Unfortunately, yesterday's "day-of-rest" was not a very restful one. However, I feel good enough to start this last round of workouts. This schedule was perfect because I am finishing this round on Saturday, which puts me exactly one week out from the contest…perfect timing!
I like to take a week off from the gym before a contest. By doing this, my body has a chance to fully recuperate from the damage caused by training. As I have a chance to recover, the striations and marks of separation really start to come in, and by contest time, my conditioning looks that much better.
Thursday, 6/27/02 - Hamstrings and Arms
Even though the cardio work is relatively easy compared to my last contest, I still dread it, and can't wait to be done with it. However, I still made it this morning, knocked it out and ate a big breakfast. After a couple of hours of working on my research project, I ate another meal, rested for an hour, and arrived back to the gym for hamstrings.
First off, I biked for 5 minutes and headed over to the lying leg curl machine, this time, performing lying leg curls with my feet together. I did three sets of 15 using 60, 100, and 140 lbs. Next, I did two sets of 12 reps with 180 and 200 lbs. From there, I loaded a straight barbell with 135 for straight-leg deadlifts for 15 reps, then 225 for 12 reps, and ended with 315 for 12 more reps.
I finished up this workout by doing another series of lying leg curl with my fee apart in order to incorporate all parts of my hamstrings in this workout. I did three sets, pyramiding up in weight and down in repetitions. I started at 140 for 15 reps, 160 for 12 reps, and then 180 for 10 reps. That's it for the morning session.
After two full meals, I returned to the gym for another go at this weight training deal. I did the warm-up, as always and set-up the preacher curl bench for vertical barbell preacher curls. Right off the bat, I started with 70 lbs for 15 and 12 reps. I used heavier weight for the next sets, performing 10 reps with 90 lbs and then 8 reps with 110 lbs. I lingered around the preacher bench for a little longer and replaced the barbell work with dumbbell work. I used a 45 for 10 reps and then finished up using a 50 for 9 reps.
Following this exercise, I grabbed an incline bench and did incline alternating dumbbell curls. I grabbed a pair of 35's and did 13 reps, followed by 40's for 10 reps. Luckily, Phano and Isreal were both there and could spot me for my heavier sets. I finished up with biceps work by doing standing dumbbell hammer curls. I only did two sets here before completing this exercise. I used some 40's for 15 reps and then 50's for 10 reps. My biceps felt like they were going to explode, so I moved on to triceps work.
I ventured over to the dip bar and hit two sets of 15 reps for a warm-up. After I was stretched and ready, I hit close-grip bench press for my first actual exercise. I did 135 for 15, 185 for 10, 225 for 8, and 275 lbs for 9 tough reps. Next, I did two sets of cable pushdowns, starting at 200 lbs for 15 and then 12 reps. From there, I grabbed a 40 off of the dumbbell rack and did 12 reps of overhead extensions and I followed that up with a 45 for 12 more reps. To finish up, I skipped out on nosebreakers and did dumbbell kickbacks instead. I only did two sets using 25 and then 30 lbs for sets of 15 reps at each weight. One day down, and two to go!
Friday, 6/28/02 - Quads and Chest
¡Finalmente! The end is in site; I only have one more day of cardio and 4 more sessions at the gym. I made it to the gym, just before noon, warmed-up, and started off the workout with leg extensions. I did three sets of 15 reps, using 100, 120, and 140 lbs. Then, I stretched a bit more, and continued with the workout by doing squats. First off, I did 135 for 15 reps, 225 for 12 reps, 275 for 10, 315 for 8, and finally, 365 for 10 reps.
During the last set, I split my shorts midway through, and they kept splitting until I finished with the last rep. However, everything worked out because I had on black shorts with some black squatting trunks on underneath, so you couldn't even tell. To be honest, I don't give a shit if it was evident. Once I unloaded the bar, I headed over to the hack squat for three sets of 315, 405, and 500 lbs.
At those weights, I did 15, 12, and 10 reps. Then, it was time for the second go-round of extensions. This time I picked up where I left off, and did three sets of 15 reps with 140, 160, and 180 lbs. Finally, it was time to finish up my last quad workout with some lunges. With this exercise, I did two sets of 60 steps, and that was that…FINALMENTE!! I have been waiting for this day for a while!
I followed up the morning session with a meal, a nap, and another meal. My second session was getting underway with a warm-up on the bike, followed by barbell bench press. I did two sets with 135 for 15 and 10 reps, 185 for 10 reps, 225 for 8 reps, 275 for 6 reps, and 315 for 8 reps. Damn, after that last set, I could really feel that morning session workout; I was drained, to say the least. I followed up that with incline dumbbell press and doing 85's for 12 reps, 95's for 10 reps, and 105's for 10 more reps.
Next, I did incline flys, using 70's for 12 reps and then 80's for 10 reps. I kept things moving by doing flat dumbbell press with 90's for 12 reps and then 100's for 8 reps. I was finally at the point where I could wrap up this workout. I was exhausted and ready to get out of the gym. For my final exercise, I did cables, using 70 lbs for 15 reps and then 80's for 12 reps. One more day to go…
Saturday, 6/29/02 - Back and Shoulders
The day is mine! That's right, this is the last training day before the contest. I breezed through my cardio session at the break of dawn this morning. At home, I put down two meals, worked on my research paper, and rested for a couple of hours before heading back to the gym for a back workout.
I started off with pull-ups by doing three sets of 12, 10, and 10 reps for a good warm-up. Next, I grabbed a barbell and loaded it with 135 for bent-over rows. My first set was for 15 reps, then 185 for 10 reps, 225 for 10 more reps, and finally 255 for a good set of 12 reps. After stripping the bar down, I went over to the cable pulldown machine for front pulldowns. I only did two sets here. One set was 15 reps with 120 lbs and the other was 10 reps with 140 lbs. My back was already full of blood, and I was really starting to get hungry as hell.
Following pulldowns, I did seated rows with 130 lbs for 12 reps and then 150 lbs for 8 reps. I actually cut the workout short following my next exercise, which was hammer-grip pulldowns because I was so hungry that I had to get something in my stomach quickly.
Luckily, I had my post-workout protein shake sitting right outside the weight room. Oh yea, for that last exercise, I did 120 lbs for 10 reps, and 140 lbs for 8 reps. I shotgunned that protein shake, and headed back home in order to recuperate for my last workout session!
I came back to the gym, and this time, I didn't rest as long after my last meal so that I wouldn't run into the same problem as earlier. Following the bike warm-up, I did side lateral raises for an additional warm-up. I did three sets of 15 reps using 15, 20, and 25 lb dumbbells. The next exercise was military press. I started out with 135 for 12 reps, 165 for 10 reps, and then 185 for 8 reps.
So far, my shoulders were taking the punishment pretty well, but the worst was yet to come. My next movement was triple drop sets using 20's, 15's, and 10's, and doing 10 reps at each weight. I completed two rounds of this grueling exercise, and moved on to rear delt work on the T-bar bench. I grabbed a couple of 35's for a set of 15. From there, I increased by increments of 5 lbs by doing 40's for 15 reps and then 45's for 15 more reps. That was it for rear delts, but not the workout as a whole. My final movement was front barbell raises. I did only two sets here using 50 lbs for 15 reps and then 70 lbs for 10 reps.
All right everyone, that's it for the training journals for a while. My next set of training journals may or may not begin when I start back after the contest in preparation for my next competition, which will be in about a year or so.