Tag Archive: working out sick

I missed the Thursday workout and needed to catch up, so I did my compound work at Noon, and then some shoulder health work at 4:30 PM.

To accommodate the fact I was working out twice, I dropped the volume to a minimum on the Noon workout, just one top set and one backoff set.

Noon Powerlifting

warm-up: nada

High Bar Squats (Romaleos, SBDs)

80 x 5 (narrow stance, ATG, 3 minimal rest)
130 x 5
180 x 3
205 x 2 (switch to medium stance and parallel)
235 x 1 (belt on, increase rest to 3 min)

259 x 6 @RPE9

245 x 6 @RPE8

Bench Press

bar x 5 (minimal rest, change weight and go again, Spoto)
55 x 5
90 x 5
125 x 3
145 x 2
160 x 1

180 x 6 @RPE<8 (sleeves on, change to paused reps, increased rest to 3 min)

165 x 6 @RPE<8

Deadlift (barefoot)

100 x 5 (minimal rest, conventional grip)
165 x 5
225 x 3
260 x 2 (change to crossgrip)
295 x 1 (belt on, rest went up to 3 min)

325 x 6 @RPE8

315 x 6 @RPE8

It was a good thing I minimized the volume – I was pretty short on time and had to take off. There was no work today but I had to run errands before the late afternoon workout.

As well, one side effect of having such irregular sleep over the holidays meant that my low back had not fully recharged – it got pretty sore during the workout. What I really need are really long marathon sleeps in my bed, not catnaps throughout the day.

Also, squats kinda hurt because I had cut up my heel a bit – I build up excess dead skin and scrub it off and went too deep so my heel was bleeding. Putting pressure on it while I walked was no fun, and it was also distracting during the squats.

PM Shoulder Health Workout

Same workout as last week, just a little more compressed for time.

Superset Scapula Stretch Pulldowns and Rotator Cuff Warmup (no real rest b/w sets, back and forth)

12 plates x 8 / 15 lb DB taken through ROM 15 times per arm
13 plates x 8 / ROTO
14 plates x 8 / ROTO

Stretched Rows (30 sec rest)

12 plates x 8
14 plates x 8
16 plates x 8

Superset Minor Chest Dips and DB Rear Delt Flyes (60s rest)

10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20
10 dips / 10s x 20

Superset DB Hex Press and Band Pullaparts (60s rest; flex each pullapart at peak contraction for 1 second)

45s x 10 / 15 pullaparts
45s x 10 / 15 pullaparts
45s x 10 / 15 pullaparts

notes: Used a heavier resistance band than last time.

Superset DB 6-Way and Band Over&Backs (60 s rest)

10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs
10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs
10s x 10 / 20 O&Bs

Prone Leg Raises (straight legs, 30s rest)

25, 25, 25, 25

Planks (30s rest)

30 sec
30 sec
30 sec
30 sec

Ugh, my throat is sore and I feel shaky. Hope I am not fighting off a bug. 2 workouts in one day might have been ill-advised.

Cut Day 66, Back

Reunited and it feels so good!!!  Back in the gym after 2 days of being sick as a dog.

Decided to take the morning off and save my energy for work.  Work suxed, they sent me to a meeting on the other side of town, where I sat at the back of the room for THREE HOURS listening to drivel, and hacking up a lung.  And wondering why everyone in the room wasn’t pissing their pants, I was like the only one that took a bathroom break!  I must also be the only one who drinks 6L of water a day

Did I mention the commute there and back took another 2+ hours in total?!  And a snowstorm started up in the afternoon?!

It had all the makings of a totally exhausting day, I was SO TEMPTED to come home, lay down and pass out.  But I thought… “what do I really want for myself??”  So I ate a bit of food at home, took a dump, and headed to the frikkin gym!

Chest Supported T-Bar Row (elbows mid-height, 45 sec rest)

1 plate x 15
2 plates x 12
3 plates x 10
3 plates x 10
3 plates x 10

Bent Over 1 Arm DB Row (supporting knee under hip, 45-60 sec rest)

100 x 8/8
100 x 8/8
100 x 8/8
100 x 8/8

notes:  this is as high as the DBs go, so time to do some landmine rows or some chit!  I was lookin borderline buff in the mirror doin these, I must say

Underhand Grip Pulldowns (hands inside shoulder height, 45 sec rest)

180 x 12
180 x 12
180 x 12
180 x 12

notes:  these felt real good!  def time to go up

Widegrip Machine Row (elbows stay high, 45 sec rest)

225 x 8
210 x 10
195 x 12
180 x 15

notes:  went up in weight on this, and it felt solid!  strength was holding up for me

Straight Arm Pulldowns (45 sec rest)

80 x 12
90 x 12
100 x 12
110 x 9
110 x 8

notes:  wanted to keep going until I hit my sweet spot, then did 1 more set

Superset Side Hyperextensions and Hyperextensions (30 sec rest)

15/15, 15
15/15, 15
15/15, 15

notes:  for the first set of hyperextensions I did the “serpentine” trick from QBM to make sure I engaged my low back.  It worked, I was feeling a pump by the end!!!

I was going to do cardio, but by now it was 8 pm, and I wanted to wind down for the night and my back was THROBBING.

SO!  First day back in the gym!  Awww yeaaahhhhh

Cut Day 63, Legs

High Carb / Sick Legs AKA dead man squatting

A friend IM’ed me and said she wanted to work out, we had not hung out in a long time, so this seemed like fun!   I was only feeling maybe 75%, and she said she had not worked out in a while, so that worked out nicely, nothing too fancy, no supersets, low volume.  She would get an appropriate (but hard!) workout, and I wouldn’t collapse.

No pics, I wasn’t going to force that on her for the first time, haha.

warmup 5 min elliptical

Hack Squats (60 sec rest, feet narrow, go down until I break parallel with my hip crease)

2 plates x 15
2 plates and 2 quarter plates x 15
4 plates x 15

Leg Press (60 sec rest, feet high and wide)

14 plates x 15
16 plates x 15
18 plates x 15

Leg Extensions (traded sets back and forth)

100 x 10, 10 partial reps
110 x 10, 10 partial reps
120 x 10, 10 partial reps, 1 iso hold against manual resistance for as long as possible

notes:  ok, I threw a little extra in as a finisher.  When she did these, especially the last set, she stumbled her way out of the chair and openly told me to fukkkk off… which is the response I was aiming for, HAHA.  It breaks the tension

Reverse Hack Squats (trade sets back and forth)

4 plates x 15
6 plates x 15
8 plates x 15

notes:  on her last set, she failed around rep 10 and got pinned in the hole, which on a hack squat machine is NBD.  I actually like it when ppl fail into the basement on a hack squat machine for the first time, that way they see there is nothing to be scared of, its just a mild stapling into the ground, you won’t die.

Seated Leg Curls (traded sets back and forth)

100 x 10, 10 partial reps
110 x 10, 10 partial reps
120 x 10, 10 partial reps, 1 iso hold against manual resistance as long as possible


5 min stretching:  hamstrings, quads, hips

10 min stepmill

She was pretty game, considering she hadn’t worked out in a while!  Will have to check how she’s walking tomorrow. 

Actually, I probably was being too cavalier… a few hours after the workout ended, I started to feel like CHIT.  Maybe I was still struggling with this bug after all.  sigh… spent the last hour or two hiding under blankets.  Being sick sucks… when all I want to do is get awesome!

Cut Day 61, Chest, Back

Woke up and was in the gym at opening at 6 AM for a Spin class, fasted.  Poured my guts out in the class, went to work, started chowing on the carbs.

AM Cardio 60 min Fasted Spin Class

From the morning onwards, I could FEEL like I was fighting off a bug.  Like I realized the candle had been burning at both ends.  Sometimes the virus sneaks up on you.  So I kept the carbs flowing today (lucky coincidence), and will remove the protein only day until I shake this feeling (of being spread too THIN).  So I will alternate between high fat days and high carb days for a little while.  And keep working out as long as I can.

I didn’t know how my system was going to hold out for QBM Legs, so I switched it out for a Chest and Back workout.  Well, mostly Back, but I wanted to test out my new Slingshot!  Did a bit of chest for fun.

Warm Up 5 min elliptical

Bench Press w/ Slingshot (30 sec rest)

135 x 20
185 x 9
185 x 9

notes:  tried out different grips, goofed around

Push Ups w/ Slingshot

didn’t really keep count, just banged them out until my trainer started screaming at my sagging core
3 sets of those

The Slingshot was different, I am used to going widegrip, and this really makes me pull my hands in.  If I go widegrip, I can’t bring the bar down to my chest, sling won’t stretch that far.  If I go narrow grip, it just isn’t what I am used to, so much more triceps.  Will def play around with it more though.  LOVE it for pushups, I always screw up my shoulder on those.

Bent Over BB Rows (30 sec rest)

155 x 15
155 x 12
155 x 10

notes: I really WANTED to go heavier!  But my trainer wouldn’t let me until she was happy I had aced the form on EVERY rep (including not using my arms), which I couldn’t do, although she was happy with the third set (I went thumbless, which helped).  So she kept me at 155, BOO.  Oh well, major form day, good contractions.

Bent Over 1 Arm DB Rows (supporting knee forward, 30-45 sec rest)

50 x 8/8
70 x 8/8
100 x 15/15


notes: I wanted to push the weight on these, so she let me whip out the 100s for the end, and I did an all out set.  But she made me stop when I was “turning” to rotate my core around on the pull.  Damn!  Wanted 20 a side.

Underhand Pulldowns (30 sec rest)

110 x 12
130 x 12
140 x 12
150 x 12


notes: These weights are deceptive, this machine is stiff as FUKKKKK.  But my trainer was happy with my form at least (going thumbless helped).

Standing Wide High Rows (30 sec rest)

60 x 15
100 x 15
120 x 15
160 x 15
200 x 12


notes: Bonus for getting in extra core work doing it standing, lol.

Straight Arm Pulldowns  (30 sec rest)

80 x 15
100 x 15
100 x 15
100 x 15

These felt really good for once.


Circuit:  Plank 60 sec, Bicycle Crunches 15/15, Supermans for a long ASS time.  Did that twice, then we were out of time on our session.

Gonna dress warm, crank the heat up, get some good food in, sleep in, and TRY to be ready to attack the gym again tomorrow.

Working Out When Sick

I have been ill this past week.  Not a cold or a flu, not a runny nose or a wave of nausea, but headaches all day long.  A sore neck all day long.  Just worn out by headaches and neck aches.  So I took a few days off.  I slept in.  I went to bed early.  I took a nap when I got home from work.  I needed the rest and I took it.  I did that for 2 days, Tuesday and Wednesday no gym.  Well, Tuesday I did spin, but that was just cardio!  Wednesday I did nothing.

And I admit, doing nothing gets hard for me.  I got bored.  And when I got bored… I ate.  I didn’t pig out, but I ate food not on my diet plan.  Shawarma and chocolate milk, hooray!  If you don’t know what a shawarma is, just think a big donair.  After indulging my appetite, possibly out of restlessness, I decided I needed some gym time in, no matter what.

So Thursday, I slept in, I made it through work, then I went to the office gym… after office hours.  It was dark, quiet, no people, and I could just work out without distraction.  If I had gone to the public gym after work, it would be crowded and would make my headache unbearable.  So no distractions for me tonight, just iron.  I picked arms, which I figured would be less total stress on my body.

Sick Day Arms:  (30 sec rest b/w sets)

rope pushdowns:  150 x 12, 9; DROPSET A 150 x 8, 120 x 9, 90 x 13; DROPSET B 150 x 8, 120 x 4, 90 x 15

standing 2hand db extensions:  75 x 11, 10, 7

db skullcrushers:  50 x 20, 15, 15

low cable extensions w/ rope:  75 x 15, 15, 15

spider curls:  35 x 15/15, 15/15, 11/11, 10/10

incline curls:  60 x 12, 7, 8

ez bar curls:  80 x 12, 12, 12

notes:  I was about to finish off with a dropset of cable curls, but a security guard came in and told me the gym was closed, haha.  So I got out of there.  I was almost done anyways.  No post-weights cardio for me!  lol

Rope pushdowns felt good, as always, on the last set of the drop set I do a bunch of partial reps to finish off the pump.

I normally do skullcrushers last, but I just felt like skullcrushers third, so hey.  I might have been considering skipping one of the movements, but the skulls felt so good, I decided to do cable extensions anyhow.  Cable extensions feel crazy!  The pump in my arms was big time, after every set I wanted to stand up and run around, my arms felt so tight.

Spider curls weren’t full ROM, the bench got in the way.  3/4 rom maybe.

Even into the incline curls, my biceps felt pumped!  I think the pumped triceps had a bonus effect on my biceps.  Normally I would superset triceps and biceps, but I took the extra rest while I caught my breath (not feeling 100%,  still decent strength, just a head full of stormclouds)

My left forearm was a little sore after the ez bar curls, but it faded fast.

How about you?  Did you get a workout in today?

Day 14 – self-image

Today was actually better, relatively speaking, I felt overheated in the morning, but pretty minor compared to the rest of this week.  I think I might be through the worst of it.

Feeling confident, I headed back to the gym after work for another 60 min spin.  Spin instructor tonight was Mike.  He was deep in conversation with another student right after, and I didn’t get a picture, oh well.

The class itself went well, relatively easy actually.  I don’t credit myself for that, I think we just had a lot of new people in class, and Mike was taking it easy.  This is fine with me.  I know there were new people because when Mike asked at the start if anyone had any questions, these two girls put up their hands and asked “how do you… make it go slower?”  I thought that was cute 🙂

So, a lot of speedwork, a lot of racing, not a lot of climbs.  It was fine with me, I just flushed my system out and relaxed.

A workout with no fever built up my confidence some more, so when I went home I went to the convenience store, to say hi, buy some lemon juice, etc.  As I walked in, all happy, the woman behind the counter looks at me and says, “Jeremy you look so happy.  You must be putting on weight.”

This stopped me in my tracks, like someone knocked the needle off the record.  Do people even know record players any more?  haha.  I gave her back a thin smile and said, “is that a compliment in your country?  it isn’t a compliment here.”

She said, “no, no, it isn’t – I just mean you look so happy and carefree, you must be putting on weight”

Are you trying to get me to buy lots of junk food from your store?  I gotta tell you… it’s working!”

So now that I am back home, I am looking in the mirror and am like, maybe I DID put on some weight this week from being sick??  I don’t know, I can’t honestly tell… what kind of a backhanded compliment mindf*@# was that?  LOL  Just a random trolling from the 7/11 family, I don’t know what to say… Mac store caught me slippin!  Gotta go back to the gym!!  I have barely been to the gym for weeks, can’t really dismiss what she said so lightly.

How we see ourselves is a big part of your first year or two in the gym, and really sets the tone.  The experts often ask you to visualize what you WANT to look like, and you can pick a role model, Arnold or an olympic athlete or a supermodel or whatever.  That’s all well and good.  But once you start seeing early results from the gym, once you START to sculpt the David out of the block of marble, you get your first glimpse into what the fit version of you might ACTUALLY look like.  Once you see those results, you have a better palette to paint your self-image out with.  Once you start to see toned arms or lose the love handles, it gets inspiring.

There has been a lot of attention brought to bear on how women have a lot of image pressure placed on them by the media.  I can easily see how warped the system is, we all can.  But men are hit by it too.  Most of the toys little boys play with, the cartoons they watch, the comics they read, the male heroes tend to be pretty built, all muscle, maybe some abs.  But boys are also taught to reject criticism from their peers, “can’t let someone mess with you”, or whatever.  So a lot of guys flex their negative self-image issues in private.  If men didn’t have self-image issues, there wouldn’t be genital enhancement spam in your inbox, steroids in the gyms and hair transplants.

It’s the reason why the average guy lifting weights spends a disproportionate amount of time on biceps and chest.  All they care about is the aesthetics, not the function.

I was reminded of all this this week because a man just made the guiness book of world records for largest biceps.  This is the man, Moustafa Ismail.

They are calling him a “real-life popeye”, which is ridiculous!  Popeye had big forearms!!  Not biceps!  I do not mention that point as a trivial one.  If this guy was working out his biceps all the time, doing everything humanly possible to cause hypertrophy, his forearms would also be BIGGER.  But his forearms are much smaller.  Forearms are what establishes your grip.  Popeye was a sailor, he was hauling around heavy ropes all day, he had forearms from pulling with his grip and his arms all day, that’s the origin of that cartoon.  If this guy’s muscles were legitimately that big (which they are not), any weight heavy enough for him to curl to overload his biceps would be TOTALLY too heavy for his normal looking forearms to grip!  So from a functional standpoint, obviously fake.  No giant biceps and triceps without monster forearms.

so what are his arms really?  He injects some foreign substance into his arms, something so artificial, his body can’t flush it out and it stays there.  Think of it like injecting Crisco into your arm, you are just pumping it up with oil.  I guess the popular chemical for that these days is called Synthol.  Wikipedia says Synthol is 85% oil, 7.5% lidocaine, and 7.5% alcohol.

I remember years back there was a documentary on a guy called Greg Valentino, the doc was called “The Man Whose Arms Exploded”

Greg being dragged away by the Sheriff’s Dept

Greg also pumped oil into his arms.  Unfortunately, he developed scars, cysts, tumors, SOMETHING, his arms became infected, junk leaked out, it caused scars in his arms, which led to giant DIVOTS in his manscaped biceps.  It was gross.

So why do some guys do this?  Image issues.  The same reasoning that leads women to get comically oversized breast implants.

Notice this woman is holding a Guiness plaque as well.  I guess the record books don’t care HOW they got big, biggest is biggest is biggest.

What makes me laugh about Moustafa this week though, is how smug he is, he is actually GIVING ADVICE on how to build your arms up!  check this vid:

“good genes”?  LOL

3000 grams of protein a day?????   ROFLLLL  By my calculations that’s 12,000 calories a day… ummmm, NO, just stop talking

The ultimate irony is, I remember when watching the Valentino biopic, it would show him working out, groaning like he was being ripped to shreds just trying to curl 75 pounds.  If those are his straight working sets, that is NOTHING for a guy with really big arms.

son, I am disappoint

So the guy with the biggest arms in the world probably also has some really weak arms, crushing your muscles under the constant pressure of all that trash.

I don’t know what to say, men and women alike need to wake up, stop focusing on the aesthetics and start focusing on the functionality.  So you have the biggest arms in the world, but can barely lift anything?  You bench press like crazy, but are scared to take a yoga class?  Trouble lifting your arms straight over your head?  Trouble balancing yourself on one foot?

Some food for thought.

See you tomorrow!

Day 13 – working sick

I put on my hat and went to work today.


Wednesday night I kept feeling hot and cold, but I also was crawling up the walls, it had been 4 or 5 days since I had gone to the gym, and it was boring.  Even worse, I was worried it would STOP being boring, and I would lose my motivation.

So today at work, as I battled hot flashes and the sweats, I thought about going after work.


There are some important things to keep in mind when you are debating internally about working out sick.  First of all, LISTEN TO YOURSELF.  Be well on your way to being in touch with how you feel and why you feel it, for everything in your life, everyday.  Be master of your own house.  As for me, I rested for 4 days, and now I needed to do something.

Secondly, how are you sick?  Is it above your neck or below your neck?  For a few days I felt shaky and weak, thursday (today) I just felt stuffed up, and a few brief fevers.  I felt my body was ok, except for the sweating, so I thought it was worth a test run.  If the symptoms are above your neck, it might be worth the attempt to exercise at a highly reduced intensity.  If the symptoms are below your neck, probably better to rest some more.  Don’t go for a run if you want to puke or have diarrhea or can’t feel your feet.

YES, I am aware a fever is felt below the neck as well.  Most doctors don’t recommend exercising with a fever, and don’t tell them I told you to… because I did not.  I made the executive decision to exercise with a fever.  Go back a few paragraphs and read again, I needed to try something different.

As well, how are you eating?  When sick, I tend to go more carb heavy, like most people do.  The trick is I still try not to overdo the calories.  Calories are still higher than normal, but I don’t gorge myself (unless I screw up, haha).  My point is normally I try for 20-30% carbs in my diet, 50% protein.  When sick it is more like 50-60% carbs, 20% protein.  I am feeding my body more immediate energy so I can carry out my day while still fighting off the bug.  Clean carbs, more fruit and bread than usual, not chocolate bars.

So towards the end of work I had an apple and some of my N0 Extreme, and walked down to the gym.  I felt good, although rather sweaty by the time I got to the gym.  Some days you just need to sweat it out, maybe today was my day.

There was a spin class starting in 15 minutes.  I wasn’t fully prepared, I only had some spare shorts, not the snug kind, just general loose athletic shorts.  That means I would have to be careful not to crush my nuts while hopping up and down on my stationary bike, and hoping the teacher doesn’t get a good view up my shorts.  But I thought it would be easier to hide my pale, sweaty, slightly stinky nature in the middle of an intense spin class than over on the treadmill with the riffraff.


I honestly can’t remember how class went, I spaced out a few times.  I followed the directions, I doubt the intensity was there if you were to look at me, but oddly, my face was rolling with sweat and there was spatter pattern all around my bike like Dexter examining a crime scene.

When the class was over, yoga was about to start, but a quick look in the mirror showed me looking pretty pale, so I chose to shower up, grab a booster juice as a reward/indulgence (odd since I have every single one of those ingredients at home, but decided to pay good $ to have one made for me 15 min earlier than home, lol) and then limped home.

At home now, I feel a little drained, but oddly satisfied.  Hope I wake up feeling ok tomorrow! *cross fingers*