Archive for December, 2013

2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,600 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 60 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Cycle 3 Week 1 Back

Cycle 3 Week 1 DL

Warmup (1-2 min rest)

130 x 5
160 x 5
190 x 3

notes:  was interrupted for a bit by that old guy from the week prior.  Seems I have created a monster!  He wants to chat me up about his gym plans and form and stuff.  Crap… need to go to a new gym for a while, lol.  I also noticed a… pressure.  Not to be too crass, but I felt constipated.  And to be honest, I didn’t want to stop deadlifting, so I just worked through it.

Main  (2 min rest)

210 x 5
240 x 5
270 x 8

notes: The ****-pressure had now subsided, but now my low back was getting really sore.  Maybe related?  Carrying around an extra 3 pounds of mudbaby can wear your low back out at the gym??  My grip was fine, but because of the sore low back I could feel my back rounding a lot on the last set, so I decided to not do any extra DLs and move on to assistance work.


Assisted Chinups (grip rotating each set from wide to underhand to hammer, 30 sec rest b/w sets)

6 wide
10 under
4 hammer
4 wide
6 under
4 hammer
3 wide
4 under

note:  my back felt tired as crap!  (hmmm, pun!)  I was stubborn though, and kept trying to get a few more pullups in there.  But it just wasn’t clicking.  So I tried a new angle.

Bent Over 1 Arm DB Rows (30 sec rest)

40 x 10
60 x 10
85 x 20

notes:  Just 2 warmup sets really, then one allout set with a fairly heavy weight.  I haven’t done this “Kroc-style” in a few weeks, and it seems to have paid off, hit 20 reps with the 85s finally!

Superset BW Hyperextensions and Weighted Crunches (30 sec rest b/w supersets, crunches done in an ABCore chair, weights load behind head)

BW x 10 / 60 x 10
BW x 10 / 60 x 7
BW x 10 / 60 x 10
BW x 10 / 60 x 10

notes:  these also felt pretty good.

After the workout, I spent some quality time in the WC

Cycle 3 Week 1 Legs

Cycle 3 Week 1 Squats

Warmup (1-2 min rest)

125 x 5
155 x 5
185 x 3

Main  (3 min rest)

200 x 5
235 x 5
265 x 5

notes: I admit to feeling a little nervous, since last squat day I failed out and got pinned down for a second by the bar.  It seems that what fails first on me is not my legs or glutes, but my core.  Even on that last set I was starting to bow forward.  So I took nice long rests between sets so I could go at these with seriousness.  But since there is such a disparity between legs and core, I realize I need the assistance work to finish me off.


45 Degree Leg Press (feet high and wide, 2 min b/w sets)

16 plates x 12
20 plates x 12
20 plates x 12
22 plates x 10


notes:  One is tempted to ask if I am e-bragging these presses and then doing ****e ROM

I admit, I am always conscious of this myself.  The fact is, legs go down until they press against my gut (feet high and wide help with this to give me more clearance), and until my butt is in danger of popping up off the low back rest.  Normal ROM, imo.  But nevertheless, I will concede there are some heavy advantages taking place here, otherwise why would my squats trail so far behind, ROFL.  So I only do it as assistance now, and only do it to finish my legs off.  OK?

But still, 22 plates!  oh yeahhhhhh

Standing Single Leg Curls (30 sec rest after both legs do their set)

90 x 15
90 x 15
90 x 13
90 x 10

notes:  really tried to keep the full ROM, as it is easy to drift into midrange when you get tired.  I find the extremes of the ROM are what kills me off especially on the standing curl, moreso than seated or prone machines.

Leg Extensions (45 sec rest)

160 x 15
160 x 13
160 x 12
160 x 10

notes:  figured my knees had recovered from the leg press, time for isolation!  It was clear my strength was gone as I was running out of gas.  Time for light ab work.

Roman Chair Knee Raises (30 sec rest)

10, 10, 10, 10

Cycle 3 Week 1 Shoulders

Boxing Day!  Had the day off work but the gyms were back open so I said hey why not?  I wanted another fast-paced workout, lots of supersets, lots of direct work.  Saved Squats for the weekend again, time for another shoulder day.  took 2 Uncut, 2 Potassium Nitrate and a scoop of Hemavol on the road.

Cycle 3 Week 1 OHP

Warmup (1-2 min rest b/w supersets) OHP and Face Pulls

45 x 5 / 40 x 20
60 x 5 / 40 x 20
70 x 3 / 40 x 20

Main  (2 min rest b/w supersets) OHP and Widegrip Pulldowns

75 x 5 / 165 x 5
85 x 5 / 165 x 5
100 x 12 / 165 x 5

notes: Feeling great, felt ready to get some volume in

Joker Sets  (2 min rest b/w supersets)  OHP and overhead cable curls

110 x 5 / 60(per arm) x 12
120 x 3 / 60 x 12
130 x 3 / 60 x 12

notes:  Ready for more!  But was starting to fail on the heavy weights, so brought it back down for lighter weight higher reps.

First Set Last Sets (45 sec b/w supersets) OHP and overhead rope extensions

75 x 8 / 90 x 15
75 x 8 / 90 x 15
75 x 8 / 90 x 9

notes:  triceps felt tired fast!  maybe still tired from bench day?  oh well.  shoulders were almost done, but felt ready for one more big push

Boring But Big Sets (30 sec b/w supersets)  OHP and rear delt cable flys

65 x 10 / 33 x 15
65 x 10 / 33 x 12
65 x 10 / 33 x 12
65 x 8 / 33 x 10
65 x 10 / 33 x 12

notes:  This was a great finisher, I barely got through these presses.  17 sets of OHP is pretty good for me, I consider this workout a success!

Cycle 3 Week 1 Chest

Christmas Eve!  But I wasn’t ready to relax just yet.  I had a half day of work, and was running around trying to clear the work off my plate, and the 2 other plates I was looking after – just keeping plates spinning like a street performer.  I would phone ppl, they wouldn’t pick up, so I would walk up a few flights, walk up to their desk and ask it to their face.

People finally started telling me to “please… leave this until the New Year”.  Lazyasses!

We were let go at Noon, and I was feeling good, so I left for the company gym to work out in a TOTALLY empty space.  Who is all psyched to do Bench Day on Christmas Eve?  THIS GUY *points*

I wanted it to be quick though, so I went back to my routine from last week – superset bench and back work.

I decided to do widegrip pulldowns instead of pullups.  The RMT messed me up on Monday, he cranked on my arms, lats and elbows and shoulders, so painful!  I already noticed there were bruises on both biceps today, and I am told there are bruises on my back as well… Can I call the police and turn my RMT in for domestic abuse?  Is this what it’s like to get massages in prison?  Screaming and bruises?

The end result was I wanted to avoid activating my forearms, and I thought pulldowns would make it easier to go thumbless, let my forearms recharge.

Cycle 3 Week 1 Bench Press

Warmup (1-2 min rest, including time for rotator cuff work) Bench and Face Pulls
105 x 5 / 30 x 20
130 x 5 / 45 x 20
155 x 3 / 45 x 20

Supersetted Bench and Widegrip Pulldowns from this point on

Main  (2 min rest, including time for back work)
170 x 5 / 150 x 5
195 x 5 / 165 x 5
220 x 7 / 165 x 5

notes: Feeling great!  Didn’t need long rests, ready to burn through these!

First Set Last Sets  (45 sec rest b/w Ssets)
170 x 8 / 165 x 5
170 x 8 / 165 x 5
170 x 8 / 165 x 5

notes:  Unstoppable!  FSL set was lighter than last week, due to the structure of the program, so I upped the weight of the BBB sets.  Xmas miracle!

Boring But Big Sets (30 sec b/w Ssets)
155 x 10 / 165 x 5
155 x 10 / 165 x 5
155 x 10 / 165 x 5
155 x 10 / 165 x 5
155 x 10 / 165 x 5

notes:  it took a little under an hour, and I was ready to jet!  Endurance was on point, had a great pump going.

Cycle 2 Week 3 Back

DL Day!  I had one goal in mind… 4 wheels.  Repeated the same weekend pattern, woke up, had some food, had a nap, had a little more food, had my Beta Test and Uncut and NO Uptake, headed to gym.

Cycle 2 Week 3 Deadlifts (double overhand at the start, conventional stance)

Warmup (1-2 min rest)
125 x 5
155 x 5
185 x 3

Main  (2-3 min rest)
235 x 5
265 x 3
295 x 3 (switched to crossgrip from this point forwards)

notes:  Feeling good, controlling the negatives.  Felt ready to make a run at the title.

Joker Sets  (2-3 min rest)
325 x 1
355 x 1
385 x 1 PR
405 x 1 PR

notes:  Yeah!!

Not much to say.  I could have maybe even gone further, but this isn’t a race.  4 Joker Sets was plenty.  Plus I had been going for about 45 min, and I wanted to get in a Spin class, which was starting in 5 min.  So I got ready to leave.

But as I was putting the plates away… I saw an older gentleman doing a circuit of exercises:  bent over rows, bicep curls, upright rows.  Earlier I had seen him doing bench press.  When he did bench press his elbows flared out heavy to the sides, ok so be it.  When he was doing bicep curls, he kept throwing his back into it, so be it.  But when he did upright rows, he kept lifting until the weight was at full arm extension above his head, wrists draped awkwardly over the bar, praying mantis style.

So what do I do?  Normally I say, NVM, no one likes getting advice in the gym.  But I did 4 wheels today, so my confidence was high.  So I walk over, “Excuse me Sir, I don’t want to interrupt but can I offer some totally unwanted advice?”  He says sure.  I talk about rotator cuffs.  I talk about isolating the biceps.  I talk about 45 degree angles with the elbows on the bench.  To my utter astonishment, he soaks it all up!  He starts asking me questions, I show him how to do Face Pulls, I talk about exercises he can do for his back, is it worth it to hire a Trainer.  He tells me he is just repeating what someone showed him years ago.

I probably buried him in info, so I tried to keep repeating my personal thoughts on upright rows and bench press, to keep him from blowing out his shoulder some day.  We ended up talking right there in the squat rack for about 20 minutes!  I missed the Spin class, but it seemed worth it.

Decided to leave on a high note and left for home, haha.  Know when to make your exit!

4 Wheels on DL was my last strength goal, alongside 3 wheels for Squats and 2 Wheels for Bench.  I hit my strength goals for the Fall/Winter, I now feel ready to cut   That will prob start mid-Jan.

Cycle 2 Week 3 Legs

It’s the scariest day of the month!  Week 3 Squats Day – Heavy Singles.  Almost Xmas, no spotter, no way out.  Time to build some character!  I took my preworkout 30 min before.  I also took a glass of milk to coat my stomach a bit… that detail will come up again later.

Cycle 2 Week 3 Squats

Warmup (1-2 min rest)
115 x 5
155 x 5
185 x 3

notes:  The first warmup set felt REALLY messed up, I had to shrug it up once to try and rebalance it.  I thought maybe I was gonna have a bad day.  But when I changed the weights I realized I had put a 25 on one side and a 35 on the other… whoops!  No wonder the reps felt like crap.  Always doublecheck!!

During the last warmup set, I vomited milk into my mouth.  Just a bit.  Lovely!  Milk was a bad choice…

Main  (2-3 min rest)
230 x 5
260 x 3
290 x 2

notes:  On the last set, the first rep was fine, on the second rep, I got stuck in the middle and my core gave out a bit and I bowed forward.  Needed a second solid grunt to finish pushing it up.  Normally I would stop there, but I was hungry for a PR!  Decided to do some heavy Joker singles.  Waited 3 min, and went for it…

Joker Set
315 x 0

notes:  Fuuuu….

I took a decent rest, not long enough to get cold, but long enough.  A girl next to me was done her squatting set (I see a lot more female squatters this year, I believe I have the Interwebs to thank for that), she saw 3 wheels and decided to lean back and watch my set.  No pressure or anything, ha!

I went down, came back up.  Got stuck in the middle again, let out a second grunt, didn’t budge.  Muttered “nope!” to myself and started to sink back down…

Important time now to discuss failing without a spotter.  I had set myself up in the cage first off, so not a big deal overall.  I slowly lowered myself back down into ATG.  Luckily this is fairly comfortable for me, with my time in yoga.  It feels a lot like “garland pose”, except with 315 pounds sitting on top of you!  Knees beside my ribcage.  I let the momentum die down, kept it steady until it was all a dead stop.  I would rather not shrug the weight off while it still had momentum.  I lightly shrugged it backwards, felt it roll off my shoulders a bit, land evenly on the cage, not a lot of clatter.  And that was that.  Nice try, no dice.  Core was obviously not holding up, so I moved on to assistance.

No PRs.  Curse you squats!  You remain my most elusive foe.


One Leg Horizontal Leg Press Machine 30 sec rest
255 x 12/12
255 x 12/12
255 x 12/12
255 x 12/12

notes:  the 45 degree was occupied, so I used this one.  Just as well anyways, since I had maxed out the 45 degree machine last week.  Using one leg is also more hard than just half of both legs.  I can do more than 510 with both legs, but the stabilization makes it more than twice as hard to go down to one leg, does that make sense?  Anyways, I pretend they’re lunges and it saves me from doing lunges, LOL.

Seated Leg Curls about 45 sec rest, leaning forward the whole time
180 x 15
180 x 15
180 x 15
180 x 15

notes:  during this time a personal trainer walks up and asks if I would like to try a Body Pump class.  F NO!!  Tired, legs turning to jelly, vomiting milk and with a pronounced gas problem (Friday night shenanigans), not the time for a cardio class, thanx.

Leg Extensions about 45 sec rest
150 x 15
150 x 15
150 x 15
150 x 15

Weighted Crunches about 30 sec rest, ABCore chair, weights load behind head
60 x 10
60 x 10
60 x 10
60 x 8

notes:  you might wonder how I decided what counts as a rep or not.  At full extension my low back must touch the back of the chair, and at full contraction my elbows will end up touching my thighs (my hands are gripping overhead handles).  On that last set, I couldn’t really touch elbows to thighs any more, so it was OVAH!  Time for home.

Shoulders, Cycle 2 Week 3

Another workday of ridiculous meetings.  But it’s also my boss’ last day!  Now I’m the boss, applesauce.  After work, headed to the gym.  Decided to save squats til the weekend and just get in shoulders, less mentally demanding.

Cycle 2 Week 3 OHP

Warmup (1-2 min rest, including time for rotator cuff work)
45 x 5 / 15 lb DB taken through rotator cuff ROM 15 times per arm
55 x 5 / roto work
65 x 3 / roto work

Main  (2-3 min rest, including time for back work)
85 x 5 / V-Grip Pulldowns 165 x 5
95 x 3 / 165 x 5
105 x 6 / 165 x 5

notes:  shoulder felt fine, on to the Jokers!  Hunting that PR!

Joker Sets (about 2-3 min b/w sets, including time for biceps)
115 x 1 / Overhead Double Bicep Curls 30(2) x 15
130 x 1 / 40(2) x 15
140 x 2 / 60(2) x 10
150 x 1  PR

notes:  **** yeah!  Was so ready for that PR.  Not the cleanest rep, but whatevs, I got it up

First Set Last Set
80 x 8…

notes:  Big me, mr. noble dumbass.  There was a young short girl wearing too much lipstick doing squats in the rack next to me.  Anyways, she ****ed off, and the bar was unattended but the weight was still loaded.  2 guys come up, wait for a minute, then shrug and start to strip her weight.

So, mr chivalry, I jump in and say:  its ok guys, you can use my rack, I think she’s coming back.  I’m only doing assistance work now anyways.

I head off to do seated presses with the machine.

As I am doing those sets I glance back over:  the 2 guys are doing curls in the squat rack… and the girl never came back to do squats, she just left her weight loaded on the bar and just went to use the stairmaster for a while.  That’s my reward for being mr helpful:  curls in the squat rack and a careless sloppy chick.

So yea, I only got one set done of first set last.

Seated Machine Shoulder Presses hammergrip, about 30 sec rest
80 x 8
90 x 8
100 x 8
110 x 7

Seated Machine Tricep Extensions about 30 sec rest
70 x 10
80 x 10
90 x 10
100 x 10
110 x 7
120 x 4

Cooldown Cardio Elliptical for about 12 min, while birdwatching, haha

And that was that!

Chest, Cycle 2 Week 3

Cycle 2 Week 3 Bench Press

Warmup (1-2 min rest, including time for rotator cuff work)

105 x 5 / 15 lb DB taken through rotator cuff ROM 15 times per arm
130 x 5 / roto work
155 x 3 / roto work

Main  (2-3 min rest, including time for back stretches)

195 x 5 / stretch
220 x 3 / stretch
245 x 3 / stretch

notes:  shoulder felt fine, decided to add in some First Set Last work before the BBB sets

First Set Last Sets (about 60 sec rest after stretches)

195 x 8 / back stretch
195 x 8 / stretch
195 x 8 / stretch

notes:  my back was sore, so I kept the stretches going to force blood into the area.  gotta stay balanced!

Boring But Big Sets (about 30 sec after stretches)

130 x 10 / stretch
130 x 10 / stretch
130 x 10 / stretch
130 x 10 / stretch
130 x 10 / stretch

notes:  I kept dropping the rest periods down as the weight dropped.  Felt good!  By this time it had been about 50 min, so I called it a day and came home.

Back, Cycle 2 Week 2

Cycle 2 Week 2 Deadlift (no straps, conventional stance, double overhand until the end, as indicated)

After last week’s misfire, I dropped my Training Max down 10 pounds and recalculated my lifts.

Warmup (1-2 min rest)
125 x 5
155 x 5
185 x 3

notes:  So far, so good!

Main  (2-3 min rest)

215 x 3
245 x 3
275 x 5

notes:  Hit the 5 reps I couldn’t hit last week!  Grip was feeling good, decided it was time for some revenge.  Joker sets!

Joker Sets  (about 2-3 min b/w sets)

305 x 1
335 x 1
355 x 1 (crossgrip) strapless PR
360 x 1 (crossgrip) PR
365 x 1 (crossgrip) PR
370 x 1 (crossgrip) PR

notes:  Oh snap!  One of those good days where everything came together!  Grip felt good so I just kept going.  My old PR was 355 with straps, I decidedly buried that one for good by beating it 3 or 4 times without straps

I decided to call it a day for the main lifts at that point because:
a. getting close to the 1 hour mark of the workout
b. starting to tear a callus on my right hand
c. I couldn’t control the negative on the last set, it would be getting real noisy in that gym!

Assistance (about 30 sec rest)

Machine Hyperextensions
308 x 12

notes:  After doing 1 set of this I decided I didn’t feel like it and just wanted to do some crunches and go home.

Weighted Crunches (ABCore Chair, weights load behind the head)
50 x 10
50 x 10
50 x 10
50 x 10