Tag Archive: behind the neck


Had a serious chip on my shoulder this morning, so I headed down to the gym.  Get it??!  Chip on my shoulder?!?  BAHAHAHAHAHA

Seated Military Press (Smith)

warmup:  bar only – 5 full ROM, 5 top half ROM, 5 bottom half ROM, 5 full ROM

(one continuous set, pausing only to adjust the stack of dime plates) – bar +30 x 10, +50 x 10, +70 x 10, +90 x 10, +70 x 10, +50 x 10, +30 x 10, +10 x 10 SLOW REPS

notes: Does that make sense?  Warmup set, then I set up a stack of 4 dime plates a side and a nickel plate a side (figured it would save time).  I don’t know how much the Smith bar weighs, who cares.  One continuous set, only pausing to add or remove plates.  On the last set I had a nickel on each side and I had to do them SLOW (5 sec neg and 5 sec pos).  The neg was ok, but the 5 second positive was MURDER by that point.  I actually had to take two pauses… after 4 reps I needed a second to catch my breath, then 3 more reps, another 2 sec pause, then the last 3 reps.

When I was writing all this down after, I realized I did too many sets, oops!  I was only supposed to do 6 sets, I did EIGHT.  Oh well, I guess that makes up for having to get up and flip the plates myself (would have been harder if I had someone to change them while I stayed in position.)

Behind the Neck Press (Smith) (45 sec rest)

bar + 30 x 15
bar + 30 x 15
bar + 50 x 15
bar + 50 x 15

notes: Stayed on the Smith because it is easy to control the depth if things go sour.  I have shtty rotator cuffs, so the ability to pull out quick was a must.  Started light, I learned my lesson on this QBM chit!  After Set 2, realized I could go heavier, so added weight.  Never went below the base of my skull, which I think is how low you are supposed to go.  Also added a set, this time on purpose so I could get more work done once I had my appropriate weight.

Superset Strict DB Side Raise Dropset and DB Front Raise (45 sec rest)

20s x 10 DROP 15s x 10 DROP 10s x 10 / 15s x 10
20s x 10 DROP 15s x 10 DROP 10s x 10 / 15s x 10
20s x 10 DROP 15s x 10 DROP 10s x 10 / 15s x 10

notes: Weight was just right for strict raises – keep arms completely straight, focus on tipping the pitcher of water out, get the pinkys high.  Keep arms from touching sides or swinging in front of you – by the last superset I couldn’t keep them from dropping down in front of me, but that’s ok, it was the end.  Could go a bit heavier on the front raises, but I didn’t know how dead I would be by then, so it was still a close guess.

Superset Closegrip Upright Row and Bent Over Superman Row (45 sec rest)

70 x 10 / 40 x 10
70 x 10 / 40 x 10
70 x 10 / 40 x 10

notes: Went a little too light on the upright rows, but I had never done superman Rows before, and wanted to save some gas in the tank for those.  Sadly, the Superman rows were hard, even at 40!  Need to get in a little practice on those bad boys.

Superset Behind the Back DB Shrugs and Bent Over DB Rev Flys (45 sec rest)

70s x 20 / 15s x 10
70s x 16 / 15s x 10
70s x 20 / 15s x 10

notes: I had never done behind the back DB shrugs, so I lowered the weight a bit.  I also have notoriously bad form on rear delt DB flys, so I kept it light to keep good form.  (I usually would rather do cable flys).  The Shrugs were AWKWARD.  I only got 16 reps in the second set because it just felt so awkward I had to put it down.  My butt is big, and the DBs are big, and everything kept fighting for space and twisting my wrists around.  Next time I do BB shrugs BTB, Fkk DBs.

Cardio – 25 min elliptical

Not bad!  I was humble with the weight, and it paid off pretty well!  Could maybe have gone a bit heavier, but I did some extra sets to work it out.  I am most thankful my shoulders held up endurance-wise, but to be honest, that is how I have been training them for the past few months anyways, lots of lightweight giant sets over heavy sets.  No bodyweight OHP for me, ROFL!

Labour Day Weekend Workouts

this is a long one.  Maybe less explanations so I can fit in more workout details.

I have been experimenting lately with the “meta-workout”.  First, you learn how to do an exercise.  Then you learn how to chain exercises together to work the body part properly.  Then you chain body parts together (make a “split”).  Then… what about chaining workouts together?  You work out Monday, you know you’re gonna be sore on Tuesday, so what can you do on Tuesday that will complement what you did on Monday?  Other than just rest that is, haha.  That was my pet project for the long weekend, weave the workouts together into a coherent narrative.

Thursday was Shoulders (45-60 sec rest)

Seated Smith Machine Military Press:  70 + bar x 10; 100 x 10; 130 x 12, 9, 9

Smith Machine Press Behind the Neck Press:  100 x 5, 2; 80 x 8; 80 x 10 DROP 50 x 10

Side Raise Machine:

100 x 10 DROP 80 x 10 DROP 60 x 10

100 x 10 DROP 80 x 8 DROP 60 x 10

100 x 10 DROP 80 x 7 DROP 60 x 8

Smith Machine Shrugs: 140 x 10; 200 x 10, 9, 10, 9; 110 x 25

Cable Reverse Fly (30 sec rest)

77 x 15

77 x 15

77 x 15 Partials 99 x 10

77 x 15 Partials 99 x 7

77 x 15 Partials 99 x 6

77 x 12 Partials 99 x 7

55 x 15 Partials 77 x 8

notes:  this was an awkward workout, I did stuff that wouldn’t work my core too hard, but in the end behind the neck presses are still awkward, and the presses got worn out fast so I moved onto side raises on a machine so I could do the drop sets.  Its too painful doing drop sets of side raises with dumbbells, since side raises need such light weights you will always be competing with a crowded gym for the most popular little dumbbells.  Smith Shrugs were just too awkward, the hooks kept catching on the cage, so free weights only from now on pls.  Cable Flys I had to share the machine for the first two sets with another lady so after she walked away I threw in the heavy partials to really wear me out.

Friday I was more tired than I expected so I took the day off, woops!  So much for the experiment, haha.  I would need the weekend to really put in the raw amount of rest I needed.

Saturday I slept in but got up mid-morning for Chest and Triceps.  I blew off Friday so this would have to be epic to make up for it.

Saturday C&T (60 sec rest)

Elliptical warmup 25 min

150 Twists

flat dumbbell bench:  90 x 10; 140 x 10; 180 x 7, 8

incline dumbbell press:  80 x 10; 110 x 10; 150 x 8, 7; 150 x 8 DROP 110 x 5 DROP 90 x 8

pec deck:

75 x 10

105 x 10

150 x 8 DROP 120 x 8 DROP 90 x 8

150 x 8 DROP 120 x 7 DROP 90 x 7

150 x 6 DROP 120 x 8 DROP 90 x 8

rope pushdown:

140 x 4

120 x 9 DROP 90 x 10 DROP 60 x 12

120 x 6 DROP 90 x 6 DROP 60 x 12

120 x 7 DROP 90 x 7 DROP 60 x 12

overhead rope extension:

100 x 12 DROP 80 x 8

100 x 8 DROP 80 x 8

120 x 3 DROP 100 x 4 DROP 80 x 5 DROP 60 x 8

smith machine closegrip press:

50 + bar x 12

70 x 12

120 x 12, 12

120 x 8 Partials 6, 5, 5 (10 second rest-pause)

notes:  this workout was brutal!  This was going to be relatively light on my shoulders because of the shoulder workout just the day before, but since I took that Friday off and my shoulders rested some, I threw in some incline presses with dropsets.  So heavy but low volume on the flat presses, then a double drop set of incline presses, then a bunch of isolation work then some triceps.

The flat presses ended poorly though… I dropped a 90 lb dumbbell on my left hip when I was lying down.  Ouch!  That stung, that should make for a lovely bruise.  I am just too self-conscious to drop it on the ground and make a lot of noise, so when I felt it slipping (ie. failing totally) I tried to reel it in rather than let it drop to the ground, but instead it almost fell on my groin and made me a eunuch, ROFL.

My triceps were burnt though the rope pushdowns ran out of gas pretty fast so I had to drop the weight.  With the overhead extensions I shifted to the long head of the triceps, so they lasted a few more sets, but on that last set I just kept dropping over and over until I could finally hit a decent number of reps.

For the smith presses, I followed up the last set with a bunch of partials to really burn me out for the day.  Since it was the Smith Machine, I could go past failure and do those partials:  I only popped it up a few inches from my chest over and over and when I couldn’t even do that I would hook it on the low rung.  Go until failure on the last set, rest 10 seconds, do some partials, rest 10 seconds, do more partials, did that about 3 times.  I was so burnt out in the end I had to shimmy out from under the low-racked smith bar, I couldn’t raise it back up to the regular height.

For Sunday I had a friend show up to do Legs with me, hooray!  Legs are rough enough as it is, a little backup is always most welcome.

Sunday Legs (traded sets back and forth with my friend)

cardio warmup 25 min

Standing Leg Curls:

40 x 10

60 x 10

90 x 12 DROP 70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12

90 x 12 DROP 70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12

90 x 12 DROP 70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts:  95 x 10; 135 x 10; 165 x 18, 18

Leg Press:  270 x 10; 450 x 10; 630 x 20, 20

Leg Extensions:

90 x 10

180 x 20 DROP 130 x 20 DROP 100 x 20 DROP 80 x 20

180 x 20 DROP 130 x 15 DROP 100 x 20 DROP 80 x 20

180 x 15 DROP 130 x 12 DROP 100 x 12 DROP 80 x 15

Superset Seated Leg Curls and Standing Calf Raises:

130 x 10 & 200 x 10 warmup

130 x 16 DROP 100 x 16 & 300 x 20 DROP 200 x 20

130 x 16 DROP 90 x 16 & 300 x 20 DROP 200 x 20

130 x 16 DROP 100 x 16 & 300 x 20 DROP 200 x 20

130 x 16 DROP 90 x 16 & 300 x 20 DROP 200 x 20

cooldown cardio 25 min

notes:  This workout was LONG!  50 min of cardio, and, no lie, 1 hour and 40 min of weights!  to some extent this was because I had a buddy with me, but in the end it still amount to a 3 HOUR trip to the gym.  We hit hamstrings really hard on this workout.  Drop sets within supersets within meta-workouts?  Inception!

Holiday Monday I slept in again, but even more so.  I barely made it to the gym with enough time to do it all before it closed early for the holiday.  The mall it was in was also crowded with mouthbreathers.  You have the Monday off, why go shop at the mall???  There were thousands and thousands of people in the mall, you can’t even walk fast, it was at CAPACITY.  I was channeling the personality of my father when I wanted to lash out and start clobbering crowds of people left and right just so I could get some personal space.  The gym wasn’t THAT crowded, but it was crowded enough I had to modify the workout somewhat.

Monday Back and Biceps and Abs (60 sec rest)

warmup cardio 25 min

150 twists

Giant Set Assisted Widegrip Chinups and Behind the Neck Lat Pulldowns and Seated Machine Rows

(100) x 20 & 120 x 10 & 210 x 10 DROP 165 x 10

(100) x 11 & 135 x 10 & 210 x 10 DROP 165 x 10

(100) x 11 & 135 x 10 & 210 x 10 DROP 165 x 10

Superset T-Bar Rows and Weighted Hyperextensions:

125 + bar x 12 & 70 x 10 DROP Bodyweight x 12

125 x 12 & 70 x 10 DROP Bodyweight x 12

125 x 12 & 70 x 8 DROP 35 x 8 DROP Bodyweight x 8

Superset Dumbbell Curls and High Cable Curls

25s x 20 & 94 x 8 DROP 72 x 10 DROP 61 x 12

45s x 8 & 105 x 8 DROP 83 x 8 DROP 61 x 8

45s x 7 & 105 x 8 DROP 83 x 8 DROP 61 x 10

Lying Cable Curls

105 x 16 DROP 83 x 20 DROP 61 x 16

105 x 15 DROP 83 x 5 DROP 61 x 10

105 x 12 DROP 83 x 15 DROP 61 x 15

Weighted Double Crunches: 70 x 15; 105 x 15, 15

150 twists

notes:  It was risky doing a giant set in a crowded gym, trying to tie up 3 stations at once.  But I managed to pull it off.  The giant set was there to wear out my upper and middle back as much as possible, try and not make this another marathon session like Legs.

Then I went to try and do a lower back superset.  I wanted to do bent over rows actually, but the gym was WAY too crowded for that, all the barbells were occupied, and no way I would wait for one, then walk across the room for hyperextensions and lose my barbell to some random passerby.  But I saw the t-bar rows were open, so I was able to tie that one up while I walked across the whole gym to do the hypers.

MAN, that lower back superset killed me!  My low back was throbbing like crazy.  I had to sit down for 5 min and catch my breath before I could go on to biceps.  But I wanted some major low back work because it also had the bonus effect of stretching out my hamstrings.  My hamstrings from Sunday were now really sore on Monday, so hyperextensions were quite therapeutic when I was able to stretch them out with weight like that.

I dub that meta-workout a SUCCESS, hahaha.  Lots of hamstrings on one day, then do lower back the next day.

For biceps I supersetted good ole classic db curls with high curls.  High curls are good as either a finisher or a superset finisher because you can raise your arms to shoulder level and the form isn’t as hard to maintain as you burn the last few fibres.  Even more to the point I dropsetted the high curls so I could really finish the set off.  I experimented with both low weight dumbbells and higher weight dumbbells.

I had more juice in me but my low back was still throbbing so I laid down on a mat and set the cables low and did some low curls, high rep with double drops.

After that I wanted to do abs but my low back was still worn out so I decided to try a weighted crunch machine in a different part of the gym I had never tried before – a plate-loaded chair that imitates a double crunch.  I liked it a lot!  It’s a popular chair though, so good luck with that.

After this was over the gym was close to closing so I went home.

And that was my long weekend series of workouts!  What about you?  Get in any workouts this Labour Day weekend?

Double Workout Day!

I haven’t done a 2 workout day in a while, so I knew this would be draining.  Plus I feel like I am fighting off a bug, so I have been taking extra glutamine today, help keep my immune system fueled.

 

First thing in the morning I walked into the gym at opening for some shoulders!

AM Shoulders (about 60 sec rest)

Smith Machine behind the head shoulder press:  50+bar x 10; 100 x 8, 8, 8

shoulder press machine done with 1 arm:  30 x 10/10; 50 x 10/10, 10/10, 10/10 DROP 30 x 12/12

Superset dumbbell lateral raise from sides with dumbbell lateral raises starting from behind back:  (40×16/20×15) x 3 sets

dumbbell shrugs: 120 x 10; 200 x 20, 20, 20

cable reverse fly (30 sec rest) 33 x 10; 55 x 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

 

notes:  the theme for this workout was “shoulder movements I find awkward or that I need to do to build up my weak spots”.  Once my arm breaks the plane of my body going from lateral to slightly behind me lateral, that’s when my shoulder sprain and rotator cuff come together in a really messed up way… so these were light weight exercises I did to test out the weak parts of my ROM.  Well, except for shrugs, those were just fun 🙂

 

It was awkward but important in terms of building up the weak parts of my shoulder, so I did it slowly and carefully and I think it came out alright!

 

Then I went to work.  When I was at work, I took a coworker out at lunch and showed her some chest and tricep exercises (and we did some ab and core work too).  She admitted to me that if it wasn’t for me, she would NEVER be using free weights or even body weights, she would just do a quick around the world tour of the gym machines, and even that she hadn’t done in a long time.  She would NEVER think of grabbing dumbbells and trying to bench press them!

When you build up confidence in the gym, you owe it to the world to help other people out.  Bro science gets a bad rap, at the core of it is people trying to help other people get in a good workout.  I would like to think my guidance is pretty solid, and if nothing else, it will help her build confidence to use all the choices available to her at the gym!

 

After work, I headed to the studio for my second workout:  a fullbody session with Leslie!

Fullbody weights (about 60 sec rest)

20 min cardio warmup

Barbell Squat to Bench (just tap the bench with your butt) 135 x 8, 155 x 8, 175 x 8, 185 x 8

IMG_2727

Smith Machine Bench Press:  140+bar x 8, 150 x 8, 160 x 8, 8

IMG_2732

Band Assisted Pullups (varied grip)  8, 8, 8, 8

IMG_2735

Standing Military Press:  45 x 8; 65 x 8; 75 x 8, 8

IMG_2737

Barbell Bicep Curls:  75 x 10, 8, 7, 8

IMG_2741

Ab Roller:  2 sets of 12

 

notes:  workout felt good!  Squats I am happy I got some time in practising them, I feel I would like to become much more confident about my form with those, so I can build up my strength.  Bench press felt good, pullups (though assisted) felt good, shoulder press was a little weak, not surprising considering I did them this morning.

 

And that was my day!  I was in the gym like 3 times all told.  That’s dedication!  How about you?  Did you make it to the gym today?