Unfortunately, due to the fact that the MCAT is this Saturday, this week's training cycle suffered only slightly in order for me to get sufficient time to study and taper off from studying this week. I was starting to get overly stressed by mid-week, so I took Wednesday completely off from training and class in order to relax. Honestly, I was really feeling rundown this week. My diet took a pretty big blow because stressing about what to eat was the last thing I needed. However, the diet was still pretty good, nothing a good week or two of eating right couldn't fix.
Monday, 4/15/02 - Shoulders and Abs
Another Monday, but this time I started off the week with a sore-as-hell back. I think that I can attribute that to the 50-lb. jump from the week before. At any rate, let's get down to business!
Abs were first on the list today. After the warm-up, we started off with some sit-ups on the decline bench. We did two sets of 20 reps with body weight only. So far, my abs were pretty tight, nothing too bad. We did two more sets of 20 reps using a 25-lb. plate for resistance. Next, we found a flat bench for some bench crunches. Here, we didn't rest long in between sets, and did two sets of 30 reps. Truthfully, I'm hoping that we are going to start doing more for abs in the near future because I'm really not getting much of a workout only doing these two exercises.
Following abs, we started with side lateral raises. Unlike last training cycle, we did not use this exercise only as a prelude to shoulder press. The first set was with the 12 lb. dumbbells for a quick set of 15 reps. Next, we moved up to 15 lb. dumbbells for another set of 15 reps (here we go with the 15 rep sets again). I did two more sets of 15 reps with 20 lb. dumbbells and then with 25 lb. dumbbells. My delts were really starting to burn at this point, a little premature if you ask me. For the next set, I jumped up again to 30 lb. dumbbells for a set of 12 reps. For my work set, I went with 35's for a final set of 8 reps. Finally, something other than 15 rep sets.
For a little bit of a change, we went with behind the neck press, a welcomed change if you ask me. We began with 135 lbs. for a set of 12 easy reps. My delts already had a mad pump, so even the warm-up sets were a little challenging. Next, I jumped up to 155 lbs. for a set of 10 reps. Finally, for my work set, I went with 185 lbs. for a set of 7 reps. From here, we went over to the squat rack to do some leaning one-arm side lateral raises. My warm-up weight was a 35 lb. dumbbell, which I did for a set of 15 reps. Next, for my last set, I did 12 reps with a 40 lb. dumbbell. Wow, my shoulders were really taking a beating, but I had a little left in me, so we went on to do rear delt work. We went over to the T-bar, and did rear delt lateral raises. Remember, we don't rest long at all between sets for this exercise. I started out with a 30 lb. dumbbell and increases in 5 lb. increments every set. My first set was for 15 reps. Next, I went up to 35 lb. dumbbells and got 15 more reps. Finally, for the last set of workout, I did 15 reps with 40 lb. dumbbells. Well, that wraps up this workout, time for a quick posedown and a big post-workout meal at the dining hall.
Tuesday, 4/16/02 - Hamstrings and Calves
As you all know, hamstrings were one of my favorites. I really need a good workout at this point with all the other stuff going on. By the way, as usual, my delts are not sore even though I had an awesome workout yesterday.
Today was a little different, instead of starting with leg curls, we started with deadlifts. Hopefully, by doing this, I will have either more strength, or more endurance, or both! I did the first two sets with 135 lbs. for 15 and then 10 reps. Next, I increased to 225 lbs. for another set of 10 reps. Finally for the last set, I went up to 315 lbs. for an exhausting set of 15 reps. It looked like the plan worked because I had a lot more endurance with that weight than usual. So far, my hamstrings and lower back both felt like they were about to explode.
My next exercise was lying leg curls with feet together. I started out with 80 lbs. for a little warm-up of 15 reps. Next, I increased to 120 lbs. For another set of 15 reps. My third set was done using 140 lbs. for a set of 12 reps. At this point, I couldn't even feel my hamstrings. It was all I could do to move the weight after about 8 reps. For my final set, I increased to 160 lbs. for a grueling set of 8 reps. Since we did not have access to the uni-leg curl, we ended with that exercise. While I really would have liked to get on the uni-leg curl, I still had an awesome workout.
After a quick rest, it was back into the weight room for a calf workout. I started out with the usual, 2 sets of 20 reps doing standing calf raises with no weight. From there I went over to the leg press and started out with 225 lbs. for a set of 20 reps. Keep in mind that I kept my toes pointing forward on all sets. Next, I went up to 315 lbs. for another set of 20 reps. Following that, I made a big jump up to 495 lbs. for another set of 20 reps. The last ten reps of that set were really tough. Finally, for my last set, I stayed at 495 and did a set of 16 reps. As usual, I couldn't walk very well and my calves felt like they were baking. The last exercise of the day was seated calf raises. Here, I loaded on a pair of 45's for a total of 90 lbs. for a set of 20 reps. For my next set, I did the exact same thing, 90 lbs. for 20 reps. Next, I doubled the weight to 180 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. Damn, it was all I could do to keep from falling on the ground when I stood up. The last set was just like the third, 180 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. After this workout, I hobbled to the door, crawled to my book bag, and got the hell out of the gym.
Wednesday, 4/17/02 - OFF DAY
Like I said, I took today completely off from everything. Even if I wanted to go to class, I don't think that my legs would have allowed me because the entire back of my legs were destroyed.
Thursday, 4/18/02 - Arms
Well, my legs are still killing me, I don't think that the pain has let up one bit yet. However, I am feeling a little better after yesterday's quasi-vacation.
Following the usual warm-up, we began with the vertical one-arm preacher curl. I started out with a 30 lb. dumbbell for two sets of 15 reps. That second set was a little bit more challenging than I had anticipated, hopefully this was not indicative of the remainder of the workout. Next, I went up to 40 lbs. for a set of 12 reps. That set wasn't too bad, but my next set with a 45 lb. dumbbell for 8 reps was definitely a bit challenging. The next exercise was a bit of a curveball, the same movement as the last exercise except this time, we used a curl bar instead. This exercise was really difficult following the previous exercise. We did two sets of 10 reps using 70 lbs. each set. Oh yea, my biceps were en fuego at this point.
The next exercise on the list was incline dumbbell curls. This exercise is excellent late in the workout because of the stretch that you experience while doing it. The first set was with 35 lb. dumbbells for a set of 10 reps. The last set was done using 40 lb. dumbbells for a set of 8 reps. I couldn't even hold onto the dumbbells for the last rep, I had nothing left! The last biceps movement that we did was standing hammer curls. Here, I started off with 30 lb. dumbbells for a set of 15 solid reps. I ended this biceps workout with a final set of 15 reps using 35 lb. dumbbells. What a pump, my biceps really felt like they were going burst out my skin!
Now, time for triceps. As always, we began with two sets of dips, using only bodyweight, for two sets of 15 reps. Next, we made our way over to the cables for some supinated pushdowns using the curl bar. The first set here was done using 120 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. Next, I did 160 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. At this point, I had a nice pump going, so I had to keep increasing the workload. My final set was done using 200 lbs. for a set of 10 reps. Now that's what I call overloading a muscle!
We incorporated close-grip bench today for a little bit of a change of pace. We started out with 135 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. That weight felt really light, but I could tell that my triceps were starting to tire. For the final set, I increased to 185 lbs. for a set of 10 reps. For the final exercise of this workout, we did one-arm overhead extensions. I did my first set with a 30 lb. dumbbell for 15 full reps. Next, I ended our workout with a set of 12 reps using a 35 lb. dumbbell. This was an excellent workout, definitely better than what I had expected with my stress levels as high as they were. Next, I skipped class and went to the dining hall.
Friday, 4/19/02 - OFF DAY
My arms were beginning to get really tender, but the back of my legs were starting to decrease with soreness, finally. Today was an easy day at school, I left early to see my family before the test, and headed over to my grandparent's house (because it was closer to the testing site for Saturday).
Saturday, 4/20/02 - OFF DAY
Today was the big day, the MCAT. It was a very stressful day because the shitty MCAT people provided ridiculously adverse testing conditions for the test takers. Oh well, at least it's over and now I can start concentrating more on training!