Hey everyone, I'm starting a training log so that you can get an idea of what Phano and I actually do in the gym. At this point, I'm a little over 5 months out from my next contest which is in the beginning of July. Hopefully, you'll be able to see the kind of intensity that we work at, and will be able to apply to your own workout. Please note, that the recap of our workout can be a little "rough" as far as language is concerned, so read at your own risk. Sorry, but I can't just give you the Disney version of our style. Feel free to e-mail me or Phano with any questions you may have concerning these workouts.
I was feeling a little tired this morning for some reason. I mean it is Monday, and I did take yesterday off, so you would think that I would have felt great. Today we trained back, so I really needed to get myself mentally and physically going in order to endure what was to come. I met Phano (who was sick) at the gym. We warmed up, like always, for 5 minutes on the bike, and went to stretching for about 5 minutes. Even warming up felt a little rough, but I didn't let it bother me. I had to stay focused on training.
First, we started off with pull-ups. This is what we do every back session. For my first set, I did 15 nice and easy reps, stretching right after. Oh yea, I already had a good pump going (which can be attributed to good form). Now onto another warm-up set of 10 reps, nice and slow, trying to pull with my elbows and arch my back. So now, it's time to work. One work set is all it takes. I grabbed a weight belt and a 45 pound dumbbell. By this time, I had already forgotten that I had been dragging ass all morning. I heard Phano talking to me, but it didn't register. I had to get my mind right and get ready to pull for all I'm worth. I grabbed the bar, looked up, closed my eyes, and starting pulling. I continued with the set, barely hearing Phano counting in the background. Now it was really getting tough, I didn't know what rep I was on, I just had to keep pulling until I couldn't bend my arms or feel my back. Set's over, I asked Phano how many sets I did. Alright, time to do some seated rows.
Usually we do seated rows deep into the workout, but today we're switching it up a little. We started off with a moderate weight for 10 easy reps, trying to really squeeze the mid-back by squeezing the shoulder blades together. We increased the weight by 20 pounds for the first set. This weight definitely felt heavier, but nothing that couldn't be handled. After 10 reps, I could really feel my back responding. One more set here, which is one more than usual of this exercise. I went up another 10 pounds for whatever I could get for reps. I got my mind set, and started in on the set. I hear Phano saying, "Pull it you pussy!" Inside, I'm thinking, "What the hell do you think I'm doing?" I keep pulling until the weight just about slips out of my hands. Next up: V-bar pulldowns.
These are really a bitch because the real goal is to make your lower lats cramp. One warm-up set of 12 was done to gauge strength, and then the work began. "Alright, nice and easy," is what I kept telling myself. My back was beginning to cramp after the first rep. I kept on pulling, and arching my back while looking up at the ceiling. With Phano's help, I was able to pull for 10 reps. Now it was time for some barbell rows.
I don't think 135 pounds had ever felt so heavy. This was supposed to be a warm-up, but I already had a massive pump, which made the weight feel very heavy. We threw on 185 for another set of 10. I still had a little left, so 225 was the next choice. The biggest thing that was on my mind was to remain bent over, and not begin to stand straight up. Picking the weight up felt easy, but once I bent over to do the set, I knew I was in for it. After a grueling set, I pumped out 10 more reps. My back was definitely on fire at this point. So does that mean we're done, yeah right, time for some behind the neck pull-downs.
Good God, this exercise was hurting my shoulder, but thankfully, the endorphins took care of that. After a set of 10 and another set of 8, I was really starting to feel gassed. However, one good set of lawnmower pulls was still left on the agenda. It was all I could do to keep my form, but I dug deep and kept going, just trying to rely on what was left of my back to get me through the set. After 10 painstaking reps, back was over with. Now, I just had to knock out calves. But first, we had to retire to the bathroom for the post-workout posedown while our backs were still pumped.
As usual, I worked calves solo with Phano there to push me along and keep my intensity up. Don't get me wrong, Phano has obviously put in his time working calves, if you can't tell. I knew I was in trouble when just the warm-up set of standing calf raise alone caused my calves to really start burning. However, I had to continue on to the leg press machine for some calf raises. First, I started with 20 reps of 225 with my toes forward. I stretched after the set and got right back down for another 20 with toes pointed out, and then again with toes pointed in. And yes, it hurt, badly. But that's not the worst part. We increased the weight to 315 and did the same thing again, 20 reps, 3 different foot positions. What a burn, I could hardly stand up after the last set. Oh well, no time to think about that, I still had two sets left with 405. It took all I had to bang out 15 reps and then 13 reps. Now that I couldn't walk on my toes at all, it was time for some seated calf raise. The first set was 15 full reps, which was murder. After two more sets of this, I was finally done.
Off day, I was still tired as hell today, I don't know why. I skipped studying tonight, so hopefully, I can get a little bit of rest. My calves are unbelievably sore to the point where I can barely put my heal on the ground.
Thankfully, I feel much more rested for today's workout. However, my calves are as sore today as they were yesterday. I didn't have many classes today, so I was definitely ready to hit the gym hard (as usual). Unfortunately for Phano, he was still sick, but I think he is on the road to recovery. Today was shoulder day, which is a body part that I have been having a little trouble with lately as far as actually being able to get sore and not being able to feel the muscles working. We began with a light warm-up of stationary bike for 5 minutes, and then stretched thoroughly for another 5 minutes. Time to hit it!
Our first exercise was side lateral raises. I think this is the exercise that has been giving me the most trouble, but with a few tweaks in form, the problem is slowly being resolved. I started out with 12 lb. dumbbells for a warm-up set of 15 reps. No problem, I had a little bit of a pump afterwards, which was probably from stretching as well. Next, I did two more warm-up sets, 15 lb. dumbbells for a set of 10 reps, and 25 lb. dumbbells for 15. Now I've really got a pump, which means it's time for the work sets. First, I started with 30 lb. dumbbells for 15 reps, not too difficult. I went up to 35 lb. dumbbells for two grueling sets of 10 reps. Next up, seated dumbbell press. I think I expend more energy actually walking back and forth with the dumbbells than I do actually doing the set. I started out with 60's for a light set of 12 reps. I needed to get my shoulders use to this movement before I start hammering out heavy weights, so I did another warm-up set with 70's for a set of 10. Feeling a little fatigued, but ready to increase the work load, I went up to 80's and pumped out 6 reps. This weight was not my work set, so I kept the reps low to prevent exhaustion before my heavy set. Finally, I grabbed the 100's and knocked out 8 a total of 8 reps. Shit, it was heavy, for the last 2 reps it was all I could do to fight the negative. When you've got a guy yelling, "Come on you fuckin' pussy, DO IT!!" you don't really have much of a choice!
On to rear delt laterals on the T-Bar bench. We did these with a little twist, 3 sets, no rest in between. I only used 30 lb. dumbbells, but they proved to be plenty of weight. After the second set, I was thinking to myself that it felt like we were doing precontest work. My shoulders were en fuego after the third set! Oh well, can't quit now!
I really like the next exercise that we did, front dumbbell raises. This exercise was killer, especially after all the other stuff we had done. I ended up doing 2 sets with 35's for 10 reps per arm. I can't even hear what the hell Phano is saying at this point because I was straining so hard to keep my form and do the weight. So that's it. Yea right, one more exercise to go!
One arm side lateral raises was the final exercise on the agenda. Usually we do these leaning, but today we decided to stand up straight during the set. I knew I was in trouble when I picked up the thirty pound dumbbell and it felt like a 60. Oh well, I couldn't think about that, just had to push on. I did good the first set with 12 reps, but hit the wall on the last set for 10 reps, in which I sacrificed form for the last two. We finished with just enough time for a quick posedown before we went to eat.
Yes, my calves are still sore as yesterday and the day before. But that's a secondary thing because despite this, I felt great, and today was the Granddaddy of all workouts, quads. Sometimes it sends chills up my spine when I think about this workout, but it's gotta be done. After we finished our same initial warm-up and stretching, we headed over to the leg extension machine for an additional warm-up.
We kept it light because this was just for a warm-up, and besides, squats were next anyways. I ended up doing 3 sets of 15 reps at 60, 100, and 150 lbs. The most important thing was to stretch with every set in order to maximize the effects of warming up. All right, the initial warm-up phase was over, time to squat.
Still starting light, I did 135 for 15. This felt exceptionally light, thank God. Next was 225 for 10. I still felt great, which was kind of shocking. We slapped on a couple of quarters for a set of 6 with 275. The reps were kept low to prevent pre-fatigue. The same concept was applied to 315 for 6 reps as well. Now I was ready to get down to business. First set, 365 for 6 reps. Holy shit, this felt extraordinarily heavy. That sucks because I still have to go up to 405. Although I was a little hesitant to go up to this weight, I had to do it no matter what. Mind over matter is all it came down to. I slapped on 405 and get 4 reps until I bottomed out on the last one. At this point I thought I was done. Oh no, not yet, still had to squat til failure with 315…DAMMIT!! It didn't feel all that heavy, but I could tell my legs were really starting to fatigue, and I hit the wall on about the fifth rep, but stayed with it until I bottomed out, again, on rep 10. Time to go home? Huh.
The worst part was over, but I still had my work cut out for me. Hacks squats were next on the list. 315 was the starting weight and I pushed for 8 reps. Next set, we jumped straight to 405, which I got for 9 reps. I felt like pure shit, I was actually suicidal at this point. This feeling was further compounded when I had to do one more set with 455. My legs were toasted, and I bottomed out on rep 5. Ok, now can we go home? No.
We took the trip back over to the leg extension machine, and unfortunately for us, it was still there. My starting weight was 100, which I got for 12 reps. I really couldn't feel my quads at this point. Next, I did 150 for 12 more reps. I don't know how, but I gathered what was left of myself and knocked out 180 for 10 painstaking reps. Seriously, isn't time to go home? Ha.
Now, it's time to finish them off with some walking lunges. Oh, the humanity! How can I lunge, I can't even fucking walk?! To my dismay, we were doing 4 sets of 20 reps (20 reps per leg, 40 in all) instead of our usual 20. Oh well, what's two more sets at this point, I mean I'm really delirious at this point anyways. So, we got all four sets in, skipped the posedown and yes, went home.
I really don't think that my legs and ass have ever been this sore. I felt like this was the first time I had ever done legs. I knew I was in trouble at about 7 o'clock last night when I was already getting sore. And yes, my calves are still as sore as the day after. Thankfully, we had arms today, but unfortunately I almost tripped about 150 times because I was having trouble picking up my feel to walk. I met Phano at the gym and we went through our normal warm-up routine and stretched and were ready to get down to business.
We started off with standing EZ bar biceps curl. Still needing to really warm-up my arms, I began with 40 lbs. for 15 easy reps. I stretched good and proceeded to do 70 lbs for 10 slow reps. I already had a huge pump, but I felt strong too, which was a definite plus. Next, I went up to 90 for a set of 8 for a semi-work-set. Finally, for my work set, I curled 120 lbs. for a set of 8. This was much more difficult than I had expected, which is not necessarily a bad thing.
Now, it was time for some one-arm preacher curls. This exercise really blitzes my biceps, it feels like every fiber in my biceps is contracting. I started out light with a 45 for a set of 11. At this point, my biceps were definitely full of blood. I jumped up to a 50 lb dumbbell and pulled enough for 8 reps worth.
Our next exercise was incline dumbbell curls with a slight twist. Instead of bringing the weight up in an alternating fashion, we curled both dumbbells at the same time. This was really tough as far as trying to keep my elbows in a fixed position. I guess it didn't help that my biceps were about to pop. I ended up doing 40 lb dumbbells for 9 and then again for 7 reps.
To top our biceps workout, we ended with alternating dumbbell hammer curls. After 1 set of 10 reps with 40's, we both agreed that since we really couldn't feel our biceps, it would be best to go ahead and start triceps.
As usual, we started out with 2 sets of 15 for dips. This was an unusual workout because we did everything on the cable machine. This was definitely a first in our training style. We began with suppinated cable pushdowns with the curl bar. The first set was a light set of 150 lbs. for 15 reps. Whenever I turn my wrist over for suppinated, I can really feel a difference. Feeling strong, I went up to 200 for a set for a set of 10 reps.
Both Phano's and my elbows have been aching, so we decided to do standing triceps extensions on the cable machine using a rope instead of free weight with a barbell. Nevertheless, I actually felt this exercise more than usual. For my first set, I did 120 lbs. for 13 reps, and for my work set, I got 160 lbs. for a set of 10. When I put the weight down, my arms felt like they were about to explode, the pump that I got was awesome.
To finish off our already worn out triceps, we did straight bar pronated pushdowns. I started again at 150 lbs., and did it 12 times. My strength was quickly weaning. I put that thought in the back of my head as I did one more set of 12 reps with 170 lbs. It was off to the bathroom for a quick posedown and then to the dining hall for a post workout meal.
Today was an off day for us, and I spent it in the library studying all day long while my quads and calves both continued to ache nonstop. I'm cutting I'm cutting both of my legs off if the situation doesn't change by Monday.
Will the pain ever stop? I mean come on, this is really getting ridiculous with this soreness. Today is hamstrings, and I'm feeling great because I finally got to sleep in this morning, so I feel fresh. Hamstring day is always a great workout day because no matter what exercise I do, I can always feel the exercises that we do. So now, it's off to the races. We went through our everyday warm-up/stretch routine, taking a little extra time to stretch this time. We started off with lying leg curls for warm-up. I did 3 sets of 15 reps with 60, 100, and 140 lbs., nothing real serious, yet.
Next we went to one of my favorite movements, one-legged leg curl. This exercise is really great for targeting in on each leg separately. We started piling on the quarters, starting with 1 a piece, 50 lbs., for 12 reps. Next, we hopped up to 100 for 15 more reps. My hamstrings were feeling great, and I felt like I could go up infinitely. However, I thought it would just be best to go up in 50 lb. increments. So, for my next set, I put on another pair of 25's for 150 lbs. total, which I did 15 times. Finally, for my official work set, I put on one more pair of quarters, 200 lbs., for 10 grueling reps. What a pump.
Next up, straight leg deadlifts. This exercise is the bread and butter for great hamstrings. I needed to warm-up my lower back a little bit, so I started with 135 lbs. for 12 reps. We've had to use the straight bar for this exercise because the dumbbells just weren't heavy enough anymore. Next, I went up to 225 for 8 reps. This weight really didn't feel bad at all, so I went up to 315 for 4 good reps, again, trying to prevent fatigue before my work set. Finally, I jumped up to 365 for a long set of 8 reps. My body was just about to give out, but we weren't done yet.
To end our workout, we went back to lying leg curl for three painstaking sets. My first set was 100 lbs. for 15 easy reps. Again, I wanted to get my hamstrings used to a curling movement before I piled on the weight. At this point, I really couldn't feel my hamstrings, I was just pulling and hoping for the best. I did another set of 130 lbs. for 15, and ended the workout with a set of 12 with 160 lbs. We dragged ass out of the gym, hit a quick posedown, and went home to recover for tomorrow's chest workout.