Tag Archive: rope pushdowns

Cut Day 22

Christmas present for myself – bro day

I borrowed a John Meadows workout (not stealing this and selling it John, please no cease and desist orders. Don’t shut down mah internet!). But I added on a little extra at the front end, because I know my trainer would want me to do 8 movements and not 6 Anyhoo, Meadows workouts rock, so may as well make my free day as awesome as possible.

Another thing my trainer wants me to do is rebuild my House of Cardio’s, so I signed up for a spin class. Spin first, Arms after.

Cardio: Spin class, 45 min of work, HIIT, intervals, hills, standing climbs, seated climbs, straight on races, lots of fun times. I haven’t done one in a while, so I am sure my legs will be tired, plus glutes, plus a sore buttbone. Nary a hot chick to be seen, what a pity. OK, to be fair, I sat in FRONT of the hot chicks and stuck my butt in THEIR face. Merry Christmas.

Preacher Curl Machine (keep full ROM, 60 sec of rest b/w sets)

50 x 8
70 x 8
90 x 8
90 x 8
90 x 8

Standing DB Curls (use Fat Gripz, keep hands supinated, 3 sec negative on each rep, 60 sec rest)

10s x 15
15s x 15
30s x 6
30s x 6
30s x 6

notes: could have maybe gone heavier, but with slow negs, it can be hard to guesstimate your weight off the start. Haven’t used the Fat Gripz in a while, welcome back!

EZ Bar Curls (Fat Gripz, 60s rest)

75 x 8
75 x 7
75 x 5
75 x 6, REST 20, 4 reps, REST 10, 2.5 reps

notes: I started to fade fast on this one, damn you Fat Gripz. I could have done some sloppy ones, but I wanted every rep to be correct and controlled, no lean back. On the last set, I would set it down, rest a little but, try to pump out a few more. Bar Curls are always tough on me, really makes the tendinitis flare, but I don’t think it will get me this time.

Standing DB Hammer Curls (60s rest)

40s x 8 reps, 8 partials
40s x 8 reps, 3 partials
40s x 8 reps, 7 partials

notes: by partials, it means just bring it up as close to halfway as you can, chit, even a handful of inches feels like hell at that point. I was just focusing on getting those full reps out, and had so little left for the partials. Forearms were fried, biceps were done.

Tricep Pushdown Machine (preacher style setup, 60 s rest)

50 x 8
70 x 8
90 x 8
100 x 8
110 x 8

Superset Rope Pushdowns and Pronated DB Kickbacks (spread the rope at the bottom and flex for 1 second each rep; kickbacks your palm stays pronated the whole time)

90 x 10 / 20s x 6
100 x 10 / 20s x 6
100 x 10 / 25s x 6
100 x 10 / 25s x 6

notes: 100 was the sweet spot for pushdowns, flexing for 1 second at peak contraction felt like murder! To the Mountain Dog’s credit, I like pronated kickbacks way more than neutral grip, I feel the squeeze much more in the triceps.

Decline Skullcrushers w/ Cambered Bar (put on the elbow sleeves, 60s rest)

60 x 15
60 x 15
60 x 15

notes: kept these tight and controlled, doing that on a bar is much easier than dumbbells, but it gets harder on the elbow so I used the sleeves.

I was thinking of doing Ab work after this, but I had passed the 2 hour mark and felt wrecked! Packed up my crap and went home.

Hope everyone has had a good weekend!

May 30 – Arms

Hello!  Back to your regularly scheduled programming.


Superset Rope Pushdowns (hands together) and Seated Alternating DB Curls (palms up no twist, 4 reps per side at a time) (rest varies, go again when you feel like it)

72.5 x 9      40s x 8/8

62.5 x 9      40s x 8/8

62.5 x 9      40s x 8/8

62.5 x 9      40s x 8/8

notes:  72.5 on this cable machine was HARD!  Feels like 150 pounds on the Goodlife machine    o.O


Superset EZ Bar Curls and Bent Over Overhead Cable Extensions  (rest varies)

70 x 8      62.5 x 10, 5 partials (out of bottom ROM)

70 x 8      62.5 x 10, 5 partials

70 x 8      62.5 x 10, 5 partials

70 x 8      62.5 x 10, 5 partials


Superset Closegrip Bench Press and Reverse EZ Bar Curls  (rest varies)

115 x 15      40 x 15

115 x 15      40 x 15

115 x 15      40 x 15

115 x 15      40 x 15


And that was that!  Nice, quick, nasty arm pump!

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


Cut Day 105: Arms

Hello! It has been a while!  I haven’t stopped cutting, I did a weighin, took pics, then took a deload week.


Down to 263!  I weigh what I did in high school, which is crazy 🙂  During my deload, I retested my one rep maxes in the big lifts, and I have lost strength in bench press and squats, but somehow GAINED strength and hit a new 1RM in deadlifts and presses.  Weird!  But I need to build my strength up in general, my poverty bench and squats are marked for death.


For the next little while, I will be going back to 5/3/1, with some pump-oriented assistance work.  So let’s start it off with Arm Day!


Superset Rope Pushdowns & Standing DB Curl (no supination, 3 sec negatives on the curls, 45 sec rest b/w Ssets)

94 x 15 / 25s x 15
110 x 15 / 25s x 15
110 x 15 / 25s x 13
110 x 15 / 25s x 11

notes: 3 second negatives started to wear me down! I stopped a set when I stopped doing the curls cleanly, the TUT was making me feel like a hyooge poosy. I haven’t done these since the early Fall, have to get used to them again. Worked like a charm though, felt a huge pump by the 3rd set!

Superset Cambered Bar Curls & Bench Dips (3 sec negs on the dips, 45 sec rest)

80 x 8 / 8 dips
80 x 8 / 8
80 x 7 / 8
80 x 8 / 8

notes: If the curls weren’t clean I didn’t count them, and the 3rd set just couldn’t make it work right. the dips were too easy, even with the slow negs, but a dip station is too hard on my bum shoulder, so I will try elevating my feet or something. Lost the pump a bit because the reps dropped down from 15 to 8, but I wanted to get some heavy work in.

Superset Decline Skullcrushers & DB Hammer Curls (skulls to nose, 45 sec rest)

60 x 15 / 30s x 15
60 x 15 / 30s x 15
60 x 15 / 30s x 15
60 x 15 / 30s x 15

notes: maybe conservative with the weight but it was the end of the workout and I wanted to see how the overall routine felt. Ready to go up on these.

post-workout cardio 20 min LISS elliptical, enjoying the view

And that was that! Really quick and simple, which is fine by me. I am used to more grueling arm workouts, but massive supplemental Arm days I have found can detract from the real 5/3/1 work, so no worries.

Labour Day Weekend Workouts

this is a long one.  Maybe less explanations so I can fit in more workout details.

I have been experimenting lately with the “meta-workout”.  First, you learn how to do an exercise.  Then you learn how to chain exercises together to work the body part properly.  Then you chain body parts together (make a “split”).  Then… what about chaining workouts together?  You work out Monday, you know you’re gonna be sore on Tuesday, so what can you do on Tuesday that will complement what you did on Monday?  Other than just rest that is, haha.  That was my pet project for the long weekend, weave the workouts together into a coherent narrative.

Thursday was Shoulders (45-60 sec rest)

Seated Smith Machine Military Press:  70 + bar x 10; 100 x 10; 130 x 12, 9, 9

Smith Machine Press Behind the Neck Press:  100 x 5, 2; 80 x 8; 80 x 10 DROP 50 x 10

Side Raise Machine:

100 x 10 DROP 80 x 10 DROP 60 x 10

100 x 10 DROP 80 x 8 DROP 60 x 10

100 x 10 DROP 80 x 7 DROP 60 x 8

Smith Machine Shrugs: 140 x 10; 200 x 10, 9, 10, 9; 110 x 25

Cable Reverse Fly (30 sec rest)

77 x 15

77 x 15

77 x 15 Partials 99 x 10

77 x 15 Partials 99 x 7

77 x 15 Partials 99 x 6

77 x 12 Partials 99 x 7

55 x 15 Partials 77 x 8

notes:  this was an awkward workout, I did stuff that wouldn’t work my core too hard, but in the end behind the neck presses are still awkward, and the presses got worn out fast so I moved onto side raises on a machine so I could do the drop sets.  Its too painful doing drop sets of side raises with dumbbells, since side raises need such light weights you will always be competing with a crowded gym for the most popular little dumbbells.  Smith Shrugs were just too awkward, the hooks kept catching on the cage, so free weights only from now on pls.  Cable Flys I had to share the machine for the first two sets with another lady so after she walked away I threw in the heavy partials to really wear me out.

Friday I was more tired than I expected so I took the day off, woops!  So much for the experiment, haha.  I would need the weekend to really put in the raw amount of rest I needed.

Saturday I slept in but got up mid-morning for Chest and Triceps.  I blew off Friday so this would have to be epic to make up for it.

Saturday C&T (60 sec rest)

Elliptical warmup 25 min

150 Twists

flat dumbbell bench:  90 x 10; 140 x 10; 180 x 7, 8

incline dumbbell press:  80 x 10; 110 x 10; 150 x 8, 7; 150 x 8 DROP 110 x 5 DROP 90 x 8

pec deck:

75 x 10

105 x 10

150 x 8 DROP 120 x 8 DROP 90 x 8

150 x 8 DROP 120 x 7 DROP 90 x 7

150 x 6 DROP 120 x 8 DROP 90 x 8

rope pushdown:

140 x 4

120 x 9 DROP 90 x 10 DROP 60 x 12

120 x 6 DROP 90 x 6 DROP 60 x 12

120 x 7 DROP 90 x 7 DROP 60 x 12

overhead rope extension:

100 x 12 DROP 80 x 8

100 x 8 DROP 80 x 8

120 x 3 DROP 100 x 4 DROP 80 x 5 DROP 60 x 8

smith machine closegrip press:

50 + bar x 12

70 x 12

120 x 12, 12

120 x 8 Partials 6, 5, 5 (10 second rest-pause)

notes:  this workout was brutal!  This was going to be relatively light on my shoulders because of the shoulder workout just the day before, but since I took that Friday off and my shoulders rested some, I threw in some incline presses with dropsets.  So heavy but low volume on the flat presses, then a double drop set of incline presses, then a bunch of isolation work then some triceps.

The flat presses ended poorly though… I dropped a 90 lb dumbbell on my left hip when I was lying down.  Ouch!  That stung, that should make for a lovely bruise.  I am just too self-conscious to drop it on the ground and make a lot of noise, so when I felt it slipping (ie. failing totally) I tried to reel it in rather than let it drop to the ground, but instead it almost fell on my groin and made me a eunuch, ROFL.

My triceps were burnt though the rope pushdowns ran out of gas pretty fast so I had to drop the weight.  With the overhead extensions I shifted to the long head of the triceps, so they lasted a few more sets, but on that last set I just kept dropping over and over until I could finally hit a decent number of reps.

For the smith presses, I followed up the last set with a bunch of partials to really burn me out for the day.  Since it was the Smith Machine, I could go past failure and do those partials:  I only popped it up a few inches from my chest over and over and when I couldn’t even do that I would hook it on the low rung.  Go until failure on the last set, rest 10 seconds, do some partials, rest 10 seconds, do more partials, did that about 3 times.  I was so burnt out in the end I had to shimmy out from under the low-racked smith bar, I couldn’t raise it back up to the regular height.

For Sunday I had a friend show up to do Legs with me, hooray!  Legs are rough enough as it is, a little backup is always most welcome.

Sunday Legs (traded sets back and forth with my friend)

cardio warmup 25 min

Standing Leg Curls:

40 x 10

60 x 10

90 x 12 DROP 70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12

90 x 12 DROP 70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12

90 x 12 DROP 70 x 12 DROP 50 x 12

Stiff-Legged Deadlifts:  95 x 10; 135 x 10; 165 x 18, 18

Leg Press:  270 x 10; 450 x 10; 630 x 20, 20

Leg Extensions:

90 x 10

180 x 20 DROP 130 x 20 DROP 100 x 20 DROP 80 x 20

180 x 20 DROP 130 x 15 DROP 100 x 20 DROP 80 x 20

180 x 15 DROP 130 x 12 DROP 100 x 12 DROP 80 x 15

Superset Seated Leg Curls and Standing Calf Raises:

130 x 10 & 200 x 10 warmup

130 x 16 DROP 100 x 16 & 300 x 20 DROP 200 x 20

130 x 16 DROP 90 x 16 & 300 x 20 DROP 200 x 20

130 x 16 DROP 100 x 16 & 300 x 20 DROP 200 x 20

130 x 16 DROP 90 x 16 & 300 x 20 DROP 200 x 20

cooldown cardio 25 min

notes:  This workout was LONG!  50 min of cardio, and, no lie, 1 hour and 40 min of weights!  to some extent this was because I had a buddy with me, but in the end it still amount to a 3 HOUR trip to the gym.  We hit hamstrings really hard on this workout.  Drop sets within supersets within meta-workouts?  Inception!

Holiday Monday I slept in again, but even more so.  I barely made it to the gym with enough time to do it all before it closed early for the holiday.  The mall it was in was also crowded with mouthbreathers.  You have the Monday off, why go shop at the mall???  There were thousands and thousands of people in the mall, you can’t even walk fast, it was at CAPACITY.  I was channeling the personality of my father when I wanted to lash out and start clobbering crowds of people left and right just so I could get some personal space.  The gym wasn’t THAT crowded, but it was crowded enough I had to modify the workout somewhat.

Monday Back and Biceps and Abs (60 sec rest)

warmup cardio 25 min

150 twists

Giant Set Assisted Widegrip Chinups and Behind the Neck Lat Pulldowns and Seated Machine Rows

(100) x 20 & 120 x 10 & 210 x 10 DROP 165 x 10

(100) x 11 & 135 x 10 & 210 x 10 DROP 165 x 10

(100) x 11 & 135 x 10 & 210 x 10 DROP 165 x 10

Superset T-Bar Rows and Weighted Hyperextensions:

125 + bar x 12 & 70 x 10 DROP Bodyweight x 12

125 x 12 & 70 x 10 DROP Bodyweight x 12

125 x 12 & 70 x 8 DROP 35 x 8 DROP Bodyweight x 8

Superset Dumbbell Curls and High Cable Curls

25s x 20 & 94 x 8 DROP 72 x 10 DROP 61 x 12

45s x 8 & 105 x 8 DROP 83 x 8 DROP 61 x 8

45s x 7 & 105 x 8 DROP 83 x 8 DROP 61 x 10

Lying Cable Curls

105 x 16 DROP 83 x 20 DROP 61 x 16

105 x 15 DROP 83 x 5 DROP 61 x 10

105 x 12 DROP 83 x 15 DROP 61 x 15

Weighted Double Crunches: 70 x 15; 105 x 15, 15

150 twists

notes:  It was risky doing a giant set in a crowded gym, trying to tie up 3 stations at once.  But I managed to pull it off.  The giant set was there to wear out my upper and middle back as much as possible, try and not make this another marathon session like Legs.

Then I went to try and do a lower back superset.  I wanted to do bent over rows actually, but the gym was WAY too crowded for that, all the barbells were occupied, and no way I would wait for one, then walk across the room for hyperextensions and lose my barbell to some random passerby.  But I saw the t-bar rows were open, so I was able to tie that one up while I walked across the whole gym to do the hypers.

MAN, that lower back superset killed me!  My low back was throbbing like crazy.  I had to sit down for 5 min and catch my breath before I could go on to biceps.  But I wanted some major low back work because it also had the bonus effect of stretching out my hamstrings.  My hamstrings from Sunday were now really sore on Monday, so hyperextensions were quite therapeutic when I was able to stretch them out with weight like that.

I dub that meta-workout a SUCCESS, hahaha.  Lots of hamstrings on one day, then do lower back the next day.

For biceps I supersetted good ole classic db curls with high curls.  High curls are good as either a finisher or a superset finisher because you can raise your arms to shoulder level and the form isn’t as hard to maintain as you burn the last few fibres.  Even more to the point I dropsetted the high curls so I could really finish the set off.  I experimented with both low weight dumbbells and higher weight dumbbells.

I had more juice in me but my low back was still throbbing so I laid down on a mat and set the cables low and did some low curls, high rep with double drops.

After that I wanted to do abs but my low back was still worn out so I decided to try a weighted crunch machine in a different part of the gym I had never tried before – a plate-loaded chair that imitates a double crunch.  I liked it a lot!  It’s a popular chair though, so good luck with that.

After this was over the gym was close to closing so I went home.

And that was my long weekend series of workouts!  What about you?  Get in any workouts this Labour Day weekend?

Saturday was my day off.  So what do I do on my day off?  Cardio!!

I had signed up for an experiment in extended Spin class-ing (my new word).  Normally Spin classes are about an hour, maybe 75 min.  But this time?  2 hours straight!  I have done 2 classes back-to-back many times, but there was a lull in between classes.  This time it would be 2 hours no stopping.  There were also 3 teachers, splitting the time up into 3×40 min blocks:  a warm-up, the main work, and a cooldown.  Those teachers, in order, would be:  Courtney, Norman and Sarah.  I have never had Norman as an instructor before, but I otherwise had a good idea of what to expect.  Just MORE of it, haha.

Norman, Sarah, Courtney!

Norman, Sarah, Courtney!

The class itself was mostly full, maybe 4 or 5 bikes empty.  Sometimes people rsvp but don’t show up.  Oh well.  I didn’t get any pictures really, because I was… um… spinning, duh!


setting up

this is what it looks like when I take a pic of myself while spinning...

this is what it looks like when I take a pic of myself while spinning…

this is what it looks like when I take a pic of other while spinning...

this is what it looks like when I take a pic of other while spinning…


So how was it?  It did not get off to a good start.  I pre-loaded with water like I do before ANY activity; weights, spin, yoga, I always drink a few cups of water first.  It keeps me hydrated, and it also makes me sweat more.  My body sees I have a surplus, it sees I am overheating, so it lets me sweat without hesitation, which also carries the benefit of cleaning out my pores.

For some reason, today my body did NOT want to hold on to water.  I pre-loaded like always, and almost instantly peed it out.  I drank 2 cups of water 15 min before class, and peed THREE times before class!  Isn’t that odd?  And the final kicker:  30 seconds into the first song on the bike, I felt pressure in my bladder again… I had grabbed a bike embedded in the far corner of the room, behind a forest of people, no chance for me to worm my way out without a big scene.  So I held it in.  For 2 hours, I needed to go to the bathroom.  This made me not want to drink much more water, which dehydrated me a bit, and slowed me down some.

So I worked hard, but it wasn’t awesome, it wasn’t optimal.  I like to race hard and sweat hard, but this time I had to not go 100%.

My legs were also sore from the Friday workout, so this 2 hours was a chance to get some burn in, and a chance to flush my legs out.  No regrets, I showed up and put in the work.


Otherwise, I enjoyed my Saturday, came home from the spin and passed out for an hour, woke up totally fried (guess that 2 hour ride took more out of me than I thought), cooked up a big pot of chili, and got lots more sleep.


Sunday I slept in, even more than usual since the gym opens late on Easter Sunday.  No spin classes today either, boo hiss!

Today was upper body push day, and I would do my own cardio after.


Chest & Tri:  (30 seconds rest b/w all sets)

incline fly:  60 x 12, 12; 70 x 12

cable crossovers:  77 x 12; 143 x 12, 12

incline db press:  110 x 15, 15, 9

flat db press:  110 x 12, 12, 12, 12

skullcrushers:  60 x 15, 15, 15, 15

one hand seated db extension:  25 x 12/12, 25×4/0; 20 x 10/12, 8/12

rope pushdown:  127 x 12, 10; 83 x 8, 61 x 12

abs:  hanging knee raise x 13,9; roman chair knee raise x 10, 7; prone leg raise x 15, 15

cardio:  elliptical – 55% bodyweight, incline 9, 60 min


notes:  As I said a few days back, I pre-exhausted my chest with the isolations so that my chest would feel it more on the presses before my shoulder got tired.  Turns out it also had the side benefit of warming my shoulder up!  Hooray!  Total success!

As always, someone was using the 35 lb dumbbells, so I dropped in weight as I waited for the other guy to finish.  No sense sitting there waiting doing nothing.

With the incline dumbbell press, I was doing ok, but then a young woman 6 feet to my right cried out to her boyfriend:  the 40 lb [dumbbells] are TOO HARD!!!  And the panic and scrambling as he pulled them off her caused me to lose focus and fail out early on my 3rd set.  I could have gone again, but screw it.  Why tempt fate while my shoulder felt good?  The flat presses went quite well, thankfully, easy actually.

Conversely, the skullcrushers were quite hard, but I grunted and pushed it out!  Hooray!  success!  I felt nice and sore and pumped after those, but it left me too weak to get much done on the extensions, like last week.  I might try doing the pushdowns next time before the extensions, see if that works better.  I think the skullcrushers and the extensions might be too similar a movement, but I don’t feel the same exhaustion on the pushdowns, so let’s shuffle it up a bit.

As for the pushdowns, the rope at that weight was quite hard so I had to explode down to get it down, and smooth on the way back up.  I was feeling really good and strong, so I did closegrip pushups against the wall in between sets to keep my triceps pumped.  For the last set I dropped the weight, did a bunch then drop setted down one more to get another set in.  It worked well as a tricep finisher!  I had been feeling for a week or two like my triceps and biceps can handle a good finisher at the end, put a button on the whole thing.

For the abs, my grip was giving out after 2 sets, but my abs wanted more, so I moved to the roman chair and did 2 more sets.  After 2 sets I felt myself sliding around in the arm rests, and my shoulders were sagging, but my abs wanted more, so I went to the mat and laid down and did leg raises from there.  Think of it like an abdominal drop set!  haha.

I was feeling really good and engaged and focused, so I wanted the cardio to be good and hard.  I set the incline high, I set the resistance nice and heavy, I put in the headphones, and went at it, going slow on the slow songs and fast on the fast songs.  After an hour I was dripping sweat!  I checked the display, and it said for my weight and my resistance and my speed… that hour I had burned 1495 calories!!!  Can you believe that??!?  I am not sure I can, but either way, it was a darn good cardio session.


I came back home happy and tired.  Ate some chili, and got ready for some Walking Dead and Game of Thrones!  No regrets today!  What about you?  Any good workouts this Easter weekend?