Tag Archive: pec deck


Thursday Legs, Chest

On Tuesday night, a friend of mine passed away.  I don’t want to talk about it too much, others have already expressed themselves far better than I.  He never knew it, but Honore was one of my role models as I worked my butt off in the gym over the past year, and my best wishes go out to his fiancée and family during this difficult time.

If you would like to read more, please check out this blog by one of his colleagues, Ashley

http://ashleymathieufitness.wordpress.com/2013/10/10/another-angel-gets-his-wings/

 

I had been struggling with some GI issues for a few days, plus my friend’s passing, so it has been hectic.  Finally, Thursday morning I decided I needed to do what I needed to do to clear my head:  lift.

Oct 10 Early Morning Legs and Chest (regular tempo, 45 sec b/w all sets)
Hack Squats
4 plates x 15
4 plates x 15
4 plates x 15
4 plates x 15
One Leg Machine Press (no rest, back and forth leg to leg)
205 x 15/15
205 x 15/15
205 x 15/15
205 x 15/15

 

Seated Leg Curl (leaning forward, trying to lengthen hamstring)
120 x 15
120 x 15
120 x 11
120 x 13

 

Prone Leg Curl (butt down)
110 x 15
110 x 15
110 x 15
110 x 15

 

Decline Bench
135 x 15
135 x 15
135 x 15
135 x 15

 

Incline DB Press (30 degrees)
65s x 15
65s x 10
65s x 10
65s x 8

 

Pec Deck
120 x 15
120 x 15
120 x 15
120 x 15

 

notes:  Was in the gym by 5:30 AM.  Legs and Chest together! Madness!  I’m a rebel.  Will also hit legs for realz on the weekend.  Stomach got very upset during the decline bench, damn GI issues.  Pushed through it though.  I switched up the order from last time, decline before incline, just to experiment.  And just like last week, first movement was fine, second movement fizzled out, and the fly movement was unaffected.  What I take away from this is that I really need to work on my endurance for pressing movements.

 

And that was my workout!  I am not going home for Canadian Thanksgiving, so I plan on working out A LOT over the long weekend, as opposed to pigging out.  How about you?  Anyone else from Canada and plan on lifting this long weekend?

Monday night I didn’t have a trainer session, not a full one anyways, so I went to the gym late-night Monday to make my own fun.  I need to start nailing down a new routine, now that my medical speedbump is behind me.  Short rests, alternating days between high reps and low rep slow negative drop set days, and more strength days with Leslie.  Keep the muscles guessing!  This might prove to be overcomplicated, but let me give it a try first, this buffet of gains!

 

Monday PM Legs and Abs (45 sec rest b/w sets)

A.  Hack Squats (feet low, quad focus, go DEEP and activate the glutes)

2 plates x 15

2 plates x 15

4 plates x 15

4 plates x 15

notes:  this was a brutal start!  I have gone heavier, but not so deep into the ROM.  Started sweating like crazy.

B.  Weighted Glute Kickbacks

80 x 15/15

80 x 15/15

60 x 15/15

60 x 15/15

notes:  right after the hacks, I was dripping sweat all over this station.  80 was too heavy, so I dropped the weight and focused on form.  Even still, my glutes were exhausted by the end.

C.  Seated Leg Curls:

100  x 15

110 x 15

120 x 15

120 x 15

notes:  I have a tendency to lean back in this when it gets hard, which makes the contraction easier, so I really tried here to sit totally upright and just squeeze the hamstrings.

D.  Prone Leg Curls:

80 x 15

90 x 15

100 x 15

110 x 15

notes:  I kept my pelvis pressed into the pad, but propped up on my elbows, to try and make it more difficult.

E.  Stability Ball Crunches:  25, 25, 25, 25

F.  Stability Ball Forward Roll:  17, 17, 15, 15  (easier than the Ab Roller but still hard!)

G.  Weighted Double Crunch Machine:  95 x 20, 20, 20, 20

H.  Cardio 35 min of Elliptical, varying speed

 

notes:  This workout was nasty!  I was totally wrecked by the end.  Shows I have been away too long from the legs, and am long overdue to going back to short rests and tight form.

 

Tuesday I was way too wasted to have a morning workout, so I saved my workout until after I was done work.  The plan here would be slow negatives, drop set finishers.

Tuesday Chest and Biceps (4 sec negative on EVERY set or dropset, 45 sec rest b/w sets)

A.  Smith Machine Flat Press:

warmup;

215 x 8

215 x 8

215 x 8

215 x 7 DROP 165 x 7 DROP 115 x 10

notes:  this felt slightly too heavy, I could control the negative, but my form was a little rough.

B.  Incline DB Press:

100 x 8

100 x 8

100 x 8

100 x 8 DROP 80 x 10

notes:  After the Smith Press, I went a little lighter for the incline, and I think I actually ended up going too light, the drop set was way too easy so I ended it early.

C.  DB Flat Press Fly (flat press the DBs up, but then negative in a Fly motion)

100 x 8

100 x 8

100 x 8

100 x 7 DROP 80 x 5 DROP 60 x 6 DROP 40 x 8

notes:  on the other hand, this weight was PERFECT, the drop sets were super hard like they should be.  First time doing a mix of fly and press, it was fun!

D.  Superset Pec Deck and Pushups

120 x 5 & 4 pushups

105 x 8 & 5 pushups

105 x 8 & 5 pushups

105 x 8 DROP 75 x 10 & 5 pushups

notes:  my chest was fried by this point, could not do any pushups at all haha

E.  Preacher Curl Machine: (widegrip)

70 x 8

70 x 8

80 x 8

90 x 8 DROP 70 x 8 DROP 55 x 10

notes:  squeeze at the top for dat bicep peak! Weight too light, was too easy the drops.

F.  Seated Dumbbell Curl:

80 x 8

80 x 8

80 x 8

80 x 8 DROP 60 x 3 DROP 50 x 5 DROP 40 x 7

notes:  the weight was just right here, the drop sets were MURDERRRRR!!!

G.  Cable Curl: (closegrip)

80 x 8

90 x 8

100 x 8

100 x 8 DROP 80 x 6 DROP 60 x 10

notes:  I was so traumatized by the dumbbell curls I started off lighter here and worked up.

 

notes:  I had a tremendous pump in my chest and biceps going after these sets!  It was every guy’s magic moment, walking around with swole chest and biceps, haha.  No selfies though, not my style, sorry.

 

Those were my workouts for Mon and Tues!  How’s it going with you guys these days?  Ready for the cold weather?  Wintertime Bulk?

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?

Until You Drop

I had a rest day Wednesday, so Thursday I decided to have… double workout day!  Chest and Shoulders were up for grabs, so I decided the chest workout would remain isolation-heavy so as to spare the shoulders.  And oh yes… there will be drops.

early AM Shoulders:  (60 sec rest)

20 min on the lateral elliptical (to warm the shoulders up holding the moving levers)

rotator cuff warmup:  15 lbs x 15 for 5 sets each arm

side raise machine supersetted with partial DB side raises (straight set of the machine, then 4 or 5 inch ROM with the DBs)

warmup; 80 x 12 then 60 x 10 partials; 90 x 11 then 60 x 10 partials; 100 x 7 then 60 x 10 partials

seated dumbbell overhead press:  warmup;

80 x 12 DROP 60 x 12 DROP 50 x 12;

90 x 11 DROP 70 x 8 DROP 50 x 8;

100 x 8 DROP 80 x 4 DROP 60 x 4

rear delt cable fly (straight set followed by heavy partials):  77 x 12 then 99 x 20 partials

cooldown:  twist x 150

 

notes:  this was intense!  My shoulders haven’t taken this level of abuse in a while, so I gave them lots of warmup.  I wanted to do more after the rear delt flys, but I realized I barely made it out of the overhead presses and I looked in the mirror and my eyes were bloodshot, so I called it a day and went to work.

 

After work, I went to do chest.

PM chest:  (60 sec rest)

pec deck:   warmup;

120 x 12 DROP 90 x 12 DROP 75 x 12 DROP 60 x 12

135 x 12 DROP 105 x 9 DROP 75 x 12 DROP 60 x 12

150 x 10 DROP 120 x 10 DROP 90 x 10 DROP 60 x 12

machine bench press:  warmup;

210 x 12 DROP 165 x 10 DROP 120 x 10 DROP 90 x 14

210 x 10 DROP 165 x 6 DROP 120 x 10 DROP 90 x 15

210 x 7 DROP 165 x 5 DROP 120 x 12 DROP 90 x 15

incline DB fly:

120 x 4 FAIL drop weight

100 x 12 DROP 80 x 8 DROP 60 x 12 DROP 45 x 12

100 x 4 DROP 80 x 4 DROP 60 x 8 DROP 45 x 8

100 x 5 DROP 40 x 4 DROP 60 x 10 DROP 45 x 10

cooldown:  20 min elliptical, twist x 150

 

notes:  I hit it hard, but this workout wrecked me!  Drop sets until you drop.  I crashed and burned pretty bad on the DB flys.  I think there are a few things at work.  For one thing, I am back on the diet again, and I don’t think I had enough fuel in me for an endurance workout.  I also had not done endurance chest in probably over a month, and it just was a shock.  Also the second workout of the day.  So for whatever reason I can conjure up, I definitely drained my tank, and limped across the finish line.  So the flys defeated me.

Another interesting event… so after I try the 60s for flys and just flat out fail and go grab some lighter DBs, I am sitting there trying to psyche myself up, regather my intensity, as well as scope out where my drop set weights are (drop DB sets in a crowded gym is a logistical nightmare), and this dude walks over looks at me and says, “Can I have the bench?”

Note he didn’t ask if I would be done soon, or if he could share, he just flat out asked to HAVE the bench.  I looked at him and said (as friendly as I could), “no, I am just starting, but you can take turns with me if you want”.  I saw a look in his eye like “WTF?” as if he was expecting me to let him take my bench?!?!  Do I look like a bitch to you, sir?  I let his crooked look slide and just repeated my offer.  He said “sure, I’m going to go warmup.”  Thanks for the tip bro, you go warmup.

So of course I’m doing triple drop sets with dumbbells, so there is a FOREST of dumbbells scattered around my bench now.  I’m done, he comes back, looks at the dumbbells, asks me “can you move all of these out of the way?”  So fuck whatever, sure I move 8 dumbbells 5 feet away, guy does his incline presses.  I gather my shit BACK UP again to the bench, do my set, all the while the guy is hovering over my shoulder, then I finish a set, drag my shit away, repeat.

I will admit, coupling the fatigue with this annoying dude (did I mention 2 min into this silly dance 2 other adjustable benches open up and dude doesn’t have the brains to go take one of those?)… it added to me failing with the weights.  I couldn’t focus, I was distracted on top of tired.  I can’t help but feel I would have gotten more reps if I didn’t have this troll on my shoulder.

It was my last movement of the workout, and I walked away PISSED, like this dude had just robbed me of my gains, wrecked my workout.  Honestly, I wanted to go hit something.  instead I stared in the mirror for a few minutes, took some deep breaths, and went to do my cardio and twists with the music cranked up.

 

Anyways, its all over now, that was my day at the gym!  how about you?  Any good workouts?

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

http://missjamiebell.blogspot.ca/

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?

Recovery Work

After pulling the muscles of my left scapula yesterday, I went to bed early and rested up.  The RMT had given me the clear to keep working out, just be smart about it.  Even more to the point, I WANTED to work out, real bad.

Got up early and went down to the gym for fasted cardio, a one hour spin class.  It felt really good, the only thing that hurt was trying to do the shoulder rolls, which they like to throw in during breaks in the spin class.  So I abstained from those, and tried to pump my legs as fast as possible on all the flat races and get my heart rate up.  I don’t give a crap about heavy climbs, those tend to bore me and don’t make my legs burn any more, they are way past that difficulty-wise, I much prefer the races when I can work on my heart rate.

After spin I went to work, ate clean all day, kept the diet tight.  My diet has been flawless for weeks now, but when you hurt yourself and have to cut down on the exercise, the diet becomes even MORE important, you can’t afford any extra calories you won’t burn off any time soon.

After work I went to the gym for chest and back day… with a hurt scapula.  Crazy right???  Or was it the smartest choice possible… I wanted to see what my back could and could not do (and my chest for that matter, it uses the scapula as well).  If it hurts I stop, if it doesn’t hurt I up the weight until I can’t do it slow and with control (I want to isolate and explore, not go HAF and have to inadvertently recruit the Teres and Rhomboid and snap my shit up).  So lots of light weight and some pyramids and lots of slow controlled mindful reps.  Lots of stretching in between sets.  But still all hard work, no doubt!

(rest varies between all straight sets, I stretched, sometimes let other people sub in, rest was based on feel, not a clock this time.  rest protocol for 100s remained in effect)

Lying T-Bar Row:  no weight x 12, 45 x 12, 90 x 12, 125 x 10, 10, 10

Widegrip Pulldowns:  120 x 15, 150 x 15, 180 x 15, 210 x 6, 210 x 8

Closegrip Row 100s:  120 x 28, 20, 20, 15, 9, 8  (these hurt after a certain number of reps, so I stopped when it hurt)

Closegrip Pulldowns:  (kept a 30 sec rest protocol on these because it was light)  90 x 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

bench machine  120 x 10, 135 x 10, 150 x 10, 165 x 10, 180 x 8, 195 x 7, 210 x 5, 210 x 6

pec dec:  75 x 20, 20, 20, 20, 20

 

notes:  closegrip rows and pulldowns set it off a bit so I kept it light and went through the ROM slowly and it didn’t hurt until after a certain number of reps, so I stretched out a lot.  It actually got better as the back workout went on!  But it got tired fast during chest, with all the retracting it had to do, so I did a solid 13 sets of chest and I was done!

 

In the end I could still work out, I just listened to my body and didn’t get scared of the heavy weight, I just worked up to it.  It wasn’t as intense as normal, but still just as focused.

 

See you soon!

New Toys

I had some fun stuff arrive in the mail this week!  Check it out

Fat Gripz

Fat Gripz

These are fat gripz (brand name).  You wrap them around a dumbbell or barbell to simulate a thick bar.  Holding a thicker bar makes it harder to close your hand around it (impossible actually with these, and I have big hands).  This makes holding your grip harder, so not only does it make whatever exercise you are doing harder, but it makes you work your forearms much harder.  The forearms help you maintain your grip, so this will build them up.  I thought it was a good idea, what with my forearm tendinitis, to build my forearms up a bit, put on a little size and muscle.  This will help.  so, if you see me mention these grips in an exercise, don’t be surprised if I am using a lower weight!  It is still quite hard, I promise you, just hard in a different way.

wrist straps

wrist straps

To balance out the forearm challenge, I also picked up some forearm support!  I ordered some wrist straps, I always used to borrow them in the past, but I figured I was now due.  In case I am doing an exercise with some volume, and I think my forearms will fail before the target muscle, these straps will help me keep going.  It happens – end of a work out, trying to do some stiff leg deadlifts, grip is going, so now I can keep on fighting!  They are nice and chunky too, won’t dig into my wrist.

PB2!

PB2!

And yeah, I ordered a treat, haha!  This is PB2 (pb stands for peanut butter).  Pb2 is a powdered peanut butter with very little calories (2 Tbsp are only 45 cal!!!).  So you mix the powder with some water and you get a delicious peanut butter treat!  And I tried it right away, it is DEELISHUS!  With so few calories, I mixed it with all kinds of stuff, greek yogourt, water, almond milk, unflavored protein powder, all passed with flying colours!  My fav mix is almond milk though, it creates an unstoppable creamy peanut butter that knocks you out!!  It doesn’t have the protein content of my P28 spread, but this is a great tasting treat that will slide into my macros with no difficulty!

Ok, so I also went to the gym today!

Chest & Shoulders (rest time varies)

incline fly:  (30 sec rests) warmup, 120 x 12, 8, 7

cable crossovers:  (30 sec rests)  160 x 12, 12, 12

decline bench press:  (30 sec rests) 135 x 12, 12, 12

bench press machine: (30 sec rests) 120 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

seated military press:  (minimal rest) bar x 5, 65 x 5, 85 x 5, 95 x 5, 115 x 5 (60 sec rest), 115 x 5

reverse pec deck: (10 sec rests!) 60 x 10, 10, 10, 6; 45 x 10, 10, 10

face pulls w rope: (10 sec rests!) 50 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 8, 10

dumbbell shrugs:  (90 sec rests) 100 x 50, 50, 50

cardio elliptical 30 min

notes:  ok, this was my plan.  I wanted to try different stuff, so I pre-exhausted the chest then some declines to work on my underdeveloped lower pecs (I don’t think I can even flex them! Criminal neglect), then a pump set on the machine.  7 sets with 30 sec rest!  They can get intense (inspired by FST-7).  All that isolation and low weight pump should leave my shoulders unmolested, and ready for their own work, followed by lots of low rest high rep for the joints and little muscles (rotator cuff and rear delts).

The flys felt HEAVY.  I was surprised, and couldn’t get them done.  But when I got to the crossovers, they felt easier than ever!  Maybe my muscles had warmed up?

The bench machine was too light.  I wondered if maybe it would get really hard by set 5 or 6 (reasonable assumption with the low rest), but they stayed easy and in control.  Yay!

I hadn’t done military press off the smith machine in a while, but the smith machine was broken (still!) so I used the rack and it worked fine!  I am working to find my low-rep weight, but 115 feels kinda right, at least for now.  By minimal rest, I mean only as long as it took to slide more weight on, but with 115 I felt like I wanted a rest, so that was a good sign.

I wanted to do cable rear delt flys, but those machines were popular (I need 2 cables, and this one guy was doing front raises for about 20 min straight, I kid you not), so I used the pec deck instead.  Those felt awkward and ugly, I stopped at set 7 in disgust.  Then I took one of the cable setups for my face pulls, and not surprisingly, 5 min after I grabbed the other cable, front raise guy ran away, I guess he wanted personal space, TS buddy.  Face pulls felt good, got so tough near the end I couldn’t do all 10 reps (see that 8 rep blip!), and out of anger at messing up my perfect run, I muscled through the last set.

By the way, since I am giving credit where its due, I got the idea for the 10 by 10s (10 sets of 10 reps, with 10 second rests) from the Musclepharm website.  Thanks Musclepharm!  Those are great for low weight isolations, helps build up the joints and get the blood flowing.  They are also tough as a beast if you have never done them before!  Word to the wise, first time you try them they will burn like a mother!

I felt like my traps had gotten enough rest from my sore neck ordeal, and I wanted to see what they could do.  I have found over the years that my calves are stubborn donkeys, and they prefer super high reps; I wondered if my traps might also be stubborn donkeys.  I keep adding weight to my shrugs, and I had almost outgrown the dumbbells, but the shoulder placement with barbell shrugs just looks like it will be rough on me personally, so I needed to keep dumbbells relevant.

I decided to try super high reps as well.  3 sets of 50 reps each!  I used the wrist straps for these, this was a trap burner, not a forearm killer.  I kept the straps loose while I saw what it felt like, and it actually wasn’t too bad, my forearms could probably handle it.  But 50 reps with 2×50 lb DBs was kinda scary, right around rep 30 my mind started telling me this was insane and just to put them down!  This tells me it was a good choice though, I got through them!  They were rather intense though, not for the faint-hearted, as long as you pick a solid weight, don’t grab paperweights.

Then I did some cardio!  Overall, a pretty fantastic workout!  Felt great!

How about you?  Any good workouts today?

Thursday Chest & Tri

Woke up Thursday morning, took my time heading to the gym, got there about 6:30 am.  Decided no spin class for me today:  weights then elliptical.  I just wanted to get some good iron time in.

Chest & Tri (30 sec rest b/w sets)

incline db fly:  80 x 12, 9, 9

pec deck:  120 x 12, 12, 12

incline db press:  120 x 15, 9, 6

flat db press:  120 x 12, 10, 10, 10

rope pushdowns:  120 x 12, 11; DROP SETS 120 x 11, 100 x 8, 80 x 10; 120 x 8, 100 x 6, 80 x 7

seated two hand db extension:  70 x 12, 9, 6

low cable triceps extension:  45 x 15, 15, 12

db skullcrusher:  40 x 19, 10, 11

elliptical:  30 min, resistance 65%, incline 9

 

notes:  my energy did not feel great this workout.  The flys felt real heavy right off.  Cables were busy, so I used the pec deck instead, which was a bummer.  I am not sure my chest got a sufficient pre-exhaust.  Like last time, I kept the incline of the bench shallow to keep tension off my shoulders, but still my shoulder started giving out during the incline presses and the flat presses.  It was frustrating.

Rope pulldowns felt good when I remembered to keep my shoulders packed.  Doing drop sets with only 30 seconds rest smoked the muscles pretty good!  I had nothing left for the db extensions, haha.  It was my first time doing a low cable extension – basically I laid down backwards on the cable row bench.  It went ok, but in reviewing it in my mind, I did not keep my arms stable enough, my upper arms kept drifting forward (only the forearms should move).  I will also use a rope next time as well, not the straight bar.  The db skullcrushers kicked my butt because I had been hitting the triceps over and over, so low weight high reps finished me off quite completely.  It was my first time with this new triceps routine, and I would rate it quite challenging!  Then it was off to the elliptical.

 

And how about you?  Any good workouts today?

 

Whoops! Forgot to post yesterday!  I went out to see Evil Dead, and lost track of time.

Tuesday:

I showed up to the gym at 6 am, to do some back and biceps, then spin.  In the end, I did back, then spin, then biceps.

Back, Spin, Biceps:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

assisted pull-ups:  widegrip x 10, 10; underhand grip x 10; hammergrip x 10

widegrip machine rows:  195 x 12, 12, 12

narrowgrip pulldowns:  165 x 15, 15, 12, 10

machine hyperextensions:  270 x 12, 12, 12

Spin 1 hour

cable curls:  100 x 12, 12, 12

concentration curls:  25 x 15/15, 15/15, 15/15, 12/13 (back and forth arm to arm, no rest)

notes:  pullups felt pretty good for a warmup!  Losing weight definitely helps me do more reps.  I was worn out by the time I got to pulldowns, but finished pretty strong.

Spin class was good, Courtney teaches Tuesdays now.  My back was tired, so I was sad to find out that this ride had a lot of standing climbs, like 2 min long standing climbs.  Oh well.  We also had some fast flat races, I was dripping sweat by the third track.

I headed back to the weight pit to do biceps.  Kind of funny, when I went to do concentration curls, I grabbed the 25 pound dumbbells, and this young guy looks at me and sort of smirks.  Then I went back and forth, kept going, dozens of reps.  Meanwhile he had done about 4 reps, rested 2 minutes, then did 4 more reps.  That’s fine for strength, but not everyone trains that way every time.  He had also stopped smirking and was now minding his own business, so I guessed he realized this was a pump set for me.  Kiss my ass hater, take my 25s and do 60 reps with each arm, then tell me if I’m working hard.

Weight doesn’t matter.  The weight you use is only a tool for pointing towards the truth, it isn’t the truth, you savvy?  I can use my finger to point at the moon, but you don’t need my finger to see the moon, and my finger is NOT the moon.  Weight is just a tool, you also have reps, rest, time under tension, cadence, pre-exhaust, forced reps, drop sets, supersets, it just goes on and on.  Back to school with you, fool.

Oh, by the way, they finally started carrying P28 peanut butter spreads in Canada!  YAY!

BHcFiZ3CUAEHD8I

P28 is known for making protein-enriched bread (whey protein, in case you are vegan), and they recently expanded into making protein-enriched peanut butter.  All the flavours are in the picture:  PB, almond, banana raisin, white chocolate, and “signature” (peanuts, cranberries, flax, sunflower seeds).  They ONLY JUST started shipping into Canada, and I ordered a bunch for me and a bunch for Leslie.  100% natural, not full of sugar and hydrogenated oils, plus a bunch of protein per serving.  For a low carb, high fat high protein dieter like myself, this stuff is a major guiltfree treat!  A lot of calories, I can only have a teaspoon or two at a time, but the flavour is AWESOME.  You don’t need giant scoops of peanut butter when it tastes this good.

Seriously, it tastes good!  I am honest, I am only so-so on the taste of their bread, it tastes a little weird, too spongy.  But this stuff is honest-to-goodness DESSERT.  The white chocolate doesn’t even have sugar in it, just cocoa and milk powder and stuff, and it tastes crazy good!  Look it up!  It ain’t cheap, but it’s not made for binging.

Wednesday:

Wednesday I was in an odd mood.  I can’t explain it, I just felt… contrarian.  I put on a black shirt with blue and pink unicorns on it, and headed down to the gym first thing in the morning to do 6 am spin then some shoulders.  Yup, that was my shirt choice.  Here I am wearing a goofy shirt, and feeling totally antisocial, not wanting people to crowd me, wanting space.  Just being odd.

Spin was bleh.  I won’t name the teacher, but it isn’t really my style.  Although technically competent, this teacher was as dull as paint drying.  This teacher is always that way, this is just their style, and it is a big motivation drain on me.  It’s easier when I have friends there, but I was alone in that class.  And lots of awesome mainstream music was playing, but I wasn’t digging it.  I kind of phoned it in that class, I didn’t try too hard, really just a light ride.  And then they played GnR Paradise City.  And I got sad, because that is my jam to ride like crazy to.  And then the teacher screwed up the end!  wtf.  When there is the extended guitar solo at the end, you are supposed to race hard forever and ever until you collapse.  This teacher made us stretch out our shoulders for the first 1/3.  what the hell dude!  Don’t spoil the song.

Just a sad fat man wearing a unicorn shirt and pedalling like a wussy.

And then shoulder time!  I had a new exercise I wanted to try.

Shoulders:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

half-kneeling landmine shoulder presses:  25 lb plate x 15/15, 15/15, 15/15, 15/15 (back and forth, no rest)

cable lat raise:  30 x 12/12, 10/12, 12/12 (back and forth, no rest)

reverse pec deck:  90 x 12; 75 x 12, 12

DB shrugs:  160 x 15, 15, 15, 15

notes:  those landmine presses work awesome!  The ROM feels good on my shoulder, it isn’t awkward to get the weight up.  I did it half-kneeling so I could get some stabilizer work in.  When I was doing them, there was this dude staring at me.  I figured he was enjoying my AWESOME unicorn shirt, so I walked over to him and asked if he needed my Olympic bar for something.  He said he was intrigued by my exercise.  I explained I had sprained my shoulder in the past, and he got excited, since he was rehabbing his shoulder too!  I gave him some pointers, and he went his merry way.  Yay!  I helped someone!!

So yeah, a big heavyset dude grunting out the weights, wearing a shirt with pink unicorns on it.  To test out my coolness, I spoke to 2 women in the gym, both of whom I already know by name, they know my name, etc.  One rolled her eyes at my shirt, the other got defensive and didn’t want to talk to me.  So… I will judge my coolness factor AT ABOUT A 9.

haha!  I just find that stuff funny, I am weird sometimes.

I don’t like the reverse pec deck, but the cables were busy, so oh well.

I was going to do legs at lunch, but work was CRAZY.  Then I am at home now typing this monster post, then cooking chili!  I guess I will do legs tomorrow.  And that is my week so far!  How about you?  Any good workouts?

Learning From Weider

Woke up and headed out for some 6 am Spin.  Mike was teaching.  I am still dealing with some sore right knee and some tight right Achilles tendon, and now a slightly sore right hip.  I think my alignment is a little out of whack.

Then it was time for some 7 am chest & triceps!

 

Chest & Triceps (30 sec rest b/w all sets)

incline barbell press:  115 x 15, 15, 11

machine chest press:  180 x 12, 12, 12, 12

flat dumbbell fly:  80 x 12, 12, 8

pec deck:  120 x 12, 12, 12

reverse grip one-arm pushdown:  50 x 15/15, 8/11, 10/7; 40 x 14/13

closegrip dumbbell press:  100 x 12, 11, 7

two-hand seated dumbbell extension:  60 x 12, 12, 12

 

notes:  my left shoulder was holding me up a lot on this.  The incline presses made my shoulder sore quick.  The soreness made me quite irritable and frustrated.  I wanted to do flat barbell press, but one barbell was missing (someone jammed it tipfirst into the corner to do a variation of squats), and the other one had all this stuff set up on it but no one was there.  (Turns out, it was this super intense little guy who does only 2 or 3 reps with heavy weight, screaming like a war criminal the whole time.  It was unsettling.  Buddy needs to get a grip on his brain.)

So I did presses on the machine instead, which felt easier on my shoulder, actually.

While I was doing flat flys, I just got annoyed and stopped because of lack of patience.  I was still irritated about my shoulder.  When I went to do cable crossovers, people were hogging all the cable stations at 7:25 am, so I just ranted and cursed out loud as I walked over to the pec deck… AGAIN.  Get off the cables, a-holes.  I just wasn’t feeling very social, I wanted to be left alone, do my stuff and leave.  I get grumpy like that when my shoulder hurts.

Reverse grip pushdowns with one arm also felt surprisingly sore on my left shoulder as well, so I didn’t do well on that.  The seated extensions went fine, but the closegrip presses my shoulder gave out AGAIN.  That workout just needs my shoulder a lot and it wasn’t 100%.

 

I started to think about Joe Weider.

Hello Joe!

Regarded by most as the father of modern bodybuilding (and a Canadian!), Joe was finding out ideas through trial and error that modern science is still catching up to today.  I read a great article on bodybuilding.com by Jim Stoppani, I recommend you check it out:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/remembering-joe-weider-the-science-of-the-weider-principle.html

I used it as a chance to pull back and examine ways I can better tailor my workout to me, using the trial and error I had gathered in the morning workout.

So what were my conclusions?

1.  my shoulders lag behind my chest due to the past sprain.  I need to train for that, not despite that.

2.  my shoulders wear out on the presses before my chest does.  I should do the flys and the cable crossovers and the pec deck and the isolation exercises FIRST, pre-exhaust my chest so that I feel the presses more in my chest and hopefully see more stimulation and overload.  this can lead to more growth.  doing barbell presses and having my shoulders wear out isn’t stimulating my chest much.

3.  Joe would say there is nothing wrong with partial reps.  And since my shoulder feels it most on the bottom half of the incline presses with the barbell, I can try partial reps in the top half of the ROM with the incline barbell presses, and thereby get more work done on my chest.  15 partial reps or 7 full ones, what is more work?  Now, I do full reps when I can on every exercise, but I need to train with my weak points in mind.  If partial reps means I don’t SNAP MY SHIT UP, then it’s the way to go.

4.  (this sparked ideas on my other workouts) My legs and shoulders sessions with Leslie are taking too long.  I only have an hour with her.  I can save time by “staggering” my sets – instead of taking a rest in between sets, I do a set of the other body part.  So, instead of 4 sets of squats and 30 min later start with 4 sets of shoulder press, instead I do a set of squats and then right to a set of presses, and back and forth, twinning the legs exercises to shoulder exercises.  It will be grueling, but it will ALL get done in the hour 🙂  Including ab work, 35 working sets is too much to fit into 60 min with even only 30 secs rest.  I have tried.  So if I stagger them, I might have a chance.  Maybe…

 

So we can learn from our bad workouts.  This one was frustrating, but I went back to the drawing-board and came up with some new strategies.  It ain’t all high fives and flexing… working out is HARD WORK.  It’s grueling.

 

How about you?  Any good workouts today?