Phano's Training Journal 20!

I was very eager to train today. Mainly because everyone loves to train chest on Mondays and here we were scheduled to obliterate the back. I'm telling you that nothing sets you apart from the rest of the crowd than a well developed back.

8/26/02 Monday - Back

I was very eager to train today. Mainly because everyone loves to train chest on Mondays and here we were scheduled to obliterate the back. I'm telling you that nothing sets you apart from the rest of the crowd than a well developed back. Just look at all of the Mr. Olympia's of past and present. We began today's session with the usual five minutes on the bike followed by some stretching. I made sure to stretch the hell out of my quads because they were cramping while I was walking to class today. I had to stop every few steps to stretch them out. I guess I looked pretty stupid doing that but I really don't care.

After some stretching on the mat, we proceeded to perform front pull-ups using only our bodyweight. I managed a set of 10 reps, 10 reps and finally eight reps. We then performed barbell rows with an overhand grip. My first set was with 135 for 12 reps. Then it was 185 for 10 reps and finally 225 for eight reps. Next came behind the neck pull downs, which are great for thickening the lower trap area. On my first set, I performed 12 reps with 120 lbs.

Then I bumped the weight up to 150 lbs and managed eight reps. This machine's lever system is all screwed up. So when I say I'm using 150 lbs, it's actually a lot heavier. How do I know this? Well, I can hang on the bar with 150 lbs and not move and I weigh 210 lbs. So something's wrong here. Our next exercise was one arm dumbbell rows but with a difference.

Instead of using a bench to support use, we used the dumbbell rack. To be honest with you, I like this better than using the bench. I used 100 lbs for 12 reps per side and then 110 lbs for 12 reps per side again. Next came medium grip front pull downs using a neutral grip. Using 120 lbs, I was able to crank out 12 reps and then with 140 lbs, I was able to crank out another eight reps. My back was completely blitzed and pumped at this point so we ended it. Now I had some calf training to tend to. I standing off with standing calf raises with toes pointing straight. My first set was with 225 where I performed 20 reps.

Next it was 315 where I performed another 20 reps. We then increased the weight to 405 where I managed 15 reps. My final set was with 495 where I was able to crank out 12 grueling reps. Next came leg press calf raises with my toes pointing straight. My first set was with 315 for 20 reps. This was a little too easy so I increased the weight to 495 for my second set and I still managed to crank out 20 reps. To finish off today's workout, we performed seated calf raises. My first set was with 90 lbs where I managed 20 easy reps. I then increased the weight to 180 lbs for two sets of 15 reps each. Afterwards, my calves were so pumped I could barely walk. Next time, I'll be stronger.

8/27/02 Tuesday - REST

8/28/02 Wednesday - Chest

That day of rest after Monday's back session was greatly needed. I felt extremely good today and I can attribute that to being well fed and well rested. Not to mention, the stress in my life is low right now. We began today's workout with our usual warm up: five minutes on the bike followed by some stretching and trash talking. Then it was time for business, as usual. We then headed to perform our first exercise: incline barbell press.

We loaded the bar with 135 and I was up first. I cranked out 15 easy reps and then loaded the bar with 155. With 155, I performed 10 easy reps and then loaded the bar with 185. With 185, I performed eight easy reps. Next we loaded the bar with 225 and I cranked out another eight easy reps. I then loaded 245 on the bar and cranked out six tough reps. I felt I could have gone a little more so I added another 10 lbs to make it 255. With 255, I was able to squeeze out four reps.

That's definitely my all time best for this lift and I was quite pleased. We then went to perform flat dumbbell presses. I grabbed the 100s and cranked out a set of eight reps and then a set of six reps. We then moved to decline barbell press and I loaded the bar with 225. Using 225 for both of my work sets here, I managed a set of six reps and then a set of five reps. We then performed the pec deck flies because both of the cable machines were taken by guys who would rather stand around and talk then train.

Using 120 lbs, I cranked out a set of 10 reps and then a set of eight reps to complete failure. We then performed some abdominal work to finish off today's session. Nothing extravagant. We performed two sets of 30 reps of seated knee-ups. Then it was decline crunches for three sets of 20 reps each. The first set was with no weight just as a warm up and then we used a 25 lb plate for the last two sets. Talk about a burn!

8/29/02 Thursday - Shoulders

Today would prove to be just another day in the office. We started today's session with five minutes on the bike and some light stretching. Then it was time to work. We began with standing dumbbell side laterals as a warm up. On my first set, I used 15s for 15 reps. Then it was 20s for 15 more reps and finally, 25s for 10 reps. Afterwards, my delts were nice and pumped. We then performed behind the neck press. Our first set was with 155 for 10 easy reps here. Next it was 185 for 10 more reps.

My final set was with 205 for five reps. Next came one arm dumbbell side laterals. Using a 40 lb dumbbell, I managed a set of 15 reps per side. I then increased the weight to a 45 lb dumbbell for my last set where I managed 10 reps per side. We then performed a single drop set with standing dumbbell side laterals using 20s, 15s and 10s.

Each set consisted of 10 reps with one set immediately following the next until we went through each pair of dumbbells once. Next was t-bar rear delt laterals, my favorite for rear delts. Using the 45s, I cranked out a set of 15 reps and finally with the 55s, I cranked out a set of 12 reps. To finish off the delts, we performed alternating dumbbell front raises. Using the 35s on both sets, I managed two sets of 20 alternating reps. And in case you're wondering, yes, my shoulders were toast.

8/30/02 Friday - Hamstrings

I've been having such great workouts since Dave and I started training back up this semester that I was extremely eager to get in the gym and pound it out today. Today, we had the perilous task of training hamstrings. I know that most guys train hamstrings with very little intensity if they train them at all but we re of a different breed. We love to destroy our hamstrings just like any other body part. We began today's workout with the usual five minutes on the bike followed by some light stretching. Then we headed to the lying leg curl machine to perform lying leg curls with our feet positioned together on the padding.

My first set was with 80 lbs for 15 easy reps. Next it was 120 lbs for another easy 15 reps. I then bumped it up to 160 lbs for another 15 reps. My hamstrings were starting to get tight and pumped so I stretched them out more. Now it was time to work. I loaded the entire stack of 200 lbs and cranked out a set of nine reps and then a set of eight reps, both to absolute failure. We then moved to the platform to perform Romanian dead lifts using the barbell. My first set was with 225 for 10 easy reps. Next it was 315 for eight easy reps.

Now it was time to work and work we did! I loaded the bar with 365 and cranked out eight perfect reps! I believe that this is the most I've ever done with this particular exercise. I was quite happy but I was also quite tired. However, we had one more movement left and I wasn't about to quit. We went back to the lying leg curl machine once again to perform lying leg curls with our feet positioned apart on the padding. My first set was with 150 lbs for 15 reps. This was too easy so I increased the weight to 180 lbs and was able to crank out eight reps. That was that!

8/31/02 Saturday - REST

9/1/02 Sunday - Biceps/triceps/calves

Why do I hate arm training so much? I don't know what it is but I've always hated training my arms but they, along with my legs, are the quickest to grow. It's kind of ironic that a guy with 19 inches arms actually hates training arms, isn't it? It doesn't really matter if I like it or not so long as I am training them. The same goes for you all out there. Training should hurt you so bad that you actually hate it but yet you do it. I guess that makes you a glutton for pain, or at least sick in the mind. Anyways, Dave and I started out workout today with the usual five minutes on the bike followed by some stretching and goofing off.

We then chose to perform standing e-z bar curls with a narrow grip. My first set was 15 reps with 70 lbs followed by another 10 reps with the same weight. We then jumped up to 90 lbs and I squeezed out another 10 reps. Next it was 110 for another 10 reps. At this point, my biceps were already screaming for mercy but I wasn't going to be a pussy and quit. We put on 130 lbs and I cranked out six grueling reps. Not to shabby since I haven't performed this exercise in God knows how long. Next came e-z bar spider curls with a wide grip on the bar. Using 70 lbs, I cranked out 10 reps and then with 90 lbs, I cranked out another six reps.

We then grabbed a 45 lb dumbbell for one arm spider curls. With the 45 pounder, I cranked out eight reps with each arm starting with my weaker left side, of course. I then increased to a 50 lb dumbbell for my next set. With the 50 pounder, I cranked out six reps with each arm. Next came seated alternating incline dumbbell curls with the 40s. I managed two sets of 14 alternating reps here and my biceps were completely toasted. I don't know what it is about this particular exercise but it just seems to take an eternity to finish a set. I guess it being extremely difficult only compounds matters.

To finish off our biceps workout, we performed alternating dumbbell hammer curls. Using the 40s, I cranked out a set of 20 alternating reps and then a set of 30 alternating reps. Now it was time to hit the triceps. We started off with regular bodyweight dips to get blood in the triceps. Two sets of 15 reps here and we were quite warm. Next came close grip bench press, a classic mass builder for triceps. Using 135, I cranked out 10 reps followed by six with 225 and then six with 245. Next, we performed reverse grip triceps extensions using the e-z bar. Using the entire stack of 200 lbs, I cranked out 13 fairly easy reps.

We then put a 25 lb plate on the 200 lb stack to make it 225 for our final set. I was able to crank out seven reps with 225. Next came lying triceps extensions, our one overhead movement for triceps. Using 70 lbs, I performed 15 easy reps. Next, I used 120 lbs for eight tough reps. Afterwards, we decided to train calves. We started off with standing calf raises with 225 for 20 easy reps. We then pyramided up to 315 for another 20 reps, then 405 for another 20 reps and finally 495 for 15 reps. Next it was seated calf raises for three sets here. The first was with 90 lbs for 20 reps. The second was with 180 for 20 more reps and finally, the third was with 230 for 15 reps. All I can say is: OUCH!