Tag Archive: cables


June 7, 2015

I was a bad, naughty goat all weekend, and so when I woke up this morning in a hotel, I wanted to do light stuff and just try to reboot my system.

I also have revamped my training plan, and start it tomorrow, so no need to go crazy today.

All I had were cables and little plates of uncertain weights, so that was the deal. Work up in weight, get some volume in.

Leg Extensions
*30 sec rets b/w sets*
2 plates x 15
3 plates x 15
4 p x 15
5 p x 15
6 p x 15
7 p x 15
8 p x 11
*increase rest to 60 seconds*
9 p x 10
10 p x 10
11 p x 10
12 p x 8

Leg Curls
*30 sec rest*
2 p x 15
3 p x 15
4 p x 15
5 p x 8
*increase rest to 60 sec*
6 p x 5
7 p x 4
*increase rest to 2 min*
7 p x 4
7 p x 4
7 p x 4

notes: I found this machine awkward, so I did some heavy weight low rep stuff.

Widegrip Lat Pulldowns (rests stayed at 30 sec)

4 p x 15
5 p x 15
6 p x 15
7 p x 15
8 p x 15
9 p x 15
10 p x 15
11 p x 15
12 p x 15
13 p x 8

Bench Press Machine (wide grip, rests stayed at 30 sec)
1 p x 15
2 p x 15
3 p x 15
4 p x 15
5 p x 15
6 p x 15
7 p x 15
8 p x 15
9 p x 15
10 p x 15
11 p x 15
12 p x 12

notes: hard to know how my shoulder would like this one, so I started as light as I could, and worked up gradually. Felt good actually.

Believe it or not, this had me dripping sweat, so after I went and sat in the hot tub for about 30 min and chilled out.

Looking forward to tomorrow!

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I was 100% ready in my mind and about 60% ready in my body to make it to the gym today.  It was a lose-lose, either I hang at home and recoup my body and lose the hunger and the drive to lift as I slowly morph back into a lazy bum, or I feed the mental beast but potentially delay my recovery.

So I chose the gym.  I made it there for about 11 AM, took a scoop of Fast Fuel about 20 min before, a scoop during, a scoop of ReGen during and a scoop of ReGen after.  I was ok, just some light hacking and wheezing a few times.  I sweated like crazy.  I made sure to be extra clean with the equipment, wiping off every dumbbell, rubber grip or seat surface I came into contact with, with disinfectant.

Nov 2 – Shoulders, Back, Triceps  (regular tempo, 45 sec b/w all sets)

Standing Overhead Press

45 x 15

65 x 15

75 x 15

75 x 13

75 x 10

I ran out of gas pretty fast on these, but I think it was more a case of me being slow to warm up, even adding in a few light sets didn’t fix that.  Gym was rather crowded, so I changed spots a few times during these sets.

Upright Rows

75 x 15

75 x 15

75 x 15

75 x 15

These helped me to warm up a bit more.

Cable Reverse Fly

55 x 15

55 x 15

55 x 15

55 x 15

I really wanted a pec deck with free-moving handles so I could try and hit my rhomboids a bit more, but this particular gym didn’t have that handy, so I used what was readily accessible.

Closegrip Cable Row

180 x 15

180 x 15

180 x 15

180 x 11

I found this weight heavier than usual.  Maybe this cable machine needed a little oil in the feed.

Widegrip Pulldown  straight up and down

135 x 15

135 x 12

135 x 12

135 x 10

I had a bad habit of leaning back all the time, and built up my strength in the past that way.  There’s nothing wrong with that on its own, but as part of my training, I realized I was neglecting areas of my back by not pulling it down straight down without the lean.  The back is a big area, and you need to hit a lot of angles to fill it out right. So I have started pulling it straight down again, and of course that means the weight has dropped since that part of my back is a bit neglected.  So kind of a back to basics for me on that one.

Assisted Chin Ups underhand grip

15, 12, 10, 10

Just finishing the back off, with a little help from the biceps.

The biceps work inspired me, so I decided to hit the tris a little bit.  Not a lot, just a little.

Skullcrushers

75 x 5

75 x 6

I tried to do these, but felt a pain my left elbow on the lower right away.  I waited 2 minutes, then tried a second set.  Again pain, so I chose different exercises.

Tricep Extension Machine

70 x 15

70 x 15

80 x 15

90 x 12

Lots of people don’t explore full ROM with this machine, and I am probably guilty of that too.  I tried to do full ROM, which includes both a straight arm at one end, and having your forearm touch your bicep at the other end.  My full extension was tricky, I couldn’t really bring it all the way without the plates resting on the machine, so I had to stop a little short.  I noticed the weakest part of my ROM was right before the full contraction, so a good point for me to keep focusing on in the future.

Standing 2 Hand DB Extension

70 x 15

70 x 15

70 x 15

70 x 10

I really wanted to use the cables, but that area was too crowded and I wanted to be done.  So I used a dumbbell, and went a little lighter to take it easy on my elbow.

And that was that!  A lot more exhausting than it should have been, but I am not 100% yet.  It actually felt a lot like my old workouts a few years ago, when I weighed about 90 more pounds.  When it was all just grind and no real joy or momentum.  That’s ok, I know the fun will be back soon 🙂

So my deload week is now over.  As far as deloads go, I still went to the gym just as often, I just didn’t push as hard.  I also indulged on the food a few times.. buffets, movie theater popcorn, I am a bad boy!

 

Anyways, back to business.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a long weekend here in Ontario, it’s time for some iron.  Sunday I went out for leg day, and in a show of solidarity, Les the trainer came out and we did legs together!  We took turns, I did my set then she did hers, that was our rest break.

Sunday Legs:

cardio for 20 min

superset leg extensions & seated leg curls:  120×30&120×20; 130×30&140×20

superset walking lunges w dumbbells & standing leg curls:  60×40&60×20; 60×40&70×20; 60×40&80×20

45 degree leg press:  6 plates x 50; 6 plates x 50; 7 plates x 50

extra superset of extensions & curls again:  130×30&140×20

cardio for 20 min

notes:  as you can see this was high reps with lots of supersets, I kept my legs high and wide on the leg press, so overall I hit the hamstrings and glutes pretty good.  Doing more on the curls than I am on the extensions, is that good?  haha, I think my hams are coming up!  I hate doing lunges with a passion, but I do enjoy being able to rock out the shorts in the gym while guys who skip leg days have to wear track pants with their tanks, haha.  You aint fooling me!

 

Monday I went to the gym for chest and triceps work.

Monday Push (rest was around 60-90 sec)

cardio for 20 min

flat db press:  70×10; 110 x 10;  170 x 8, 8

flat db fly:  70 x 10; 130 x 10, 10, 10

incline cable fly:  55 x 10; 99 x 10; 121 x 10; 121 x 10 DROP 99 x 10 DROP 77 x 10

cable crossover:  99 x 10; 165 x 10; 165 x 10; 165 x 10 DROP 121 x 10 DROP 99 x 10

tricep pushdowns w straight bar:  93 x 10; 115 x 18; 126 x 18; 126 x 18 DROP 93 x 11 DROP 72 x 20

reverse grip pushdowns:  72 x 10; 93 x 18; 93 x 18; 93 x 18 DROP 72 x 20 DROP 50 x 40

skullcrusher 21s:  superset 3 different positions – extend from top of head & lower to forehead & drop behind head and bring back to a closegrip press

50 x 21, 21, 21

cardio for 20 min

 

notes:  chest as you can see was mostly isolation work, and once we got to the cables I threw in a double drop set on the last set.  Could have gone heavier on the reversegrip, those dropset reps are way too high.  Skullcrusher 21s was an interesting experience.  I couldn’t really go heavier, my right elbow was pinching too much during the reps I lowered to my forehead, so I had to keep it light for that.  The best way I can describe skullcrusher 21s is to watch this video:

Fast forward to the 3 min mark and watch for about a minute, he explains the first and third variations there (the second is really just the standard skullcrusher)

Arms as you can see was high rep, bringing in lots of pump and BLOOD to the muscles!  I prefer high rep with arms, feels better.

 

And that was my long weekend! How about you?  Any good workouts?

Back and Arms Pump

In between rounds of Arrested Development, I went down to the gym.  Back & Arms!

Back & Arms (all Back sets are 30 sec rests, Arms about 90 sec rest b/w giant sets)

widegrip pulldowns:  warmup x 2, 195 x 12, 10, 8, 8

underhand pulldowns:  180 x 10, 9, 8, 8

t-bar rows:  115 x 9, 10, 10, 10

closegrip row machine:  180 x 12, 12, 12

closegrip cable rows:  180 x 12, 12, 12

machine hyperextensions:  300 x 12, 12, 12, 12

Arms Giant Sets:  Set I.  rope pushdowns 70 x 12, rope hammer curls 60 x 12, low rope extensions 60 x 12, low rope curls 60 x 12

Set II.  rope pushdowns 70 x 12, rope hammer curls 60 x 12, low rope extensions 60 x 12, low rope curls 60 x 12, high straightbar extensions 60 x 12, high straightbar curl 50 x 12

Set III.  rope pushdowns 70 x 12, rope hammer curls 60 x 12, low rope extensions 60 x 12, low rope curls 60 x 12, high straightbar extensions 50 x 12, high straightbar curl 50 x 12, reverse tricep extensions 60 x 12, reverse curls 40 x 12

Set IV.  rope pushdowns 70 x 12, rope hammer curls 60 x 12, low rope extensions 60 x 12, low rope curls 60 x 12, high straightbar extensions 60 x 12, high straightbar curl 60 x 12, reverse tricep extensions 70 x 12, reverse curls 50 x 12, bench dips x 12, db hammer curls 25s x 12

Set V.  rope pushdowns 70 x 12, rope hammer curls 60 x 12, low rope extensions 60 x 12, low rope curls 60 x 12, high straightbar extensions 60 x 12, high straightbar curl 60 x 12, reverse tricep extensions 70 x 12, reverse curls 50 x 12, bench dips x 12, db hammer curls 25s x 12, v-bar pushdowns 90 x 12, db curls 25s x 12

Set VI.  rope pushdowns 70 x 12, rope hammer curls 60 x 12, low rope extensions 60 x 12, low rope curls 60 x 12, high straightbar extensions 60 x 12, high straightbar curl 60 x 12, reverse tricep extensions 70 x 12, reverse curls 50 x 12, bench dips x 12, db hammer curls 25s x 12, v-bar pushdowns 110 x 12, db curls 25s x 12, tricep extension machine 80 x 12, bicep machine 60 x 12

 

notes:  Does that look insane or what??  Volume for days!  It’s like climbing Mount Olympus.  The overall goal was to go heavy as I could on the back work while maintaining low rest, and to go low weight but high rep on the arms, hitting them from every angle.

The pulldowns started out HEAVY.  I was a little surprised.  I grunted my way through the first 12 sets, and I figured I was having an off day since I couldn’t hit 12 reps like at alllllll, so I lowered the weight on the next few sets and found it almost TOO easy.  Well, the closegrip machine was too easy, the closegrip cable still felt kinda hard.  I was feeling burnt out so I did machine hyperextensions.  Those are kind of easy despite me doing the full stack of weight, but I like them because I can really feel the squeeze in the low back, so it help to visualise the mind-muscle connection.

For the arms, I borrowed this one from the Allmax website – Progressive Giant Sets.  Just keep building the stack of giant sets taller and taller, keeping them at 12 reps each set and not stopping until that giant set is done:  4 exercises then 6, then 8, then 10, 12, and finally Set 6 has 14 exercises, all back to back!!!  In total that is… 54 exercises and 648 reps!

I kept the weight low on the arms because, quite frankly, I was scared of how hard the pump was going to feel.  For all I knew my arms would get weak as hell or my tendinitis would flare up or SOMETHING.  So I generally kept the weight the same, although I did up a few loads from set to set if you pay close attention.

That arm routine is AMAZING.  The blood flow in the arms was totally invigorating!  Its like an orgasm in my arm muscles!  My tendinitis for the most part kept its mouth shut and I busted the whole thing out like a champ!  I can tweak the weights a little higher next time, but overall that was an EPIC pump.  The only downside is you pretty much have to OWN a part of the gym for like 40 minutes, there was a light crowd in the gym so I mostly stayed away from dumbbells, and tried to pick exercises that would let me set up tent at a single cable machine.  Pretty much all I needed was a cable machine, 3 attachments, one set of dumbbells, and at the end of Set 6 I had to run over to the machines, but those were my last 24 reps so I didn’t have to worry about losing my cable.

Someone else please try this arm routine and tell me how it feels!  Probably best to pick a time when the gym is deserted though, it sucks to either lose your spot in the middle of a giant set or to have to tell someone they can’t sub in because you are busy doing hundreds of reps, trolololololol!

 

After the smoke cleared, I was destroyed!  I was cold, hungry, my tshirt was soaked, I was TREMBLING.  I had zero energy left for cardio, I had exhausted myself.  I cleaned up and came home to collapse.

 

And what about you?  Any good workouts today?

Chest Assault

Sunday night I was up late watching Mad Men and Game of Thrones, so I slept in Monday morning and missed Spin.  Whoops!

All day Monday at work I was looking forward to heading to the gym to work out.  You get that way, you build up all this positive momentum, and when you finally get to the weight room, it is pure joy.  It is the chemical payoff you have trained yourself to anticipate, you are an iron addict now, accept it.

As I have acclimated to the 6 day, twice a week split, the low carbs and the morning cardio, a curious change happened – I have gotten hungrier.  The burning need I used to have to sustain myself with additives and preservatives has been slowly conquered by a need to push and pull against resistance, a hunger.

I am much more hungry now than I was months ago.  It is what makes me want to keep moving forward.  I think my trainer can start to see it.  Each workout session I grunt my way through intense sets with less self-consciousness, I smile more when I catch my breath, and if the next set didn’t start asap I am on the verge of hopping up and down.

If this is what I am meant to be like if I follow this course, then I accept the new me whole-heartedly.

 

So when I got to the studio, it was chest & triceps day!  Hooray!

warmup:  15 min on the elliptical

chest & tri (30 sec b/w sets)

incline fly:  70 x 12, 12, 12

IMG_2196

cable crossovers:  160 x 12, 12, 12

IMG_2199

incline db press:  110 x 15, 15, 15

IMG_2201

flat db press:  120 x 12, 12, 12, 12

IMG_2202

skullcrushers:  70 x 15, 15, 15, 12

IMG_2206

seated one hand db extension:  20 x 12/12, 8/11, 4/0; 15 x 6/12 (no rest, back and forth)

rope pushdown:  80 x 12; 90 x 12, 12; 50 over and over and over

IMG_2208

hanging knee raise:  11, 15

IMG_2212

 

notes:  those crossovers were heavy!  HAF.  I was effectively pre-exhausted, and those incline and flat presses hit me like a truck.  We dropped the bench deeper than 45 degrees, I wanted to make the load easier on my shoulder, and get as much of the upper pec as I could for the inclines.  This, however, had the side effect of tiring my chest out even more for the flat presses, so I needed some forced reps from Leslie to get through the flat sets.

The brutality continued as we upped my regular skullcrusher weight by 16.67%!!  dayum.  Yeah, those skulls were hard damn work.  HAF.  I felt it in the back of my arms quite nicely, though.  Lots of forced reps on those mofos.

So when it was time for the seated extensions, I was weak as a kitten.  Kind of pitiful, but that’s what happens when you stack the movements and the rests like that.  I had to drop down to the 15s to get through the sets.  Let’s just say the tricep was overloaded.  Mission accomplished.

When we did the rope pushdowns, I had some fire coming back, so after the 3 sets I did a pump set that pretty much went on until the end of time.  No joke, Leslie lost count.  I would go for a long-ass time, wait a few seconds, then do a bunch of quarter reps, wait a few then do a bunch of full reps, wait a few then bang out a bunch rapid fire (causing the knobs at the end of the rope to bang into my kneecaps over and over again).  Good finisher, and Leslie was busting a gut.

We had a few minutes left, so I did some abs.

 

Awesome workout!  I’m just getting meaner and meaner and hungrier each day, feeling real good too!  How about you?  Any good workouts today?

Apr 4 Chest & Tri

Woke up pretty tired Thursday morning.  I took some pre-workout, had some caffeine and had some NO3.  In retrospect, I pushed it a little too far.

Made it to the gym at 6 am, ready to do some chest and triceps as time permitted, then 7 am spin.

Chest & Triceps:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

warm-ups w/ cable crossovers

flat db fly:  80 x 12, 12, 12

cable crossover 120 x 12, 12, 12

incline bb press (1/2 ROM):  115 x 15, 15, 15

flat bb press:  135 x 12, 12, 12, 7

reverse grip pushdowns: (no rest, back and forth arm to arm)  50 x 15/15, 11/15, 12/13, 10/13

closegrip db press:  100 x 12, 12, 10

seated two hand db extension:  65 x 12, 12, 8

cardio:  30 min elliptical 55% resistance, incline 9, light pace

 

notes:  The flys went ok, but felt a little awkward, I might not have fully warmed up yet.  This was my first time trying out 1/2 ROM inclines.  I guess it was ok, certainly easier on my shoulder, but not sure if was worth it in the end.  With the flat presses, I was SO close to failing on the third set, I actually failed on the last rep and had to force it for what seemed like forever to get it back up and rack it.  I could see I was wearing down, so I stopped and pulled a little short on the 4th set before it felt like I was on the edge of failing.  No sense risking it when I didn’t have a spot.

It was about then that my stomach became kind of upset.  I think I took too much stuff this morning, and now it was turmoil in my gut.  It kind of distracted me during the tricep work.

For the pushdowns, I tried standing sideways and holding onto the machine with the freehand, even leaning away a little.  I think that worked MUCH better, felt better formwise.  It still feels hard on my left shoulder, but not crazy bad.

I was SO close to getting through that third set of the closegrip presses, it was very frustrating.

In the end, I decided my stomach was feeling pretty rough, so I did not go to Spin, instead I just did cardio on my own, and kept a light pace.

 

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

Press, Pump and Pull

I went to the gym after work, with a few possibilities on my mind. I wanted to do arms, mainly. My chest also felt a little underworked this week. And I said I was going to be casually doing more pullups. So let’s see what I can do in an hour?

workout:
dumbbell flat press: (2 min rest b/w sets) 120×16, 140×12, 160×8, 180×4, 160×3, 140×8, 120×11
(from now on, 60 sec or less between sets and exercises)
closegrip dumbbell press: 110 (w/ 5 sec negative) x 10, 60×25
straight bar pushdown: 70 (w/5 sec neg) x10, 40×25
one arm dumbbell extension: 30 (w/5 sec neg) x 4/8, 20 x 9/11
curl machine: 80 (w/5 sec neg) x 10, 50×25
one arm cable curl: 50 (w/5 sec neg) x 10/10, 30 x 15/20
zottman curls: 30 (w/ 5 sec neg) x 5/5, 20 x 10/10
assisted pullups: wide grip x 5, closegrip x 6, hammer grip x 5

cooldown cardio: elliptical, 80% resistance, incline 9, 30 min

notes: I had a lot of stuff I wanted to do, but I didn’t want it to take more than hour, as the work starts to get counter productive around the 60-90 min mark (plus I get cold, hungry and sloppy). The weight portion clocked in at 55 min, score!!
I took more time between chest sets so I could try and build some strength. I had been really hoping to press the 100 lb dumbbells, but I wasn’t confident with the 90s, so I went back down the ladder. My shoulder felt a little sore my second time pressing the 80s, so I stopped and rested right away, as you can see I only did 3 reps of those. I think I am getting a little stronger, gradually.
The arm sets were designed to achieve a “pump” to try and encourage blood to fill the muscles, get a little size. So a slow negative set (super slow!) followed by a high rep set right away. By the 3rd exercise for each body part, your muscles will be used up and burning!
I couldn’t get the pushdown cable spot I wanted, I like the one where you can adjust the pulley a little lower. I had to use the one where the pulley stays up high. I find that one a little awkward, so my weight suffered as a result. Whatever, I still got a pump near the end.
With the one arm exercises, I didn’t take a specific “rest”, I just went back and forth arm to arm, slow set to slow set to pump set to pump set. Those wore me out like crazy, you see my reps go down on those just because the muscles were toast. I took slightly longer than 60 sec after those specific exercises to recover, so I think it all balanced out in the end. I also notice my right arm seems a little stronger than my left! hmmm, good thing I did those one arm exercises so I can notice the imbalance.
One arm db extensions and zottman curls at the end of the routine are rough! I didn’t get even close to the reps I wanted to achieve, I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but it felt really good. In my defence, my triceps were tired from the presses, and my biceps were trying to save some juice for the pullups 🙂

And that was that! How was your day? Any good workouts?