Tag Archive: drop sets


Saturday Legs

It was time for an epic leg day.  The kind where the clock doesn’t matter, you just train and train until you want to crawl out of there trembling and shellshocked.  I was already nervous but for a different reason.  I had been having GI issues all week, and not to get too graphic, but everything I eat is like dynamite through a goose.  So in preparation, I ate really light Friday night, and had the minimum amount of food Saturday morning.  This session would be on an empty stomach.

Oct 12 Morning Legs (4 second negative on all reps no exception, 45 sec b/w sets unless noted)

Barbell Squats (ATG)
155 x 8
155 x 8
155 x 8
195 x 8

Hack Squats (ATG)
2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 8
2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 8
2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 8
2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 8 DROP 2 plates and 1 quarter plate x 10

Single-Leg Leg Press (no rest, back and forth leg to leg)
180 x 15/15
180 x 15/15
180 x 15/15
180 x 15/15

Superset 45 Degree Leg Press and Leg Extensions (60 sec rest b/w supersets)
10 plates x 8 & 140 x 8
10 plates x 8 & 140 x 5
10 plates x 8 & 140 x 6
10 plates x 8 & 140 x 8

Took a halftime pause to go do some texts and grab a drink, took about 10 min

Stiff-Legged Deadlift
185 x 8
185 x 8
185 x 8
185 x 8 DROP 135 x 10

Seated Leg Curl (leaning forward)
90 x 8
90 x 8
100 x 8
110 x 8

Prone Leg Curl (did a set butt down and strict, followed by a burnout of reps propped up on my elbows with butt up and lots of “English”, although still slow negs)
110 x 8 & 8
110 x 8 & 5
110 x 8 & 6
110 x 8 & 8

Standing Calf Raise Machine
300 x 8
300 x 8
300 x 8
300 x 8 DROP 240 x 10

Calf Raise on the 45 Degree Leg Press
10 plates x 8
10 plates x 8
10 plates x 8
10 plates x 15

Seated Calf Raise
140 x 8
140 x 8
140 x 8
140 x 8 DROP 105 x 8 DROP 70 x 8 DROP 35 x 10

This workout took a while!  Forget the one hour guideline, just go until its done.  Volume wasn’t all that high, so whatevs.  I was nervous about the squats, but luckily I did not have any major digestive issues   I felt like such a dummy though, on the last set I added quarter plates and noticed hey my left shoulder is sagging a bit, but I thought nothing of it.  Only as I cleaned the plates up did I realize I put a 35 plate on the left side and a 25 plate on the right one.  Good jorb dummy!

When I say ATG, ass to grass seems hardly appropriate as my hamstrings are WAY too thick for that.  But my hams did touch my calves, or the pigs kissed the cows, if you will   In this case, let’s say ATG means Ankles to Glutes!  That might be almost accurate, I suppose.

For the leg extensions I tried out a unilateral leg extension machine I had never bothered with before.  I tried it this time because it was right beside the leg press (and how often do I think about supersetting press with extensions?  Not often, haha).
I left all the plates on the leg press like an jerk, but it was more of an experiment.  Sure enough, when I came back quite some time later to do calf raises, all the plates were still there.  I was too lazy to do drop sets with 5 wheels for calf raises, so I just did as many as I could before failure on the last set.  Gotta love how no one wants to do legs on a Saturday morning.  That Friday night must have been too harsh, methinks.

 

And that was my workout!  It was a doozy.

Monday night I didn’t have a trainer session, not a full one anyways, so I went to the gym late-night Monday to make my own fun.  I need to start nailing down a new routine, now that my medical speedbump is behind me.  Short rests, alternating days between high reps and low rep slow negative drop set days, and more strength days with Leslie.  Keep the muscles guessing!  This might prove to be overcomplicated, but let me give it a try first, this buffet of gains!

 

Monday PM Legs and Abs (45 sec rest b/w sets)

A.  Hack Squats (feet low, quad focus, go DEEP and activate the glutes)

2 plates x 15

2 plates x 15

4 plates x 15

4 plates x 15

notes:  this was a brutal start!  I have gone heavier, but not so deep into the ROM.  Started sweating like crazy.

B.  Weighted Glute Kickbacks

80 x 15/15

80 x 15/15

60 x 15/15

60 x 15/15

notes:  right after the hacks, I was dripping sweat all over this station.  80 was too heavy, so I dropped the weight and focused on form.  Even still, my glutes were exhausted by the end.

C.  Seated Leg Curls:

100  x 15

110 x 15

120 x 15

120 x 15

notes:  I have a tendency to lean back in this when it gets hard, which makes the contraction easier, so I really tried here to sit totally upright and just squeeze the hamstrings.

D.  Prone Leg Curls:

80 x 15

90 x 15

100 x 15

110 x 15

notes:  I kept my pelvis pressed into the pad, but propped up on my elbows, to try and make it more difficult.

E.  Stability Ball Crunches:  25, 25, 25, 25

F.  Stability Ball Forward Roll:  17, 17, 15, 15  (easier than the Ab Roller but still hard!)

G.  Weighted Double Crunch Machine:  95 x 20, 20, 20, 20

H.  Cardio 35 min of Elliptical, varying speed

 

notes:  This workout was nasty!  I was totally wrecked by the end.  Shows I have been away too long from the legs, and am long overdue to going back to short rests and tight form.

 

Tuesday I was way too wasted to have a morning workout, so I saved my workout until after I was done work.  The plan here would be slow negatives, drop set finishers.

Tuesday Chest and Biceps (4 sec negative on EVERY set or dropset, 45 sec rest b/w sets)

A.  Smith Machine Flat Press:

warmup;

215 x 8

215 x 8

215 x 8

215 x 7 DROP 165 x 7 DROP 115 x 10

notes:  this felt slightly too heavy, I could control the negative, but my form was a little rough.

B.  Incline DB Press:

100 x 8

100 x 8

100 x 8

100 x 8 DROP 80 x 10

notes:  After the Smith Press, I went a little lighter for the incline, and I think I actually ended up going too light, the drop set was way too easy so I ended it early.

C.  DB Flat Press Fly (flat press the DBs up, but then negative in a Fly motion)

100 x 8

100 x 8

100 x 8

100 x 7 DROP 80 x 5 DROP 60 x 6 DROP 40 x 8

notes:  on the other hand, this weight was PERFECT, the drop sets were super hard like they should be.  First time doing a mix of fly and press, it was fun!

D.  Superset Pec Deck and Pushups

120 x 5 & 4 pushups

105 x 8 & 5 pushups

105 x 8 & 5 pushups

105 x 8 DROP 75 x 10 & 5 pushups

notes:  my chest was fried by this point, could not do any pushups at all haha

E.  Preacher Curl Machine: (widegrip)

70 x 8

70 x 8

80 x 8

90 x 8 DROP 70 x 8 DROP 55 x 10

notes:  squeeze at the top for dat bicep peak! Weight too light, was too easy the drops.

F.  Seated Dumbbell Curl:

80 x 8

80 x 8

80 x 8

80 x 8 DROP 60 x 3 DROP 50 x 5 DROP 40 x 7

notes:  the weight was just right here, the drop sets were MURDERRRRR!!!

G.  Cable Curl: (closegrip)

80 x 8

90 x 8

100 x 8

100 x 8 DROP 80 x 6 DROP 60 x 10

notes:  I was so traumatized by the dumbbell curls I started off lighter here and worked up.

 

notes:  I had a tremendous pump in my chest and biceps going after these sets!  It was every guy’s magic moment, walking around with swole chest and biceps, haha.  No selfies though, not my style, sorry.

 

Those were my workouts for Mon and Tues!  How’s it going with you guys these days?  Ready for the cold weather?  Wintertime Bulk?

Split up Workout

Thursday morning I headed down to the gym for chest and triceps, but I ran out of time before work, so it was just chest.  These workouts are just too beefy man!  1 hour doesn’t cut it anymore, especially if I want to throw in cardio to burn more calories.

AM Chest (30 sec rest for warmups, 45 sec rest for main sets)

A.  rotator cuff warmup (5 sets of 15 reps with a 15 lb db, taking rotator cuff through ROM)

some sort of rotator cuff before you work chest or shoulders just makes sense.  pick your fave

B.  flat dumbbell press:  20s x 10; 30s x 10; 40s x 10; 50s x 10; 60s x 10 (warmup sets); 90s x 8,5

extra-long warmup cause it felt good.  Didn’t drop the dumbbell on myself today, hooray!  Actually, when I felt it failing, since nobody was near me, I dropped it and it tumbled away.  When I went to go scoop it up, I saw an old guy glaring at me.  Honestly, kiss my butt.  The moment you pick up a dumbbell heavier than a 25, let’s talk.

C.  decline barbell bench:  95 x 10; 135 x 10 (warmup); 205 x 5 DROP 165 x 8 DROP 115 x 12 DROP 95 x 17

I love decline bench, but don’t do it hardly enough.  It is easier on my shoulders than a flat or incline press, and I believe it technically hits MORE of your pecs.  I only ended up doing one triple drop set though, I realized time was short.

D.  Incline DB fly:  60 s x 10; 60s x 8 DROP 50s x 5 DROP 40s x 7

This incline fly went better than the last time, the time that guy tried to make me get off the bench.  Drop set flys are still hard as heck though!

E.  Cable Crossovers:  165 x 12, 12; 165 x 12 DROP 121 x 10

I had to share this machine with a different old guy, but he was real cool though, we just traded back and forth.

Do you notice how my gym is full of old guys at 6 am?  Only a handful of them do any actual work though.  The rest of them are just bored with nothing to do.

F.  cardio 25 min

 

Ran out of time, had to go to work.

 

After work I headed back to the gym for Triceps and Abs

PM Triceps (45 sec rest)

A. For warmup I went to the tricep extension machine and just pyramided the weight up without a rest until it got hard.

20 x 10, 30 x 10, 40 x 10, 50 x 10, 60 x 10, 70 x 10, 80 x 10, 90 x 6

So that was 8 sets in a row with no break at all, just slide the pin back in and start again.  It was mostly light weight though, just a chance to warmup.

B.  Skullcrusher Variants:  12 Top of the Head Extensions Supersetted with 10 Rocker Presses

I have done these variants before.  Basically for the first one, you lay on a bench, lower the bar behind your head, and then just extend your triceps and the bar out from your head moving away from you.  Easy to demo, hard to explain, haha.  For the Rocker Presses (started immediately with no rest), you lower the bar behind your head, keep the arms bent as you bring it back up against your chest, then you press it up (with a closegrip).  That’s one rep.  May as well go light, because technically you are doing 22 skullcrushers in a row, haha!

50 x 12&12, 12&10, 12&10

C.  seated two hand dumbbell extension:  50 x 10; 70 x 10; 80 x 12; 90 x 12; 100 x 12

I like these both seated and standing.  But my low back is still a little sore, so I did seated.  You sit down, bring the weight up to your shoulder, grasp with both hands, raise it over your head, and lower it slowly behind your head.  Just don’t let it deflect off your seat’s head rest, maybe tilt the seat back a bit if you need more clearance room.  I wouldn’t say either version seated or standing is easier, I do pretty much the same weight either way, maybe seated I am a bit stronger.  Happy to be using the 100 lb dumbbells again!  Hooray!

D.  Assisted Dips:  (130)x12 DROP (100) x 5 DROP (100) x 3

I wondered why I got so weak so fast on these drops, then I realized this was ASSISTED weight, so I was actually pyramiding up, making it harder!  haha.

(130) x 12 DROP (145) x 10 DROP (160) x 8

(130) x 10 DROP (145) x 8 DROP (160) x 7

(130) x 12 DROP (145) x 10

I admit, I suck at these.  They just put too much strain on my shoulder.  I can press more weight than this with my triceps in other exercises.  But still, I wanted to do these.  Sometimes you just put in work on your crappy exercises.  Also, 2 guys came traded sets with me, and they dips WITHOUT any assistance, so I felt like an extra tool.

E.  Roman Chair Knee Raises:  15, 15, 15

F.  Cardio 25 min

 

And then I went home!  2 trips to the gym today!  Kinda cause I had to, time was precious.  I also struggled a lot with diet today, maybe a topic for another time… suffice it to say the cravings were strong and I was REALLLLLLY grumpy all day!

It hurts more if you stop!

I decided I wanted to sleep in Wednesday morning, so I thought it might be fun to try the gym at work again.  It was shoulders day, hooray!  (sarcasm)

Noontime Shoulders (no time for cardio or twists, just time for iron) (45-60 sec rest)

A.  Superset DB side Raises and Front Plate Raises:  triple drop set of side raises then front raise with optional “bus driver”

warmup;

25s x 8 DROP 15s x 6 DROP 10s x 10 then 45 plate x 12

25s x 9 DROP 20s x 8 DROP 15s x 10 DROP 10s x 12 then 45 plate x 12

25s x 5 DROP 20s x 5 DROP 15s x 10 DROP 10s x 12 then 45 plate x 12

notes:  this was HARD!  I normally avoid side raises with DBs, I find it easier to keep good form with the machine, with the DBs my forearms keep drifting above my elbows.  Nothing wrong with going light as long as its challenging I guess, but when I use the machine I can focus on just the muscle, when I use DBs I spend most of my energy keeping my form disciplined.  More holistic that way I guess, meh.

Remember with DB side raises!  Keep your elbow higher than your forearm!  The straighter your arm gets the harder it gets! Try not to swing, either your arms, or swing your butt in and out!  I see people violate these guidelines in the gym ALL THE TIME.  I used to do it wrong all the time too, then Leslie kicked my butt 🙂

The downshot of it is that I am forced to go light on db side raises.  Even worse, drop sets meant that form got harder and harder to maintain, so my reps on that exercise are hella low (I stopped when I could not correct my form), and the weights are so low that I cant reduce them without losing the ability to do a triple drop set.  Oh my, did it burn!  It burned even worse if I rested my arms by my sides.  Lesson learned:  it hurts more if you stop!

For the front plate raises, you take a 45 pound plate, grip it at 9 and 3, and front raise it.  It works your shoulders and your grip too, since it is more irregular to hold onto than a dumbbell.  The “bus driver”?  That’s when you twist the plate back and forth like a steering wheel at the top of the front raise.  Try it!  I admit, I was so tired by that point I only got in a few bus drivers at all, I had to give up on that add-on.

 

B.  Superset Seated Smith Machine Military Press and Reverse Pec Deck:  double drop sets of presses and then a straight set of pec deck

warmup;

130 + bar x 10 DROP 100 x 8 DROP 50 x 10 then 90 x 8

130 + bar x 10 DROP 100 x 7 DROP 50 x 10 then 75 x 12

130 + bar x 10 DROP 100 x 5 DROP 50 x 10 then 75 x 12

notes:  I decided Smith since they didn’t have a good setup in this gym for seated military.  Plus my low back was still sore as HECK from a few days ago!

I originally wanted to do triple drop sets, but I was running out of time before I had to go back to work, and the weight combos made it awkward to do a triple drop, so I set it up in a way that I could strip the weight faster.  In the end I gave every drop of sweat I had for that first weight, then had nothing left for the first drop, then the second drop was light enough I could just rep those out easy.  I lowered the weight on the reverse pec deck though, it was too heavy by that point.

 

C.  DB Shrugs:  190 x 20, 20, 20

notes:  this gyms dumbbells only went up to 95!?  What kind of crap is that?  LOL, in the end it was still heavy.  I also ended up crushing my thumb in between the 2 dumbbells when I reracked them, so its been throbbing all day and the nail now has a bit of discoloration!  Ouch!

 

D.  Superset Seated Calf Raise and Standing Calf Raises:  triple drop sets of seated then bodyweight calf raises as many as possible (AMAP, bouncing)

140 x 12 DROP 105 x 12 DROP 70 x 12 DROP 35 x 12 then BW x 80 bouncing

140 x 12 DROP 105 x 12 DROP 70 x 12 DROP 35 x 12 then BW x 80 bouncing

notes:  this was surprisingly easy!  I set up 35 plates on the seated machine so I could strip the drops easily, then for the bodyweight raises I allowed myself to ignore slow controlled form and just bounce as many as I wanted.  In the end I chose 80 because I was getting bored and it was time to go back to work!  I guess my calves can take more of a beating than that!  After 2 supersets I was late, so I split.

 

And that was my workout for the day! Sore low back, smashed thumb, burning shoulders, what a day.

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?

Beat up and tired

Worn out!  Bombed out and depleted.  Sore low back, sore shoulder, massive leg soreness developing, energy stores were ok though.  I decided I needed to get the blood moving and stay active.  And so that means… double workout day!  Who doesn’t love going to the gym twice?

First thing in the morning I headed down to the gym to blast the triceps

Monday AM triceps and calves (60 sec rest)

V-Bar Pushdown:  90 x 10 warmup

180 x 15 DROP 140 x 15 DROP 110 x 15 DROP 90 x 15

180 x 15 DROP 140 x 15 DROP 110 x 15 DROP 90 x 15

180 x 15 DROP 140 x 15 DROP 110 x 15 DROP 90 x 15

As you can see, still doing the triple drop sets.  V-Bar pushdowns are fun because you can usually go a bit heavier, so I put it in first to wake the arms up.  Heavy weight early off gets the hormones flowing.  Unlike a regular pushdown where the elbows stay pinned to my sides, with the v-bar I hover over it and push it straight down, hence the higher weight.

Closegrip Bench Press:  45 x 10; 65 x 10 warmup

115 x 12 DROP 95 x 12 DROP 65 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

115 x 12 DROP 95 x 12 DROP 65 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

115 x 12 DROP 95 x 12 DROP 65 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

I wanted to use the Smith Machine, but it was taken, so regular barbell for me.  Drop sets with plates can be a pain in the butt when you’re by yourself, it ends up being a rest for 10 seconds while you shuffle the plates around.  So I tried to pick weights that were easy to trade around, nothing too crazy.  Both of these felt light bench and v-bar, but that’s probably because I normally do it after chest when my triceps are tired.  Today they were fresh, and the weights felt light (well, heavy, but lots of gas in the tank so no big deal)

Overhead Rope Extension:  40 x 10; 60 x 10 warmup

90 x 12 DROP 70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12 DROP 40 x 12

90 x 12 DROP 70 x 9 DROP 50 x 9 DROP 40 x 12

90 x 12 DROP 70 x 8 DROP 50 x 12 DROP 40 x 12

By now the triceps were getting fatigued, but I like the overhead extension, it really hits the long head of the tricep nicely, so I don’t mind this as a finisher.  Just stand up straight, keep your upper arms still, and drop the rope behind your head and squeeze it back up.

 

I decided to do some calves.

Standing Calf Raise (30 second rest)

295 x 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 15

This was FST-7 inspired (its a training system), so I kept the rest low and repped it out.  The standing machine is nice because you can drop your heels below parallel and really stretch the muscle out before you contract it and push the weight up; keeping the reps slow and goin down low!.  By set 7 my calves were smoking tired and I couldn’t get all 20 done.  My calves can take a beating, but this one got the best of them!

I ran out of time for any cardio, I had to head to work.  This would set the focus for workout 2

 

After work I headed to the studip to train with Les.  Empty studio!  After a quick conference, Les decided we would do some shoulders and biceps then just work on abs forever and ever and ever.  More core in store!

Monday PM Core (45 sec rest b/w sets)

Elliptical 20 min warmup

Standing Military Press:  75 x 8; 85 x 8, 12; 95 x 8

IMG_2781

Believe it or not, this also warms up the core a bit.  You need it to keep the bar steady over your head and to keep your body straight.

Cable Curls:  110 x 8, 8, 8; 130 x 8

IMG_2785

I have a bit of tendinitis in my right forearm, so cable curls are always easier on my joint pain for some reason.

Superset:  Scissor Kicks x 20 and Reaching Crunches x 25 and Bent Knee Hip Raises x 10 – 3 sets

don't I look happy? nice legs though

don’t I look happy? nice legs though

IMG_2791

ya, using the hands a bit

ya, using the hands a bit

 

Half-Kneeling Canoe Twists (using rope):  40 x 12/12; 70 x 12/12, 12/12

IMG_2797

don’t use your arm strength, keep the raised knee steady, try to twist with the abs! Its like paddling a canoe, sort of.

 

Superset:  Kettlebell Side Raises 50 x 15/15 and Elevated Side Plank Pulses x 12/12  3 sets of that

IMG_2801

IMG_2806

 

 

I put on a brave face but I really was tired!

IMG_2780

 

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

Your Workouts are Crazy!

Recently I ran into someone who reads my blog (Hi Christine!), and she told me that sometimes my writing is a little too cryptic, I don’t always explain what I’m doing, much less how I do it.  I suppose that’s valid, I often treat the blog like a log, and use it to keep track of my gains.  I promise to beef up the notes, deal?

The other feedback I got is ‘why workout so much?  2 a day?  how do you find the time?’.  That is more of a personal choice.  I don’t find time, I make time for it.  On top of it, the gym has become my favorite therapy.  When I feel good, I go to the gym to celebrate, and when I feel bad, I go to vent.

I was feeling sore lately about the contest, so I decided I needed a major vent.  A workout so crazy, the thought of it scares you, and if its a really good workout, the moment you tell someone else they look at you like you’re crazy!

Why would you do all that??

If you can, you should.  I have been diligently chasing the iron on a more serious basis for about a year now, and I know I can push myself further.  So, pick a body part that can take a lot of punishment.  For most of us, that means the back or the legs, those parts that carry us around all day.  My lower back was still sore from the rack pulls on Friday, so that means… Leg Day!

I wanted a leg workout so scary I would need backup.  No better backup on leg day than a female workout partner.  Ladies love leg workouts.  It’s a well-known fact.  Legs and shoulders.  Ladies love legs and glutes like guys love chest and biceps.  I asked Leslie if she would workout with me and she said yes!  It’s on like Donkey Kong!

When I told Leslie the workout, she looked at me like I was crazy and said “why would we do all that??!”  That’s when I knew this would be a good workout.  I dumped the preworkout packet directly into my mouth (!!) and walked out of the locker room.

Sunday Legs:

A.  warmup – 15 min on the stairmaster (also letting the pwo saturate)

B.  Superset:  4-ways Leg Press & Barbell Squats – 85 reps on the leg press then 20 reps on squats.  The way we did leg press was keep your feet at the bottom of the platform, keep your legs shoulder width, do 20 reps, then move your feet up an inch without racking the weight, do 20 more reps, move your feet up another inch and do 20 more reps, then move your feet up to the top of the platform and do the last 25 reps.  At no point do you rack the weight, you get a few seconds while you reposition your feet, but the tension stays on the whole time.  Then when you hit 85 reps you get up and go do barbell squats.

As you move your feet up the leg press platform, you shift more of the work from your quads to your hamstrings.  Keeping your feet shoulder width will help you hit the outside of your thigh (the outer sweep you see on those people will well-shaped thighs).  The high rep barbell squats will finish you off nicely, nothing like high rep squats to tax you totally and get the heart rate up.  Go deep on both the leg press and the squats to activate those glutes!

my weight was

six 45 lb plates x 85 & 135 x 20 – do this superset 3 times (that’s 315 reps of fun!)

(Les and I took turns doing our sets, she would do leg press and squats, then I would, back and forth)

C.  Leg Extensions – Triple Drop Sets with Partials Finisher.  Pick a weight you can do 15 reps with, go until failure or 15 reps whatever comes first, drop the weight about 20%, do as many reps as you can, drop the weight 20%, do as many as possible, drop one more time, go until failure.

Les and I took turns, and on the last drop set, we immediately followed the third drop by bringing the weight BACK UP to HEAVIER than our first weight, and only doing partial reps.  Lean forward on the leg extension machine and only move the weight 4-6 inches.  This will hit the bottom of your thigh right over the knee.  Do not let the weight rest at the bottom during the partials, keep the tension on the whole time and go until failure.

my weight was

180 x 15 DROP 135 x 15 DROP 105 X 15 DROP 75 x 15

180 x 15 DROP 135 x 12 DROP 105 x 9 DROP 75 x 15

180 x 15 DROP 135 x 10 DROP 105 x 10 DROP 75 x 15 RAISE 195 x 3 partials DROP 180 x 5 partials

As you can see, my quads got progressively more tired each set.  By the last set, I needed to pause for a few seconds so I could finish at least the 180 set.  When I went back up the stack for heavy partials, my legs were gassed.  I could barely even move it at all, and so we dropped back down to my starting weight, and EVEN THEN I could barely move it 4 inches much less do 15 full reps like I did only a few minutes before.  My legs were spent.

When I got up from the leg extensions and walked to the water fountain I almost fell on my face!  I caught myself on a filing cabinet and rested for a few seconds.

D.  cooldown:  5 min on a stationary bike, 15 min walk outside.

 

This was all very simple as in not very many movements, but super-hard.  It was the best kind of workout, the kind you do when you are stressed out so you pour it all out until you have nothing left, and you crawl out of the gym with no regrets.  Why workout so hard?  You workout as hard as you can because you can.

Did you get any good workouts in this weekend?

Until You Drop

I had a rest day Wednesday, so Thursday I decided to have… double workout day!  Chest and Shoulders were up for grabs, so I decided the chest workout would remain isolation-heavy so as to spare the shoulders.  And oh yes… there will be drops.

early AM Shoulders:  (60 sec rest)

20 min on the lateral elliptical (to warm the shoulders up holding the moving levers)

rotator cuff warmup:  15 lbs x 15 for 5 sets each arm

side raise machine supersetted with partial DB side raises (straight set of the machine, then 4 or 5 inch ROM with the DBs)

warmup; 80 x 12 then 60 x 10 partials; 90 x 11 then 60 x 10 partials; 100 x 7 then 60 x 10 partials

seated dumbbell overhead press:  warmup;

80 x 12 DROP 60 x 12 DROP 50 x 12;

90 x 11 DROP 70 x 8 DROP 50 x 8;

100 x 8 DROP 80 x 4 DROP 60 x 4

rear delt cable fly (straight set followed by heavy partials):  77 x 12 then 99 x 20 partials

cooldown:  twist x 150

 

notes:  this was intense!  My shoulders haven’t taken this level of abuse in a while, so I gave them lots of warmup.  I wanted to do more after the rear delt flys, but I realized I barely made it out of the overhead presses and I looked in the mirror and my eyes were bloodshot, so I called it a day and went to work.

 

After work, I went to do chest.

PM chest:  (60 sec rest)

pec deck:   warmup;

120 x 12 DROP 90 x 12 DROP 75 x 12 DROP 60 x 12

135 x 12 DROP 105 x 9 DROP 75 x 12 DROP 60 x 12

150 x 10 DROP 120 x 10 DROP 90 x 10 DROP 60 x 12

machine bench press:  warmup;

210 x 12 DROP 165 x 10 DROP 120 x 10 DROP 90 x 14

210 x 10 DROP 165 x 6 DROP 120 x 10 DROP 90 x 15

210 x 7 DROP 165 x 5 DROP 120 x 12 DROP 90 x 15

incline DB fly:

120 x 4 FAIL drop weight

100 x 12 DROP 80 x 8 DROP 60 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

100 x 4 DROP 80 x 4 DROP 60 x 8 DROP 45 x 8

100 x 5 DROP 40 x 4 DROP 60 x 10 DROP 45 x 10

cooldown:  20 min elliptical, twist x 150

 

notes:  I hit it hard, but this workout wrecked me!  Drop sets until you drop.  I crashed and burned pretty bad on the DB flys.  I think there are a few things at work.  For one thing, I am back on the diet again, and I don’t think I had enough fuel in me for an endurance workout.  I also had not done endurance chest in probably over a month, and it just was a shock.  Also the second workout of the day.  So for whatever reason I can conjure up, I definitely drained my tank, and limped across the finish line.  So the flys defeated me.

Another interesting event… so after I try the 60s for flys and just flat out fail and go grab some lighter DBs, I am sitting there trying to psyche myself up, regather my intensity, as well as scope out where my drop set weights are (drop DB sets in a crowded gym is a logistical nightmare), and this dude walks over looks at me and says, “Can I have the bench?”

Note he didn’t ask if I would be done soon, or if he could share, he just flat out asked to HAVE the bench.  I looked at him and said (as friendly as I could), “no, I am just starting, but you can take turns with me if you want”.  I saw a look in his eye like “WTF?” as if he was expecting me to let him take my bench?!?!  Do I look like a bitch to you, sir?  I let his crooked look slide and just repeated my offer.  He said “sure, I’m going to go warmup.”  Thanks for the tip bro, you go warmup.

So of course I’m doing triple drop sets with dumbbells, so there is a FOREST of dumbbells scattered around my bench now.  I’m done, he comes back, looks at the dumbbells, asks me “can you move all of these out of the way?”  So fuck whatever, sure I move 8 dumbbells 5 feet away, guy does his incline presses.  I gather my shit BACK UP again to the bench, do my set, all the while the guy is hovering over my shoulder, then I finish a set, drag my shit away, repeat.

I will admit, coupling the fatigue with this annoying dude (did I mention 2 min into this silly dance 2 other adjustable benches open up and dude doesn’t have the brains to go take one of those?)… it added to me failing with the weights.  I couldn’t focus, I was distracted on top of tired.  I can’t help but feel I would have gotten more reps if I didn’t have this troll on my shoulder.

It was my last movement of the workout, and I walked away PISSED, like this dude had just robbed me of my gains, wrecked my workout.  Honestly, I wanted to go hit something.  instead I stared in the mirror for a few minutes, took some deep breaths, and went to do my cardio and twists with the music cranked up.

 

Anyways, its all over now, that was my day at the gym!  how about you?  Any good workouts?

Rise of the Drop Set

Today was Back and Biceps, got up early and headed down for an am workout.  I am going to start adding in drop sets in earnest for a while, as a way to add some intensity.

AM Back & Biceps (60 sec rest taken b/w sets)

V-Bar Pulldowns:  105 x 10; 150 x 10; 210 x 12, 12, 9

T-Bar Rows:  90 x 10; 135 x 12; 145 x 12; 155 x 12

One Arm DB Rows:  60 x 10/10; 85 x 12/12; 90 x 12/12

Underhand Pulldowns:  135 x 10; 210 x 12, 12; 225 x 12

Preacher Machine Curls – Narrowgrip:

60 x 10

85 x 12 DROP 65 x 12 DROP 55 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

85 x 12 DROP 65 x 10 DROP 55 x 9 DROP 45 x 9

85 x 12 DROP 65 x 12 DROP 55 x 9 DROP 45 x 12

85 x 12 DROP 65 x 9 DROP 55 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

EZ Bar Curls – Widegrip:

70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12 DROP 40 x 12 DROP 30 x 12

70 x 12 DROP 50 x 8 DROP 40 x 8 DROP 30 x 9

70 x 8 DROP 50 x 9 DROP 40 x 12 DROP 20 x 12

70 x 9 DROP 50 x 8 DROP 40 x 12 DROP 20 x 13

cardio 20 min, twist x 150

notes:  this workout felt great!  More drops than a rainstorm! Arms were nice and pumped after. Triple drop sets are tough, especially on a body part of mine that has traditionally not had the endurance, being the biceps.  Not that long ago, this would have not have been possible, but I have built up the endurance enough in my biceps that I can do this kind of stuff, which will help spur me on to greater overall strength and size.

I used preset EZ curl bars for the drop sets, which meant I was tying up like 4 bars at a time, which is sort of awkward.  Halfway through my stuff, this girl came up and asked if she could use the 30 pound bar “just for practice”.  Not being a jerk I said of course, and I switched to the 20 pound bar for the last drop, which was ultimately too light, but whatyagonnado.  I find it strange though that she said she needed it “just for practice”.  Why say that?  I figured she was putting herself down, like 30 pounds isn’t a decent weight, which is silly.  time under tension, overloading the muscle, progressive increases, etc etc, who cares about the nominal amount of weight?  If 30 pounds is tough for whatever she’s doing, then go forth with my blessing my child!

Anyways, that was my workout.  What about you?

Finish What You Started

Hey! Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, let me catch you up on my workouts.

Aug 14 and 15 were rest days from the weights.  I did my cardio, I did some twists.  On the Wednesday I went out at lunch with 2 coworkers and showed them a core workout they could do:  I led them through a few rounds of bicycle crunches, stability ball crunches, leg lifts, planks, side planks, windshield wipers, supermans.  They were quite happy!  One of my coworkers told me he had never done resistance training with his legs in his life – he had only ever done upper-body workouts and cardio.  Unsurprisingly, even lifting his straight legs off the ground gave him muscle soreness the next day, haha!  Can’t skip leg day bro.

Aug 16 the Friday I wanted to do calves and abs and shoulders.  So I split it up into the morning and the lunchtime workouts.

Friday am calves and abs

Spin class 60 min

Seated Calf Raises supersetted with roman chair knee raises (no rest, back and forth, starting and ending with calves… calfs??)

seated calf raise 90 x 10 (warmup) 115 x 20, 20, 20, 20, 20

knee raises x 20, 20, 20, 20

twist x 150

notes:  it was a really quick am workout, the spin class took the most time.  I actually wanted to do standing calf raises, but this guy was SORT OF doing sets of 4 or 5, then taking a break ON the machine while surfing the net on his phone, or texting his prom date or flashing his swag or whatever the kids do now-a-days.  I was so glad for the seated machine so I wouldn’t be forced to interact with this cretin.

At lunchtime my 2 coworkers headed out with me.  One of them went off to do his own workout (upper-body naturally, haha), and he occasionally needed me to spot him on bench press, which is coming along nicely for him, I must admit.  The other coworker, I had already showed her all the exercises she needed to do so I patted her on the back and wished her well, but she kept following me around, asking if she could just do whatever I was doing.  FINE!  I guess I don’t mind having a workout buddy at lunchtime, if it keeps her motivated and it gives me a few extra sparks of energy as I spot her, then all the better.

Friday noontime shoulders

superset DB side raises and front raises (60 sec rest b/w supersets starting and ending with side raises)

side raises 20s x 15, 15, 15

alternating front raises 20s x 15, 15

smith machine seated presses (trading sets w coworker) 70 + bar x 10; 110 + bar x 11, 12, 11

reverse pec deck (30 sec rest) 40 x 15, 15; 60 x 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

elliptical 15 min

notes:  I was hoping to do more on the smith machine but they just weren’t up for the challenge that day.  My coworker couldn’t keep up with 7 sets on the pec deck, after 2 sets she said screw this and went off to do cardio, haha!  I joined her after I did all 7.  It’s ok, the rear delts tire out pretty fast.

Saturday I had an EPICCCCCC leg day planned.  As luck would have it, I had a friend join me for this one too!  My friend Jamie, who has her very own blog at

http://missjamiebell.blogspot.ca/

she came to join me.  This was especially welcome, as I find leg days pretty scary still, and nothing like having a female join me because they LOVE leg day!  Even when they hate it they love it, they don’t skip leg day, they embrace it.

The theme of this leg day was ENDURANCE – finish what you started.  Go heavy, go until failure, then KEEP GOING.

Saturday AM leg day

first thing in the morning we headed to the gym for spin followed by weights

10-15 min warmup on the stairmaster

spin 60 min

weights (we rested when we traded sets)

Leg Extensions, 2 warmup sets, single 100 rep drop set, started at 180 and each time I failed I dropped a plate or two and kept going, until I completed all 100 reps.  All told I dropped about 7 times and went from 180 pounds to 90 pounds!

Leg Press, 2 warmup sets, 10 plates for 3 sets of 30 reps – go until failure, rest for 5-10 sec, do as many more as you can, until you hit 30

Standing Leg Curls – straight sets 80 x 20/20, 20/20, 20/20

Hack Squats – 2 warmup sets, 6 plates for 3 sets of 30 reps – go until failure, rest for 5-10 sec, do as many more as you can, until you hit 30

twists x 150

notes:  this workout is simple but brutal.  Not a lot of exercises, but designed to push your endurance and your limits, pushing past failure to hopefully some solid gains.  Done correctly, this exercise GUARANTEES leg DOMS in your future!  And the stairmaster and spin class was a great warmup to get the blood flowing.

I was crab-walking after the leg extensions 100 rep drop set, and by the time I was leaving the gym, my steps were very wobbly.  It’s sunday as I type this, and the early DOMS are upon me (leg DOMS usually hit me worse on Day 2, so I have more to look forward to)

Sunday is a rest day!  Hooray!

How about you?  Did you make it out to the gym this weekend?