started my weight loss, all the thousands of stairs and the thousands of half squats.  Literally thousands.  Squats until I collapsed on the floor, and my quads seized and actually protruded and made square edges.  Sitting in my cubicle at work all sweaty and out of breath because I did 10 flights of stairs every 2 hours.  And then I slacked off this spring and summer, and it’s like I went back 3 spaces.  It is embarassing because I was so much better not that long ago, even heavier than I am now.  I have a lot to catch up on.

OK, well maybe I am being melodramatic.  But the diet hit me this weekend.  Which also happened to be Thanksgiving weekend.  It has been rough (I like to call it “low carb crazy”).

I was warming up to the diet all last week, then Friday really cranked it on.  I eat vegetables (those have carbs), but no pasta or bread.  My daily carb blast (brown rice, quinoa, or some sweet potato) I try and save for right before the gym, which means two things:

– I have energy for the workout

– I am in a good mood for the gym

The first week is the hardest.  Saturday I was just tired and miserable, haha.  I can tell it’s a carb thing, because I treated myself to a tasty steak, and normally a steak would be the greatest thing I could eat, but all I could think this weekend was, “hmmm, not really all that great… you know what would be great?  a steak sandwich…”

The real kicker to it all was that it’s  Thanksgiving.  Being on a diet during the holidays is hard enough, I grew up in a house where you ate what Mom cooked, and you never complained, not once.  No requests, no dietary restrictions, she makes it, you eat it, everything she puts on your plate, nothing left to waste.  So to say hey no stuffing for me, and just a handful of turkey thanks?  CRAZY.  But even worse than a diet on Thanksgiving?  A diet you just started… because you haven’t built up the routine yet, and your energy is still low.

But I hung tough.  Looking forward to moving on and getting used to the diet, haha.

Also, this weekend I did a chest and back workout.  My trainer is out of town, so I made up a short routine for myself, in addition to all the cardio, which is unavoidable.  I did a bunch of dumbbell chest presses, because I love them, like 9 working sets, and then I supersetted the machine press with the lat pulldown.  Those were tough!  They will leave you gasping.  After that, one more back exercise, and I decided to try something new.  I picked a machine, and challenged myself to do 100 reps!  The idea is you pick a relatively low weight, you do as many as you can, then you take a rest determined by 100 minus the reps you have done so far in seconds.  Sound complicated?  It’s not.  Let’s say you bust out 40 reps then have to stop.  100 – 40 = 60  So you rest for 60 seconds then keep going.  Then you keep going and only make it to rep 60 (they add up, you don’t start over).  So you now wait for 40 seconds.  Keep going to 75, rest for 25 seconds.  etc etc  (it helps to be good at arithmetic in your head haha).

Chest Press w Dumbbells (2 min rest b/w sets):  50 x 13, 60 x 12, 70 x 10, 80 x 6, 90 x 2, 80 x 5, 70 x 10, 60 x 13, 50 x 10

machine press/widegrip pulldown superset (1 min rest b/w supersets):  135 x 12/180 x 10, 150 x 12/180 x 10, 165 x 8/180 x 8

narrowgrip machine row: 90 lbs – 25 reps, 75 sec rest, 20 reps, 55 sec rest, 18 reps, 37 sec rest, 17 reps, 20 sec rest, 12 reps, 8 sec rest, 8 reps

1 hour cardio after

notes:  this was my first time running the dumbbells since I aggravated my shoulder in September, so I wasn’t willing to go all out.  I stayed cautious for fatigue in my left shoulder.  Happily, I don’t feel too far from where I left off.  I am still right on the threshold of breaking into the 100 lb dumbbells!  It’s coming.

I haven’t supersetted chest and back like this before, so I was still cautious, about my shoulder and everything else.  I decided if I could hit 12 reps, I up the weight the next set.  But as it turns out, I couldn’t keep it slow and controlled on lats long enough to hit 12 (maybe it doesn’t help it is the second in the superset), so pulldowns stayed the same while machine press went up.  It was fun!  Leaves you panting, but good.

Machine rows I wanted to hit 40 reps on my first mini-set, so I wasn’t happy about 25.  It wasn’t my back that got sore and tired, it was my shoulder, so I decided to be kind and not push it.  Darn that shoulder!  Always spraining, getting infected, what a jerk shoulder!

Anyways, the afternoon carbs are wearing off, so I don’t feel like typing anymore, lol.

Back to real life!  the long weekend is over!  Back to the office job, back to the trainer, back to Rocktober!  Bye guys!