Tag Archive: zottman

Press, Pump and Pull

I went to the gym after work, with a few possibilities on my mind. I wanted to do arms, mainly. My chest also felt a little underworked this week. And I said I was going to be casually doing more pullups. So let’s see what I can do in an hour?

dumbbell flat press: (2 min rest b/w sets) 120×16, 140×12, 160×8, 180×4, 160×3, 140×8, 120×11
(from now on, 60 sec or less between sets and exercises)
closegrip dumbbell press: 110 (w/ 5 sec negative) x 10, 60×25
straight bar pushdown: 70 (w/5 sec neg) x10, 40×25
one arm dumbbell extension: 30 (w/5 sec neg) x 4/8, 20 x 9/11
curl machine: 80 (w/5 sec neg) x 10, 50×25
one arm cable curl: 50 (w/5 sec neg) x 10/10, 30 x 15/20
zottman curls: 30 (w/ 5 sec neg) x 5/5, 20 x 10/10
assisted pullups: wide grip x 5, closegrip x 6, hammer grip x 5

cooldown cardio: elliptical, 80% resistance, incline 9, 30 min

notes: I had a lot of stuff I wanted to do, but I didn’t want it to take more than hour, as the work starts to get counter productive around the 60-90 min mark (plus I get cold, hungry and sloppy). The weight portion clocked in at 55 min, score!!
I took more time between chest sets so I could try and build some strength. I had been really hoping to press the 100 lb dumbbells, but I wasn’t confident with the 90s, so I went back down the ladder. My shoulder felt a little sore my second time pressing the 80s, so I stopped and rested right away, as you can see I only did 3 reps of those. I think I am getting a little stronger, gradually.
The arm sets were designed to achieve a “pump” to try and encourage blood to fill the muscles, get a little size. So a slow negative set (super slow!) followed by a high rep set right away. By the 3rd exercise for each body part, your muscles will be used up and burning!
I couldn’t get the pushdown cable spot I wanted, I like the one where you can adjust the pulley a little lower. I had to use the one where the pulley stays up high. I find that one a little awkward, so my weight suffered as a result. Whatever, I still got a pump near the end.
With the one arm exercises, I didn’t take a specific “rest”, I just went back and forth arm to arm, slow set to slow set to pump set to pump set. Those wore me out like crazy, you see my reps go down on those just because the muscles were toast. I took slightly longer than 60 sec after those specific exercises to recover, so I think it all balanced out in the end. I also notice my right arm seems a little stronger than my left! hmmm, good thing I did those one arm exercises so I can notice the imbalance.
One arm db extensions and zottman curls at the end of the routine are rough! I didn’t get even close to the reps I wanted to achieve, I didn’t do as well as I had hoped, but it felt really good. In my defence, my triceps were tired from the presses, and my biceps were trying to save some juice for the pullups 🙂

And that was that! How was your day? Any good workouts?

Day 10 – Power Pump

I’m not sure if that title sounds cool or cliche, haha!  Wednesday, the evening plan was for me to get an arm workout in, and then head out for 90 min of Forrest-inspired hot yoga.

Went to the gym after work, it was packed!  Dumbbells strewn haphazardly about, lazy people fluttering around like butterflies, patting each other on the back.  The positive vibes were nice, noone was laughing at anyone else, but goddang it people, clean up after yourself!  I’m not your mom.

This arm workout was a “pump” workout – a set of slow negatives (5 second neg) to wear out the muscle, then a high rep set to “pump” blood into the muscle.  Works quite well, by the third exercise I am groaning in pain.  You don’t need high weight, just good form and lots of time under tension, not a lot of rest.  60 seconds max between sets and between exercises.  And when I was alternating arms I didn’t take any breaks, just back and forth.


closegrip dumbbell press:  50s for a slow set of 10, then 25s for a set of 25

tricep extension with straight bar:  100 lbs slow set of 10, 70 lbs set of 25

(I like using the rope, but someone had the rope)

one hand seated dumbbell extension:  30s for a slow set of 6&8, 15s for a set of 25&25

preacher curls:  65 for slow set of 10, 50 for a set of 25

one hand cable curl:  40 for a slow set of 10&10, 20 for set of 25&25

zottman curls:  20s for slow set of 10, 10s for set of 25

notes:  15 lb dumbbells and 10 lb dumbbells seem like some pretty rinky dink shit, but when you put them at the end of their respective muscle group, those one hand extensions and those zottman curls brought the pain!  The zottmans especially, that bicep lift feels easy, but you twist your arm and reverse them back down… very quickly your forearms start to burn!  It’s a great isolation.  I hear Bruce Lee used to love zottmans.  Bruce Lee had good taste 🙂

That was quick and nasty, it only took half an hour, so I headed down to the yoga studio for a 90 minute Forrest class with Gigi!

all smiles before class…

I spoke a little bit about the Forrest curriculum last week:  the breathing exercises, the ab work early on, loose necks and traps, long held poses, and so on.  As the class started, we spent some time stretching out our hips.  Gigi mentioned to the class, “you may be wondering why we are doing this in a “power” class.  The power is coming.”

The abs at the start were hard, haha.  My abs are way not up to snuff, so I just did what I could.  All that keep your legs straight up in the air, and lift your shoulders off the ground and then twist left and right stuff just fades me out pretty fast.  So I do what I can.

Then we did some sun salutation type flows, usually leading into knee down on the ground lunge with a backbend.   Ok, so far so good, I can keep up with those, some people got tripped up by the pattern, but you get used to it.

We did dolphins, we did turbo dogs, we did twists.  My shoulders were so-so, I shyed away from the turbo dogs, but I did a few extra dolphins while other people were sucking wind on the floor.  So I didn’t wimp out, I just spread out the shoulder work.  By the last twist though, my left shoulder started telling me to stop it and relax, so I came out of the twist, went into seiza and did some shoulder rolls for a while.  It was just me respecting my boundaries.

Then it was time for standing series.  We bent our front leg as we went into Warrior 2… and that leg stayed pretty much the focus for like 10-15 minutes, hahaha.  Even when the leg wasn’t bent and it was straight, the pressure was still on it, so it shifted from the quads to the hams, but never really let up.  There were warrior 2s, reverse warriors, bent leg triangles, pyramid poses, straight leg triangles, half moons, standing splits, all on the same leg.  Usually around the 70% mark for each leg, Gigi would let us go into childs pose for about 30 seconds, before we hopped back up into another triangle and then half moon, for example.

Trust me, by the end, my legs were thrashed.  I did my leg workout on Monday, and there was still some DOMS I was dealing with, so by the end of this standing series, my hamstrings were hammered toast and my quads were tight cords of burning flesh.  I was a sweaty, broken man.  When we got to lie down, I felt like a prisoner being granted a few drops of water, I just lapped it up.  I had no energy left to be stubborn.

Then a funny thing happened.  As I walked out of the studio into the cool night air, yeah my legs felt tired and destroyed, but the DOMS had lightened up!  I think all that leg work flushed a lot of fresh blood into the area, and helped my recovery.  Lots of times when I had sore legs, I would stay sedentary at the office, sit in my cubicle and type.  That way dodged the soreness, but it doesn’t help the healing process.  When you have leg DOMS, go for a walk, go for a bike ride, do a spin class, do some hot yoga 🙂  Put those wheels into motion and they will clean themselves out.


Day 10 down!  Pump arm workout and a power yoga class!  Power Pump!  On to the next one!

Leg Day, Arm Day

Sorry for the delay, lost my notes 🙂

Wednesday I headed to the private studio with Leslie to do some lower body stuff.  Workouts will be getting more regular in the future, 2 days a week, lower body day and upper body day, AKA awesome day and pain in the ass day!  Plus whatever workouts I do on my own time 🙂

Plus it was Halloween!  While everyone else was stuffing their face with candy, I was blessed with a bag full of heavy iron treats.  I like the thought of lifting while you pig out.  Let’s go!

Leslie showed up for work in full costume.

Silk Spectre! We meet again…

Workout: (60 sec rest b/w sets)

45 min of cardio on the elliptical

Barbell squats:  warmup, 115 x12, 135 x12, x12, x12

droppin into the pocket

walking lunges:  set of 20, grabbed 15 lb dumbbells and did sets of 20, 20, 16

vertical leg press:  315 x15, x15, x15

why, hello there

stiff-legged deadlift: 135 x6, x6 … *ominous music*

lying leg curls:  75 x12, 100 x12, x12

superset reverse crunches with bicycle crunches 15/24, 15/24, 15/24

notes:  cardio BEFORE weights?  and BEFORE leg day?  I was cruisin for a bruisin!  I had not done barbell squats in YEARS… so this was interesting for me.  I am looking forward to getting back up there in terms of weight, but this was a nice start.  The novelty of it plus the cardio left me so gassed that lunges were BRUTAL.  I was whining up a storm!  Every lunge burned in the forward leg, and the stretch burned in my back leg.  And then between sets, there was a girl half my size doing lunges like a walk in the park, with 40s… I slapped myself in the face.  They burned though pretty good.

Then the vertical leg press, 3 more sets, I was busting out all sorts of grunts by the end.  Then we moved to hamstrings.  I also had not done SLDL in years, maybe ever for all I can remember.  When we did it, it should have been ok, but it felt really awkward, and my lower back felt uncomfortable and nervous.  So I quit.  Just up and reracked the weight.  Both times.  Just went nope and reracked it.  It might be a mental block, so Leslie had me practice my form with no weight.  I fully intend to work on that, it beat me this time, I will beat it next time.  So we did lying leg curls, which were great, but again, heavy groans and fatigue near the end.  I actually thought Leslie started PUSHING the weight back down on me to torture me on the last set, turns out she only let go on the last few reps and I was feeling the whole weight, haha!

Now, for those ab exercises, I am ESTIMATING the reps.  Because by that point, I was struggling with both reps and form.  My form looked like shit, my core was done, and I was a crunching disaster.  I just had nothing left.

When I walked into the changeroom, I sort of felt like puking.  But that is what leg day does to you.  Honest.


Thursday I was offsite taking a course for work, and they had their own gym.  So I went down with a coworker to get a superquick lunch one in.  Time was so pressed (55 min to be back in my seat for the end of lunch), so I decided to do arms in 30 min, and no shower afterwards, haha.  Quick and dirty arm workout.  And did I mention it was also BRUTAL?  Short and deadly.

60 sec rest b/w sets, 6 exercises, 2 sets each, first set slow negative rep (lower the weight over a  5 second period), then a pump set


closegrip DB press:  warmup with 20s, warmup with 40s, 55s for a slow neg set of 8, 35s for a pump set of 20

rope extension:  90 lbs slow neg set of 10, 60 lbs pump set of 25

one arm seated extension: warm up with 20s, 30s for a slow neg set of 6 (each side), 15s for a pump set of 17/18


preacher curls:  55 lbs slow neg set of 10, 45 lbs pump set of 25

one arm cable curls:  30 lbs slow neg set of 10/10, 15 lbs pump set of 25/25

zottman curls:  20 lb DBs slow neg set of 6,  10 lb DBs pump set of 15

notes:  the first few sets were ok, but the 3rd exercise on each muscle group was brutally tough.  The weights weren’t high, but I was fatigued as hell.  Those slow neg zottmans were murder on my forearms.  I also crushed my thumb trying to do closegrip dumbbell presses 😦

Then my friend said it was 15 min until class started, so I wussed out on the zottman pump set and took off back to class, haha.  Short workout but deadly!!  Try it!


See you soon!

get fit with les!