Training Journal Page 4!

Sure, you could get huge, but you could also injure yourself within the first 5 minutes that could put you out for six weeks. Not fun huh... Here are some tips for training safe and smart.
Training Journal #4

9/26 Thursday - Chest and Biceps

Today would prove to be another great day for me in the gym. I was training chest and biceps tonight, and using mostly dumbbells in my chest routine. After I got to the gym I headed to the bike for my normal 5-minute warm-up. After some light stretching I headed over to an incline bench. I decided to start with some incline dumbbell pressing. Grabbing a pair of 40's to further warm-up, I banged out 18 easy reps.

I just wanted to get a little more blood in my pecs. Next I grabbed a pair of 60's and got 12 reps, not too bad. For my third set I went with 75's for 10 reps. I was feeling good so far, and had a pretty good pump already, so I went up to a pair of 85's and managed a set of 6 and a set of 5. I was pretty happy, because this is an improvement from last time I trained chest with dumbbells. My next exercise was flat dumbbell press. Grabbing the 60's I was able to get 10 slow but strong reps in. I then jumped up to 80's and got a set of 6 and a set of 8 to finish off.

I decided to do one last pressing movement for chest. I went over to one of the machine presses in my gym and set the pin at 150 and banged out 6 very slow reps. I used a cadence of 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down. This was a nice change that will hopefully shock my muscles into growing more. For my second set I did 170 for only 3 reps. I should have had some one spot me so I could do a few negatives, but oh well. I finished off my chest with two sets of flat dumbbell fly. I haven't decided if I like this exercise or not, I seem to feel it more when I use an inclined bench. I stuck with the flat bench and did a set of 10 with 45's and a set of 5 with 50's.

I enjoy training chest and biceps together because they are so different in the type of movement that I honestly think I can perform my biceps exercises just as well as if I trained them alone. Training them with triceps was working ok, but the heavy weight was really putting a strain on my wrists. I find it is much easier on my joints keeping triceps and biceps separated by a few days. For my first exercise, I went with the classic mass builder: standing bar curls.

I use an EZ-curl bar because it is much easier on my wrist joints, but a straight bar will work just as well. After a quick set of 20 with just the bar, I loaded on a 25 on each side and got 15 reps. I did another set with a 25 on each side for 12. Now it was time to move up in weight. With a 35 on each side, for a total of about 90 pounds, I got 8 and then 6 reps. The next exercise is spider curls. These are done on the back side of a preacher curl bench. You'll need to lower the seat all the way down, or just take it off so that your arms are resting on the steep side, which should be perpendicular to the ground. These are extremely difficult to do, so you wont need much weight for them to really fry your guns! I started with the EZ-curl bar and 40 pounds on. I was able to get three sets of 10, 8, and 7. After a minute rest I did my final set with 60 pounds for 7 reps (with the help of a spotter). My biceps were about to pop out of my sleeves.

I had one more exercise, dumbbell hammer curls, to hit my forearms. When I do these, I keep my elbow still, and bring my arm up across my body, staying close to my chest. For some reason I feel it a lot more this way. I also squeeze the hell out of the dumbbell to really improve my grip strength. I started with a pair of 40's and got 10 reps. I only did one more set with a pair of 50's for 8 sickening reps. I was done, it was time to down my creatine and protein shake so I could head home to eat and sleep.

9/27 Friday - Shoulders and Calves

I was feeling pretty good today due to my great workouts I was having. After my warm-up on the bike and some stretching I went over to the dumbbell rack to warm up a bit more with some light laterals. I did three sets with a pair of 10's, 15's, and 20's for 15,12,and 10 reps each. I take my time in between these sets to stay relaxed, and load up on more water. This is just to get my shoulders properly warm for my heavy exercises. I began with dumbbell military press. Starting with 40's, I was able to get an easy 15 reps. I then jumped up to 55's for 12 reps.

After some stretching I went up to a pair of 65's and got three sets of 9, 9, and 6. I felt pretty strong after wards even though this was less weight than what I did on my last workout. I still felt like I got a great pump off this exercise. After some water I moved on to my second exercise, one arm lateral raises. The key with this exercise is to lean into it and hold your arm at ear level for a second or two to really get that shoulder burn. Starting with a 25 I was able to get 15 fairly easy reps. I then grabbed a 30 for 12 and a 35 for 10 difficult reps. My last set was with a 40 for only 6 reps.

I moved on to rear dumbbell raises on a t-bar bench. Using this bench allows me to focus completely on my rear delts. The bench is at a 30-40 degree angle or so, so it puts me in a nice position to squeeze my rear delts. Starting with a pair of 30 s, I got an easy 15 reps. I then moved on to 35' and 40's for 15 reps each. My last set was with 55 s for a difficult 7 reps. The last exercise for my shoulders was upright row. I use a shoulder width grip because I can really squeeze my front delts. I put on 70 pounds and did 10 reps. My next two sets were with 90 pounds for 8 and 7 reps each. Now it was time for my calves. I did four sets of standing calf raises. After I stretched I put on 90 pounds for 20 reps. I then went up to 180 for another 20 reps. After some more stretching I finished off with two sets at 270. On my first set I was able to get 15 reps, and on my second I stopped at 12. I was happy with today's workout, but I know I have to do better next week.

9/28 Saturday - OFF

9/29 Sunday - Triceps

I enjoy training triceps by themselves. I have really been able to prioritize them and force them to grow. After my usual warm-up, I went over to the dip bars to begin my workout. I did three sets with my bodyweight for 15 reps each. This exercise is more like an extended warm-up for me. It loosens me up and gets me in the right frame of mind to do close grip bench. On close grip I did four sets. My first set was with 115 pounds for 10 reps. I then moved up to 135 for another 10 reps. My last two sets were with 155 for 6 and 7 reps each. I am constantly improving on my technique and form, so this exercise is becoming more and more useful to my triceps development. My next exercise was skull crushers.

I began with 50 pounds plus the ez-curl bar for 15 reps. I then did my next three sets at 70 plus the bar. I was able to get 8, 8, and 10 reps, with the help from a spotter. I decided to do some cable pushdowns. I do them suppurated and pronated, and alternate that each week. This week I started with suppurated first. Setting the pin at 120, and taking the reverse grip, I was able to get 12 reps. I then moved the pin to 150 for a set of 8 and a set of 6. I reset the pin back at 120 and took the pronated, or palms down grip. I banged out an easy set of 15. I then went up to 150 for two more sets of 15. For my last triceps exercise I did overhead dumbbell extensions. I don't do this exercise much, because it can put your rotator cuff in an awkward position. I began with 55 and got an easy 12 reps. I then moved up to 75 and got a set of 10 and a set of 8. My triceps were pumped to capacity, so I downed my shake and went home.

9/30 Monday - Quads and Hamstrings

Unfortunately today was going to be an extremely quick workout. I had a lot of projects I needed to work on for school, so I only had about an hour to get to the gym, workout, and get back to school. So after my normal warm-up I headed over to the leg extension machine. I did three sets all to 20 reps. I used 60, 80, and 100 pounds.

I then headed over to the leg curl machine and did the exact same thing. I decided to finish my workout by doing squats with high reps. I started with 135 and did 20 reps. My legs were really burning due to the quick tempo of this workout. I then went up to 185 for another 20 reps. For my third set I did 225 for 15. My last two sets were with 225 for 15 and 12. That was it, short but hopefully the change of pace will be a nice shock to my legs.

10/1 Tuesday - OFF

10/2 Wednesday - Back and Traps

Unfortunately, again, school is changing my workouts. I had to go on a "field trip" today which lasted the entire day. We were outside in the heat most of the time, and I was unable to eat like I normally do. I was feeling pretty sluggish by the time I got back home that night. The heat and lack of food had worn me out. I decided I would still go and workout my back and traps however. I knew I would be weak, so I decided to make this just an easy workout, nothing difficult. All I wanted to do was use perfect form, and get a decent pump, and then go home and sleep. After my warm-up I started my 30 pull-ups. I was able to get them in four sets of 10, 8, 8, and 6. My next exercise was bent over barbell rows.

I stayed at 135 the entire time and was able to do four sets of 12, 10, 8, and 8. I decided to skip deadlifts because I was so tired. I moved on to lat pulldowns. I did three sets, all with 100 pounds for 13, 11, and 10 reps. I kept the movement a little slower than normal. My back felt good, so I finished with V-bar rows. I did two sets with only 80 pounds of resistance. My first set was for 10 and my second set was for 15. I decided to leave because I was not sweating, and my mouth was really dry, a sure sign of dehydration. I went home and ate some rice and chicken, drank about a gallon of water and went to bed early. I hope I feel better tomorrow.