Archive for March, 2013


Saturday was my day off.  So what do I do on my day off?  Cardio!!

I had signed up for an experiment in extended Spin class-ing (my new word).  Normally Spin classes are about an hour, maybe 75 min.  But this time?  2 hours straight!  I have done 2 classes back-to-back many times, but there was a lull in between classes.  This time it would be 2 hours no stopping.  There were also 3 teachers, splitting the time up into 3×40 min blocks:  a warm-up, the main work, and a cooldown.  Those teachers, in order, would be:  Courtney, Norman and Sarah.  I have never had Norman as an instructor before, but I otherwise had a good idea of what to expect.  Just MORE of it, haha.

Norman, Sarah, Courtney!

Norman, Sarah, Courtney!

The class itself was mostly full, maybe 4 or 5 bikes empty.  Sometimes people rsvp but don’t show up.  Oh well.  I didn’t get any pictures really, because I was… um… spinning, duh!

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setting up

this is what it looks like when I take a pic of myself while spinning...

this is what it looks like when I take a pic of myself while spinning…

this is what it looks like when I take a pic of other while spinning...

this is what it looks like when I take a pic of other while spinning…

 

So how was it?  It did not get off to a good start.  I pre-loaded with water like I do before ANY activity; weights, spin, yoga, I always drink a few cups of water first.  It keeps me hydrated, and it also makes me sweat more.  My body sees I have a surplus, it sees I am overheating, so it lets me sweat without hesitation, which also carries the benefit of cleaning out my pores.

For some reason, today my body did NOT want to hold on to water.  I pre-loaded like always, and almost instantly peed it out.  I drank 2 cups of water 15 min before class, and peed THREE times before class!  Isn’t that odd?  And the final kicker:  30 seconds into the first song on the bike, I felt pressure in my bladder again… I had grabbed a bike embedded in the far corner of the room, behind a forest of people, no chance for me to worm my way out without a big scene.  So I held it in.  For 2 hours, I needed to go to the bathroom.  This made me not want to drink much more water, which dehydrated me a bit, and slowed me down some.

So I worked hard, but it wasn’t awesome, it wasn’t optimal.  I like to race hard and sweat hard, but this time I had to not go 100%.

My legs were also sore from the Friday workout, so this 2 hours was a chance to get some burn in, and a chance to flush my legs out.  No regrets, I showed up and put in the work.

 

Otherwise, I enjoyed my Saturday, came home from the spin and passed out for an hour, woke up totally fried (guess that 2 hour ride took more out of me than I thought), cooked up a big pot of chili, and got lots more sleep.

 

Sunday I slept in, even more than usual since the gym opens late on Easter Sunday.  No spin classes today either, boo hiss!

Today was upper body push day, and I would do my own cardio after.

 

Chest & Tri:  (30 seconds rest b/w all sets)

incline fly:  60 x 12, 12; 70 x 12

cable crossovers:  77 x 12; 143 x 12, 12

incline db press:  110 x 15, 15, 9

flat db press:  110 x 12, 12, 12, 12

skullcrushers:  60 x 15, 15, 15, 15

one hand seated db extension:  25 x 12/12, 25×4/0; 20 x 10/12, 8/12

rope pushdown:  127 x 12, 10; 83 x 8, 61 x 12

abs:  hanging knee raise x 13,9; roman chair knee raise x 10, 7; prone leg raise x 15, 15

cardio:  elliptical – 55% bodyweight, incline 9, 60 min

 

notes:  As I said a few days back, I pre-exhausted my chest with the isolations so that my chest would feel it more on the presses before my shoulder got tired.  Turns out it also had the side benefit of warming my shoulder up!  Hooray!  Total success!

As always, someone was using the 35 lb dumbbells, so I dropped in weight as I waited for the other guy to finish.  No sense sitting there waiting doing nothing.

With the incline dumbbell press, I was doing ok, but then a young woman 6 feet to my right cried out to her boyfriend:  the 40 lb [dumbbells] are TOO HARD!!!  And the panic and scrambling as he pulled them off her caused me to lose focus and fail out early on my 3rd set.  I could have gone again, but screw it.  Why tempt fate while my shoulder felt good?  The flat presses went quite well, thankfully, easy actually.

Conversely, the skullcrushers were quite hard, but I grunted and pushed it out!  Hooray!  success!  I felt nice and sore and pumped after those, but it left me too weak to get much done on the extensions, like last week.  I might try doing the pushdowns next time before the extensions, see if that works better.  I think the skullcrushers and the extensions might be too similar a movement, but I don’t feel the same exhaustion on the pushdowns, so let’s shuffle it up a bit.

As for the pushdowns, the rope at that weight was quite hard so I had to explode down to get it down, and smooth on the way back up.  I was feeling really good and strong, so I did closegrip pushups against the wall in between sets to keep my triceps pumped.  For the last set I dropped the weight, did a bunch then drop setted down one more to get another set in.  It worked well as a tricep finisher!  I had been feeling for a week or two like my triceps and biceps can handle a good finisher at the end, put a button on the whole thing.

For the abs, my grip was giving out after 2 sets, but my abs wanted more, so I moved to the roman chair and did 2 more sets.  After 2 sets I felt myself sliding around in the arm rests, and my shoulders were sagging, but my abs wanted more, so I went to the mat and laid down and did leg raises from there.  Think of it like an abdominal drop set!  haha.

I was feeling really good and engaged and focused, so I wanted the cardio to be good and hard.  I set the incline high, I set the resistance nice and heavy, I put in the headphones, and went at it, going slow on the slow songs and fast on the fast songs.  After an hour I was dripping sweat!  I checked the display, and it said for my weight and my resistance and my speed… that hour I had burned 1495 calories!!!  Can you believe that??!?  I am not sure I can, but either way, it was a darn good cardio session.

 

I came back home happy and tired.  Ate some chili, and got ready for some Walking Dead and Game of Thrones!  No regrets today!  What about you?  Any good workouts this Easter weekend?

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Good Friday Workout

Good Friday!  Day off work!  How do I celebrate?  9 am legs and shoulders workout!

It wasn’t that bad, I went to sleep at about 8 pm the night before, so I was well rested.  Had a scoop of Musclepharm Assault (BLUE pwo I am trying, this detail will be important later).  But on the other hand, I have been feeling off my game for a couple of days, so I needed to touch base with my trainer again and get a dose of positivity.  This is what trainers are great for, sometimes you just NEED the support, you feed off their positivity.  I don’t like to rely on other people, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that Leslie has been a huge help.  Thanks Les!

For this workout, since time was at a premium, we decided to try staggering the sets like I suggested a few days ago – set of legs then a set of shoulders, back and forth, twinning the exercises off with each other to save time.  My legs will rest while I work my shoulders, and vice versa.

 

Legs & Shoulders (staggered sets, as little rest as possible)

squats & seated shoulder press:  155 x 15, 15, 10, 12; 80 x 15, 15, 15, 13

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leg extensions & cable lateral raises:  130 x 12, 150 x 12, 160, x 12, 170 x 12; 30 x 12/12, 12/12, 12/12

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stiff-leg deadlifts & reverse cable flys:  155 x 12, 12, 12; 60 x 12, 12, 12

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lying leg curl & dumbbell shrugs:  75 x 15, 15, 15, 15; 150 x 15, 15, 15, 15

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notes:

This workout was MUCH faster.  We were under an hour EASY.  It was grueling though.  Staggering the compounds is harder than staggering the isolations.  I think Leslie enjoyed the fast-paced nature of it though.  My Achilles tendon is still sore though, so we skipped the calf raises (I have a long spin ride on Saturday, and I wanted to save up for that), and to save on my forearms, we did some knee raises in the Roman chair instead.

my forearms say thanks!

my forearms say thanks!

I felt uncomfortable during the squats.  I don’t think I went low enough, I also just sort of quit during the 3rd and 4th set.  I am still relatively new to them, they feel awkward and put me in an uncomfortable place, but I just have to keep throwing myself into that exercise, and when I get comfortable with the movement, I can start to excel.  It just didn’t happen today.  It’s not even the weight, I have a theory that I could up that weight to 185 or higher and my reps would look about the same.  I just have a mental block to work on.

We kept going heavier on the extensions, I don’t think I have hit the ceiling on that particular machine yet.  The lat raises felt MUCH stronger than on Monday.  It was at about this time that I was cruising on the preworkout, so when I busted out the Lion’s Face, it looked like I had eaten a Smurf.

Assault on Smurftown!

Assault on Smurftown!

I am also VERY happy about those leg curls.  This was the first time I think I have done all 4 sets without a spot, so a new best for me!  It took weeks but it was worth it.

All in all, a great workout.  Feels like I am back on track.  How about you?  Any good workouts this long weekend?

 

Sorry for posting this late, I came home and had a nap, made some dinner, and then decided to go to bed for real, haha.

I think my cortisol levels are getting too high.  That’s my fancy way of saying I am getting stressed.  Not acute stress, it is building up systematically.  Lots of weight sessions in the morning, not enough sleep, too much caffeine, it all builds up.  My patience is just not there these days, some times it is hard to even finish a set because I want to move on.  So in addition to the physiological effects of longterm overstress, and longterm overproduction of cortisol, I am currently at the level where it is just screwing up my workouts.

I don’t want to overdramatize it, I still go in and get lots of work done, but my focus isn’t there, and I am not reaping the rewards of the endorphins, the “good vibes” that come after a workout.  So it isn’t optimal.

I can’t post too much on my workout yesterday morning, since I forgot my notes at work!  I will come back in and edit the numbers once I can make it back in to work (it is a long weekend).  Oops!  Here are my basic recollections:

Thursday morning I showed up and did some back and biceps work.

back & biceps (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

widegrip pulldowns:  180 x 15, 15, 10, 7

bent over barbell rows:  145 x 12, 12, 12

one hand db row:  60 x 12/12, 12/12, 12/12 (no rest, back and forth arm to arm)

machine hyperextensions:  255 x 12, 12, 12, 12

seated dumbbell curls:  40 x 10/10, 10/10, 8/8, 7/7

preacher curls:  55 x 15, 10, 9

notes:  biceps weren’t really with it this workout.  once my focus goes, then my form gets bad fast, and I get frustrated and stop.  so I could have done more, I just don’t want to count bad form reps.  This workout also could have used a good finisher, but I had to rush off to spin!

Spin was bleh.  Nothing against Courtney, I was just really irritated.  I found a bike by myself at the back of the room, and grimly set out to spin.  The problem with spinning in a bad mood is that the teacher’s voice gets to you quick.  Again, I really enjoy Courtney as a teacher, but I wasn’t in the right mindframe – she is telling the class to go faster and push harder and I mutter to myself, “oh, shut up”.  Halfway through the class I had a VERY strong inclination to just stop and get off and walk away, but I thought that would be very rude and awkward, so I decided to stick it out.  Turns out that might have been the better option…

At the end of the ride, while people were stretching, I had to get out of there NAO!  Unfortunately, this young woman and middle-aged man had decided now was the right time to gather around the paper towel dispenser and catch up on each other’s lives.  So as I crane my arm between them to reach a loose roll of paper towel to clean my bike with, the towel pops OUT of my hand, hits the ground and starts rolling, unspooling all of its brown paper as it rolls under almost every single bike in the back row.

I try to tug on the paper and pull the roll back towards me, but at this point, that just makes it unspool further.  so now I walk over to the other side of class while people are stretching, cursing audibly at this point, not even under my breath any more, just swearing and cursing.  Some guy looks at me and goes, “hey, a paper trail!”  Nice Dad joke, buddy.  I gather up all the loose paper into a ball, slam it down on top of the paper towel dispenser and walk away pissed.

Great spin class!  haha.  that was when I realized that hey maybe my chemistry is out of whack.  Too much cortisol, fight or flight response in my system.  Too much stress.

I have resolved to get more sleep (like I did last night!), cut down on the caffeine (and the pre-workouts), and try to calm down more.  If that doesn’t work, I might need a few days off from the gym.

All of that is a good plan, but it can’t start today, because Leslie really wants me to come in and do a giant leg workout at 9 am!  I better drink some preworkout and head out!  This plan cant fail!

See you soon!

Learning From Weider

Woke up and headed out for some 6 am Spin.  Mike was teaching.  I am still dealing with some sore right knee and some tight right Achilles tendon, and now a slightly sore right hip.  I think my alignment is a little out of whack.

Then it was time for some 7 am chest & triceps!

 

Chest & Triceps (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

incline barbell press:  115 x 15, 15, 11

machine chest press:  180 x 12, 12, 12, 12

flat dumbbell fly:  80 x 12, 12, 8

pec deck:  120 x 12, 12, 12

reverse grip one-arm pushdown:  50 x 15/15, 8/11, 10/7; 40 x 14/13

closegrip dumbbell press:  100 x 12, 11, 7

two-hand seated dumbbell extension:  60 x 12, 12, 12

 

notes:  my left shoulder was holding me up a lot on this.  The incline presses made my shoulder sore quick.  The soreness made me quite irritable and frustrated.  I wanted to do flat barbell press, but one barbell was missing (someone jammed it tipfirst into the corner to do a variation of squats), and the other one had all this stuff set up on it but no one was there.  (Turns out, it was this super intense little guy who does only 2 or 3 reps with heavy weight, screaming like a war criminal the whole time.  It was unsettling.  Buddy needs to get a grip on his brain.)

So I did presses on the machine instead, which felt easier on my shoulder, actually.

While I was doing flat flys, I just got annoyed and stopped because of lack of patience.  I was still irritated about my shoulder.  When I went to do cable crossovers, people were hogging all the cable stations at 7:25 am, so I just ranted and cursed out loud as I walked over to the pec deck… AGAIN.  Get off the cables, a-holes.  I just wasn’t feeling very social, I wanted to be left alone, do my stuff and leave.  I get grumpy like that when my shoulder hurts.

Reverse grip pushdowns with one arm also felt surprisingly sore on my left shoulder as well, so I didn’t do well on that.  The seated extensions went fine, but the closegrip presses my shoulder gave out AGAIN.  That workout just needs my shoulder a lot and it wasn’t 100%.

 

I started to think about Joe Weider.

Hello Joe!

Regarded by most as the father of modern bodybuilding (and a Canadian!), Joe was finding out ideas through trial and error that modern science is still catching up to today.  I read a great article on bodybuilding.com by Jim Stoppani, I recommend you check it out:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/remembering-joe-weider-the-science-of-the-weider-principle.html

I used it as a chance to pull back and examine ways I can better tailor my workout to me, using the trial and error I had gathered in the morning workout.

So what were my conclusions?

1.  my shoulders lag behind my chest due to the past sprain.  I need to train for that, not despite that.

2.  my shoulders wear out on the presses before my chest does.  I should do the flys and the cable crossovers and the pec deck and the isolation exercises FIRST, pre-exhaust my chest so that I feel the presses more in my chest and hopefully see more stimulation and overload.  this can lead to more growth.  doing barbell presses and having my shoulders wear out isn’t stimulating my chest much.

3.  Joe would say there is nothing wrong with partial reps.  And since my shoulder feels it most on the bottom half of the incline presses with the barbell, I can try partial reps in the top half of the ROM with the incline barbell presses, and thereby get more work done on my chest.  15 partial reps or 7 full ones, what is more work?  Now, I do full reps when I can on every exercise, but I need to train with my weak points in mind.  If partial reps means I don’t SNAP MY SHIT UP, then it’s the way to go.

4.  (this sparked ideas on my other workouts) My legs and shoulders sessions with Leslie are taking too long.  I only have an hour with her.  I can save time by “staggering” my sets – instead of taking a rest in between sets, I do a set of the other body part.  So, instead of 4 sets of squats and 30 min later start with 4 sets of shoulder press, instead I do a set of squats and then right to a set of presses, and back and forth, twinning the legs exercises to shoulder exercises.  It will be grueling, but it will ALL get done in the hour 🙂  Including ab work, 35 working sets is too much to fit into 60 min with even only 30 secs rest.  I have tried.  So if I stagger them, I might have a chance.  Maybe…

 

So we can learn from our bad workouts.  This one was frustrating, but I went back to the drawing-board and came up with some new strategies.  It ain’t all high fives and flexing… working out is HARD WORK.  It’s grueling.

 

How about you?  Any good workouts today?

Monday.  And Leg Day.  With this variable schedule, it was bound to happen.  Every once in a while the dice come up snake eyes, and you just gotta deal with it.

By Monday, I mean that waking up at 5 am hurt hard.  I went to the gym for some 6 am spin class with Andrea.  That’s ok, it was Monday morning for Andrea too, she tripped over her own words about 8 or 9 times during the class.  It’s all good, spin instructors are people too 🙂  I found myself a spot in the back row, which was a mistake, as these 2 dudes in their mid 40s sat in front of me, who look like they went shopping for gym clothes together and did I mention they look totally alike?  Not all their fault, darn white people, so hard to tell them apart!

Their total brothers from different mothers vibe aside, sitting behind them was rough, as they had some horrible gas!  It was like a bike ride through Chernobyl!  I’m real glad you had a giant broccoli omelet for breakfast dude, but every time you stand out of your bike seat, you immerse me in your hot farts.  I think Andrea noticed that my concentration was off, I wasn’t keeping my core tight and speeding up my feet, more like I was twisting from side to side while exhaling violently through my nostrils.

Otherwise, it was alright.  My right knee, which has been semi-regularly stiff, has caused some related pains:  now my right achilles tendon is stiff.  I think its throwing my mechanics off.  Maybe the acupressure dude can work on that (I renewed my sessions with him, 10 sessions of blistering pain)

 

After spin I headed to work.  And saved up my energy for a session with Leslie.

 

Showed up, ready to hit it!

Legs and Shoulders:  (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

45 degree Leg Press:  410 + sled x 15, 15, 15, 15

8 plates, 2 quarter plates

8 plates, 2 quarter plates

Lunges:  holding 2 x 45 lb kettlebells:  10, 10, 10 (ten each leg)

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Stiff Legged Deadlift:  135 x 12, 12; 155 x 12

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Prone Leg Curls:  75 x 15, 15, 15, 15

obligatory butt shot!

obligatory butt shot!

smith machine military press:  50 + bar x 15; 70 + bar x 15, 15, 15

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cable lat raise:  20 x 12/12; 30 x 12/12, 12/12

ugh, close your mouth, idiot

ugh, close your mouth, idiot

reverse cable fly:  40 x 12; 60 x 12, 12

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hanging knee raises:  10, 13

standing bodyweight calf raises:  90, 90, 90, 90

 

notes:  crap! I realized I forgot to do trap work.  I was going to do upright rows…. grrr… this is a tough workout to pack into an hour.  As it is, the knee raises and calf raises I did on my own, after my session with Les had ended.

The SLDL’s were too easy, so Les added weight on the last set.  Good! Form getting better!

As for the leg curls, I was only able to get through all reps with a little helping pull from the trainer.  Looks like 75 pounds for 4 sets of 15 with reduced rest is going to be a major hill for me to conquer.  Been stuck at 75 forever!

Using the smith machine for the shoulder presses actually worked really well.  Need I mention how great it feels not to have to sling those GD dumbbells off the floor and onto my shoulders???  I love you smith machine.

 

And that was my day!  How about you?  Any good workouts??

 

Oh yeah, let’s close this out with a quick shout-out to my trainer Leslie, just weeks away from her figure competition!  In her honour, I attempted to do a pose-off.

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Eat your heart out.

Super Sunday

Everything about Sunday was pretty good.  After a lacklustre Saturday, I needed a better workout.  So Saturday night I stayed up late prepping a big pot of chili in my new crockpot, let it slowcook all night.

Sunday I slept in til 7 am… woohoo! living in sin! 7 am!  I also woke up to the smell of chili… which isn’t as good as waking up to the smell of bacon, but still not bad.  Chili turned out great!  Not too complicated:  I browned the ground beef and quickly browned some onions, garlic, green pepper, mushrooms, jalepenos.  Threw it all in the pot, added beef broth, black beans, canned diced tomatoes, chipotle powder, oregano, turmeric, black pepper.  Made about 6 servings.  I bagged it up in Tupperware to spread throughout the week.  No big whoop.  Bonus of cooking all night:  you get to try a bowl of chili for breakfast!

Headed to the gym, had time before Spin (about 40 min) so I did some Back work.

Back:  (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

assisted pull-ups:  widegrip x 10, 7; underhand grip x 10; hammergrip x 7

widegrip seated rows:  180 x 12, 12, 12

underhand grip pulldowns:  150 x 15, 15, 15, 15

hyperextensions w a 45 lb plate:  12, 12, 12

 

 

Then it was time for Spin!  Andrea was teaching, reminded me why I like Spin, well-balanced and left me room to go for it and make it the workout I wanted.  It WAS a little odd when 5 min into a class a woman runs in and grabs the bike right next to me, then picks it up and moves it CLOSER to me!  Now she and I are spinning about 4 inches away from each other, me all sweaty and trying not to jab her with my elbow.  Oh well, jokes on you babe, I had chili for breakfast!!

 

After Spin, time for biceps.

Biceps:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

standing curls w EZ bar:  75 x 12, 7, 6

concentration curls (no rest, back and forth arm to arm):  20 x 15/15, 15/15, 15/15, 15/15

 

notes:  The Back workout felt great!  I varied up the grip during the pull-ups in order to hit my biceps differently and hit my back differently.  That’s one great thing about weightlifting – infinite variations.  It worked too, my back felt nice and warmed up for the rows, and those felt strong.  After the rows my back felt pumped, and the pulldowns felt real strong as well.

Spin kind of tired me out, so I had lost some of that pump by the time I did biceps.  My intensity was not quite there for the standing curls, I needed the aggression to carry it through.  So I kept the weight light on the concentration curls and just kept pumping the weight over and over, trying to wake the muscles back up.  Those actually felt really good, I felt tempted to do another biceps exercise over and above my plan!  In retrospect I should have added in a good finisher, but instead I just stuck to the plan and showered and went home.

 

But overall a great workout!  What about you?  Any good workouts?

What is a Rest Day?

Today is a rest day for me, meaning no weight training.

I got up first thing in the morning however, like always, and headed down to the gym, like always, and did a spin class, like always.  Courtney was teaching!  It was quite hard.  the centrepiece of the class was this 10 or so minute long song that was divided into 3 blocks of 3 mini-blocks of races.  Each mini-block you add tension, and the mini-blocks get longer each block, with rest in between blocks.  Does that make sense?  haha, here is a process map:

0:00 – start race

0:30 – add tension

1:00 – add tension

1:30 – break

2:00 – start race

3:00 – add tension

4:00 – add tension

5:00 – break

5:30 – start race

6:50 – add tension

8:10 – add tension

9:30 – end!

 

In practice, those 60 second long and 80 second long 3rd mini blocks were rough!  I kept the tension heavy whenever possible, and had a good workout.  Sweat dripping off my face the whole hour.

whatever I was going for with this pic, it did NOT work out

whatever I was going for with this pic, it did NOT work out

 

So if today was my rest day, why get up early and work so hard?

Rest day isn’t an excuse to do nothing at all.  You need to stay active, just not do the weight training.  I burn thousands of calories a day just living my life:  going to work, walking around downtown, running errands.  If I crash and lie in bed all day, I burn so few calories that if I eat even regularly (3000 calories), I have a good chance I wont burn it all off.  in other words, I put on weight.

Even worse, for someone like me, if I am idle for too long, I get bored.  And feel more inclined to eat.  Illogical as it seems, I tend to take in the MOST calories on the days I burn off the LEAST.  Exercising keeps me distracted and happy.

If you have been working hard in the gym, yeah of course take a rest day.  But do SOMETHING.  Go do something active you enjoy.  Go for a walk in the park, play basketball with your friends.  Don’t have a marathon video game session and watch all the Lord of the Rings movies back to back while eating pizza.  Those are fun too, don’t think I don’t recognize that, but they will set you back, and undo your days of hard work at the gym.

A rest day should be a chance to enjoy all your hard work, not undo it.  You have sweated your butt off so that you can go out and enjoy your life, why not do so?

 

So no weights for me today!  I did early morning spin, got my burn on, caught up on a lot of work (worked late actually), took a few long walks around lunch, came home and sat in the hot tub, ate light just in case (aimed for a low cal day, maybe 2700 or so).  I doubt I lost much weight today, but I sure as hell didn’t gain any.

 

See you tomorrow!

Lunchtime Workout

Wednesday morning I woke up at the customary time, humped down to the gym.

Took in a 6 am spin class, got my cardio on.  All the while, I was debating if I would rather do legs or shoulders in the morning, then do the other one at lunch.  As I got off the bike, my sore hams and glutes made me think ok let’s do shoulders now.

Morning Shoulders: (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

one hour spin class

db shoulder press:  80 x 15, 15, 15, 12

one arm cable side lat raise:   30 x 10/12, 10/10, 7/9

reverse pec deck:  60 x 12, 12, 12

db shrugs:  150 x 15, 15, 15, 15

notes:  The cable raises were tough! My left shoulder was tired as heck.  Some dude was on the cables fit for reverse flyes, so I hopped in the pec deck backwards and used that.

I went to go shrug dumbbells, and some guy was using the 70s I wanted to use.  So I grabbed the 75s and used those.  He looked at me, walked away for a bit, then came back and shrugged with the 80s.  That’s all well and good, but by the time he was starting his Set 2, I was already done Set 4.  I roll my eyes at the one-up-manship.  Just do the work – get in, do it, get out.

Work today was a special day!  I convinced a coworker to try out a different gym with me!  It was a gym in another one of our office buildings, a building I go to rarely, with a gym I have never visited.  My coworker had not been to the gym in 3 months, and had not eaten all morning, so I could tell he was going to be a wuss today, haha.  He wanted to do chest.  I was gearing up to do legs.  So we shook hands and went our separate ways within this gym.  It was a small gym, cardio machines overlooking the busy street with tinted one way glass.  A scattering of machines.  Dumbbell rack, a bench, smith machine, some cables.  It was small, but I can’t deny they packed a decent selection in there.  I had been thinking of squats, but they had no squat rack.  I could have squatted in the Smith machine, but I think someone was doing incline bench there.  So 45 degree leg press for me instead.

Noontime Legs:  (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

45 degree leg press:  360 + sled x 15, 15, 15, 15

leg extension machine:  195 x 12, 12, 12, 9

stiff leg deadlift:  135 x 12, 12, 7

prone leg curl:  75 x 15, 15; 90 x 15; 105 x 15

standing bodyweight calf raises:  90, 90, 90, 90

notes:  I got 18 sets done in an hour!  Sweet!  For the SLDL, I grab the barbell off the bench press and found an empty spot and did it there.  My last set was messed up by my coworker, who got bored and wanted to chat in the middle of a set, so whatever, haha.  I will get to redo the SLDLs soon enough.  Prone leg curls were easy on this machine, so I played around with the weight so I could hit the right tension.

As I started the workout, the tops of my hams felt kinda sore.  And by the end, my upper hams and my glutes were seizing up!  I was so sore I couldn’t walk right all afternoon.  It wasn’t just the legs workout on Sunday and Wednesday, I also had acupressure on Monday, and he cranked on my legs a bit.  So sore!!

And that was my day!  How about you?  Any good workouts?

Tuesday Back & Biceps

Woke up a little late. Snowstorm!  I guess Spring isn’t ready yet.

I wanted to get in the back and biceps, so I did that first.  It took so long though that I missed the 7 am spin class, so I got on the elliptical instead for 30 min.

Back & Biceps:  (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

widegrip pulldowns:  180 x 15, 15, 9, 8

bent over barbell row:  135 x 12, 12, 12

one arm dumbbell row:  55 x 12/12, 12/12, 12/12 (no rest, back and forth arm to arm)

machine hyperextensions: 180 x 15; 210 x 15; 240 x 15

seated dumbbell curls:  40 x 12, 10, 8, 7

preacher curls:  75 x 4; 55 x 15, 10, 7

elliptical 30 min

notes:  the annoying calluses forming on my hands threw my focus off a bit on the widegrip pulldowns.  Darn that rubber grip friction!  I need some gloves.

I hadn’t done hyperextensions on the machine in a while.  that’s because it’s friggin easy.  the weight of my torso helps push the weight down… it’s a machine for skinny guys, not fat guys.

the dumbbells were a mess this morning, all over the place.  I wanted to curl 35s, but couldn’t find them, so I used 40s instead, and stopped a set when my form got too crappy.

by the time I got to preacher curls, my mind was a little gone, so I accidentally stacked too much weight on and I’m like why the hell is it so hard??  oh yeah, I upped the weight almost 36% hahaha.  for sets 2-4, my forearms were burning SO much!  I think all that hanging ab work this week tired my forearms out… more than just the calluses on my hands, my forearms were tired.

At work, I was debating more cardio in the evening, but my shoulder was sore all day, so I decided to rest in the evening, and save up for Wednesday, which is shoulders day naturally HAHAHA

I also went out and bought a giant slow-cooker

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There will be many week long chili marathons in my future, hahaha.

And how about you?  Any good workouts today?

Monday Massage!

Monday morning the alarm slapped me hard in the face.  5 am??  ugh

I headed to the gym and spin spin spin.  My right knee felt sore at the start of the ride, so I tested it out by gradually ramping up the resistance at my own pace.  The first song or two I wasn’t going as hard as everyone else, but by Song 4 or 5 I was going slightly harder than everyone else.  I was lagging behind the beat, but I didn’t care, I needed to observe my knee.  It paid off, as the resistance got heavier and heavier, my knee warmed up and felt fine.  It made for a damn hard class though!

Then I went to work.  I think I might have stacked too many calories early in the day – as I sit here typing this I am hungry… but out of daily calories, haha.  I keep tweaking the meals, more here less here, seeing what works best for me in order to keep the gym activity going.  It’s also been officially two weeks without ANY starch, and I feel great!  My mood is up, I feel light on my feet, and my energy stays solid throughout even a 2 hour gym session.

After work, I tried out a new masseur.  I like to get a good deep tissue massage once a month, I need the therapy to help me recuperate from the activity I subject myself to.  The young man I visited today has only been in Canada a few years (from Hong Kong), and he practices acupressure.

It hurt!  He worked on my calves for 30 min, and my left shoulder (the sprained one) for 15 min.  This left me enough time to make my training session.  He found a lot of crunchiness in my left upper back, which I already am well familiar with – I can’t roll my shoulders back without a little crunchy feeling.  So clearly those tendons need work.  He also thought there was a lot of blockage and swelling in my calves, so he said the acupressure should bring them down in size a bit.

Then it was time for Chest & Triceps with Leslie!

C & T: (30 sec rest between all sets)

But first, check out Leslie’s fresh new kicks!

fresh!

fresh!

incline smith machine press:  70 + bar x 15; 90 + bar x 15, 15

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flat smith machine press:  90 + bar x 12, 12, 12, 12

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flat DB fly:  70 x 12, 12, 12

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cable crossover:  80 x 12; 100 x 12; 120 x 12

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reverse grip pushdowns:  80 x 15, 15; 90 x 15, 15

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close grip DB press:  100 x 12, 6; 80 x 12, 10

seated 2 hand db extension:  55 x 12, 12, 12

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straight bar pushdowns:  120 x 10; 100 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

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hanging knee raise:  10, 6, 4, 6, 4

notes:  the workout ran short, so we threw in the extra pushdowns in before the ab work to make the time go by 🙂

I don’t know how much the bar on the Smith Machine weighs.  Damn sure not 45 pounds, so who knows.  Flyes went well, I am happy with how those feel, ditto with crossovers.

As for the reverse grip pushdowns, those were awkward with the loose handles, I couldn’t keep my palms up.  Next time with that setup I will just use one hand and focus on keeping my palms to the ceiling.

When it was time for the close grip press, I was just exhausted, my shoulder was done.  I did less work than last week, don’t know what to tell you, oh well.

And how about you?  Any good workouts today?

fresh!

fresh!