Hardcore Precontest Training Journal 1!

However, the workouts weren't that long, and they were only once a day. Although I am not able to train at that intensity by myself, I am making up for the this deficit by going to the gym 3 times every day and hitting the weights, balls out...

As of yesterday, I was two weeks out from this contest. I'll have to admit, I am feeling a little anxiety as to whether I will be ready for this show on time. However, I was far ahead of schedule when I veered off of the precontest preparation schedule. If it wasn't for that factor, I definitely don't think that I would be able to be ready in time. At this point, my training sessions are brutal to say the least. I can't remember when I have trained this hard.

Sure, when I was training with Phano, it was a lot of heavy weight, a lot of high intensity workouts, and a whole lot of going to negative failure. However, the workouts weren't that long, and they were only once a day. Although I am not able to train at that intensity by myself, I am making up for the this deficit by going to the gym 3 times every day and hitting the weights, balls out!

Sunday, 6/23/02 - Hamstrings and Arms

Morning Session:

After running through cardio first thing this morning, I went home and ate breakfast immediately. I went out and ran some errands, worked on my research project, and then came home for another meal. I left Athens, seeking some new scenery, and headed to my home gym. I arrived there about an hour later for the morning training session.

I rode the bike, again, this time for the 5-minute warm-up, stretched thoroughly, and headed over to the lying leg curl machine. Remember, I am at a different gym, and the equipment is a little heavy, so if the weight that I use seems a little off, that is the reason. I set the weight at 50 lbs, lied down with my feet apart, and did my first set of 15 reps and followed that up with another set of 10 reps.

I continued to stretch between sets and then did a set with 70 lbs for 15 more reps and then 90 lbs for 10 reps. The weight here was definitely heavier than in Athens.

No worries, I was still getting a great workout. I did my last set of 100 lbs for a set of 8 reps and then moved on to dumbbell straight-leg deadlifts. At the dumbbell rack, I started out with a pair of 70's and knocked out 15 reps and went up to a couple of 90's and got 15 more reps. I followed those sets up with a set of 110's for 15 reps, and then 120's for another set of 15. Now that was a lot of reps!!

My last exercise was standing uni-leg curl. The weight on this machine was a lot heavier than what I was used to, so I had to do a quick set to gauge my strength. My first real set was with 40 lbs for a set of 15 reps. That set really put a hurting on my hams, so that is why I only got 8 reps with 50 lbs. For my final set, I dropped down to 25 lbs and got 20 reps out of it. That concludes the morning session!

Evening session:

I ate a couple of meals and returned to the gym about 5 hours later for an arm workout. For this workout, I headed back to Athens. I started things off with the bike warm-up and then did some standing barbell curls for a warm-up. I did one set with 45 lbs for 15 reps and then with 65 lbs for 10 reps. After some additional stretching, I set-up the preacher bench, loaded my bar with 70 lbs, and did two sets of 12 reps and 10 reps.

I increased the weight for my next set to 90 lbs for 8 reps and then 110 lbs for 8 reps. Next, I did standing alternating dumbbell curls. Once I made my way to the dumbbell rack, I picked up a pair of 40's and did an easy set of 10 reps. I followed that up with a set of 8 reps with 45's. Next, I did cable curls with 100 lbs for 15 reps and then 12 reps with 120 lbs. My last biceps exercise was incline hammer curls, which I did two sets of 10 reps using 35's for both sets.

After taking a quick breather, I jumped on the dip bar, and knocked out three sets of 15 reps for a warm-up. Following the warm-up, I found a flat bench and did close-grip bench press. I started out with 135 for 15 reps, went up to 185 for 12 reps, and then to 225 for 10 reps, and finally topping out at 275 for 10 reps. Phano was at the gym and spotted me for the last set, so I was able to knock out a couple more than I would have by myself.

The next exercise was cable pushdowns. I did two sets, one at 150 lbs for 15 reps and then 200 lbs 12 times. From there, I walked to the dumbbell rack, picked up a 35, and did 15 reps for my first set of overhead extensions. I only did two sets, so my last set was with a 45 for 8 reps. Finally, I ended the workout with nose breakers. Since Phano was in the gym, he could spot me for my last set. However, my first set was with 110 lbs for 12 reps and then I jumped up to 130 lbs for 8 heavy reps. Well, that concludes the evening session!

Monday, 6/24/02 - Quads, Calves, and Chest

Morning Session:

I was able to get in the gym early for a cardio session. About an hour after my first meal, I was back again to knock out quads. I began with the bike warm-up, stretched, and started with leg extensions. I did three sets of 15 reps using 100, 120, and 140 lbs. The next exercise was squats. I loaded on 135 and did 15 reps, then 12 reps with 225, 10 reps with 275, 8 reps with 315, and finally, 10 reps with 365. The only thing that I can say is "Thank God for only one more quad workout before the contest!"

From there, I made it over to the hack squat, where I put on 315 for my first set of 15 reps. I followed that up with 405 for 12 reps, and ended with 500 for 8 reps, bottoming out on the ninth rep. After I gathered myself and began to recognize where exactly I was, I went back for round two of leg extensions.

Just like before, I did 3 sets of 15 reps, using 120, 140, and 160 lbs. Thankfully, the quad portion of my day was about to end with the conclusion of lunges. I walked out of the weight-room and into a long hallway where I did two sets of 60 steps for lunges. The quad portion was finally over, but I still had to do calves.

I took a small break, and then headed back into the weight room where I did standing calf raise for two sets of 20 reps with no weight. I stretched out and then loaded the smith machine bar, doing sets of 20 reps with 135, 225, 315, and 405 lbs. My shins were beginning to burn with pain, so I was only able to do three sets of 20 on the seated calf raise with 135, 185, and 225 lbs. That concludes the morning session.

Evening Session:

Since I did quads and calves relatively early, I was able to take a longer break in between workout sessions. I was able to fit in two meals and work on my research project down in the Exercise Science Department. After about 7 hours, I returned to the gym for chest. Of course, today was Monday, and every frat-cat and quasi-bodybuilder was on a flat, incline, and decline bench. However, I sat biding my time, until an incline bench and flat bench opened up. I dropped my towel and training log on the incline bench and went to work on the flat bench doing barbell press.

I did two sets with 135 of 15 and 10 reps. Then I did 185 for 10 reps, 225 for 8 reps, 275 for 8 more reps, and then 315 for 7 reps. Since my placing the items on the incline bench had made it look as though someone was using it, the bench was vacant for me to use. So, I grabbed a pair of 85's from the dumbbell rack, and did incline dumbbell presses.

My first set was for 12 reps, then 95's for 10 reps, and finally, 105's for 8 reps. I left my belongings on the incline bench because I was planning on returning. I lucked out and grabbed a wide open flat bench for flat flys.

Here, I used 65's for 10 reps, and then 75's for 10 reps. After racking the dumbbells, I grabbed a pair of 60's and headed over to the vacant incline bench once again; works like a charm! Once on the bench, I positioned myself for incline flys doing a set of 12 with the 60's and a set of 10 with the 70's. I was finally on the backstretch for today's workout; one more exercise to go. I ended with none other than cable crossovers. I started out with 70 lbs for 12 reps and ended with 10 reps with 80 lbs. What a day, I feel like I got the shit beat out of me.

Tuesday, 6/25/02 - Back and Shoulders

Morning Session:

Yes, I made early morning cardio, and yes, it is getting tiring. Three days in a row of this balderdash is growing both irritating and tiresome. At least I can find comfort in knowing that I only have one more round of this madness. I know some of you are saying "Big deal, you're training twice a day along with 20 minutes of cardio in the morning, get over it!" For those of you who harbor this kind of feeling towards my training, keep talking because you have no idea!!

First up today was back training. I was actually looking forward to back training today. I'm finding more joy in movements like deadlifts as the precontest preparation continues. However, my first exercise was pull-ups where I did a set of 12 and 8 reps with no weight, and a set of 10 reps with a 25 lb plate.

Next, I did bent-over barbell rows with 135 for 15 reps and 185, 225, and 255 lbs for 10 reps per weight. Following rows, I did pulldowns with a hammer-style grip. Once I set up the apparatus, I did a set of 12 reps with 130, 10 reps with 150, and 8 reps with 170 lbs.

I left pulldowns (only to return later), and headed over to the T-bar row. I loaded on 135 lbs worth of 45's and did a set of 10 reps. Next, I loaded on another 45 lb plate, and did another set of 10 heavy-ass reps. Finally, the morning session was ended with deadlifts. I only did three sets in total. I started at 225 lbs for 10 reps, then 315 for 10 reps, and then 405 for 9 reps; that ended the morning session!

Evening Session:

After the morning session, I went home, showered off, ate a meal, and went to the laboratory for some more research. I ate one more meal and then headed to the gym after about an hour. Once I arrived, I did the bike warm-up and began the workout with side lateral raises. For three sets of 15 reps, I did 15's, 20's, and 25's. Next on the exercise agenda was seated military presses. Here, I did a quick 12 rep-warm-up set with 135 lbs, then 185 lbs for 10 reps, and 205 lbs for 8 strict reps. Once I unloaded the bar, I went back to side laterals, this time doing triple drop sets.

I upped the ante this time and did 2 rounds of the drop sets using 25's, 20's, and 15's for 10 reps at each weight. I could definitely feel the effect of the increased weight, what a pump!! Next, I did rear delt work on the T-bar bench. I was only able to get three sets here using 40's, 45's, and 50's and doing 15, 15, and 12 reps, respectively.

My shoulders were giving out fast, and my endurance was shot. However, the job wasn't through, and I still had to do front raises. I stuck with the barbell instead of using dumbbells.

I liked the effect from last time. I did a total of three sets, starting at 50 lbs and doing 12 reps, then 60 lbs doing 10 reps, and finally 70 lbs for 10 more reps. That's that...FINALLY!! Now, I can take a day off and try to recuperate from this hellacious 3-day training cycle.

Good Luck!!