New Training Journal!

Today was mine and Dave's first session together since the beginning of the summer. I knew I was in for a kicker because I had just taken an entire week off from all types of training.

8/19/02 Monday - Back/traps

Today was mine and Dave's first session together since the beginning of the summer. I knew I was in for a kicker because I had just taken an entire week off from all types of training. Besides, Dave is an excellent pusher and he really pushes me far beyond my limits. We started today s back workout with front pull-ups for three sets. I managed a set of 10, 8 and 7 reps, respectively. We then went the dumbbell rack to perform one arm dumbbell rows. I used a 100 lb dumbbell for 12 reps per side for two sets.

Next came an exercise which I have ignored for the last two years and I don't even know why. Behind the neck pulldowns are great for working the back if done properly. We started with 100 lbs as a warm up set and I performed 11 reps. The next set was with 120 lbs for 10 reps and finally 130 lbs for eight reps. Next came barbell rows using an overhand grip on the platform. My first set was with 135 for 10 reps just to get a feel for the movement. I then increased the weight to 185 and cranked out another 10 reps.

For my heaviest set, I used 225 for a measly eight reps. Oh well. At least I m working the intended muscle group. Next came curl grip pulldowns, one of my favorites. We set the pin at 120 lbs and I cranked out 10 reps. We then increased the weight to 140 lbs and I cranked out six more reps. Our next exercise was seated cable rows using separate handles. I used 140 lbs for two sets of eight reps each. After this, Dave thought we were finished and about shit a brick when I told him that we were deadlifting today.

He said: "oh well." After injuring my back a little over a week ago doing deadlifts, I was very cautious this time. I loaded the bar with 225 and performed eight good reps. Next it was 315 for four reps to positive failure. Nothing too taxing. It was just enough to ease myself back into the movement.

8/20/02 Tuesday - Chest

I was sore from training the past two days. My legs are aching like they've never ached before and my back is as stiff as a board. Oh well, it's the price you have to pay. Today was chest day and I was really psyched about it. I want to improve on my weakest body part and the only way to do this is to really hit it hard. Dave and I started today's session with incline barbell presses. I am using a grip that is slightly wider than usual.

I place my index fingers on the mark that is engraved in the barbell. This is about three inches wider than normal but this small modification can mean a lot for growth. We loaded the bar with 135 and I cranked out 15 easy reps. Next came 155 for another easy 10 reps. Then it was 185 for eight easy reps. I still wasn't pumped yet but I knew that my next set would set my pecs on fire. We loaded the bar with 225 and I cranked out eight reps. I then increased the poundage to 245 and I was able to cranked out five solid reps. For my final set, I used 255 for a triple.

I was very excited about this and my pecs were pumped all to hell! Next came flat barbell bench press, my least favorite exercise. Mainly because I suck at it. I loaded the bar with 225 and struggled to get six reps and then five reps for my two work sets. Next it was decline barbell press to hit the lower pecs.

Using 225 and tired as hell pecs, I managed a set of six reps and then a set of five reps. To finish off our workout, we performed flat dumbbell flyes for two sets. On the first set, I cranked out 10 reps using the 50s. On my next set, I used the 70s for five reps. All in all, today was a short but great workout. I had an awesome pump and so did Dave. Our job was done for the day.

8/21/02 Wednesday - Shoulders/calves

Today's workout was going to be brief but tough. We began with the usual five minutes on the bike to get the blood going and then starting with seated dumbbell side laterals to warm up the delts. I used 12s, 15s and 20s for 15, 15 and 10 reps, respectively. After getting a little blood into the delts, it was time to move to our mass building exercise: behind the neck press. We loaded the bar with 135 and I cranked out 10 easy reps. We then loaded the bar with 185 and I was able to cranked out a set of seven reps and then a set of five reps. Not too bad for my first session back.

Next came one arm dumbbell side laterals, a must for wide delts. Using a 35 lb dumbbell, I managed 12 reps per side. For my next set, I increased the weight to a 40 lb dumbbell and still managed 12 reps per side. Next came t-bar rear delt laterals. To warm up with this exercise, we used the 45s for 15 easy reps. Now it was time to work. I grabbed the 55s and cranked out 12 solid reps. I then increased the weight to 60s for my last set and squeezed out a grueling 10 reps.

My rear delts were on fire after this set but we weren't finished yet. It was time for alternating dumbbell front raises, my least favorite shoulder exercise. I started with the 25s and managed 20 alternating reps with ease. I decided to increase my next set to the 35s and still managed 20 alternating reps but it was difficult as hell. At this point, we were done with shoulders but I still had calves left. I began with single leg calf raises for two sets of 20 reps each to warm up. I then moved to the leg press machine to perform some leg press calf raises.

I loaded the machine with 270 and squeezed out 20 reps. I then increased the weight to 360 and managed another 20 solid reps. They were burning all to hell but I wanted to finish them off with seated calf raises. Two sets of 20 reps using 90 lbs was all I needed to toast my calves. Watch out everyone because I m training calves again!

8/22/02 Thursday - Hamstrings

There's something about training hamstrings that really eludes me. Some days will be unbelievable and other days will be mediocre. It s not that I m not working hard enough because I'm always busting my ass. It's just sometimes I can t get the pump that I want. The same goes for my chest. If I can ever figure my body out, then I will be one step closer to understanding myself. We began today's session with the usual five minutes on the bike.

Then we headed to the mat to stretch a bit. After some talking amongst ourselves, headed to the lying leg curl machine to perform lying leg curls with our feet apart on the padding. My first set was with 80 lbs for 15 reps. Next it was 120 lbs for another 15 reps and then 160 lbs for 15 more reps. I was really pumped at this point so we jumped right into 200 lbs for my first work set. On my first set, I managed eight reps and then seven reps, respectively. Next came romanian deadlifts, a must for well defined hamstrings.

If you re not doing these then you re cheating yourself out of full hamstring development. We started with 135 which I managed for 15 easy reps. Next came 225 for 10 easy reps. Now it was time to work. We slapped on 315 and I cranked out 10 grueling reps. By this point, I ve lost all feeling in my hamstrings but we still had one movement left. It was time to head back to the lying leg curl machine to perform lying leg curls with our feet positioned together on the padding. Using 150 lbs for both sets here, I managed 12 reps and then 10 reps to absolute failure. I m going to be sore as hell tomorrow!

8/23/02 Friday - Arms

Today's workout began with standing barbell curls, a change from our usual workouts. We started off with just the bar for 15 reps. We then slapped on some 10s to make it 65 lbs for 10 reps. Our next set was with 95 lbs for another 10 reps. My biceps were fully pumped at this point and I could have stopped there. We then had 115 lbs on I cranked out seven reps and then a set of six reps. This particular exercise really stresses my wrists and it doesn t help when I have these small bony, girly wrists. Our next movement was e-z bar spider curls using an inside grip.

Our first set was with 70 lbs with which I performed 10 reps just to warm up. Our next set was with 90 lbs with which I managed only seven reps. Next came one arm dumbbell spider curls using a 45 lb dumbbell. I managed two sets of six reps per arm. I could definitely tell at this point that I was really pushing myself like I used to about four or five months ago. I told Dave that I wanted to ease back into training and that I didn t want to kill myself on the first week.

So we moved on to triceps next and we started with the usual dips for two sets of 15 reps just to get the blood flowing a bit. Next came close grip bench press to really pack on the mass on the triceps. I'm telling you, if you aren't doing this exercise then you aren't building triceps. It s great for packing on size and strength and I ve always done them and will continue to do them. We put on 135 for 10 reps to get things warm a bit.

Then it was 225 for six reps and then 245 for five reps. Next came reverse grip triceps extensions for two sets. My first set was with 150 lbs with which I performed an easy 15 reps. I pretty much wasted a set here but oh well. My next set was with 200 lbs with which I performed eight reps here. That was more like it. Our final exercise was one arm dumbbell overhead extensions using a 35 lb dumbell for two sets of eight reps each. Nothing fancy here. Just some old fashioned hard work.

8/24/02 Saturday - Rest

8/25/02 Sunday - Quads

Today was going to be hell. I just had a feeling deep down inside me that I would be hurting during and after today's session. I was more right than ever. We began today s session with the usual five minutes on the bike and then followed up with some light stretching. We then performed leg extensions to get the knees and quads warm before heavy squatting. After three warm up sets with 70 lbs for 15 reps, 120 lbs for 15 reps and 150 lbs for 10 reps, we moved on to squats.

I immediately slapped on 225 and Dave was puzzled. I said that I couldn't feel 135 anymore and that I needed 225 to properly warm up. I cranked out 15 reps with 225 and then loaded the bar with 315. I performed a set of eight reps with 315 and then a set of five reps. We then loaded the bar with 365 and I cranked out seven tough reps.

For our final set, we loaded the bar with 405 with which I was able to crank out four reps. We then headed to the hack squat machine and loaded the machine with 315 lbs. With 315, I was able to crank out 10 reps and then we loaded the bar with 405 lbs.

With 405, I was somehow managed five reps. At this point, I was extremely exhausted but I wanted more. To be number one, you have to train as if you re number one. We headed back to leg extensions for three more sets. My first set was with 100 lbs where I performed 15 reps.

My next set was with 150 lbs where I managed a set of 12 reps and then a set of 15 reps. Dave was able to really push me on my last set which is why I was able to perform three more reps. We then waddled outside to perform our two sets of walking lunges. Two sets of 40 alternating steps here and we were through. I know I'm going to be hurting tomorrow!