I had some fun stuff arrive in the mail this week!  Check it out

Fat Gripz

Fat Gripz

These are fat gripz (brand name).  You wrap them around a dumbbell or barbell to simulate a thick bar.  Holding a thicker bar makes it harder to close your hand around it (impossible actually with these, and I have big hands).  This makes holding your grip harder, so not only does it make whatever exercise you are doing harder, but it makes you work your forearms much harder.  The forearms help you maintain your grip, so this will build them up.  I thought it was a good idea, what with my forearm tendinitis, to build my forearms up a bit, put on a little size and muscle.  This will help.  so, if you see me mention these grips in an exercise, don’t be surprised if I am using a lower weight!  It is still quite hard, I promise you, just hard in a different way.

wrist straps

wrist straps

To balance out the forearm challenge, I also picked up some forearm support!  I ordered some wrist straps, I always used to borrow them in the past, but I figured I was now due.  In case I am doing an exercise with some volume, and I think my forearms will fail before the target muscle, these straps will help me keep going.  It happens – end of a work out, trying to do some stiff leg deadlifts, grip is going, so now I can keep on fighting!  They are nice and chunky too, won’t dig into my wrist.

PB2!

PB2!

And yeah, I ordered a treat, haha!  This is PB2 (pb stands for peanut butter).  Pb2 is a powdered peanut butter with very little calories (2 Tbsp are only 45 cal!!!).  So you mix the powder with some water and you get a delicious peanut butter treat!  And I tried it right away, it is DEELISHUS!  With so few calories, I mixed it with all kinds of stuff, greek yogourt, water, almond milk, unflavored protein powder, all passed with flying colours!  My fav mix is almond milk though, it creates an unstoppable creamy peanut butter that knocks you out!!  It doesn’t have the protein content of my P28 spread, but this is a great tasting treat that will slide into my macros with no difficulty!

Ok, so I also went to the gym today!

Chest & Shoulders (rest time varies)

incline fly:  (30 sec rests) warmup, 120 x 12, 8, 7

cable crossovers:  (30 sec rests)  160 x 12, 12, 12

decline bench press:  (30 sec rests) 135 x 12, 12, 12

bench press machine: (30 sec rests) 120 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

seated military press:  (minimal rest) bar x 5, 65 x 5, 85 x 5, 95 x 5, 115 x 5 (60 sec rest), 115 x 5

reverse pec deck: (10 sec rests!) 60 x 10, 10, 10, 6; 45 x 10, 10, 10

face pulls w rope: (10 sec rests!) 50 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 8, 10

dumbbell shrugs:  (90 sec rests) 100 x 50, 50, 50

cardio elliptical 30 min

notes:  ok, this was my plan.  I wanted to try different stuff, so I pre-exhausted the chest then some declines to work on my underdeveloped lower pecs (I don’t think I can even flex them! Criminal neglect), then a pump set on the machine.  7 sets with 30 sec rest!  They can get intense (inspired by FST-7).  All that isolation and low weight pump should leave my shoulders unmolested, and ready for their own work, followed by lots of low rest high rep for the joints and little muscles (rotator cuff and rear delts).

The flys felt HEAVY.  I was surprised, and couldn’t get them done.  But when I got to the crossovers, they felt easier than ever!  Maybe my muscles had warmed up?

The bench machine was too light.  I wondered if maybe it would get really hard by set 5 or 6 (reasonable assumption with the low rest), but they stayed easy and in control.  Yay!

I hadn’t done military press off the smith machine in a while, but the smith machine was broken (still!) so I used the rack and it worked fine!  I am working to find my low-rep weight, but 115 feels kinda right, at least for now.  By minimal rest, I mean only as long as it took to slide more weight on, but with 115 I felt like I wanted a rest, so that was a good sign.

I wanted to do cable rear delt flys, but those machines were popular (I need 2 cables, and this one guy was doing front raises for about 20 min straight, I kid you not), so I used the pec deck instead.  Those felt awkward and ugly, I stopped at set 7 in disgust.  Then I took one of the cable setups for my face pulls, and not surprisingly, 5 min after I grabbed the other cable, front raise guy ran away, I guess he wanted personal space, TS buddy.  Face pulls felt good, got so tough near the end I couldn’t do all 10 reps (see that 8 rep blip!), and out of anger at messing up my perfect run, I muscled through the last set.

By the way, since I am giving credit where its due, I got the idea for the 10 by 10s (10 sets of 10 reps, with 10 second rests) from the Musclepharm website.  Thanks Musclepharm!  Those are great for low weight isolations, helps build up the joints and get the blood flowing.  They are also tough as a beast if you have never done them before!  Word to the wise, first time you try them they will burn like a mother!

I felt like my traps had gotten enough rest from my sore neck ordeal, and I wanted to see what they could do.  I have found over the years that my calves are stubborn donkeys, and they prefer super high reps; I wondered if my traps might also be stubborn donkeys.  I keep adding weight to my shrugs, and I had almost outgrown the dumbbells, but the shoulder placement with barbell shrugs just looks like it will be rough on me personally, so I needed to keep dumbbells relevant.

I decided to try super high reps as well.  3 sets of 50 reps each!  I used the wrist straps for these, this was a trap burner, not a forearm killer.  I kept the straps loose while I saw what it felt like, and it actually wasn’t too bad, my forearms could probably handle it.  But 50 reps with 2×50 lb DBs was kinda scary, right around rep 30 my mind started telling me this was insane and just to put them down!  This tells me it was a good choice though, I got through them!  They were rather intense though, not for the faint-hearted, as long as you pick a solid weight, don’t grab paperweights.

Then I did some cardio!  Overall, a pretty fantastic workout!  Felt great!

How about you?  Any good workouts today?

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