Tag Archive: hammer grip

9 Oct 2016

Canadian Thanksgiving weekend! Family is all far away so I spend extra time at the gym.

Sunday night light bench and tough assistance.

warmup: slow neg side raises, Cuban presses, shrugs

Paused Bench Press (short rests, 1 sec pause at bottom, explosive reps, no wraps no sleeves)

bar x forevr
175 x 3
175 x 3
175 x 3
175 x 3
175 x 3
175 x 3
175 x 3
175 x 3

notes: one of the weaknesses in my bench is I don’t have that MMC quite down on the press, but I do feel it load the back and triceps up on the way down, after years of slow negs. So today I tried to focus on the concentric. Slow lower, short pause at the bottom, then explode up. Light work tonight, no need for wraps or whatnot.

Closegrip Bench (short rests)

190 x 5
190 x 5

Spoto Press (medium rests, juicy pause at the bottom)

160 x 8
160 x 8
160 x 8

notes: felt it nicely in the triceps

One Arm DB Rows (2 min rests)

100 x 15/15
100 x 15/15
100 x 12/12
100 x 12/12

notes: after the light bench, these hit me savagely. I got real sweaty real fast.

Front Carry

110 lb plate carried 130 ft

Sled Drag

110 lb plate dragged 260 ft

notes: I improvised a little strongman cardio. I tried front carry first, then figured a sled drag sounded cooler. That sled drag backwards got painful around the halfway mark LOL. Hittin the hamstrings good.

I was sorta dead after this. Should have saved it for last LOL

Superset: Strict Side Raises & Front Raises & Assisted Pullups (2 min rests, pullups with a resistance band)

15s x 10 / 15s x 10 / 5 hammer grip
15s x 10 / 15s x 10 / 4 hammer grip
15s x 10 / 15s x 10 / 5 hammer grip

notes: my pullups blow, I need a stronger resistance band haha

8/27 Extra Shoulders


OK, this would be my third shoulder workout this week.  But in some ways, I was starving for some activity and it felt like forever.  I decided that instead of a heavy pushing day, this would be a pump-oriented, shoulder-health type of workout.  I went back to a John Meadows Pump workout I knew was sure to burn me out, and threw in an Arm finisher at the end.


Machine Press (hammergrip, 60 second rest, flex hard for 1 second at peak contraction)

50 x 12

70 x 12

90 x 12

90 x 10

90 x 10

90 x 9

notes:  good to get the shoulders warmed up

Superset Minor Chest Dips & Incline Rear Delt DB Flys  (60 sec rest b/w supersets)

10 dips / 10s x 20

10 dips / 10s x 20

10 dips / 10s x 20

10 dips / 10s x 20

notes:  these feel light and no big deal, but I know from past experience that this lays the groundwork for later devastation.  It all has to happen in order for max effect.  Please be aware that a “minor chest dip” means your arms stay straight and you just sink down into your scapulae, then flex up just using your chest muscles.

Flat DB Hex Press & Band Pull-Aparts (60 sec rest b/w supersets, flex pull-aparts for 1 second at peak contraction, keep constant tension on pull-aparts)

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

notes:  it’s at right about this time where the burning sensation starts to kick in.  I am groaning by the end of the pull-aparts, and that 60 second rest burns so bad, I can’t just let my arms hang down, I have to hold on to something and stretch my shoulders out.

Superset 6-Way & Over and Backs (60 sec rest, keep constant tension if you can!)

10s x 10 / 11… 4

10s x 7.5 / 9… 11

10s x 10 / 7… 9… 4

notes:  It is at this point where the burning in my shoulders is so bad, I am fighting failure.  The weights are nothing, but I can’t do 10 6-ways and 20 over and backs to save my life!  I kept failing and needing a second to take the tension off, and most of the time I had to stop because I needed that 60 seconds because my shoulders felt so weak.  But then about 5 seconds into my break, the burning would replace the weakness and I needed to stretch.  I almost needed to start the next set again just to make the burning go away.  You don;t need much weight to kill your shoulders, because this trashed me.


After taking 5 minutes to recompose myself, I went on to do my Arm Finisher:  3 bicep exercises for 5 reps each, then dropset the same 3 exercises again, then 3 tricep exercises 5 reps each then dropset the same 3 tricep exercises.  Then go RIGHT back to biceps again, ad nauseum.  Basically a neverending arm gauntlet for 5 rounds.  Zero rest.

Arm Gauntlet:  Twisting Curls/Hammer Curls/Pinwheel Curls, drop weight, repeat —> DB Skullcrushers, 2-Hand Extension, Pronated Kickbacks, drop weight, repeat

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 40 x 5 / 20s x 5 —>

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 40 x 5 / 20s x 5 —>

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 40 x 5 / 20s x 5 —>

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 40 x 5 / 20s x 5 —>

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 20s x 5 —> END


notes: whew!  The shoulder workout pounded my delts into dough.  You could make pizza out of my muscles, and this arm workout put the crust on that pizza.  Again, zero rest, constant repping.  Light weight sure, but by the end, that’s not noticeable.  My triceps could maybe have handled a little more, but in the interest of expediency, these were the dumbbells I could hoard to myself in a busy gym, and even then by the 5th round this guy was making sad faces at me so I let him have my 40 lb and used the 55 lb for the dropset extensions.

I like doing pronated kickbacks because I get a better contraction in my triceps over regular kickbacks.  Everyone is different, this is just what works for me.

post-workout:  20 min LISS elliptical, 70% resistance, 9/10 incline


Hi!  Sorry for the delay in putting my workout up.  these things can’t be avoided sometimes.


My routine has been changed up, in an effort to refocus on weight loss.  Too late to shred for summer, but goddamn it, I can be shredded for Halloween, ROFL!  5/3/1 goes back in the closet for now, just a little while!


May 26Chest & Shoulders

(about 60 sec rest b/w sets)

Giant Set:  Flat DB Press & Cable Fly & Incline TRX Pushups

80s x 6 / 50 x 12 / 25

80s x 6 / 50 x 12 / 25

80s x 6 / 50 x 12 / 25

80s x 6 / 50 x 12 / 20

notes:  I was sucking wind, this workout was already tough!

Giant Set:  Standing OHP & Strict DB Side Raise & seated Arnold presses

95 x 6 / 12s x 12 / 12s x 25

95 x 6 / 12s x 12 / 12s x 25

95 x 6 / 12s x 12 / 12s x 25

notes:  coolness went out the window, I was just trying to get through this

Giant Set:  unilateral flat DB press & unilateral RD cable fly & Upright Row (we tried a Cuban Press, but my rotators weren’t havin it)

40s x 12/12   20 x 12/12   60 x 15

40s x 12/12   20 x 12/12   60 x 15

40s x 12/12   20 x 12/12   60 x 15


was going to do cardio, but I went for a massage instead!  massage focused on calves, forearms, some shoulder and back.  my Right side is tight across the board, and I am being warned my back needs some extra TLC sometime soon.


Quite the opposite of TLC, May 27 was Back Day!

Right after work, headed to a backup office gym.  I thought it would be empty, sadly it was not, and juggling circuits got a little awkward.

(rest time between sets varied 20-60 sec, depending on waiting for someone)

Giant set:  Bent Over DB Row & Closegrip Pulldown & Straight Arm Pushdown

100s x 6/6     120 x 12     20 x 25

100s x 6/6     130 x 12     30 x 25

100s x 6/6     130 x 12     30 x 25

100s x 6/6     130 x 12     30 x 25

100s x 6/6     130 x 12     30 x 25

notes:  cable work got tough, but I grinded it out!

Giant Set:  Assisted Hammergrip Pullups & Widegrip Cable Row (hammergrip, elbows high) & Reverse Pec Deck (free handles)

6     100 x 12     50 x 25

6     110 x 12     40 x 25

6     120 x 12     40 x 25

6     130 x 12     40 x 25

6     140 x 12     40 x 25

notes:  pec deck was a little stiff at the start, but I got the hang of it.  hittin them rhomboids!  I could feel the work the RMT did the day before, left rhomboid was poppin and snappin!


post workout:  30 min elliptical, incline, resistance, music 🙂



Just keep working and grinding!  Keep at it dude.

I have had problems sleeping for days.  I toss and turn all night, and the tossing and turning aggravates the sore muscle in my side.  It has made me a little irritable, and I wake up so ragged in the morning that I am often forced to go straight back to bed and move morning cardio to the evening.  Oh well, so much for the morning cardio.  At least for now.

I had to work late today, now that everyone is back, and everyone is eager to give me stuff to do.  So I couldn’t make the workout with Leslie, and went to the gym on my own in the late evening,  In honour of Leslie’s focus on circuit training, I tried some circuit training of my own:  keep going until I couldn’t.  3 circuits of upperbody resistance training.

warmup: 30 min of cardio

Circuit 1:  machine bench press 5 reps and widegrip lat pulldown 8 reps; back and forth 4 times nonstop

bench/lats:  150 x 5/150 x 8/150 x 5/150 x 8/150 x 5/150 x 8/150 x 5/150 x 8

notes:  this felt good as a warmup, could go heavier next time.  I took a couple of minutes before the next circuit

Circuit 2:  dumbbells – incline press 8 reps, then one arm row 8 reps then overhead press 8 reps; 3 times through

incline/row/overhead:  50s x 8/70s x 8/50s x 8/50s x 8/70s x 8/50s x 4/REST/50s x 6/70s x 8/50s x 5

notes:  Out of respect for my shoulder, I used a hammer grip on the incline press.  This helps me because it encourages me to keep my shoulderblades rolled back, and keeps my shoulders more stable.  Towards the end of the second runthrough I just ran out of gas! I looked in the mirror, I was sweating a lot.  I failed out of the overhead, so I rested for 1 minute, then went to do the 3rd set.  I couldn’t do all the reps on that one either.  By this point, I could feel my energy diving.  I hadn’t taken a preworkout either, so that might also be me getting used to not having that as backup.   I waited 2 min before the last circuit.

Circuit 3:  arms and shoulders – 2 hand overhead tricep extension 20 reps, then hammer curls 20 reps, then lat raises 20 reps; 2 times through

tri/bi/shoulders:  50 x 20/40s x 11/25s x 12/REST/50 x 15/30s x 20/17.5s x 6

notes:  I was going to add in bicycle crunches after the lat raises, but the gym was SO crowded, I didn’t want to lose my spot at the dumbbell rack, so I cut it out.  The first time through, the weights were too heavy for me to do high reps with the wornout state I was in, so I took a minute rest then dropped the weights on the second run through.  Even then the lat raises were just BLAH, so I put them down and walked away and said screw it, haha.

I had also considered throwing in some pushups at the end as a “finisher” but I felt so finished already I said to hell with that too and hit the showers, haha!

Considering I couldn’t make the appt with the PT, bad sleep, no PWO caffeine boost, I think I salvaged it ok, what do you think?

see you later!

Press, Pump and Pull

I went to the gym after work, with a few possibilities on my mind. I wanted to do arms, mainly. My chest also felt a little underworked this week. And I said I was going to be casually doing more pullups. So let’s see what I can do in an hour?

dumbbell flat press: (2 min rest b/w sets) 120×16, 140×12, 160×8, 180×4, 160×3, 140×8, 120×11
(from now on, 60 sec or less between sets and exercises)
closegrip dumbbell press: 110 (w/ 5 sec negative) x 10, 60×25
straight bar pushdown: 70 (w/5 sec neg) x10, 40×25
one arm dumbbell extension: 30 (w/5 sec neg) x 4/8, 20 x 9/11
curl machine: 80 (w/5 sec neg) x 10, 50×25
one arm cable curl: 50 (w/5 sec neg) x 10/10, 30 x 15/20
zottman curls: 30 (w/ 5 sec neg) x 5/5, 20 x 10/10
assisted pullups: wide grip x 5, closegrip x 6, hammer grip x 5

cooldown cardio: elliptical, 80% resistance, incline 9, 30 min

notes: I had a lot of stuff I wanted to do, but I didn’t want it to take more than hour, as the work starts to get counter productive around the 60-90 min mark (plus I get cold, hungry and sloppy). The weight portion clocked in at 55 min, score!!
I took more time between chest sets so I could try and build some strength. I had been really hoping to press the 100 lb dumbbells, but I wasn’t confident with the 90s, so I went back down the ladder. My shoulder felt a little sore my second time pressing the 80s, so I stopped and rested right away, as you can see I only did 3 reps of those. I think I am getting a little stronger, gradually.
The arm sets were designed to achieve a “pump” to try and encourage blood to fill the muscles, get a little size. So a slow negative set (super slow!) followed by a high rep set right away. By the 3rd exercise for each body part, your muscles will be used up and burning!
I couldn’t get the pushdown cable spot I wanted, I like the one where you can adjust the pulley a little lower. I had to use the one where the pulley stays up high. I find that one a little awkward, so my weight suffered as a result. Whatever, I still got a pump near the end.
With the one arm exercises, I didn’t take a specific “rest”, I just went back and forth arm to arm, slow set to slow set to pump set to pump set. Those wore me out like crazy, you see my reps go down on those just because the muscles were toast. I took slightly longer than 60 sec after those specific exercises to recover, so I think it all balanced out in the end. I also notice my right arm seems a little stronger than my left! hmmm, good thing I did those one arm exercises so I can notice the imbalance.
One arm db extensions and zottman curls at the end of the routine are rough! I didn’t get even close to the reps I wanted to achieve, I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but it felt really good. In my defence, my triceps were tired from the presses, and my biceps were trying to save some juice for the pullups 🙂

And that was that! How was your day? Any good workouts?