Tag Archive: straps

28 Nov 2016

Have to be honest, motivation has been completely in the toilet these days. All I want to do is sleep and do nothing. I was able to drag myself to the gym tonight after work, but it was so painful, I actually just sat in the cubicle for an extra 2 hours, just putting off going to the gym. Out of 10, my drive is about a 1 right now. It was a fight I lost on Saturday, it was a fight I lost on sunday, but tonight, I actually made it to the gym.

I knew I had to do deadlifts, but the only thoughts in my head were ‘you can’t lift this, your back isn’t up to it, just don’t do it’

And somehow, I went through with it. Showed up to an empty gym, and went to work.

Deadlifts (long rests, sock feet, no belt)

135 x 3
225 x 3
315 x 3
405 x 2
430 x 2
445 x 1
455 x 1
385 x 4 (Romanian style, with a pause just off the ground)

notes: despite my self-doubt, the reps felt fine, and moved fast. For my backoff set, I didn’t let the plates touch the ground, I wanted to keep my back loaded, and with a brief pause at the bottom while hovering off the ground.

At this point, another guy showed up in the strongman gym, which was a welcome relief, because it would keep me from getting into my own head too much.

Bent Over Rows (2 min rests, straps)

225 x 6
225 x 8
225 x 8
225 x 6

notes: I wanted to save my grip for later and just keep working the back, but even with straps, the underside of my forearm was throbbing.

One Arm DB Rows (2 min rests)

40 x 10/10
80 x 10/10
*straps on*
120 x 13 left side
2 min rest
120 x 13 right side

notes: I wanted to do an all out set at a STUPID weight. So saved the grip, back to the straps. At about rep 13, I ended up getting a charliehorse in my RIGHT trap, my off-trap from the pulling side. So I kept it balanced and only did 13 on the right side, after spending two minutes stretching out my upper back and traps.

Frame Shrugs (90 sec rests, no straps)

340 x 10
340 x 10
340 x 10

notes: I thought this would help me stretch out my traps, plus finish my grip. After this, my hands were throbbing from the cold iron frame, so I called it a day after this.



OK. Today was SUPPOSED to be a day off. But I wanted more action. *itchy* So I took a quick heaping blast of pwo and headed to the public gym. Since traps are the new abs, figured I would do traps AND abs, and some arms just because.

I was a little nervous about trap work since I had just deadlifted yesterday, but resolved just to see how it goes and be very forgiving of myself. Good thing, because that trap workout sucked BALLZ.

pull-ups (assisted for 1/3 BW, 30 sec rests, grip varied)

9 widegrip
10 underhand
8 hammergrip
5 wide
7 under
6 hammer
4 wide
6 under

notes: warmed up, and hit the lower traps a bit

dumbbell shrugs (AMRAP, generous rests – around 2 min, pull up and back, used straps)

100s x 26
100s x 21
100s x 19

notes: Just wanted to pump them out. I thought I was just getting warmed up… turns out that’s all my traps had left, as I found out when starting the next exercise.

static barbell hold (straps, rest varied, grip varied)

405 x couple of seconds… (double overhand, rested 30 sec, tried again)
405 x couple of seconds… (crossgrip, rested 60 sec and tried to shake it off)
315 x 14 seconds (crossgrip, rest 60 sec)
315 x 9 seconds (crossgrip)

notes: WTF? I guess I was more worn out than I thought. Srsly?! I deadlift that much and I can’t just hold on to it? Admittedly I can’t remember the last time I did a static hold and it was weird using straps, but FUUUUUUUCCKKKKK. I was embarrassed, and gave up.

Overhead Shrugs on Seated Press Machine (one set only)

70 x 50

notes: this felt blessedly easy. wasn’t sure how high reps would feel, so maybe I was too conservative.

Arm Finisher

OK! Forget about traps, time to run the rack! Do 10 sets of curls, working your way up in DBs, then 10 sets of seated 2H extensions, working your way up with the DBs. Time to be a GIANT ARSEHOLE and put your hands on every dumbbell in a crowded public gym, hahaha.

(rest only as long as it takes to go find the DB and bring the last one back)

curls: 10s x 10, 15s x 9, 20s x 8, 25s x 7, 30s x 6, 35s x 5, 40s x 4, 45s x 3, 50s x 2, 55s x 1
extensions: 55 x 10, 60 x 9, 65 x 8, 70 x 7, 75 x 6, 80 x 5, 85 x 4, 90 x 3, 95 x 2, 100 x 1
curls: 10s x 10, 15s x 9, 20s x 8, 25s x 7, 30s x 6, 35s x 5, 40s x 4, 45s x 3, 50s x 2, 55s x 1
extensions: 55 x 10, 60 x 9, 65 x 8, 70 x 7, 75 x 6, 80 x 5, 85 x 4, 90 x 3, 95 x 2, 100 x 1

This turned into some unexpected extra trap work b/c of the constant loaded carries I was doing back and forth across the gym with the DBs to my seat and back for the extensions. Basically I was supersetting suitcase carries, LOL.

After 2 rounds of this, I felt like I was using too much English on the heavy curls and was taking too long to gather the testes to clean the weight up to my shoulder for the extensions, plus ppl were giving me dirty looks, so 3rd round I played with the baby DBs for the curls and used the tricep machine.

curls: 5s x 10, 7.5s x 9, 10s x 8, 12.5s x 7, 15s x 6, 17.5s x 5, 20s x 4, 22.5s x 3, 25s x 2, 30s x 1
pushdown machine: 10 x 10, 20 x 9, 30 x 8, 40 x 7, 50 x 6, 60 x 5, 70 x 4, 80 x 3, 90 x 2, 100 x 1

notes: even with no rest, the bicep curls in rd 3 were too easy. even though control was tight and got a good squeeze, felt too easy. tricep machine had a much faster turnaround, but could have gone heavier.

Roman Chair Straight Leg Raises (30 sec rest)

10, 10, 10, 10, 10

post-workout 20 min LISS on elliptical

I was destroyed after this! Grabbed a burger in the food court (its carb day again!) and headed home to take a much deserved nap. OK… NOW I feel like I need a rest day, hahaha.

Sunday Week 1 Cycle 1 Back

Deadlift day!

I asked my friend if she wanted to work out with me (I had been getting requests to “bring the girl back”).  She asked what I had in mind.  I mentioned it was scheduled as a deadlift day for me.  And her eyes lit up!  No joke, she loves deadlifts.

So I played around with the routine a bit to put more deadlift work in there.  A more extensive warmup, the main sets, real heavy low rep sets (known in the 5/3/1 book as Joker sets), lighter weight higher rep sets (known in the book as “First Set Last: Multiple Sets”) , had the straps on deck, had the Fat Gripz on deck, this one would have it all!

I took a scoop of Fast Fuel 30 min before the workout with a handful of dry oats for extra energy, got there 15 min early and sat in the massage chair for a bit to warm up   then took a scoop of Fast Fuel and a scoop of ReGen during the workout!  Then ReGen and creatine HCl after the workout.

Week 1 Deadlift Day (Conventional double overhand, not Sumo unless otherwise noted)
(traded sets back and forth with my friend, so rest time for me equalled her set, plus changing the weights)

45 x 10 Fat Gripz
80 x 5   Fat Gripz
115 x 5  Fat Gripz
145 x 5  Fat Gripz
175 x 5



210 x 5
240 x 5
270 x 6


Joker Set
305 x 0 Straps
305 x 1 Sumo, Straps



Back Off Sets

210 x 6
210 x 8
210 x 8


notes:  Real proud of my friend!  She did great.  I was feeling good so I went for the Joker Set… and failed, haha.  So I switched to Sumo, let out a beefy grunt, and busted out that rep.

I wanted to keep going with the Jokers, but my friend wanted to keep the workout at an hour (did I mention right before this she had done an hour of Spin?  60 min of Spin, then 60 min of deadlifts, pretty badass!)

She had to go at the hour mark, so I trimmed down the Back Off Sets, then after she left I did a little more Assistance work on my own.

Before she left though, she wanted to make sure the readers had more to look at, so she went to take a pic of her friends’ butts, hahaha. (They did Spin with her, then did their own Squat workout while we did DLs.)

Assistance (30 sec rest b/w sets, normal tempo)

One Arm DB Row

25 x 10/10 offleg stretched back
50 x 10/10 offleg stretched back
80 x 20/20 offleg at 90 degrees on bench

notes:  Basically 2 warmups then a single high rep set at a heavy weight (for me).  I don’t think Kroc has anything to fear from me yet, but don’t sleep!  I’m comin for ya, haha!  I play with the positioning of my non-supporting leg to make the exercise easier or harder. (ie. if I am rowing with my left, my right knee can be moved around on the bench to make it easier or harder.)

Hyperextension Machine

300 x 12
300 x 12
300 x 12
300 x 12

Roman Chair

15 knee raises
12 bent leg raises (45 degrees or so)
10 straight leg raises
10 straight leg raises
12 knee raises

After, I sipped on my post-workout drink while sitting in the sauna for about 10 min.  Came home and collapsed!  That was draining.  Good session, no PRs but a lot of good work.

Getting Cut Down

You know that Johnny Cash song?  I had that in mind today.  It’s a good song you play in your mind when you feel like you deserve to be punished.

On a side note, I hear them playing that tune during commercials for trucks now.  Thankfully, they take the words out – I don’t think it’s conducive to shopping for a truck.

Last week I went to the doctor ready for whatever was to happen with the infection in my shoulder.  It had gotten big, so I was honestly expecting it to get cut out.  Cut the infection out, pack gauze into the hole, antibiotics, ta da.  Instead the doctor just wrote a prescription for a cream (antuibiotics) and sent me on my way.  I don’t know whether to be relieved (who enjoys getting cut up?) or be angry at my doctor for his laziness?  Using a topical a/b means this infection was going to take a long time to work out.  Oh well, I’m not the doctor.  And yet, I walked away unsatisfied, knowing I deserved to get cut down.

Thursday I showed up for my workout, and Leslie treated me to an upper body workout.  She must have sensed my pleasure, I was jumping up from the ground to get to the next exercise!

elliptical warm up for 10 min

(1 min cooldown b/w sets or b/w supersets)

supersetted DB chest press to widegrip pulldowns:   120×12/240×12, 120×12/280×12, 120×19/280×12

supersetted incline DB flyes to standing crossover reverse cable flyes:  50×12/40×12, 50×12/50×12, 50×12/50×12

supersetted seated DB shoulder press to lateral to front raises:  80×12/20×6, 80×12/16×10, 80×12/12×10

supersetted bicep curls to skullcrushers:  45×12/45×12, 55×12/55×12, 55×12/55×12

mountain climbers for 30 sec, 30 sec, 30 sec

cooldown on elliptical for 30 min

notes:  I always do more weight with pulldowns with Leslie than I do by myself.  Conversely, I always curl less.  If it were just curls, I would say my form is bad when I curl on my own, but the pulldown thing has me stumped (maybe I am leaning back too much, but Leslie watches my form, so I dunno).  Oh well, I am not trying to throw the weight around, but I do take longer rests with my arms between sets, I don’t superset arms, and arms get their own day, not at the end of a fullbody workout.  Quite honestly, the value of arms in a fullbody workout is suspect.  I don’t mean to be critical, but if the purpose of a fullbody is to burn calories and keep the heart rate up, arms are such a small muscle group that you essentially cool down and lose that burn.  Arms during a fullbody are more of a fun thing.  I like doing arms so I am not complaining, but I may as well get all my thoughts out.

The flyes were basically following the compound up with an isolation, and those are a case where form is very important, so low weight like I put up there is trivial compared to properly isolating the underused muscles in question.

The shoulder work was hard!  My shoulder was tired by that point.  The lat to front raises were essentially lifting them by your sides, swinging them to the front, swinging them back to the sides, then lowering.  It was a solid endurance test for my left shoulder.  My left shoulder was sagging a lot during these, so obviously it was tired.  I had a really solid lactic acid burn by the end of those, no matter how much she lowered the weight (I got to break in the wussy dumbbells, yay!)

The mountain climbers actually started out on an flipped over Bosu ball, but my core is too weak to keep those up, so I was demoted down to an easier version…. sigh.  I still had energy, so I did 30 min of cardio after the workout.

On the weekend… my diet suffered.  I had junk food on Saturday night, then I had more junk food on Sunday night.  I felt bad about it.  Not just guilty, yes, but Monday morning I woke up feeling AWFUL, toxic.  That feeling stayed all through Monday at work.  I felt ill, so I didn’t have much food at work, very few carbs especially.

When I went to the Monday workout with Leslie (cancelling out honestly never entered my mind, but I was not looking forward to it, I thought of it more as my unavoidable punishment), everything was set up wrong in my own head and body.  My motivation wasn’t there, I felt physically awful, I was low energy from the very low carbs (I had an apple 2 hours before, but am used to some sort of bread or rice, I burn through an apple too fast).  Basically I showed up, ready to get cut down for my sins.

This does not make for a good workout.  My intensity wasn’t there.  I was phoning it in through the majority of the workout, like a prisoner on a death march.  This made the exercises even harder, so 10 min (to the weights portion), I was drenched in sweat.  It;s not like I was goofing around or distracted, but when your head isn’t there, and everything gets harder, you just start getting pulverized by the weight.  I couldn’t even catch my breath between exercises, lift my head, or smile.  Eesh, that must have been depressing to even watch, I feel sort of bad for Leslie 🙂

(1 min rest b/w supersets)

20 min of preworkout cardio on the elliptical

supersetted 1 leg box squats (strap assisted) to strap assisted pushups:  10/12, 10/12, 10/10

supersetted reverse lunges (braced) to Australian pullups:  12/10, 12/10, 12/10

supersetted Arnold presses to kettlebell swings:  40×12/30×12, 40×12/30×12, 40×12/30×12

supersetted supersetted short bridges on a Bosu ball to bicycle crunches:  12/20, 12/20, 12/20

supersetted ball slams to bicep curls:  10×12/50×12, 10×12/60×10, 10×12/60×10

supersetted rope extensions to core twists w/cable machine:  70×12/40×10(each side), 70×12/40×10, 70×12/40×10

notes:  considering how rough shape I was in, maybe pre workout cardio was a bad idea, it sucked the rest of my energy out of me, I was drippuing sweat by the end of my warmup!  1 leg squats were hard, as I already knew, we tried without a strap assist, but that wasn’t happening, so the straps made for a good brace.  Strap assisted pushups had me at a shallower angle than 45 degrees, maybe 30 degrees?  My feet were against the wall, so I was pretty deep into it.

By this point my focus was conspiciously absent, and my lunges looked like crap.  I was just going through the motions, and was pouring sweat, I felt like the way those fat people look during a workout they don’t want to be at (which is pretty much what it was) – no joy, no edge, sloppy form.  But I was full-on into the tailspin at that point, so I couldn’t get out of it, and there was still about 40 min of workout to go… the pullups I know I could have done more reps.

The short bridges we tried to do with one leg, but it was way too itense for my hamstrings, they felt like they would seize up if I tried to do it, so we stuck to both legs off the ball.

Rough!  I came home, and it gets better!  I forgot my keys at work, so the super had to let me in… for a cost of $20… This pretty much was the nail in my coffin, so after listening to some music and watching some silly videos to lighten the mood, I went to bed about 9:30, haha.

It can only get better!  See you later!