Tag Archive: face pull


Mar 13, 2015

Only had an hour with the trainer, so had to make it count.

Cleans

I wanted my PT to check my form and tell me what was going on. Sets of 3 reps of 135 used to be possible, but I was almost bombing out of 140 now.

We tried some with 95 pounds, then we tried some with just the bar. Something was messed up with my shoulder, it was pushing the bar path out FARTHER from me, and slowing me down, burning up more energy, ultimately causing me to fail. I just couldn’t bring the bar right up in to my collarbone any more. When I went empty bar and tried to really set my scapula back and bring it in… my shoulders got lopsided. It just looked like crap.

So… for now she demoted me down to Kettlebell Cleans. Once I get the hang of those, I can get promoted back up to the barbell again. I gotta start from scratch until I figure out what my major malfunction is.

Kettlebell Cleans

30 lb x 8 per arm
45 lb x 8/8
50 x 8/8
50 x 8/8

notes: she was happier with my form near the end. not great, but better.

Superset Face Pulls & Pullaparts (using heavy resistance band, 30 sec rest)

20 face pulls, 15 pullaparts
20, 15
20, 15

Z Press (butt up on folded yoga mat)

45 x 5
75 x 5
115 x 6
115 x 4, then 3 assisted reps

notes: I am actually happy I am making some headway into doing these with 115. Gotta keep building.

Shoulder Complex: Cable Front Raises, Side Raises, Rear Delt Flys

20 x 10/10/10
20 x 10/10/10
20 x 10/10/10

notes: cables hurt a lot more than dumbbells and machines lol. I noticed again a pronounced lack of range on the RD flys. My joints were hurting during the whole thing. It kept me from really advancing on the weights. I might not do these complexes again with cables.

Superset DB Curls & Straight Bar Pushdowns

30s x 20 / 120 x 30
30s x 15 DROP 20s x 6 / 120 x 30

post-workout: LISS elliptical

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Mar 7, 2015

Back at it.

Clean & Press (I started off clean & strict press each rep, clean from the hang, 90 sec rest)

45 x 3
95 x 3
140 x 1
140 x 2
140 x 1
140 x 3 (clean once, push press 3 times)
140 x FAIL
140 x 3 (clean and push press each rep)

notes: 2nd crappy week in a row on the clean and strict press. I just couldn’t get it going. And only 2 weeks ago 135 for 3 reps was no big deal. I need to sit down with my coach (she is travelling right now) and get some help, because I think my form must be breaking down and its costing me my performance. I could clean it, but I couldn’t strict press any more. So I ended up just doing push presses. Very disappointed.

Superset Cable Face Pulls & Over and Backs w/resistance band (30 sec rest b/w supersets)

40 x 20 / 8 over and backs
40 x 20 / 8
40 x 20 / 8
40 x 20 / 8
40 x 20 / 8

notes: This still is feeling good. Upped the weight a bit and was still hitting the sweet spot.

Z Press (sat on a rolled up yoga mat, 90 sec rest)

45 x 8
75 x 8
105 x 8
105 x 8

notes: This was a big improvement from last week. My hips felt tight last week so I sat on a rolled up light yoga mat, and the warmup sets felt so good that I knew I had a good shot. My eventual goal is to sit flat on the ground, but this was a good few sets.

Shoulder Complex: DB Front Raises / Machine Lateral Raises / Reverse Pec Deck (60 sec rest)

20s x 10 / 30 x 10 / 30 x 10
20s x 10 / 40 x 10 / 40 x 10
20s x 10 / 50 x 10 / 50 x 10
20s x 10 / 60 x 10 / 60 x 10
20s x 10 / 70 x 10 / 70 x 10
20s x 10 / 80 x 10 / 80 x 6

notes: Decided to take a break from the 6-Way complex, as I know it hurts a bit on the shoulder (it hurts in a kinda good way, but it is still stressful). I kept the front raise weight the same so I wouldn’t have to keep chasing down dumbbells and just changed the pins on the machines. I have learned a few tips to keep my shoulders feeling good, for the front raises I bring the DBs down with a neutral grip (hammer grip), and then pronate my palms on the way up; and for the reverse pec deck, I hold the handles with my thumbs facing down so as to hit my rhomboids more.

Sets felt good so I kept upping the weight until I found the sweet spot.

Arm fluff time! Something more traditional than Cannonball Sets this week.

Superset DB Bicep Curls and V-bar Pushdowns (60 sec rest)

30s x 20 / 100 x 30
30s x 20 / 110 x 30
30s x 15 / 110 x 23

notes: high rep plumpness! Arms were tired but nice and full! They didn’t have that amazing tight feeling, but they did have visible size on them. It wasn’t my best pump ever, but it was still fun.

post-workout: LISS elliptical

Feb 28

Gotta admit, I spent most of Friday and Saturday on House of Cards, lol.  Sorry Gym.

Anyhoo, I don’t normally work out in the evenings any more, but I had to get it in.

Clean & Press (clean & press each rep, clean from the hang, 2 min rest)

45 x 3
95 x 3
140 x 1
140 x 3
140 x 3
140 x 3
140 x FAIL, rest 60 sec, try again
135 x 2
135 x 2

notes: My head just wasn’t in the game tonight. Maybe my triceps were still fried (they had been sore for 2 days straight now), and then after a few rough presses, I started losing focus and the clean started slowing down, then it all fell to chit. Even after lowering the weight to 135, I had to stop a set when I hitched on the press up, or if I ended up being forced to push press.

Superset Cable Face Pulls & Over and Backs w/resistance band (30 sec rest b/w supersets)

30 x 20 / 8 over & backs
30 x 20 / 8
30 x 20 / 8
30 x 20 / 8
30 x 20 / 8

notes: kept the weight light and the rest low and tried to get lots of reps in, which just feels right for that area

Z Press (90 sec rest)

45 x 3
75 x 3
105 x 4
105 x 4

notes: the focus was still just not there for me. as I tried to press up, my hips started cramping up on me which threw me off and made me stop. next time I might try sitting on a rolled up mat to elevate my hips a bit.

6 Way DB lift (60 sec rest)

10s x 10
10s x 8
10s x 10

notes: these are starting to feel a bit better

For my Arm Fluff, I decided to try the “cannonball” workout that was on the main BB.com page, basically one long set with no rest where you pyramid up the machine until you cant keep up then you start over… and over… until you die, or whatever.

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/buil…ball-sets.html

Cannonball Set Bicep Machine (no rest, replace the pin, scribble a quick note as needed and keep going)

10 x 8
20 x 8
30 x 8
40 x 8
50 x 8
60 x 8
70 x 6
10 x 8
20 x 8
30 x 8
40 x 8
50 x 6
60 x 4
10 x 8
20 x 8
30 x 8
40 x 4
10 x 8
20 x 8
30 x 5
10 x 8
20 x 8
30 x 6

notes: biceps were screaming! I realize I started way too light, even with max fatigue and pump, sometimes 10 pounds is just too light. My goal by starting on just the first pin was: it means you do more sets, and if on your next microround you go just as far as the last set, then stop.

So essentially, instead of stopping when I can’t do the first weight any more, I stop when I make it just as far as I did the last microround. I will never reach a point when I can’t curl 10 lbs on the machine, so instead I stop when I am just spinning my wheels.

Cannonball Set Tricep Machine (no rest)

10 x 8
20 x 8
30 x 8
40 x 8
50 x 8
60 x 8
70 x 8
80 x 8
90 x 8
100 x 5
10 x 8
20 x 8
30 x 8
40 x 8
50 x 8
60 x 8
70 x 8
80 x 8
90 x FAIL
10 x 8
20 x 8
30 x 8
40 x 8
50 x 8
60 x 8
70 x 8
80 x 8
90 x 4

notes: my elbow tendinitis is burning as I type this, so I should have done cable pushdowns instead of the machine. bah.

I realize in hindsight that this isn’t enough work for your arms. I realize that because 5 min after doing these massive cannonball sets, my arms felt fine again. I wanted to try it out and see how it worked, and that’s fine, but these are only good as:
a. finishers
b. pre-exhaust before the heavy work

notes: still, my arms were pretty pumped!! hundreds of reps on arms, lol

post-workout: 2.1 miles elliptical

Cycle 2 Week 2 Chest

 

 

Bench Press and Assistance

Superset Bench Press and Over & Backs or mid row machine  (60s rest)

75 x 5 / O&Bs x 8

90 x 5 / OB8

110 x 5 / OB8

130 x 3 / Row 140 x 5

150 x 3 / 140 x 5

165 x 10 / 140 x 5

notes:  Gym was SUPER busy!  Had to wait 5 min for a Bench, but I was patient.

 

Machine Chest Press (45s rest)

150 x 8

160 x 8

170 x 8

180 x 7

notes:  feeling good, tossed in an extra set

 

Smith Machine Incline Press  (45s rest, constant tension reps)

2 plates x 6

2 plates x 8

2 plates x 8

2 plates and 2 dimes x 8

notes:  reps went up, tossed in an extra set

 

Twist Press  (30s rest)

50s x 10

50s x 10

55s x 10

55s x 7

notes:  My old friend is back, the twist press!  Dropped the rest down, tossed in another set.

 

Behind the Back Side Cable Raise (no rest, back and forth arm to arm)

15 x 12/12

20 x 12/12

20 x 12/12

Face Pulls (45s rest)

30 x 30

40 x 30

50 x 30

notes:  Brought the reps WAY up, and dropped the weight.  Felt good!

Cage Press (45s rest, explosive reps)

95 x 5

95 x 5

95 x 5

95 x 5

notes:  had to wait 5 min for it, but finally, a decent powercage!  Did real cage presses, and threw in some overhead shrugs at the end of every set just for fun, finish the traps off.

post-workout – 15 min cardio

 

 

Went to the trainers after work for some Bench Press!

 

Bench Press and Assistance

Superset Bench Press and Over&Backs or Widegrip Pulldowns  (45-60s rest)

75 x 5 / O&B x 8

90 x 5 / OB 8

110 x 5 / OB 8

120 x 5 / widegrip pulldowns 140 x 5

140 x 5 / 150 x 5

155 x 10 / 160 x 5

IMG_4349

notes:  Going good!  Keep practicing that form.  A PR was not numerically possible with this weight and this rep range, so it was just a week to build confidence and form.

Decline DB Press (flex 2 seconds at the top, 45 sec rest)

65s x 8

65s x 8

65s x 8

65s x 8

 

Smith Machine Incline Press (slight incline, constant tension reps, 45 sec rest)

2 plates x 6

2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 6

2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 6

IMG_4354

notes:  Running low on time so we had to start trimming.

Superset DB RD Flys and Face Pulls (back and forth no rest one exercise to the other, hold squeeze for 2 seconds on Face Pulls)

15s x 20 / 60 x 12

15s x 20 / 60 x 12

15s x 20 / 60 x 12

IMG_4355

IMG_4360

And we were out of time so I went off for a therapeutic massage!  And that’s another day done 🙂

Cycle 1 Week 3 Chest

Chest and Assistance Work

Had to rush the office gym early today!  Get in get out early so I can get back to work.  Busy day!

Superset Bench Press & Over + Backs w/ Resistance Band, OR Widegrip Pulldowns  (60 sec rest or so b/w supersets)

75 x 5 / 8 O&Bs

90 x 5 / 8 OB

110 x 5 / 8 OB

135 x 5 / wide pulldowns 85 x 5

155 x 3 / 105 x 5

170 x 10 / 125 x 5

notes:  slowly building the bench press back up, with better form.  even if it makes me seem less cool to my coworkers who are benching more than me, I will get better and stronger eventually!

Decline DB Press (flex for 2 sec at the top, slight decline, 45 sec rest)

60 x 8

60 x 8

60 x 8

60 x 8

notes:  easy sets!

Smith Machine Incline Press (slight incline, constant tension reps, 45 sec rest)

bar x 5

2 plates x 6

2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 6

2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 5

2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 6

2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 6

notes:  tough sets!

Incline DB Rear Delt Fly (45 sec rest)

15s x 15

15s x 15

15s x 20

Face Pulls (2 second hold at peak contraction, 45 sec rest)

47.5 x 12

42.5 x 12

42.5 x 12

notes:  the 2 second hold made these really tough!  loved them!

Cage Press (smith machine, 30 sec rest)

2 quarter plates x 5

2 quarter plates x 5

2 quarter plates x 5

2 quarter plates x 5

2 quarter plates x 5

notes:  threw my head forward on each rep, and really squeezed my traps at the top.  crush them to dust!

Today was all about the chest! What’s better than a chest workout? TWO chest workouts? It’s not overtraining… it’s overGAINING *gunshot*

Due to various circumstances it would take too long to type and not worth reading, both workouts were at the office gym. Afternoon workout was with a coworker.

AM Chest

flat DB Press, some rotator cuff work (60 sec rest)

40s x 14 / 15 lb DB taken through ROM, 15 times per arm
50s x 10 / ROTO
60s x 10 / ROTO
70s x 6 / ROTO
80s x 6
90s x 1
90s x 2

notes: Only did rotator cuff work until I felt loose.

Actually rather embarrassed here at my lack of strength. I am better than this, but my shoulder got cranky right away. I intended to bang out 20 reps with the 40s, and the left shoulder hurt immediately. I had to go slow and deliberate and keep the reps low on every successive set. By the time I got to the 90s, my loss of strength was clear. On my first set, a skinny ectodouche hovered over me on his way to go do crunches, and it threw me off. So I decided to do a second set, but now with no distractions, it still wasn’t happening. Mad and sore, I wandered off to the Smith Machine.

flat Smith Machine press (45 sec rest, wide grip, constant tension, stay in mid ROM and pump out reps, no lockout or touch your chest)

2 plates x 15
2 plates x 13
2 plates x 15
2 plates x 15

notes: got in some good chest work here. felt a bit better.

Decline DB Fly

20s x 15

Low to High Cable Fly (45 sec rest)

55 x 15
55 x 15
55 x 15
55 x 15

notes: the cables were busy so I tried decline DB flys, did not like the feeling on my shoulder. But then the cables freed up so I went back to them. This cable is heavy so the weight seemed appropriate.

Generally disappointed in the chest session, so I resolved to do more after work. Coworker joined me, doing his own thing for the first half and then realizing he doesn’t know a damn thing and asking if he can do what I’m doing in the second half, LOL.

PM Shoulders, Chest

Superset Seated Smith Shoulder Press and Face Pulls (rest varied, see notes)

70 in plates x 12 / 22.5 x 15
(rest approx. 90 sec)
70 in plates x 12 / 22.5 x 15
(no rest)
70 in plates x 12 / 22.5 x 15
(no rest)
90 in plates x 12 / 27.5 x 15
(rest approx. 2 minutes?)
90 in plates x 12 / 27.5 x 15

notes: Right after my first set, my coworker wanted to talk to me about how he felt SO sick, and had NO energy. blah blah.

Feeling peeved, I did the next 3 supersets back to back with no rest, haha. Then he came up to me again and asked if I could lend him headphones, so I went off to my locker to grab him some. Then did my 5th set. ANNOYING!!

Twist Press (60 sec rest)

50s x 10
55s x 10
60s x 9
55s x 10
50s x 10
45s x 12
40s x 15

notes: I had intended to go up to 65s, but when I got too tired to do a 10th rep on the 60s, I decided to go back down the rack, and dip a few sets lower and go higher reps.

These felt good, WAY better than the regular flat press from the AM.

leaning Strict Cable Side Raises (no rest back and forth arm to arm)

12.5 x 12/12
12.5 x 10/10
12.5 x 10/10

notes: Heavy cable! No 20s for me, haha. When I was doing this, my coworker got jealous, so after I was done I showed him how to do these and he did 2 back to back sets.

Rear Delt Cable Fly (traded sets with my coworker, 45 sec or so in between)

35 x 15
35 x 15
35 x 15

notes: He had never done these before, so I led him through some sets.

DB Shrugs (back and forth with coworker, approx. 20 sec rest, lol)

100s x 15
100s x 12
100s x 10

notes: When he picked up his 50s to do his, he said it felt too rough in his hands, so he would only do a few reps and rerack them. So I would then immediately again do mine, lol. Made the rests deadly short!!!

And that was that! Headed home.

I am BEAT UP right now! Ugh, double workout days on low carb are DEADLY.

Got up this morning feeling pretty solid, so I headed to the gym before my job started to get some work done.  Fewer workouts this week and more rests as I get ready for Saturday, so had to keep the intensity up for the workouts I do, with the time I have.

Had a list of the workouts I wanted to do, so I just steamrolled my way through the gym – stayed flexible on the order of the exercises, and just jumped to a new space if it looked empty.  Didn’t want any frickin downtime waiting for a station.

Chest Supported T-Bar Rows(midway grip, arms at 45 degrees, 45 sec rest b/w sets)

1 plate x 15
2 plates x 12
3 plates x 10
3 plates x 10
3 plates x 8
3 plates x 6

Superset Standing Military Press and Face Pulls (45 sec rest)

95 x 12 / 80 x 5 (this cable machine felt heavy as FUARK)
95 x 12 / 70 x 10
95 x 12 / 70 x 7
95 x 12 / 60 x 10
95 x 6 / 40 x 10

notes:  this particular cable machine was heavy and grindy, not smooth at all.  Needed to dial the weights down on the Face Pulls just to get them done.

One Arm DB Row (supporting leg extended back for all sets except final set, 45 sec rest b/w sets)

80 x 8/8
90 x 8/8
100 x 8/8
100 x 8/8 (supporting knee directly under hip)

notes:  When I use the bench for 1 arm DB rows, I find the placement of my supporting leg makes the exercise harder or easier.  If I row with my left, my right hand is on the bench, and if my right knee is right under my hip, it makes the reps easier.  So I like to start with that right leg extended almost straight back, only bringing the knee as I am trying to squeeze out the last few reps.  I think Pakulski said in a video that it keeps you from assisting with your offside lat, makes sense to me I guess.

DB Twist Press (60 sec rest)

45s x 10
50s x 10
55s x 10
60s x 8
55s x 10
50s x 10
45s x 10

notes: Climbing my way up the ladder, then back down.

Underhand Pulldown (hands slightly inside shoulder width, 45 sec rest)

150 x 10
165 x 10
180 x 10
195 x 10
210 x 9

notes: I have tried shoulder width, and find just inside shoulder width more comfortable.

Widegrip Machine Row (elbows kept high, 45 sec rest)

210 x 8
195 x 10
180 x 12
150 x 15

notes:  climbed up the ladder on the pulldowns, climbed back down the ladder on the rows

I was starting to fade pretty hard at this point, but grit my teeth and headed to the cables for some light shoulder work.

Leaning Cable Strict Side Raise (Zero rest, back and forth arm to arm)

10 x 15/15
15 x 15/15
20 x 15/15

Strict Rear Delt Cable Fly (30 sec rest)

17 x 15
17 x 15
17 x 15

notes:  it was light but I was toasted so I had to grunt hard to squirt these reps out with good form.  Straight arms, pop back and squeeze that pencil b/w your shoulderblades!

Once I barely got through these sets, I knew I was done for, so the volume was just right (having cut out cleans and shrugs and so forth).

Then walked to work in a snowstorm, bleh.

Feb 14 – High Carb Day / Back,Bi & Shoulders,Chest

Happy Valentines Day!  I decided to celebrate with high carbs and lots of workouts, haha.

 

In the morning I headed to the gym for Part 1 – Back, Biceps, Core

Bent Over Barbell Row (rest from 30-50 sec, time to change the weight plus a few seconds)

95 x 15

115 x 12

135 x 10

155 x 10

175 x 10

 

Widegrip Pulldowns (45s rest)

195 x 10

195 x 10

195 x 10

195 x 10

 

Superset DB Pullovers and Closegrip Cable Row (60-75s rest)

50 x 12 / 120 x 15

55 x 12 / 135 x 15

60 x 12 / 150 x 15

65 x 12 / 165 x 15

notes: the expansion of the ribcage during the pullovers helped me focus on expanding my ribcage again to isolate the back muscles during the rows (thanks for the idea coach!)

Assisted Underhand Grip Chinups (Heavy) (30s rest)

6, 6, 6, 6

notes: I could adjust my assistance, so I took less assistance than normal, to the point where doing 6 was a real strain.

Closegrip Cable Curls (45s rest)

83 x 12

94 x 12

105 x 12

116 x 12

 

Standing DB Hammer Curls (45s rest)

40s x 12

40s x 7

35s x 12

35s x 12

notes:  I was running out of gas pretty hard, so I had to drop the weight.

Preacher Machine Curls (45s rest)

90 x 17

80 x 13

70 x 12

notes:  no matter that I kept dropping the weight, my reps kept dropping.  I knew I was done for!  So I ended the bicep work and moved on to core for a bit.

Superset Roman Chair Kneeups and Decline Crunches (30s rest)

12 / 10 lbs x 12

12 / BW 11

12 / BW 11

12 / BW 9

notes:  I started the decline crunches off tucking a dime plate behind my head, but my shoulder felt sore, so I tried just bodyweight… and I couldn’t even complete those.  Weak core!  Need to put in work on that.

 

Then I went to work.  After work headed to the studio for a second session with the trainer.  Who needs valentines?  I got a date with the iron.

Superset Standing Overhead Press and Face Pulls (about 45s rest)

95 x 12 / 50 x 15

95 x 12 / 60 x 12

95 x 10 / 70 x 10

95 x 10 / 80 x 10

95 x 9 / 90 x 10

notes:  I got tired in the core quickly, so when I couldn’t control the back arch, I stopped pressing.

IMG_3672

Seated DB Power Cleans (45s rest)

20s x 8

15s x 12

15s x 11

notes:  this is my first time doing these.  I thought, I will start light with 20s… turns out this one is hard!  Especially because my rotator cuffs and stabilizer muscles are my weak link.  Which makes this the perfect exercise for me, weak on my weak links.  Dropped the weight and did the rest of my sets.

IMG_3682

Twist Press (30s rest)

30s x 10

35s x 10

40s x 10

45s x 10

notes:  first time doing this too.  You start off with a normal flat DB press, and supinate your wrists so that the pinky end of the dumbbells tough at the top of the press (you corkscrew on the way up).  Felt good!  I started light to see how it feels, and it was fairly light for me, but we only had so much time in this session, so we called it and moved on.

IMG_3691

Leaning Cable Lat Raise (30s rest)

20 x 12 each side

20 x 15

20 x 15

notes:  I find I get better form with the cables, and leaning increases the ROM, so I can hit a bit more of the delt.

IMG_3697

 

Rear Delt Cable Fly (30s rest)

20 x 15

20 x 15

20 x 15

notes:  Love these!  My form has much improved too.

IMG_3702

DB Shrugs (30s rest)

80s x 15

85s x 12

85s x 12

notes:  Focused on the squeeze at the top, was rewarded with a visible trap bulge!  Hooray!  Finally you can see my traps!

IMG_3708

 

Happy Valentines Day traps!

For the majority of the week I had been feeling some discomfort in my right side.  I would feel it especially when I woke up.  It was enough to make me get up early, usually around 4 am, and stay up.  But once I started walking around, it was fine.  When I ate food, I didn’t feel any issues.  When I lifted weights or did cardio, no issues.  So I wasn’t entirely sure what it was, I just resolved to keep a look out for it.

Late Friday night, I was able to figure it out.  I had pulled some tiny muscle in my side.  Well, maybe pulled sounds too severe, it was some mild strain on a muscle in my side.

 

 

 

 

 

Was it the external oblique?  Not sure, that seems like an awfully big muscle.  Maybe the internal oblique?  The reason I think it might be the internal oblique was because I felt it at night when I sleep.  I toss and turn a lot when I sleep, often switching positions over and over during the night.  But it is winter, and I am wrapped in heavy blankets, they add resistance.  So it was when I was twisting my body around against the coccoon of blankets I was wrapped in, that I felt a fresh round of pain in my right side.  Rotations and side-bends are the job of the internal obliques, so ipso facto, my dear Watson!

This revelation also caused me to get up at 3 am, in pain.  I stayed up.  As the day progressed, I could also feel myself fighting off some flu kind of symptoms, some aches and pains of the non-DOMS variety were bleeding in to my chest DOMS from Friday.  Oh great, minor pull in my side abs, fighting off the flu, some DOMS.  Awesome!

I decided to just take care of myself Saturday.  Turned up the heat in my apartment, built a mound of blankets to drape my legs over so I would be less inclined to toss and turn, tried to mentally prepare myself to just sleeping on my back for a while, and relaxed.

Before I knew it, it was Sunday, the pain was less, but not gone, the flu was less, but not gone.  So I rested Sunday as well.

Before I knew it, it was 1 am leading into Monday.  I felt lots better.  I decided, oh good!  I will sleep in, get up go to the gym, have some fun.  And then it hit me like a brick, oh crap!  I have to work on Monday!  I normally go to sleep HOURS earlier on work nights, this wasn’t good.  All that weekend, for some reason I thought I wasn’t working Christmas Eve, even though I was.

So I popped a melatonin, went to sleep.  Woke up tired AS HECK hours later, tried to jump in the shower.  Oh look!!  No water!!  Awesome, maybe we blew a water main last night.  Life was conspiring against me.  Undaunted, I dragged my butt off to work.  It wasn’t horrible, actually, I had had a lot of rest that weekend, so I could handle one poor night’s sleep.  They let us go early from work, right around Noon.  I checked my local gym, it was open until 4 pm.  Score!!  I made my way over for some Xmas Eve gym fun.

I was tired, I hadn’t bathed in days, I was getting over various ailments and afflictions.  It would be so easy to go home and enjoy my Christmas Eve.  And yet here I was, time to workout.

 

shoulders & abs

Cardio:  1 hour elliptical

seated DB press:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)  100 x 18, x 7, x 4, x 6

DB lat raise:  (30 sec rest)  50 x 12, x 9, x 7, x 2

reverse cable flyes: (10 sec rest)  33 x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10, x 8, x 8, x 8, x 10, x 8, x 7

rope face pulls:  (10 sec rest)  50 x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10, x 9, x 10, x 9, x 10, x 9, x 9

superset upright row & shrug (1-4-2 cadence): (90 sec rest)  80 x 8/8, x 8/7, x 8/5, x 8/4

straight leg raises:  (45 sec rest)  20, 13, 14

superset double crunch and foot-to-foot crunch:  (30 sec rest)  10/30, 10/30, 10/30

 

notes:  I was pleasantly surprised at my progress on the dumbbell work from a week ago.  I smashed what I did last week!  I think my body just needed to get used to the strain of rest-pause work.  As for the 10 second rest cable work, those are still killer!  But they didn’t traumatize me like they did last week.  I think I am getting used to the grind.   Supergrind! 

It gets hard to bang out 10 in a row over and over, I tried to stay accountable for my form, since this is doing more than overloading a relatively small set of muscles, this is also building up my joints.  so as far as I was concerned, there was no rush.  So if I felt like that 10th rep was just sort of me throwing the weight around, and I wasn’t controlling it any more, then I didn’t count it.  This weight was too light for me to be yanking it around and cheating, this was slow grindy isolation work, form is king.

When it was time for the upright rows and the shrugs, I used the same weight but went right from the rows to the shrugs.  this is super light weight for the shrugs, so I used a real slow count:  up, hold it up for 4 seconds, lower it for 2 seconds.  To keep the tempo going in my mind, I would lift, hold it up top for 2 seconds, pack my shoulders back and hold for 2 seconds, then lower for 2.  I was able to keep the rows going, but my traps were burning when it was time for the shrugs!  I was real happy, that was what I wanted to achieve, I wanted to pre-tire them with a compound before breezing right into the isolation, and not even putting down the bar between exercises really keeps the tension on.  The shrugs became less and less, but this wasn’t a shrug contest, I might do that next week.  This was kind of me taking it through a range of motion and keeping the contraction going.

My only thought on that trap superset is that the barbell became very awkward.  I always pay close attention to how I do my upright rows, since I don’t want to screw my shoulder up again, and maybe dumbbells would allow me a freer and more natural positioning as I raise the weight up.  As for the shrugs, when I would pack my shoulders back, the barbell would bang into my abs and rub against me on the way down.  Dumbbells wouldn’t get in the way like that.  So next time I do this, will probably break out the DBs again.

Doing foot to foot crunches was a bold choice really, since I didn’t know how my obliques were doing.  But I gave them a try and guess what?  They felt fine.  Too easy.  I will still sleep on my back tonight just to be sure.

touch your heels back and forth with your shoulders off the floor

               That’s it!  Did you work out for Christmas Eve?  I would love to read about it!  Happy Holidays!