All I've got to say is thank God the MCAT is over, I feel like a ton of weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. My sleeping is back to normal already, and I am 100% ready to get down to business in the gym. My diet is back on track so I don't feel lethargic either.
Monday, 4/22/02 - Quads
Just when I thought I had it easy, we had to start the week off with quads. This workout definitely stuck it to me, and I was feeling pretty rough afterwards!
Following the warm-up, we started out with leg extension as a pre-exhausting exercise before squats. It always seems like the warm-ups go by so fast for this workout. Oh well, back to business; I started at 60 lbs. for a set of 20 easy reps. Yes, I already had a pump after one warm-up set, pretty pathetic! Next, I went with 100 lbs. for another light set of 15 reps. Finally, the last warm-up set was 15 more reps using 120 lbs. Now, for the show-stopper, high-intensity squats. We slapped on 135 lbs. and did 20 reps for the first set. We stayed at that weight for a second set of 15 reps before going up. From there, we increased to 225 lbs., where I did two sets of 10 reps. Unfortunately for my legs, the pump that I had gotten off of the first set of leg extensions had grown exponentially. Seriously, I was ready to go home. Next, I went with 275 lbs., as a maintenance set, for 6 reps. For my first work set, I increased to 315 and did 15 full reps, until failure. The curveball was that now I had to go up to 365 and do another set until failure, whereas last week, I did a drop set after doing 315 lbs. I promise you this, the next set was not pretty, however, I stuck with it for 5 full reps, and then bottomed out on the sixth rep. I'm not kidding when I say that I think my a-hole fell out of my shorts and smacked the floor halfway through the last set because I was straining so hard.
After gathering myself from the putrid muck puddle that I had made of myself in the middle of the squat rack, I walked over to the leg extension for round two. I started off with 100 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. The pump in my legs was absolutely ridiculous. Next, I went with 150 lbs. for 15 more reps. One thing to keep in mind when you're doing these is to push the weight up and try to pull your feet back towards your body at the same time in order to really hit the upper part of your leg. For the final set, I increased to 180 lbs. for a set of 15 reps, again. At this point, I was literally beginning to lose my sight because everything was getting blurry. However, I did find the hack squat, eventually. Here, I started with 315 lbs. as my first set and did it for a set of 12 reps. Next, I slapped on another pair of 45's for a total of 405 lbs. and did that 5 times. For the finishing move, we did walking lunges. For me, this was really pathetic, I had no problem lunging forward; it was standing back up that was the problem. However, it was quick and painful, two sets of 60 steps, and we were through.
Tuesday, 4/23/02 - Chest and Abdominals
Surprisingly, my legs weren't too bad yet. However, the soreness has been getting worse by the hour since about 8 o'clock this morning.
Unfortunately, we were still doing the same ab routine with the two exercises, so after the warm-up, we started with, you guessed it, sit-ups. The first two sets were done with no weight for 20 reps, each set. Then, we used a 25 lb. plate and did two more sets of 20 reps. Next, we found a flat bench and did bench crunches. With this exercise, we did three sets of 20 reps with little rest in between sets.
For the chest aspect, we began with incline barbell presses. The beginning weight was 135, which I did for two sets of 15 reps and then 10 reps. The weight felt really light, even though I think that I was still breathing hard from the day before! Next, I went up to 185 lbs. for a set of 10 reps. Still the weight felt moderately light, so I increased to 225 lbs. for a set of 8 reps. For my work set, I loaded 275 lbs. on the bar and did a final set of 6 reps, one better than last week. The weight still felt heavy as hell, but at least I improved from last week. Flat bench dumbbell press was next on the agenda. It was a good thing that today was not Monday because all of the frat boys would have had the flat benches taken hostage in order to continue acting on their brilliant philosophy of starting and ending every week with chest. Back to the workout; I started out with 100 lb. dumbbells for an easy set of 12 reps. Next, for the last set, I went with 110's for a tough set of 8 reps.
For a little change of pace, we did decline barbell press today. I started with 185 lbs. in order to gauge my strength, and I did it for a set of 12 reps. For the next and final set, I went up to 225 lbs. and did it 10 times. The final exercise on today's agenda was incline flys. Since we were doing this exercise rather late in the workout, I started a little lighter; I went with 70's and did them 10 times. I could definitely tell a difference in doing this exercise deeper into the session. To end this episode, I chose a pair of 80's and knocked out a set of 8 reps.
Wednesday, 4/24/02 - Back and Traps
I feel like hell today, my jugs are sore as piss already, and my quads are killing me. I am so thankful that we didn't do dead lifts today because I wouldn't have been worth a damn.
We skipped pull-ups and went straight to bent-over barbell rows. Our initial weight was 135 lbs., which I did for two sets of 15 reps. Next, I went with 185 lbs. for a set of 10 reps. From there, I went up to 225 lbs. for a set of 10 good reps. So far, my back was starting to get a little tightness, but my strength still felt up to par, so I went with 245 for my last set, and did it 12 times. Remember how I said we skipped pull-ups? Well, we came back to them for our next exercise. We only used body weight this time, which I thought was a good idea because my form would have taken a fatal blow had I added additional weight. My first set was for 12 reps, and the last two sets were for 10 reps each. As for the next exercise, we decided to go with seated rows using the individual handles again for that extra contraction. The first set of two was done using 120 lbs. for a set of 10 reps. For the last set, I increased the weight to 150 lbs. for a set of 10 reps.
From there, we ventured over to the cable pull down for curl-grip pull downs. We used about a 10 inch grip for this exercise. The first set was for 12 reps at 120 lbs; pretty difficult if you ask me. The last set was increased to 150 lbs. for a set of 9 taxing reps. After everything was said and done on that exercise, we went on to finish the back workout with T-bar rows. Personally, I think that the T-bar row at our gym is a piece of junk because it's the kind that you have to lay down and row instead of standing up and bending over. Anyways, despite that, we still got in two good sets. The first set was with 70 lbs. for a set of 12 easy reps. Next, I increased the weight to 115 lbs. for a final set of 10 reps.
The final body part of the day was traps. The first exercise was dumbbell shrugs. I started and ended with 100 lb. dumbbells. I did a total of three sets, all for 15 reps. Next, we used the Smith Machine in order to do shrugs by holding the bar from behind instead of in front. With this exercise, we bent our arms slightly on the way up while shrugging our shoulders; it makes for a better contraction in my opinion. We started out with 135 lbs. as a preliminary set for 15 reps. Next, we went up to 225 lbs. and did two sets of 15 reps to end this marathon of a workout.
Thursday, 4/25/02 - OFF DAY
We were planning on working out for 5 days in a row, but Phano needed to study all day for a test in order to try to exempt his final. I definitely understand the need for study time, so we took the day off. Take not that my back was sore as hell, along with my chest, and my quads (still).
Friday, 4/26/02 - Shoulders and Calves
I feel pretty fresh today; the soreness is on its way out, so I feel like I have a little more gas in the tank for shoulders. We tried a something a little different. Since it's so much harder to do forced reps on exercises like laterals, we decided to do drop sets instead (the goal was to try and get my shoulders sore, good luck!).
We started the day off with a warm-up, and then with some side lateral raises as a little warm-up to shoulder press. Here, I did three sets of 15 reps, using 12, 20, and 25 lbs. for the first, second, and third sets, respectively. Now that I had a nice burn in my delts, it was time for behind the neck shoulder press. The starting weight was 135 lbs., and I did it for a set of 12 reps. Then I increased the weight to 185 lbs. for a set of 8 pretty tough reps. Next, I went up again (20 more lbs. than last week) to 205 lbs. With this weight, I did a set of 5 demanding reps. The trick is to keep your elbows back so that you push exclusively with the deltoids. It's tough to do with the heavier weight but, if you do it right, the results are well worth it.
Next, we went back to side lateral raises, except this time, we did them seated, which is a little bit more difficult. I picked up where I left off earlier, and grabbed a pair of 30's, and knocked out a set of 12 reps. I decided to upgrade to 35's and get a set of 8 reps this time. Now for the roller coaster ride, triple drop sets with standing side lateral raises using 20's, 15's, and 10's. Sounds like a little girl's weight, right? Yea, that's what I thought too, but that little girl's weight kicked my ass! If you're not familiar with drop sets, it's simply doing a set with a weight for a predetermined amount of reps or until failure, and then immediately dropping the amount of weight used and doing another set for a predetermined amount of reps or failure. With these weights, we did 2 rounds of 10 reps per weight. Holy shit, what a burn. Seriously, I could have just moved my arms with no weight for the last set of the last round and still have gone to failure at 10 reps. It was a humbling experience, to say the least.
The next platter served was rear delts on the T-bar bench. Needless to say, we rested a little bit longer than usual between sets on this exercise. Oh, and let me say, I think that my shoulders looked twice the size as normal after those rounds of drop sets. The first set on the T-bar bench was with 30 lb. dumbbells for a set of 15 reps. For the last set, we went with 40's for another 15 reps. Next, we went over to the flat bench and did more rear delt work with heavier weight. We started out with 55's for a set of 12 reps, and ended with the same weight for a set of 8 more reps. The final exercise was front dumbbell raises. The first set was done using a pair of 30's for a set of 10 reps per arm. That weight was pretty light, so I went with some 35's for my last set and got 10 reps per arm again.
Phano had to leave right after shoulders, but it didn't matter because I had a hellacious calf workout all the same. I started with two sets of standing calf raise using only body weight and stretching thoroughly between sets. Next, I got a hold of a Smith Machine and did weighted calf raise. My first set was with 135 lbs. for a set of 30 reps. After stretching, I went up to 225 lbs. for a set of 20 reps. I stayed at that weight for 20 more reps. Next, I improved to 315 lbs. for another set of 20 reps, and then again for a set of 15 reps. My calves were about to explode at this point. I dropped down to 225 lbs. for 20 reps, and then to 135 lbs. for another 20 reps.
Next, I did a little routine that I use to do that I think works really well. I did supersets with seated calf raise and calf raise on the leg press machine. I did a total of three rounds, 20 reps at each station. I kept the same weight the whole time since my calves were already as warmed up as they were going to get. On the seated, I used a pair of 45's for a total of 90 lbs., and as for the leg press, I loaded 225 lbs. This was a great workout; my calves were definitely going to be giving me trouble for the next couple of days.
Saturday, 4/27/02 - OFF DAY
Unfortunately, my grandmother is very ill and in the hospital in Virginia, so I came home to be with my family. Hopefully, everything will be okay with her, we'll have to wait and see. By the way, my shoulders are not sore (surprise, surprise), but my calves are unbelievably sore.