Tag Archive: donkey calf raise

Cycle 2 Week 1 Legs

Finally got around to legs!

The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds. –Henry Rollins

It was a heavy day.  I didn’t know if I could make it to the gym.  Life was weighing me down.  People run in and out of your life, some days they’re heavies, some days they’re lightweights.  Some days all your little problems weigh a ton, some days you never notice they’re there.  Some days you have all the support in the world, and some days you stand alone.  Your own little world is constantly in flux, and every piece of your castle weighs different amounts on different days.  It is frustrating.  You can’t rely on it.

Part of the trick of this 5/3/1 program is you are always pushing the weight up up up.  You have to trust in the math that this new, heavier weight, these new higher reps are within your grasp.  Some days the weights feel too light, and you have to trust that the warmups are correct, that the AMRAP set is right where it should be, and you need to be patient.  And some days you don’t feel ready for a heavy set, you feel unworthy, beat down, unenthusiastic.  Those days you need to trust the math even more than ever.

Not that I haven’t done 220 before, I have done it many times.  But the world was weighing me down today.  I didn’t feel ready.  I did NOT want to go to the gym.  I wanted to wrestle heavy feelings all day.  But I put my faith in the math, and that this day HAD to happen to chain together all the weeks to come, and that these sets HAD to happen, and that this weight IS the perfect weight for me.

But the walk to the gym felt heavy, I was positive every dumbbell, every plate would feel twice as heavy.  But when I got in, you know what?  Henry was right, 200 pounds is STILL 200 pounds.  Iron doesn’t change.  Even if it’s the only constant in my life right now, it IS the thing I can always rely upon.  The weight felt just like it did the week before, and the week before that.  Those squats, that feeling of being crushed under that weight and RISING BACK UP, it gave me confidence that I was still who I was, and the iron was my constant measurement.  It is my “ruler”, in so many ways 🙂

Squats and Assistance Work

Squats  (60-120s rest)

105 x 5

130 x 5

155 x 5

170 x 5

195 x 5

220 x 8

notes:  My core was going on the last set, so when I felt the abs trembling too much, I stopped the set.  Once I got through the squats, I felt confident enough to do all the assistance work too.

Prone Leg Curl (45 sec rest)

100 x 12

110 x 10

120 x 8 DROP 100 x 12 DROP 80 x 20

45 Degree Leg Press (constant tension reps, 45 sec rest)

18 plates x 8

18 plates x 8

18 plates x 8

18 plates x 8

notes:  some real grinder reps in here, major burning in my IT Bands.  Will stick at this weight for a while.

Hack Squats 1.25 ROM (30 sec rest which consists of stretching the quads; 1.25 meaning all the way down, only come up to barely parallel, drop back down, then come back all the way up, like you’re doing one and a quarter reps)

2 plates x 10

2 plates 2 quarter plates x 8

2 plates 2 quarter plates x 8 DROP 2 plates x 8 DROP 1 plate x 8

notes:  Brutal!!!  Had to put my hands on my thighs to get me through it, so will stick at this weight for a while.

BB SLDL (45 sec rest)

165 x 15

165 x 10

notes:  low back was just too burnt out, had to stop

Superset Donkey Calf Raise Machine and Dorsiflexions (45 sec rest)

200 x 10, HOLD 10, x 10, HOLD 10, x 10, HOLD 10 / 50 Dorsiflexions

200 x 10, HOLD 10, x 10, HOLD 10, x 10, HOLD 10 / 50 Dorsiflexions

200 x 10, HOLD 10, x 10, HOLD 10, x 10, HOLD 10 / 50 Dorsiflexions

notes:  Yay machine, no grip to fail me!  yesssss, just baby cow action

post-workout  15 min elliptical

Cut Day 48 – Glutes

Was able to work out a time to get a session in with my friend, so we could get some good pictures.  To make it worth her while, we made it a glute-focused workout.  I will do more Legs on Monday, this was just extra work.


30 min elliptical, heavy resistance
5 min break
40 min ellip, light resistance, fast pace
20 min break for food
30 min, moderate resist, fast pace
5 min break
10 min heavy while waiting for friend

You may ask, why not a spin bike?  Because I am doing a few spin classes tomorrow and I didn’t want a sore ass, haha.  Then my friend showed, and it was time for weights!


5 min heavy elliptical, focusing on contracting the glutes and hamstrings

Jefferson Lifts (back and forth, me to her)
40 x 15
40 x 15
60 x 15
60 x 15


Kickback Machine (back and forth)

40 x 15/15
50 x 15/15
55 x 15/15
60 x 15/15


SLDL (back and forth)

90 x 20
110 x 20
110 x 20


Reverse Hack Squats (back and forth)

2 plates x 15
4 plates x 15
6 plates x 15
8 plates x 15
10 plates x 15


Seated Calf Raises (back and forth)

1 plate x 20
2 plates x 20
2 plates x 20

Donkey Calf Raise Machine (back and forth)

240 x 20
260 x 20
260 x 20

Leg Press Calf Raise (back and forth)

260 x 20
300 x 20
300 x 20

Standing Leg Curl (back and forth)

70 x 15/15
80 x 15/15
90 x 15/15


Superset Seated Leg curls and Leg Extensions (back and forth)

120 x 12 / 120 x 15
120 x 12 / 120 x 15
120 x 12 / 120 x 15