Tag Archive: hanging knee raise

17/27 Shoulders

Thanksgiving, Shmanksgiving

Overhead Press

warm-up – Superset OHP and Over & Backs (minimal rest between supersets)

60 x 5 / over&backs x 8

75 x 5 / ob

90 x 5 / ob

main – Superset OHP and Assisted Pullups ( 1-2 min rest b/w supersets, pullups assisted for 1/3 BW)

115 x 5 / 5 widegrip

130 x 3 / 5 hammergrip

145 x 8 / 5 widegrip   (used elbow sleeves)  Rep PR!!


notes:  Bar was moving well, shoulders felt healthy, let’s keep the party going!


Joker Sets – Superset OHP and Assisted Pullups ( sleeves worn during press, 2-4 min rest b/w supersets, pullups assisted for 1/3 BW)

160 x 1 / 5 hammergrip

175 x 1 / 5 hammergrip  Weight PR!!


notes:  Very happy!  When I did 160, I hit a hitch halfway up, so I lowered it back down, and exploded back up for a clean rep.  I did not want to move past 160 if I couldn’t do it clean.  The most I had ever done before was 160, and had failed multiple times at 165, so I felt insane blowing right past 165 and going for 175, but I decided to go for it.  I got myself psyched up, hit that same hitch halfway up, but I had a lot of momentum both physical and mental, and the bar did not truly slow down or reverse direction, so I kept pushing and got it to lock out!  Not the cleanest rep, but I am going to take it 🙂



Bench Press  (no rest for warm ups)

warm-up – Superset BP and Assisted Pullups  (paused all bench reps an inch above chest, Spoto Press style)

75 x 5 / 5 hammer

95 x 5 / 5

115 x 3 / 5

145 x 1 / 5

main assist   (60-90 sec rest, sleeves worn)

170 x 3

170 x 3

170 x 3

170 x 3

170 x 3


Superset Wide Neutral Grip Cable Rows and Hanging Knee Raises (no rest, go back and forth from one to the other)

120 x 10 / 5 raises

120 x 10 / 5 raises

120 x 10 / 5 raises

120 x 10 / 5 raises

120 x 10 / 5 raises

notes:  just wanted a good contraction and a good stretch here.  My grip was dying on me though, it started as major soreness in my calluses.  So I kept the knee raises at 5 and lowered the rest.


Post-workout:  self-applied myofascial release on anterior delts, long head of triceps, long head of biceps and distal insertion, lats, scalenes

notes:  saw this online, thought it might do me a lot of good so am starting to incorporate it


Cardio:  15 min stairmaster



magical session!  Who needs turkey when you can have this?

Felt beat up as hell this morning, and it didn’t make sense to put anything other than back and biceps in there, so I did cardio at the office in the morning.

AM Cardio 30-35 min stationary bike, ramping up resistance every 5 min

Banged out work, stupid meeting here, annoying thing there. At one point I threw a fit at the stupidity of it all and it worked – ppl gave me what I wanted, haha! Primadonna.

After work I felt stressed, and didn’t deeply feel like working out in a crowded gym. My stomach was upset, I prob needed a dump, was going to miss my bus, forgot my stuff in the office gym locker.

And then it hit me, just use the office gym again!! Sure they didn’t have a lot, but after office hours, it is empty and QUIET. I was immediately filled with joy. Let’s do it!

PM Back, Biceps, Core

warmup 15 min elliptical-type thing, kinda just simulated walking? thefuk. oh well. give my pre time to kick in.

Bent Over Smith Machine Rows (wide grip, explosive reps, 45 sec rest)

bar x 15
50 in plates x 15
70 in plates x 15
90 in plates x 15
140 in plates x 10
140 in plates x 10
140 in plates x 10

notes: I had never done these before and wanted to try them out. Felt ok, just hard to bring the bar higher than my abdomen, I want it below my abdomen at the bottom, which due to the track means it ends up there on the way up. If that makes sense.

Freehandle Widegrip Cable Pulldowns (45 sec rests)

95 x 15
115 x 10
135 x 10
155 x 8
155 x 8
155 x 8

notes: Every cable machine is different, and this one felt smooth but heavy. So 155 was all I could handle on this one.

Superset DB Pullovers and Closegrip Cable Row (explosive rows, hard squeeze, 60 sec rest)

60 x 12 / 97.5 x 15
60 x 12 / 97.5 x 15
60 x 12 / 97.5 x 15
60 x 12 / 97.5 x 15

notes: I kept the pullovers at 60 so I could work more on the MMC. 97.5 is as high as the cables go on each side, and I couldn’t find a wide bar to connect the two sides, so F it. I tried to explode hard on the rows with a held squeeze at the top.

EZ Bar Curls (30 sec rest)

75 x 12
75 x 12
75 x 12
75 x 12

notes: Instead of going heavier, I reduced the rest time and chased DAT PUMP. Ran right to the DB rack after to keep the pump party going.

DB Hammer Curls (30 sec rests)

30s x 12
30s x 12
30s x 12
30s x 12

notes: Argh, pump!! Dem forearm veins.

Superset Decline Crunches and Hanging Knee Raises(no rest, back and forth)

15 & 12
12 & 10
12 & 10

notes: hung from a bar suspended from the ceiling, and my grip and calluses were acting up hard, so it finished my arms off.

Then headed home! Don’t stop the party!! Feelin good.

Chest Assault

Sunday night I was up late watching Mad Men and Game of Thrones, so I slept in Monday morning and missed Spin.  Whoops!

All day Monday at work I was looking forward to heading to the gym to work out.  You get that way, you build up all this positive momentum, and when you finally get to the weight room, it is pure joy.  It is the chemical payoff you have trained yourself to anticipate, you are an iron addict now, accept it.

As I have acclimated to the 6 day, twice a week split, the low carbs and the morning cardio, a curious change happened – I have gotten hungrier.  The burning need I used to have to sustain myself with additives and preservatives has been slowly conquered by a need to push and pull against resistance, a hunger.

I am much more hungry now than I was months ago.  It is what makes me want to keep moving forward.  I think my trainer can start to see it.  Each workout session I grunt my way through intense sets with less self-consciousness, I smile more when I catch my breath, and if the next set didn’t start asap I am on the verge of hopping up and down.

If this is what I am meant to be like if I follow this course, then I accept the new me whole-heartedly.


So when I got to the studio, it was chest & triceps day!  Hooray!

warmup:  15 min on the elliptical

chest & tri (30 sec b/w sets)

incline fly:  70 x 12, 12, 12


cable crossovers:  160 x 12, 12, 12


incline db press:  110 x 15, 15, 15


flat db press:  120 x 12, 12, 12, 12


skullcrushers:  70 x 15, 15, 15, 12


seated one hand db extension:  20 x 12/12, 8/11, 4/0; 15 x 6/12 (no rest, back and forth)

rope pushdown:  80 x 12; 90 x 12, 12; 50 over and over and over


hanging knee raise:  11, 15



notes:  those crossovers were heavy!  HAF.  I was effectively pre-exhausted, and those incline and flat presses hit me like a truck.  We dropped the bench deeper than 45 degrees, I wanted to make the load easier on my shoulder, and get as much of the upper pec as I could for the inclines.  This, however, had the side effect of tiring my chest out even more for the flat presses, so I needed some forced reps from Leslie to get through the flat sets.

The brutality continued as we upped my regular skullcrusher weight by 16.67%!!  dayum.  Yeah, those skulls were hard damn work.  HAF.  I felt it in the back of my arms quite nicely, though.  Lots of forced reps on those mofos.

So when it was time for the seated extensions, I was weak as a kitten.  Kind of pitiful, but that’s what happens when you stack the movements and the rests like that.  I had to drop down to the 15s to get through the sets.  Let’s just say the tricep was overloaded.  Mission accomplished.

When we did the rope pushdowns, I had some fire coming back, so after the 3 sets I did a pump set that pretty much went on until the end of time.  No joke, Leslie lost count.  I would go for a long-ass time, wait a few seconds, then do a bunch of quarter reps, wait a few then do a bunch of full reps, wait a few then bang out a bunch rapid fire (causing the knobs at the end of the rope to bang into my kneecaps over and over again).  Good finisher, and Leslie was busting a gut.

We had a few minutes left, so I did some abs.


Awesome workout!  I’m just getting meaner and meaner and hungrier each day, feeling real good too!  How about you?  Any good workouts today?

Monday Massage!

Monday morning the alarm slapped me hard in the face.  5 am??  ugh

I headed to the gym and spin spin spin.  My right knee felt sore at the start of the ride, so I tested it out by gradually ramping up the resistance at my own pace.  The first song or two I wasn’t going as hard as everyone else, but by Song 4 or 5 I was going slightly harder than everyone else.  I was lagging behind the beat, but I didn’t care, I needed to observe my knee.  It paid off, as the resistance got heavier and heavier, my knee warmed up and felt fine.  It made for a damn hard class though!

Then I went to work.  I think I might have stacked too many calories early in the day – as I sit here typing this I am hungry… but out of daily calories, haha.  I keep tweaking the meals, more here less here, seeing what works best for me in order to keep the gym activity going.  It’s also been officially two weeks without ANY starch, and I feel great!  My mood is up, I feel light on my feet, and my energy stays solid throughout even a 2 hour gym session.

After work, I tried out a new masseur.  I like to get a good deep tissue massage once a month, I need the therapy to help me recuperate from the activity I subject myself to.  The young man I visited today has only been in Canada a few years (from Hong Kong), and he practices acupressure.

It hurt!  He worked on my calves for 30 min, and my left shoulder (the sprained one) for 15 min.  This left me enough time to make my training session.  He found a lot of crunchiness in my left upper back, which I already am well familiar with – I can’t roll my shoulders back without a little crunchy feeling.  So clearly those tendons need work.  He also thought there was a lot of blockage and swelling in my calves, so he said the acupressure should bring them down in size a bit.

Then it was time for Chest & Triceps with Leslie!

C & T: (30 sec rest between all sets)

But first, check out Leslie’s fresh new kicks!



incline smith machine press:  70 + bar x 15; 90 + bar x 15, 15


flat smith machine press:  90 + bar x 12, 12, 12, 12


flat DB fly:  70 x 12, 12, 12


cable crossover:  80 x 12; 100 x 12; 120 x 12


reverse grip pushdowns:  80 x 15, 15; 90 x 15, 15


close grip DB press:  100 x 12, 6; 80 x 12, 10

seated 2 hand db extension:  55 x 12, 12, 12


straight bar pushdowns:  120 x 10; 100 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10


hanging knee raise:  10, 6, 4, 6, 4

notes:  the workout ran short, so we threw in the extra pushdowns in before the ab work to make the time go by 🙂

I don’t know how much the bar on the Smith Machine weighs.  Damn sure not 45 pounds, so who knows.  Flyes went well, I am happy with how those feel, ditto with crossovers.

As for the reverse grip pushdowns, those were awkward with the loose handles, I couldn’t keep my palms up.  Next time with that setup I will just use one hand and focus on keeping my palms to the ceiling.

When it was time for the close grip press, I was just exhausted, my shoulder was done.  I did less work than last week, don’t know what to tell you, oh well.

And how about you?  Any good workouts today?



Lift Hard, Eat Hard

I woke up Friday and went to Spin, got my morning cardio in.  Les came out, we had a good ride.

Then I went off to work.  I felt good at work, excited about the Friday night back and biceps workout, that enthusiasm carried me through the day.  Big breakfast, light lunch, quick coffee 2 hours before the gym.  I made good time and got to the gym early, and Les didn’t have a client, so we got to start 15 min early!  Yes!  Let’s get it!


Back & Biceps plus Extra: (30 sec rest b/w sets, unless otherwise noted)

assisted widegrip chinups:  10, 10, 10, 10

widegrip rows:  200 x 15; 220 x 12, 12


narrowgrip pulldowns:  210 x 12, 15, 15, 15



hyperextensions:  45 lb plate x 12, 12, 12


EZ bar curls:  70 x 12, 12, 10+2


concentration curls:  25×10/20×15; 20 x15/15, 12/15, 13/12


woah! where's my pro card?

woah! where’s my pro card?

rear delt flyes:  (10 sec rest!) 20 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10; 10 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10


face pulls: (10 sec rest!)  50 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10


hanging knee raise:  10, 7, 7



notes:  I really wanted to go at this one hard.  For the most part I did, my focus slipped a little during the EZ bar curls, I just lost the intensity and put it down and collected myself and picked it up again and finished the set.  If your mental is not there 100% to support you, you will falter in the moment of truth.

But otherwise my mind was there for 100% of the rest of the movements, and I grunted and groaned without care or concern.  I am pretty sure I was the loudest one in the gym, and I didn’t care, lol!  I wasn’t dropping the weights or ignoring good form, I just pulled that weight as hard as I could.

The chinups were a good warmup.  MAN!  I wish I could do them without assistance.  One day…

I was really happy with the rows, other than accidentally doing the wrong number of reps on the pulldowns the first set.  EZ bar curls I slipped a bit, like I said, and with concentration curls I could feel the 25 lbs were too heavy so I had to go down to the 20s, but I went back and forth arm to arm with no rest, and worked damn hard.

When the smoke cleared, we realized we still had 20 min left in the workout, so I suggested some finishers.  Finishers are what you do if you have a little left in your tank but the planned work is over.  I suggested my loved/hated “10 sets of 10 with 10 sec rest” workout idea I saw on bodybuilding.com  Those were darn hard, and I think Leslie was happy with the intensity I kept up during the face pulls.

Then I did some extra ab work.  Then I smiled and ran like hell!  Time for my weekly cheat meal!  up yours, cardio!

screw you cardio!

screw you cardio!


What was my cheat meal?  Some fancy chicken nuggets, steak, salad, veggies, and apple pie with no crust, some ice cream!  YAYYYYY  Oh by the way, that was a STARCHFREE cheat meal.  Cheating doesn’t mean I have to punish myself with food I can’t digest, lol.  So I tossed the noodles out, and the garlic bread.

asian chicken bites

asian chicken bites

rare NY strip w blue cheese & mushrooms, roasted veg, caesar salad

rare NY strip w blue cheese & mushrooms, roasted veg, caesar salad

no crust apple pie a la mode

no crust apple pie a la mode


Oh noes, am I turning into one of those blogs that just posts endless pictures of food?  haha, not likely.  I ate with INTENSITY, it was awesome!

Pretty much a perfect day.  And how about you?  Any good workouts?


Chest & Triceps

Wednesday was my offday.  So I rested a lot.  I still went to the gym, did a spin class, burnt some calories, ate clean.

You know what’s funny, I haven’t thought about my cheat meal all week!!  I would get one cheat meal, I do it Friday night, and normally I am daydreaming about it all week long.  But this week, I am lying in bed Wednesday night, and I realize this is the first time I have even remembered I have a cheat meal!  This is also the first week where my last cheat meal was starch free…

My most recent cheat meal was like some pickles and cheese and some ice cream.  So it tasted awesome, naturally.  But normally my cheat meal involves a lot of bread products.  I had decided to cut starch out of all meals, even cheats, and what do you know?  My cravings have been almost nonexistent all this week!!  No bread, no rice, no potatoes, and I don’t even miss them.  I don’t even want them on Friday.  I find that curious 🙂

Thursday I get up and head to the gym, only to find out the hot water isn’t working!  Awesome!  I made plans to work out with some coworkers at lunch, so I decide to split my workout in two:  triceps and spin in the morning, chest at noon.

Morning Triceps:  (rest 30 sec between all sets)

dumbbell skullcrushers:  50 x 15, 15, 15, 15

seated one hand dumbbell extension:  20 x 12/12, 12/12, 12/12

straight bar pushdowns:  120 x 12, 12, 12

hanging knee raise:  8, 6

60 min Spin class

notes:  After triceps I rushed to Spin.  It was aight.

For the skulls, my left elbow was sore, so I experimented with the ROM, and lowered the DBs down and past my head, and didn’t straighten my arms all the way up at the top, and this actually felt much easier on my elbows!  I might stick with this for a while.

For the hanging knee raise, I hung off the chinup bar at a full hang (roman chairs are for wimps!) and brought my knees up to my chest.  I could have done more, but I was starting to swing too much.  That will be the big challenge for me with this exercise, and a good chunk of the value for my core, in learning how to not swing when I bring my knees up.  This ain’t crossfit, no kipping!!


At work, my coworkers wimped out, of course!  They said they were too busy to go work out.  So I said w/e, and made the choice to go after work on my own and just get the chest work done.

I felt weak all afternoon, shaky.  I needed more food, but I had stacked most of my calories in the morning hoping for a noon workout.  I ate a bit here and there, but on the walk to the gym after work, I felt like I needed a lot more food and maybe a nice cup of coffee.  I had neither.  All I had going for me was grit.  My shoulder also felt sore, but I was too stubborn not to at least give it a go.


Afternoon Chest:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

incline db press:  100 x 15, 15, 15

flat db press:  100 x 12, 12, 12, 12

incline db fly:  60 x 12, 12, 12

pec deck:  105 x 12, 12, 12

cooldown:  25 min cardio on the elliptical

notes:  Grit works!  I muscled through my target weights pretty handily.  It probably helps that I split tri and chest up by 10 hours, but I still beat all my weights from last week.  Getting stronger!!  My shoulder pain also went away once I started pressing, so bonus!


I wanted to do 30 min cardio, but I realized at the 25 min mark how tired and hungry I was, so I called it and went home and had some chicken and veggies 🙂

And how about you?  Any good workouts today?  I’d love to hear all about them!