This is what I've been waiting for!! Finally, a little time to relax and worry about nothing. This was a great week for training since I can rest all day and be, basically worthless. It is bittersweet, but this break is also very welcomed. I'm about 8 weeks out and counting down. In about two weeks, it will be time to really start buckling down.
Sunday, 5/12/02 - Back and Traps
This workout definitely swept the rug out from under my feet. It was my second "welcome to pre-contest training" wake-up call. The workouts are going to start being rather brutal compared to the past weeks of training, but no matter, I'm ready to get dirty!!
After the bike warm-up, we went over to the power rack to warm-up some more doing pull-ups. My back felt strong after doing two sets of 12 reps. It's funny, I've started slowly losing weight and I can tell with the ease that I can do pull-ups compared to a couple of weeks ago. For my last set, I grabbed a belt and a 35 lb. plate and did 10 more pull-ups with the weight attached to the belt. Bent-over rows were up next. My beginning weight was 135 for a quick set of 15 reps. I skipped over 185 and went straight to 225 for a second set of 15. 225 was really pretty light and I thought I could handle heavier, so I went up to 275 for a set of 8 heavy reps. Following this set, I dropped down to 185 and did a set of 15 reps to finish off this exercise. For our third exercise, we went over to the cable pulldown and did curl-grip pulldowns (supinated grip). The first set was no problem, using 120 lbs. for a set of 12. I only did one other set here, but it was enough. I did one set of 8 reps using 150 lbs. I don't know why, but the cable pulldown machine feels a lot heavier here than at other gyms!
We used the individual handles for our next exercise, seated rows. With these handles, you can really get an extra bit of contraction when you pull the weight. The first set was with 120 lbs. for a set of 12 reps. From there, I went up to 150 lbs. for a set of 10 tough reps. That little bit of contraction makes a huge difference!! Next, we went back to the cable pulldown machine for regular front pulldowns. My back felt like it was dripping at this point, it felt huge! The first set was with 120 lbs. again for 12 more reps. For the work set, I did 8 reps with 150 lbs. Now, onto T-Bar rows, a real mass builder. The key here is to keep your back slightly arched and look up the whole time to ensure that arch. We loaded 160 lbs. for my first set of 10 reps. Moving right along, I went with 180 for my final set, doing 8 reps with that weight.
Continuing in this marathon of a workout, we moved over to the cables for one-arm cable rows. This is an exercise that I first saw King Kamali doing, and we all know how big his back is!! The first set was with 120 lbs. for a quick set of 15 reps. By back was really starting to fatigue, I could hardly pull the weight towards the end of the set. My second set, the work set, was with 150 lbs. for a set of 15 more reps. The next exercise was the "show-stopper", deadlifts. I was already worn-out; I could only imagine what I was going to feel like after about 10 minutes. I started out with 225 for an easy set of 10 reps. Yea, it was light, but I was giving out after only 10 reps. For a finisher to deadlifts, I did 315 for a set of 10 reps. Man, what a pump, my back was destroyed. For traps, we only did dumbbell shrugs with 100 lb. dumbbells. With that weight, I did three sets of 15 reps per set. Finally, after an hour and a half, we were leaving!
Monday, 5/13/02 - Shoulders and Calves
Today, I decided to do calves before Phano got there because I didn't want to get home at midnight from the gym since I was commuting from my parent's house to Athens everyday. So, instead of waiting for Phano to show up late (the usual case), I started on calves as a prelude to shoulders.
I warmed up on the bike for five minutes and started off doing standing calf raises, two sets of 20 reps. Next, I moved over to the seated calf raise and began at 135 for two sets of 30 reps. After working up a good pump, I went with 185 lbs. for two sets of 25 reps. Now, my calves were really beginning to cook. Following those two sets, I dropped back down to 135 for another set of 30 reps. Next, it was onto standing calf raise on the smith machine. Here, I loaded 135 for one set of 30 reps. I only went up to 225 for my next two sets of 20 reps each. Wow, my calves were on fire, I had a great pump going! To end this calf training session, I loaded 225 lbs. for a set of 30 reps. From there, I topped out at 315 for two sets of 25 and then 20 reps. Finally, I dropped down again to 225 for a final set of 30 reps. Needless to say, I got my reps in for calf training!
After Phano showed up, we started in on shoulders. First up were side lateral raises where I began with 12 lb. dumbbells for a set of 15 reps. Keeping the weight light, I went up to 15's for another set of 15 reps. To end this little warm-up session, I went with 20's for a final set of 15 reps. The second exercise was behind-the-neck barbell press, which I started out using 135 lbs. for an easy set of 15 reps. Next, I jumped up to 185 lbs. right off the bat, for a set of 10 solid reps. For the third and final set, I increased up to 205 for a rough set of 7 reps.
Now that the heavy stuff was finished, we went to the triple drop sets of side lateral raises for the second week in a row. Just like last week, we started with 20's, then 15's, and then 10's, each weight doing 10 reps. Going from 20's to 10's was one round, and we did two rounds in all. After I was able to lift my arms up again, we started on some T-Bar rear delt work. I started with 40's for a set of 15, and then I moved up to 45's for another set of 15, and finally up to 50's for a final set of 15 reps. Although I did 15 reps with 50's, trust me, it wasn't the prettiest set of 15, especially towards the end.
For a little change of pace, we did machine shoulder press. This is an excellent exercise late in the shoulder workout. I started light, at 100 lbs. for a quick set of 15 reps. From there, I went with 150 lbs. for another set of 15 reps. I had a good burn going so far, but I still felt strong so I went up again to 180 lbs. and got 10 more reps at that weight. As always, we went with front raises as a finishing move for shoulders. Like last week, I started at 30 lb. dumbbells for a set of 10 reps. Unlike last week, I went up to 40's and got a heavy set of 10 more reps. This weight was really challenging, but I kept my form, so it was a good set!
Tuesday, 5/14/02 - Off Day
I can't believe it; my shoulders have gotten sore two workouts in a row. Those triple drop sets are the key! It's really tough to go heavy on exercises like lateral raises, so you have to sometimes improvise and go with more reps instead of more weight.
Wednesday, 5/15/02 - Hamstrings
I feel pretty fresh today. Although I did get soreness in my delts, it didn't last very long. Right now, nothing is sore at all for a change, which means it is obviously time to change that!
After riding the bike for 5 minutes, we started off with lying leg curls with feet together this time. The first set of the day was with 60 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. Next, I kept it light with a set of 100 lbs. for 15 more reps. From there, I went with 140 lbs. for another easy set of 15 reps. Again, I went up to 170 lbs. for yet another set of 15 reps. I told you I felt good! For the next set, I went with 200 lbs. for a set of 13 reps. Things were beginning to slow down as the weight got a bit more challenging. Finally, I ended with 210 lbs. as my work weight for a set of 10 tough reps. What a pump, my hamstrings were already pumped up like mad!
As always, the second exercise was straight leg deadlifts. I still felt strong as I did my first set with 135 for a set of 15 reps. Next, I went up to 225 lbs. for a set of 10 easy reps. The weight was moving pretty good today, and I continued to feel stronger than normal. My final set was completed using 315 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. Unfortunately, this is the same number of reps that I did the week before and the week before that. Once I hit that 15th rep, my hams and lower back are numb. As a finishing exercise, I went back to the leg curl machine for part two of lying leg curls, this time with my feet apart. I started at 140 lbs. for a set of 15 more reps. All of these reps were really starting to get me fatigued, quick! Next, I made a 20 pound jump to 160 lbs. for a set of 12 reps. Although I really could no longer feel my legs, I did one more 20 pound jump to 180 for a final set of 9 reps.
Thursday, 5/16/02 - Arms
I did feel good going into yesterday's workout, so I was able to push harder than normal. I definitely paid the price for that decision because my hamstrings were hurting like hell today. I'm glad that I have my girlfriend around because I couldn't bend over to pick anything off the ground today. Enough whining, time for arms!!
First off (after the bike ride warm-up), we started on some barbell preacher curls. I began with 70 lbs. for a set of 15 and then 10 reps. Already, I could tell this was going to be a long workout because my biceps were already shot. This exercise is unbelievable! The next weight was 90 lbs., which I did 10 reps with also. Finally, the work set was with 120 lbs. for a set of 7 heavy-ass reps. Wow, what a pump! Dumbbell preacher curls were up next, and I started here with a 50 lb. dumbbell for 10 reps. Next, I upgraded to a 55 for a really heavy set of 8 reps. Next in line for biceps was standing alternating dumbbell curls. I started here with 50's for a set of 10 solid reps. Feeling a little bit confident, I went with 55's for my next set and ended up doing that 8 times each arm.
My biceps felt totally full with blood as we moved to doing standing cable curls. I began here with 120 lbs. for a warm-up set of 15. Then I increased up to 150 lbs. for a set of 9 solid reps. My strength really suffers with this exercise for some reason. I just can't get a great feel for it. Hammer preacher curls were the next stop where I used a 35 lb. dumbbell for my first set of 12 reps. That felt relatively light, so I went with the 40 for one more set of 12 reps. That did it for biceps, but we did do two sets for a quick forearm pump. We stayed on the preacher bench and did reverse curls with a curl bar. I started off with 40 lbs. (very light) for a set of 15 easy reps. To keep my form correct, I only made a small jump to 50 lbs. for a set of 15 more reps.
Now for triceps! As usual, we went over to the dip bar and did two easy sets of 15 warm-up reps. From there, it was on to close-grip bench press for an initial weight of 185 for a set of 10 reps. No problems there; I went with 225 lbs. for my second set and pushed out 8 reps with that weight. For my work set, I went up to 275 and got that for 10 easy reps. That set felt great; I was a little stronger than I had anticipated, but no worries, the workout was not over yet. Next, we went over to the cables for supinated pushdowns. I started off and ended with the stack, 200 lbs., for two sets of 15 reps. That was definitely an improvement from last week. To end triceps, we did two sets of nosebreakers. The first set was with 120 lbs. for a set of 10 reps. Then, I went up to 140 lbs. for a really tough set of 10 reps. All in all, I'd say this was a great workout!
Friday, 5/17/02 - Off Day
I know, I know, Fridays are never off days. However, Phano had to work all day and was not willing to come in at 8 am for a quad workout. As a result, we had to push the workout back to Saturday, my mother's birthday. I took today to rest up for a big Saturday. My arms were sore as hell, so I didn't do a whole lot of anything.
Saturday, 5/18/02 - Quads
Well, I got a call this morning from Phano saying that he couldn't workout (surprise, surprise). He said his knee was really hurting him. From what still remains a mystery. Oh well, I worked out with my best friend, Johnny, at my home gym today. Johnny and I had worked out together when I was preparing for the contest that I had competed in last September, so he understood what kind of workout to expect. However, it had a been a while since Johnny had worked out at all, so he was in for a real treat.
We warmed-up for a good five minutes, stretched, and ended up at the leg extension. My beginning weight was 60 lbs. for a set of 20 reps. The next two sets were with 100 lbs. and then 150 lbs., both for 15 reps each. Now that the warm-up was over, it was time for the work to begin. At the squat rack, I loaded 135 lbs. and did a set of 15 reps. This weight was light, but the bars at this gym are really thick and smooth, so they are a challenge to use. Next, I jumped to 225 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. Then it was up to 275 lbs. for a set of 10 reps. So far, the weight definitely felt heavier than at UGA, but no problem, just had to work through it. I went up to 315 for my next set and did 10 reps again. The next stop was 365 for a set of 6 heavy reps. I went up to 405 lbs. for the next set, even though I was starting to doubt myself a little. I did that weight only 4 times, but it was a good set nonetheless. After that, I dropped down to 315 for a dropset of 12 reps.
Luckily, at this gym, the hack squat is right next to the squat rack, so all we had to do was turn around for the next exercise. I loaded on 315 for my first set and got 15 reps with it. My strength was suffering a little bit, but my endurance was making up for it. Next, I jumped up to 405 for a set of 12; a definite improvement from last week. Following this exercise, we went back to leg extensions for a set of 15 more reps with 130 lbs. I jumped up to 150 lbs. for my next set of 15 more reps. For the final heavy set, I went with 180 lbs. and only got 10 reps with that weight. Finally, for the finisher, we did walking lunges. Johnny was really struggling at this point, but he pushed on and made it through these sets. I did two sets of 60 steps (30 reps each leg), and that was that!
Pull-ups: 12, 12, 35 x 10
Bent-over rows: 135 x 15, 225 x 15, 275 x 8, 185 x 15
Curl-grip pulldowns: 120 x 12, 150 x 8
Seated Rows (with the handles): 120 x 12, 150 x 10
Front Pulldowns: 120 x 12, 150 x 8
T-Bar Rows: 275 x 10, 315 x 8
One-arm Cable Rows: 120 x 15, 150 x 15
Deadlifts: 225 x 10, 315 x 10
Dumbbell Shrugs: 100 x 15, 100 x 15, 100 x 15
Monday: Shoulders and Calves
Standing Calf Raise: 20, 20
Seated Calf Raise: 135 x 30, 135 x 30, 185 x 25, 185 x 25, 135 x 30
Standing Calf Raise: 135 x 30, 225 x 20, 225 x 20
Leg Press Calf Raise: 225 x 30, 315 x 25, 315 x 20, 225 x 30
Side Lateral Raises: 12 x 15, 15 x 15, 20 x 15
Behind the Neck Press: 135 x 15, 185 x 10, 205 x 7
Side Lateral Raises (Dropsets): 20, 15, 10 x 10, 20, 15, 10 x 10
T-Bar Rear Delts: 40 x 15, 45 x 15, 50 x 15
Machine Shoulder Press: 100 x 15, 150 x 15, 180 x 10
Front Dumbbell Raises: 30 x 10, 40 x 10
Lying Leg Curls (feet together): 60 x 15, 100 x 15, 140 x 15, 170 x 15, 200 x 13, 210 x 10
Deadlifts: 135 x 15, 225 x 10, 315 x 15
Lying Leg Curls (feet apart): 140 x 15, 160 x 12, 180 x 9
Barbell Preacher Curls: 70 x 15, 70 x 10, 90 x 10, 120 x 7
Dumbbell Preacher Curls: 50 x 10, 55 x 8
Standing Dumbbell Curls: 50 x 10, 55 x 8
Standing Cable Curls: 120 x 15, 150 x 9
Hammer Preacher Curls: 35 x 12, 40 x 12
Preacher Reverse Curls: 40 x 15, 50 x 15
Dips: 15, 15
Close-Grip Bench Press: 185 x 10, 225 x 8, 275 x 10
Supinated Pushdowns: 200 x 15, 200 x 15
Nosebreakers: 120 x 10, 140 x 10
Leg Extension: 60 x 20, 100 x 15, 150 x 15
Squats: 135 x 15, 225 x 15, 275 x 10, 315 x 10, 365 x 6, 405 x 4, 315 x 12
Hack Squats: 315 x 15, 405 x 12
Leg Extensions: 130 x 15, 150 x 15, 180 x 10
Lunges: 60, 60