Tag Archive: knee raises

Sunday Week 1 Cycle 1 Back

Deadlift day!

I asked my friend if she wanted to work out with me (I had been getting requests to “bring the girl back”).  She asked what I had in mind.  I mentioned it was scheduled as a deadlift day for me.  And her eyes lit up!  No joke, she loves deadlifts.

So I played around with the routine a bit to put more deadlift work in there.  A more extensive warmup, the main sets, real heavy low rep sets (known in the 5/3/1 book as Joker sets), lighter weight higher rep sets (known in the book as “First Set Last: Multiple Sets”) , had the straps on deck, had the Fat Gripz on deck, this one would have it all!

I took a scoop of Fast Fuel 30 min before the workout with a handful of dry oats for extra energy, got there 15 min early and sat in the massage chair for a bit to warm up   then took a scoop of Fast Fuel and a scoop of ReGen during the workout!  Then ReGen and creatine HCl after the workout.

Week 1 Deadlift Day (Conventional double overhand, not Sumo unless otherwise noted)
(traded sets back and forth with my friend, so rest time for me equalled her set, plus changing the weights)

45 x 10 Fat Gripz
80 x 5   Fat Gripz
115 x 5  Fat Gripz
145 x 5  Fat Gripz
175 x 5



210 x 5
240 x 5
270 x 6


Joker Set
305 x 0 Straps
305 x 1 Sumo, Straps



Back Off Sets

210 x 6
210 x 8
210 x 8


notes:  Real proud of my friend!  She did great.  I was feeling good so I went for the Joker Set… and failed, haha.  So I switched to Sumo, let out a beefy grunt, and busted out that rep.

I wanted to keep going with the Jokers, but my friend wanted to keep the workout at an hour (did I mention right before this she had done an hour of Spin?  60 min of Spin, then 60 min of deadlifts, pretty badass!)

She had to go at the hour mark, so I trimmed down the Back Off Sets, then after she left I did a little more Assistance work on my own.

Before she left though, she wanted to make sure the readers had more to look at, so she went to take a pic of her friends’ butts, hahaha. (They did Spin with her, then did their own Squat workout while we did DLs.)

Assistance (30 sec rest b/w sets, normal tempo)

One Arm DB Row

25 x 10/10 offleg stretched back
50 x 10/10 offleg stretched back
80 x 20/20 offleg at 90 degrees on bench

notes:  Basically 2 warmups then a single high rep set at a heavy weight (for me).  I don’t think Kroc has anything to fear from me yet, but don’t sleep!  I’m comin for ya, haha!  I play with the positioning of my non-supporting leg to make the exercise easier or harder. (ie. if I am rowing with my left, my right knee can be moved around on the bench to make it easier or harder.)

Hyperextension Machine

300 x 12
300 x 12
300 x 12
300 x 12

Roman Chair

15 knee raises
12 bent leg raises (45 degrees or so)
10 straight leg raises
10 straight leg raises
12 knee raises

After, I sipped on my post-workout drink while sitting in the sauna for about 10 min.  Came home and collapsed!  That was draining.  Good session, no PRs but a lot of good work.

Time to get back on the horse.  I was going to work out on the weekend, I really was!  Then my energy just crashed and I pretty much slept all weekend.  Woops!  So Monday I was determined to get back into it.

Started off Monday with an early morning shoulder workout

Monday AM Shoulders/Calves/Abs (45 sec rest)

warmup – rotator cuff warmup

seated dumbbell shoulder press:  50 x 10; 70 x 10; 100 x 10, 10

side raise machine:  50 x 10; 70 x 10; 100 x 12, 12, 12

standing dumbbell front raise hammergrip:  20 x 10; 50 x 12, 12, 12

cable side raise:  30 x 10 plus 3 heavy negatives, 30 x 10+3, 10+3

widegrip upright rows (30 sec rest):  50 x 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

Superset Leg Press Calf Raises and Roman Chair Knee Raises (no rest, back and forth station to station):  8 plates x 20 calves and 15 abs:  20 & 15, 20 & 15

Cardio 15 min


notes:  I haven’t done dumbbell presses in a while but they felt good!  My left shoulder felt real sore on those side raises though.  By the time I was trying to do those heavy negatives, I had nothing left for side delts.  Upright rows felt great!  Shoulders and upper chest and traps are coming along I think, based on what I saw in the mirror.  Not much time after that before work so I did calves and abs with no rest then a short cardio session.  Off to work!


After work I headed to the studio for a session with the trainer! Fullbody compound time!

Monday PM Fullbody (45-60 sec rest)

Cardio 10 min warmup

Bench Squats:  185 x 8, 205 x 8, 225 x 8, 8


Standing Military Press:  95 x 8, 8, 8, 8


Smith Machine Bench Press: 225 x 5; 205 x 8, 8, 8

the bad form that forced me to drop weight

the bad form that forced me to drop weight

Assisted Pullups (varied grip):  8, 8, 9, 9

Barbell Curls:  65 x 8, 8, 8; 75 x 8


Ab Roller:  8, 8, 8

notes:  Yay getting better at squats!  Finally 2 wheels!  I feel myself starting to get more comfortable with these, so hopefully the weight will keep climbing.  My form started to get horrible on the bench press, my elbows kept flaring.  This might be a result of all the shoulder work I had been doing today, I was just tired.  So we lowered the weight.  Booooooo, hiss.


And that was my double workout day!  Keep grinding those gains out!


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!

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


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?

Good Friday Workout

Good Friday!  Day off work!  How do I celebrate?  9 am legs and shoulders workout!

It wasn’t that bad, I went to sleep at about 8 pm the night before, so I was well rested.  Had a scoop of Musclepharm Assault (BLUE pwo I am trying, this detail will be important later).  But on the other hand, I have been feeling off my game for a couple of days, so I needed to touch base with my trainer again and get a dose of positivity.  This is what trainers are great for, sometimes you just NEED the support, you feed off their positivity.  I don’t like to rely on other people, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that Leslie has been a huge help.  Thanks Les!

For this workout, since time was at a premium, we decided to try staggering the sets like I suggested a few days ago – set of legs then a set of shoulders, back and forth, twinning the exercises off with each other to save time.  My legs will rest while I work my shoulders, and vice versa.


Legs & Shoulders (staggered sets, as little rest as possible)

squats & seated shoulder press:  155 x 15, 15, 10, 12; 80 x 15, 15, 15, 13



leg extensions & cable lateral raises:  130 x 12, 150 x 12, 160, x 12, 170 x 12; 30 x 12/12, 12/12, 12/12



stiff-leg deadlifts & reverse cable flys:  155 x 12, 12, 12; 60 x 12, 12, 12



lying leg curl & dumbbell shrugs:  75 x 15, 15, 15, 15; 150 x 15, 15, 15, 15





This workout was MUCH faster.  We were under an hour EASY.  It was grueling though.  Staggering the compounds is harder than staggering the isolations.  I think Leslie enjoyed the fast-paced nature of it though.  My Achilles tendon is still sore though, so we skipped the calf raises (I have a long spin ride on Saturday, and I wanted to save up for that), and to save on my forearms, we did some knee raises in the Roman chair instead.

my forearms say thanks!

my forearms say thanks!

I felt uncomfortable during the squats.  I don’t think I went low enough, I also just sort of quit during the 3rd and 4th set.  I am still relatively new to them, they feel awkward and put me in an uncomfortable place, but I just have to keep throwing myself into that exercise, and when I get comfortable with the movement, I can start to excel.  It just didn’t happen today.  It’s not even the weight, I have a theory that I could up that weight to 185 or higher and my reps would look about the same.  I just have a mental block to work on.

We kept going heavier on the extensions, I don’t think I have hit the ceiling on that particular machine yet.  The lat raises felt MUCH stronger than on Monday.  It was at about this time that I was cruising on the preworkout, so when I busted out the Lion’s Face, it looked like I had eaten a Smurf.

Assault on Smurftown!

Assault on Smurftown!

I am also VERY happy about those leg curls.  This was the first time I think I have done all 4 sets without a spot, so a new best for me!  It took weeks but it was worth it.

All in all, a great workout.  Feels like I am back on track.  How about you?  Any good workouts this long weekend?