Tag Archive: reverse flys


It hurts more if you stop!

I decided I wanted to sleep in Wednesday morning, so I thought it might be fun to try the gym at work again.  It was shoulders day, hooray!  (sarcasm)

Noontime Shoulders (no time for cardio or twists, just time for iron) (45-60 sec rest)

A.  Superset DB side Raises and Front Plate Raises:  triple drop set of side raises then front raise with optional “bus driver”

warmup;

25s x 8 DROP 15s x 6 DROP 10s x 10 then 45 plate x 12

25s x 9 DROP 20s x 8 DROP 15s x 10 DROP 10s x 12 then 45 plate x 12

25s x 5 DROP 20s x 5 DROP 15s x 10 DROP 10s x 12 then 45 plate x 12

notes:  this was HARD!  I normally avoid side raises with DBs, I find it easier to keep good form with the machine, with the DBs my forearms keep drifting above my elbows.  Nothing wrong with going light as long as its challenging I guess, but when I use the machine I can focus on just the muscle, when I use DBs I spend most of my energy keeping my form disciplined.  More holistic that way I guess, meh.

Remember with DB side raises!  Keep your elbow higher than your forearm!  The straighter your arm gets the harder it gets! Try not to swing, either your arms, or swing your butt in and out!  I see people violate these guidelines in the gym ALL THE TIME.  I used to do it wrong all the time too, then Leslie kicked my butt 🙂

The downshot of it is that I am forced to go light on db side raises.  Even worse, drop sets meant that form got harder and harder to maintain, so my reps on that exercise are hella low (I stopped when I could not correct my form), and the weights are so low that I cant reduce them without losing the ability to do a triple drop set.  Oh my, did it burn!  It burned even worse if I rested my arms by my sides.  Lesson learned:  it hurts more if you stop!

For the front plate raises, you take a 45 pound plate, grip it at 9 and 3, and front raise it.  It works your shoulders and your grip too, since it is more irregular to hold onto than a dumbbell.  The “bus driver”?  That’s when you twist the plate back and forth like a steering wheel at the top of the front raise.  Try it!  I admit, I was so tired by that point I only got in a few bus drivers at all, I had to give up on that add-on.

 

B.  Superset Seated Smith Machine Military Press and Reverse Pec Deck:  double drop sets of presses and then a straight set of pec deck

warmup;

130 + bar x 10 DROP 100 x 8 DROP 50 x 10 then 90 x 8

130 + bar x 10 DROP 100 x 7 DROP 50 x 10 then 75 x 12

130 + bar x 10 DROP 100 x 5 DROP 50 x 10 then 75 x 12

notes:  I decided Smith since they didn’t have a good setup in this gym for seated military.  Plus my low back was still sore as HECK from a few days ago!

I originally wanted to do triple drop sets, but I was running out of time before I had to go back to work, and the weight combos made it awkward to do a triple drop, so I set it up in a way that I could strip the weight faster.  In the end I gave every drop of sweat I had for that first weight, then had nothing left for the first drop, then the second drop was light enough I could just rep those out easy.  I lowered the weight on the reverse pec deck though, it was too heavy by that point.

 

C.  DB Shrugs:  190 x 20, 20, 20

notes:  this gyms dumbbells only went up to 95!?  What kind of crap is that?  LOL, in the end it was still heavy.  I also ended up crushing my thumb in between the 2 dumbbells when I reracked them, so its been throbbing all day and the nail now has a bit of discoloration!  Ouch!

 

D.  Superset Seated Calf Raise and Standing Calf Raises:  triple drop sets of seated then bodyweight calf raises as many as possible (AMAP, bouncing)

140 x 12 DROP 105 x 12 DROP 70 x 12 DROP 35 x 12 then BW x 80 bouncing

140 x 12 DROP 105 x 12 DROP 70 x 12 DROP 35 x 12 then BW x 80 bouncing

notes:  this was surprisingly easy!  I set up 35 plates on the seated machine so I could strip the drops easily, then for the bodyweight raises I allowed myself to ignore slow controlled form and just bounce as many as I wanted.  In the end I chose 80 because I was getting bored and it was time to go back to work!  I guess my calves can take more of a beating than that!  After 2 supersets I was late, so I split.

 

And that was my workout for the day! Sore low back, smashed thumb, burning shoulders, what a day.

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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?

Double Workout Day!

I haven’t done a 2 workout day in a while, so I knew this would be draining.  Plus I feel like I am fighting off a bug, so I have been taking extra glutamine today, help keep my immune system fueled.

 

First thing in the morning I walked into the gym at opening for some shoulders!

AM Shoulders (about 60 sec rest)

Smith Machine behind the head shoulder press:  50+bar x 10; 100 x 8, 8, 8

shoulder press machine done with 1 arm:  30 x 10/10; 50 x 10/10, 10/10, 10/10 DROP 30 x 12/12

Superset dumbbell lateral raise from sides with dumbbell lateral raises starting from behind back:  (40×16/20×15) x 3 sets

dumbbell shrugs: 120 x 10; 200 x 20, 20, 20

cable reverse fly (30 sec rest) 33 x 10; 55 x 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15

 

notes:  the theme for this workout was “shoulder movements I find awkward or that I need to do to build up my weak spots”.  Once my arm breaks the plane of my body going from lateral to slightly behind me lateral, that’s when my shoulder sprain and rotator cuff come together in a really messed up way… so these were light weight exercises I did to test out the weak parts of my ROM.  Well, except for shrugs, those were just fun 🙂

 

It was awkward but important in terms of building up the weak parts of my shoulder, so I did it slowly and carefully and I think it came out alright!

 

Then I went to work.  When I was at work, I took a coworker out at lunch and showed her some chest and tricep exercises (and we did some ab and core work too).  She admitted to me that if it wasn’t for me, she would NEVER be using free weights or even body weights, she would just do a quick around the world tour of the gym machines, and even that she hadn’t done in a long time.  She would NEVER think of grabbing dumbbells and trying to bench press them!

When you build up confidence in the gym, you owe it to the world to help other people out.  Bro science gets a bad rap, at the core of it is people trying to help other people get in a good workout.  I would like to think my guidance is pretty solid, and if nothing else, it will help her build confidence to use all the choices available to her at the gym!

 

After work, I headed to the studio for my second workout:  a fullbody session with Leslie!

Fullbody weights (about 60 sec rest)

20 min cardio warmup

Barbell Squat to Bench (just tap the bench with your butt) 135 x 8, 155 x 8, 175 x 8, 185 x 8

IMG_2727

Smith Machine Bench Press:  140+bar x 8, 150 x 8, 160 x 8, 8

IMG_2732

Band Assisted Pullups (varied grip)  8, 8, 8, 8

IMG_2735

Standing Military Press:  45 x 8; 65 x 8; 75 x 8, 8

IMG_2737

Barbell Bicep Curls:  75 x 10, 8, 7, 8

IMG_2741

Ab Roller:  2 sets of 12

 

notes:  workout felt good!  Squats I am happy I got some time in practising them, I feel I would like to become much more confident about my form with those, so I can build up my strength.  Bench press felt good, pullups (though assisted) felt good, shoulder press was a little weak, not surprising considering I did them this morning.

 

And that was my day!  I was in the gym like 3 times all told.  That’s dedication!  How about you?  Did you make it to the gym today?

Work up headed to the gym for some shoulders and cardio before work.

AM workout:

lat raises (30 sec rest) 80 x 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8, 8

rope face pulls (10 sec rest) 70 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

cable rear delt fly (10 sec rest) 33 x 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

db shrugs (30 sec rest) 200 x 10, 10, 10, 10

cardio:  lateral elliptical 25 min, variable resistance, angle 8

notes:  the cables were crowded, so I couldn’t grab both cables for reverse flys, so I grabbed just one of them for face pulls, and sure enough the other guy got grumpy and left quick.  It goes to reinforce my theory that some people hang out at that cable station in the back corner just to be isolated.  Whenever I enter their bubble they lose interest.  I don’t ask to sub in with them, just by being colocated they are all of a sudden done.  guess they were never that serious.

Funny, the face pulls felt easier than usual, and then when I shifted to flys I realized it was because I did them in the reverse order of normal.  So the flys felt EXTRA hard.  Even light weight was no joke with that volume.

 

Then I went to work, grabbed a 6 min lie down in the tan bed at lunch.

After work headed to the studio for a special Thursday session with the trainer (she is out of town for the long weekend).  Weighed me… down only 1 pound, dammit!  Not spectacular, compared to previous weeks.  I guess my body is adapting to the new routine and I am gonna have to shock it into new loss.  Still, have lost a lot so far, lost inches all over too!

tan still working itself out

tan still working itself out

for once you can see my shoulder, hooray!

for once you can see my shoulder, hooray!

still plenty of back fat, injured shoulder hangs low

still plenty of back fat, injured shoulder hangs low

 

Then it was on to legs and abs!

PM workout:

bench bb squats 225 x 10, 7; 205 x 10, 10

IMG_2531

kettlebell step ups (30 sec rest) 80 x 10/10, 10/10, 10/10

instead of lunges

instead of lunges

lying leg curls (30 sec rest) 95 x 15, 15, 15, 15

IMG_2538

static extended plank (30 sec rest) 45 sec, 45, 45

IMG_2541

stability ball crunches (30 sec rest) 25, 25, 25, 25

bicycle crunches (30 sec rest) 30, 30, 30

 

notes:  ugh, this workout, will go down in infamy.  During the first set of back squats on the last rep, I “stapled” myself.  I got pinned at the bottom by the bar.  I just gave out.  Thankfully I was going to a bench, so all it did was pin me to the bench.  But my trainer was starting to freak out because the bar was too heavy for her to lift off me.  so I was stuck there.  No way out.

OK, 2 ways out.  Shrug it off me and lunge forward.  Or push it back up, from a dead stop on the bench with a back hunch.  I chose to push up, and complete the last rep.

That rattled me a lot, kinda the trainer too.  We ended up messing around with the cage set up a lot, and I went cold a bit.  BUT.  Big but.  I still did 3 more sets.  Set 2 felt tough and I was starting to go by rep 7.  So we dropped the weight by 20 pounds, and I kept going.

I chalk that up as mental toughness.  You get your butt kicked, you just fail hard,  you get up and dust yourself off and keep going.  So I didn’t give up.  But I won’t lie, the intensity was totally gone, I was shaken, but undeterred.

My foot was sore from a chronic health issue I had, so we exchanged lunges for stepups.  Which I hate quite a bit also, so it was a fair trade.  I got through the rest of the workout, but that crapfest at the start plus the weigh in ate up a lot of time, so we had to cut leg exercises out AND I still had to do ab work on my own.

On one hand, I am proud of losing weight, losing inches.  I am proud I was tough enough to salvage my workout and not give up.  But on some level, I am pissed about that fail.  I am pissed I had to drop weight on an exercise I ALREADY do with a pitifully low weight.  I am mad my core is so weak it failed me on squats.  And you know what?  Being mad is ok too.  Being competitive will keep you going during the tough times.

And tomorrow it starts all over again.

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?

I have been playing catch-up on my workouts.  So I decided to pick whatever I had not done in the longest.  Surveys says… Back!  And Shoulders!  It had been a week since I had done either of those, so I figured they were quite well rested.

 

My neck was sore the day before and I had popped some anti-inflammatories.  They made me groggy so I slept in Thursday morning.  Work was hectic and I was treading water all day, so no workout at lunch.  So after work I headed down to the gym.  Busiest time of day!  I would have to be flexible with my exercises, grab what was free.

Back & Shoulders (30 sec rest b/w sets, most of the time)

assisted pullups:  widegrip x 20, 10, 7; underhand grip x 10; hammergrip x 8

widegrip row machine:  225 x 12, 12, 12

underhand grip pulldowns:  180 x 15, 15, 12, 10

machine hyperextensions:  300 x 12, 12, 12, 15

machine shoulder press:  100 x 15, 15, 8, 8

cable lat raise:  40 x 12/12, 6/7, 9/9

reverse cable fly:  (rest approx. 60 sec b/w sets)  55 x 12; 77 x 12; 99 x 8, 5

cable upright row:  90 x 12; 100 x 12, 110 x 12; 120 x 6

cardio:  elliptical 30 min, resistance 70%, incline 9, calories burned 805

 

notes:  I pretty much got to use what I wanted for back.  Shoulders, it got more tricky.

Pullups were feeling REALLY good.  I busted out 20 raw in my first set, and I know they were assisted, but that is a new personal best for me!!  They were feeling so good I decided to do 5 sets instead of 4.  For the hammergrip set, I experimented with leaning back and really trying to feel it in my lower back when I pulled.  That felt good, will try that more.

Machine hyperextensions are kind of a silly machine for fat guys, since our torsos give us so much assistance.  300 pounds is the whole stack and I breezed through those, so I guess I have no use for that machine any more, unless I hurt my back or something.  I guess weighted hyperextensions off the little platform thing are my only real option.

I enjoy military presses on the Smith but that was busy, so I used the shoulder machine.  It works fine, except when I set the weight down, it goes too low and mildly snaps up my shoulders, on the same level of mild pain as having to hoist up the dumbbells for a dumbbell press.  In other words, after a couple of sets of that, my shoulders were tired and sore from the awkward ROM.  Hate that machine, smith military presses all the way!

My sore shoulder made me want to use the lat raise machine for more stability but they were both occupied so I used the cables.  My shoulder got sore quick, so I ran out of gas fast on the reps.

For the reverse flys, a guy was using them for kneeling cable crunches.  I asked if I could sub in, and that was fine, except his sets took SO DAMN LONG, my rear delts were starting to get cold, so I upped the weight each time to keep myself challenged.  Threw in an extra set of the heavy ones, although my form was turning to ass at that point so I stopped.

I wanted to do heavy db shrugs but my traps are still really sore from w/e the heck happened to my neck, so I did some light upright rows instead on the cables.  They felt good but my traps got sore as I hit 120, so I gave them a break.

Burned some hard calories on the elliptical post-weights, woah cardio city!

 

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

Tuesday I made it to the gym for 6, then did some back work while I waited for 7 am spin.

Tuesday AM Back  (30 sec b/w sets)

assisted pullups:  widegrip x 15, 12; underhand x 12; hammergrip x 10

widegrip machine row:  225 x 12, 8, 8

narrow pulldowns:  180 x 15, 12, 10, 9

hyperextensions:  2×25 plates x 12, 10, 12

SPIN

notes:  my focus wasn’t really there this workout, and I had recently increased the weight on most of the exercises, so in the end I didn’t push it too intensely, I just got comfortable with the increases.  The pullups went well though, I was happy with those.

 

At lunch I slipped out of work to go do some biceps at the office gym.  It was totally empty!

Tuesday Noon Biceps  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

spider curls:  30 x 15/15, 15/15, 12/12, 10/10

incline curls:  30s x 12, 8, 4

EZ curl:  75 x 12, 12, 12

cable curl drop set:  105 x 12, 75 x 12, 60 x 12, 45 x 12

notes:  spider curls felt really good, but I just had no energy for the inclines.  This was disappointing, and in some way it got me worked up, and came at the EZ curls really aggressively, since no one else was there.  I nailed those sets!  I was quite happy with those sets, I went quick but stayed flat against the wall and didn’t cheat and/or swing.  I was feeling some tendonitis again in my left forearm, so I did cable curls for the drop sets instead of preacher curls.  Those felt light, will go heavier next time.

 

Wednesday morning I made it to the gym about 6:30 am… I just wasn’t motivated for spin.  So I did legs, then some cardio after.

Wednesday AM Legs  (30 sec rest)

warmup:  10 min on elliptical

45 degree leg press:  2 warmup sets with 540; 720 x 15, 15, 15, 15

stationary lunges:  90 lbs x 12/3***

stiff-legged deadlift:  185 x 12, 12, 12

leg extensions:  180 x 12, 12, 12, 12

seated leg curls:  180 x 15, 15, 15, 15

cardio:  elliptical at 65% resistance, incline 9, burnt about 660 Cal

notes:  The Leg Presses felt stiff, but good.  When I went to do lunges, on the first set with my right foot forward, my left ankle just gave out and rolled!  Luckily it wasn’t my weight-bearing foot!  That left ankle had been sore since Sunday, so I knew it wasn’t a fluke.  I cancelled lunges (screw you lunges!) and moved on to SLDL while I gathered my thoughts.  After SLDL, I decided to throw in some leg extensions, leave the weight off my ankle.  After those I did some leg curls.  Have to say, the hamstrings felt strong this workout!  They are really coming in nice, not sure if they look any different, but they are getting much stronger, something is clicking.

 

At lunch, I slipped out of work with a coworker to go to the office gym.  He did cardio, I did shoulders.

Wednesday Noon Shoulders (30 sec rest, you know the drill)

seated smith machine shoulder press:  2 warmup sets; 80 + bar x 15, 15, 12, 9+4

cable lat raises:  45 x 10/10, 8/8, 8/8

reverse cable fly:  90 x 12, 12, 11

db shrugs:  170 x 15, 15, 15, 15

notes:  this workout was super quick, made it easy to get back to work.  With the presses, on the last set I did 9, then paused a few sec, then busted out 4 more.  Some minor progress since last Friday, so its all good.  Lat Raises was a big jump in weight, so I was conservative with the reps while I let my shoulders get used to it.  For the shrugs, I tried to apply the advice Les had been drilling into me:  pull up and back, not just up.  Use your traps, not your neck.  So I did that, and they went pretty well.  Grungy ass 85 lb old school dumbbells were murder on my fresh calluses though!

 

And those were 2 days worth of workouts!  How about you?  Any good workouts?

when in doubt, just lift

How much training is overtraining?  I think it’s different for everyone, and you have to learn what your own limits are.  I learned what my limits were last year when I sprained my shoulder, so I know what’s at stake.  But when I eat clean, get good sleep, and use supplements sensibly, I find that sometimes my capacity spikes, and I can do more… I WANT to do more.  Not all the time, I listen to myself, but every week or two I just have one of those days where I want to see how far I can go.  It’s that kind of mentality that leads me to do spin marathons, to do multiple hot yoga classes in a row, you just do it because you CAN.

I don’t encourage anyone to push past where they are comfortable, but I am also sick of people filling new weightlifters heads full with notions like “6-9 working sets for biceps is optimal, and anything more is overtraining”.  Bullshit, know your own limits.  I have tried back and bicep sessions where I do 13 sets for back and 7 sets for biceps (bear in mind back work often uses the biceps),and I have recently had to admit to myself that 7 sets for biceps just does not FEEL like enough.  I want more than that.  I can, and will do more.

So while I do have a plan, every once in a while I get strange notions into my head, and mix it up, often adding volume.  Just because I can.

All Thursday night I felt restless, I had a lot of doubt and self-talk filling my head, and I was tired of all the noise.  I went to bed early.  When I woke up Friday, the chatter was still there, so I resolved to go to the gym every chance I could get, all day long, and “just lift”.  When in doubt, just lift.

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So Friday morning I showed up for 6 am spin with Andrea.  We got our work in.  After spin was done, my legs felt really good, so I figured why not do some lifting?

morning leg work:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

squats:  115 x 5, 135 x 5, 155 x 5, 175 x 5, 185 x 7

leg extensions:  180 x 12, 12, 12, 12

stiff-legged deadlift:  175 x 12, 12, 12

seated leg curls:  165 x 15, 15, 15, 15

standing bodyweight calf raises:  95, 95, 95, 95

notes:  I am happy to report I got some good depth on squats finally!  Instead of focusing on high reps, I just ramped up weight each time and focused on getting DEEP.  This squat rack has a mirror in front of it, so I could make sure I went deep enough.  And it worked well, I got below parallel each time, almost smacked the ground with my butt a few times!  If I can just get used to that feeling, I can replicate it without a mirror.  I will dismantle this messed-up mental block I have regarding squats, one rep at a time.

Once squats went so well, the rest was cake.  My hamstrings are definitely feeling stronger after all those SLDL and prone leg curls I do in the studio with Leslie.

So, morning cardio and leg day down, off to work!

Work was aggravating, so I slipped out at lunch (well, more like 11 am).  It’s humid out today!  Went to the adjacent office gym for some shoulder work.  Place was empty!  A coworker joined me, he only did cardio (he also had not had anything to eat all day… son, I am disappoint).

noontime shoulder work:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

smith machine seated press:  warmup, 80 + bar x 15, 15, 10, 11

cable lat raise:  30 x 12/12, 12/12, 12/12

reverse pec deck:  60 x 12, 12; 90 x 12

cable upright row:  120 x 12, 12, 12, 12

notes:  it went pretty good, cleared my head some more.  shoulders looked good in the mirror during the seated press!  it was short, but I had to get back to work.

I barely escaped work with my sanity, and had to head to the studio for my apt with Leslie.  But I had a conundrum:  I had already done legs and shoulders!  What could we do?  We decided Les and I would team up on some badass biceps exercises!

Biceps with a Buddy (sets are traded back and forth between the lifters)

15 min warmup on the elliptical

Spider Curls:  25 x 15/15, 15/15, 15/15, 15/15

curls for the girls!

curls for the girls!

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incline curls:  50 x 12, 12, 12

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EZ bar curls:  70 x 12, 12, 12

preacher curl DROP SET  50 x forever; 40 x forever

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notes:  these felt great!  I really enjoyed working out with a buddy.  Tbh, I was goofing around a lot, although Leslie seemed to be in pain, haha!  I wasn’t sure how much gas I had left in the tank by this point, we were filling up my 4th hour in the gym in that day alone… but I think I could have gone heavier, and will next time.

We still had 15 min before Leslie’s next client, so we figured, hey, Les can do some triceps!  I would join, but I just did them yesterday so I’ll hold the camera while you do the work, haha.

rope pushdowns

rope pushdowns

dumbbell skullcrushers

dumbbell skullcrushers

 

Not a lot of time, so we did some BRUTAL dropsets of rope pushdowns, then some high rep sets of skullcrushers.  I did them on Thursday, so I know they work fine 🙂

 

And that was my day!  75 min cardio, 20 sets legs, 14 sets shoulders, 11 or so sets biceps, was that too much for one day??  For some people maybe, but be your own judge.  Of course, I had a secret weapon that got me through the day…

 

this awesome goddamn shirt

reppin CT Fletcher

reppin CT Fletcher

 

Bruised up

Woke up this morning to find bruises all over my left arm, thanks to the acupressure dude, lol!

left arm

left arm

 

As you can see in the picture (though upside down), there is a large bruise on the outside of my left bicep.  And it’s not the only one.  Thanks acupressure dude!  Now the whole world knows I belong to you, haha!

Woke up a touch late, rushed to the gym.  The plan was to do shoulders, then 7 am spin, then go to work, then slip away at lunch to do a leg workout.  Well, it didn’t go exactly as planned.

First things first, morning shoulders

shoulders (30 sec rest b/w sets)

smith machine military presses:  70 lbs + bar x 15, 15, 15, 15

lat raise machine:  70 x 12, 12, 12

reverse cable fly:  77 x 12, 12, 12

rope face pulls:  72 x 12, 12, 12

cable upright rows:  110 x 12, 12, 12

 

notes:  I realized that time had slipped away from me and I had missed the start of the spin class!  woops!  So I did some cardio on the elliptical instead:  30 min of 55% bw resistance, incline 9.

Everything felt pretty good this morning, so I decided to add in some face pulls, and get some extra work in on my rotator cuff.  The weights look so weird on those flys and face pulls because the plates were in kilograms, and I am converting back to pounds for y’all.

Only thing about the upright rows is I felt the tendonitis in my left forearm flare a bit when I set the weight down at the end of the set.  Ugh, so weird.  But everything felt good, ready to go heavier across the board.

 

When I was at work, first day back after the long weekend, I soon realized there would be no lunchtime workout.  Everything was just TOO hectic.  So I had no choice but to put my legs workout right after work, aka the busiest time of day at the busy-ass Goodlife gym.  But there I was.  Time for legs at 5:30 pm!

 

Legs (30 sec rest b/w sets)

45 degree leg press:  (plus whatever the sled weighs)  90 x 10; 180 x 10; 270 x 10; 360 x 10; 450 x 15, 15, 15, 15

stationary lunges:  carrying 45 lb dumbbells x 12, 12, 12 (each leg)

seated leg curls:  150 x 15, 15; 165 x 15; 180 x 15, 15, 15, 15

standing bodyweight calf raises:  90, 90, 90 90

prone leg raises:  20, 20, 20

 

notes:  Say what I will about the masseuse abuse, everything he squeezed to death was performing better the next day!  My calves felt loose and ready for anything!  After legs, I did more cardio:  30 min, 55%, incline 9.

I saw the squat racks were super busy.  There was a waiting line.  But nobody was messing with the 45 degree leg press.  So I camped out there, as you can see I did 4 warm-up sets before the 4 working sets, which worked out really well actually.

The gym was SO busy, there was no room to do walking lunges without tripping over people, and I am not that coordinated at walking lunges, I can’t handle the hecticness.  So I just did them stationary, raising up and down on the same leg for each set.

As for stiff-legged deadlifts, no racks or bars were free.  I saw the Smith machine was free, so I tried to do SLDL’s on them.  It DID NOT WORK, I ended up just feeling it in my lower back because I couldn’t keep the bar close to me as I bent over (it was stuck on a track after all).  So after 2 awkward-feeling sets, I gave up.  Noone was messing with the seated leg curl machines, so I did like 7 sets on that instead.  Those felt pretty good.

Given the pain in my forearm, I decided against hanging knee raises, and just did ab work on the ground instead.  Worked fine.

 

Given the evening workout, no time for yoga, sorry!  But I did cardio twice today, AND weights twice today, so it’s all good.  Got the work in.

 

How about you?  Any good workouts today?

Good Friday Workout

Good Friday!  Day off work!  How do I celebrate?  9 am legs and shoulders workout!

It wasn’t that bad, I went to sleep at about 8 pm the night before, so I was well rested.  Had a scoop of Musclepharm Assault (BLUE pwo I am trying, this detail will be important later).  But on the other hand, I have been feeling off my game for a couple of days, so I needed to touch base with my trainer again and get a dose of positivity.  This is what trainers are great for, sometimes you just NEED the support, you feed off their positivity.  I don’t like to rely on other people, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that Leslie has been a huge help.  Thanks Les!

For this workout, since time was at a premium, we decided to try staggering the sets like I suggested a few days ago – set of legs then a set of shoulders, back and forth, twinning the exercises off with each other to save time.  My legs will rest while I work my shoulders, and vice versa.

 

Legs & Shoulders (staggered sets, as little rest as possible)

squats & seated shoulder press:  155 x 15, 15, 10, 12; 80 x 15, 15, 15, 13

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leg extensions & cable lateral raises:  130 x 12, 150 x 12, 160, x 12, 170 x 12; 30 x 12/12, 12/12, 12/12

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stiff-leg deadlifts & reverse cable flys:  155 x 12, 12, 12; 60 x 12, 12, 12

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lying leg curl & dumbbell shrugs:  75 x 15, 15, 15, 15; 150 x 15, 15, 15, 15

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notes:

This workout was MUCH faster.  We were under an hour EASY.  It was grueling though.  Staggering the compounds is harder than staggering the isolations.  I think Leslie enjoyed the fast-paced nature of it though.  My Achilles tendon is still sore though, so we skipped the calf raises (I have a long spin ride on Saturday, and I wanted to save up for that), and to save on my forearms, we did some knee raises in the Roman chair instead.

my forearms say thanks!

my forearms say thanks!

I felt uncomfortable during the squats.  I don’t think I went low enough, I also just sort of quit during the 3rd and 4th set.  I am still relatively new to them, they feel awkward and put me in an uncomfortable place, but I just have to keep throwing myself into that exercise, and when I get comfortable with the movement, I can start to excel.  It just didn’t happen today.  It’s not even the weight, I have a theory that I could up that weight to 185 or higher and my reps would look about the same.  I just have a mental block to work on.

We kept going heavier on the extensions, I don’t think I have hit the ceiling on that particular machine yet.  The lat raises felt MUCH stronger than on Monday.  It was at about this time that I was cruising on the preworkout, so when I busted out the Lion’s Face, it looked like I had eaten a Smurf.

Assault on Smurftown!

Assault on Smurftown!

I am also VERY happy about those leg curls.  This was the first time I think I have done all 4 sets without a spot, so a new best for me!  It took weeks but it was worth it.

All in all, a great workout.  Feels like I am back on track.  How about you?  Any good workouts this long weekend?