Tag Archive: leg presses

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?

So much food!

Monday morning, ugh.

Got up for some fasted cardio, a spin class with Andrea.  Attendance was sparse, I guess a lot of people were smarter than me!  Some of the people beside me were pretty sluggish as well, it almost made me feel like a jackass pedalling so hard when they were barely pedalling. (cue 5 min pause in typing as I look for scene from movie Knocked Up, fails)


After work I had a big night planned:  Legs, then grocery shopping.  Showed up to the studio, time for a leg workout with the trainer!  Teres still tight, maybe no barbell squats while my shoulder is less than mobile.  Plan B!

Legs & Abs:

Leg Press (10 sec rest) 320 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10; 365 x 10; 410 x 10

Step-Back Lunge (30 sec rest) 60 x 6/6; 70 x 6/6; 80 x 6/6, 6/6, 6/6, 6/6

using kettlebells, and a sliding pad under back foot

using kettlebells, and a sliding pad under back foot

Superset leg extensions and bootstrappers (30-60 sec rest) 160×20,BWx15  4 sets




Superset:  Lying Leg curls and Stability Ball Curls (30-45 sec rest) 70×20,BWx15 3 sets; 80×20,BWx15 1 set



Abs Giant Set (45 sec rest) stability ball pass & one arm sit ups & extended side plank  15 & 15 each side & 15sec each side; Second Set 15 & 15 lb DB 15 reps each side & 15 sec each side





As you can see, I was drenched in sweat!  Hard work!  After the workout I walked down to the nearby grocery store to stock up for my new diet plan.  Dragged it home, loaded up my fridge and cupboards.  It’s too much food!!  My fridge is overflowing.  Check it out.




This is for 1 person.  For the week.  It’s kind of a trip because I am used to having nothing in the fridge and nothing in the cupboards, honestly.  I would live off takeout.  So all this stuff is pretty crazy.  I have this nagging worry about eating it all before it goes bad.  And then there is the constant prep, bleh.  I still have to go supp shopping, and buy a bunch more containers, then throw a bunch of meals together in advance.


And that was my day.  How’s it going with you?

End of a Tough Week

I AM tired though.  I barely made it through the last few workouts, spin classes are getting harder and harder, I have SO earned a day of rest!  Friday was the last day of the second 3 day microcycle in the 6 day split.  It was also a fairly hectic week at work, I am getting over a cold or something, etc etc

Friday I got up, made it to the gym in time for 6 am spin class!  I have no idea how, I barely made it.  Les and a bunch of her clients were there spinning too, Les is like a magnet for morning cardio, she is able to make like 3 or 4 extra people come out.  She is like a shepherd of morning cardio, gathering her flock.

Andrea was leading this spin class, and the class was tough!  Sweat was streaming down my face about 4 songs in.  It wasn’t just me, other people were asking if classes were ALWAYS this hard.  Andrea said no, it’s just her classes… haha!  So yeah this class kicked peoples’ butts.  I hung out in the back and worked as hard as I could, but I barely made it through.

After I wrapped up my shfit at work, I headed to the studio for a Legs and Shoulders session with Les!  I admit, I was SOOO tired.  I got to the workout early, but I couldn’t bring myself to do any cardio.  I did 5 min on the elliptical, then I went into the mens washroom and slept on the toilet for 5 min, haha!  Then I came back into the studio and slept on the incline bench for another 5 min.

Then it was time for my session!  We did some business first, scheduled some sessions, then got to it.

Legs and Shoulders (30 sec rest between sets)

45 degree Leg Press:  450 x 15, 15, 15, 15

Lunges holding 2 x 40 lb Kettlebells:  approx 12 each leg (24 total) – 12, 12, 12

I hate you lunges!

I hate you lunges!

Stiff-Legged Deadlift:  115 x 12, 12, 12

Standing Bodyweight Calf Raises:  85, 85, 85, 85

wakin up the calves!

wakin up the calves!

Lying Leg Curls:  75 x 15, 15, 12; 50 x 15


Dumbbell Shoulder Press:  80 x 15, 15, 12, 10

Dumbbell Lat Raise:  40 x 12, 12; 30 x 12

Cooldown:  35 min cardio

notes:  we just plain ole ran out of time.  I could have kept doing the exercises on my own, but I said screw it, I will just get my cardio in and then go home.  So, no reverse flyes or upright rows or ab work.

I was running out of gas pretty good anyways, lat raises my form had gone to shit, my hamstrings couldn’t curl any more, and my gym clothes smelled like the guy McDonalds hires to quality test all their new sandwich ideas… or at least his underpants.  A old pair of dingy offwhite underpants with a broken elastic band, worn twice a week by a guy who eats experimental McDonalds every day.  He would probably look like one of the people from the Hills Have Eyes.

Wait, what was I talking about?  OK, I stunk.  One of the other trainers claimed I smelled like bacon.

I crawled home and died.  And that was my workout today!  I barely made it through the day, a bookend to a tough week.  How about you?  Any good workouts?

Legs Don’t Fail Me Now!

I am still nursing my shoulder until I can see the doctor to treat the infection, so Leslie the trainer agreed to make today leg and core day!  Hooray!

OK, Leslie could sense my lack of enthusiasm.  Not that I don’t have strong legs, all heavy guys do, but bodyweight leg exercises for heavy guys are both the greatest tool we have for losing weight, and our greatest source of embarassment.  If we were great at moving our bodies around, we would be less heavy, haha.  The only thing I feel more awkward and clumsy and ponderous at than a series of lunges, would be jumping around.  I fear the day I get asked to do plyometrics, haha.  (by the way, plyometrics for heavy people is dangerous, it can mess up our joints, be very careful)

But then again, I know leg days are my path to weight loss, along with oceans of cardio, so I accept it.  And yet, Leslie picks up on my lack of enthusiasm, haha.

Further complicating today was me still getting used to my diet after a full day of work.  It would be correct to say my energy was not high heading into the workout, for all sorts of reasons.

On with the show.

Deadlifts 45 lbs (just the bar) x 12, 95 x 12, 135 x 12, 135 x 12

We used the bar so she could check my form.  It was ok, but at the bottom, I start to round out my back a little bit, so I need to stay vigilant for that.  Last time I was deadlifting regularly, it was 185 lbs, so I am looking forward to working my way back up to that and beyond.  This series of sets was more about my form. (and my back was still a little tired from back day a few days ago, haha)

Vertical Leg Press:  225 x 12, 360 x 12, 360 x 12

I wanted to go as deep as I could to make up for last week, so Leslie and I made sure I went down as far as I could before the gut got in the way, haha.  Here is a pic at 360

8 plates = 360 lbs

My goal with going as deep as I could was to try and use my hamstrings too, since it is leg day 🙂


Wall Squats w Ball & 80 lbs:  12, 12, 12

Grabbed the 40 lb dumbbells and squatted down with the ball against the wall.  I still worry I am going to pop the ball, but I am trusting it a little more.

Lunges (bodyweight):  12, 12, 12

OK for these, my legs started to run out of gas.  I did 12 walking lunges, but I started to do 2 things:  my knee started to drop to the floor, and I was starting to lean forward when I lunged.  This meant my legs were tired and my core was tired.  In other words, my form was crap.  So to work on form, Leslie had me do them side by side with a wall corner, so I could brace one hand on the wall.  I did 2 more sets with the wall assist.  Kind of embarassing, but it’s the truth, my core and legs were tired.

Lateral Step Ups:  BW x 12, 40 lbs x 12, 12

OK, these say lateral, but it was more of a diagonal move, I kept one foot on the step, and brought my off leg back and to the side when I stepped down.  Bodyweight was too easy, so we added 20 lb dumbbells.  I probably could have gone heavier, my form was spotty and I was breathing heavy, but that was more of a reflection of me than the dumbbells.  Again, legs out of gas.

Lying Leg Raises:  12, 12, 12

Running out of time so our core work (other than the core work in all the other leg exercises) was leg raises, which I enjoy because I collect most of my fat around the lower abs, so lower ab exercises are just what I need.  I kept my palms up, I think it makes it a little harder, you don’t get to push against the ground.  Kept them nice and slow, legs weren’t straight as a rod, room for improvement.

I thought my calves were big, look at my upper thighs!  Crazy.


All in all, it was a hard workout, exactly what I needed.  On the other hand, it was a cold slap.  Lunges and step ups shouldn’t be so hard.  Leslie doesn’t know (noone does, actually) what it was like for me last year when I first started my weight loss, all the thousands of stairs and the thousands of half squats.  Literally thousands.  Squats until I collapsed on the floor, and my quads seized and actually protruded and made square edges.  Sitting in my cubicle at work all sweaty and out of breath because I did 10 flights of stairs every 2 hours.  And then I slacked off this spring and summer, and it’s like I went back 3 spaces.  It is embarassing because I was so much better not that long ago, even heavier than I am now.  I have a lot to catch up on.