New Training Journal!

Check back weekly to see my training routines and how they went...

9/2/02 Monday - REST

9/3/02 Tuesday - Quads

My throat was bothering me from Sunday and I could tell I was starting to get sick. So I started loading up on vitamin C and Echinacea. We even took Monday off because it was labor day and I was feeling extremely tired and so was Dave. However, today we would have to make up for yesterday and there is no worse day to make up than a quad day. We started off with five minutes on the bike followed by some stretching. We then went directly to the leg extensions machine for three warm up sets here. The first was with 80 lbs for 15 reps. The second was with 140 lbs for 15 reps. And the last one was with 180 lbs for 10 reps.

Next came squats, the grand daddy of all leg exercises. My first set was with 225 for 12 reps. My second set was with 315 for 10 reps. My third set was with 365 for six reps. My final set was with 405 for four reps. I remember thinking to myself that all I wanted to do was to puke, curl up into a ball and lay there after squatting. Next came hack squats. Will this torture never end? We loaded 405 and I cranked out eight reps. Next came 455 with which I managed five reps with.

I could barely walk at this point but we had a job to finish. We then went back to the leg extension machine for three more work sets. My first set was with 150 lbs for 15 reps. I then increased the weight to 180 lbs for 12 reps and finally, I used 200 lbs for 10 reps. To finish off this workout, we performed the usual: walking lunges. Two sets of 40 alternating steps and we were done. I even managed to puke while lunging on the last set but did I stop? Hell no! My indomitable spirit to keep on pushing no matter what is my true power. Blood and guts training just like Dorian Yates!

9/4/02 Wednesday - Chest

After completely obliterating my quads yesterday and suffering minor damages to my body, I felt as if I could handle any type of training. Today it was chest day. Chest training used to be one of my hated days because I could never make as much progress as I did with my other body parts and that bothered me. But lately, I've started to enjoy chest training more and more. I guess it s a combination of progress and contest fever. At any rate, I was really psyched about hammering away at my chest.

We began today's workout with the usual warm up: five minutes on the bike followed by some light stretching. Then it was off to the incline barbell press. I've been using a wider grip than I normally do and I think that has a lot to do with my new progress. Instead of placing my pink fingers on the groove in the bar, I place my index finger on the groove. This small change has made a big difference in my chest training. We started with 135 with which I performed 15 reps. Then it was 155 for 10 reps, then 185 for 10 reps and then 225 for eight reps. At this point, I was nice and warm and ready to hit the big weights.

We loaded 245 on the bar and I cranked out six reps. I could have gone more but I thought to myself: "what the hell? I might as well increase in weight again." We then loaded the bar with 265 with which I was able to perform four reps with. We then moved to incline dumbbell flies. For my first set, I used the 60s for 10 fairly easy reps. I then increased to the 75s with which I was able to get eight reps. Next came flat dumbbell presses. My chest was pumped all to hell and I knew these would be hard but I welcomed the challenge. I grabbed the 100s and cranked out a set of seven reps and then a set of six reps.

Next came decline barbell presses, an exercise that I had long forgotten about. Using 225, I managed a set of six reps and then a set of five reps. To finish off our pecs, we performed high cable crossovers. Using 60 lbs per side, I performed a set of 15 reps and then another set of 15 reps with 80 lbs per side. All in all, a great workout! Actually, now that I think about it, I haven't had one mediocre workout since Dave and I started training together again.

9/5/02 Thursday - Back

My left shoulder started bothering me after yesterday's workout and I think it's my rotator cuff. It even irked me a bit during today's back session but after a few intense sets, the endorphins kicked in and I felt no pain. We began today's workout with our usual five minutes on the bike and some stretching. My pecs were sore as hell but fortunately, we weren't training chest two days in a row like a lot of people I know. Our first back exercise has always been and probably always will be front pull ups. Why? Well, they're easy to do and they warm up my back. I performed three sets here. The first for 10 reps, the second for 10 more reps and the last one for 9 reps. Then it was off to do one arm dumbbell rows off the dumbbell rack.

I grabbed a 100 pounder for my first warm up set for 10 reps per side. Then I jumped to a 110 pounder for another 10 reps per side. On my last set, I used a 120 pounder for 10 reps per side. Next came behind the neck pull downs. Using 130 lbs for my first set, I performed 12 easy reps. I then increased the weight to 150 lbs and managed eight reps. Let me remind you that when I say I performed an "easy" set, it's not really easy. I still squeeze the bedamnit out of the working muscles to ensure that I'm not wasting a set.

Next came seated cable rows using separate handles, of course. Starting with 150 lbs, I cranked out a set of 10 reps and then with 170 lbs, I cranked out a set of eight reps. We then moved to performed curl grip pull downs. Starting with 120 lbs, I cranked out a set of 12 reps and then increased the weight to 150 lbs with which I was able to perform eight reps. Now it was time to really kill ourselves with sumo style deadlifts. Our first set was with 225 with which I performed 10 easy reps. Next came 315 for eight reps and then 365 for six reps.

I was going to attempt 405 and actually got it up once but that was all. I then tried a second time and was only able to move it once. I was so agitated that I tried a third time and still only got it up once. Although I had missed my target reps, I still tried. Now it was time to do some trap work. The only exercise we employed was behind the back barbell shrugs. The first set was with 135 and that was an easy 15 reps. Then it was 185 for another easy 15 reps. To make things hard, we put on 225 and I was able to crank out 12 reps. If you do these right, you can really feel it pull on your traps. It will thicken your traps and a study that I just read that measured EMG readings for trap exercises indicates that behind the back barbell shrugs is 2nd only to dumbbell shrugs in EMG activity.

9/6/02 Friday - Shoulders/abs

Today will make the fourth day in a row that we've trained and I'm starting to feel the affects of training for several days without a day of rest. However, today was shoulder day and I really enjoy shoulder training. It didn't matter to me that we've been training without rest because I was really psyched about contest preparations and making progress. We began today's workout with five minutes on the bike followed by some light stretching. Then it was off to do standing dumbbell side laterals for three warm up sets. The first was with the 12s for 15 reps.

The second was with the 15s for another 15 reps and finally, the last was with the 25s for 10 reps. Now it was time to work. We started off with behind the neck press with 135 on the bar. I performed 10 easy reps here and then we loaded 185 on the bar. With 185, I was able to perform eight reps. This wasn't terribly difficult so I increased to 205 for my final set. With 205, I was able to perform six reps. Next came one arm dumbbell side laterals for two work sets here. My first set was with a 45 pounder with which I performed 12 reps per side. Then it was a 50 pounder with which I managed another 12 reps per side. We then performed two drop sets of standing dumbbell side laterals. The first was with 20s, 15s and 10s. Using these dumbbells, I performed 10 reps per set for a total of three sets, back to back to back. Next, we used 25s, 20s and 15s and I somehow performed 10 reps per set again.

Next came t-bar rear delt laterals, which is probably the best exercise for rear delts, in my humble opinion. The first set was with 50s for 15 reps. Then it was the 60s for 10 reps. To cap off shoulder training, we performed alternating dumbbell front raises. My first set was with the 35s for 20 alternating reps. My next one was with the 40s for another 20 alternating reps. One thing that I've been able to do again is push myself beyond the threshold of pain. When it starts hurting, I push even harder than before until I nearly lose feeling in my muscles and my hands go numb. Now it was time to perform some abdominal work.

We started off with rope crunches for two sets here. My first set was with 100 lbs with which I performed 30 reps. My next one was with 150 lbs for 20 tough reps. Next came decline crunches for two sets using added resistance. The first set was with a 25 lb plate on my chest for 20 reps and my second set was with a 45 lb plate on my chest for another 20 reps. To finish off today s session, we performed seated knee-ups. Two sets of 30 reps here and we were done.

9/7/02 Saturday - REST

9/8/02 Sunday - Hamstrings/calves

After a day of rest, I felt really good and refreshed. I was going to need it with today being hamstrings and knowing that I would have to do Romanian dead lifts with 365 lbs. That's enough to make virtually anyone cringe in fear, but not Dave and I. We welcome the challenge of any lift and if we miss, at least we tried. We started today's session with our usual five minutes on the bike and some stretching.

Immediately, we went straight to the lying leg curl machine to perform lying leg curls with our feet positioned apart on the padding. My first set was with 80 lbs for 15 reps, 120 lbs for 15 reps and finally 160 lbs for another 15 reps. Now that my hamstrings were nice and pumped, it was time for our two work sets. I loaded the entire stack of 200 lbs on the machine and cranked out a set of 10 reps and then a set of eight reps. We then moved to the smaller gym called Strength and Conditioning Room 2 to perform our romanian deadlifts and unilateral leg curls, a must for quality hamstrings. We loaded the bar with 135 and cranked out 15 reps for our first set of Romanian dead lifts.

Then it was 225 for 10 more easy reps followed by 315 for an easy eight reps. Now it was serious. We put on 365 and I cranked out eight reps which was the same as last week. However, it felt a lot better than last week did which means I'm making a slight strength improvement. Our next movement was unilateral leg curls. My first set was with 90 lbs with which I performed 15 reps per side with. Next came 140 with which I performed two sets of eight reps per side. To finish off today's session, we hit the calves a bit.

First it was standing calf raises for four sets. The first was with 225 for 20 reps, the second was with 315 for 20 reps, the third was with 405 for 20 reps and the last was with 495 for 20 reps. Next we performed smith machine calf raises for three sets here. The first was with 315 for 20 reps, the second was with 405 for 15 reps and the last was with 405 again for another 15 reps. Our final calf exercise was seated calf raises for three sets here. The first was with 90 lbs for 20 reps, the second was with 180 lbs for 20 reps and the last was with 230 lbs for 15 reps. Nothing fancy here, just enough to get the job done and done right.