Tag Archive: concentration curls

6/27 Shoulders

Was in the office gym by 20 after 6, let’s do it!

Overhead Press

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

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

65 x 5 / o&b

80 x 5 / o&b

main – Superset OHP and One Arm DB Rows (1-2 min rest b/w sets)

100 x 5 / 70 x 5/5

115 x 3 / 80 x 5/5

130 x 6.5 / 90 x 5/5

notes:  6.5 reps means I failed on the 7th rep!

joker sets – Superset OHP and 1 Arm DB Rows (2-3 min rest)

145 x fail / 100 x 5/5

160 x fail / 100 x 5/5

notes:  when I went for 145, I ended up doing a push press and when I went for a strict rep, I failed.  Tried 160 for the hell of it, yup failed that one outright, lol.  I was done!



Bench Press   (30 sec rest)

85 x 10

85 x 10

85 x 10

85 x 10

85 x 10


Widegrip Free Cable Pulldowns ( 30 sec rest)

115 x 10

115 x 10

115 x 10

115 x 10

115 x 10

Closegrip Bench Press (30 sec rest)

115 x 15

115 x 15

115 x 15

Concentration Curls (30 sec rest)

40 x 8/8

40 x 11/11

40 x 5/5

notes:  My left side was MUCH weaker – tendinitis in the forearm.  I was able to focus and do a halfway decent second set, but I was so burnt that my third set wasn’t happening.  I was feeling like the tank was empty, so I called it there and went for breakfast!




Tuesday Back and Biceps

Workouts aren’t always PR’s and rainbows.  Some days you just have to punch the clock, feel a bit of pain and just grind away.  It is an important lesson to learn, and one that wipes out most of the weekend warriors – persistency and consistency.  If you don’t stick with it, you will not change your body.  So… some workouts are just miserable.  This was the case with me on Tuesday.  No personal records, just putting in work.

Tuesday PM Back and Biceps (45-60 sec rest)

cardio 25 min warmup – lateral elliptical

spinal twists x 150

V-Bar Pulldowns:  105 x 10; 150 x 10; 225 x 10, 8, 7

1 Arm DB Row:  45 x 10; 60 x 10; 90 x 15, 12, 12

T-Bar Row:  90 x 10; 115 x 10; 155 x 10, 8, 9

Underhand Pulldowns:  225 x 6, 10, 8

Spider Curls:  25 x 10; 45 x 10; 65 x 6, 5, 4

Concentration Curls:  20 x 10; 30 x 12, 9, 11

Biceps Curl Machine:  (30 sec rest) 90 x 12; 80 x 11; 70 x 15, 13, 11; 60 x 15, 15

Cardio 25 min – Stepmill

Spinal Twists x 150


notes:  Maybe I am being too hard on myself, my weight for the V-Bar and DB Rows was actually good for me.  But my energy dropped out fast on the back exercises, usually I have more endurance than that.  Even worse, my tendinitis flared up in my right elbow (probably from Monday’s BB Curls), and Spider Curls just could not get going without pain.  So I did concentration curls, which supports the part of my elbow that was hurting, then I used the machines, which did not cause any pain.  I did an FST-inspired set on the machines, 7 sets in a row with 30 secs rest, you get tired fast!


But hey, at least the workout got done.  What about you?  Any good workouts lately?

End of the Week!

Ugh, 4 days in a row of working out.  I am thrashed.

Got up at 5 am, had a grapefruit.  stared at the computer screen for a minute then realized I was almost late for spin.  F*ck!  I hadn’t had any protein or yogourt or anything for breakfast, just the fruit.  I poured a shot of pre-workout (Assault, in honour of Danabolic’s blog!), ran to Spin. I only realized when I got home about 13 hours later that the full glass of Assault was still sitting there – I had poured my pre-workout drink, then just turned around and walked out of my house.  How fried was my brain???

When I got to Spin, I quickly realized I had ZERO energy, that Spin was murderrrrrr….. no surprise I guess, I hadn’t had any protein that morning, hadn’t eaten my usual foods, no quick fats, not even a glass of pre-workout pep… I was running on empty and I felt it hard.  So I grunted and sweated my way through that ride, showered, felt the hunger kick in like a BEAST, then went out for my Friday cheat day breakfast.


Pretty much right, crepe wrapped around eggs and cheese and ham, fruit, coffee, water, side of bacon.  They brought me an orange juice as well, but I couldn’t wait to get a pic of it all at once.  I soon realized they used a banana crepe for my ham omelette… WTF!??! A banana crepe?  That ruins it!

First-world problems, right??

So whatever, they were busy and I didn’t have forever, I just poured syrup on it and ate it anyways, my banana ham sandwich.


Work was real busy, I saved my energy for my workout after work!  My chest is still sore from my Wednesday workout!  Crazy!  I like DOMS in my chest, that means I am doing something right.

After work I headed to the studio, Leslie the trainer is back from her vacation!  Yay!  I realized I hadn’t trained arms in 10 days… where did the time go??  So we did arms.

Arms:  Supersets!  back and forth, minimal rest

5 min warmup on elliptical

dumbbell curls & dumbbell skullcrushers:  50 x 12&12; 60 x 12&12, 12&12

rope hammer curls & V pushdowns:  90&120 x 15&15, 15&15, 15&15


hammer curls

no V-bar so we used the rope :)

no V-bar so we used the rope 🙂


incline dumbbell curl & dumbbell kickbacks:  40&30 x 12&12; 50&30 x 12&12, 12&12




double concentration curls & overhead two-hand dumbbell extensions:  50&45 X 12&15; 60&55 X 12&15; 60&65 x 12&15



cable curls with the straight bar & closegrip incline pushups:  100 x 12; 120 x 10, 12 & 12, 15, 15


back soaked!

back soaked!


single leg raise and crossover touch x 12, 12, 12


double crunches x 12, 12, 12

abdominal pendulum:  bent knee x 15, we tried straight legs and that didn’t happen at all LOL, so the third set we did side planks



notes:  been too long without arms! I don’t think I was able to get 100% back into the intensity, I was too distracted with being social and witty and clever with my friends, but I will try and fix that for next time 🙂  After the abs, we also did some chest stretches.  Taking what my massage dude said seriously!  Gotta fix that front imbalance.

We also took some time before the workout to talk about my goals.  I want to lose more weight, obviously.  I am still in the 300s, I want to break into the 200s so bad!!!  Very close!  I want to get my body fat below 20%, I want to put on another 10 pounds of muscle, I want to build a lot more strength in the basic compound exercises, I want to take on another hot yoga challenge, etc!

I also need to hit my back harder, if I have to choose I will lighten up on chest and do more back.  I don’t want my front to grow too fast and overpower my back, I need to balance to what is lagging.

I am happy with my diet, I am happy with the 3 on 1 off body parts twice a week split, I am happy with the morning cardio.  I just need to tweak the exercises a bit, and put yoga back in the mix.


I am excited for the summer, aren’t you?  I can’t wait to do more hard work and have it show!  Already everyone I know can see I have put on muscle, it is plain to see.  I want more of that, more muscle.  Maybe it’s a guy thing, but it feels good 🙂

But when I left the studio and came home, the back workout from Thursday hit me, and my arms are ALREADY sore from tonight, so I am about to crash hard.  4 days in a row is brutal!  I need a rest day like crazy.

Good night all!

Whoops! Forgot to post yesterday!  I went out to see Evil Dead, and lost track of time.


I showed up to the gym at 6 am, to do some back and biceps, then spin.  In the end, I did back, then spin, then biceps.

Back, Spin, Biceps:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

assisted pull-ups:  widegrip x 10, 10; underhand grip x 10; hammergrip x 10

widegrip machine rows:  195 x 12, 12, 12

narrowgrip pulldowns:  165 x 15, 15, 12, 10

machine hyperextensions:  270 x 12, 12, 12

Spin 1 hour

cable curls:  100 x 12, 12, 12

concentration curls:  25 x 15/15, 15/15, 15/15, 12/13 (back and forth arm to arm, no rest)

notes:  pullups felt pretty good for a warmup!  Losing weight definitely helps me do more reps.  I was worn out by the time I got to pulldowns, but finished pretty strong.

Spin class was good, Courtney teaches Tuesdays now.  My back was tired, so I was sad to find out that this ride had a lot of standing climbs, like 2 min long standing climbs.  Oh well.  We also had some fast flat races, I was dripping sweat by the third track.

I headed back to the weight pit to do biceps.  Kind of funny, when I went to do concentration curls, I grabbed the 25 pound dumbbells, and this young guy looks at me and sort of smirks.  Then I went back and forth, kept going, dozens of reps.  Meanwhile he had done about 4 reps, rested 2 minutes, then did 4 more reps.  That’s fine for strength, but not everyone trains that way every time.  He had also stopped smirking and was now minding his own business, so I guessed he realized this was a pump set for me.  Kiss my ass hater, take my 25s and do 60 reps with each arm, then tell me if I’m working hard.

Weight doesn’t matter.  The weight you use is only a tool for pointing towards the truth, it isn’t the truth, you savvy?  I can use my finger to point at the moon, but you don’t need my finger to see the moon, and my finger is NOT the moon.  Weight is just a tool, you also have reps, rest, time under tension, cadence, pre-exhaust, forced reps, drop sets, supersets, it just goes on and on.  Back to school with you, fool.

Oh, by the way, they finally started carrying P28 peanut butter spreads in Canada!  YAY!


P28 is known for making protein-enriched bread (whey protein, in case you are vegan), and they recently expanded into making protein-enriched peanut butter.  All the flavours are in the picture:  PB, almond, banana raisin, white chocolate, and “signature” (peanuts, cranberries, flax, sunflower seeds).  They ONLY JUST started shipping into Canada, and I ordered a bunch for me and a bunch for Leslie.  100% natural, not full of sugar and hydrogenated oils, plus a bunch of protein per serving.  For a low carb, high fat high protein dieter like myself, this stuff is a major guiltfree treat!  A lot of calories, I can only have a teaspoon or two at a time, but the flavour is AWESOME.  You don’t need giant scoops of peanut butter when it tastes this good.

Seriously, it tastes good!  I am honest, I am only so-so on the taste of their bread, it tastes a little weird, too spongy.  But this stuff is honest-to-goodness DESSERT.  The white chocolate doesn’t even have sugar in it, just cocoa and milk powder and stuff, and it tastes crazy good!  Look it up!  It ain’t cheap, but it’s not made for binging.


Wednesday I was in an odd mood.  I can’t explain it, I just felt… contrarian.  I put on a black shirt with blue and pink unicorns on it, and headed down to the gym first thing in the morning to do 6 am spin then some shoulders.  Yup, that was my shirt choice.  Here I am wearing a goofy shirt, and feeling totally antisocial, not wanting people to crowd me, wanting space.  Just being odd.

Spin was bleh.  I won’t name the teacher, but it isn’t really my style.  Although technically competent, this teacher was as dull as paint drying.  This teacher is always that way, this is just their style, and it is a big motivation drain on me.  It’s easier when I have friends there, but I was alone in that class.  And lots of awesome mainstream music was playing, but I wasn’t digging it.  I kind of phoned it in that class, I didn’t try too hard, really just a light ride.  And then they played GnR Paradise City.  And I got sad, because that is my jam to ride like crazy to.  And then the teacher screwed up the end!  wtf.  When there is the extended guitar solo at the end, you are supposed to race hard forever and ever until you collapse.  This teacher made us stretch out our shoulders for the first 1/3.  what the hell dude!  Don’t spoil the song.

Just a sad fat man wearing a unicorn shirt and pedalling like a wussy.

And then shoulder time!  I had a new exercise I wanted to try.

Shoulders:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

half-kneeling landmine shoulder presses:  25 lb plate x 15/15, 15/15, 15/15, 15/15 (back and forth, no rest)

cable lat raise:  30 x 12/12, 10/12, 12/12 (back and forth, no rest)

reverse pec deck:  90 x 12; 75 x 12, 12

DB shrugs:  160 x 15, 15, 15, 15

notes:  those landmine presses work awesome!  The ROM feels good on my shoulder, it isn’t awkward to get the weight up.  I did it half-kneeling so I could get some stabilizer work in.  When I was doing them, there was this dude staring at me.  I figured he was enjoying my AWESOME unicorn shirt, so I walked over to him and asked if he needed my Olympic bar for something.  He said he was intrigued by my exercise.  I explained I had sprained my shoulder in the past, and he got excited, since he was rehabbing his shoulder too!  I gave him some pointers, and he went his merry way.  Yay!  I helped someone!!

So yeah, a big heavyset dude grunting out the weights, wearing a shirt with pink unicorns on it.  To test out my coolness, I spoke to 2 women in the gym, both of whom I already know by name, they know my name, etc.  One rolled her eyes at my shirt, the other got defensive and didn’t want to talk to me.  So… I will judge my coolness factor AT ABOUT A 9.

haha!  I just find that stuff funny, I am weird sometimes.

I don’t like the reverse pec deck, but the cables were busy, so oh well.

I was going to do legs at lunch, but work was CRAZY.  Then I am at home now typing this monster post, then cooking chili!  I guess I will do legs tomorrow.  And that is my week so far!  How about you?  Any good workouts?

New Beginnings

End of March, start of April.  March has been a tough month:  the 6 am cardio sessions, weights 6 times a week, I cut all bread and rice and pasta and potatoes out of my diet!!  It has been grueling, I was very eager to see March say bye-bye.

So April 1st I was scheduled for a weigh-in.  Luckily today was a holiday Monday, so I could schedule in my gym time as desired.  Sadly, due to me being up late watching Game of Thrones and Walking Dead and geeking out… I slept in past 6 am spin, hahaha.  Undeterred, I headed down to hot yoga.

This was my first time doing hot yoga in 4 months!  I wanted to make sure I had built up my shoulder first.  April just seemed like a good time to jump back in.

It was a full class for the middle of the day!  I guess other people had the same idea as me.  75 min “mix” class, the teacher will deviate from the usual set of hot yoga moves, and mix it up however they see fit.

For 4 months away, I gotta tell ya, I felt pretty strong in that class!  I am sure it wasn’t geared to be nightmare difficulty, it seemed like a big group of casual people burning off their Easter chocolates, but I was worried I was going to get my butt kicked, and you know?  It turned out ok.  I wasn’t awesome or anything, my balance was a little wobbly, my hamstrings were tight and I skipped the abs part (I did abs yesterday, and will only do ab work every other day, sorry hot yoga), but I still feel like I moved confidently and gracefully through all the postures.

One thing I did notice lacking though, my patience.  Despite moving through the class with such confidence, my focus waned around the 45 min mark, and I found myself wishing for the class to be over.  Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the slow pace, but my patience was not quite there.  That is my biggest take away from that class – yoga can help me work on my focus and mindframe, to “be in the moment”.

Then I headed home, had some fluids and a little snack and a nap, then headed to the studio for a session with Les!

But first, another acupressure session.  He worked on my shoulders, some tendonitis in my forearm, and a tight Achilles tendon.  And let me tell you, it hurt like a mofo!  I hate those acupressure sessions, but I love them.

And then my weights session!  First things first, Les checked my measurements.

*drum roll*…. I am down 16 pounds!!!  I lost 16 pounds in March, isn’t that great!  I also dropped an inch in my chest, waist, arms and legs.

You know what’s crazy?  When I first heard that news, I wasn’t even happy.  4 pounds a week and I wasn’t happy.  To be honest, I was SO sure I wasn’t going to lose any weight, I had psyched myself out to be ready to handle seeing no progress on the scale, I was so prepping myself to throw a tantrum in the middle of the gym… that when I DID lose weight, I didn’t know how to react.  I was so prepared to do all the work, but I was unprepared for any success.  Isn’t that crazy?  It’s like running a race with blinders on, and missing out on all the good stuff along the way.

As the news sank in, I gradually became more and more happy throughout the workout.  On that note, time for the workout!

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

assisted pullups:  widegrip X 15,12; underhand grip x 15; hammer grip x 12

widegrip rows:  240 x 12, 12; 280 x 12


narrow pulldowns:  120 x 15, 15, 15, 15


hyperextensions:  45 x 12, 12, 12


bicep curls:  EZ curl 70 x 8; cable 100 x 12, 12


concentrations curls:  (no rest, back and forth arm to arm) 20 x 15/15, 15/15, 15/15, 15/15



notes:  widegrip rows on that machine feel really good right now, I have not hit my ceiling on that one yet.  But each stack only goes up to 210, so we decided to do the closegrip pulldowns on another machine, and WOW did it suck, lol.  the cable feeds through the pulley system like it’s being dragged through glue, that machine needs some oil like nobody’s business.  As a result, I could only do 120, and VERY slowly at that, no explosiveness possible without the machine clanging like a giant bell.

The bicep curls made the tendonitis flare up right away in my forearm, I think it was sore from all the heavy acupressure I had gone through.  So we switched to the cables, which has a different weight dynamic (the EZ curl bar presses straight down on your forearm at the top of the curl, which is when it hurt, but the cable is always pulling back towards the machine), and so I could do a bit more weight, but it still hurt.  Just to be safe, we lightened the weight on the concentration curls and I pumped them out.


And that was my workout!  So what are my plans for April??  I guess I have short and medium term plans already keyed up.  First things first, tomorrow is legs and shoulder day, and I have spin class at 7, gotta get ready for that insanity that is leg day.  I also want to reweigh myself at the end of this week and see if I can drop just a FEW more… maybe work on a major milestone??  Stay tuned on that one.

For April, now that I am more or less comfortable with morning spin and weights 6 days a week, I want to get serious about hot yoga again, see if I can juggle all 3 fulltime this month!  I think it will help me shock my system into dropping more pounds, keep my pores clean and help my focus!  If I can make spin, weights, hot yoga and tight diet a daily thing, I will be full on beastmode!  Cross your fingers.  I am already getting scared, haha.

I guess what’s important is you set a new goal and keep pushing.  It is too easy to stop, take a break and reward myself and lose the tempo.  I don’t feel like I am unable to keep up the pace, I feel strong and dialed in, so why not keep going?  See what my potential is?


Full shout out to my trainer, Leslie.  She has been a major source of support and has gotten me completely on track to being in the best shape of my life!  I have never been skinny, I was always the fat kid.  So I admit that I don’t know what being in shape feels like.  With Leslie there giving me little nudges, a pat on the back when I am not ready to pat myself, a kind word here and there, and a helping hand, I have come so much further than I would have on my own.  Thanks Les!

And after our workout, you know how we celebrated?  Les went shopping with me at the supplement store and the grocery store!  Isn’t she awesome?  I have the best trainer!


See you tomorrow!  April is here!

Super Sunday

Everything about Sunday was pretty good.  After a lacklustre Saturday, I needed a better workout.  So Saturday night I stayed up late prepping a big pot of chili in my new crockpot, let it slowcook all night.

Sunday I slept in til 7 am… woohoo! living in sin! 7 am!  I also woke up to the smell of chili… which isn’t as good as waking up to the smell of bacon, but still not bad.  Chili turned out great!  Not too complicated:  I browned the ground beef and quickly browned some onions, garlic, green pepper, mushrooms, jalepenos.  Threw it all in the pot, added beef broth, black beans, canned diced tomatoes, chipotle powder, oregano, turmeric, black pepper.  Made about 6 servings.  I bagged it up in Tupperware to spread throughout the week.  No big whoop.  Bonus of cooking all night:  you get to try a bowl of chili for breakfast!

Headed to the gym, had time before Spin (about 40 min) so I did some Back work.

Back:  (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

assisted pull-ups:  widegrip x 10, 7; underhand grip x 10; hammergrip x 7

widegrip seated rows:  180 x 12, 12, 12

underhand grip pulldowns:  150 x 15, 15, 15, 15

hyperextensions w a 45 lb plate:  12, 12, 12



Then it was time for Spin!  Andrea was teaching, reminded me why I like Spin, well-balanced and left me room to go for it and make it the workout I wanted.  It WAS a little odd when 5 min into a class a woman runs in and grabs the bike right next to me, then picks it up and moves it CLOSER to me!  Now she and I are spinning about 4 inches away from each other, me all sweaty and trying not to jab her with my elbow.  Oh well, jokes on you babe, I had chili for breakfast!!


After Spin, time for biceps.

Biceps:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

standing curls w EZ bar:  75 x 12, 7, 6

concentration curls (no rest, back and forth arm to arm):  20 x 15/15, 15/15, 15/15, 15/15


notes:  The Back workout felt great!  I varied up the grip during the pull-ups in order to hit my biceps differently and hit my back differently.  That’s one great thing about weightlifting – infinite variations.  It worked too, my back felt nice and warmed up for the rows, and those felt strong.  After the rows my back felt pumped, and the pulldowns felt real strong as well.

Spin kind of tired me out, so I had lost some of that pump by the time I did biceps.  My intensity was not quite there for the standing curls, I needed the aggression to carry it through.  So I kept the weight light on the concentration curls and just kept pumping the weight over and over, trying to wake the muscles back up.  Those actually felt really good, I felt tempted to do another biceps exercise over and above my plan!  In retrospect I should have added in a good finisher, but instead I just stuck to the plan and showered and went home.


But overall a great workout!  What about you?  Any good workouts?

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?


One of the reasons I like training with Leslie is that I always know she is catching it twice as bad as I am.  Think I hate my diet?  Her’s is harsher.  Am I training so much I can’t seem to recover?  She is training more.  Do I obsess and think about exercises and techniques?  She does it MORE.  She is only weeks away from her competition (the WBFF Montreal Pro Am on April 27), and is kneedeep in prep.  So when I am hating my lunges and my rice cakes, I just think of my trainer confronting her own private hell, and I smile, haha!

OK, it’s not so bad.  Clearly she enjoys both the process and the results.  She is more upbeat and chipper than anyone else I know, even though they eat WAY more awesome food.  But why?

I saw this video from 2011, and thought there was a quote worth hearing.  It’s from Kai Greene, pro bodybuilder.  Kai has a very strong ability to communicate his mental game, and I like listening to him talk about motivation, and convert his passion into words others can use on their own journey.  It is a rare gift, and I think it illustrates how strong bodies are only controlled by strong minds.

Anyways, here is the link.  Kai is doing sponsored workouts (called Train With Kai) with up and coming bodybuilders, and giving them ways to tweak their form or their focus, only 10 weeks out from the 2011 Olympia competition himself.  You can certainly watch the whole thing (Les will love it! its a leg session!), but the jewel comes at 06:40 when Kai is talking about how his mental focus has shaped his training, and how his mindstate has changed over the years and how that has shaped his training.

Kai says that there is a “certain kind of desperation” required to make you “the athlete that can tap into their champion”.  It’s also called hunger (“stay hungry”).  And while I am no bodybuilder, or even recognizably in shape, when I was spinning for 8 hours, and my butt hurt and my hands hurt and I felt pale and dizzy… I also felt a certain hunger to see this thing through.  When all the logic of your workout routines start to fly out the window, and things are getting crazy, all you are left with is the hunger and the desperation.  It’s what makes one guy pump out a few more reps when his buddy taps out early.

I need to learn to cultivate that desperation if I am going to find my way to my fitness goals.  Because… evolution, society and my own upbringing are all conspiring to make me morbidly obese.  No joke.  If I just followed my first instincts, I would be 400 pounds right now.  I have never been skinny, unless you count preschool.  So if I want to be something different, I have to cultivate the antimatter growing in my heart, which is a hunger to be something else at all costs.

Anyways, Thursday morning I had terrible nightmares about being homeless, lol!  So when I woke up, I needed about 40 minutes just to calm down.  My heart was racing!  So I made it to the gym a little late to hit the weights, but there was still a spin class at 7 am!

I had some time before spin so I did some assisted widegrip pullups, 30 seconds rest in between sets.

assisted pullups:  6, 5, 6.5, 4

I say 6.5 because I held it for SO LONG, it feels like a crime not to give even that failure some credit, haha.

Spin class was heavy and grueling!  Class was led by Courtney.

you got a problem?

you got a problem?

Even though that class kicked my butt, I still needed to do some back and biceps work.

Back and Biceps:  (30 sec rest between sets) (the pullups were part of this, I just got them done early)

widegrip machine rows:  180 x 12, 10, 8

narrowgrip pulldowns:  150 x 15, 11, 9, 10

hyperextensions:  25 lb plate x 12, 12, 12

preacher curls:  75 x 6; 65 x 9, 5

concentration curls:  25 x 15/15, 11/15, 11/12, 7/7

notes:  I was not prepared for this, the spin class drained me too hard.  I was struggling with all of the weight all of the time.  The work still got done, but I can’t help but feel if I had made it in at 6, I would have lifted a lot more.  Pretty much nothing hit my target goals, but I am sure I burned a big scoopful of calories in the process 🙂

On another note, I was so blasted and wrecked that I did preacher curls instead of normal bicep curls with the EZ bar!  Oh well, woops!


And that was my morning workout!  How was your day?  Any good workouts?

post-illness workout

My apologies for not posting sooner.  I have been feeling sick all week.  Some sort of flu.  On top of that, sometimes when I am fighting off a bug, my digestive system just shuts down,  Food doesn’t move through me, I get all backed up.  Over time this forces me too eat less and less, so I start to get weaker, and have less energy to fight off the bug.  It is a vicious circle.

I have been making extensive use of fibre and digestive enzymes all week to help me get right on the inside, and lots of rest to fight off the flu.  Unfortunately, all that fibre and the enzymes, they really wear on my stomach a lot, it turns the gut into a battleground.  By the end of the week, my stomach was sore, it hurt.  Like it was in shock and needed a lot of rest.

Anyways, not a lot of spin this week, which is unfortunate, as I have the spinathon next week!  I did a chest and back workout on Wednesday, but I was pretty wobbly at that point, so it was a pretty lacklustre workout.

By Saturday, I was ready to test the wheels out again.

Spin class was crowded!  They only put up the signup sheet 15 min before the class, and there was a lineup of about 30 people!  Zoinks!  I stood in line and got a spot (my friend was not so lucky, and was denied, looks like I am on my own this time).

By the time I made it to the bikes, there weren’t a lot of choices left.  The one I grabbed had no straps, you needed the hard shoes you click onto the mounts, so I had to trade with a neighbour for foot straps (he had the hard shoes).

The class was being led by Mandy.  I have mixed feelings about Mandy (sorry to call you out Mandy! I am sure you wont see this).  She has been teaching for a while, and her curriculum is solid.  But Mandy “demands” a certain level of enthusiasm in her class.  By that I mean if you don’t start hooting and hollering on command, she nags you.  She starts to whip out the sarcasm, “REALLY feeling the enthusiasm in here today!”  she singles people out and tries to talk right to them.

My objection to that is that if the teacher chatter isn’t related to the spinning, then to me it’s just noise, and I try to tune it out.  You may as well be speaking to me in Chinese, I just don’t respond.  I don’t hoot and holler when it’s asked for, I don’t respond to queries about whether we want it easier or harder.  I am not a “participater”,  just tell me how to run the course and I will do it.

Unfortunately, Mandy eventually zeroed in on me.  She asked some question to the class, I don’t remember what it was, something meaningless, and then she turns to look at me, and she waits for a response.  I just stare back at her.  She starts to make little motions with her head, little micro-nods and rhetorical “yeah?”s waiting for me to talk back.  I just stare at her, I think at one point I shrugged.  Mandy tried to engage the class in my silence, “does he want us to RANDOMQUESTION?  Nope?  He’s more like, NO, stop looking at me.”  A few people in class chuckle at my expense, and we keep going.

After that fairly irritating class, I decided not to do 2 in a row.  You’re a fine RPM instructor Mandy, but being an enthusiasm nag is NOT my style.  Your class seems popular though, so more power to you.  Just not for me.

I went to the other side of the gym to try out a new shoulder and arm routine.  Let the brutality commence!

shoulders & arms:

barbell military press (2 min rest):  65 x 5, 95 x 5, 115 x 5, 5, 7

seated DB press (60s rest):  100 x 8; 90 x 8, 6; 80 x 8, 8, 8, 8, 7

cable reverse flyes (4-2-4 cadence, 90s rest):  55 x 8; 33 x 12, 12

face pulls w/rope:  (10s rest!):  28 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

DB skullcrushers (60s rest):  60 x 6; 40 x 8, 8, 8, 8, 8

seated 2-handed DB extension (4-2-4 cadence, 90s rest):  50 x 7; 40 x 7; 30 x 7

incline DB curls (60s rest):  30 x 8/8, 8/8, 8/8, 8/8, 8/8, 8/8

concentration curls (4-2-4 cadence, 60-90s rest):  25 x 5/6; 20 x 10/10, 8/8

notes:  time really got away from me while doing this workout.  It felt like allout war!  I was totally mentally absorbed in it.  Even though I looked at the clock to take note of rest times, I didn’t check the overall time.  When I finally did, I realized this was like a 90 minute workout!  Zoinks!  60 min Spin followed by 90 min weights, no wonder this workout was kicking my ass.

And it WAS kicking my ass.  I took a shower, crawled out of the gym, came home, and took a long nap on the couch.  This one was nasty!

I made it rhough the shoulder presses, but the ultra-slow cable flyes were murder on my rear delts.  Then I powered through some marathon face pulls, but the damage was done, I had little to no gad left in the tank for my arms workout.  This shoulder workout would have been perfect for me by itself, but with arms added in, it was BRUTAL.  I had to keep dropping the weightson the arm exercises because I couldn’t make it happen any more.

I tried the “twisting” during the incline curls, like I did last week, but I wasn’t feeling it this time.  I think my biceps were more warmed up by that point last week, so the twisting worked, but my biceps were still warming up during this workout, so there was no “pump” to twist off of.  Oh well, still learning.  I stopped the twisting for Set 3 onwards.

This one had it all, some good 5×5 compounds, lots of volume, slow rep isolation finishers.  Scary workout!  But worth it.

And how about you?  Any good workouts today?