Bulking - Week #18!

My strength is climbing on just about every exercise. My diet has been pretty on the money. Cardio is going well. Just like finding the right exercises for weight lifting, I am finding the right cardio exercises.
Bulking - Week #18

NOTICE: This is article #18 of this series. Click HERE for the front page.

Diet and Supplements

Same as last week.


Monday, January 13th


Abs/Chest

Leg Lift 20 lbs X 10, 8 - View Exercise
Weighted Crunch 35 X 10, 6 - View Exercise
Cable Crunch 170 X 12 - View Exercise
Bench Press 245 X 6, 5, 6 - View Exercise
Incline DB Press 80 X 7, 4, 4 - View Exercise
Weighted Dips 30 X 7, 6 , 4 - View Exercise

My strength continues to climb on chest day. My ab exercises are also progressing nicely. As mentioned this before, but prior to this routine, I never really felt much from flat bench press. But I've been loving it. It feels like I am really hitting the chest and hard. I'll be incorporating it more into my routines. Weighted dips continue to destroy my chest. I feel to focus of the exercise much more in my chest than with dips using my body weight.

Q: I've always been told that using weights on ab exercises will make your stomach bigger. Is it true?

A: NO! I'll direct you to Layne Norton's ab article for the reason why: Click HERE!


Tuesday, January 14th


Biceps/Triceps/Calves

Barbell Curl 135 X 6, 4 - View Exercise
Skull Crusher 145 X 6, 4 - View Exercise
Ez Bar Curl - 135 X 6, 4
Pressdown - 190 X 6, 5 View Exercise
Reverse Curl - 110 X 6, 6 - View Exercise
Reverse Pressdown - 180 X 4, 6 View Exercise
Standing Calf Raise 440 X 8, 6 - View Exercise
Seated Calf Raise 180 X 8, 8 - View Exercise
Leg Press Calf 630 X 8, 6

* I alternate between bicep and tricep exercises

My weights increased and I focused more on executing each exercise better. By this I mean a better range of motion, a better stretch and a better contraction. My calves hit a standstill in growth when I was using higher reps, but I am loving the lower rep range.

Q: I notice you use a low rep range for your calves. Don't they respond better to higher reps?

A: Calves are just like any other muscle. They will grow when you properly overload them. This means training hard and HEAVY! I was doing 20 to 30 reps for awhile and got nothing from it. I did this, because like you said, most people feel that calves to be hit be using a higher rep range because they are mostly fast twitch muscles fibers. But, in order to overload the muscle, you must make them work more than they are accustomed to. That is why using a heavier weight is a wise choice for calves.

Cardio

Rowing for 16 minutes
Calories burned 183

I do not like rowing for cardio. I feel it works my muscular system more than my cardiovascular system. It also puts a lot of pressure and stress on your ankles because the straps pull on them when you push off. Therefore, I will most likely not do rowing again.


Wednesday, January 15th


Legs

Squats 315 X 6, 4, 4 - View Exercise
Stiff Leg Deadlift 235 X 6, 6, 6 - View Exercise
Leg Press 540 X 4. 450 X 4, 4 - View Exercise

Tfter talking with a friend who is into bodybuilding, I was motivating to up my weight on leg press. He said, "Derek, your legs are way bigger than mine, yet we use close to the same weight. I think you're holding back." He was right. I was holding back. I don't know what made me make such a big jump, but I decided to add two 45's to each side. Man this was much tougher. I took a lot out of me, but I got my 4 reps while keeping my normal range of motion. On another note, I think my squat strength is suffering because of my cardio. I guess I'm just not used to the extra work. But I will keep doing the cardio and see how things go.

Q: You always talk about range of motion when doing leg press. Is it really that important?

A: The reason I stress ROM on leg press is because most people use such a poor range of motion. I go all the way down until the sled clicks stop and can't go any further. This kills your quads. You also have to push the sled further up. The more a muscle is stretched. The harder it can contract. By not using a full ROM on the leg press, you are limiting the development you can receive from the exercise.


Thursday, January 16th


Abs/Delts/Traps

Leg Lift 20 X 12, 10 - View Exercise
Weighted Crunch 35 X 12, 8 - View Exercise
Cable Crunch 170 X 15 - View Exercise
DB Shoulder Press 80 X 6, 4, 5 - View Exercise
Side Lateral 35 X 8, 8, 8 - View Exercise (Two Arms Shown)
Bent Over Lateral 20 X 10, 8, 8 - View Exercise
Shrugs 315 X 6, 4 - View Exercise
Dumbbell Shrugs 50 X 20, 15 - View Exercise

It is hard for me to get the DB's into position for shoulder press. I usually either clean them or throw them up with my knees. This takes up too much of my energy. I'll have to find another way to get the DB's up there.

Q: What do you think about front lateral rasies?

A: I like them. I did them during my preparation for my last contest. I believe they help create separation between the delts and the pecs. I already hit my fronts delts pretty hard, so I do not plan on adding them to my routine.

Cardio

16 minutes on Elliptical
Distance covered: 1.31


Friday, January 17th


Weighted Wide-Grip Pull Up 35 X 6, 4, 4 - View Exercise
Bent Over Row 235 X 6, 6, 4 - View Exercise
T-Bar Row 200 X 6, 4, 4 - View Exercise
Forearm DB Curl 75 X 8, 6 - View Exercise
Forearm BB Curl 135 X 10, 8 - View Exercise

Like weighted dips, I feel weighted pull ups hit the lats more than pull ups done with your body weight. It seems like they take the focus totally off your biceps and places it all on the lats.

Q: You've been doing wide grip pull ups, bent over rows, and t-bar rows for this whole bulking cycle. Don’t you think your body will keep responding to them?

A: Not at all. I am continuing to increase my weights, reps, and execution of these exercises. I feel I can hit my back the best with these three exercises. If you are continuing to challenge and overload your muscles, they will not say, "Hey, we've been doing this exercise for too long, so I'm not gonna grow anymore." There is no set time when you must stop doing an exercise because your body will always respond if you challenge yourself.


Saturday, January 18th


Off


Sunday, January 19th


Cardio

16 minutes on Bike
Distance covered 5.6


Weekly Reflection


My strength is climbing on just about every exercise. My diet has been pretty on the money. Cardio is going well. Just like finding the right exercises for weight lifting, I am finding the right cardio exercises for me. I have to find what forms of cardiovascular exercises I can do as to not disrupt my weight training.

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