It's officially Spring Break at the University of Georgia. I'm definitely looking forward to the gym being empty since I am staying at school to study for the MCAT. Our schedule was a little off this week because it wasn't a normal week with school being out. Also, I have included one extra day because after the 25th, we decided to take 6 days off from training for recuperation.
There's one thing about this school, too many damn people. I was really excited about training today because I knew the gym would be empty, and sure enough, it was. The setting was perfect for an intense arm workout.
We went through warm-ups, bitched about how sore our quads were, and started with some one-arm preacher curls. We do this exercise a bit different. Instead of using the preacher bench in the normal fashion, we take the seat off and use it backwards. This way you movement is completely vertical and you get maximum resistance. We warmed up with a 30 lb. dumbbell by doing 15 reps, and then 8 more reps at the same weight. For our first set, we jumped up to a 45, and did it 10 times. Already, my biceps felt like they were going to pop. We jumped up again to a 55 pounder and curled it 8 times. This was definitely off to a good start; my biceps were feeling really good.
Now for the catch, we put the seat back in place, and got ready to do some regular preacher curls with the EZ bar. This was really a good idea because my biceps felt worthless afterwards. We slapped some 25's on the bar and warmed-up with a set of 10 reps. That seems kind of low for reps, but trust me, it was plenty. For the second set we added a pair of 10's to make it 90 lbs. and got in a set of 10. Following this, we moved to incline alternating dumbbell curls. These are great to keep a good pump going. I used a pair of 45's for two work sets, one set of 16 and the other for 14 reps; no need for warm-ups at this point, my biceps were just fine.
Next up on the agenda was single arm cable curls with a straight bar. The most important thing here was to keep the form strict, which was very hard to do this deep into the workout. I ended up doing two blistering sets of 15 reps using 30 and then 40 lbs. To top off this bicep workout, we did two sets of standing hammer curls. I kept the same weight and did the same number of reps for both sets (40 lb. dumbbells for 20 reps). My forearms and biceps both felt like they were going to rip out of my skin, good sign!
Following biceps, we moved on to some triceps work. Like always, we started off with two sets of dips for 15 easy reps. From there, we made our way to the cable setup and started in on some straight bar pushdowns with a pronated grip. The first set was a warm-up with 150 lbs. for 15 reps. For some reason my arms shake like hell on the first couple of sets, I guess my muscles just need to be warmed up more, there's no telling, it could be from the slaughtering that I took during biceps training. For the work set, I did the stack (200 lbs.) for 15 more reps. We stayed at the cables and switched to using the EZ bar for supinated pushdowns. We started at 150 lbs. again, and this time I did 14 reps. The long head of my triceps was really burning and it was starting to show. I pushed on, and went up to 170 lbs. for 11 reps.
Working with this awesome pump, we began doing some dumbbell overhead extensions. Recently, I've made some changes with my form, and have really begun to hit my triceps more with this exercise. I started with a 35 and id it 10 times. I felt pretty strong with that weight, so I went up to a 40 lb. dumbbell and did it 10 more times. Surprisingly, I felt like I had a little juice left to do one more exercise, so we decided on nosebreakers. We've been doing these late in the workout because this way, our elbows don't ache as bad. For my first set, I started at 120 lbs. for a set of 10 reps. To end the workout, I went up twenty pounds to 140 and did it 10 more times. And that was that for our arm workout!
It's the second official day of Spring Break. Some think that Phano and I are crazy for staying here at school to train instead of going anywhere on vacation this week. Those same people are always asking us for advice too, and then they wonder why we don't help them out. If you're not willing to make a commitment to your goals then don't even bother making them!
Today has been a good day so far. I was studying in the library this morning for about four hours, so I definitely needed a break before I go back for another four hours. What better way to take a "break" than spending it doing hamstrings? For some reason, hamstrings are a muscle group that I really enjoy training. Okay, now for the synopsis!
We began with some lying leg curls. Since we started with our feet together last time, this time we start out with our feet apart. Also, since we use the first round of lying leg curls as a warm-up, I kept my reps high at 15. I did three sets total, using 60, 90, and 120 lbs. All three of the sets were very easy, thankfully. With a little bit of convincing, I got my friend to open up the other weight room so that Phano and I could have access to the uni-leg curl. Without this exercise, hamstring training definitely suffers.
We loaded a couple of 35 lb. plates on the machine for our first set of 15 reps. Following this set, we doubled the weight to 140 lbs. and I did a set of 12 reps with this. So far, so good, the weight seems to be pretty light thus far. For my first work set, I increased the weight to 190, and curled it 15 times. This was more than I had initially planned on doing, but it turned out to be a good idea. For my final set, I went up to 230 lbs. and did 8 strenuous reps with it. Damn, my hamstrings were really being worked; I could barely feel anything at the end of this set.
Afterwards, we made the journey back to the main weight room for some straight-legged deadlifts. Today was going to be a heavy, mark my words. We started out with 135 for a set 15 quick reps. Next, we jumped up to 225 for an easy set of 8. Next, we loaded another pair of 45 lb. plates to make it 315, and I did that 6 times. So far, I felt strong, definitely stronger than last week. For my work set, we loaded yet another pair of 45's for a total of 405 lbs., this was by far the most weight I had ever done for this exercise. I stopped at five reps in order to keep from sacrificing my form. What a set, my hamstrings were blistered, and my lower back was also feeling the effects.
To end this fiasco, we went back over to the lying leg curl machine to finish off what we had started. This time, we did our sets with our feet together, just the opposite as before. We started out light, at 100 lbs. for a set of 15. I couldn't even feel that set, all I did was pulled for all I was worth and hoped that my hamstrings were being worked. For my next set, I went up to 120 for another set of 15 reps. These high rep sets were really beginning to take a toll on me. For my final set, I jumped up to 160 lbs. and did that 12 times. Wow, what a workout, it is so much easier to workout when there is no one in the weight room. That wraps up this workout; up next is chest on Thursday.
3/20 & 3/21: Off Day
I know, I know, two days off?! Well, Phano had some prearranged plans and I needed to study, so we both thought it best to go ahead and take two days off. Besides, it's Spring Break so kiss my ass. Oh, and by the way, my hamstrings are destroyed, getting out of bed was quite an adventure this morning.
Well, being the nice guy that I am, I decided to go to Atlanta to meet Phano for the workout. He's always wanting to go to Atlanta to train so I figured I'd let him have his fun. I needed to get out of the library anyways; 8 to 10 hours a day will really take a toll on ya. Phano decided that we were going to train at Crunch in Alpharetta since he has a friend that works there. We waited around for about an hour after we ate and then decided to hit it. I guess it's a psychological thing, but I never feel up to par in a different gym.
We started off with some incline bench press. Our starting weight, as usual, was 135 lbs. which I did for two sets of 15, and 10 reps. The bench definitely felt awkward, but that was something that had to be dealt with. For my next two warm up sets, I did 185 for sets of 8 and 6 reps. Still, the bench felt a little off, but the weight felt pretty light. I jumped up again to 245 lbs. which I did 5 times. Phano was feeling up to par so he decided to stay at 185 and get some reps in. I was feeling pretty good, so I went up to 275 and did two more sets of only 3 reps. I kept the reps low to avoid early fatigue. For my actual work set, I put on 295 lbs. and got it 5 times. That was some heavy-ass weight!
From there, we went over to the dumbbell rack to do some incline flyes. Sometimes I hate looking in my journal to see what weight I did last week. Take this time for example; now I have to start with 90's and end at 100's. Oh well, gotta do it I guess. I got the first set with 90's for a set of 10, and then the 100's for a grueling set of 6 reps. My chest was en fuego, and I was fatiguing fast. It was onto flat barbell bench press next this ought to be interesting. I only did two sets, first with 185 lbs. for 10 reps and then 225 for 9 pathetic reps. I remember when I could do that weight for 20 reps with no problems. Of course, that was when I did flat bench first. For our next exercise, we went over to the pec deck for two quick sets. My chest was really beginning to fail me. For my first set, I got 120 lbs. for a set of 12 reps. For my work set, I got 150 lbs. for 8 reps.
Now for the curve ball, decline barbell press. I hadn't done this exercise since doing power lifting. It was a nice change even though I didn't have much left in the tank. I started out with 135 lbs. for a set of 10 reps, and then jumped up to 225 for one set of 10 reps. Believe it or not, we were not done yet, we still had to do cables. So we jumped on the cable machine for two finishing sets. I did 75 lbs. for my first set, and got 15 reps with it. For the final set of the workout, I jumped up to 100 lbs. and knocked out 8 not-so-easy reps.
All right, well my jugs are sore as piss, using heavy weight will really put a beating on you the next couple of days. Today is back, and we're back at school with today being our last day before classes start back. We started off with bent-over rows again for a little change of pace. I started with 135 lbs. for two warm-up sets of 15 and 10 reps. For my next two warm-up sets, I went up to 185 lbs. for an easy set of 10 and then 8 reps. My back was feeling good; I already had a pump, so I had to keep it going, onto 225 lbs. I did this set of a light set of 10 reps. For my work set, I did 275 lbs. for a set of 8 reps. For our second exercise, we went over to the seated row and used the V-bar. We did one warm-up set with 140 lbs. for a set of 10. For my work set, I increased to 180 lbs. for a set of 10 reps.
Our next exercise was again at the seated row. However, this time, we used a straight bar and held it with a supinated grip. This was much more difficult, I could hardly touch my stomach to the bar during the warm-up set. I started out at 140 lbs. again and did 10 more reps there. Next, I went with 160 lbs. for another set of 10 reps. Now for a twist in the workout, dead lifts. If you'll recall, we usually dead lift for our last exercise. I was definitely optimistic about the weight that I was going to do. I did three warm-up sets total of 135, 225, and 315 lbs. At those weights, I did 10, 8, and 6 reps respectively. I didn't want to go up to 405 and then go up again, so I said f&*@ it, slap on 455. This was more weight than I had done thus far in training with Phano, but I felt I could handle it because I had gone much higher than this for reps when I was power lifting. The first rep was definitely the hardest, and I ended up pulling for 7 clean reps.
For our fifth exercise, we went and did some front pull downs. My back was about to explode after dead lifting so I knew that pull downs would feel that much better. For my first set, I did a light 100 lbs. for 10 warm-up reps, and then went up to 140 lbs. for a work set of 10 reps. Oh yea, that's the shit, my back was feeling very worked. For our last exercise, we put on the V-bar for some more pull downs. My first set was with 130 lbs., which felt pretty damn heavy, for a set of 10 reps. I really didn't feel like I had anything left, but I went up anyways to 140 lbs. and got it for 8 reps. Time to go home, thank God, my back was blistered!
3/25: Shoulders & Abs
If you'll recall, the last shoulder workout that I had was a complete disaster. Well keep reading, because I think that you'll find that today was definitely not the case!
We started out with some decline sit-ups. We did a total of three sets of 20 reps. The first set was with regular body weight, the second was with a 25 lb. plate, and the final set was with a 45 lb. plate. For our second and final exercise, we did bench crunches. We did two sets back to back with no rest, and did 30 reps per set.
Now, onto shoulders. We started out with some side dumbbell lateral raises, as always. We only did three warm-up sets before doing seated dumbbell press. The first two sets were with 15 lb. dumbbells for 15 and 10 reps. For the last warm-up set, we did 20 lbs. for 10 reps. Now for the exercise that stuck it to me last time, dumbbell press. The first set was with 60 lbs. and I did that 10 times. For the next set, I jumped up to 75's for a set of 8 easy reps. So far so good, the weight feels light. Next, I went up to 85 lbs. for a set of 6 reps. For my final warm-up set, I did 100's for a quick set of 3 reps. Now for the real test; could I overcome last week's let-down? I walked around for a second and got my mind right, grabbed the 115's and headed over to the bench. I sat down with the dumbbells, looked in the mirror, took a deep breath in and kicked up the dumbbells. I'm not going to lie, getting the dumbbells up was the hardest part, but dammit, they came up this time. The weight was incredibly heavy, but I managed to push out 7 reps. Finally, what a relief!
For our next set, we went back to the dumbbell rack and grabbed a 35 lb. dumbbell for one arm side lateral raises. My first set was 15 reps worth, which meant that I had to go up in weight. For my work-set, I increased to 40 lbs. and got that 10 times. My shoulders felt unbelievable, I had the momentum going my way this time. Next, were rear delts on the T-bar bench. This exercise is really great if you keep your rest periods very low. Phano and I only take as much time between sets as it takes for him or me to do a set. We started with a pair of 30's and did it 15 times. For the next set, we increased to 35 lbs. for another set of 15 reps. Damn, my shoulders were on fire, it felt like precontest with this intensity. For the next two sets, we used 40 lb. dumbbells; here, I got a set of 12 reps and then failed on my last set at 10 reps. The fun was not over yet, we did some shrugs on the Smith machine to finish off shoulders. These are done a little differently. Instead of simply shrugging the shoulders, we actually picked the weight up, bending at the elbows, and shrugged our shoulders at the same time. We did three sets total. The first was a warm-up set with 135 for 20 reps. I knew that I was in for it, because even at this weight, my traps were on fire. For the next two sets, we used 225 lbs. and did it 15 times each set. What a workout, and what a good note to end on before taking a break.
Well, I'm off to take care of studying and staying away from the gym for a week. Later!!! -Dave