Tag Archive: massage


22/27 Back

Long time no see!  Week 21 was a Deload, that wouldn’t have been fun to read 🙂

 

warm-up: foam rolled IT Bands, Piriformis, Adductors; back roll to V-sit

Deadlifts (no straps, barefoot)

warm-up (change weights and go again, double overhand)

175 x 5

225 x 5

265 x 5

main (belt goes on, crossgrip, 30-60 sec rest)

285 x 5

330 x 5

375 x 5

notes: Bar was moving quickly enough, so decided to make a run at a PR.

Joker Set (2 min rest)

420 x 1

440 x FAIL

440 x FAIL

notes: 420 felt slow but was told it moved quick, so I went up a bit more. First time it didn’t get off the ground, so I walked away, immediately walked back and tried again. Again, did not get to my knees. so I said F it and moved on to squats.

Looking at the tape, I didn’t get my butt low enough, and was too far forward, putting it all on my back. Quite honestly, I think it was a mental block as well. 435 went up fine a few weeks ago, so I might have psyched myself out.

Squats (Romaleos, knee sleeves)

warm-up (change weight and go again)

135 x 5 (narrow, ATG)

160 x 3 (narrow, ATG)

190 x 3 (narrow, ATG)

245 x 1 (medium stance)

285 x 1 (m)

main assist (60-90 sec rest, medium stance, belt)

330 x 1
330 x 1
330 x 1
330 x 1
330 x 1

notes: I was borderline not depth on the second set. I was told I was losing tension in my lats and was rounding forward. So when I kept my core tight, depth seemed to clear up.

Even with tight time, was able to knock this shit out in an hour. I think if I had more time for rests (3-5 min on the working sets)I could have had those deadlifts. This kind of workout isn’t a smooth fit into an hour session with the trainer. At some point you sacrifice strength for time. But whatever. Live and learn.

post-workout: self-release myo-fascial work on: gastroc, scalenes, biceps long head and distal insertion, lats, vastus lateralis

Not in the mood for cardio after, so I just packed up my poop and went home.

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Cycle 1 Week 1 Shoulders

Worked out with the PT today!  Yesssss!

 

Superset Standing OHP and Over & Backs with the resistance band (traded sets, my set was her rest)

55 x 5 / 8 o&b
65 x 5 / 8
80 x 5 / 8
90 x 5 / 8
100 x 5 / 8
115 x 9 / 8

IMG_4179

 

notes: Happy with my work with the AMRAP set. Numerically that ties my 150 for 1 PR. Even more awesome, my trainer shared my weight! She only did strict presses for the first 3 sets for AMRAP, then she switched to Push Presses (I stayed strict of course). She did 115 for 1, could have done more I think! Strong lady!

Superset Pec Minor Dips and Over & Backs (traded sets)

12 / 8
12 / 8
12 / 8
12 / 8

IMG_4171

 

notes: First time doing pec minor dips! Felt good, will keep doing them to build up my MMC, both pecs and scapulae.

Bent Over DB Fly Burn Set (one set only)

10s x 20 then 10s “hang & swing” for 30 reps

IMG_4181

notes: My form is junk on the full ROM, so I need to go light. Face down on an incline bench, do 20 good reps, THEN a hang and swing is when you let the weight hang down and just flex your rear delts to bring it back only 6-8 inch ROM. First time doing these, so I would tense up my chest to help me flex my rear delts, and not use my traps. I used the light weight again to get a feel for the movement, so I had to squeeze hard on the flex, but felt it pretty good. will go heavier next time.

Superset Spider Crawls & Over & Backs (traded sets)

45 seconds / 8
45 seconds / 8
45 seconds / 8
45 seconds / 8

IMG_4188

notes: spider crawl from above my head to down past my waist and back up, keeping constant big tension. They should burn by the end!

This workout isn’t a lot of press volume, but felt really good for the full ROM nature. As a dude with a bum shoulder, this workout was well worth it. The best thing I can say about it is that normally when I finish a chest or shoulder workout, my shoulder is groaning when I take my shirt off. After this one, my shoulder felt GOOD when I took my shirt off! Like it was the same exercise I had been doing for the last 40 min.

No cardio today, lol. F it! I gots chicken to cook.

Thought I would bookend it with my workout partner pressing 100!

IMG_4163

Cut Day 78, Chest, Tri

Went to the studio in the evening and weighed me. 276! Woot! Whooshed 5 pounds last week! This more aggressive carb cycling is agreeing with me, and hot yoga seems to agree with me as well, will have to play those out and see where it takes me.

warmup 15 min stationary bike, slowly gearing up, keeping RPMs over 80, cranking the Megadeth. Dripping sweat uncontrollably near the end!

Superset Incline DB Press & Rotator Cuff Work (bench 2 slots above flat, 60 sec rest)

70s x 12 / 15 lb DB taken through ROM 12 times per arm
70s x 12 / ROTO
70s x 12 / ROTO
70s x 12 / ROTO

Superset Incline DB Fly & Incline Pushups(bench same height as prev, 60 sec rests)

30s x 10 / 10 pushups
30s x 10 / 10 pushups
30s x 10 / 10 pushups
30s x 12 / 10 pushups

notes: Weight was light so held the stretch at the bottom for a second or two. For incline pushups we played with the Smith Machine bar, moving it up or down depending on how I was doing.

Superset Decline BB Press & Cable Crossovers (60 sec rest)

135 x 15 / 100 x 12
135 x 15 / 100 x 12
135 x 15 / 80 x 12

notes: We dropped weight on the last set b/c the trainer wanted to see me get some better contractions in, straighter arms, bigger squeeze, more man cleavage.

Incline skullcrushers (45 sec rest)

60 x 15
60 x 15
60 x 15

Unfortunately, we had to cut it short so I could make it to my massage!

Met with the deep tissue guy for some trigger point work on the lymph nodes. HURT LIKE A MOTHERRRRRRFUKKKKKKK

No joke. He WHIPPED TEH SHTT out of my neck, shoulders, rhomboids, lats, IT bands, calves. My left lat was sticky, my neck was sore, my right rhomboid was tight, my IT bands were burning, I walked in with a giant list of problems and he tortured me like a nasty ep of Game of Thrones. Groaning and whining throughout, and as I type this, my left shoulder is still pretty much dead.

Good week man! 5 pounds! Let’s keep pushing forward.

Time to take it easy??

My neck was real sore on Monday, so I took it easy all that day.  In the late afternoon I went to the massage acupressure dude for a session, and had him focus exclusively on my neck.  He suggested there were lymph node blockages in my neck, and lymph node blockages where my skull meets my neck, so when he worked on my upper neck, it didn’t drain properly out my lower neck.  I… guess it makes sense???  Welcome to Chinese medicine!  So this time around he worked a lot on little internal lumps in my lower neck to clear the way before moving up to my upper neck and base of my skull.  I won’t know if it took hold really well until Tuesday, once I sleep on it and let it recover.

I told him about my schedule, and he seemed concerned for me.  He suggested I “take it easy” in the gym this week.  I don’t know… I NEED this.  It bores me to tears when I don’t do it.  So, I told my trainer about this advice, and made a pact that if I feel worn out, I will take a rest.  So if I feel out of it, I skip training that day, I don’t force it, otherwise I go at it with the same gameplan as if I was feeling 100%.  That is my definition of “light”.  It is my hope all this nonsense is behind me by June, so I am free to dial it up to a new level.

But now I was done with my massage, my neck felt pretty good, and I was ready for some back and biceps!   I met with the trainer, and off we went!

Back and Biceps (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

cardio:  20 min elliptical, variable resistance

assisted pullups:  widegrip 15, underhand 15, hammergrip 5, widegrip 10
widegrip cable row:  240 x 12, 12, 12

IMG_2359

closegrip pulldown:  210 x 15, 15, 15, 15

IMG_2362

hyperextension w/ a 50 lb dumbbell:  12, 12, 12

IMG_2363

spider curls:  35 x 15/15, 15/15, 10/10, 8/10

IMG_2368

incline curls:  60 x 10, 9, 8

EZ bar curls:  75 x 12, 12, 12

IMG_2370

cable hammer curl with handles: DROPSET  90 x 8, 70 x 10, 50 x 10, 40 x 15

notes:  With the pullups, we used a giant orange rubber strap to support me, but it made the hammergrip sort of awkward, it wrapped around those handles, so when I tried to use that grip and pull up and into my lower back, it just wasn’t happening.  I tried though.

Unfazed, I applied some good intensity and aggression into the rest of my back work.  When it was time for biceps, I wasn’t feeling the aggression any more, so the first few movements I did were sort of lacklustre.  I mean, they were hard, but I gave up right when they got hard, which is the point where aggression should take over, but I just had none prepared for the moment.  I was able to get some going for the EZ curls though, and I feel like I busted those out with intensity.  Maybe not picture perfect tempo or control, but I was trying to get myself psyched up to carry me through.

Unfortunately, this left me totally spent when it was time for the hammer curl drop set.  It was heavy as heck, felt heavy as heck, and I whined and bitched and moaned the whole time, lol.  I need to work on my intensity!  I had it for about 70% of the workout, I need it revvin and buzzin fulltime!

After the workout we still had 2 or 3 min, so we did some upper chest stretches to keep me loose and work on that front imbalance.

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

Day 12 – good & bad heat

The plan for today was an upper body workout and then one of the more active hot yoga sessions.  Get all my resistance training going.

Showed up for an upper body session with Leslie, and noticed very quickly the burning sensation in my left thigh.  I have an inflamed IT band, it has happened before.  When I first got it, I didn’t know what it was and kept pushing until the burning became very intense, like pressing up against a hot cooking pot.  It is a sign for me when I feel it to ease up on the leg work, get a massage, take care of myself!  Luckily this wasn’t leg day, so I pressed on (get it?)

warm-up with the battle ropes for 2 min

flat bench press w dumbbells:  warmup, 150 x10, x10, x9

incline dumbbell flys:  70 x12, x12, x12

pushups:  12, 15, 15

BREAK:  foam roller massage

Australian pullups:  10, 10, 10

t-bar row:  125 x12, 135 x12, x12

try not to sack yourself!

widegrip pulldowns:  200 x12, x12, 220 x12

cooldown:  5 min on elliptical

 

notes:  the ropes reminded me that my biceps were sore 🙂  Somewhat the biceps, moreso the forearms –> the brachioradialis.  Curse you, zottman curls!  Right at the tendon where the brachioradialis connects to the elbow, that was sore.

The pushups were a mix of real ones and knee ones.  I started off with ones from my toes, and as Leslie saw my back sag, we kept going with ones from my knees.  That is a good point to note for my yoga, as Leslie noted I still sag a lot during chaturanga, and put too much pressure on my shoulders. (She came to yoga with me on Monday, and observed.)  This is common, lots of people have saggy backs in chaturanga, but if I want to rehab my shoulders, I need to tighten up on my form, or just do chaturanga (and pushups) from my knees.

After pushups, we took a break from resistance training to apply the foam roller to my IT band.  It was needed, even getting up and down was sore in my left leg.  The rolling hurt, but hurt in the way that makes you laugh.  Well, it makes ME laugh.  After about 5 min of that, I felt loosened up, so we continued.

My mind waqs still occupied with my IT band, and thinking ahead to yoga, so I sort of went through the motions with the Australian pullups.  In retrospect, my feet should have gone out further, and made it harder.  As fallout from that, I was nudging Leslie towards adding a little bit more weight here and there on the rows and pulldowns.

Then I showered up, hopped on the bus, grabbed my yoga gear and headed to hot yoga!  Friday night, typified with a full room of newer people.  That means being mindful of your neighbour, it means the room heats up an extra degree or two from all the people grunting and sweating (like I do, but even moreso).  New people tend to heat up the room more than crafty old vets.  But this kind of heat is the “good heat”, all those hot hairy water bottles surrounding you, steaming up the air, help open your pores and dilate your bronchials.  I resolved to take the class mindfully, to keep an eye out for my left IT band, aka the “bad heat”.

I found a spot next to the wall so I would only have to watch one side for flailing limbs and stumbling bums.  It was a 60 min class, leading us through the basic sequence.  Kelly was teaching!

sweaty shot after class

The class itself was quite forgiving, with lots of 5 second downward dog “rests” in between the juicy poses.  To my open side was a young woman and her 2 male friends.  I think she might have been new, because she was getting hammered by the class, to the point where she kept muttering, “jesus christ” to herself under her breath.  I smiled to myself, we have all been through the “trial by fire”, where the hot room just makes the awkward exercises and poses just THAT much harder.  Before you first went to yoga, did you EVER do dancers pose or half-moon balances?  exactly.

At one point she lost her balance, and fell forward, instincetively grabbing my buttcheeks for balance!  She profusely apologized, I told her it was ok, and chuckled.  I wonder if this was the middle of the room… could she have created a domino effect?  Have a bunch of yogis in a packed room ever toppled like dominoes?  Could I stumble forward and grab a yoga girl’s butt without a write-up from the front desk??  hahaha

My leg didn’t hurt too bad, my shoulder held up ok (why is it always my left side?), and then headed home.  Day 12 ovah!

hot yoga on a cold day

It felt like the summer would last forever.  But this past week especially, I could feel winter was here to stay.  How fortuitous, then, that this hot yoga challenge is going on, every single cold, scary day I get to run into a steamy sauna packed with people and sweat it all out.  When I go from the hot room to the cold outdoors, it feels good.  Apart from the physical activity and the afterglow of all that, I feel the temperature change in my skin.  My face for example, I sweat like crazy, take a shower, scrub my face, then step outside and feel my pores tighten back up against the wind.  It really does feel quite nice.

Today, Day 2!  After work I had this hankering to go to the gym and lift, but I realized I had some non-exercise stuff to do, to take care of myself.  So right after work I booked a massage, haha.  It was an hourlong session, and felt great.  She focused mostly on my legs and shoulders.  My legs especially were tight, she said she could have spent a lot more time on my calves, and I wanted my poor shoulders to get a lot of TLC.  My only regret is I wish she had done some ART (active release therapy) on my shoulders.  Oh well.

Then I headed home, cooked up chicken for the rest of the week (PCC – perpetually cooking chicken), took a nap (glorious!) then headed out to the yoga studio.  Another latenight session, this one a yin class.  Vanessa was teaching!  I had never had a class with Vanessa before, so I was looking forward to it.

pre-class shot w Vanessa

Class was a lot of fun!  Deep, stretchy fun.  The room was packed and humid as heck!  I guess latenight yin is a big draw.  We did seated butterfly, windshield wiper knees, square pose (LOVE the square), some dangling pose to garland back to dangling, some sphinx and some seal (including lifting my feet off the ground during seal, which I have never done), a few spinal twists, and maybe more that I can’t remember.  It was an hourlong class and I felt focused and in the zone the whole time.

Came home, watched some tv, and fell asleep.  And that was my day!  See you next time!

Rocktober Roundup

Haven’t posted in a bit!  Not for lack of activity, just so tired I pass out when I come home 🙂

Tuesday I showed up for another session with Leslie:

2 min warmup with the battle ropes.  I have always seen people use the big ropes, but never got to play myself, so a first for me!

not me, but I was THIS cool too

Then we got on the straps.  It’s kind of like TRX, but I think that is a brand name, so let’s just call it straps 🙂  I did some pushups off them, my feet against the wall, probably deeper than 45 degree angle pushups?  Still technically easier than a regular pushup, but again a first time for me!  Fun.

3 sets of 12 pushups

Then we headed to the vertical leg press machine.  Again, a first time for me!  I have been on various leg press machines, sleds, hack squats, etc, but this version is a lot more compact.

I did a set of 12 with 270 pounds, but we realized that was too light, so I did 2 more sets with 360 pounds.  My legs were still sore from Monday, so I wasn’t entirely happy with my range of motion on these, I felt I went a little shallow and could have worked harder.  Food for thought.

Then we went for some lat pulldowns.  They had 2 cables but no seat, so I did them on the floor with my feet braced against the machine.  It felt quite comfortable, actually.  First set was like 160 x 12, but that was way light so we did 2 more sets 220 x 12

Then we went to go do some hamstring curls off a stability ball.  Sort of like a short bridge, but harder 🙂  3 sets of 12

such a flattering shot of my gut, haha

I debated using this shot since it highlights the belly so much, but I decided to keep it real for you guys!  See the sweat on my arms?  Working hard!

Keeping up the upper body/lower body pattern, then we went for some lateral raises.  I asked to go light on this one so Leslie could check out my form.  Lateral raises are one of those exercises where light and correct is much better than heavy and full of swing.  Leslie made some adjustments to my form, did some shoulder packing and kept the weights to the side of my thighs instead of in front of me.

So the weight was weak, but next time I will go heavier.  10 lb dumbbells, 3 sets of 15

Then some tricep pushdowns with the rope, which is nice because then I can pull it past my legs and hit the triceps a little more.  Felt super light, but I kept it controlled and slow.  Hopefully more next time, my triceps laugh at these weights.

60 x 12, 70 x 12, 80 x 12

Then we went for some Supermans for my back.  I did 12 with my hands under my shoulders (like a Locust in Yoga), 12 with my arms straight out in front (like Superman would do), then 12 with my fingers laced behind my head (like if Superman went to jail).

prisoner supermans

See the sweat on my back?  See the sweat on the floor where my arms have been?  What, you think this is a game?!  Shit is real, son!  I am here to workout.

Then we did some planks.  3 of them, about a minute each.  Leslie kept telling me to go on my knees and then off my knees, which on some level does make it easier, but I think she wanted to correct my form for how I was flexing my back.

And that was Tuesday!

Wednesday I was supposed to do cardio but I was so sore and tired from Monday and Tuesday that I slept in in the morning, came home after work, took a nap, woke up, ate food, then went to bed early, lol.  Wednesday was a day off I guess, I was wiped!

Thursday I had an appt with Leslie, but I had an appt conflict, caused by the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend.  Leslie couldn’t reschedule for Friday, as she was headed out of town for the long weekend.  So Thursday night, when I was free, I went to the gym for some late-night cardio.  One hour on the elliptical, resistance 75%, incline 9.  At around the 40 min mark, my hands and feet were going numb, lol.  It was weird.

Friday (today) I was still sore in my quads and abs to some extent, so right after work I went for a deep tissue massage.  She spent 40 min on my legs, 20 min on my upper body, and her feedback was that she could easily have spent the whole hour on my legs, lol.  Lots of deep knots in my calves, and my hamstrings were pretty tight.

After the massage, I went to the gym for another late night session.  With Leslie away, I could pick my own routine, hooray!  I didn’t feel like I had worked my arms much, and I felt bad about my form from Monday, so I decided tonight I would do both a volume arm workout, and keep form strict.  I figured I wouldn’t exhaust them like I would with heavy weights, but I would get a solid pump.

So light weights, slow with good form, full and deep range of motion (all the way down, squeeze at the top), lots of working sets.  4 exercises, 2 for tricep, 2 for bicep, 6 sets each, 24 working sets.  About 90 sec between each set and each exercise, it would take an hour if I stayed focused and didn’t screw around.

Volume Arm Workout

Dumbbell Skullcrushers:  25s x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10

2 hand dumbbell extension:  50 x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10

Preacher curls:  50 lbs x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10

Seated Alternating Twisting Curls:  30s x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10, x 10

I was feeling good, so I then did some assisted chinups but my biceps were tired and my grip was tired, so I only did a set of 6, a set of 4, then a set of 5

then I did another hour of cardio on the elliptical, cranked up the tunes on the ipod, the hour flew by!

So that was the last 4 days.  What a long entry!!