Tag Archive: pinwheels

8/27 Extra Shoulders


OK, this would be my third shoulder workout this week.  But in some ways, I was starving for some activity and it felt like forever.  I decided that instead of a heavy pushing day, this would be a pump-oriented, shoulder-health type of workout.  I went back to a John Meadows Pump workout I knew was sure to burn me out, and threw in an Arm finisher at the end.


Machine Press (hammergrip, 60 second rest, flex hard for 1 second at peak contraction)

50 x 12

70 x 12

90 x 12

90 x 10

90 x 10

90 x 9

notes:  good to get the shoulders warmed up

Superset Minor Chest Dips & Incline Rear Delt DB Flys  (60 sec rest b/w supersets)

10 dips / 10s x 20

10 dips / 10s x 20

10 dips / 10s x 20

10 dips / 10s x 20

notes:  these feel light and no big deal, but I know from past experience that this lays the groundwork for later devastation.  It all has to happen in order for max effect.  Please be aware that a “minor chest dip” means your arms stay straight and you just sink down into your scapulae, then flex up just using your chest muscles.

Flat DB Hex Press & Band Pull-Aparts (60 sec rest b/w supersets, flex pull-aparts for 1 second at peak contraction, keep constant tension on pull-aparts)

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

50s x 10 / 10 pulls

notes:  it’s at right about this time where the burning sensation starts to kick in.  I am groaning by the end of the pull-aparts, and that 60 second rest burns so bad, I can’t just let my arms hang down, I have to hold on to something and stretch my shoulders out.

Superset 6-Way & Over and Backs (60 sec rest, keep constant tension if you can!)

10s x 10 / 11… 4

10s x 7.5 / 9… 11

10s x 10 / 7… 9… 4

notes:  It is at this point where the burning in my shoulders is so bad, I am fighting failure.  The weights are nothing, but I can’t do 10 6-ways and 20 over and backs to save my life!  I kept failing and needing a second to take the tension off, and most of the time I had to stop because I needed that 60 seconds because my shoulders felt so weak.  But then about 5 seconds into my break, the burning would replace the weakness and I needed to stretch.  I almost needed to start the next set again just to make the burning go away.  You don;t need much weight to kill your shoulders, because this trashed me.


After taking 5 minutes to recompose myself, I went on to do my Arm Finisher:  3 bicep exercises for 5 reps each, then dropset the same 3 exercises again, then 3 tricep exercises 5 reps each then dropset the same 3 tricep exercises.  Then go RIGHT back to biceps again, ad nauseum.  Basically a neverending arm gauntlet for 5 rounds.  Zero rest.

Arm Gauntlet:  Twisting Curls/Hammer Curls/Pinwheel Curls, drop weight, repeat —> DB Skullcrushers, 2-Hand Extension, Pronated Kickbacks, drop weight, repeat

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 40 x 5 / 20s x 5 —>

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 40 x 5 / 20s x 5 —>

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 40 x 5 / 20s x 5 —>

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 40 x 5 / 20s x 5 —>

30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 30s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 / 25s x 5 —> 25s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 25s x 5 / 20s x 5 / 55 x 5 / 20s x 5 —> END


notes: whew!  The shoulder workout pounded my delts into dough.  You could make pizza out of my muscles, and this arm workout put the crust on that pizza.  Again, zero rest, constant repping.  Light weight sure, but by the end, that’s not noticeable.  My triceps could maybe have handled a little more, but in the interest of expediency, these were the dumbbells I could hoard to myself in a busy gym, and even then by the 5th round this guy was making sad faces at me so I let him have my 40 lb and used the 55 lb for the dropset extensions.

I like doing pronated kickbacks because I get a better contraction in my triceps over regular kickbacks.  Everyone is different, this is just what works for me.

post-workout:  20 min LISS elliptical, 70% resistance, 9/10 incline


Just felt like doing some extra Back work, since last week “sucked truckstop restroom vomit right off the floor”.  So I added in my Back Assistance to my regular Arm Day, upped the Back sets a bit and shaved a few sets off the Arm work.  Let’s get it!


Back Assistance and Arms

Meadows Rows  (45s rest)

bar x 8/8

quarter plate x 8/8

2 quarters x 8/8

2 quarters x 8/8

2 quarters and a dime x 8/8

2 quarters and a dime x 8/8

notes:  Like a Landmine Row, except you stand perpendicular to the bar (you drag it across your body).  Hold the thick end of the bar outside the plate.  Let it pull your scapula down at the bottom.  Try not to use your arm.

Closegrip Machine Row (explosive reps, 45 sec rest)

100 x 6

150 x 6

200 x 6

200 x 6

200 x 6

200 x 6

notes:  Explode!  Try to ram those elbows back.  Grunt generously 🙂

Stretch Pulldown (45 sec rest)

150 x 8

170 x 8

190 x 8

210 x 7

210 x 6

notes:  Also called a scapulae stretch pulldown, you take an extra-wide grip, go a little heavier, only bring it down to the top of your head, and at the top you let it stretch your scapulae, pull them out of packed position a bit (try not to let it pull you out of the chair).

Superset Rope Pushdowns and 1.5 Closegrip Cable Curls (30 sec rest, keep hands together on the pushdowns, 1.5 means you do a full curl rep then do a half rep from the bottom)

100 x 15 / 90 x 10

120 x 15 / 100 x 10

120 x 15 / 100 x 10

Superset Across the Body Hammer Curls and Tricep Extensions (30 sec rest, tricep extensions done Roman Salute style then add 5 partial reps from the bottom ROM after the full reps)

45s x 10 / 40 x 10, 5P

45s x 10 / 40 x 10, 5P

45s x 10 / 40 x 10, 5P

Superset Incline Skullcrushers and Slow Neg Preachers Curls (30 sec rest, 3 sec negatives on the preachers)

50 x 15 / 60 x 8

50 x 15 / 60 x 6

50 x 15 / 60 x 6

notes:  Preachers were killing me!  Doing slow negs as I got to the bottom of the ROM (almost straight arm), made it near IMPOSSIBLE to pull back up!  No momentum.

post-workout – 20 min cardio

Week 3 Arms Weekend

I did a spin session with a friend on Saturday and a spin session with a friend on Sunday.  After Sunday spin I went and did a quick arm session.  I don’t know what it is, but I keep feeling isolated and disconnected.  Everytime I try to reach out and be friendly, I feel like I overreached.  Nothing is adding up right now, things are just not clicking at all.  The grace is gone right now.  I feel like I am about to fight with people constantly.  To borrow from my last post, maybe the sheep needs to sleep for a while, he isn’t appropriate at the moment.




Superset Rope Pushdowns & 1.5 ROM Closegrip Cable Curls  (hands stay together on pushdowns, curls are a full rep then a half rep out of the bottom, 45 sec rest b/w supersets)

110 x 15 / 80 x 10(1.5)

110 x 15 / 90 x 10(1.5)

110 x 15 / 90 x 10(1.5)

110 x 15 / 90 x 10(1.5)


Superset Across the Body DB Hammer Curls & Roman Salute Cable Tricep Extensions (45 sec rest, for extensions, bring fist across body to chest, then straighten arm.  after extensions reps, do partials out of bottom ROM)

40s x 10 / 40 x 10, 5P (each arm)

40s x 10 / 40 x 10, 5P (each arm)

40s x 10 / 40 x 10, 5P (each arm)

40s x 10 / 40 x 10, 5P (each arm)


Superset Incline Skullcrushers & Slow Neg Preacher Curls  (45 sec rest, slight skullcrusher incline, bring skullcrushers down past head, 3 second negative on the preacher curls)

65 x 12 / 55 x 8

65 x 12 / 55 x 8

65 x 12 / 55 x 8

65 x 12 / 55 x 8


time and inclination

Friday morning I got up and went to Spin for 6 am.  Spin felt hard this time, man!  The pedals felt heavy, I was sweating, it was just grueling the whole time.  But I got through it.

It was a kind of different day at work.  I was working at a different office today, but wasn’t expected until a little later in the morning, so I had all this free time… I wanted to do a bunch of weights and go crazy!  I had the time and I had the inclination.

BUT, and a big but at that.  I was due to do back and biceps with Leslie later.  But my big butt wanted some weights!  I compromised, do lots of biceps in the morning, and just do back work later with my trainer.  But I only had 7 sets of biceps planned when it was bookended with back… hmmm, 7 sets seems hardly enough, let’s see how much bicep work I can do before I run out of time or inclination!!  (turns out the answer is 15 sets)


Bicep Blitz:

across the body hammer curls (1 min rest) – 3 warmup sets; 70 lb DBs x 5, 5, 5, 5

standing dumbbell curls (30 sec rest) – 40 lb DBs x 12, 12, 9

incline curls (30 sec) – 30 lb DBs  x 7, 7

bicep curl machine (30 sec) – 70 x 15, 15, 15, 15

cable hammer curls w/ rope, dropsets:  set # 1 – 70 x 22, 50 x 12, 30 x 10; set # 2 – 90 x 12, 70 x 7, 50 x 9, 30 x 8


notes:  That is normally more volume than I do for my biceps, especially since I hit them twice a week, but what can I say?  I just WANTED to.  Sometimes overtraining is ok, listen to your body and go for it if you feel so inclined.  Just don’t do it all the time.  This all took me about 45 minutes, I was pretty much all business.

I bet part of that burning desire to give the biceps a good workout was my frustration about always having to pull back due to the tendonitis in my left forearm.  So I deliberately chose a number of exercises that I thought wouldn’t bring on the burning.  The standing curls were the riskiest, and those didn’t cause a flare-up, so I had this window of opportunity to work my arms lots before the tendonitis came back, and I took it!

As you can see, I started out with heavier weights and low reps and longer rests to wake the biceps up and maybe recruit as many fibres as I could.  Then the standing and incline curls were just me putting in work, over and over.  I stopped the standing curls when I felt like I was losing to much form, and so switched to incline curls, where it is harder to swing with your body and cheat.

Then the machine curls were lower weight and higher reps, just pump them out.  The first few sets I also took an extra second or two at the peak of the movement to really squeeze and contract the muscle, but by the last few sets I was tired and I just wanted to pump reps out.  Then the hammer curls with the rope were the finisher, do as many as I can, and keep dropsetting myself all the way down to the ground, just exhaust the muscles.

I bet I am sure gonna feel it tomorrow!

Later on that day, Les had to cancel because she was sick!  BOOO.  Well, she was still willing to come in and train, but frankly, I did not want to catch her bug.  SO she promised to be better by tomorrow, and we moved our session to then.

This means I could have actually done both back and biceps in the morning, but instead I got to experiment with the biceps a little, which was pretty fun!


And how about you?  Any good workouts today?


pull yourself up

As it turns out, I was coming down with something.  Tuesday I took off, stayed home, rested, tried to recover my energy, wait for the sore throat to go away.


Wednesday, I was still not feeling awesome.  But I had something to prove.  Sometimes you step into the gym and you are walking on clouds, you feel like the world is perfect and your friend.  And sometimes you step in and you feel wretched, your energy is low, and the gym is the last place you wanted to be.  I have been that guy who skipped the gym because he didn’t feel on top of the world.  How many dozens of times have I brushed the gym off?


But things are different this year.  This year, I feed off the gym, I don’t go in there feeling awesome, I walk out feeling awesome.  It makes me better, stronger.  I felt low and weak, but I was going to go into the gym and bleed all over the floor if I had to to feel that buzz.

White men love Fight Club. It’s a fact.


Back & Biceps

assisted chinups (1 min rest):  11, 8, 6

one arm bent over dumbbell row (10-ish sec rest, back and forth arm to arm):  70 x 10, 9, 6

closegrip row machine (30 sec rest):  240 x 8, 4, 5, 5, 3

pinwheel curls (2 min rest):  80s x 5, 5, 5

seated dumbbell curls (30 sec rest):  50s x 12, 8, 6, 5, 5, 4, 5


notes:  cardio 10 min before, 20 min after.

chinups better than last week, 1 more rep each set across the board, so I am happy 🙂


I would like to take a moment to point something out.  I am so glad my gym has an assist machine for chinups/pullups.  Every gym has lat pulldowns.  Lots of people can’t do a pullup and so do lat pulldowns instead to get stronger.  On some technical level, this is correct.  But I have found doing a pullup is WAY different than doing a lat pulldown.  It should be roughly the same but it is not.  So I will state here my opinion:

The only way to get better at chinups/pullups is to do them.


Simple as that.  Lat pulldowns are great for building strength, but something about a pullup is superior for building strength in my mind, and lat pulldowns will not make you better at pullups half as fast as doing a pullup.  Seems almost TOO logical, right?  If you can’t do a chinup, find an assist machine, find a resistance band you can loop under one foot, focus on doing negatives stepping off a chair, SOMETHING.  But learn how to pull yourself up

Your life lesson for the day 😛


OK, dumbbell rows getting harder, haha!  I have had to take a few seconds breather between arms.  The closegrip row, I was not confident with my form and my control, so I will chalk it up as a fail, and do 240 again next week.  To my horror, I realized later I was supposed to take longer rests with the machine rows!  It was supposed to be 30 seconds rest the first few times, then up it to 45 sec rest between minisets 3-5.  So if I had followed the plan and gotten full rest, I might have done better, haha oh well, I will try to redeem it next week.


one arm bent over DB row


Went for the 80s with the pinwheels this week.  I might have to start leaving them on a bench in between sets, yanking them off the ground is tiring, and I need all the energy I can get!  One tip I would give for weights in general, TIGHTEN UP.  You often hear people say explode with the weight.  What I take that to mean is tighten up your core, squeeze with your grip, go for the weight agggressively.  If you squeeze the dumbbells with your grip, you activate the forearms, you tense up your core, you will do better, trust me, this also works quite well for bench presses, but it really applies to most exercises, you have to get fired up.

So with the pinwheels, I pull them off the ground hard and get to it, and don’t let up on my grip.  The worst thing I could do is to lift the dumbbells off the ground, let them hang by my sides and stare into the mirror uselessly.  If you do that you lose your grip, your arms pull out of the sockets a little, you lose tension in your biceps, you make it way harder on yourself.

this pic is supposed to be demonstrating hammer curls. this pic is a total failure.


Then it was time for seated alternating twisting dumbbell curls.  All out war!  I threw myself at it hard.  Try as hard as I did, I legitimately could not hit 50 good reps with 50 lb dumbbells.  No shame in saying I failed that one, so I will hit it again next week.  But when I was done…. WOO BOY did I feel a good pump in my biceps!  I just straightened my arms out and stared in the mirror for a bit, it was intense!


When I was doing cardio I noticed the gym was full of hotties!  Was it hottie night?  I don’t think my cardio was all that superintense, but my neck is a little sore, haha.  Oh well, too bad I am a fat schlub.  *sigh*


bye guys!  would love to read any comments you might have!