Tag Archive: pyramid

Cycle 1 Week 1 Legs

Squats always make me the most nervous. Something about the gutcheck required to load all this weight on your shoulders and drop down and push back up is one of the reasons why this exercise WORKS so well. In addition to the all the muscles it hits, it hits you right in the FEELS. Iron courage.

Squats and Assistance

Barbell Squats (1-2 min rest)

100 x 5
125 x 5
150 x 5
165 x 5
190 x 5
215 x 10


notes: Just like Bench Press, I need to start light and build my way back up. So again, good chance to focus on my form, tightening the core, keeping my back tight. Because of my stiff shoulder, I build up a bad habit of leaving my hands too wide, which makes my back stay too loose. Also when I drop below parallel, my hips and butt start to TUCK in, not good for the push back up. All stuff to try and polish.

Before I get too cocky, after Set 5, I thought I had just racked it, turned to talk to my trainer, it rolled right off the edge of the rack and dropped half the barbell onto the cage, bouncing it off the back of my head on the way down! Ouch! Nice little headache and stiff neck from that. Idiot. Remember to focus.

Prone Leg Curls (45 sec rest)

75 x 8
75 x 8
75 x 8
75 x 8 then 25 partials out of bottom ROM


notes: Could go heavier, the full ROM felt almost right, but the partials felt too easy. Maybe also the machine needs some oil, it might be helping me in the bottom ROM with its stiffness.

Leg Press Pyramid (constant tension reps, do rest-pause while another plate gets loaded)

10 plates x 4 UP 11 plates x 4 UP 12 x 4 UP 13 x 4

notes: Thought this would be hard, but was way too easy. Need to go up plenty.

Leg Extension Destroyer Set (stretches part of set, hold at full contraction for 2 seconds on micro set 1 and 2)

170 x 10 STRETCH 10 seconds per leg 160 x 15 STRETCH 15 seconds per leg 150 x 20 THEN 15 partials bottom ROM


notes: Did that make sense? Basically, do 10 reps with a 2 second hold at the top, I did a standing quad stretch for 10 seconds each leg, jump right back in to do 15 reps with a 2 second hold, then do a 15 second stretch each leg, then jump right back in for 20 straight reps and 15 partials!

Felt soooo good! Felt like I was daring my legs to cramp, I flirted with charliehorses on the inside of my quads a few times! eek! And the stretches in between… they hurt too! I was doing all I could to get my quads pumped!

DB SLDL (45 sec rest)

65s x 15
60s x 15

notes: Wasn’t feeling the MMC in my hams, so we lightened the weight and deepened the stretch and I felt it much more.

Superset Standing DB Calf Raises and Tibialis Flex (45 sec rest)

60s x 10 then HOLD 10 seconds 10 more reps then HOLD 10 seconds then 10 more reps then HOLD 10 seconds / 50 Tibialis Flexes
60s x 10 then HOLD 10 seconds 10 more reps then HOLD 10 seconds then 10 more reps then HOLD 10 seconds / 50 Tibialis Flexes


notes: Basically, you do 10 calf raises, then hold the squeeze at the top for 10 seconds, then repeat. Doing 30 reps and 30 seconds worth of held contractions. Then go right into Tibialis flexes, which I added some resistance by dragging my heels against the floor. Sounds wimpy, but after 50 contractions, then a second set… the floor drag got real sticky!!

Had a serious chip on my shoulder this morning, so I headed down to the gym.  Get it??!  Chip on my shoulder?!?  BAHAHAHAHAHA

Seated Military Press (Smith)

warmup:  bar only – 5 full ROM, 5 top half ROM, 5 bottom half ROM, 5 full ROM

(one continuous set, pausing only to adjust the stack of dime plates) – bar +30 x 10, +50 x 10, +70 x 10, +90 x 10, +70 x 10, +50 x 10, +30 x 10, +10 x 10 SLOW REPS

notes: Does that make sense?  Warmup set, then I set up a stack of 4 dime plates a side and a nickel plate a side (figured it would save time).  I don’t know how much the Smith bar weighs, who cares.  One continuous set, only pausing to add or remove plates.  On the last set I had a nickel on each side and I had to do them SLOW (5 sec neg and 5 sec pos).  The neg was ok, but the 5 second positive was MURDER by that point.  I actually had to take two pauses… after 4 reps I needed a second to catch my breath, then 3 more reps, another 2 sec pause, then the last 3 reps.

When I was writing all this down after, I realized I did too many sets, oops!  I was only supposed to do 6 sets, I did EIGHT.  Oh well, I guess that makes up for having to get up and flip the plates myself (would have been harder if I had someone to change them while I stayed in position.)

Behind the Neck Press (Smith) (45 sec rest)

bar + 30 x 15
bar + 30 x 15
bar + 50 x 15
bar + 50 x 15

notes: Stayed on the Smith because it is easy to control the depth if things go sour.  I have shtty rotator cuffs, so the ability to pull out quick was a must.  Started light, I learned my lesson on this QBM chit!  After Set 2, realized I could go heavier, so added weight.  Never went below the base of my skull, which I think is how low you are supposed to go.  Also added a set, this time on purpose so I could get more work done once I had my appropriate weight.

Superset Strict DB Side Raise Dropset and DB Front Raise (45 sec rest)

20s x 10 DROP 15s x 10 DROP 10s x 10 / 15s x 10
20s x 10 DROP 15s x 10 DROP 10s x 10 / 15s x 10
20s x 10 DROP 15s x 10 DROP 10s x 10 / 15s x 10

notes: Weight was just right for strict raises – keep arms completely straight, focus on tipping the pitcher of water out, get the pinkys high.  Keep arms from touching sides or swinging in front of you – by the last superset I couldn’t keep them from dropping down in front of me, but that’s ok, it was the end.  Could go a bit heavier on the front raises, but I didn’t know how dead I would be by then, so it was still a close guess.

Superset Closegrip Upright Row and Bent Over Superman Row (45 sec rest)

70 x 10 / 40 x 10
70 x 10 / 40 x 10
70 x 10 / 40 x 10

notes: Went a little too light on the upright rows, but I had never done superman Rows before, and wanted to save some gas in the tank for those.  Sadly, the Superman rows were hard, even at 40!  Need to get in a little practice on those bad boys.

Superset Behind the Back DB Shrugs and Bent Over DB Rev Flys (45 sec rest)

70s x 20 / 15s x 10
70s x 16 / 15s x 10
70s x 20 / 15s x 10

notes: I had never done behind the back DB shrugs, so I lowered the weight a bit.  I also have notoriously bad form on rear delt DB flys, so I kept it light to keep good form.  (I usually would rather do cable flys).  The Shrugs were AWKWARD.  I only got 16 reps in the second set because it just felt so awkward I had to put it down.  My butt is big, and the DBs are big, and everything kept fighting for space and twisting my wrists around.  Next time I do BB shrugs BTB, Fkk DBs.

Cardio – 25 min elliptical

Not bad!  I was humble with the weight, and it paid off pretty well!  Could maybe have gone a bit heavier, but I did some extra sets to work it out.  I am most thankful my shoulders held up endurance-wise, but to be honest, that is how I have been training them for the past few months anyways, lots of lightweight giant sets over heavy sets.  No bodyweight OHP for me, ROFL!

Oh yeah, did I mention I did a spin bike marathon on Saturday??  NBD, do one every year.  On to the next workout 🙂


I was challenged by a friend to go through the Quantum Body Method series of workouts put out by Ergogenix and Robert Hatch (isn’t that the fat naked gay dude from Battlestar Galactica?).


Then people are all like, “nooooo, don’t dude, WAY too tough”.

*puts hands on hips, hearty laugh*

Not scared of volume, not scared of giant sets.  Not scared of anything.  WORKOUTS SHOULD BE SCARED OF ME.

Yeah, so I had a marathon yesterday, so what?  Time for the gym.  Wanted to get in some work ASAP while I still had the carbs from the last few days in my system.

QBM Chest and Biceps

Decline Bench Press Machine (pyramid, no rest)

80 x 20, 100 X 10, 120 x 10, 100 x 10, 80 SLOW x 4, 60 SLOW x 6

notes:  far as I could tell from the video, this was one long-ass set only.  They tell you to start with the weakest part of your chest first, and my lower pecs are WAY softer than my upper, so I started with the decline.  They want ZERO rest, so I opted for the machines since I didn’t have a spotter.  Just keep pumping them out.  You climb up to Set 3, then climb back down to Set 5.  Set 5 is supposed to be SLOW, so I chose 5 second pos and negs.  The first time I did 80 pounds was nothing, but Set 5 80 pounds with extra slow reps?  DEADLY.  I had to drop it one more and keep going with Set 6 just because I was so embarrassed I could only do 4.

Flat BB Bench Press (45 sec rest)

135 x 15
135 x 15
135 x 15
155 x 15
175 x 12

notes: These were feeling really good so I went for a couple of extra sets.

Superset Incline Bench Machine and Pushups (45 sec rest b/w supersets)

60 x 10 UP 80 x 10 UP 100 x 7 / pushups x 6
80 x 10 UP 100 x 10 UP 120 x 3 / pushups x 6

notes: Far as I could tell, he only wanted 2 sets.  I used the machine again to facilitate a quick pyramid.  First attempt I set the seat way too low and my shoulder screamed immediately.  Very scary.  So I raised the seat and achieved the sets you see above.  I was nervous about my shoulder so I set the weight lighter in the first set, then raised it for the second set.  Could barely get out those 3rd tiers of the pyramid!

Cable Fly – High, Mid, Low (45 sec rest)

60 x 10 HIGH, x 10 MID, x 10 LOW
60 x 10 HIGH, x 10 MID, x 10 LOW
60 x 10 HIGH, x 10 MID, x 10 LOW

notes: Low was SUPER tough, not just because I was up to rep 30 by then.  I think I am weakest from that angle.  I should have remembered my bench press approach and started low and worked high with the isolation work.  Oh well, got them out, albeit they were ugly as hell.

Bicep Giant Set:  EZ bar curls, Hammer Curls, Hammer/Reg Curls, Rev Preacher Curls (45 sec rest)

50 x 20 / 15s x 20 / 15s x 10&10 / 25 x 10 CLOSE 10 WIDE
50 x 20 / 10s x 20 / 10s x 10&10 / 25 x 10 CLOSE 10 WIDE
50 x 20 / 10s x 20 / 10s x 10&10 / 25 x 10 CLOSE 10 WIDE

notes: Pump city!!!  As in the video, you don’t set the dumbbells down after the hammer curls, you go immediately to a full ROM regular curl followed by a full ROM hammer curl – reg curl hammer curl ok that’s 1 rep… repeat 9 more times.  For the reverse curls I chose to use the preacher bench and do 10 closegrip then 10 widegrip (close was a lot harder).

After my first set, some jackass grabbed the 15 lb DBs, so I had to use the 10s.  15s were VERY hard, 10s were slightly too easy, so it was a tricky balance.  The pump was GREAT, hitherto never seen before veins popped up in my forearms!!  Partly that was my pwo, but still, can’t get there without the right workout, and this workout delivered the blood!!!

post-workout cardio 25 min elliptical

The pyramids kicked ass!  If I could tweak it a bit, would prob have added in more sets of everything, maybe just added in straight sets (like I did on the flat).