Tag Archive: assisted pullups

9 Oct 2016

Canadian Thanksgiving weekend! Family is all far away so I spend extra time at the gym.

Sunday night light bench and tough assistance.

warmup: slow neg side raises, Cuban presses, shrugs

Paused Bench Press (short rests, 1 sec pause at bottom, explosive reps, no wraps no sleeves)

bar x forevr
175 x 3
175 x 3
175 x 3
175 x 3
175 x 3
175 x 3
175 x 3
175 x 3

notes: one of the weaknesses in my bench is I don’t have that MMC quite down on the press, but I do feel it load the back and triceps up on the way down, after years of slow negs. So today I tried to focus on the concentric. Slow lower, short pause at the bottom, then explode up. Light work tonight, no need for wraps or whatnot.

Closegrip Bench (short rests)

190 x 5
190 x 5

Spoto Press (medium rests, juicy pause at the bottom)

160 x 8
160 x 8
160 x 8

notes: felt it nicely in the triceps

One Arm DB Rows (2 min rests)

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

notes: after the light bench, these hit me savagely. I got real sweaty real fast.

Front Carry

110 lb plate carried 130 ft

Sled Drag

110 lb plate dragged 260 ft

notes: I improvised a little strongman cardio. I tried front carry first, then figured a sled drag sounded cooler. That sled drag backwards got painful around the halfway mark LOL. Hittin the hamstrings good.

I was sorta dead after this. Should have saved it for last LOL

Superset: Strict Side Raises & Front Raises & Assisted Pullups (2 min rests, pullups with a resistance band)

15s x 10 / 15s x 10 / 5 hammer grip
15s x 10 / 15s x 10 / 4 hammer grip
15s x 10 / 15s x 10 / 5 hammer grip

notes: my pullups blow, I need a stronger resistance band haha

24 Aug 2016

I had squats today, but my knees hurt. Even my good knee felt twisted. I decided I would take a long warmup, long rests, find a stance that felt good, and go for one heavy set. Scrap the assistance squats, and do some isolation. Like a big puss.

Low Bar Squats (Romaleos, knee sleeves, no belt, long rests)

135 x 3
180 x 5
215 x 3
250 x 2
270 x 1
285 x 1
305 x 6

notes: once I warmed up, it felt a bit better, but I didn’t want to push it.

Assisted Pullups (resistance band assist, 90 sec rests)

7, 7, 7, 9

notes: damn, I have gotten too round. these pullups felt harsh. better drop some lbs.

Leg Extensions (short rests)

90 x 18
100 x 18
100 x 18

Prone Leg Curls (short rests)

90 x 18
90 x 18
90 x 18

notes: my bum hurts now. damn you prone curls.

Happy I was able to salvage a session that had a rocky start.

Mar 8, 2015


Goddamn, you know that when I summon up the Maiden, that it was an epic workout. I kicked my own butt.

I think I am turning the corner on whatever was kicking my ass last week. I had missed lots of workouts, my face broke out, and I felt like hammered vomit most days. But I had a good workout yesterday, and was determined to get it in today.

I was heading there on an empty stomach so I packed some extra intra-workout carbs, and sipped on them throughout.

Sumo Deadlifts (no shoes, switched up my crossgrip, 90 sec rests)

185 x 15
185 x 18
185 x 12
185 x 14
185 x 11
185 x 12
185 x 11
185 x 7

notes: Decided since I am going low-weight, to switch up my form. Normally I pull conventional with left palm supinated and right palm pronated. So I went Sumo with left palm pronated and right palm supinate.

Weight was light but FFFFUUUUKKKKK did I get winded halfway through. I was sucking wind after set 3, I needed those 90 seconds to get my breath back to normal. Clearly my conditioning is a work in progress.

After hitting 100 reps I stopped. Lay down on the ground for a bit, my saliva tasted funny, like I had coughed up a chunk of lung. Took 5 min to catch my breath and put on my knee sleeves and my squat shoes.

Front Squats (ATG, 2 min rest, SBDs, Romaleos)

135 x 6
135 x 6
135 x 8
135 x 6
135 x 6
135 x 6
135 x 9
135 x 6
135 x 7

notes: I am still getting used to FS, so this is a decent weight for me. Goal was to hit 60 reps. Decided to keep the rests high and the form tight and well below parallel. I experimented with my feet a bit (various angles of toes straight or out a bit) and found that toes even slightly out kinda hurts my ankles. I wasn’t winded by this, but my ankles and knees were ready to stop by the time I hit 60.

I still had some fire in the furnace so I kept going.

Assisted Neutral Grip Chinup (assisted for 1/3 BW, 60 sec rest)

10, 10, 8, 6, 6, 6

My shoulders are still not big fans of chin-ups so I kept the assistance there as a precaution in case I needed to dump and jump out. Neutral grip also feels best on my shoulders right now.

Incline Shrugs (90 sec rest)

70s x 10
100s x 10
100s x 10
100s x 10

notes: First time trying these, did them to try and hit my mid-traps a bit. They feel good! Only downside is I have long arms, so its hard to get a good stretch at the bottom without resting them on the floor. I would prefer to do these on some sort of raised platform.

I was wrecked after this so I walked 10 min to a Booster Juice and bought some froyo with whey and mocha powder and an egg and cheese wrap I might be fighting off a cold. Will prob chill the F out the rest of today, get warm and snuggly.

3/27 Chest

Happy Canada Day!  Super-empty office gym, hooray!


Bench Press

warm-up – Superset Bench and Rotator Cuff Work (no rest between supersets)

45 (bar) x 5

70 x 5 / over & backs w/ resistance band x 8

85 x 5 / o&b

100 x 5 / o&b

main – Superset Bench and Assisted Chin-ups (2-4 min rest b/w sets, chinup assisted for 1/3 BW, varied chinup grip between wide and hammer)

130 x 5 / 5 chin-ups

145 x 3 / 5 chin-ups

160 x 10 / 5 chin-ups

joker sets – Superset with Chin-ups (2-4 min rest, varying chinup grip as before)

175 x 1 / 5 chin-ups

190 x 1 / 5 chin-ups

205 x 1 / 5 chin-ups

220 x 1 / 5 chin-ups


notes:  Lots of Joker Sets!  Just having a REALLY good day.  Took my time, got lots of rest, pure strength training.  SO close to 225!  I wanted to jump from 205 to 225 so bad, but I decided to stick to the 10% increases, and not lift with my ego.  It was a good thing I did, that 220 was a GRINDER.  Rep so ugly only a mother could love it!  But to hell with it, I am gonna count it 🙂



Overhead Press (30 sec rest)

65 x 10

65 x 10

65 x 10

65 x 10

65 x 10


I decided to skip the DB Rows.  I figured my Back had had plenty with the Deadlifts yesterday and 7 sets of chin-ups today 🙂


I also decided not to do a lot of direct Arm work.  Biceps and Triceps had done their share of indirect work today (7 sets of chins, 11 sets of bench, 5 sets of overhead press).  So I just went for a finisher.  Then rear delts.


Bicep Curl Machine  (wrapped up arms for the first 5 sets, resting 20 seconds only between sets; then dropped back down with no wraps and no rest at all)

10 x 10, REST

20 x 10, REST

30 x 10, REST

40 x 10, REST

50 x 8, REST

50 x 10, 40 x 10, 30 x 10, 20 x 10, 10 x 10

rest:  it may not look like much, but when you tie up your arms, the pump is crazy and you don’t need much weight.  I needed those 20 seconds just to shake my arms a bit to keep them going!

Tricep Pressdown Machine (no rest, one continuous set)

10 x 10, 20 x 10, 30 x 10, 40 x 10, 50 x 10, 60 x 10, 70 x 10, 80 x 10, 90 x 10, 100 x 10, 110 x 10

Reverse Pec Deck (30 sec rest b/w sets, palms facing ground)

10 x 15

20 x 15

30 x 15

40 x 15


Really happy with this workout!  Bench went better than expected.

Hi!  Sorry for the delay in putting my workout up.  these things can’t be avoided sometimes.


My routine has been changed up, in an effort to refocus on weight loss.  Too late to shred for summer, but goddamn it, I can be shredded for Halloween, ROFL!  5/3/1 goes back in the closet for now, just a little while!


May 26Chest & Shoulders

(about 60 sec rest b/w sets)

Giant Set:  Flat DB Press & Cable Fly & Incline TRX Pushups

80s x 6 / 50 x 12 / 25

80s x 6 / 50 x 12 / 25

80s x 6 / 50 x 12 / 25

80s x 6 / 50 x 12 / 20

notes:  I was sucking wind, this workout was already tough!

Giant Set:  Standing OHP & Strict DB Side Raise & seated Arnold presses

95 x 6 / 12s x 12 / 12s x 25

95 x 6 / 12s x 12 / 12s x 25

95 x 6 / 12s x 12 / 12s x 25

notes:  coolness went out the window, I was just trying to get through this

Giant Set:  unilateral flat DB press & unilateral RD cable fly & Upright Row (we tried a Cuban Press, but my rotators weren’t havin it)

40s x 12/12   20 x 12/12   60 x 15

40s x 12/12   20 x 12/12   60 x 15

40s x 12/12   20 x 12/12   60 x 15


was going to do cardio, but I went for a massage instead!  massage focused on calves, forearms, some shoulder and back.  my Right side is tight across the board, and I am being warned my back needs some extra TLC sometime soon.


Quite the opposite of TLC, May 27 was Back Day!

Right after work, headed to a backup office gym.  I thought it would be empty, sadly it was not, and juggling circuits got a little awkward.

(rest time between sets varied 20-60 sec, depending on waiting for someone)

Giant set:  Bent Over DB Row & Closegrip Pulldown & Straight Arm Pushdown

100s x 6/6     120 x 12     20 x 25

100s x 6/6     130 x 12     30 x 25

100s x 6/6     130 x 12     30 x 25

100s x 6/6     130 x 12     30 x 25

100s x 6/6     130 x 12     30 x 25

notes:  cable work got tough, but I grinded it out!

Giant Set:  Assisted Hammergrip Pullups & Widegrip Cable Row (hammergrip, elbows high) & Reverse Pec Deck (free handles)

6     100 x 12     50 x 25

6     110 x 12     40 x 25

6     120 x 12     40 x 25

6     130 x 12     40 x 25

6     140 x 12     40 x 25

notes:  pec deck was a little stiff at the start, but I got the hang of it.  hittin them rhomboids!  I could feel the work the RMT did the day before, left rhomboid was poppin and snappin!


post workout:  30 min elliptical, incline, resistance, music 🙂



Just keep working and grinding!  Keep at it dude.

Thursday Back, Shoulders

Boss went home with a bad back so I got a full lunch to myself AND an early afternoon workout!  Best of both worlds!
early afternoon Shoulders, Back (regular tempo, 45 sec b/w sets)
Standing Military Press
80 x 15
80 x 15
80 x 15
80 x 12
Upright Rows
80 x 15
80 x 15
80 x 15
80 x 15
Reverse Pec Deck (thumbs down)
90 x 15
90 x 13
90 x 12
90 x 10
Closegrip Cable Row (this was the work gym’s full stack so I shortened the rest to 30 sec)
195 x 15
195 x 15
195 x 15
195 x 15
Widegrip Pulldowns (first 2 sets I leaned back, last 2 sets I stayed seated upright)
165 x 15
165 x 15
165 x 10
165 x 7
Assisted Pullups (alternating widegrip and hammergrip leaning back):  10, 8, 10, 10
notes:  I played around here with varying the angle of attack on my back and trying to stimulate a few different spots in the short time I had available.  Just quick and nasty and then back to work!


A sidenote:  I will be starting up a sponsored log for a supplement company on another site, talking about using their pwo and their post-wo drink during my workouts.  I will just cut and paste it over here, and you will see the format of the posts change a bit.  Thanks!

Lift Hard, Eat Hard

I woke up Friday and went to Spin, got my morning cardio in.  Les came out, we had a good ride.

Then I went off to work.  I felt good at work, excited about the Friday night back and biceps workout, that enthusiasm carried me through the day.  Big breakfast, light lunch, quick coffee 2 hours before the gym.  I made good time and got to the gym early, and Les didn’t have a client, so we got to start 15 min early!  Yes!  Let’s get it!


Back & Biceps plus Extra: (30 sec rest b/w sets, unless otherwise noted)

assisted widegrip chinups:  10, 10, 10, 10

widegrip rows:  200 x 15; 220 x 12, 12


narrowgrip pulldowns:  210 x 12, 15, 15, 15



hyperextensions:  45 lb plate x 12, 12, 12


EZ bar curls:  70 x 12, 12, 10+2


concentration curls:  25×10/20×15; 20 x15/15, 12/15, 13/12


woah! where's my pro card?

woah! where’s my pro card?

rear delt flyes:  (10 sec rest!) 20 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10; 10 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10


face pulls: (10 sec rest!)  50 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10


hanging knee raise:  10, 7, 7



notes:  I really wanted to go at this one hard.  For the most part I did, my focus slipped a little during the EZ bar curls, I just lost the intensity and put it down and collected myself and picked it up again and finished the set.  If your mental is not there 100% to support you, you will falter in the moment of truth.

But otherwise my mind was there for 100% of the rest of the movements, and I grunted and groaned without care or concern.  I am pretty sure I was the loudest one in the gym, and I didn’t care, lol!  I wasn’t dropping the weights or ignoring good form, I just pulled that weight as hard as I could.

The chinups were a good warmup.  MAN!  I wish I could do them without assistance.  One day…

I was really happy with the rows, other than accidentally doing the wrong number of reps on the pulldowns the first set.  EZ bar curls I slipped a bit, like I said, and with concentration curls I could feel the 25 lbs were too heavy so I had to go down to the 20s, but I went back and forth arm to arm with no rest, and worked damn hard.

When the smoke cleared, we realized we still had 20 min left in the workout, so I suggested some finishers.  Finishers are what you do if you have a little left in your tank but the planned work is over.  I suggested my loved/hated “10 sets of 10 with 10 sec rest” workout idea I saw on bodybuilding.com  Those were darn hard, and I think Leslie was happy with the intensity I kept up during the face pulls.

Then I did some extra ab work.  Then I smiled and ran like hell!  Time for my weekly cheat meal!  up yours, cardio!

screw you cardio!

screw you cardio!


What was my cheat meal?  Some fancy chicken nuggets, steak, salad, veggies, and apple pie with no crust, some ice cream!  YAYYYYY  Oh by the way, that was a STARCHFREE cheat meal.  Cheating doesn’t mean I have to punish myself with food I can’t digest, lol.  So I tossed the noodles out, and the garlic bread.

asian chicken bites

asian chicken bites

rare NY strip w blue cheese & mushrooms, roasted veg, caesar salad

rare NY strip w blue cheese & mushrooms, roasted veg, caesar salad

no crust apple pie a la mode

no crust apple pie a la mode


Oh noes, am I turning into one of those blogs that just posts endless pictures of food?  haha, not likely.  I ate with INTENSITY, it was awesome!

Pretty much a perfect day.  And how about you?  Any good workouts?


Snowstorm Workout

Woke up this morning to a small blizzard – the last Friday before Christmas. I don’t mind getting a white Christmas, but jeez, it’s a work day! I gotta travel in this?



After work, I headed to the gym for an upper body day with Leslie!  I got there a little early, so I did some cardio for a while, gotta get that cardio in!

elliptical for 60 min

bench press:  115×15, 145×12, 165×10, 165×10


incline flys:  80×10, x10, x10


assisted closegrip pullups:  8, 6, 6 (with some slow negatives at the end)


Leslie wanted to jump in and show me how it's done!

Leslie wanted to jump in and show me how it’s done!

T-Bar Row:  140×15, x12, 165×10, x10

happy face!

happy face!

mean muggin

mean muggin

widegrip cable pulldowns:  200×10, 220×10, 240×10


notes:  That was my first time using a barbell for bench press.  I usually don’t have a spotter, and the dumbbells let me feel out my shoulder, but this was a nice change.  I am stronger with the barbell than dumbbells, as most people are.  You spend extra energy stabilizing the dumbbells, and your upperbody can compensate for slight dips in energy on either side.

One note when you bench press with a barbell, try crushing the bar with your hands, like you are trying to bend it into a boomerang.  This engages your forearms and your core, and you will pop out a few more reps.  I can’t do 2 sets of 10 with 80 pound dumbbells, not yet, so the barbell was an improvement.

The flys were a nice new weight for me to push on.  They were tough!  I barely got through them.  At least with good form.  Any chucklehead can do them if he keeps his elbows bent 90 degrees, which is a cheat.

Don’t believe me?  Let the man, Scooby Werkstatt, set you straight!

And that was that!  Some snow, some cardio, some chest and back work!  Leslie heads out for Christmas vacation, so the workouts are all mine to play with for a week.  Let’s see what kind of trouble I can get myself into…

post-vacation upper body day

The first serious workout after a vacation is always a mix of enthusiasm and caution.  You want to test things out, see how they feel, but you also have all this extra energy and when you get loosened up, you feel ready to go heavier.

I had been experiencing insomnia ever since I returned.  For 2 nights in a row I couldn’t sleep at night, only in the early hours of the morning; like I would sleep from 6 am til 11 am.  Not acceptable.  I didn’t indulge the coffee habit though, I wanted to finish off a good offcycle.  But by Day 2 I needed a normal sleep, and I needed to be productive at work.  So I bought some Melatonin, 10 mg.  It worked wonders!

Friday morning was my first normal morning in a while, feeling refreshed and solid.  But my sternum felt sore.  Many years ago I sprained the cartilage on my sternum, and only in the past 5 or 6 years did I feel confident in my chest’s ability to press weight again.  But I recognized the signs of soreness.  I think I have been rolling my shoulders back too much lately – I do it to practice form for my rear delt exercises, but I am overdoing it, and it is stretching my sternum out too much too often.

The pain wasn’t bad, just a warning signal.  It’s funny, I have gotten stung going too far in either direction – throw my shoulders back too much and I sprained my sternum.  I started rolling my shoulders forward too often, and years later I sprain the front of my shoulder from overuse.  I start learning to “pack” my shoulders again and I start to feel it in my sternum again…  it is a fine line to walk.

But I otherwise felt fine, took an anti-inflammatory and went to work.  I left work early, came home, had some food, rested up, and prepped for a workout with Leslie.  I wanted to blow this workout away, I was hungry for it.  I took my first scoop of PWO in weeks (hour before the workout), and my first caffeine boost in like 10 days.  The effect was great!  By the time the workout started I was both full of energy and super-upbeat.

I think cycling off caffeine every few months is a great idea.  You might have to adjust the specifics for yourself, but when you feel like your usual caffeine boost isn’t doing it for you any more, don’t up the dosage, just go off caffeine for a week or two, then start back on at a low dosage.  The first few days off caffeine are painful, but in my opinion it’s better than continuing to up the amounts until you are a coffee maniac.  I am going to get back on the cycle by only taking caffeine before workouts, then I might work my way up to one cup of coffee a day even on offdays, do that for a few months, then drop it for a few weeks.  Make the caffeine serve you, you don’t serve the caffeine.

On to the workout!  Upper Body Day, we did some contract renewal, then some chest and back.

Warmup on the elliptical

DB chest press:  warmup, 140×10, 150×8, x10

nice half-smile, jackass

nice half-smile, jackass

Cable Flys:  80×12, 100×12, 120×12

Leslie likes this photo!

Leslie likes this photo!

Band-assisted Widegrip Pullups:  10, 8, 6

the lopside at the bottom of the movement shows off my shoulder sprain

the lopside at the bottom of the movement shows off my shoulder sprain

T-bar Row:  115×15, 140×12, 165×10, x10


we use the v-bar grip on the bar

we use the v-bar grip on the bar

Widegrip Pulldowns:  200×12, 220×12, 240×12



cooldown:  a minute on the battle ropes

notes:  I had energy for days!  We were tentative with the weights to see how my sternum felt, but each time Leslie asked me if I wanted to go heavier, I said hell yes!  I know I am capable of more with the chest press, but Leslie promised we could break out the 80 lb dumbbells next time, so I got those 100s in my sights!  Gunnin for that #1 spot!

I much prefer doing flys with the dumbbells over the cables, but this was safer on my sternum, so we chose this route.  It felt pretty good towards the end, so it was the right choice.

My pullups were ok, I think I might have to try doing them more often just for practice.  Not necessarily even a full set, I just need to “grease the groove” a little bit, as Pavel Tsatsouline would say.  It’s a way of encouraging neural adaptation through repetition.


Now, I don’t think I have the schedule or the facilities to be doing assisted pullups a half dozen times, during a half dozen different breaks over my day, over a half dozen days of the week.  That would be only possible if I could do a regular pullup, hahaha.  My concession is that I will try to throw in a few pullups somewhere each time I show up at the gym.  Cross your fingers!

Overall, a great workout!  I always love upperbody day, but it feels like I smashed this one, so mission accomplished!

Upper Body Friday

Friday and I was feeling good, ready for some upper body!  Well, not my arms, they were happy to take a nap.  But the rest of me!

5 min warmup on the elliptical

dumbbell flat press:  warmed up with 35s, 70 lb DBs x12, x10, x9, x9

incline flys:  30s x12, 35s x12, 12

a compromising shot…

pushups!  6 normal ones, 9 from knees, rest, 5 normals, 10 from knees

pullups with rubber band:  8, 8, 8

this rubber band could launch me across the room

one armed row:  50 x12, 55 x12, x12

widegrip pulldowns:  200 x10, x12, x12

t-bar rows:  95 x12, 120 x12, x12

return of the mean muggin


And it was over like that!  No time for shoulders, I agreed to do that on my own time.  Just time for chest and back today, did arms yesterday.  See you soon!