Archive for December, 2014


Cut Day 31

Massage session last night, tore up my shoulders, hams, my back. I was still recovering today, but showed up to put in some light work.

warm-up: nada

Superset Overhead Press and Assisted Pullups (pullups assisted for 1/3 BW, minimal rest)

45 x 5 / 5 hammergrip
65 x 5 / 5
90 x 3 / 5
105 x 2 / 5
115 x 1 / 5

move to straight sets of OHP, elbow sleeves on, increase rest to 3 min

130 x 6 @RPE8
130 x 6 @RPE8.5
130 x 6 @RPE8
130 x 4 @RPE8.5

notes: The second set had a bit of grind towards the end, but I didn’t want to call it, was rewarded with another good set, maybe it was just me warming up or lack of focus or something. On the 4th set, I grabbed the bar totally unevenly, I must not have been paying attention. I tried one awkward rep, reracked it and went again, but I was already done in my head, I did 4 reps but it still felt uneven and awkward even though this time it wasn’t… form was gone, so I called it there.

Front Squats (Romaleos, SBDs, minimal rest)

45 x 5
60 x 5
85 x 3
95 x 2
110 x 1

120 x 6 @RPE8
120 x 6 @RPE8.5

notes: Core didn’t feel strong already on the second top set, so I gave up and moved on. I was also having problems getting my feet set, trying to adjust them to be even in the mirror kept making me do it backwards, and looking down at my feet is awkward with a bar in front of me, so I need more practice setting my feet obviously.

Glute-Ham Raises (90 sec rest)

10, 9, 10

notes: right away, my low back got damn sore. I could feel it ready to seize, so I figured I should wrap this workout up soon.

Hex Bar Shrugs (thick grip, up and back on every rep, 90s rest)

330 x 10
330 x 12
330 x 9

notes: Once I was over 300, my grip became the limiting factor on these. 280 last week was no big deal, but 330 felt like a struggle the whole way, which is consistent with my Farmers Walk issues a few weeks back. I think I have found my weight for now

My low back was getting stiffer by the minute, so I said F the abs work and F the cardio and packed up and went home.

One side-benefit of ending the workout after shrugs was that I noticed in the locker room mirror that my traps still had a pump so fresh they had the factory sticker still on them I couldn’t get a good selfie of my traps, so you will have to take my word for it for now

Rest day tomorrow, and my low back could sure use it! I might still do some cardio though if I am feeling good.

Cut Day 30

Trainer still on vacation, so I get to do another arms day. Another Meadows routine, with some mods. Did it at the office gym in the AM.

warmup: rope pushdowns with 1 second flex at the bottom/spread: 3.5 plates for 20 reps and 7.5 plates for 10 reps

Giant Set: Rope Pushdowns + Pronated DB Kickbacks + Dips (2 min rest b/w giant sets, spread rope pushdowns at the bottom and flex for 1 second)

9.5 plates x 15 / 25 lb DB x 6 per side / 13 dips
9.5 plates x 15 / 25 lb DB x 6 per side / 15 dips
9.5 plates x 15 / 25 lb DB x 6 per side / 15 dips

notes: After running through the giant set even once, my triceps felt really warm! By the end they felt pumped like crazy. In between sets it felt really good to stretch them out and flex them. Dips were mostly held back by how my shoulder was feeling – I wish I had a dip/pressdown type machine.

Incline DB Skullcrushers (60 sec rest, keep sleeves on continously)

20s x 10
25s x 10
30s x 10
30s x 10
30s x 10

notes: The sleeves helped me keep my elbows in, and because the rest was so short anyways, I kept them on, which kept the blood trapped in there – after a few sets my forearms and hands were nice and flushed! Made it a bit harder, but it wasn’t painful, I didn’t wrap them too tight.

EZ Bar Curls (60s rest)

25 lb bar x 20
45 x 15
70 x 10
70 x 10
70 x 8, REST 20, 4 slow reps, REST 10, 2 slow reps

notes: These felt a lot easier without the fat gripz, and my arms were already pumped. Last set was an “842 set”, and on the 4 and 2 sets I kept them slow and controlled.

Smith Machine Drag Curls (60s rest)

50 + bar x 10
70 + bar x 10
70 + bar x 8, REST 20, 4 slow reps with iso holds, REST 10, 2 slow reps with iso holds

notes: I was supposed to do preacher curls, but A. this gym doesn’t have a preacher bench. I would have just used dumbbells off of an incline bench, but B. 2 old ladies walked in to my completely silent gym and cranked up the TV and started yakking with each other right about then. I figured DB preachers would take more time and all this noise made me want to get the Hell out of there, so I did drag curls. I haven’t really done drag curls much, so I kept the weight light and tried to feel the MMC. Hard not to overpower it with your traps, so I tried to slow down the negatives and even do some iso holds for 5+ seconds on the negatives to connect with the bicep a bit more. Last set was another 842.

Biceps looked pumped in the mirror! Old ladies caught me mirin in between sets.

DB Hammer Curls (90s rest)

40s x 10, 6 partials
40s x 10, 6 partials
40s x 10, 6 partials

Was going to do cardio, but the noise was annoying, so I packed up and went back to work.

Got in my cardio later anyways… I had to go down to the post office and pick up 3 cases of Bang and walked for 30 minutes carrying that 45 pound box home, lol. I personally think the mailman only pretended to deliver it (I was home and never heard him knock), I think he just slipped a note in the door and ran. Never even offloaded it from his truck. Arsehole. Oh well, got my cardio in

Cut Day 29

Dang, has it already been a month?

In the morning I went to a 45 min Spin class, got my cardio in. Left Spin, grabbed some lunch, came home, took a nap, then headed out in the afternoon for my workout.

warm-up: nada

High Bar Squats (Romaleos, SBDs)

75 x 5 (narrow stance, ATG, 3 min rest)
130 x 5
180 x 3
205 x 2 (switch to medium stance and parallel)
230 x 1 (belt on)

256.5 x 6 @RPE8,5

245 x 6 @RPE8
245 x 6 @RPE8.5
245 x 6 @RPE9

notes: Right away during the warmup, I realized my knees were still beat up from Spin that morning, so I took long rests from the start to help my knees warmup. But they felt sore the whole time, so I called it after backoff set #3.

Bench Press

bar x 5 (minimal rest, change weight and go again, Spoto)
55 x 5
90 x 5
125 x 3
140 x 2
160 x 1

177.5 x 6 @RPE8.5 (sleeves on, change to paused reps, increased rest to 3 min)

165 x 6 @RPE<8
165 x 6 @RPE<8
165 x 6 @RPE<8
165 x 6 @RPE<8
165 x 6 @RPE<8

notes: Shoulder was still a little sore at the start, but by the backoff sets it had loosened up some.

Deadlift (barefoot)

95 x 5 (minimal rest, conventional grip)
160 x 5
225 x 3
260 x 2 (change to crossgrip)
290 x 1 (belt on, rest went up to 3 min)

322.5 x 6 @RPE8

315 x 6 @RPE8
315 x 6 @RPE8.5
315 x 6 @RPE8
315 x 6 @RPE8
315 x 6 @RPE8

notes: Back was feeling really good so I just kept going. The weight felt light and smooth today.

In the future I might try to squeeze in the weights session before the Spin class, if I don’t mind getting up early on a Sunday.

Cut Day 27

My trainer prescribed a good shoulder health day for myself – exercises that I have done before that feel good on my shoulder girdle, and gave me a pump while I was at it. I took some John Meadows routines and mashed them together. He might not approve, but hey, it is my mix

warmup

take a DB through ROM for my rotator cuff, 30 seconds rest b/w sets

15 lb DB done 15 times per side; 3 sets

Scapula Stretch Pulldowns (90 sec rest b/w sets)

120 x 8
130 x 8
140 x 8
150 x 8
160 x 8
170 x 8

notes: These are simple enough, widegrip pulldowns, but you let your arms extend at the top all the way, until you feel a stretch in your scapulae, pulling your arms out of the sockets a bit and starting to pull you off of the seat pad. Not knowing what this cable machine was like, I started low and worked my way up.

Stretched Rows (90 sec rest)

150 x 8
150 x 8
150 x 8

notes: Continuing in the same thought process of stretching my shoulders out first, these are a bit more complicated. You put a narrowgrip attachment on the lat pulldown machine, stand up and back from it, brace one foot on the seat pad, and row the attachment into your chest. But on the negative you let your arms extend all the way, until you can drop your head down between your arms. You look like an idiot, but it works. After these first two movements plus the warmup, my shoulders felt loose, AND I had a really good pump going on in my back from such a wide-extending ROM. Bonus!

Superset Minor Chest Dips and DB Rear Delt Flyes (90s rest)

10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20

notes: Minor chest dips are when you keep your arms straight and SINK down into your shoulder girdle, pressing yourself up with only your chest. Doing the RD flyes, I could tell right away my right shoulder was sore, but I also felt like this movement was not making it worse, merely exposing where the stiffness is. Don’t need to go heavy, just need to work the cobwebs out of it.

Superset DB Hex Press and Band Pullaparts (90s rest; flex each pullapart at peak contraction for 1 second)

50s x 10 / 20 pullaparts
50s x 10 / 20 pullaparts
50s x 10 / 20 pullaparts

notes: Hex Press means you mash the DBs together as you press. Right away, my shoulder groaned from this. I didn’t want to risk this pressing movement aggravating it, so I cut one set out and raised the reps on the pullaparts up from 10 to 20. This transferred more work to my rear delts, but I think they haven’t been getting enough to do lately and its been unbalancing.

Superset DB 6-Way and Band Over&Backs (90 s rest)

10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs
10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs
10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs

notes: I SAY I am doing 20 over and backs, but by this point in the workout, my shoulders are so pumped, I need a few breaks during the second and third set! This is why I love this particular Meadows workout, it pumps the hell out of my shoulders with no weight! I have done it maybe 6 times, and each time I do it, I can NEVER make it through those over and backs at the end. The sequencing of the movements is just genius, it works quite well on me, the whole thing as a package.

Prone Leg Raises (straight legs, 30s rest)

25, 25, 25, 25

notes: Again, I had to take a few breaks, but did not end the set until I hit 25.

Creampuff Ab Machine (30s rest)

160 x 25
160 x 25
160 x 25
160 x 25

post-workout: 15 min LISS on the elliptical, staying in the “endurance” zone

Cut Day 26

Ya, I know it’s Christmas Day, but all my muscles know is it’s Thursday, so I can’t let them think it’s time to get soft. Thankfully, there was a gym open today, so I used it.

High Bar Squats (Romaleos, SBDs)

75 x 5 (narrow stance, ATG, minimal rest – change weight and go again)
125 x 5
180 x 3
205 x 2 (switch to medium stance and parallel)
230 x 1 (belt on)

254 x 6 @RPE8 (increased rest to 3 min)

245 x 6 @RPE8
245 x 6 @RPE8.5
245 x 6 @RPE9

notes: Lost my balance a bit on the 3rd backoff set, so I called it there due to deteriorating form.

Bench Press

bar x 5 (minimal rest, change weight and go again, Spoto)
55 x 5
90 x 5
125 x 3
140 x 2
160 x 1

175 x 6 @RPE8.5 (sleeves on, change to paused reps, increased rest to 3 min)

165 x 6 @RPE<8
165 x 6 @RPE<8
165 x 6 @RPE<8
165 x 6 @RPE<8
165 x 6 @RPE<8

notes: Top set felt rough on the shoulder, like it was still sore from the Slingshot, but it loosened up after that. I decided to stop it after 5 backoff sets though, and program some more shoulder work for myself tomorrow.

Deadlift (barefoot)

95 x 5 (minimal rest, conventional grip)
160 x 5
225 x 3
255 x 2 (change to crossgrip)
290 x 1 (belt on, rest went up to 3 min)

320 x 6 @RPE8

310 x 6 @RPE9

notes: All the blood kept rushing to my head during these sets. Decided to call it after the first backoff set because:

a. it IS Xmas Day after all, want to show myself some compassion
b. past the 2 hr mark now, and had stuff to do
c. will throw a little extra back work in tomorrow with the shoulder work

Oh well, got some work in, even on Christmas! So it’s all good.

Cut Day 24

5th Day of workouts in a row, and I am now seriously ready for an offday.

Was going to keep it light today, but get my work in.

warm-up: nada

Superset Overhead Press and Assisted Pullups (pullups assisted for 1/3 BW, 30-60 sec rest)

45 x 5 / 5 hammergrip
65 x 5 / 5
90 x 3 / 5
100 x 2 / 5
115 x 1 / 5

move to straight sets of OHP, elbow sleeves on, increase rest to 3 min

127.5 @RPE8
127.5 @RPE8
127.5 @RPE8
127.5 @RPE8.5

notes: My mentality today on how to gauge an 8.5 was: if I have even the smallest hitch in the lift in the last rep of the set (unless I did something grossly stupid and the set needed a do-over), then I will call it an 8.5. That happened in set 4.

Front Squats (Romaleos, SBDs, minimal rest)

60 x 5
80 x 3
90 x 2
105 x 1

115 x 6 @RPE8
115 x 6 @RPE8
115 x 6 @RPE8.5

notes: OK! Ignore my poverty front squats. truthfully, I have never really done them regularly, just a few one of’s for workouts. So I just started light and worked on my grip. Plus I did regular back squats only yesterday. Whatever. It is a start

I went beltless because I know my core is one of my weak spots, so I wanted the limiting factor in my front squat to be my core. I want to use this movement to help build up my core, so it might not experience massive jumps in weight for a while until I get my weak links right. Small increments of gains.

Hex Bar Shrugs (thick grip, up and back on every rep, 60s rest)

280 x 12
280 x 12
280 x 12

notes: Lowered the rest and raised the weight from last week. It was hard, but still do-able.

Prone Leg Raises (30s rest)

25 stiff leg
25 stiff leg
20 stiff, 5 bent leg
10 stiff, 6 bent

notes: my grip was tired so I decided to do them lying on the floor. My abs got tired fast, dammit! Whatever, clearly I need more direct ab work. I blame front squats 😛

Ab Crunch Machine (30s rest)

160 x 25
160 x 25
160 x 25
160 x 25

notes: I know these machines are creampuff exercises for fat guys; a dude with a big trunk could almost move the weight just through gravity, most guys could make the pad bounce with a pec flex, but whatever, I took a creampuff movement for the end of my ab work

post-workout: 15 min LISS cardio, elliptical

And that was that! 5 days in a row. I need a nap.

Cut Day 23

Only been 2 days since the last compound lift session, but I am behind on the schedule so I gotta dig deep and catch up.

warm-up: none

High Bar Squats (Romaleos, SBDs)

75 x 5 (narrow stance, ATG, minimal rest – change weight and go again)
125 x 5
175 x 3
200 x 2 (switch to medium stance and parallel)
225 x 1 (belt on)

251.5 x 6 @RPE9 (increased rest to 3 min)

240 x 6 @RPE8
240 x 6 @RPE8
240 x 6 @RPE8.5
240 x 6 @RPE9

notes: Top set felt heavy, but I was patient; and as I warmed up I felt pretty good during the backoff sets. Backoff set 4 I took a few intentional pauses in the hole and slowed myself down and called it there.

Bench Press

50 x 5 (minimal rest, change weight and go again, Spoto)
85 x 5
120 x 3
140 x 2
155 x 1

172.5 x 6 @RPE<8 (sleeves on, change to paused reps, increased rest to 3 min)

160 x 6 @RPE<8
160 x 6 @RPE<8
160 x 6 @RPE<8
160 x 6 @RPE<8
160 x 6 @RPE<8

notes: Feeling pretty good here. Guy offered to spot me on the top set, which made me unsure whether to feel bad for myself or for him. I reset the weight man! It ain’t my best.

Decided to mess around some more.

Slingshot Bench Press (60 sec rest)

135 x 6
225 x 1
225 x 2

notes: I bought the Slingshot a while back, only used it a few times, then threw it in the closet, lol. Decided to break it in. Uh….. not a huge fan ATM. Weight wobbled a little in its arc because of the elastic recoil off the chest, which made me need to stabilize it more, which made my shoulder hurt. So… the jury is still out. Sore shoulder made me decide enough of bench before today.

Deadlift (barefoot)

95 x 5 (minimal rest, conventional grip)
160 x 5
220 x 3
255 x 2 (change to crossgrip)
285 x 1 (rest went up to 3 min)

317.5 x 6 @RPE8 (belt on)

310 x 6 @RPE8.5
310 x 6 @RPE9

notes: Thankfully, my calves didn’t cramp up again. But by this point I was at the 2 hr 15 min mark, and after backoff set 2, decided to throw in the towel.

Overall though, a pretty good session, I surprised myself I was ready to go again so fast.

Cut Day 22

Christmas present for myself – bro day

I borrowed a John Meadows workout (not stealing this and selling it John, please no cease and desist orders. Don’t shut down mah internet!). But I added on a little extra at the front end, because I know my trainer would want me to do 8 movements and not 6 Anyhoo, Meadows workouts rock, so may as well make my free day as awesome as possible.

Another thing my trainer wants me to do is rebuild my House of Cardio’s, so I signed up for a spin class. Spin first, Arms after.

Cardio: Spin class, 45 min of work, HIIT, intervals, hills, standing climbs, seated climbs, straight on races, lots of fun times. I haven’t done one in a while, so I am sure my legs will be tired, plus glutes, plus a sore buttbone. Nary a hot chick to be seen, what a pity. OK, to be fair, I sat in FRONT of the hot chicks and stuck my butt in THEIR face. Merry Christmas.

Preacher Curl Machine (keep full ROM, 60 sec of rest b/w sets)

50 x 8
70 x 8
90 x 8
90 x 8
90 x 8

Standing DB Curls (use Fat Gripz, keep hands supinated, 3 sec negative on each rep, 60 sec rest)

10s x 15
15s x 15
30s x 6
30s x 6
30s x 6

notes: could have maybe gone heavier, but with slow negs, it can be hard to guesstimate your weight off the start. Haven’t used the Fat Gripz in a while, welcome back!

EZ Bar Curls (Fat Gripz, 60s rest)

75 x 8
75 x 7
75 x 5
75 x 6, REST 20, 4 reps, REST 10, 2.5 reps

notes: I started to fade fast on this one, damn you Fat Gripz. I could have done some sloppy ones, but I wanted every rep to be correct and controlled, no lean back. On the last set, I would set it down, rest a little but, try to pump out a few more. Bar Curls are always tough on me, really makes the tendinitis flare, but I don’t think it will get me this time.

Standing DB Hammer Curls (60s rest)

40s x 8 reps, 8 partials
40s x 8 reps, 3 partials
40s x 8 reps, 7 partials

notes: by partials, it means just bring it up as close to halfway as you can, chit, even a handful of inches feels like hell at that point. I was just focusing on getting those full reps out, and had so little left for the partials. Forearms were fried, biceps were done.

Tricep Pushdown Machine (preacher style setup, 60 s rest)

50 x 8
70 x 8
90 x 8
100 x 8
110 x 8

Superset Rope Pushdowns and Pronated DB Kickbacks (spread the rope at the bottom and flex for 1 second each rep; kickbacks your palm stays pronated the whole time)

90 x 10 / 20s x 6
100 x 10 / 20s x 6
100 x 10 / 25s x 6
100 x 10 / 25s x 6

notes: 100 was the sweet spot for pushdowns, flexing for 1 second at peak contraction felt like murder! To the Mountain Dog’s credit, I like pronated kickbacks way more than neutral grip, I feel the squeeze much more in the triceps.

Decline Skullcrushers w/ Cambered Bar (put on the elbow sleeves, 60s rest)

60 x 15
60 x 15
60 x 15

notes: kept these tight and controlled, doing that on a bar is much easier than dumbbells, but it gets harder on the elbow so I used the sleeves.

I was thinking of doing Ab work after this, but I had passed the 2 hour mark and felt wrecked! Packed up my crap and went home.

Hope everyone has had a good weekend!

Cut Day 21

Went to a 24 hr gym… Xmas music on the radio… ugh…

Decided to take my time today and enjoy it. It wasn’t going to be an ideal session: normally I do these with a day of rest first, and only 3 or 4 days since the last compound lift session. Today I was doing it the day after chest and shoulders, and it had been 6 days since my last compound lift session, so I felt a little cold. Oh well, need to get back up on that horse!

warm-up: foam rolled IT Bands, Adductors, Piriformis; back roll to V sits; prone spinal twists to release my low back; static hip flexor stretches

High Bar Squats (Romaleos, SBDs)

75 x 5 (narrow stance, ATG, minimal rest – change weight and go again)
125 x 5
175 x 3
200 x 2 (switch to medium stance and parallel)
225 x 1 (belt on)

249 x 6 @RPE9 (increased rest to 3 min)

240 x 6 @RPE8.5
240 x 6 @RPE8.5
240 x 6 @RPE9

notes: Just wasn’t feeling it today, right away it felt heavy. On backoff set 3, I still felt like I had a lot of pop in me, but the bar had slowed down, so I called it. I am learning to gauge my sets not based on how I feel, but on how the bar is moving.

Bench Press

50 x 5 (minimal rest, change weight and go again, Spoto)
85 x 5
120 x 3
135 x 2
155 x 1

170 x 6 @RPE9 (sleeves on, change to paused reps, increased rest to 3 min)

160 x 6 @RPE>8
160 x 6 @RPE8.5
160 x 6 @RPE9

notes: Right away, even on the warmup sets, I could definitely notice that I had already done chest only yesterday, and it was still tired. I kept it going for a few sets but as soon as my chest got tired enough, I could feel my shoulder doing weird chit, so I stopped and moved on.

Then, as I was taking off my Romaleos, my calf cramped on me! It wasn’t the worst cramp ever, mostly because I caught it early as it was seizing, but it still pissed me off. I took a 10 minute break from the workout: I ate a snack (some Carbion and some dark choc coated pomegranate seeds, altogether about 40g of carbs), and then did myo-fascial releases on my gastrocs – dig the thumb hard in between the muscles and dorsiflex a bunch of times. When you get in there you can feel the muscles flex around your thumb, which feels weird and awesome.

Deadlift (barefoot)

95 x 5 (minimal rest, conventional grip)
160 x 5
220 x 3
250 x 2
285 x 1 (changed to crossgrip, rest went up to 3 min)

315 x 6 @RPE8.5 (belt on)

305 x 6 @RPE8.5
305 x 6 @RPE9

notes: By backoff set 2, I could feel my calf about to cramp again, so I threw in the towel and headed home.

Workout was under 2 hours, even with the snack break (but not including the warmup), so that is a good thing I suppose.

Overall sort of a lackluster workout. I am going to see if I can book a massage session, and I will load up another workout for Sunday to try and get back into the swing of things.

Cut Day 20

Had to take a little break while I got my sleep game right!  But I stayed on my diet, so I can climb right back on the exercise train with no issues.

had some decent sleeps over night, but also some huge naps during the past few days that have made all the difference! Finally starting to feel balanced again

I am not taking Xmas off work, but the office will be so quiet, that I consider it sort of a “work deload”. Lightweight baby. Answer emails when I feel like it, work out when I feel like it, have naps when I feel like it. Slow time is in effect all next week.

Last day with the trainer for a little while – she takes off for Xmas vacation… and I remain in the weight pit grinding it out on my own for a bit

Flat DB Press (5 second negatives)

45s x 10
55s x 10
55s x 10
55s x 10

Decline Cable Fly

50 x 12
70 x 12
70 x 12

pushups

3 sets of 15

Standing DB Press (5 second negatives)

25s x 10
30s x 10
30s x 10

notes: these are finally starting to feel good, like I got the form down on the slow neg, so the weight can start slowly going up.

Cable Side Raise/Front Raise (do side reps then the front reps, per arm)

20 x 10/10
20 x 10/10

Superset – Rope Pushdowns & DB Skullcrushers (spread rope at the bottom; the skullcrushers my triceps were being restrained again)

90 x 15 / 20s x 12
90 x 15 / 20s x 12
90 x 15 / 20s x 12

After that, I had to take off for some Friday night Xmas chit, no cardio in the cards. compound lifts are lined up for tomorrow, gonna be fun!