Tag Archive: acupressure


Back, Cycle 2 Week 1

Dec 9

Cycle 2 Week 1 deadlifts (no straps, double overhand unless otherwise stated)

Cardio 15 min Elliptical, incline 25 degrees, variable resistance

Warmup (1-2 min rest)

130 x 5
165 x 5
195 x 5

Main (2-3 min rest)

210 x 5
245 x 5
275 x 4… rest 45-60 sec… 275 x 3… rest 60 sec… (Sumo) 275 x 3

notes:  FAIL!

I was cruising along, and my grip was going by the 3rd rep, I managed to do the 4th rep with it hanging from my right hand fingers, but then set it down for the 5th rep, took a minute to collect myself, tried again, grip went again.  Rested another 60 sec, tried switching to sumo stance, grip went again – could not keep my hand closed, EITHER hand now.

My thoughts?  First off, I probably punked out, I should not have reset on the first set, just set it down, reset my grip and immediately ripped it right away.  I tried to get it clean 5 in a row touch and go, but SHOULD have just reset and went right away.  Not like my grip was getting any stronger at that point.

Also, that Friday epic arm workout might not have done me any favours, even though it was 3 days past.  My triceps are STILL sore, it was brutal.

But still, failure on only the second cycle???  On some level, I am paying for the sins of the past – the PR I used to set my training weights for this program was done with straps, so why wouldn’t my grip give out before I get back to that point?  I was doing heavy singles with straps and hit a new weight, and tried to use that as the benchmark for no straps.  Duh, genius.

As repentance for these sins, I will reset my TM benchmark back to what it was last month and redo the climb back up.  I am only losing a month.  As it was last month, only Joker sets will use straps.  Gotta build these forearms up!  They are the weak link.  Maybe some people don’t care about using straps, but I want to get strong all over not just my back, so only on Jokers.

backoff sets (60 sec rest)

210 x 8
210 x 8

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notes: I was just mad and grumpy at this point.  Thankfully, my trainer was there to keep me on course.  We decided to do some core.

Assistance

Superset Hyperextensions and Roman Chair Bent Leg Raise (30-45 sec b/w sets)

15&12
15&15
15&15
15&15

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Stretching

Trainer led me through some yoga-style stretches:  windshield wipers, wind-relieving pose, held glute bridge, ham stretch with the strap assist, pigeon pose

post-workout massage

One treat for myself is that there is a massage studio next to the studio gym, so I got my biweekly acupressure treatment.  It HURTS.  But it feels good when you are done

I had the dude work on my IT bands, and on my back and forearms, since they had failed me

He found a lot of tightness in my right hand (that’s the one that gave out), and a massive deep knot in my right lat that he thinks would start to cause me pain if I didn’t get it worked on a few times.  IT bands tight, as I expected

So training was a failure, but sometimes you need to learn those hard lessons.

Leg Day Squat Clinic

I hear it is Memorial Day down in the United States!  Hope you are enjoying the long weekend, to all my American brothers and sisters.

Today I took a lot of rest, got a lot of TLC, then geared up for lots of squats.

In the morning I took advantage of a free fascia stretch service this trainer was offering, at the gym.  She took my legs and hips through various range of motions exercises and worked on stretching out my fascia, which is the sheath that covers the muscle.  Most stretches only stretch the muscle, but stickiness between the fascia and the muscle can lead to all sorts of issues, so specialized fascia TLC is often a good idea.

In the afternoon I went for an acupressure treatment (this one was not free, haha).  I had him work on my neck, traps and shoulders for an hour.  Super painful!  But needed.

Right after that, I headed to my appt with the personal trainer.  Today was leg day, and I had a special request for Leslie:  my squats are lagging pretty hard, so let’s just do squats for an hour, and I can work on my form.  Start light, work the weight up slowly, low reps, decent rest between sets.  Just keep building.  Right away Les could see my core was giving out when I got to a certain advanced depth, so she had me do almost all of my sets onto a bench – go all the way down past parallel to the bench, tap my butt for a second, then drive back up.

Leg Day Squat Clinic:  (60-120 sec b/w sets)

115×5, 125×5, 135×5, 145×5, 155×5, 165×5, 185×5, 195×5, 205×5, 215×5, 225×5, 235×5, 245×5, 245×5

Assorted Ab work

notes:  As you can see, I kept the reps low, started light, just kept slowly adding on more weight, and observing how it affected my form.  Yup, 14 sets of squats!!  It was no joke, I was sweating up a storm.  After set 14, I almost physically ran away from the squat rack, I could take no more, lol.

Les was a great set of eyes and spotted me the whole way.  This is the priceless bonus of a trainer, right around set 11 or so I was really dreading the next set, and her encouragement really kept me going, helped me push my way to a PR!  245 is a PR for me, I don’t think I have ever even TRIED to squat more than 225, so I am very happy!

Proof it was a good session?  In the locker room I could see a barbell shaped bruise across my shoulders, check it out!

IMG_2399

At that point, squats had taken 45 minutes, we went at it hard but there was still some time left so we did 3 sets of ab exercises, kind of a Turkish half-get-up for each side, then some straight leg lifts with hip lifts at the top.  I was SOOO tired!  I went home, and could feel my legs turning into noodles.

Simple workout, yet deadly!  How about you?  Any good workouts?

Time to take it easy??

My neck was real sore on Monday, so I took it easy all that day.  In the late afternoon I went to the massage acupressure dude for a session, and had him focus exclusively on my neck.  He suggested there were lymph node blockages in my neck, and lymph node blockages where my skull meets my neck, so when he worked on my upper neck, it didn’t drain properly out my lower neck.  I… guess it makes sense???  Welcome to Chinese medicine!  So this time around he worked a lot on little internal lumps in my lower neck to clear the way before moving up to my upper neck and base of my skull.  I won’t know if it took hold really well until Tuesday, once I sleep on it and let it recover.

I told him about my schedule, and he seemed concerned for me.  He suggested I “take it easy” in the gym this week.  I don’t know… I NEED this.  It bores me to tears when I don’t do it.  So, I told my trainer about this advice, and made a pact that if I feel worn out, I will take a rest.  So if I feel out of it, I skip training that day, I don’t force it, otherwise I go at it with the same gameplan as if I was feeling 100%.  That is my definition of “light”.  It is my hope all this nonsense is behind me by June, so I am free to dial it up to a new level.

But now I was done with my massage, my neck felt pretty good, and I was ready for some back and biceps!   I met with the trainer, and off we went!

Back and Biceps (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

cardio:  20 min elliptical, variable resistance

assisted pullups:  widegrip 15, underhand 15, hammergrip 5, widegrip 10
widegrip cable row:  240 x 12, 12, 12

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closegrip pulldown:  210 x 15, 15, 15, 15

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hyperextension w/ a 50 lb dumbbell:  12, 12, 12

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spider curls:  35 x 15/15, 15/15, 10/10, 8/10

IMG_2368

incline curls:  60 x 10, 9, 8

EZ bar curls:  75 x 12, 12, 12

IMG_2370

cable hammer curl with handles: DROPSET  90 x 8, 70 x 10, 50 x 10, 40 x 15

notes:  With the pullups, we used a giant orange rubber strap to support me, but it made the hammergrip sort of awkward, it wrapped around those handles, so when I tried to use that grip and pull up and into my lower back, it just wasn’t happening.  I tried though.

Unfazed, I applied some good intensity and aggression into the rest of my back work.  When it was time for biceps, I wasn’t feeling the aggression any more, so the first few movements I did were sort of lacklustre.  I mean, they were hard, but I gave up right when they got hard, which is the point where aggression should take over, but I just had none prepared for the moment.  I was able to get some going for the EZ curls though, and I feel like I busted those out with intensity.  Maybe not picture perfect tempo or control, but I was trying to get myself psyched up to carry me through.

Unfortunately, this left me totally spent when it was time for the hammer curl drop set.  It was heavy as heck, felt heavy as heck, and I whined and bitched and moaned the whole time, lol.  I need to work on my intensity!  I had it for about 70% of the workout, I need it revvin and buzzin fulltime!

After the workout we still had 2 or 3 min, so we did some upper chest stretches to keep me loose and work on that front imbalance.

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

Bruised up

Woke up this morning to find bruises all over my left arm, thanks to the acupressure dude, lol!

left arm

left arm

 

As you can see in the picture (though upside down), there is a large bruise on the outside of my left bicep.  And it’s not the only one.  Thanks acupressure dude!  Now the whole world knows I belong to you, haha!

Woke up a touch late, rushed to the gym.  The plan was to do shoulders, then 7 am spin, then go to work, then slip away at lunch to do a leg workout.  Well, it didn’t go exactly as planned.

First things first, morning shoulders

shoulders (30 sec rest b/w sets)

smith machine military presses:  70 lbs + bar x 15, 15, 15, 15

lat raise machine:  70 x 12, 12, 12

reverse cable fly:  77 x 12, 12, 12

rope face pulls:  72 x 12, 12, 12

cable upright rows:  110 x 12, 12, 12

 

notes:  I realized that time had slipped away from me and I had missed the start of the spin class!  woops!  So I did some cardio on the elliptical instead:  30 min of 55% bw resistance, incline 9.

Everything felt pretty good this morning, so I decided to add in some face pulls, and get some extra work in on my rotator cuff.  The weights look so weird on those flys and face pulls because the plates were in kilograms, and I am converting back to pounds for y’all.

Only thing about the upright rows is I felt the tendonitis in my left forearm flare a bit when I set the weight down at the end of the set.  Ugh, so weird.  But everything felt good, ready to go heavier across the board.

 

When I was at work, first day back after the long weekend, I soon realized there would be no lunchtime workout.  Everything was just TOO hectic.  So I had no choice but to put my legs workout right after work, aka the busiest time of day at the busy-ass Goodlife gym.  But there I was.  Time for legs at 5:30 pm!

 

Legs (30 sec rest b/w sets)

45 degree leg press:  (plus whatever the sled weighs)  90 x 10; 180 x 10; 270 x 10; 360 x 10; 450 x 15, 15, 15, 15

stationary lunges:  carrying 45 lb dumbbells x 12, 12, 12 (each leg)

seated leg curls:  150 x 15, 15; 165 x 15; 180 x 15, 15, 15, 15

standing bodyweight calf raises:  90, 90, 90 90

prone leg raises:  20, 20, 20

 

notes:  Say what I will about the masseuse abuse, everything he squeezed to death was performing better the next day!  My calves felt loose and ready for anything!  After legs, I did more cardio:  30 min, 55%, incline 9.

I saw the squat racks were super busy.  There was a waiting line.  But nobody was messing with the 45 degree leg press.  So I camped out there, as you can see I did 4 warm-up sets before the 4 working sets, which worked out really well actually.

The gym was SO busy, there was no room to do walking lunges without tripping over people, and I am not that coordinated at walking lunges, I can’t handle the hecticness.  So I just did them stationary, raising up and down on the same leg for each set.

As for stiff-legged deadlifts, no racks or bars were free.  I saw the Smith machine was free, so I tried to do SLDL’s on them.  It DID NOT WORK, I ended up just feeling it in my lower back because I couldn’t keep the bar close to me as I bent over (it was stuck on a track after all).  So after 2 awkward-feeling sets, I gave up.  Noone was messing with the seated leg curl machines, so I did like 7 sets on that instead.  Those felt pretty good.

Given the pain in my forearm, I decided against hanging knee raises, and just did ab work on the ground instead.  Worked fine.

 

Given the evening workout, no time for yoga, sorry!  But I did cardio twice today, AND weights twice today, so it’s all good.  Got the work in.

 

How about you?  Any good workouts today?