Archive for February, 2014


Got up this morning feeling pretty solid, so I headed to the gym before my job started to get some work done.  Fewer workouts this week and more rests as I get ready for Saturday, so had to keep the intensity up for the workouts I do, with the time I have.

Had a list of the workouts I wanted to do, so I just steamrolled my way through the gym – stayed flexible on the order of the exercises, and just jumped to a new space if it looked empty.  Didn’t want any frickin downtime waiting for a station.

Chest Supported T-Bar Rows(midway grip, arms at 45 degrees, 45 sec rest b/w sets)

1 plate x 15
2 plates x 12
3 plates x 10
3 plates x 10
3 plates x 8
3 plates x 6

Superset Standing Military Press and Face Pulls (45 sec rest)

95 x 12 / 80 x 5 (this cable machine felt heavy as FUARK)
95 x 12 / 70 x 10
95 x 12 / 70 x 7
95 x 12 / 60 x 10
95 x 6 / 40 x 10

notes:  this particular cable machine was heavy and grindy, not smooth at all.  Needed to dial the weights down on the Face Pulls just to get them done.

One Arm DB Row (supporting leg extended back for all sets except final set, 45 sec rest b/w sets)

80 x 8/8
90 x 8/8
100 x 8/8
100 x 8/8 (supporting knee directly under hip)

notes:  When I use the bench for 1 arm DB rows, I find the placement of my supporting leg makes the exercise harder or easier.  If I row with my left, my right hand is on the bench, and if my right knee is right under my hip, it makes the reps easier.  So I like to start with that right leg extended almost straight back, only bringing the knee as I am trying to squeeze out the last few reps.  I think Pakulski said in a video that it keeps you from assisting with your offside lat, makes sense to me I guess.

DB Twist Press (60 sec rest)

45s x 10
50s x 10
55s x 10
60s x 8
55s x 10
50s x 10
45s x 10

notes: Climbing my way up the ladder, then back down.

Underhand Pulldown (hands slightly inside shoulder width, 45 sec rest)

150 x 10
165 x 10
180 x 10
195 x 10
210 x 9

notes: I have tried shoulder width, and find just inside shoulder width more comfortable.

Widegrip Machine Row (elbows kept high, 45 sec rest)

210 x 8
195 x 10
180 x 12
150 x 15

notes:  climbed up the ladder on the pulldowns, climbed back down the ladder on the rows

I was starting to fade pretty hard at this point, but grit my teeth and headed to the cables for some light shoulder work.

Leaning Cable Strict Side Raise (Zero rest, back and forth arm to arm)

10 x 15/15
15 x 15/15
20 x 15/15

Strict Rear Delt Cable Fly (30 sec rest)

17 x 15
17 x 15
17 x 15

notes:  it was light but I was toasted so I had to grunt hard to squirt these reps out with good form.  Straight arms, pop back and squeeze that pencil b/w your shoulderblades!

Once I barely got through these sets, I knew I was done for, so the volume was just right (having cut out cleans and shrugs and so forth).

Then walked to work in a snowstorm, bleh.

Cut Day 51 – Legs

warmup 20 min elliptical

Front BB Squats(30-45 sec rest b/w sets)

bar x 15
95 x 15
95 x 10
95 x 12
95 x 12

notes:  I had never done these before, so my trainer wanted to watch me and critique my form.  More of a learning thing than anything else.

SLDL (30-45 sec rest)

135 x 12
165 x 12
165 x 12
185 x 12

Stepback Lunges (45 sec)

12/12
12/12
12/12
12/12

notes:  We used one of those slidy footpad things to just keep the tension on while I pumped them out

Superset Leg Extensions and Vertical Leg Press (45 sec rest)

150 x 15 / 8 plates x 25
150 x 15 / 8 plates x 25
150 x 15 / 8 plates x 25

Superset Smith Machine Squats and Lying Leg Curls (45 sec rest)

2 plates x 12 / 85 x 12
2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 12 / 85 x 12
2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 12 / 85 x 12

Cut Day 50 – Chest and Back

I was feeling crushed this morning. Couldn’t make it to the gym. Today was feeling grim, the weight of my past works coming back to haunt me, knowing my hour of reckoning in the gym was unavoidable. A day to face down the truth – some days you dread the gym, it’s the last place you want to be, but the only place you can turn to to feel better. The poison would be the cure today.

Some music to set the tone

I was trying to work out how I was going to slip out of work to the gym and a coworker came up to me and asked if I wanted to go out for lunch.  I didn’t hesitate, I said YES, and we went out for Hot Wings.  An unexpected cheat meal.  On hi-Carb Day?  WTF, cheating on carbs with fats makes 0 sense, but there it was.  2 lbs of dusted dry rub wings, some sour cream, a Sprite.

Felt bloated and hunger dead all afternoon (it was a lot of food, actually).  Finally forced myself to nibble on a Quest in the late afternoon.  Bit the bullet and made a beeline right after work to the gym.

Gym was CROWDED.  But I deserved to scratch and claw in the pit for space.  Penance.  Gym was hot and thick with sweat.  I chose to do a hybrid of my Chest 1 and Back 1, time to hit it.

Incline DB Press(30 sec rest b/w sets)

60s x 12
60s x 12
60s x 12
60s x 12

Incline DB Fly (30 sec rest)

45s x 10
45s x 10
45s x 10
45s x 10

Cable Crossovers (trading sets with another dude, so maybe 60-75 sec rest)

120 x 12
120 x 12
120 x 12

Decline Bench Press (30 sec rest)

145 x 15
145 x 12
145 x 8
135 x 11

notes: I was getting tired as HELL.  30 sec breaks were wearing me down.  So whatevs, move on to Back!!

Bent Over BB Row (rest equals time to change weight plus 30 sec)

135 x 15
155 x 12
185 x 10
205 x 8
225 x 5

notes: That last set was crap, the reps were garbage, so I moved on to another exercise.  Keep it moving!!

Hammergrip Pulldowns (45 sec rest)

165 x 10
180 x 10
195 x 10
210 x 9
225 x 5

notes:  I went until I couldn’t control the reps any more… then I did another set, LOL.  That handle was tearing up my calluses!

Superset DB Pullovers and Seated Cable Row (60 sec rest)

75 x 12 / 135 x 15
75 x 12 / 150 x 15
75 x 7 / 165 x 10
75 x 10 / 165 x 15

notes:  During the 3rd set, I got a sweet charleyhorse in my right hamstring on the 6th pullover rep, so I tried to finished the superset but it was distracting like crazy.  After 60 sec it went away though, and was able to get in another set.

At that point it had been over an hour, so I called it and came back home.

Maybe I am hard on myself sometimes, but when you’re hungry for something, maybe sometimes it is easy to get it confused.  I thought I could fill it with junk food.  But what I really needed was iron.

Cut Day 48 – Glutes

Was able to work out a time to get a session in with my friend, so we could get some good pictures.  To make it worth her while, we made it a glute-focused workout.  I will do more Legs on Monday, this was just extra work.

Cardio

30 min elliptical, heavy resistance
5 min break
40 min ellip, light resistance, fast pace
20 min break for food
30 min, moderate resist, fast pace
5 min break
10 min heavy while waiting for friend

You may ask, why not a spin bike?  Because I am doing a few spin classes tomorrow and I didn’t want a sore ass, haha.  Then my friend showed, and it was time for weights!

Warmup

5 min heavy elliptical, focusing on contracting the glutes and hamstrings

Jefferson Lifts (back and forth, me to her)
40 x 15
40 x 15
60 x 15
60 x 15

IMG_3775

Kickback Machine (back and forth)

40 x 15/15
50 x 15/15
55 x 15/15
60 x 15/15

IMG_3779

SLDL (back and forth)

90 x 20
110 x 20
110 x 20

IMG_3783

Reverse Hack Squats (back and forth)

2 plates x 15
4 plates x 15
6 plates x 15
8 plates x 15
10 plates x 15

IMG_3790

Seated Calf Raises (back and forth)

1 plate x 20
2 plates x 20
2 plates x 20

Donkey Calf Raise Machine (back and forth)

240 x 20
260 x 20
260 x 20

Leg Press Calf Raise (back and forth)

260 x 20
300 x 20
300 x 20

Standing Leg Curl (back and forth)

70 x 15/15
80 x 15/15
90 x 15/15

IMG_3795

Superset Seated Leg curls and Leg Extensions (back and forth)

120 x 12 / 120 x 15
120 x 12 / 120 x 15
120 x 12 / 120 x 15

The course and the commute was messing me up, throwing off my schedule, but NO EXCUSES.  Had.  To.  Get It.  So.  Goddamn.  Hungry.  Went to the studio determined to get in some pushes tonight.  Whip out the Uni mask!  That’s when you know shttt just got REAL.

Warmup 20 min elliptical

Superset Standing Press and Face Pulls (rest 60 sec b/w supersets)

95 x 12 / 90 x 10
95 x 12 / 90 x 10
95 x 12 / 90 x 10
95 x 12 / 90 x 10
95 x 10 / 100 x 10

IMG_3732

IMG_3734

Seated DB Power Cleans (rest 30-45 sec)

15s x 15
15s x 15
15s x 15

IMG_3737

notes:  Rotator Cuffs are my weak point, so I can go light and still get a solid workout.  Remember to keep the elbows up.  I consider this very developmental.  It ain’t all glory and big pulls.  Some times it’s strengthening up the foundations.

Twist Press (60 sec rest)

40s x 10
45s x 10
50s x 10
55s x 10
60s x 10

IMG_3749

notes:  I lifted much of this workout from the Kroc workout on the M&S website.  In this press, you corkscrew up, touching the pinky ends of the DBs together at the top.  Feelsgoodbro, trust me.

Leaning Cable Side Raises (30 sec rest)

20 x 15/15
20 x 15/15
20 x 15/15

notes:  Get more ROM when you hang off the machine!

Rear Delt Cable Flys (30 sec rest)

40 x 15
40 x 15
40 x 15

notes:  Nice and slow, activate those rear delts!  Lots of low weight high rep goodness.

DB Shrugs (30s rest)

80s x 15
90s x 12
90s x 10

IMG_3773

notes:  Hold at the top for a squeeze for a second or two.  The grease stains on my shirt are from the twist press, haha.

Of course, 5 min later when I was racking the 90s, I had a MAJOR cramp in my neck, from those damn shrugs.  Needed a quick massage to work it out.

The workout felt good!  Things are finally starting to fall into place.  You know the feeling when your mind and body starts clicking together in unison.  I am starting to build up some momentum, feeling mean and hungry and ready to give this cut 100%!  All the way.  In it for the long haul.

Even had time to pose and have some fun with my friend Lucas.  I can feel the hunger through my screen!  Get scared.

 

IMG_3757

I was in the gym by 4:50 AM, quite honestly the earliest a bus can get me there (it is a 24 hr gym not far from where I live)

Bent Over BB Rows (rest varied from time to change weight, to change plates + 15 seconds)

135 x 15
155 x 12
175 x 10
185 x 10
205 x 8

notes:  Maybe they weren’t Pendlays, but they did warm me up nice and proper for the work ahead.

Widegrip Pulldowns (rest 45 sec)

150 x 10
170 x 10
190 x 10
210 x 8
210 x 6

notes:  I started light and worked up just to see what this machine was like (every gym has its own quirks).  210 should have been very possible, but the bar was TEARING up my calluses!  It was very rough.  I admit, I have an issue with picking at my calluses and peeling them off, its a nervous habit, but the crosshatch chrome handle attachments are rough on fresh skin, need some of that black rubber!

Superset DB Pullovers and Closegrip Cable Rows (60 sec rest)

65 x 12 / 120 x 15
65 x 12 / 130 x 15
75 x 12 / 150 x 15
75 x 12 / 170 x 15

notes:  Weight felt good, so I moved up a little bit.

Lightly Assisted Chinups (assist for 20% BW, 30 sec rest)

6, 6, 6, 6

notes:  Warming up the biceps!

Closegrip Cable Curl (45 sec rest)

90 x 12
100 x 12
120 x 12
130 x 8

notes:  slight progression in weight.  every plate counts, especially with biceps!

Standing DB Hammer Curls (45s rest)

35s x 12
35s x 12
35s x 12
35s x 9

notes:  These went a little smoother than last week, a little more gas in the tank.

Bicep Machine (45 sec rest)

80 x 16
80 x 16

notes:  This machine was sort of an “overhead unilateral preacher” setup – meaning your arms were at shoulder height platforms and you could stack the weight separate for each arm.  Felt good!  I was just out of gas, but still fun.

I was really short on time, I had to head back home, dump my stuff, have a 2nd meal, and rush to the bus stop to head offsite to a different workplace today, so no time for Core work or cardio.  Oh well, got the best parts done!

Cut Day 44 – Chest, Triceps

Got to the gym for the 6AM open to get in some lifts before work.

Superset Incline DB Press and Rotator Cuff Warmup (incline set at less than 45 degrees, 45 sec rest after each superset)

60s x 12 / 15 lb DB taken through Rotator Cuff ROM 15 times per arm
60s x 12 / roto work
60s x 12 / roto work
60s x 12 / roto work

notes:  right away there was a lot of groaning and grinding in my left shoulder.  60 lb DBs were going to be a warmup, but I kept it at this, and shortened my ROM a bit, avoiding the bottom of the range while I warmed the shoulder up.  Would rather not stop an inch above my chest, but it is what it is.

Incline DB Fly and Incline Pushups (45 sec rest)

40s x 10 / 10 pushups
40s x 10 / 10 pushups
40s x 10 / 10 pushups
40s x 10 / 10 pushups

notes:  To see how my shoulder was doing, I used the Smith Machine for the pushups, so I increase or decrease the incline as I wished.  I ended up starting at waist level, and dropped it a rung every set.  By then, my shoulder felt better.

Superset Decline BB Press and Mid-Cable Flys (45 sec rest)

135 x 15 / 100 x 12
135 x 15 / 100 x 12
135 x 15 / 100 x 12

notes:  By this point my shoulder was all good, so I was able to touch bar to chest, and get both a good stretch and good squeeze on the flys.

Assisted Chest Dips (assist for 45% BW, 30 sec rest)

10, 7, 7, 9, 8

notes:  I horribad at chest dips, but I wanted to give my shoulders lots of work now that they were warmed up.

Incline Skullcrushers (incline set at less than 45 degrees, 45 sec rest)

60 x 15
60 x 12
60 x 10

notes:  Felt weak as shtttt doing these, dammit.

One Arm Hammergrip Cable Extension (0 rest, back and forth arm to arm)

50 x 12/12
50 x 12/12
50 x 12/12

notes:  Made sure to get some good ROM here, full stretch until forearm touches bicep, full contraction to straight arm

Overhead Straight Bar Extension (45 sec rest)

100 x 15
110 x 12
110 x 11

notes:  still felt weak.

post-work cardio  20 min elliptical.  then a quick shower and walked 10 min to work.

Workout was meh, far from my strongest.

Workouts are generally like this for me:  carefully monitor my rest times, try and get in full ROM on at least one movement if not all, supersets are fun.

Feb 14 – High Carb Day / Back,Bi & Shoulders,Chest

Happy Valentines Day!  I decided to celebrate with high carbs and lots of workouts, haha.

 

In the morning I headed to the gym for Part 1 – Back, Biceps, Core

Bent Over Barbell Row (rest from 30-50 sec, time to change the weight plus a few seconds)

95 x 15

115 x 12

135 x 10

155 x 10

175 x 10

 

Widegrip Pulldowns (45s rest)

195 x 10

195 x 10

195 x 10

195 x 10

 

Superset DB Pullovers and Closegrip Cable Row (60-75s rest)

50 x 12 / 120 x 15

55 x 12 / 135 x 15

60 x 12 / 150 x 15

65 x 12 / 165 x 15

notes: the expansion of the ribcage during the pullovers helped me focus on expanding my ribcage again to isolate the back muscles during the rows (thanks for the idea coach!)

Assisted Underhand Grip Chinups (Heavy) (30s rest)

6, 6, 6, 6

notes: I could adjust my assistance, so I took less assistance than normal, to the point where doing 6 was a real strain.

Closegrip Cable Curls (45s rest)

83 x 12

94 x 12

105 x 12

116 x 12

 

Standing DB Hammer Curls (45s rest)

40s x 12

40s x 7

35s x 12

35s x 12

notes:  I was running out of gas pretty hard, so I had to drop the weight.

Preacher Machine Curls (45s rest)

90 x 17

80 x 13

70 x 12

notes:  no matter that I kept dropping the weight, my reps kept dropping.  I knew I was done for!  So I ended the bicep work and moved on to core for a bit.

Superset Roman Chair Kneeups and Decline Crunches (30s rest)

12 / 10 lbs x 12

12 / BW 11

12 / BW 11

12 / BW 9

notes:  I started the decline crunches off tucking a dime plate behind my head, but my shoulder felt sore, so I tried just bodyweight… and I couldn’t even complete those.  Weak core!  Need to put in work on that.

 

Then I went to work.  After work headed to the studio for a second session with the trainer.  Who needs valentines?  I got a date with the iron.

Superset Standing Overhead Press and Face Pulls (about 45s rest)

95 x 12 / 50 x 15

95 x 12 / 60 x 12

95 x 10 / 70 x 10

95 x 10 / 80 x 10

95 x 9 / 90 x 10

notes:  I got tired in the core quickly, so when I couldn’t control the back arch, I stopped pressing.

IMG_3672

Seated DB Power Cleans (45s rest)

20s x 8

15s x 12

15s x 11

notes:  this is my first time doing these.  I thought, I will start light with 20s… turns out this one is hard!  Especially because my rotator cuffs and stabilizer muscles are my weak link.  Which makes this the perfect exercise for me, weak on my weak links.  Dropped the weight and did the rest of my sets.

IMG_3682

Twist Press (30s rest)

30s x 10

35s x 10

40s x 10

45s x 10

notes:  first time doing this too.  You start off with a normal flat DB press, and supinate your wrists so that the pinky end of the dumbbells tough at the top of the press (you corkscrew on the way up).  Felt good!  I started light to see how it feels, and it was fairly light for me, but we only had so much time in this session, so we called it and moved on.

IMG_3691

Leaning Cable Lat Raise (30s rest)

20 x 12 each side

20 x 15

20 x 15

notes:  I find I get better form with the cables, and leaning increases the ROM, so I can hit a bit more of the delt.

IMG_3697

 

Rear Delt Cable Fly (30s rest)

20 x 15

20 x 15

20 x 15

notes:  Love these!  My form has much improved too.

IMG_3702

DB Shrugs (30s rest)

80s x 15

85s x 12

85s x 12

notes:  Focused on the squeeze at the top, was rewarded with a visible trap bulge!  Hooray!  Finally you can see my traps!

IMG_3708

 

Happy Valentines Day traps!

Chest & Tris, Cut Day 37

Feb 11 – High Fats Day / Chest, Tri

Was going to work out in the morning, was SUPPOSED to, but when I woke up… that massage session was kicking my ass!  My whole upper body was sore like crazy.  I was wrecked.  Clearly I needed that massage.  I woke up at 5 am, ate some food, tried napping on the couch… and passed out for 2 hours straight!!  dayum, good massage.

So I was going to work out at lunch at work, only to realize I had forgotten to pack any shorts at all!  What’s with me and shorts?

So I texted a friend, asked if she wanted to work out with me in the evening.  If I am going in the evening, may as well be with a friend.  We set a session for 8 PM.  Late night!

Incline Bench Press (back and forth, her to me)

135 x 12
135 x 12
135 x 12
135 x 12

notes:  barbell inclines I always find rough on my shoulder, so I kept it light and tried to keep my elbows in, and it STILL felt tough.  frig me.

Superset Incline DB Fly and Incline Pushups off the Bench (back and forth her to me)

35s x 10 & 10 pushups
35s x 10 & 10 pushups
35s x 10 & 10 pushups
35s x 10 & 4 pushups

IMG_3640

notes:  Doing the pushups, felt my left shoulder seize up on me a bit, so I said FUKKKKKK these pushups!  Had to cut a bit out of the planned workout at that point, to save my shoulder, and because the studio was closing soon.  So this isn’t my FULL Tuesday workout, just what we could fit in.

Superset Decline DB Press and midpoint Cable Fly (back and forth)

35s x 15 & 100 x 15
50s x 15 & 100 x 15
50s x 15 & 100 x 15

IMG_3656

notes:  the presses were light, but didn’t want to push the shoulder any more.  Even still, felt my left shoulder clicking on the descent, so she spotted me by pressing down on my shoulders, kept it more stable and packed.

One Arm Tricep Extensions hammergrip (no rest, back and forth arm to arm)

50 x 12/12
50 x 12/12
50 x 12/12
50 x 12/12

notes:  We each took one half of the cable machine and just banged these out with no rest.

Overhead Straight Bar Triceps Extension (back and forth, her to me)

100 x 15
100 x 15
110 x 15

IMG_3666

Again, a short workout, but life is hectic!  Gotta get in what you can.

Feb 10 – High Carb Day / Legs

Yay for carbs!  Dry toast!  Kidney Beans!

Warmed up with some balance work, warm up the muscles in the soles of my feet (fallen arches).

Did a quick weigh-in, down 2 pounds this week!  Slow and steady and sustainable

Workouts change this week, for a while I will do Legs, Chest and Back (and core) twice a week, Shoulders and Arms once a week.  Cardio about the same, maybe try and work in some hot yoga to give my sweat glands a workout!  (you sweat like crazy!)

Unfortunately, 20 min in to this workout, realized there was a HUGE rip in my shorts, right on the seam!  I was stretching out my low back by holding my ankles as I rolled around like an upturned turtle, and I heard my trainer gasp… and ya, not wearing underwear, LOL

Cheap POS Musclepharm shorts.  Gonna call them and ask for a refund or a trade-in.

I put on some underwear, but those were my only workout shorts in my bag, so we had to cut out like HALF of my planned exercises, LOL.  So the workout you see here is only about half of what it SHOULD have been.

One-Hand Kettlebell Front Squats (30 sec rest)

40 lb KB x 10 (each leg)
45 x 10/10
50 x 10/10
50 x 10/10

IMG_3615

I had never done front squats, so this was a way for my trainer to let me ease into it before barbells, plus it was practice with offcenter loads, core strength, all that jizz.  I hope it was this that ripped my shorts… otherwise it was ripped in a previous session and no one told me, LOL.

SLDL (30-45 sec rest)

135 x 12
155 x 12
165 x 12
165 x 12

IMG_3623

notes:  I am always weak on my form with these. so we keep the weight light until she is happy with my form.  Hard for me not to transfer it to my low back, and my core tends to give out.  Just have to keep focusing on the hamstring.

And then… my there was a hole in the old boat, and the workout was lost at sea, lol.

Leg Extensions (30 sec rest)

150 x 15
160 x 15
170 x 15
180 x 15

IMG_3627

Smith Squats (45 sec rest)

bar x 12
2 plates x 12
2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 12
2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 12
2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 12

IMG_3638

notes:  I would rather do barbell squats with a free range of motion, but I have learned just do what the trainer tells me

So the workout was a little clipped short!

Afterwards I had a massage session, guy worked on my upper body, rhomboids, lats, elbows, forearms, shoulders.  Hurts so much!  If you are tight at all, this acupressure dude can be like torture.  But you feel better immediately after.  I like to go every 2 weeks if I can.