Hardcore Precontest Training Journal!

I had a relaxed weekend, and had a lot of fun, so I just decided to skip out on the gym for an extra day.
Hello loyal readers. I am going to change up the format for my training journals just a bit because I have changed my training style since it getting crunch time for the contest. Yes, I have decided to resume training for the NPC Georgia contest on July 6th. However, I'm going to have to work double time in order to be ready on time. You see, the two weeks that I decided to not do the contest, I spent eating basically whatever I wanted. Starting on the 18th of this week, I made the decision (with a "little bit" of influence from Phano) to push onward and enter the contest. Now then, on to the training!

Sunday, 6/16/02 - OFF DAY

Monday, 6/17/02 - Shoulders and Calves

(Like I said, this was a normal training day, nothing different. At this point I wasn't training for the contest). I felt pretty good today, no complaints because I have taken two days off since my last training day. I had a relaxed weekend, and had a lot of fun, so I just decided to skip out on the gym for an extra day.

After riding the bike, I started off the calf workout with standing calf raises beginning with 2 sets of 20 reps with no weight for a warm-up. I stretched and loosened up and then headed over to the smith machine for standing calf raises. For my first set, I loaded on 135 lbs. followed by 225, and then 315, all for 20 reps. My last set was done with 405 for 15 final reps.

When I was done with my last set, I walked over to the seated calf raise and started out with 135 for two sets of 20 reps. At this point, I could start to feel an abnormal pain in my shins. This was not the pain associated with a good pump; this was pain associated with injury. I did one more set with 185 for 10 reps and decided to cut calf training short because I was getting shin splints so bad that I literally could not walk.

For shoulders, I began with side lateral raises, using 15's and then 20's for sets of 20 reps. I went up to 25's for my last set and did it 10 times. The next exercise was barbell military press. Here, I started with 135 lbs. for 12 reps, then 185 for 10 reps, and finally, 205 for 6 heavy reps. I was getting a great pump, and then pain in my shins was slowly diminishing. After military press, I went back to doing side lateral raises, this time doing triple drop sets using 20's, 15's, and 10's. I did 10 reps with each set of dumbbells without resting between sets. I racked the dumbbells after I had gone through 2 rounds of three sets.

Once I was able to begin raising my arms again, I laid on the T-bar pad for some rear delt work. I started out with a pair of 40's, and then moved up to 45's, and ended with an ugly set with 50's. At each weight, I performed a set of 15 reps. My delts were toasted after the set with 45's! From there, I picked up another set of dumbbells for front raises.

My left shoulder was beginning to ache to the point where I didn't think that I could finish the workout, so I stuck with some 35's for two sets instead of going up in weight. With that weight, I did two sets of 10 reps. There was definitely something wrong with my shoulder. Hopefully it will heal itself with some rest. I ended this workout with barbell shrugs. I started out with 225, and then went with three sets of 315 lbs. For each set, I did 15 reps.

Tuesday, 6/18/02 - Hamstrings and Arms

Yep, you read it right; hamstrings and arms! I talked with Phano today and decided to push onward with the contest preparation. We decided on doubling up on muscle groups so that I would not have to do extensive amounts of cardio. However, I was still doing 20 minutes of cardio in the morning.

Due to the shin splints that I have been getting, I decided to do cardio on the bike for 20 minutes. I kept my rpm's at around 115-125 after a two minute warm-up at about 90-100 rpm. This workout schedule was indeed brutal. Since I was doubling up on body parts, I was doing a 3-on, 1-off routine.

For my first workout session, I did hamstrings. Following the bike warm-up and stretching, I began with lying leg curls with my feet together. I started out doing sets of 15 reps with 80, 110, and 140 lbs. Next, I did 170 and 200 lbs. for 12 reps on each set. I ended this exercise with a set of 10 using 210 lbs. Straight-leg deadlifts was the next exercise.

Here, I began with 135 for 15 reps, then 225 for 12 reps, and ended with 315 for 12 reps. I was already tired as hell from the morning cardio, and this was extra punishment! I ended the workout with lying leg curls again, this time with my feet apart. I began with 140 for 15 reps, and then 160 for 12 reps, and finally, 180 for 8 reps. My hamstrings were numb, so I downed a protein shake and headed home.

My second workout session was done later in the evening. After the warm-up I started with standing barbell curls as a warm-up exercise where I did 45 lbs 15 times, and then 65 lbs 10 times. I already had a pump…YIKES! I began the actual workout with vertical barbell preacher curls. I started out with 70 lbs for a set of 15 and 8 reps and then went up to 90 lbs for 10 reps. I ended with 6 reps of 110 lbs. I could have stopped at this point and had a good workout!

Staying at the preacher bench, I grabbed a 40 lb dumbbell and did more preacher curls, starting with a set of 10 reps and ending with a set of 8 reps using a 45 lb dumbbell. My next exercise was standing dumbbell curl. I did two sets using a pair of 40's for a set of 8 and then 7 reps per arm. Incline dumbbell curl was the next exercise, and I curled a set of 35's for 8 and 7 reps. As a transitional movement between biceps and triceps, I did two quick sets of reverse curls using 40 and then 50 lbs for two sets of 15 reps.

As for triceps, I began with two sets of dips for 15 reps, as usual. Next, I did close-grip bench press using 135 for 12 reps, 185 for 10 reps, 225 for 8, and then 275 for 11 reps. From there, I did cable pushdowns. Here, I did two sets using 150 for 15 reps, and then 200 for 11 reps. The following exercise was overhead dumbbell extensions where I used a 35 lb dumbbell for a set of 15 reps, and a 45 for 10 reps.

Everything felt great this time around; I didn't have any pain in my elbows or shoulders. I finally ended this training day with nosebreakers, using 110 lbs for 11 reps and then 130 for 10 reps. Wow; this was definitely a tough regimen, not to mention all of the other things I have to take care of on a daily basis! That's allright though because the contest is only 18 days away!!

Wednesday, 6/17/02 - Quads and Chest

I did the morning cardio the same way as yesterday. After eating a couple of meals, I was ready for my first training session, which was quads. All I can say is that this is going to suck!

I warmed up on the bike for 5 minutes, stretched, and then started the workout with leg extensions. After hitting three sets of 15 reps using 80, 100, and 120 lbs, I was ready for squats. Once I adjusted the height of the pegs, I did sets with 135 for 15 reps, 225 for 12, 275 for 10, 315 for 8, 365 for 6, and then 405 for 5 reps. I felt like I was dragging ass already! From there, I made it over to the hack squat where I did 15 reps with 315, 12 reps with 405, and then I bottomed out on the 9th rep of 500 lbs. My quads were about to bust after I quickly got up from bottoming out.

Following hack squats were leg extensions revisited. This time I did a little more weight, starting at 120 for 15 reps, then going up to 140 for 10 reps, and ending with 150 for 10 more reps. Finally, it was time for lunges, the last exercise. I went to a separate part of the gym were I could yell out obscenities during my set and did two sets of 60 reps per leg. Afterwards, I gathered myself, picked myself off of the ground, and headed home.

The second training session was about 2 meals later. I knew that I had gone through a good workout earlier in the day because my quads were on fire during the warm-up and cramping when I climbed off of the bike. I started off chest training with flat barbell bench press using 135 for two sets of 15 and 10 reps, 185 for 8 reps, 225 for 8 reps, 275 for 6 reps, and then 315 for 8 reps. Holy shit, I was tired! Next was incline dumbbell press where I used an incline that was not very steep. I started with 100's and did a set of 12 reps, and ended with 110's for a set of 7 reps.

I lowered the bench one notch so that I was at an even lesser angle and did "incline" flys. I used 75 lb dumbbells for two sets of 10 reps. I left the dumbbells and went over to the incline machine press. Here I did two sets, one with 150 lbs for 12 reps and then the other with 170 lbs for 9 reps. My strength was definitely crashing and burning. I ended this day with cable crossovers; I used 70 lbs for my first set of 15 reps and then 80 lbs for my last set of 15 reps. Thank God this day was finally over!

Thursday, 6/20/02 - OFF DAY

I thought that I was going to collapse all day today. I figured that I would let my body rest before my next workout. I also did not do cardio since I was using today as a premature off day.

Friday, 6/21/02 - Back, Abs, and Shoulders

As you can see, I definitely have my work cut out for me!

Once I got a couple of meals in me from the morning cardio session, I was once again in the gym for a back workout. After the warm-up, I did 3 sets of pull-ups for 12 reps, 10 reps, and then 10 reps again using only my body weight. I felt a little better thus far than if I had worked out yesterday. Following pull-ups, I did barbell bent-over rows. Here I did 135 for two sets of 15 and 10 reps, 185 for 10 reps, 225 for 10 reps, and then 245 for 10 reps. My back was feeling pretty good, but a little weak. Next were curl-grip pulldowns where I did two sets.

The first set was with 130 lbs for 12 reps and the second was with 150 lbs for 7 reps. From there, I loaded up a barbell for deadlifts. I did 225 for 10 reps, 315 for 10 reps, 405 for 8 reps, and 455 for 4 reps. That last set really put a beating on my shins; something that I did not find out until I stepped in the shower after I got home! My next exercise was front pulldowns where I did 130 for 10 reps and then 140 for 8 reps.

T-bar row was the subsequent exercise where I did 115 for 10 reps and then again for 9 reps. My back felt like it was literally dripping off of my body. However, I had enough for one more exercise, which was behind-the-neck pulldowns. Here, I did a set with 100 lbs for 12 reps and then 110 lbs for 9 reps.

For my second session, I went to my girlfriend, Erin's gym in order to do abs and shoulders. Erin and I warmed-up on the bike and did abs together. We did regular sit-ups first. Here, I did a set of 20 with no weight, 20 more reps with a 25 lb plate, and then 20 reps again with a 45 lb plate. Next, we did leg raises for our obliques. I did two sets of 20 reps each set. From there, we went over to the cable machine for cable crunches where I did two sets of 20 reps using 150 lbs. Our final exercise was hanging leg raises, and I did two sets of 15 reps. From there, Erin did her workout, and I did shoulders.

I started out with side lateral raises doing three sets of 15 reps with 15's, 20's, and 25's. Next, I did seated dumbbell presses with 60's for 15 reps, 80's for 10 reps, and then 90's for 8 reps. That was a nice change from the norm; I could definitely tell that I had more of a pump at this point than last time! I did triple drop sets with side lateral raises for my next exercise. Here, I used 20's, 15's, and 10's.

I did two complete rounds of three sets, and 10 reps per set. For rear delts, I used the regular form instead of working them on the T-bar bench because the T-bar bench was all the way across the gym and I wasn't about to walk the entire way between every set. So, I did two sets of 15 reps with 40's and 45's and then a set of 12 reps with 55's. I left the dumbbell rack and did barbell front raises. This time, my shoulders felt fine and I hadn't even rested them that much at all.

I must have done something wrong in my last workout. I started out with 45 lbs and did a ste of 12 reps. Next, I did 55 lbs for 10 reps, and then ended with a set of 10 using 65 lbs. For my final exercise was machine shoulder press. Here, I did 180 for 15 reps, 220 for 10 reps, and 250 for 8 reps. Needless to say, the weight was a little off! Finally, it was time to go home!!

Saturday, 6/22/02 - OFF DAY

Good Luck!