Tag Archive: leg curl


13 Oct 2016

Three days in a row is making me tired and grumpy. Needed to make the last day count.

warmup: nothing. it occurred to me during squats… why don’t I warmup any more??? I need to start warming up again, I used to warm up my hams and VMO before squats. Next time!!

Low Bar Squats (long rests, knee sleeves, Romaleos, no belt)

135 x 2
225 x 2
300 x 2
325 x 2
355 x 2
375 x 2 no-wraps Rep PR!!
315 x 2

notes: a modest PR, but I will keep building my squats slow and steady so I don’t wear out my knee again. Plus my previous nowraps PR was with a belt, and I beat it beltless, so that is extra good for me. I might have dropped off too much weight for my backoff set, but meh.

SSB Squats (medium rest, ass to grass, pause at bottom, Romaleos, sleeves, no belt)

70 x 3
160 x 2
255 x 3
255 x 3

notes: these were feeling good today, so I buried my ass to the ground and took a nice pause, each rep.

Box Deadlifts (medium rests, constant tension)

275 x 6
275 x 3
275 x 6

notes: grip was off-center on set 2, so I did a third set.

Yoke Hold (sneakers)

420 lb Yoke held up for 60 seconds

notes: thought it would be nice to just feel the weight and practice keeping a solid core. It does start to sway after 30 seconds haha! I am real happy with my Yoke Walks, whenever I see other people go heavy they wear a belt, but I have been able to go heavy without. I am hoping this will help.

Prone Leg Curls (short rests)

140 x 12
140 x 10
140 x 12
140 x 9

notes: less reps, more sets than last week

Alternate between Hyperextensions and Face Pulls

12 hyperextensions, 30 lbs x 15, 12 xt, 30 x 15, 12 xt, 30 x 15

notes: no rest, just back and forth from one exercise to another

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Friday Fullbody

Met up with the trainer for a session, had some extra time so we mixed up the regular routine a bit.
Oct 4 Evening Fullbody Workout (regular cadence unless otherwise indicated, 45-60 sec between sets)
Sumo Deadlifts
225 x 5
245 x 5
275 x 5
275 x 5
295 x 5
IMG_2907

Bent Over BB Row
135 x 5
155 x 5
155 x 5
155 x 5
185 x 5

IMG_2909

 

Flat DB Press
85s x 5
85s x 5
85s x 5
85s x 5
85s x 12

Side Raises (strict, straight arm)
25s x 5
25s x 5
25s x 5
25s x 5
25s x 5

IMG_2912
Leg Press (4 second negatives; feet high to target hamstrings, feet wide)
8 plates x 10
10 plates x 10
12 plates x 10
12 plates x 10
12 plates x 10

IMG_2916

 

Prone Leg Curls (4 second negatives)
75 x 8
85 x 8
95 x 8
95 x 8
95 x 8

notes:  Why yes, I did change my shirt halfway through, lol!  It was sort of an inside joke with my trainer, she has put up with my smelly sweatiness countless times, so I rewarded her with a halftime wardrobe refresh.

I am still new to deadlifts, but they are getting better.  3 Wheels soon!

I wanted to try Pendlay Rows, but there was a small child (9 yr old girl) being trained 15 ft away, under the watchful eye of her mum, and so I kept it clean and friendly – no cursing, and as little plate clanging as possible.  (The deadlifts were super soft and controlled as well.)  This meant I did bent overs still, vice pendlays.

The flat press turned out to be easier than I thought so I just repped it out on the last set.  Way overdue for a weight increase.

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

Woke up on Saturday, right elbow was so sore I could barely straighten my arm.  Left shoulderblade was ok, but I knew it was recovering.  Just generally felt beat up, haha.  That must mean it’s Rest day! Oh wait it’s not!  It’s Leg Day!  My legs felt fine, so I guess I wasn’t totally beat up.

Still, I rested up a chunk of the day (low carb day), iced my arm, bought some meat, did some cleaning.  My apt building was rife with flies today, it was odd.  I killed 3 in my apt (my elbow was toast so I couldn’t play the swat game with them so I cheated and just sprayed them, which slowed them down).  In my building’s lobby I found like 6 dead ones right around the A/C unit.  This either makes me think something is in the air which is poison but I’m just too big for it to put a dent in me but all the flies are dying off like miners’ canaries… or the flies have reached the end of their life cycle, and a batch of baby flies are about to be born.  I found both possibilities HORRIFYING.

In the early evening my elbow felt halfway normal so I went to the gym (I keep saying the gym like it’s one place, I cycle between about 4 gyms regularly, so let’s call this one Gym B… I am sure this makes it WAY clearer for you).  I picked Gym B because it had a hack squat machine.  I decided, I need to do legs, but I can barely use my arms today, so we gotta rely on the machines.  Because the machines target or isolate the areas so closely, it would be best to hit my legs from a variety of angles.  This means volume and variety.

Legs (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

Hack Squat 225 x 10, 315 x 10, 405 x 10, 455 x 10

(hack squat good for hitting the outer thigh)

Reverse Hack Squat 225 x 12, 315 x 12, 405 x 12

when I look for images of this exercise, it’s mostly pics of women, wonder why? …

(hits the hamstrings and glutes, sit in the hack squat machine backwards, keep chest against pad)

Superset Leg Press w/ feet high on platform and w/ feet low on platform  300 x 12&12, 12&12, 12&12, 12&12

(leg press hits the inner thigh; feet high hits the hams and glutes more, while feet low is more quad-dominant)

Seated Leg Curls 160 x 12, 12, 12, 12

Leg Extensions 160 x 12, 170 x 12, 180 x 12

Prone Leg Curls 130 x 15, 15, 15, 15

(I like prone leg curl machine since I get a good stretch out of it when I lower slowly, and the weight distribution lets me pause at maximum flexed position to feel it in my butt and hams.  Seated leg curl on the other hand, I can go heavier and tend to explode more.  Don’t know if the muscles angles’ are different, but it is a different feeling, and I like working the muscles in both ways, the slow stretch and the quick push).

Calf Raise Machine 300 x 25, 21, 24

(I don’t normally use a machine, but I saw a vid recently on toe pointing during calf raises, and I thought a machine would give me the chance to try it out.)

notes:  I know the leg press weight was kind of light, but it helped me flush my legs out after the hack squats.  Being machines meant I used my legs, but it wasn’t so taxing on the entire CNS system, so I could do lots of different exercises.  Nevertheless, when I was done, my legs were wobbly when I walked out of the gym, so wobbly I didn’t consider cardio for even a moment, and I am sure the DOMS on Sunday or Monday will be delicious!  And that was my Saturday!  How about you?  Any good workouts?

Happy Canada Day!

While most people had a long weekend of relaxation and festivities, which is totally cool, I had set my own agenda.  On Holiday Monday, I went down to the gym to workout. Legs, Shoulders, Abs, cardio

Legs:

Leg Press (10 sec rest) 260 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

Glute Machine (30 sec rest) (think of it like kicking back with a single leg like a donkey) 80 x 6/6, 6/6, 6/6, 6/6, 6/6, 6/6

Superset Leg Extensions and Bodyweight Bootstrappers:  (60 sec rest) 160×20,BWx15, Four Sets

Superset Prone Leg Curls and Stability Ball Leg Curls (45 sec rest) 90×20,BWx15, Four Sets

Shoulders:

Seated Smith shoulder presses (30 sec rest) warmup, 100 x 10, 10, 10, 10

bb front raises (30 sec rest) 60 x 7; 50 x 10, 10, 10

Arnold presses (30 sec rest) 60 x 15, 15, 15

Superset Seated DB Rear Delt Flys and Face Pulls (45 sec rest) 40×12, 70×12, Three Sets

Abs:

Giant Set (45 sec rest) Stability Ball Foot to Hand Passes and one arm sit ups and static extended side plank:  15,15 each side, 15 sec each side, Three Sets

Cardio:  20 min on the elliptical, kept my heart rate in the “Fat Burning Zone” the whole time (65% of MHR).

notes: first time trying that glute machine, was kinda cool!  Beats the hell out of lunges, hahaha.  I know it will never replace lunges, but it was a fun diversion.

I had grand designs of also doing an arm session, but I was so destroyed after shoulders (which went really well, by the way, improvement across the board over last week) that I decided to get abs done asap and then bust out some cardio.

How was your day?  Did you workout and party?  Or just one?

Sorry for not posting yesterday!  The time at the gym went real late, so when I got home I just ate then went to bed.

Monday evening I went to the gym for a session with Leslie – legs and shoulders.  Since it is such a busy workout, we stagger the leg and shoulder sets back to back, mixing the exercises together.

Legs and Shoulders workout from Hell: (minimum rest b/w sets, back and forth legs to shoulders)

Leg Press warm-up: 270 x 20, 360 x 10, 450 x 10, 540 x 10

Leg Press & half-kneeling Landmine Shoulder Press:  720 x 15, 15, 15, 15; 35 x 15/15, 15/15, 12/12, 12/12

IMG_2240

landmine shoulder press

landmine shoulder press

Walking Kettlebell Lunges & Cable Lat Raise:  90 x 11, 11, 11; 30 x 12/12, 12/12, 12/12

IMG_2243

reppin the POG

reppin the POG

Stiff-Leg Deadlift & Reverse Cable Fly:  165 x 12, 12, 12; 80 x 12, 60 x 12, 12

using wrist straps

using wrist straps

 

IMG_2255

prone leg curl & db shrugs:  85 x 15, 15, 15, 15; 170 x 15, 15, 15, 15

leg curls for the girls!

leg curls for the girls!

 

shoulders almost visible!

shoulders almost visible!

standing bodyweight calf raises:  95, 95, 95, 95

cardio:  45 minutes on elliptical

 

notes:  this workout was BRUTAL.  Chaining leg presses and the landmine presses… I don’t know if it was my legs being crushed into my stomach followed by the mild core work keeping the weight stable… but I wanted to puke by the third set.  That kicked my butt.  And then right after that were lunges!??!?  Why are you so cruel, Leslie??  (oh yeah, this workout was my idea)

The first 2 exercises kicked my butt, and the lunges kicked me while I was down.  I had to stop often and catch my breath.  And then I got mad because all this stopping was chewing up my time.  Lat raises went well enough, though.

I didn’t want to wear out my grip with the SLDL’s and have nothing left for the shrugs, so I wore straps for that movement.  Yet still, I was tired as heck and was swinging too much with the flys, so we dropped the weight down.

New higher weight for the leg curls, and YUP needed some help finishing those sets.  Shrugs were cake though.  Leslie even said she could make out my shoulder muscles through all the layers of fat!  Yessssss… a little definition.

We were out of time, so I did calf raises on my own, then did 45 min of cardio.

Then I went for a therapeutic massage with acupressure dude.  He said my shoulder seems more flexible, hooray!  Good, I need that badboy in peak form so I can recup it.

 

Tuesday I woke up a little late (late night, like I said), then went to a 7 am spin class, worked out the morning cardio.  A coworker (who I have now turned into a Scivation Xtend fan, and a pwo addict, muahahaha, he comes by and pays me a dollar per scoop to mooch off me), asked me to go work out at lunch!  Sure!  We headed to the office gym for some back and biceps.

Back & biceps (30 sec rest b/w sets)

widegrip pulldowns:  warmup, 180 x 15, 15, 11, 11

bent over BB row:  155 x 12, 12, 9

one hand db row:  65 x 12/12, 12/12, 12/12

spider curls:  20 x 15/15, 15/15, 15/15, 15/15

incline curl:  60 x 9; 50 x 7, 7

ez bar curl:  75 x 9, 5, 7

notes:  back went ok for a weird and different gym.  bb rows felt pretty good.  the gym was SO busy!  the weights were packed, the cables were packed, the leg presses and machines… totally empty.  haha “dudes”, so predictable.  Inspired by the CT Fletcher youtube vids, I did spider curls for the first time, I see lots of potential fun in my future 🙂  I made the coworker try them too, I think he was a fan as well.

My focus and mindset totally crapped out for the inclines and the straight curls, I don’t know what it is but I need to tighten up my headgame sometime soon, I keep having subpar bicep sets, even when the other stuff goes well.

For the ez bar curls, it was my first time doing them in a few weeks, and no forearm pain at least, thankfully.  To keep me from swinging, I stood against a wall, which I think helped me keep good form.  Probably the way I want to go in the future while I get stronger at these.

 

And that was the past few days!  How about you?  Any good workouts?

 

I was going to call this quick and dirty, but in the end it didn’t really take any less time… but I just stuck to 3 exercises, so let’s say simple!  And it sure was dirty.

At lunch, I convinced a coworker to go to our office gym with me.  They don’t have much there, no squat rack, etc.  But they had a leg press, and they had leg curls.  So that is what is up.  My coworker wanted to do some cardio, so I was on my own.

 

Legs:

45 degree Leg Press (about 60 sec between sets):  2 plates x 50 reps; 4 plates x 40; 8 plates x 30; 12 plates x 20; 16 plates x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

prone leg curls:  (about 30 sec rest)  120 x 15, 13, 11, 10

standing bodyweight calf raises:  95, 95, 95, 95

notes:  well maybe this took about 30-40 min, when you factor out the travel time there, so I guess it WAS quick and dirty!

The leg presses felt good.  I really felt the activation in my quads with 16 wheels, so I ended up doing 5 sets with that weight.  I was pouring sweat down my face near the end.  On the other hand, it is such a small gym, that these two other dudes were bummed that I was hogging most of the 45 lb plates.  Sorry bros!  Better luck next lift.  (Not to mention, one of them stopped to tie their shoes just inside the locker room, and my coworker accidentally opened up the door right into dudes head, sending him rolling on the floor)

I was worn out for those leg curls, but they felt pretty good.  I stretched out with a bunch of calf raises, then it was back to work!

 

What about you, any good workouts leave them in the comments below!  I love reading about workouts as much as I love watching them or doing them.

Set the Pace

Sunday morning I headed down to the gym for a 9 am spin, met up with a few friends, and settled in for the ride.  Now, as I was saying the other day, the first movement, the first set, the first song can set the pace for the whole workout.

First song of the spin class was this:

 

I think Andrea the instructor was reliving RPM Release #43 (back from 2009), since the songs followed that general pattern.

So the song chorus has you listening to “I just can’t stop I just can’t stop” over and over, and I decide to make that the mantra for my day at the gym, just don’t stop!  I had set the pace for my workout!

I pushed fairly hard through that ride, got a good sweat going, felt energized and ready for more.  I had the choice of a second spin class in a row or go do some weights.  I decided that I had not done a leg workout in a while, and headed to the weight pit to see what sort of trouble I could get into.

 

DTP inspired Leg Workout:

45 degree Leg Press (60-90 seconds between each set):  2 plates x 50 reps; 4 plates x 40; 6 plates x 30; 8 plates x 20; 10 plates x 10; 12 plates x 10; 14 plates x 10; 16 plates x 10

superset quad extensions and seated leg curls (no rest, back and forth):  150 x 20/20, 20/20, 20/20, 15/20, 14/20

notes:  The workout was roughly based on Kris Gethin’s 12 week trainer from Bodybuilding.com.  I haven’t done the program, so I don’t know what he means by “DTP”, but near the end of the program, he does that style workout, except he pyramids up on the leg press, and then pyramids back down.  Instead, I kept it at 10 reps and kept adding on plates.  Don’t stop, don’t stop!!  In the end I was pressing 720 plus whatever the sled weighs.  I am going to assume about 90 lbs, so let’s say 810 pounds total.  That felt comfortable, so I left it at that and decided to do some lightweight high rep stuff.

I was feeling intense still when it was time to superset the extensions and curls.  The weight wasn’t high, but I kept going back and forth, and it got brutal!  Thanks to the leg press, the quads wore out before the hammies.  That pretty well finished me off.

 

After the workout, I went out for lunch.  What did I have?  Crudites, olives, and a steak salad.  Delicious!

blue cheese dip

blue cheese dip

not quite mid-rare... sigh

mid-rare-ish, yum!

 

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

Wednesday Workout

After work I headed down to the gym, thinking of doing circuits, but waiting to see how busy it was first.  While it WAS busy, most people were either on the cardio machines or playing with the dumbbells, which left some solid open pockets of machine time.  I personally prefer free weights, but I made do with what was free so I would not have to wait for weight.

 

30 min cardio machine

Circuit 1:  1 leg Leg Press machine (do each leg), then 1 leg Leg Curl; 4 times through, no rest if possible

press/curl:  235×8,8/120×8,8/235×8,8/120×8,8/235×8,8/120×8,8/30 sec REST/255×8,8/135×8,8

notes:  this was a good warmup after the cardio machine.  I took a rest before the 4th time through because I HAD to, the machines were occupied.  It was only 30 sec and since it was the last runthrough, I also upped the weight a little bit for those sets.

 

Circuit 2:  shoulder press machine, then hyperextensions, then quad extensions, 3 times through no rest

shoulders/back/legs:  100×8/35×8/255×8/100×8/35×8/255×8/100×8/35×8/255×8

notes:  my lower back was a little sore, so I thought hyperextensions might be nice, and noone was on it!  Well when I was doing leg curls, I saw a guy doing bicep curls on them for like 1 set, then he wandered away – guess he lost interest.  This one was the riskiest circuit, since I had to walk all over the gym, but it worked out, no real delays except when I ran into a friend and his trainer doing chinups and I chatted him up for 20 sec or so, right around the 3rd time through the circuit.  Otherwise no rest except travel time to the station.

Actually before doing the circuit, I hung out on the hyperextension station for a second and just did a static hold for around a minute or so.  This was risky, since it put me in the path of everyone racking the dumbbells 30 lbs or lower, but just holding the flex in my lower back felt nice.  I should probably do that more often as a warmup or something.  Fat guys have sore lower backs 🙂  So when it was time for the circuit, I grabbed a 35 lb plate that was lying nearby.

The quad extensions felt fine, but the machine doesnt go any heavier, so I have to use 1 leg at a time next time I do it.

 

Circuit 3:  short bridge x 40, then calf raise x 40, then reverse flys x 20, then bicycle crunches x 30; twice through, no rest

a/b/c/d:  40/40/60×20/30/40/40/60×20/30

notes:  the gym was getting busier, so I found a corner by the pec dec that had a yoga mat, so I set up camp on the pec dec, and did 3 bodyweight exercises and sat on the pec dec in reverse.  I don’t find that machine comfortable in reverse, so I set the weight light and tried to focus on the squeeze.  I went through it twice with no issues, I think it might have been too easy a circuit, to be honest.  I know I picked it for its convenience, but if I went with those same exercises again I would add weight.

 

And that was that!  How was your day?

The plan for today was to do a leg workout in the morning, then a yin class in the evening.

No workouts with Leslie this week, so I thought it would be fun to try something new.  You have to vary it up every once in a while, keep your body guessing.  First you adapt to what you are doing, build the mind-muscle connection, then when you get comfortable, switch it up.

So this would be my week for trying out my backup workouts, and for legs I locked into a brand new one.  Sneak preview:  no lunges! HAHAHAAAAA

I got to the gym at 6 am-ish.  This was also novel for me, I hadn’t done a 6 am workout in a long time.  time to get busy.  Squats at 6 am, say whaaaaaatttt???

bodyweight sissy squats x12, x12, x12, x12 (90s rest b/w sets)

squats:  155 x12, x12, x12, x12, x12 (90s rest)

one-leg leg press machine:  195 x12, x12, x12, x12 (back and forth leg to leg, no rest)

leg extensions:  135 x12, x12, x12, x12, x12, x12, x12 (30 s rest!)

seated leg curls:  135 x12, 150 x12, 165 x12, 180 x12 (90s rest)

stiff-legged dead lifts:  95 x12, x12, x12  (90s rest)

seated leg curls:  90 x12, 105 x12, 120 x12, 135 x12, x12, x12, x12 (30 s rest)

bodyweight straight leg standing calf raise:  80, 80, 80, 80 (90s rest)

notes:  Your eyes don’t deceive you, that is a workout with some pretty beefy volume.  No time for chit-chat, just go after it.  The whole thing took about 80-90 min.  The sissy squats served as my warmup, and the calf raises served as my cooldown.  20 working sets for quads, 14 sets for hams, and 4 sets for calves.  Beefy.

5 sets of squats.  the weight isn’t high, but I wanted to practice my form, go at least as deep as parallel, get used to the feeling of dropping to that depth.  by the end I was dripping sweat.  Some stiffness in the right knee during leg press, it went away quickly.

Yes, your eyes read that right, I did 7 sets of extensions and leg curls with only 30 s rest in between sets!   Basically, I was trying out the FST-7 system.  I haven’t watched the dvd, but my rough understanding is you do a compound exercise, then an isolation, then a compound, then an isolation for 7 sets with 30s rest.  I didn’t do it in quite that order, mine was more like iso, compound, iso, iso.  But the sissy squats warmed me up, the squats were the taxing work, and the leg presses were me reducing the rest time to ramp up into the extensions for the climax.  And let me tell you, the weight was low on the extensions, but they burned!!  I was really feeling it by the end.

I didn’t know what shape the hamstrings would be in by this point, but they felt pretty solid, so I was playing with the weight a lot on the leg curls, finding something that was challenging but I could go the distance with.  I will say this, 90 is WAY too light, I think the pad was dropping just from the weight of my legs, ROFL.  Do my legs weigh 90 pounds?  Holy crap!  Next time I do this workout, I will be able to zero in on the perfect resistance.

SLDL’s remain really awkward for me, so I picked a light weight and worked on form.  They still felt awkward, but I took my time and hopefully built some of that mind-muscle connection.

Calf raises I like high rep bodyweight sets since my calves are big and stubborn, and respond better to massive pump sets.  If I load the weight on the calf machines, I either feel nothing or get a massive cramp, so w/e.

In the evening I headed out to hot yoga for a stretching session.  I walked into the hot room feeling like I was on autopilot, just drift in and set up my spot.  We did some straight wide leg forward folds, cobblers pose, half happy baby (AKA the most miserable pose on Earth, haha).  My mood became grumpy during half happy baby, I am just learning to really hate that pose!  While I dealt with all the negative stuff it dragged up, I noticed I started to fidget more and more during poses.  My mind became busy, I couldn’t hold my focus or maintain my steady breath.  Honestly, most of my yin class was spent just sorting through all the grump.

It was a 60 min class, so luckily the suffering came to an end quite quickly, ha.  But all that pain and discomfort and challenge is exactly what I need.

You have to throw yourself into discomfort and strain if you hope to get healthy.  It seems like it shouldn’t be that way, we fool ourselves into thinking that we get healthy by avoiding pressure, but it is the opposite – health flows from adversity.

On a basic level, you have my resistance training.  I push the muscles as much as I can both heavy and for a long time, to push them to suffer microtrauma, the muscles rebuild themselves bigger and stronger, tada! improvement.

Next you have yin.  You stress out the connective tissues, gently push it to a soft edge, cause microtrauma, little tears, then the tissues rebuild you more flexible than you were before.

But take it even further.  I read an article today on the medical benefits of infecting someone with an intestinal parasite.  No, seriously.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/11/whipworm-immune-regulation/

How’s this for a tagline:  “Scientists run tests on a lab full of monkeys with chronic diarrhea”   hee hee hee!

Sorry, back to my point.  Scientists are wondering if maybe our sterile healthy environment has made us more susceptible to certain conditions.  Humans as a species grew up on Planet Earth alongside a raft of weird microbes and parasites.  And they made us tougher.  That’s why companies are starting to advertise “probiotic” foods, because we are suspiciously lacking these days in sufficient friendly stomach microbes, that help us digest.

So the thought is that the intestinal parasites gave our immune systems something to do.  But in the western world we have largely eradicated such parasites, and we have also seen the growth of conditions where our immune system is attacking itself, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, inflamed bowels, ulcerative collitis, and other autoimmune-related conditions.

Testing is going on, but it looks like they might be on to something.  Some sort of controlled infestation has certainly cured the monkeys of their chronic diarrhea, they started putting on weight, etc etc.

You know that old adage about avoiding germs all the time makes you weak?  That might be true.  Just like weight training and yin, our immune systems need the occasional workout.  I wouldn’t suggest swallowing some whipworm eggs 😛  But these patterns just keep popping up in Nature, iron sharpens iron, strength through adversity.  You must go out and test yourself, push yourself, try new things, if you expect to get better, to improve.

Food for thought!  Day 16 down!