Tag Archive: strength training


forearm tendinitis

Woke up, ready to tear it up.  Headed to the gym in the morning before work.  Time to try out a new back routine!

Got to the gym a little after opening, decided not to do spin, I would do weights first, then get those damn HIITs out of the way.

bent over bb rows:  (60 sec rest b/w sets)  185×5, 195×5, 205×5, 215×5, 225×5

rack pulls:  225×5, 235×5, 245×5, 255×5, 265×5

assisted pullups:  rotated twice through a widegrip set, underhand grip set and hammergrip set, 6 sets total, 30 sec rest b/w sets; W12, U12, H12, W6, U6, H10

closegrip row (100s):  120 x 30 reps, rest 70 sec, 35 reps, rest 35 sec, 35 reps

closegrip pulldowns (100s):  90 x 35 reps, rest 65 sec, 28 reps, rest 37 sec, 20 reps, rest 17 sec, 11 reps, rest 6 sec, 6 reps

cardio:  elliptical HIIT style, 1 min slow, 30 sec fast, for 20 min

back notes:  the idea behind this workout was to start off with compound movements, heavier weights, longer rest, lower reps, then do a bunch of pullups from different angles and build up the reps with low rest, then do a couple of pump sets.

The bent over rows and rack pulls are pretty light weight but tbh I don’t really KNOW my weight for those exercises, I don’t do them much, and when I do them I go high rep and low rest.  So this is me trying to build up some strength instead of endurance.  As I stick with the plan, I will find the sweet spot for weight, until then I am upping the weight slowly but surely, not a race.

But I start with strength.  Then pullups (assisted ones, I am too much of a fat bastard to do a regular pullup), for 6 sets, low rest, just tire me out with lots of sets and reps, lots of angles.

The pump sets, I wonder if the rep and rest scheme makes sense.  The goal is 100 reps.  Cut your weight about in half, do as many reps as you can do and when you stop, the number of reps left out of 100 is how many seconds rest you get.  So if you start off with 35 reps of row, you have… 100 – 35 = 65… 65 reps left equals 65 seconds rest!  The net effect of it all is, as you get closer to 100, your rests get crazy short!  The rows were maybe too easy, my rep numbers are waaaayyyy too even and consistent.  The pulldowns are more like it, I was struggling by that point!

For the cardio, I did what Les asked for, and varied my speed and effort.  Got on the elliptical, went relaxed pace for 60 sec, then upped the resistance by 15% and went as fast as I could for 30 sec.  Repeat that pattern for 20 min, and you are done!

I walked away from back day feeling torched!  I went off to work for a full day of work, bleh.

At lunch, I needed to get away from work, I was getting stressed.  So I decided… time for arm day!

Lunchtime Arm workout (supersets, 60 sec rest b/w supersets)

bench dips & cable curls (120 lbs):  12/12, 12/12, 12/12

smith machine closegrip press (70+bar) & db preacher curls (35 lb DBs):  12/12, 12/12, 12/12

overhead rope tricep extension (60 lbs) & incline hammer curls (30 lb DBs):  15/12, 15/12, 15/12

rope pressdown (150 lbs) and reverse barbell curls (60 lbs):  12/10, 11/10, 10/10

reversegrip tricep extension DROPSET 150×12, 120×12, 90×12, 75×12

notes:  I could feel my forearm tendinitis flare up right away on the bicep exercises, could even see the spreading redness patch on my forearm!  Damn!  I was REALLY looking forward to arms day too.  How frustrating!  I don’t WANT to rest you arms, I want to make you grow!  Instead I gotta give them more rest.  Just listen to your body, even when it’s shitty news.

I made it through 90% of the workout, I had a dropset of cable curls at the end, but I said F it and stopped after the tricep dropset.

With the smith machine press, a trick I saw on the web, you can use a suicide grip on the smith machine with no real risk, and keep the focus much more on your triceps!  Works well!  With the preacher curls, the tendinitis was so bad I used a reduced ROM on the left arm, just the bottom half of the curl, didn’t bring it all the way up, just couldn’t, so reduced ROM to get through the reps.

For the hammer curls, those didn’t hit my tendinitis as much, so I channelled my overall forearm frustration into a decent set of incline hammers!  Decent for me, 30 lb DBs are hard for inclines for me 🙂

Reverse curls was when the pain kicked in again, and I started to stumble on finishing the sets.  Reversegrip tricep DROP went quite well, but called it a day.

Those were my 2 workouts today!  How about you?  Any good workouts?

Day 8 – cold therapy?

Woke up today and felt ok.  Shoulder was not complaining, the soreness seemed to be fading.  I seemed to be acclimating to the improved diet.  I just felt generally even-tempered and rested.  It must be the cool evenings, they are so relaxing.

I have always liked Autumn, the slight chill in the air, the green fading away. Growing up, I didn’t even get the great fall colours you get here in Ontario, Edmonton’s choices for forests were more pine-y.  I just liked the cold air 🙂

The city does not seem to echo my contentment.  It has been raining off and on all day.  It started getting heavy before 8 am, and persisted until the afternoon.  Then came back in early evening.  Maybe we needed all that rain, I don’t mind.

I didn’t make it to sleep until past midnight on Friday following the late-night cardio, so I slept easily past the 8 am yoga class, but I made it to the 10 am class with Megan.  Took a pic before class, dodged most of the rain but not all of it!

It blends nicely into my sleeve, but yes the yoga teacher is wearing a cast.  She broke her foot a week ago!  Nevertheless she wanted to jump back into teaching, so she would be sitting at the front of the room giving verbal cues, while a fellow teacher assisted by walking around the room and offering adjustments when possible.

Chelsea!

This is Chelsea, she is also doing the 30 day challenge and reads this blog!  She would be assisting Megan at least for this morning’s classes.  Just a minor note, but I am pleased the quote on the wall is part of the pic as well, just a happy coincidence.

Doesn’t Ottawa have a cool yoga community?  I have only been doing classes for about the span of 14 months, but I find the community to be full of awesome people.  Warm people; industrious, creative, passionate, expressive people.  This might be one of the reasons I am throwing pictures into the blog, you get to see these glowing smiling faces. 🙂

Yes, class!  75 minute hot class.  I step out of the cool September rain into what turned out to be a rather humid hot room.  The practice seemed very back-focused, lots of twists.  It seemed to settle mostly into my lower back, or I might have been projecting into the area that needed the most attention.  Multiple seated prayer twists, straight leg triangles, revolved wide-legged standing forward folds, low side lunges, side stretches.

revolved forward fold

One fun moment came when we were in wide legged forward fold, put our hands on opposite legs, and tried to loop our head under one of the arms… I don’t know if anyone succeeded at that, but I tip my hat to them.  There were options in class for side crow, which I wisely declined.  When we experimented with seated pigeon, which is a step along the path to putting your foot behind your head, I found the whole experience tough on my tailbone, I think I might have bruised it slightly, so I laid on my back and did a little dead pigeon instead.

side crow with optional creepy face variation

dead upsidedown pigeon

Overall, it was a great class!  The best part was that I really was “in the zone” today.  I wasn’t the strongest or the most balanced or the most flexible, but my mind felt this laser-sharp detachment.  The whole practice was like a moving meditation.  My breathing felt easy (I didn’t notice it falling apart), and even as I struggled through this or that pose, my focus was there – WITHIN the 4 corners of my little mat.  As the sweat dripped off my body, I saw and heard and felt it hit the mat.  All the while outside rain drops pitter-pattered off the ground, I could hear the rain during savasana.  My sweat poured out of me in the hot room, flowing down from heaven to earth, and outside the rain flowed down heaven to earth.  This harmony with my environment, this synchronicity with the cycles of the seasons, reminded me that I was in the right place, I am exactly where I need to be right now.  Or maybe I was just feeling introspective. 🙂

I think this is what Megan was referring to by the balance between effort and ease – sthira and sukta.  Active yet soft, strong and yielding, observing without reacting, stillness in movement, we explore these dualities in order to ultimately discard them, in the goal of one day living a balanced life.

I guess what I am trying to say is this was a very balanced class for me personally.  Big Plus – the 75 min flew by before I knew it!  After class ended, I sat up, took a long pull off the water bottle, looked behind me, and the couple against the wall both sat up and gave each other a light kiss.  It was a sweet moment.

I walked through the rain some more.  Made it home.  Chilled out.  I actually enjoy the rain, it is comforting.  It seems like a paradox that I can both love the cold Fall air and the cool rain, as well as the hot room and building fire in my body, but that’s just how it is.  The cool air and the hot yoga provided a nice contrast to each other.

Then I read this article on the powers of cold therapy in strength training:

http://scoobysworkshop.com/2012/09/08/cold-therapy-for-strength/

First of all, I love Scooby, his fitness website is AWESOME.  Please go there and explore it fully.  This post of his though was to reference a Stanford study, and suggest that perhaps cooler temps help to prolong chemical activity from certain temperature sensitive enzymes?  Stronger for longer when we stay cool, basically.  This has not been proven conclusively, but it is an interesting theory to explore.  How does this reconcile with my love of hot yoga?  It does not at all!  Darn those dualities!  🙂

See you tomorrow!