Tag Archive: reverse grip


So my deload week is now over.  As far as deloads go, I still went to the gym just as often, I just didn’t push as hard.  I also indulged on the food a few times.. buffets, movie theater popcorn, I am a bad boy!

 

Anyways, back to business.  Doesn’t matter if it’s a long weekend here in Ontario, it’s time for some iron.  Sunday I went out for leg day, and in a show of solidarity, Les the trainer came out and we did legs together!  We took turns, I did my set then she did hers, that was our rest break.

Sunday Legs:

cardio for 20 min

superset leg extensions & seated leg curls:  120×30&120×20; 130×30&140×20

superset walking lunges w dumbbells & standing leg curls:  60×40&60×20; 60×40&70×20; 60×40&80×20

45 degree leg press:  6 plates x 50; 6 plates x 50; 7 plates x 50

extra superset of extensions & curls again:  130×30&140×20

cardio for 20 min

notes:  as you can see this was high reps with lots of supersets, I kept my legs high and wide on the leg press, so overall I hit the hamstrings and glutes pretty good.  Doing more on the curls than I am on the extensions, is that good?  haha, I think my hams are coming up!  I hate doing lunges with a passion, but I do enjoy being able to rock out the shorts in the gym while guys who skip leg days have to wear track pants with their tanks, haha.  You aint fooling me!

 

Monday I went to the gym for chest and triceps work.

Monday Push (rest was around 60-90 sec)

cardio for 20 min

flat db press:  70×10; 110 x 10;  170 x 8, 8

flat db fly:  70 x 10; 130 x 10, 10, 10

incline cable fly:  55 x 10; 99 x 10; 121 x 10; 121 x 10 DROP 99 x 10 DROP 77 x 10

cable crossover:  99 x 10; 165 x 10; 165 x 10; 165 x 10 DROP 121 x 10 DROP 99 x 10

tricep pushdowns w straight bar:  93 x 10; 115 x 18; 126 x 18; 126 x 18 DROP 93 x 11 DROP 72 x 20

reverse grip pushdowns:  72 x 10; 93 x 18; 93 x 18; 93 x 18 DROP 72 x 20 DROP 50 x 40

skullcrusher 21s:  superset 3 different positions – extend from top of head & lower to forehead & drop behind head and bring back to a closegrip press

50 x 21, 21, 21

cardio for 20 min

 

notes:  chest as you can see was mostly isolation work, and once we got to the cables I threw in a double drop set on the last set.  Could have gone heavier on the reversegrip, those dropset reps are way too high.  Skullcrusher 21s was an interesting experience.  I couldn’t really go heavier, my right elbow was pinching too much during the reps I lowered to my forehead, so I had to keep it light for that.  The best way I can describe skullcrusher 21s is to watch this video:

Fast forward to the 3 min mark and watch for about a minute, he explains the first and third variations there (the second is really just the standard skullcrusher)

Arms as you can see was high rep, bringing in lots of pump and BLOOD to the muscles!  I prefer high rep with arms, feels better.

 

And that was my long weekend! How about you?  Any good workouts?

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Zig-Zag

High carb day today! I was excited!  Quinoa! Sweet Potato! Peanut Butter! Jam! Oatmeal!

First things first, I wanted to earn it.  I went to the gym first thing in the morning BEFORE those lovely carbs, for some fasted cardio.  Came back home, carbssssss

Went to work, more carbsssss.  My mood was pretty high, I was feeling great!  A coworker asked if I wanted to go the office gym at lunch and I thought, why not?  I can do some shoulders.

Lunchtime Shoulders:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

Seated Military Press:  warmup, 110 x 10, 10, 8, 6

Barbell Front Raise:  55 x 10, 10, 10

Arnold Presses:  35s x 6, 9, 3

notes:  WOAH, stop the press.  What’s going on?  Right away in the Arnold press, my right elbow HURT as I came to the bottom of the movement.  I rested a little, tried another set.  It kept hurting.  Rested a bit more, tried again, more hurt.  So I said F this, and I stopped the workout.  No more shoulders.  Went back to work.

 

Back at work, all those rich tasty carbsssss I enjoyed turned on me.  My stomach got upset, it was all too rich for me to handle all of a sudden.  I drifted through the afternoon feeling rough, and resting my elbow.

After work, I headed to the studio and told my trainer what’s up.  We decided to keep on with arms as scheduled, but we would improvise the workout, and see how my elbow responded.  Go light when we need to, go heavier when we can.

Arms & Abs – Supersets (30 sec rest b/w supersets)

ez bar curls & straightbar pushdowns:  A. 60 x 12, 12, 12 & B. 90 x 12, 110 x 12, 130 x 12

light curls

light curls

pushdowns

pushdowns

hammer curls w/ rope & overhead tricep extensions:  A. 60 x 20, 70 x 20, 80 x 20 & B. 70 x 20, 80 x 20, 20

don't let me see the camera!

don’t let me see the camera!

db hammer curls & single arm cable extensions:  A. 30s x 12, 35s x 12, 12 & B. 50 x 12/12, 12/12, 12/12

IMG_2605

IMG_2606

high cable curls & reverse grip pushdowns:  A. 80 x 12, 90 x 12, 100 x 12 & B. 80 x 12, 90 x 12, 100 x 12

IMG_2610

IMG_2613

 

Abs:  straight leg (s0rta) hip lifts & toe touches  15&12, 3 sets

 

Notes:  there were a few exercises in there we had to discard as they hurt my elbow or pulled on my scapula.  but we got it done.  Workout didn’t feel too bad!

Finally the office was free so we could check my weight!  And….. I am up a pound.  What the fuck.

It could be the new diet, it could be all that water I chugged during the workout.  It could be my upset stomach.  For whatever the reason, up a pound.  On the other hand, we checked my measurements and I have physically shrunk.  I am smaller, less inches around, but I weigh more.  Sigh.

So it has been a “zig zag” day.  I zig zag with my carbs to keep my body confused, and my energy zigs while my stomach zags and becomes upset.  My inches zig and my pounds zag.  My shoulder workout zags and my arm workout zigs.  Just a mixed day of highs and lows and I am not sure whether to call this a good day or not.

I shouldn’t be too pissed, but this is a competition, and a really short one at that, and I have no chance with lots of “oh well, you tried your best” self-talk.  I am going to stick to my diet and workouts like glue (like I always do) and see if my weight drops again, or else I might be screwed.

Apr 4 Chest & Tri

Woke up pretty tired Thursday morning.  I took some pre-workout, had some caffeine and had some NO3.  In retrospect, I pushed it a little too far.

Made it to the gym at 6 am, ready to do some chest and triceps as time permitted, then 7 am spin.

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

warm-ups w/ cable crossovers

flat db fly:  80 x 12, 12, 12

cable crossover 120 x 12, 12, 12

incline bb press (1/2 ROM):  115 x 15, 15, 15

flat bb press:  135 x 12, 12, 12, 7

reverse grip pushdowns: (no rest, back and forth arm to arm)  50 x 15/15, 11/15, 12/13, 10/13

closegrip db press:  100 x 12, 12, 10

seated two hand db extension:  65 x 12, 12, 8

cardio:  30 min elliptical 55% resistance, incline 9, light pace

 

notes:  The flys went ok, but felt a little awkward, I might not have fully warmed up yet.  This was my first time trying out 1/2 ROM inclines.  I guess it was ok, certainly easier on my shoulder, but not sure if was worth it in the end.  With the flat presses, I was SO close to failing on the third set, I actually failed on the last rep and had to force it for what seemed like forever to get it back up and rack it.  I could see I was wearing down, so I stopped and pulled a little short on the 4th set before it felt like I was on the edge of failing.  No sense risking it when I didn’t have a spot.

It was about then that my stomach became kind of upset.  I think I took too much stuff this morning, and now it was turmoil in my gut.  It kind of distracted me during the tricep work.

For the pushdowns, I tried standing sideways and holding onto the machine with the freehand, even leaning away a little.  I think that worked MUCH better, felt better formwise.  It still feels hard on my left shoulder, but not crazy bad.

I was SO close to getting through that third set of the closegrip presses, it was very frustrating.

In the end, I decided my stomach was feeling pretty rough, so I did not go to Spin, instead I just did cardio on my own, and kept a light pace.

 

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

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?