Archive for August, 2013


Beat up and tired

Worn out!  Bombed out and depleted.  Sore low back, sore shoulder, massive leg soreness developing, energy stores were ok though.  I decided I needed to get the blood moving and stay active.  And so that means… double workout day!  Who doesn’t love going to the gym twice?

First thing in the morning I headed down to the gym to blast the triceps

Monday AM triceps and calves (60 sec rest)

V-Bar Pushdown:  90 x 10 warmup

180 x 15 DROP 140 x 15 DROP 110 x 15 DROP 90 x 15

180 x 15 DROP 140 x 15 DROP 110 x 15 DROP 90 x 15

180 x 15 DROP 140 x 15 DROP 110 x 15 DROP 90 x 15

As you can see, still doing the triple drop sets.  V-Bar pushdowns are fun because you can usually go a bit heavier, so I put it in first to wake the arms up.  Heavy weight early off gets the hormones flowing.  Unlike a regular pushdown where the elbows stay pinned to my sides, with the v-bar I hover over it and push it straight down, hence the higher weight.

Closegrip Bench Press:  45 x 10; 65 x 10 warmup

115 x 12 DROP 95 x 12 DROP 65 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

115 x 12 DROP 95 x 12 DROP 65 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

115 x 12 DROP 95 x 12 DROP 65 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

I wanted to use the Smith Machine, but it was taken, so regular barbell for me.  Drop sets with plates can be a pain in the butt when you’re by yourself, it ends up being a rest for 10 seconds while you shuffle the plates around.  So I tried to pick weights that were easy to trade around, nothing too crazy.  Both of these felt light bench and v-bar, but that’s probably because I normally do it after chest when my triceps are tired.  Today they were fresh, and the weights felt light (well, heavy, but lots of gas in the tank so no big deal)

Overhead Rope Extension:  40 x 10; 60 x 10 warmup

90 x 12 DROP 70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12 DROP 40 x 12

90 x 12 DROP 70 x 9 DROP 50 x 9 DROP 40 x 12

90 x 12 DROP 70 x 8 DROP 50 x 12 DROP 40 x 12

By now the triceps were getting fatigued, but I like the overhead extension, it really hits the long head of the tricep nicely, so I don’t mind this as a finisher.  Just stand up straight, keep your upper arms still, and drop the rope behind your head and squeeze it back up.

 

I decided to do some calves.

Standing Calf Raise (30 second rest)

295 x 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 15

This was FST-7 inspired (its a training system), so I kept the rest low and repped it out.  The standing machine is nice because you can drop your heels below parallel and really stretch the muscle out before you contract it and push the weight up; keeping the reps slow and goin down low!.  By set 7 my calves were smoking tired and I couldn’t get all 20 done.  My calves can take a beating, but this one got the best of them!

I ran out of time for any cardio, I had to head to work.  This would set the focus for workout 2

 

After work I headed to the studip to train with Les.  Empty studio!  After a quick conference, Les decided we would do some shoulders and biceps then just work on abs forever and ever and ever.  More core in store!

Monday PM Core (45 sec rest b/w sets)

Elliptical 20 min warmup

Standing Military Press:  75 x 8; 85 x 8, 12; 95 x 8

IMG_2781

Believe it or not, this also warms up the core a bit.  You need it to keep the bar steady over your head and to keep your body straight.

Cable Curls:  110 x 8, 8, 8; 130 x 8

IMG_2785

I have a bit of tendinitis in my right forearm, so cable curls are always easier on my joint pain for some reason.

Superset:  Scissor Kicks x 20 and Reaching Crunches x 25 and Bent Knee Hip Raises x 10 – 3 sets

don't I look happy? nice legs though

don’t I look happy? nice legs though

IMG_2791

ya, using the hands a bit

ya, using the hands a bit

 

Half-Kneeling Canoe Twists (using rope):  40 x 12/12; 70 x 12/12, 12/12

IMG_2797

don’t use your arm strength, keep the raised knee steady, try to twist with the abs! Its like paddling a canoe, sort of.

 

Superset:  Kettlebell Side Raises 50 x 15/15 and Elevated Side Plank Pulses x 12/12  3 sets of that

IMG_2801

IMG_2806

 

 

I put on a brave face but I really was tired!

IMG_2780

 

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

Your Workouts are Crazy!

Recently I ran into someone who reads my blog (Hi Christine!), and she told me that sometimes my writing is a little too cryptic, I don’t always explain what I’m doing, much less how I do it.  I suppose that’s valid, I often treat the blog like a log, and use it to keep track of my gains.  I promise to beef up the notes, deal?

The other feedback I got is ‘why workout so much?  2 a day?  how do you find the time?’.  That is more of a personal choice.  I don’t find time, I make time for it.  On top of it, the gym has become my favorite therapy.  When I feel good, I go to the gym to celebrate, and when I feel bad, I go to vent.

I was feeling sore lately about the contest, so I decided I needed a major vent.  A workout so crazy, the thought of it scares you, and if its a really good workout, the moment you tell someone else they look at you like you’re crazy!

Why would you do all that??

If you can, you should.  I have been diligently chasing the iron on a more serious basis for about a year now, and I know I can push myself further.  So, pick a body part that can take a lot of punishment.  For most of us, that means the back or the legs, those parts that carry us around all day.  My lower back was still sore from the rack pulls on Friday, so that means… Leg Day!

I wanted a leg workout so scary I would need backup.  No better backup on leg day than a female workout partner.  Ladies love leg workouts.  It’s a well-known fact.  Legs and shoulders.  Ladies love legs and glutes like guys love chest and biceps.  I asked Leslie if she would workout with me and she said yes!  It’s on like Donkey Kong!

When I told Leslie the workout, she looked at me like I was crazy and said “why would we do all that??!”  That’s when I knew this would be a good workout.  I dumped the preworkout packet directly into my mouth (!!) and walked out of the locker room.

Sunday Legs:

A.  warmup – 15 min on the stairmaster (also letting the pwo saturate)

B.  Superset:  4-ways Leg Press & Barbell Squats – 85 reps on the leg press then 20 reps on squats.  The way we did leg press was keep your feet at the bottom of the platform, keep your legs shoulder width, do 20 reps, then move your feet up an inch without racking the weight, do 20 more reps, move your feet up another inch and do 20 more reps, then move your feet up to the top of the platform and do the last 25 reps.  At no point do you rack the weight, you get a few seconds while you reposition your feet, but the tension stays on the whole time.  Then when you hit 85 reps you get up and go do barbell squats.

As you move your feet up the leg press platform, you shift more of the work from your quads to your hamstrings.  Keeping your feet shoulder width will help you hit the outside of your thigh (the outer sweep you see on those people will well-shaped thighs).  The high rep barbell squats will finish you off nicely, nothing like high rep squats to tax you totally and get the heart rate up.  Go deep on both the leg press and the squats to activate those glutes!

my weight was

six 45 lb plates x 85 & 135 x 20 – do this superset 3 times (that’s 315 reps of fun!)

(Les and I took turns doing our sets, she would do leg press and squats, then I would, back and forth)

C.  Leg Extensions – Triple Drop Sets with Partials Finisher.  Pick a weight you can do 15 reps with, go until failure or 15 reps whatever comes first, drop the weight about 20%, do as many reps as you can, drop the weight 20%, do as many as possible, drop one more time, go until failure.

Les and I took turns, and on the last drop set, we immediately followed the third drop by bringing the weight BACK UP to HEAVIER than our first weight, and only doing partial reps.  Lean forward on the leg extension machine and only move the weight 4-6 inches.  This will hit the bottom of your thigh right over the knee.  Do not let the weight rest at the bottom during the partials, keep the tension on the whole time and go until failure.

my weight was

180 x 15 DROP 135 x 15 DROP 105 X 15 DROP 75 x 15

180 x 15 DROP 135 x 12 DROP 105 x 9 DROP 75 x 15

180 x 15 DROP 135 x 10 DROP 105 x 10 DROP 75 x 15 RAISE 195 x 3 partials DROP 180 x 5 partials

As you can see, my quads got progressively more tired each set.  By the last set, I needed to pause for a few seconds so I could finish at least the 180 set.  When I went back up the stack for heavy partials, my legs were gassed.  I could barely even move it at all, and so we dropped back down to my starting weight, and EVEN THEN I could barely move it 4 inches much less do 15 full reps like I did only a few minutes before.  My legs were spent.

When I got up from the leg extensions and walked to the water fountain I almost fell on my face!  I caught myself on a filing cabinet and rested for a few seconds.

D.  cooldown:  5 min on a stationary bike, 15 min walk outside.

 

This was all very simple as in not very many movements, but super-hard.  It was the best kind of workout, the kind you do when you are stressed out so you pour it all out until you have nothing left, and you crawl out of the gym with no regrets.  Why workout so hard?  You workout as hard as you can because you can.

Did you get any good workouts in this weekend?

Drop in Enthusiasm (Rant)

Friday morning I got up and TRIED to go for cardio, but after Thursday’s double workout day, I just ended up falling back asleep.  When I woke up, it was time to go to work.

After work I headed to the studio for a fullbody workout with the trainer.

Friday PM fullbody (long rests)

elliptical 20 min

twists x 150

Rack Pulls 275 x 5; 295 x 5; 315 x 5, 5, 5 (last set used straps)

IMG_2767

Bent Over Rows:  135 x 5, 5; 155 x 5, 5, 5 – form is improving on these, so I will up the weight ASAP

Overhead Tricep Extension:  80 x 5; 85 x 5; 90 x 5; 95 x 5; 100 x 5

IMG_2769

Hammer Curls:  80 x 5; 90 x 5; 100 x 5; 110 x 5; 120 x 5

cooldown:  stationary bike 5 min

 

After the workout, I saw they posted the winners for the 6 week Cellucor challenge I took part in.  You can see the winners here:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/2013-strong-to-the-cor-challenge.html?mcid=strong_to_the_cor_winners_82313&rmid=strong_to_the_cor_winners_82313&rrid=16199972

 

In other words, I wasn’t one of them.

I knew I didn’t win because I knew they were posting the winners today and had not contacted me, so obviously.  But when I looked through the winners, I didn’t see someone of my “type” represented, no one else ran my type of race.

I will speak more plainly, borrowing an unrelated post I saw on a Muscletech contest a month prior

lacking the, “being a complete porker,” factor in the BEFORE pic to merit more than an obligatory golf clap

In other words, I looked at all the before pics, and saw people with relatively well-defined muscles and an inflated paunch transform in 6 weeks to having visible abs.  That’s it.  All they did was strip off a superficial layer of fat.  To borrow a tweet from Craig Capurso (Cellucor-sponsored athlete) today, “went from good to great”.

But I didn’t start at “good”.  I went from totally out of shape, to much closer to in shape.  I looked through the winners’ before pics and didn’t see any jowls or manboobs or turkey arms, I saw muscle with a layer of fat over it.  There were no “much improved” contestants in the winners circle, and that was the kind of race I was running.

Not to take the win away from the contestants, they all worked really hard, and deserved those abs and the praise of others.  My disappointment is with the judges – all they seemed to want were offseason athletes, not repentant couch potatoes.  All they wanted were photo ops, photogenic ppl with visible abdominal muscles.  I could never hope to get my BF down low enough in 6 weeks to have a visible rectus abdominis.

It is a sad truth I was already aware of:  visible abs are what people use to guess how hard you work.  My only chance was if they wanted someone who lost a lot of weight in a short time, a quote-unquote inspirational story.  Forget about me actually winning, if I saw someone drop 40-50 pounds in 6 weeks, someone morbidly obese trying to TRANSFORM their body, I would tip my hat to them.  And maybe they wouldn’t give that morbidly obese person the winners trophy, but at least give them 3rd place or something, pick the best fattie and let them represent that demographic of contestants.

I know of a guy at my gym (no names) who is VERY morbidly obese.  Do you know what his 6 month goal was?  To be able to bend over and tie his own shoes.  And he did that, last week.  To me… that is a MAJOR TRANSFORMATION.  That guy deserves the $10,000 and a tropical cruise and free supplements.  We should all be so brave as to push so hard against the tide in our own lives.  Try not being able to bend over and tie your own shoes, for years, for DECADES, and then tell me if fighting to be able to do it again doesn’t transform your life.

But no, this was just a chance for a company to go fishing for shots of people with abs they could pin to their ads.  I would go so far as to say that calling this a “transformation challenge” was a joke.

I am disappointed by the way they judged this, not even as balanced as I had faintly hoped.

I did great during my 6 weeks, and I get positive encouragement all the time from people in my life, from my trainer, from my trainer’s other clients… but step outside that bubble, rejoin the other gym rats, and I don’t even register as a blip on their radar.

I am sure I will participate in a contest again, I enjoyed the experience, but my eyes are open now.  Expect nothing, and never be disappointed.

Overly-dramatic sore-loser blogger signing out for the day.

Until You Drop

I had a rest day Wednesday, so Thursday I decided to have… double workout day!  Chest and Shoulders were up for grabs, so I decided the chest workout would remain isolation-heavy so as to spare the shoulders.  And oh yes… there will be drops.

early AM Shoulders:  (60 sec rest)

20 min on the lateral elliptical (to warm the shoulders up holding the moving levers)

rotator cuff warmup:  15 lbs x 15 for 5 sets each arm

side raise machine supersetted with partial DB side raises (straight set of the machine, then 4 or 5 inch ROM with the DBs)

warmup; 80 x 12 then 60 x 10 partials; 90 x 11 then 60 x 10 partials; 100 x 7 then 60 x 10 partials

seated dumbbell overhead press:  warmup;

80 x 12 DROP 60 x 12 DROP 50 x 12;

90 x 11 DROP 70 x 8 DROP 50 x 8;

100 x 8 DROP 80 x 4 DROP 60 x 4

rear delt cable fly (straight set followed by heavy partials):  77 x 12 then 99 x 20 partials

cooldown:  twist x 150

 

notes:  this was intense!  My shoulders haven’t taken this level of abuse in a while, so I gave them lots of warmup.  I wanted to do more after the rear delt flys, but I realized I barely made it out of the overhead presses and I looked in the mirror and my eyes were bloodshot, so I called it a day and went to work.

 

After work, I went to do chest.

PM chest:  (60 sec rest)

pec deck:   warmup;

120 x 12 DROP 90 x 12 DROP 75 x 12 DROP 60 x 12

135 x 12 DROP 105 x 9 DROP 75 x 12 DROP 60 x 12

150 x 10 DROP 120 x 10 DROP 90 x 10 DROP 60 x 12

machine bench press:  warmup;

210 x 12 DROP 165 x 10 DROP 120 x 10 DROP 90 x 14

210 x 10 DROP 165 x 6 DROP 120 x 10 DROP 90 x 15

210 x 7 DROP 165 x 5 DROP 120 x 12 DROP 90 x 15

incline DB fly:

120 x 4 FAIL drop weight

100 x 12 DROP 80 x 8 DROP 60 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

100 x 4 DROP 80 x 4 DROP 60 x 8 DROP 45 x 8

100 x 5 DROP 40 x 4 DROP 60 x 10 DROP 45 x 10

cooldown:  20 min elliptical, twist x 150

 

notes:  I hit it hard, but this workout wrecked me!  Drop sets until you drop.  I crashed and burned pretty bad on the DB flys.  I think there are a few things at work.  For one thing, I am back on the diet again, and I don’t think I had enough fuel in me for an endurance workout.  I also had not done endurance chest in probably over a month, and it just was a shock.  Also the second workout of the day.  So for whatever reason I can conjure up, I definitely drained my tank, and limped across the finish line.  So the flys defeated me.

Another interesting event… so after I try the 60s for flys and just flat out fail and go grab some lighter DBs, I am sitting there trying to psyche myself up, regather my intensity, as well as scope out where my drop set weights are (drop DB sets in a crowded gym is a logistical nightmare), and this dude walks over looks at me and says, “Can I have the bench?”

Note he didn’t ask if I would be done soon, or if he could share, he just flat out asked to HAVE the bench.  I looked at him and said (as friendly as I could), “no, I am just starting, but you can take turns with me if you want”.  I saw a look in his eye like “WTF?” as if he was expecting me to let him take my bench?!?!  Do I look like a bitch to you, sir?  I let his crooked look slide and just repeated my offer.  He said “sure, I’m going to go warmup.”  Thanks for the tip bro, you go warmup.

So of course I’m doing triple drop sets with dumbbells, so there is a FOREST of dumbbells scattered around my bench now.  I’m done, he comes back, looks at the dumbbells, asks me “can you move all of these out of the way?”  So fuck whatever, sure I move 8 dumbbells 5 feet away, guy does his incline presses.  I gather my shit BACK UP again to the bench, do my set, all the while the guy is hovering over my shoulder, then I finish a set, drag my shit away, repeat.

I will admit, coupling the fatigue with this annoying dude (did I mention 2 min into this silly dance 2 other adjustable benches open up and dude doesn’t have the brains to go take one of those?)… it added to me failing with the weights.  I couldn’t focus, I was distracted on top of tired.  I can’t help but feel I would have gotten more reps if I didn’t have this troll on my shoulder.

It was my last movement of the workout, and I walked away PISSED, like this dude had just robbed me of my gains, wrecked my workout.  Honestly, I wanted to go hit something.  instead I stared in the mirror for a few minutes, took some deep breaths, and went to do my cardio and twists with the music cranked up.

 

Anyways, its all over now, that was my day at the gym!  how about you?  Any good workouts?

Rise of the Drop Set

Today was Back and Biceps, got up early and headed down for an am workout.  I am going to start adding in drop sets in earnest for a while, as a way to add some intensity.

AM Back & Biceps (60 sec rest taken b/w sets)

V-Bar Pulldowns:  105 x 10; 150 x 10; 210 x 12, 12, 9

T-Bar Rows:  90 x 10; 135 x 12; 145 x 12; 155 x 12

One Arm DB Rows:  60 x 10/10; 85 x 12/12; 90 x 12/12

Underhand Pulldowns:  135 x 10; 210 x 12, 12; 225 x 12

Preacher Machine Curls – Narrowgrip:

60 x 10

85 x 12 DROP 65 x 12 DROP 55 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

85 x 12 DROP 65 x 10 DROP 55 x 9 DROP 45 x 9

85 x 12 DROP 65 x 12 DROP 55 x 9 DROP 45 x 12

85 x 12 DROP 65 x 9 DROP 55 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

EZ Bar Curls – Widegrip:

70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12 DROP 40 x 12 DROP 30 x 12

70 x 12 DROP 50 x 8 DROP 40 x 8 DROP 30 x 9

70 x 8 DROP 50 x 9 DROP 40 x 12 DROP 20 x 12

70 x 9 DROP 50 x 8 DROP 40 x 12 DROP 20 x 13

cardio 20 min, twist x 150

notes:  this workout felt great!  More drops than a rainstorm! Arms were nice and pumped after. Triple drop sets are tough, especially on a body part of mine that has traditionally not had the endurance, being the biceps.  Not that long ago, this would have not have been possible, but I have built up the endurance enough in my biceps that I can do this kind of stuff, which will help spur me on to greater overall strength and size.

I used preset EZ curl bars for the drop sets, which meant I was tying up like 4 bars at a time, which is sort of awkward.  Halfway through my stuff, this girl came up and asked if she could use the 30 pound bar “just for practice”.  Not being a jerk I said of course, and I switched to the 20 pound bar for the last drop, which was ultimately too light, but whatyagonnado.  I find it strange though that she said she needed it “just for practice”.  Why say that?  I figured she was putting herself down, like 30 pounds isn’t a decent weight, which is silly.  time under tension, overloading the muscle, progressive increases, etc etc, who cares about the nominal amount of weight?  If 30 pounds is tough for whatever she’s doing, then go forth with my blessing my child!

Anyways, that was my workout.  What about you?

Birthday workout

Monday was my birthday!  I am 36.  Definitely in better shape now than I have been in a long time, probably since high school!  You would wonder if I would make today a rest day.  Nope.  I don’t schedule rest days around festivities, rest days are determined purely by my workout schedule, and occasionally limited by what’s available.  And as the schedule would have it, today was no rest day.  Not a super crazy day, but still a day.

I got up bright and early for my spin class.  No sleeping in on my birthday!  Spin went pretty well.  After that I had some bacon for breakfast, hooray!  It had been a long time, bacon my old friend.

took the day off work though, small birthday gift for myself 🙂

Went to the studio to train with Les at the regular time, but this time she let me have a session for free!  Wasn’t that nice?!

It wasn’t a super-packed workout, I was feeling VERY chatty today, but we got some good sets in.

Monday fullbody:

warmup – rotator cuff movements with dumbbell – 20s and 15s for 5 sets of 15 reps per side

Squats to Bench (45 sec) 155 x 8; 175 x 8; 195 x 8; 205 x 8

205

205

Smith Machine Bench Press:  (45 sec) 180 + bar x 8, 8, 6, 8

2 wheels

2 wheels

Band-Assisted Pullups (45 sec, varying grip) x 8, 8, 8, 8

Ab Wheel x 12, 12, 16; TRX Superman x 12, 12; plank 30 sec, extended plank 30 sec, hip raises x 12, 12

 

notes:  I know squatting to a bench isn’t ideal.  I am aware I am not breaking parallel.  But my form isn’t solid and I need to build core strength, so everyone has to start somewhere.  Relax, form police.

Same goes for smith machine bench presses, I am keenly aware I am not using any stabilizer muscles.  But it’s still 2 wheels, and it’s still progress for me, without the accompanying killer strain on my shoulder.

Same goes for assisted pullups, better this than nothing.

For abs, Les took me through a handful of exercises to try and hit me in the abs exactly where she wanted – sort of an exploratory torture session 🙂

 

And that was my day!  Went to the gym twice on my birthday, no excuses!  How about you?  Any good workouts today?

 

Finish What You Started

Hey! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, let me catch you up on my workouts.

Aug 14 and 15 were rest days from the weights.  I did my cardio, I did some twists.  On the Wednesday I went out at lunch with 2 coworkers and showed them a core workout they could do:  I led them through a few rounds of bicycle crunches, stability ball crunches, leg lifts, planks, side planks, windshield wipers, supermans.  They were quite happy!  One of my coworkers told me he had never done resistance training with his legs in his life – he had only ever done upper-body workouts and cardio.  Unsurprisingly, even lifting his straight legs off the ground gave him muscle soreness the next day, haha!  Can’t skip leg day bro.

Aug 16 the Friday I wanted to do calves and abs and shoulders.  So I split it up into the morning and the lunchtime workouts.

Friday am calves and abs

Spin class 60 min

Seated Calf Raises supersetted with roman chair knee raises (no rest, back and forth, starting and ending with calves… calfs??)

seated calf raise 90 x 10 (warmup) 115 x 20, 20, 20, 20, 20

knee raises x 20, 20, 20, 20

twist x 150

notes:  it was a really quick am workout, the spin class took the most time.  I actually wanted to do standing calf raises, but this guy was SORT OF doing sets of 4 or 5, then taking a break ON the machine while surfing the net on his phone, or texting his prom date or flashing his swag or whatever the kids do now-a-days.  I was so glad for the seated machine so I wouldn’t be forced to interact with this cretin.

At lunchtime my 2 coworkers headed out with me.  One of them went off to do his own workout (upper-body naturally, haha), and he occasionally needed me to spot him on bench press, which is coming along nicely for him, I must admit.  The other coworker, I had already showed her all the exercises she needed to do so I patted her on the back and wished her well, but she kept following me around, asking if she could just do whatever I was doing.  FINE!  I guess I don’t mind having a workout buddy at lunchtime, if it keeps her motivated and it gives me a few extra sparks of energy as I spot her, then all the better.

Friday noontime shoulders

superset DB side raises and front raises (60 sec rest b/w supersets starting and ending with side raises)

side raises 20s x 15, 15, 15

alternating front raises 20s x 15, 15

smith machine seated presses (trading sets w coworker) 70 + bar x 10; 110 + bar x 11, 12, 11

reverse pec deck (30 sec rest) 40 x 15, 15; 60 x 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

elliptical 15 min

notes:  I was hoping to do more on the smith machine but they just weren’t up for the challenge that day.  My coworker couldn’t keep up with 7 sets on the pec deck, after 2 sets she said screw this and went off to do cardio, haha!  I joined her after I did all 7.  It’s ok, the rear delts tire out pretty fast.

Saturday I had an EPICCCCCC leg day planned.  As luck would have it, I had a friend join me for this one too!  My friend Jamie, who has her very own blog at

http://missjamiebell.blogspot.ca/

she came to join me.  This was especially welcome, as I find leg days pretty scary still, and nothing like having a female join me because they LOVE leg day!  Even when they hate it they love it, they don’t skip leg day, they embrace it.

The theme of this leg day was ENDURANCE – finish what you started.  Go heavy, go until failure, then KEEP GOING.

Saturday AM leg day

first thing in the morning we headed to the gym for spin followed by weights

10-15 min warmup on the stairmaster

spin 60 min

weights (we rested when we traded sets)

Leg Extensions, 2 warmup sets, single 100 rep drop set, started at 180 and each time I failed I dropped a plate or two and kept going, until I completed all 100 reps.  All told I dropped about 7 times and went from 180 pounds to 90 pounds!

Leg Press, 2 warmup sets, 10 plates for 3 sets of 30 reps – go until failure, rest for 5-10 sec, do as many more as you can, until you hit 30

Standing Leg Curls – straight sets 80 x 20/20, 20/20, 20/20

Hack Squats – 2 warmup sets, 6 plates for 3 sets of 30 reps – go until failure, rest for 5-10 sec, do as many more as you can, until you hit 30

twists x 150

notes:  this workout is simple but brutal.  Not a lot of exercises, but designed to push your endurance and your limits, pushing past failure to hopefully some solid gains.  Done correctly, this exercise GUARANTEES leg DOMS in your future!  And the stairmaster and spin class was a great warmup to get the blood flowing.

I was crab-walking after the leg extensions 100 rep drop set, and by the time I was leaving the gym, my steps were very wobbly.  It’s sunday as I type this, and the early DOMS are upon me (leg DOMS usually hit me worse on Day 2, so I have more to look forward to)

Sunday is a rest day!  Hooray!

How about you?  Did you make it out to the gym this weekend?

Back and Biceps

Went to the gym nice and early for a workout.  I am getting used to being there early, and I have to say that I think it’s good for me.  PLUS, you get a big jump on your whole day!  Don’t just take my word for it, here is an article from the guy who co-founded Musclepharm on the benefits of early morning gym sessions.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/train-early-and-reap-the-rewards-all-day.html

On to my workout!  Back and Bis

(60 sec rest b/w sets)

20 min on the elliptical, 150 twists

reverse grip pulldowns:  135 x 10; 210 x 12, 12, 12

widegrip pulldowns:  210 x 15, 15, 11

bent over 2 DB row on an incline bench:  80 x 17, 17, 17

hammergrip assisted pullups (lean back and pull to stomach):  (100) x 12, 12, 12

alternating DB curls:  25s x 10; 40s x 14, 14, 14

one arm DB preacher curls:  25 x 10/10; 40 x 11/11, 7/8; 35 x 14/14

EZ bar spider curls:  60 x 5, 8; 40 x 20 closegrip, 15 widegrip, 17 closegrip

elliptical for another 20 min, 150 twists

notes:  Pulldowns are going really well, regular progress.  I think my back is getting stronger.  I wish my back would widen out though, I would really like to be able to do a front lat spread.

On the preacher curls I had to drop the weight because my biceps were tiring, and that fatigue only intensified for the spider curls.  I totally failed at 60 pounds, so I dropped the weight there too and practived varying my grip to test out my strength.  I found my tendonitis flared up more on the widegrip than the close.  And always only when I curls bars, not dumbbells.

Anyways, it was an intense workout as always!  I need to hammer my back more often if I want it to come up.

And that was my day!  How about you?  Did you make it to the gym?

Got up, went to the gym first thing for my chest and tricep workout.

AM Chest & Tris (60 sec rest)

flat DB press:  70 x 10; 110 x 10; 170 x 8, 8

DB pullovers:  40 x 10; 60 x 12, 12

incline fly:  120 x 12, 12, 11 DROP 80 x 8

overhead tricep extensions:  rope 40 x 15; 50 x 15; bar 50 x 15; 70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12 DROP 30 x 12 DROP 20 x 12

assisted dips (115) 13; 9; 8

superset incline DB skullcrushers & diamond pushups (dropset to your knees to do more pushups):  60 x 8 & 8 DROP 6; 45 x 11 & 4 DROP 6; 45 x 10 & 4 DROP 5

bench dips, feet elevated 10, 9, 10

cardio 20 min, abdominal twists x 150

notes:  chest work was light but tricep work  was tough!  For the overhead extensions, I was stuck with this particular cable machine at the gym that is very stiff, I have lower weights on it than anywhere else.  So I experimented with attachments:  rope or straight bar; and I put my butt against the pillar, bent over 90 degrees, and did my tricep reps as best as I could – the triple drop set at the end was nasty!

I had not done dips on the dip machine in a long time, they usually are too rough on my shoulder.  But these felt good!  Supersetting the skullcrushers and pushups was intense, the back of my arms were spent!  I could barely get any pushups done, even when I dropped to my knees it didn’t help much.  And then with the bench dips, my arms were like spaghetti.

I am going to start throwing in some “twists” after my cardio, just rotating my trunk side to side with no bodyweight, see if maybe I can keep the blood flowing there, keep my obliques healthy and not bulky, maybe tighten up the loose skin a bit.  We will see.

After work I headed down to the studio for workout #2 with Les!

PM fullbody (60 sec rest)

seated good mornings w barbell:  45 x 12; 135 x 12; 155 x 12, 12

smith machine chest press 160 + bar x 8, 8, 8, 8

band assisted pullups (grip varies) 8, 8, 8, 8

standing military press 75 x 8, 8, 8, 8

ab roller x 12, 12, 12

cardio 20 min, twists x 150

notes:  I had done all those hack squats just the day before, so we thought instead today I could do some squat assist work:  strengthen my spine with some good mornings.  My first time doing them.  Felt good!

Smith bench is coming along well too, steady gains!  Military press and ab roller both felt more smooth and natural today too, so that’s comforting.

And that was my day!  another double whammy!  How about you? Did you make it out to the gym?

Sunday Hot Yoga and Legs

First time going to hot yoga in months!  But it was free!  How could I not go?

Free classes meant it was very busy for a Sunday at 8 am.  No real time to socialize or catch up.  How was class?  It was good!  Went by a little too fast maybe.  Felt like an appetizer though, I should go to hot yoga more often and really experience the full banquet.  My plate is so full already though.  We spent the hour going through lots of different moves, my only regret is that I couldn’t spend more time in each pose.

Went home, napped, got up, went to the gym for a leg workout!  I was pressed for time so I had to trim out the cardio.  Aw shucks!

Legs (60 sec rest)

Superset Leg Extensions and Lying Leg Curls; leg extension set is followed by partial reps

130 x 20 + 20 partial reps & 120 x 15 curls

140 x 20 + 15 partial reps & 130 x 15 curls

150 x 20 + 15 partial reps & 140 x 15 curls

Superset Hack Squats & Standing Leg Curls

4 plates X 50 reps & 80 x 20/20 (20 each leg)

4 plates X 50 reps & 80 x 20/20 (20 each leg)

4 plates X 50 reps & 80 x 20/20 (20 each leg)

4 plates X 50 reps & 80 x 20/20 (20 each leg)

notes:  I haven’t played around with partial reps as a set-chaser in a while, felt good!  I always get nervous people will walk in and think I am an idiot and don’t know what a full ROM is though.  The hack and curl superset was BRUTAL.  It even felt harder than my lunges and curls superset last week.  I had to rest a for a second or two multiple times for each set for both squats and curls, I was dripping sweat, out of breath, it was perfect!  Just what I needed.

And that was my Sunday!  How about you?  Did you get out to the gym?