Tag Archive: raises


The plan for today was spin, then some shoulders, and if I felt like I had the juice left then do some arms, maybe yoga later on?

Showed up for some Sunday morning spin with Andrea.  The class wasn’t very full!  I think the November rush has fizzled out and now people are shopping and partying.  But wait for January!  It will be pandemonium. (no neighbour today, he had a brunch)

Spin class was good as always, went through the regular routine:  warmup races, some harder races, some standing climbs and power climbs, mixed terrain, intervals, another long race, one more good climbing song (climbing mixed with downhill races), then a cooldown song, some stretches.  I think Andrea might have been rockin out too hard to the intervals song, she knocked the iPod off the shelf, and we just kept biking along until it was all set up again (to her credit, she got the timing exactly right on the next stage of the spinwork when the music kicked back in, so the train didn’t derail entirely).  The song she was rocking out too much to?  Brick by Boring Brick.

I was feeling good and sweaty and warmed up after that 60 min class, so I went to do some shoulders!  The name of the game today was limited rest:  short short rests between sets, heavier lifts mixed with lighter lifts.

Shoulders:

seated dumbbell presses:  100 x 13, 8, 5, 3, 4 (30 sec rest for the first 2 breaks, 45 sec rest for the last 2 breaks)

dumbbell lateral raises:  50 x 10, 8, 5, 5, 2 (30 sec rest at each break)

cable reverse flys:  55 x 10, 5, 5, 6  33 x 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 7  (10 sec rest each break only!)

cable face pulls (using rope):  38 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10  (10 sec rest each break)

dumbbell shrugs:  160 x 10, 10, 8, 7  (30 sec rest each break)

 

notes:  this workout was brutal!  I needed a few minutes between each exercise just to recompose myself.  After those reverse flys especially, I could barely lift my arms.  I scrapped my arms plans and crawled out of the gym to escape home and hide, I was traumatized.  After a few hours of rest at home, I also scrapped my yoga plans, rest and recover was sorely needed.  I didn’t injure myself, but goddamn!  It was rough.

With the seated presses, it was hard just swinging the dumbbells up to my shoulders (by the way, when I type 100 with dumbbells, I mean 2 x 50 lb dumbbells.  If I was pressing 100 lb dumbbells, I would take a picture, haha!  That’s just how I type it, 2 x 80 lb dumbbells for the shrugs, for example.  I report the total weight.)

Those seated presses were pretty hard.  I mean, the first set is ALWAYS very doable.  But with a limited rest, it all goes downhill QUITE fast, lol.  I even increased the rest to 45 sec, and still I couldn’t pop them up any more.

The lat raises were also quite hard, but I had been doing a lot of drop sets with those lately, so it wasn’t all that draining.

For the reverse flys and the face pulls, I wanted to go light and go even MORE often:  10 sets of 10, with 10 sec rest between each set!  I thought 55 lbs was light with the flys, but I was WRONG.  Even by set 2 I was failing out.  After 4 sets of mediocrity, I dropped the weight by 33% and the reps went up a bit, but not for long.

Actually you saw the reps go up from 7 to 8 by the eighth set, not because I was rallying for energy, but because I was accidentally taking longer than 10 seconds, lol.  I was trying to keep track of sets and reps in my head, and I needed to repeat it a few times to myself or I would have totally been lost.  I should have been writing them down, but 10 sec isn’t a lot of time!

The other problem is that I wanted to stay ready, and since it is awkward gathering the cables with the opposite hand, I just hung onto them between sets.  This meant the cables were still pulling on my arms a little between sets, so the rest still had some tension to it, and my arms were tied up holding onto the cables and I couldn’t write anything down.

At any rate, that exercise killed me!  My shoulders ached and burned pretty good, even if I couldn’t keep it at 10 sec rest.

For the face pulls, I dropped the weight a little more than planned, considering how tough the flys were.  That was a good idea, I was able to bust out 10 sets of 10, MUCH easier to keep track of in your head, haha.

While I was finishing up with some shrugs, I saw that same old guy who does all the f’ed up moves screwing around some more with the lat pulldowns.  At first I thought he was trying to do straight arm pulldowns, but then I saw him put his feet against the edge of the seat and then lean back and try to do face pulls…. um, WTF.  I’m sure it sounded good in his head, but to look at it executed, he looked like he was about to be catapulted by the pulldown machine across the gym.  Might I add he also could barely lower the weight back down without faceplanting into the machine.  I started to get a little mad, since he was being so stupid, and risking not only injury to himself, but to others around him.  I should really talk to staff about him.

 

And that was the WOD!  Time to announce I went to the gym on FB, like every other tool, HAHAHA!  Later!

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Spin, shoulders, hot yin, that was the plan for Sunday.

Me neighbour was eager to do another Spin class, and who could blame him?  Spin is great 🙂

I was given a sample of a new preworkout recently, Rivalus Powder Burn.

I have tried Rivalus’ Complx5 before, their stim free pwo, and I like it.  I like it before yoga, it keeps my head clear and me alert.  So I popped the powder burn sample.  I had heard it tasted harsh, but I didn’t notice it.  Felt an immediate spring to my step, ran to the gym!  Powered by tiger nuts!

I made it a point to show up early to the gym, and sign my friend and I up as soon as the list was opened up.  I was going to make sure we got spots.

Andrea was teaching, and she continues to prove why she is my fav, just intense spin work, all business.  A really strong Song 7, it went on forever and ever!  I also noticed no awkward jerks on the pedal strokes like yesterday, maybe some of the bikes are better than others.  But I sweat like a demon, worked it out hard.

Andrea & I after class

Bid my neighbour adieu, then headed to the weight room, deja vu!

shoulders:

superset (2 min rest) dumbbell shoulder press & alternating dumbbell front raise w/2-2-2 cadence:  50/20  8/8, 8/8, 8/8, 8/5

dumbbell lat raise w/drop sets (no rest!):  25×10, 22.5×6, 20×5, 17.5×7, 15×5, 12.5×6

superset upright row & shrugs w/1-4-2 cadence:  65 x 8/8, 8/8, 8/8, 8/8

notes:  this was a pretty quick workout by design.  my rehabbing shoulder can’t handle a lot of volume, and I do a lot of down dogs in yoga, so I wanted a quick blast, not a long haul.  But I wanted the workout to be hard, so I tried to maximize the time under tension, supersets, slow tempo and drop sets.  Trust me, it burns!

The 2-2-2 speed front raises were quite hard on my left shoulder.  I felt the burn especially when I lowered it.  If you weren’t clear, 2-2-2 means I take 2 seconds to raise it, hold it up for 2 seconds, 2 seconds to lower it.  All the while I try to keep my torso squared off, try not to put my back into it and lean forward or start to shrug with my traps.  Traps get their fun later 🙂  Slow proper front raises burn like crazy with little weight, try them out!

It gets harder to bring the dumbbells up for the shoulder presses.  I find it is easiest to clean them up while I stand, and then keep them up as I squat down to the chair.

I think the front raises tested my sprain the hardest.  I was worried the lat raises would hit the sprain, but when I did them, they were just normal hard 🙂  Yeah, drop sets all the way down to hell!  The dumbbells weren’t busy, so I lined up all of them, and just went to town.  When I dropped down to 17.5 DBs, it got suddenly easier, then quickly got hard again.  6 drop sets is no joke!

The traps I supersetted, using the same weight for the rows and the shrugs, just switched up the grip on the bar and kept going without lowering it.  They were actually somewhat easy, but I was testing out the routine, so I can go heavier next time.  1-4-2 cadence means I lift it up, hold it for 4 seconds, lower it slowly, then right back up.  For my purposes, what I found worked best was when I brought it up, I kept my shoulders forward for 2 seconds, then rolled them back (“packed them”) for 2 seconds, then lowered them for 2 seconds.  The shrugs were light, but doing them slow and right after the upright rows made them burn pretty good 🙂  I will go heavier next time and test the sets harder.

Had just enough time after the workout to grab a bite, then headed out to the movies to catch an early afternoon flick with my friend (Looper).

Then I had just enough time to head home and grab my yoga stuff so I could head out to Yin!  Ran to the bus stop, the bus was 5 min late.  This was going to cut it close, I got very worried.  I hadn’t presigned up either, there had just been no time today.  When I got to the studio, my worst nightmare:  the class was full.  5 min before class, they start to give away spots to the wait list, so I asked, but the wait list was already 8 people long!  Crazy!

I guess I deserved that for my trolling of the spin class yesterday 😛  I had been cutting it close and just winging it with the fitness classes for a while.  When November hits, fitness classes get packed to capacity, people want to slim down before xmas.  November is busy, December it gets sort of empty, then January it gets super busy all over again!  It tends to fade Feb and March timeframe, but January is bananas in every gym all over town.  So a word to the wise, always sign up in advance and reserve a spot.  and don’t be late or they will give it away.

So no yoga class for me 😦  Karma bit me!  But I didn’t want to lose the 30 day challenge, so I headed home and loaded up a yoga app on my iPhone, haha.  It offered me a 40 min “Shakti” stretching sequence.  I didn’t like it!  The thing about fitness routines is I like just shutting my brain off and doing what the teacher tells me, all the blood flows to my muscles, not to my brain.  Doing it in my home, and waiting for the robot voice to tell me what to do next is just too distracting, I couldn’t really get into it.  But in theory there was nothing wrong with the yoga app, I just prefer the human touch in a devoted setting 🙂

But oh well!  Day 21 down!  This was a crazy weekend 🙂  I loved it, but I hated it… but I LOVED it.  It was a real test.  I think Monday I will do the bare minimum and try to recover a bit 🙂  Normally Sunday is recovery day, but this Sunday… recovery?  What recovery??!?  Monday better be a sweet recovery day 😉

Wednesday – upper body

I had had a few days to get used to cycling off the supplements and the caffeine.  Admiitedly, my mood was flat.  Not LOW, not sad, just dull and flat.  Hard to explain.  Actually, normally when I go off coffee, I have blinding headaches for a few days and I go comatose.  Going off caffeine pills, the only effect was to make me really sleepy.  no headaches!  Awesome, right?

Showed up, and just had this feeling in my heart Leslie was going to bless me with a superfun corefree upperbody ego boost workout!!  And I was right!  I am psychic.  I was also determined to not be such a whiney whiner like Monday.  All positive today!

 

warmed up for 13 min on the elliptical (was there early)

deadlifts:  warmup w bar, 135×12, 155×12, 155×12

no pixx of 155 sorry 😦

chest press:  120×12, 120×12, 130×12

incline flyes:  60×12, 70×12, 70×12

we manufactured drama, but really I loved it!

pushups:  10, 10

oh god! more pushups!

oh, you silly pushups

Shoulder Press:  90×12, x10, x10

pic not available because Leslie was busy forcing reps out of me

Lat Raise:  10 lb DBs x12, x12, 15lb DBs  x12

all the cool guys prerip their sleeves for Arm Day or for Lat Raises. I didn’t make the rules, people.

Alternating Front Raise:  20 lb DBs x8, x8, x15

 

notes:  LOVE upperbody day!  hooray!  Looking forward to doing more weight with deadlifts.  Onwards and upwards.  Also looking forward to Leslie trusting me enough to let me press some 80s, 90s or dare I break in the 100s??  I know in my heart I can do them.  I just have no proof, yet.

Have I ever mentioned the hidden bonus of upper body day is I make Leslie drag around the heavy dumbbells?  MUAHAHAHA dragging around the 100 lb dumbbells *rubs hands menacingly*

By the time we got to shoulder presses, my anterior delts were gassed, even from the presses and the pushups.  The second set I pretty much failed around rep 7 and Leslie had to help me through a few more.  I tried to rally for set 3, but was pretty much spent around rep 7 again.  That’s the bonus of a spotter though, assisted extra reps!  More overload!  Microtrauma!  Coconut shoulders!

My shoulders recovered quickly though, because for the front raises, I showed off and did 15 reps on the last set.  I can probably go higher on the front raises.  In general the lat raises and front raises were easy, time to go heavier on those probably.

 

Fun stuff!  See you next time!

 

 

 

 

Upper Body Day & Cardio Day

Wednesday my foot was feeling stiff (I have gout), my sore tailbone was aggravated by the rowing machine on Tuesday, and my shoulders were just plain sore from hard work.  Whine, whine, whine.

Leslie gamely agreed to make this low to no impact for my feet.  So… upper body day!  Happy dance!

Thankfully, Leslie wasn’t offended by my diss of the arm component of a fullbody workout.  My arms are weak as shit anyways, I need the work wherever I can get it.

10 min on elliptical

assisted pullups:  6, 6, 6

bent over barbell rows:  65 x 15, 115 x 12, 12

mean muggin

close grip pulldowns:  180 x 12, 200 x 12, 12

pad for my sore tailbone

pushups on grips – from knees x 15, 15; regular pushups x 12

Dumbbell Flyes:  50 x 15, 60 x 12, 12

Seated Dumbbell Press:  90 x 12, 12, 10*

arching your back accentuates the gut

Superset Lateral Raises to Front Raises:  20×12/10, 20×12/30×10, 20×12/30×10

hard work for my bad shoulder

Bicep curls:  45 x 15, 15, 10

sigh…

 

Notes:  no pix of the pullups, since Leslie was busy trying to keep me alive.  We looped a heavy rubber strap around my knee and had me do pullups.  First challenge was to keep from swinging back and forth, so Leslie had to brace me with her hands.  My first time using a band, was interesting.

side note:  clingy thin white shirts are not my friend.  stick to dark, heavy t-shirts for workouts where cameras are present.

My first time doing barbell rows, usually I use dumbbells.  Was not bad, can definitely go heavier as I get used to it.  Pulldowns also light.

Pushups are ok, still have a long ways to go before I am back to where I was.  I like using grips though, I should buy some.  Flyes felt really good, have been using the pec dec for months.  It was just one of those exercises where your body cries out YES, just what I needed!  Looking forward to doing more of those.

The shoulder presses got hard as my shoulder got tired, on that last set, they ran out of gas around rep 7, Leslie had to force/assist the last few reps.  By rep 10, by the look on her face I think she was realizing the next one would be all her, hahaha.  C’mon Leslie, you can do underhand front raises with 45 lb dumbbells!  wuss!  😛

Those bicep curls were sad, all I was using was the olympic bar.  My arms were just done, that last set of 15 was painful and sad (and only went to 10).  Curling just the bar… son, I am disappoint.  I can do better.  Part of it was how uncomfortable my grip was, my hands kept wanting to turn inwards so hard, my pinky was almost coming off the bar as I curled it.  Stupid straight bars!

 

Thursday (tonight), I went to Spin class after work for some offday cardio.  I will not put up a picture of that instructor, because she was HORRIBLE.  Just so bad.  I don’t want to identify her, that is wrong, but she is wretched.  I won’t even comment, I did the spin, got my cardio out of the way, she was a bad teacher, move along, nothing to see here.

So in it’s place, here is an older pic of me with my FAVORITE spin teacher!  Her name is Andrea, her classes are the goods!

men forget to smile in photos sometimes

 

After the spin class, I decided to “treat” myself to a double shot of fresh squeezed wheatgrass juice from Booster Juice.  Never tried it before.  UGH!  It made me ill.  It tasted spicy in an odd way.  The burps were revolting.  That was much worse than the wheatgrass powder I used to mix with water.  My body owes my taste buds big time on that one.

 

Well, need to get some sleep!  Big day tomorrow!  Bye!

 

 

 

shoulders & triceps

My shoulders felt tired heading into this one, but it needed to get done.

Grabbed the 30 lb dumbbells

front raises supersetted with lateral raises

12 front, 10 lat, 2 min rest

12 front, 7 lat, 2 min rest

front raises supersetted with reverse flys

12 front, 12 reverse, 2 min rest

12 front, 12 reverse

55lb dumbbells, slow shrugs (hold for 4 seconds before lowering)

12, 1 min, 12

Triceps time!

wanted to do closegrip bench, but the bench stations were all full.  Time to improvise.

I grabbed dumbbells for closegrip dumbbell presses.  Basically have the DBs face each other and bring them close, as you press them up.  If they touch it is slightly easier than keeping them slightly apart, since you don’t have to work as hard at stabilizing them, but as long as you isolate the triceps, it isn’t a big deal, IMO.

closegrip dumbbell presses

30 lbs, 12

50s, 10, 1 min rest, 10, rest, 10

cable pushdowns

140 lbs, 12, 1 min rest, 12

dumbbell kickbacks  still not confident about the form on these

35 lbs, 12, 1 min rest, 12

dip station  these still went horrible!  I used the assist so I wouldnt swing, so the first one I assisted for about 16% of my weight and it felt like my shoulders were going to rip out!  sad.  I turned it up to about 27% of my BW, and really tried to keep my elbows pinned back and it went a little better, but still rough.  Not comfortable.

16% 6 reps

27% 10 reps, 10 reps

 

Then stretched out the shoulders a bit.  Then 2 sets of 5 one arm fingerpad wall pushups.  2 sets of 10 eagle claws.  I wanted to hang from the bar, but quite literally ALL such bars were occupied, even the smith machine, haha.  so I gave up.  I jumped on the arc trainer for some cardio instead.

incline 9, resistance 65%, 15 min

 

I was beat after that!  I feel wasted, gonna sleep hard tonight.  Didn’t feel like enough of a tricep workout, tbh.

back to the mat

I put my game face on today.

got a good sleep the night before, went off to work, ate well, headed to the gym after work.

shoulders & triceps first

I grabbed the 25s, and supersetted front raises and side raises.  Then I supersetted front raises and reverse flys.

12 front, 12 side, rest 2 min

12 front, 12 side, rest 2 min

12 front, 12 reverse, rest 2 min

12 front, 12 reverse

Then I grabbed the 50s for some slow shrugs.  Shrug, hold for 4 seconds, then lower.

12, 60 sec rest, 12

Then triceps (60 sec rests)

close grip bench 135×10, x10

T-bar pushdowns 130×12, x12

DB kickbacks 30×12, x12

dips…. ugh, let’s talk.  1, 1, 3

I am not used to doing kickbacks so I kept the weight low.  They didn’t feel comfortable, so I am going to borrow a trainer friend next chance I can and get some pointers from him on form.

Dips – I used the dip station, and I normally do them seated.  I was VERY uncomfortable, lol, I kept swinging and I coulnd’t lower all the way, so I stopped.  I became worried about how they felt on my shoulder as well, dips are risky for me, so if I am not comfortable with the form, if I am unstable, I wouldn’t continue.  So my reps really suck.  Next time I will do assisted dips so that I can work the triceps without risking my shoulder.

Then I loosened up:  joint circling, then as the mat was full of people stretching, I tried one-arm fingertip pushups against the wall, lol!  Those were hard!  2 sets of 5, on the pads of my fingers, moving the hand closer to the center of my body for the stability.

Then 2 sets of 10 eagle claws.

Then I went to go hang from the chinup bar.  25 seconds widegrip, 18 sec closegrip, 15 sec hammer grip, 12 sec widegrip.  Widegrip was really the most comfortable, the other grips I was too close to the backpad, and I had to pull my legs back when they hung, which made my hamstrings want to cramp, lol.  But the times weren’t too bad for me.

But it’s not over!  Then I headed to Spin class, 1 hour.  At the end we did some HIIT Spin: 1 cycle of 7 repetitions, 2:1 ratio.

But it’s not over!  Then I went to a yoga class right after, not hot yoga like I normally do, some regular temp stuff.  It was my first time back on the mat in close to 3 weeks, since I hurt the shoulder.  It felt good, but downward dog was wearing me out, and my chaturanga was pretty sad.  But considering I had a shoulder workout before, I didn’t judge myself too harshly.  We had some great stretches for the hips, Pigeon feels good!  Reverse Warrior also felt really good, decent backbends on my Warriors.

So yeah, I pretty much ran wild all over that gym tonight, lol.  Let’s see if I wake up dead tomorrow…