Tag Archive: closegrip pushups


Feb 20, 2015

mid-morning session at the office gym.

power clean & press (clean from the hang, clean it and press it each rep, 90 sec rest b/w sets)

bar x 3
95 x 3
135 x 3
135 x 3
135 x 3
135 x 3
135 x 3
135 x 3

notes: getting the hang of these (pun!)

superset: face pulls and over & backs (used a light/medium resistance band for both, 45 sec rest)

20 pulls / 8 o&b
20/8
20/8
20/8
20/8

notes: I normally use cables for face pulls, but this felt good too. The gym was crowded, so I used what I needed to use.

Smith Machine Z Press (90 sec rest)

35 plate per side x 8
35 pps x 8

notes: the only barbell was being used for bench press. can’t hate on that, so smith machine was a compromise. it isn’t exactly the same exercise any more because I don’t need to stabilize the bar, but I am still using shoulders and subtracting leg drive.

6-way (60 sec rest)

10 lb DBs x 8
10s x 8
10s x 8

notes: shoulder still hurts, not as bad

superset: DB bicep curls and closegrip incline pushups (60 sec rest)

30s x 20 / 20 pushups
30s x 15 / 20 pushups
30s x 15 / 20 pushups

notes: I used the smith machine for the pushups because I could set my height and get my hands in nice and close. if I was less of a fat chit I could take my feet out far enough that I could dip my head down past the bar and really work the triceps, but no dice. Still, supersetting these made my arms nice and red and pumped! They didn’t hurt and they didn’t swell so bad I couldn’t use them, but they did get red and they did experience a nice pump

post-workout: 2.1 miles LISS on the elliptical

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Got up, went to the gym first thing for my chest and tricep workout.

AM Chest & Tris (60 sec rest)

flat DB press:  70 x 10; 110 x 10; 170 x 8, 8

DB pullovers:  40 x 10; 60 x 12, 12

incline fly:  120 x 12, 12, 11 DROP 80 x 8

overhead tricep extensions:  rope 40 x 15; 50 x 15; bar 50 x 15; 70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12 DROP 30 x 12 DROP 20 x 12

assisted dips (115) 13; 9; 8

superset incline DB skullcrushers & diamond pushups (dropset to your knees to do more pushups):  60 x 8 & 8 DROP 6; 45 x 11 & 4 DROP 6; 45 x 10 & 4 DROP 5

bench dips, feet elevated 10, 9, 10

cardio 20 min, abdominal twists x 150

notes:  chest work was light but tricep work  was tough!  For the overhead extensions, I was stuck with this particular cable machine at the gym that is very stiff, I have lower weights on it than anywhere else.  So I experimented with attachments:  rope or straight bar; and I put my butt against the pillar, bent over 90 degrees, and did my tricep reps as best as I could – the triple drop set at the end was nasty!

I had not done dips on the dip machine in a long time, they usually are too rough on my shoulder.  But these felt good!  Supersetting the skullcrushers and pushups was intense, the back of my arms were spent!  I could barely get any pushups done, even when I dropped to my knees it didn’t help much.  And then with the bench dips, my arms were like spaghetti.

I am going to start throwing in some “twists” after my cardio, just rotating my trunk side to side with no bodyweight, see if maybe I can keep the blood flowing there, keep my obliques healthy and not bulky, maybe tighten up the loose skin a bit.  We will see.

After work I headed down to the studio for workout #2 with Les!

PM fullbody (60 sec rest)

seated good mornings w barbell:  45 x 12; 135 x 12; 155 x 12, 12

smith machine chest press 160 + bar x 8, 8, 8, 8

band assisted pullups (grip varies) 8, 8, 8, 8

standing military press 75 x 8, 8, 8, 8

ab roller x 12, 12, 12

cardio 20 min, twists x 150

notes:  I had done all those hack squats just the day before, so we thought instead today I could do some squat assist work:  strengthen my spine with some good mornings.  My first time doing them.  Felt good!

Smith bench is coming along well too, steady gains!  Military press and ab roller both felt more smooth and natural today too, so that’s comforting.

And that was my day!  another double whammy!  How about you? Did you make it out to the gym?

Friday night Arms

Leslie is clearly an avid reader of my blog!  I showed up to the studio Friday night and she wanted a good old-fashioned biceps/triceps workout!  Epic!

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge how awesome it was that there were lots of people in the studio.  Many a Friday night Leslie and I have been the only ones there puttin in work.  It’s really good to see.  Maybe people binged on chocolate and felt guilty, haha!

EZ Bar Curls:  25s for 15, 12, 10

IMG_1891

Superset – Incline DB Curls to Standing Curls:  50 x 12/12, 12/10, 12/10

IMG_1893

Superset – Preacher Curls to Hammer Curls w/ Rope:  Bar+30/70  10/12, 10/12, 10/12

go low!

go low!

IMG_1896

Incline Tricep Pushups (kneehigh incline):  12, 12, 12

2-Hand Overhead Tricep Extensions:  70 x 12, 12, 12

notes:  We got carried away having fun with biceps and didn’t have a lot of time left for triceps.  Oh well, sorry triceps!  Next time.

I don’t know really how much the EZ curl bar weighs.  I should probably make a point next time to check.  I think the old school heavy ones weighed 25 and these new thin ones weigh maybe 15?  Let’s pretend this one was 25 and I lifted more than I did and we won’t tell anyone 🙂

During the incline and standing superset, I would stop a few reps short, twist the weight around by rotating my forearm, and then pump out the last few reps.  This worked really well on the inclines, it made the last few reps quite hard!  It didn’t have the same affect on the standing curls, I think it only works to recruit more bicep fibers if the bicep is bearing the strain of holding it up at full hang.  That happens with inclines, it doesn’t so much with standing curls.  Oh well, lesson learned.  It was a nice experiment.

Supersetting bicep exercises back to back is fun!  Scary but fun.  Scary for me because the biggest issue with my biceps is they run out of gas quite quick.  I find pump sets pretty draining, and supersetting has the same effect:  biceps send message to brain, please stop! We are lazy, and need to catch our breath.  So I don’t need to go heavy on bicep supersets or pump sets, I get some nice aching and groaning by just keeping it going for longer.  TUT kills my biceps.

I don’t remember how many reps I did on the last 2 sets of the standing curls, I just know I didn’t get all 12.  I was close though, so let’s say 10.

The preachers were relatively easy, I could def go heavier, but again we were supersetting, and this being an isolation, I wanted to let my arms drop all the way (not all the way down as in locking my elbows, just enough to keep a small bend in the elbow and stretch those muscles out).  Not that I didn’t need some help on the last set, haha!  Whatevs.

Hammer curls with a rope was interesting!  That’s a new one for me.  The cables always change the way the exercise hits the muscle.  With dumbbells, you have momentum at the top as the side weight swings up and over.  With the cables, you have to keep working, so those last few inches are much harder than you are used to.  Also, you have a tendency to want to collapse your arms inwards with the rope, you gotta fight that shit and keep spreading the rope up and out as it gets to your shoulders!

And that was my Friday night workout!  How was your Friday night?  Any good workouts?

A Sense of Renewal

Thursday was my offday.  At work though, the grind of the 9 to 5 got to me and I ate some junk food to give me a boost for the afternoon 7th inning stretch.  It wasn’t much, it gave me a pick me up for 5 min then I felt worn out again.  I felt guilty about it, so I decided to head to the gym Thursday night to do some work.  I asked Leslie what would be best for the focus so I wouldn’t step on the toes of whatever she had planned for Friday, and she suggested I do arms.  Hooray!  I luv arm day.  (Side note, Leslie hates her own arm day!  She says it agitates her to work her biceps.  Crazy right??  Arm day rules.)  After work, I napped, ate, psyched myself up, then to the gym for some late night training.

Group photo! Leslie’s arms, and my pecs. the excellence of execution right here.

Thursday night solo:

5 min warmup

(90 sec rest between sets)

dumbbell skullcrushers:  30 lb DBs x10, x10, x10, x10, x10, x8

2hand dumbbell extension:  55lb DB x10, x10, x10, x10, x10, x10

bicep curl machine:  60 x10, x10, x10, x10, x10, x10

seated curls:  35 lb DBs x10, x10, x10, x10, x10, x9

30 min on the elliptical

notes:  Good old arm volume training.  You don’t NEED 24 working sets a week on your arms to see progress, but it is nice every once in a while, and my arms need to work on their endurance.  My shoulder felt sore, so I was glad for arms vice chest or back.  Still, my shoulder got in the way of the skullcrushers, so my form was shaky by set 4.  I couldn’t keep it going in set 6, so had to clip it short.  Extensions felt good by the end, good strain on my triceps, so I knew tricep DOMS were in my future.

I wanted to do preacher curls, but the dudes in the gym had set up camp on the preacher rest, and they didn’t seem friendly, so w/e.  I went to the bicep curl machine.  I put on 60 lbs, which felt light on the machine, so I tried to make up for it by focussing mentally on SQUEEZING at the top of the movement, really tiring out my bicep and working on “the peak”.  It worked wonders.  By sets 5 and 6, my 90 second rest was devoted to stretching out my biceps, which felt really good.  Finished up with DB curls, and my biceps were tired enough that I couldn’t keep good form by the last few sets, so I will stick at that weight for a while.

Friday I woke up TIRED.  Late night sessions at the gym mean you are so buzzed when you get home, it is hard to transition to sleep.  Plus my shoulder stayed sore through the night.  So I slept in a bit, then took some strong anti-inflammatories for my shoulder and headed to work.  I was conscious not to eat junk, but I had to pop another anti-inflammatory, which leaves me feeling sluggish and bloated.  So lack of sleep and pilled to the gills, that meant I was not in prime form for my Friday session with Leslie.  It is unavoidable though, the shoulders need to rehab, can’t let them gather dust.

We talked for a bit, did a weigh-in (I lost 0 weight, which I will take as a concession considering the imperfect week).  We also talked about my future.  I definitely still need the help, with my form, with my focus, with my diet.  So I signed up for more sessions, renewed the commitment!  I am looking forward to working more with Les, I think she can help me a lot 🙂

short session, but weigh-in, renewal and pep talk was needed

10 minutes on the elliptical

triset:  squats with the ropes THEN stationary lunges THEN Australian pullups

20/12/12,     15/12(touch ball to floor)/10,     13(jump squats)/12(ball twist)/10

last set

last set

first set!

triset:  barbell curls THEN incline closegrip pushups THEN walking side planks

45×10/10/10,     55×12/12/10,     55×12/12/10

the transition

finished product

yoga stretch after:  cobblers pose for 3 min, pigeon for 90 sec or so each side

notes:  did all that make sense?  to some extent the exercises progressed to tougher versions as they went on.  As I got used to the version, we did a little more.  So the first stationary lunges were just that, then the second set I had a medicine ball I touched to the ground, then the last set, I twisted with the ball to the side.

The straps for the squats were just to keep my chest up, I didn’t pull or use my back.  That pic of me doing plyo is a rare pic!  Savour it, my feet don’t leave the ground very often any more 😀

Yeah… lunges… I am not very coordinated with lunges, haha.

Those wussy pullups… I can definitely go harder next time, they were easy (move my feet farther out).

The barbell curls were light, so I focused on the squeeze, and my biceps were tired anyways from the night before.

The incline closegrip was basically me racking the barbell after the curls then doing pushups against them.  On a sidenote:  there are no pictures of the curls or the pushups, because doing curls in the squat rack is a n00b move, and Leslie would lose her PT license if someone saw it 😀

Walking side planks are basically you transition back and forth from side to side.  They felt good, even slightly easy, so Leslie had me hold the side plank for a few seconds before the transition on later sets.

Then the yoga after felt GREAT.  It made me realize how much I miss yoga, it boosts my mood so much.  Thanks for that Leslie!  Good call.

October ends with a sense of renewed purpose.  I have a long ways to go, but I am working on it.  See you later!