Monday, 4/8/02 - Hamstrings and Abs
We're almost done with the "welcome back" training cycle. After tomorrow, it will be time for round two. Since I spent all of yesterday studying for the MCAT, I was itching to get back into the gym for a good workout. What better way to start off the week than with hamstrings!?
Before we did hamstrings, we had to start with some abs first. After the warm-up we made our way over to the decline bench for some basic sit-ups. Since this was the first time that we had worked abs, we did not use any weight and did three sets of 20 reps. So far, so good, the pain was pretty minimal, but my abs were tight already. For our other exercise, we did crunches on a flat bench. Here, we rested for a very short period between sets and did another three sets of 20 reps. Now, it was onto the main entree.
For our first exercise, we started in on some lying leg curls, feet in. We didn't use this exercise as a warm-up to hamstrings like we usually do. My first set was with 60 lbs., for a light warm-up of 15 reps (back to the 15 rep regimen again). The next set was with 80 lbs. for another light set of 15 reps. Next, I jumped to 110 lbs. for another quick set of 15 reps. Finally, for my final set, I went up again to 150 lbs. for a set of, yes, 15 more reps.
The next exercise on the agenda was straight-leg dead lifts. Here, my beginning weight was 135 for a set of 15 reps. The stretch felt good, something that I had definitely been missing for a couple of weeks. My second set was with 225 lbs. for a set of 12 reps (finally, not 15 reps!). I did my work set with 315 lbs. for a set of 10 solid reps. The weight felt kind of heavy, but nothing too challenging, enough to get a really good pump though. Our last exercise was the uni-leg curl, my favorite. We started out with a 25 on each side, for a total of 50 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. The second set was done with twice as much weight, 100 lbs., for a set of 15 more reps (again, with the 15's). Finally, I ended our workout with another set of 15 reps with 150 lbs. My hamstrings had definitely missed this type of activity, and I was sure that I would feel the effects tomorrow.
Tuesday, 4/9/02 - Arms and Calves
Well, I was right, my hamstrings are killing me. I couldn't believe that I was already that sore. I could definitely tell that I had not worked them in a while. Today, is a good day for you readers because I finally got it together and wrote down exactly what I did for calf training. Also, it's my old man's birthday, so Happy Birthday, Dad!
First up was arms, so after the warm-up, we went over to the preacher bench for a little one-arm dumbbell preacher curl. Instead of doing this exercise the regular way, we removed the seat and used the bench backwards. This way, the weight was moving vertically instead of at an angle. We warmed up with a 30 lb. dumbbell for two sets of 15 reps. I won't lie, the warm-up sets were difficult, kind of embarrassing, but oh well. The next two sets were done using a 40 lb. dumbbell, which I did ten times each set. The next exercise was regular barbell bench press done at an angle, not vertically. We only used 75 lbs., however, we switched our hand position each set. My first set was done with a wider grip, the outer curve of a curl bar. My first set was for 12 reps. For the next set, I moved my hands in on the inner curve of the curl bar, and did another set of 12 reps. My biceps were already blitzed. For our final exercise for biceps, we decided on incline dumbbell curls. By the way, this was an excellent exercise to end on. The first set was a set of 10 reps, each arm, using 35 lb. dumbbells. I stuck with the same weight for my last set and got 8 reps, each arm. What a pump!
Triceps were next on the schedule, and we started off with dips, using only bodyweight, as usual. We did three sets, total, of 15 reps per set. After that quick warm-up, we went over to a flat bench for some nose breakers. The first set was another warm-up using 70 lbs. for a set of 15 easy reps. Next, we upped the weight to 120 lbs., and I did that for a set of 10 reps. My triceps felt like they were going to burst out of the back of my arms. From there, we went over to the cable machine for some supinated pushdowns using a curl bar. The first set was with 120 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. So far, so good, my triceps were really starting to fatigue. My last set was with 150 lbs., and I did that 12 times. Now, that was a good arm workout!
Next up (for me, not Phano), calves. As always, I started off this body part with 2 sets of 20 reps of standing calf raises with body weight only. I started off with seated calf raise this time, something new. We loaded two 45's on each side for a total of 90 lbs. With this weight, I did 3 sets of 20 reps, making sure that I stretched in between each set. Next, I went up to140 lbs. for a set of 20, and then up to 180 lbs. for another set of 20. Now for the trip down the pyramid. I loaded 140 lbs. back on and did another set of 20, and then went back down to 90 lbs. for a final set of 20 reps. Wow, I'd be lying if I said walking was easy at this point. Next, I hobbled over to the standing calf raise, where Phano had already thoughtfully loaded my weight on. The first weight was 225 lbs. for a set of 20 reps, and then 315 lbs. for another set of 20 reps. For my final two sets, I went back down to 225 lbs. for sets of 20 reps. Well, there it is, an accurate calf workout; good luck walking if you do this workout correctly!
Wednesday, 4/10/02 - OFF DAY
Yes, I spent all day today in the library preparing for the MCAT, which is now only 10 days away. Luckily, for me, the dining hall is not far at all from the library because my calves were hurting like no other.
Thursday, 4/11/02 - Quads
We've now officially made it through the "welcome back" cycle, so now it's time to increase the intensity by one RCH. It's back to quads, so it's time to get down to business.
After the warm-up, we stretched on the mat for about 5-10 minutes, and go good and loose before embarking on yet another episode. We started on the leg extension, as always. We did three sets here of 15 reps. The weights used were 50, 80, and 110 lbs. I had a pretty good pump already, which was good because I always get more out of squats if I can get a little blood flow before starting. The first two sets of squats were with 135 for sets of 15 reps. Next, we went to 225 lbs. for a set of 15 reps and then a set of 10 reps. 275 was the next stop, and I did that for a set of 8 reps. My legs were definitely ready, I knew that I was going to have to do more reps than I was use to, but that was fine by me. Next, I went to 315 lbs. and only did a set of 6 reps to get a feel for the weight. I stayed at 315 for my heavy work set and did a set of 14 reps with it. Well, I felt magnificent after that set. The kicker was next, I dropped down to 275 lbs. and did a light work set for 13 reps. Damn, I felt like pure shit.
We went back to leg extensions after that. I was really struggling to walk; it was all I could do to keep from collapsing, however, July 6th is only around the corner so I can't spend time worrying about what I can't do. The first set of extensions was done using 100 lbs. for a set of 20 reps. Next, I jumped up to 150 for a set of 15. I followed that set with another set of 15 reps with the same weight. Hack squats were next on the list. My brain felt like it was about to shut off, so I had to rely on pure motivation from here on out. The first set was with 225 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. My stomach went numb during this set and I lost hearing in my left ear momentarily, no shit. My last set was with 315 lbs. for a set of 10 reps. Now, my whole face was numb, especially around my lips and my hands were starting to curl up for some reason. It's not the first time that's happened; it always happens when I go really hard on quads. To finish off this workout, we did two sets of walking lunges, 60 steps total per set. After the last set, I just laid on the floor praying that I would have enough juice left to make a protein shake.
Friday, 4/12/02 - Chest
Good news, my quads are not that sore?yet. However, rest assured, that DOMS will catch up, and I will feel the effects this weekend (DOMS = Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Enough about quads, on to the chest workout.
After warming up, the first exercise that was on the list was incline bench. My beginning weight was 135 lbs. for two warm-up sets of 15 reps each. Next, I made a jump up to 185 lbs. for two more sets of 10 and 8 reps. For my next set, I went up again to 225 lbs. for a set of 6 easy reps. For my work set, I jumped to 275 lbs. for a set of 5 punishing reps. To end this exercise, I dropped back down to 225 lbs. for a set of 9 reps. Next up, incline flyes. For my first set here, I did 60 lb. dumbbells for a set of 12 warm-up sets. My second and final set was done using 80 lb. dumbbells for 10 reps.
The next exercise that we had lined up was flat machine press. Using last week's weight as a reference, I used 170 lbs. for a set of 12 reps. My chest was approaching that wall, and I knew it wouldn't be long until fatigue set in. For the last set, I went up to 200 lbs. for 10 full reps. To end this workout, we jumped on the cable machine for cable crossovers. My first weight was 70 lbs. and I did it for 15 reps. To end this escapade, I increased to 80 lbs. and did a final set of 12 reps. This was a great workout; it was all I could do to get those last couple of reps.
Saturday, 4/13/02 - OFF DAY
Just like I said, the soreness in my quads has finally set in with a vengeance. Today I had to take a practice MCAT, so my mind was a little distracted from the soreness, temporarily.
Sunday, 4/14/02 - Back
Well, here we are, another lazy Sunday, but that all changes when we hit the doors of the gym for another back workout. The soreness still remains strong in my quads and now in my chest, but after the endorphins kick in, I'll be doing fine.
We started in on some pull-ups after the warm-up. I started out with the same two sets of 10 reps just like last week. However, I did a third set this time with a 25 lb. plate and got 12 reps with it. Bent over rows was the next hurdle. Here, I started with 135 lbs. for two sets of 15 and then 12 reps. The weight felt light, and my back felt really good after doing pull-ups first. Next, I jumped to 185 lbs. for a set of 10 reps. Finally, for my work set, I went with 225 lbs. and got it 15 times. My mid-back felt like it was dripping, literally.
From there, we trekked over to do some seated rows. Again, we used the individual handles instead of the V-bar in order to get more of a contraction. First, I started with 110 lbs. for a set of 12 reps, and then made an increase to 150 lbs. for a set of 9 reps. Using these handles really makes all the difference with this exercise. Next up were curl-grip pull downs. I started with 100 lbs. for 12 reps. The weight felt pretty light, but I could tell that my back was starting to give out. F*ck it, gotta keep digging. For the final set, I did 120 lbs. for a set of 10 reps.
Now, I was definitely not expecting to do this next exercise until next week. However, dead lifts were next in the line of exercises. We skipped the bullshit and started with 225 for a set of 10 reps. Next, we slapped on 315 and I did that for another set of 10 reps. Finally, it was up to 365 for a set of 9 reps. Unfortunately, my grip wasn't strong enough, so I couldn't hold on to the weight for that last rep. For our final exercise, we went with barbell shrugs. Here we did one set with 135 lbs. for a set of 15 easy reps. Next, our final set was with 225 lbs. for another easy set of 15 reps. We called it quits after that exercise, retired to quick pose down, and then it was off to the dining hall to replenish.