Monday, 4/1/02 - Quads
Well, well, here we are again, back from spring break, rested, and ready to get back down to business. It was a pretty good week off. I spent my time basically studying the whole time for the magical day, 4/20/02, the MCAT. I was definitely ready to get back in the gym and get back on schedule. What better way to start off a new training cycle than with quads on April Fool's Day?
I met up with Phano at the gym, and we proceeded to start our warm-up. After a five-minute bike ride and about ten minutes worth of stretching, we headed over to the leg extension. This was going to be a "light" workout so that we could kind of ease back into things. We started out doing 3 sets of 15 reps for warm-up sets before starting on squats. Our first warm up was with 60 lbs., the second set was with 110 lbs., and the final set was with 120 lbs. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't already have a pump and a burn in my quads. Yep, I was starting to feel that week off. We headed over to the squat rack and loaded 135. We did two sets with this weight; the first set was for 15 reps, and the second for 10 reps. Next, we jumped up a plate to 225 lbs. Again, we did two sets here of 15 reps, and then another set of 10 reps. I was definitely breathing hard already, but that's understandable with the amount of reps we were doing. For my fifth set, I went up to 315 and got it for 8 not-so-easy reps. For my last two sets, I dropped down to 225 lbs. for two sets of 12 reps. Damn, my legs were punishing me!
For our next exercise, we walked/stumbled back to the leg extension for three more sets of 15 reps. The first set was done using 100 lbs., the second with 120 lbs., and the final set with 150 lbs. Now, it was time for some hack squats. My legs were starting to give out, so I was pessimistic about my upcoming performance with this exercise. I started, and ended, with 225 lbs. for two sets of 10. I know, a little pathetic, but tell that to my legs. To finish off quads, we went into the hallway and did two sets of lunges for 40 total steps. This was a nice welcome-back workout!
Tuesday, 4/02/02 - Chest
We're working out on Tuesdays now, and taking Wednesdays off so that I can study all day Wednesday. That's just how the schedule works with classes and all. We also switched quads and hamstrings just to get a different feel for this next go-round in the training session. Now, back to other matters. My quads were definitely feeling the effects of yesterday's workout, and then some. Walking sucks.
After the usual warm-up, we headed over to the incline barbell bench. We slapped on 135 and I did two quick sets of 15 reps. The weight felt light, but a little off-balance, which is expected for the first chest workout. For the next set, I went up to 185 lbs. for two more sets. I did 10 reps each set at this weight. The next four sets were done using 225 lbs., and I got 8 reps for the first three sets and six reps for my final set. My chest was about ready to explode already. The next exercise was vertical machine bench press. I started out with 140 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. The weight wasn't heavy, but my chest was running out of gas from the start. I jumped up to 170 lbs. for my next set, and got 15 reps there. For my final set, and jumped up again to 210 lbs. (10 lbs. heavier than I had meant to load), and pushed out 10 grueling reps with that weight. We only did three exercises today, and ended the workout with cable crossovers. I started at 60 lbs. for a set of 15 reps. My last set of the workout was with 70 lbs. for a set of 12 reps.
I couldn't believe how worn out I was with only three exercises. That's all right though, because the next workout will be that much better!
Wednesday, 4/3/02 - OFF DAY
Yes, the quads and chest are very tender, more so than expected. It's alright because I spent all day in the library; surprise, surprise.
Thursday, 4/4/02 - Back
Geez, you would think that the first two days back would not leave you that sore, but my chest and quads are both still sore as hell! I'm sure tomorrow will be no exception as far as my back is concerned. On to the workout!
For a change of pace, after the warm-up we started with pull-ups. The past couple of workouts, we had been starting with bent-over rows, but we went back to our old ways in order to get back into the swing of things. I did two sets of only 10 reps, just to get a good stretch and to get some blood flowing, and it worked! Next, we did some bent-over rows. For my first set, I started with 135 and did two light sets of 12 reps. For my last set, I did 185 for another set of 12 reps.
Our first working pull down movement was using a V-bar. Here, I did two sets of 12 reps. The first set was with 100 lbs., and the second was with 120 lbs. Both of these weights felt very light, but, by concentrating on pulling exclusively with my back muscles, the weight used turned out to be rather challenging. I had a good pump going so far, a better pump than what I had expected at this point. Next, we went over to do some seated rows using two handles, the kind you would use for cable crossovers. By using these handles, you can bring the weight closer to you and really squeeze your back even more. I did two sets total with this exercise. The first set was with 100 lbs. and I got that for 12 reps. My last set was with 120 lbs. and I pulled that weight for a set of 10.
For a little surprise for me, we did deadlifts next. I was definitely not expecting to do this movement already in our "welcome back" routine. Oh well, it can't do anything but make me grow, right?! We started out at 135 and did that for 10 quick reps. I could already tell that this was going to be loads of fun. Our next weight was 225 lbs. of 10 more reps. We only topped out at 315 lbs. for a set of 10, but trust me, this was plenty for our first back day. Our last exercise was dumbbell shrugs. Personally, I had wanted to do these for some time. I always had pretty big traps when I was a powerlifter, but since I started bodybuilding, they've definitely taken a dip in growth. We did three sets total using 75 lb. dumbbells for sets of 15 reps. That's it for this back workout, tomorrow, it's shoulders!
Friday, 4/5/02 - Shoulders
Wow, I can't believe I use to have a problem getting my back sore after working out. The good news is that my quads and chest should not be sore tomorrow. The bad news is that all of the soreness went to my back. I think it was the deadlifts that contributed the most!
Today was a pretty light day, like the other workouts this week, but rest assured that I still had to work to get through it. After the warm-up, we started in on some side lateral raises. Just like the old days, we did not use this exercise as a warm-up. My first set was with the puny ten pounders for a set of 15 reps. Next, I jumped up to the 15's for another set of 15 reps. I didn't have much of a pump at this point, as usual. For my third set, I went up to 20's for 15 more reps. Another five pound jump put me at 25's for another 15 rep set. Finally, my fifth and final set was with 30 lbs. for a set of 15, yes 15, more reps.
For our next exercise, it was on to seated dumbbell press. The first set was another warm-up with 65's for a set of, yes, 15 reps. I made a jump up to 75 lb. dumbbells for yet another set of 15 reps. Now my shoulders were starting to really get tired from all of these reps, even though the weight was not very heavy. For my final set, I went with 80's for, you guessed it, 15 reps. The last exercise in this bout was rear delt lateral raises on the t-bar bench. Here, we did not rest long at all between sets, just long enough for Phano or me to finish our set. We used 30 lb. dumbbells and stuck with that weight for all three sets. And yes, all three sets were for 15 reps, which make a total of 165 reps across three exercises, not too shabby.
Saturday and Sunday, 4/6/02 & 4/7/02 - OFF DAYS
We decided to take Sunday off because Phano and I both needed to study. Unfortunately there are few things that are slightly more important than lifting, and we just couldn't get around it with our schedules. However, Monday will be hamstrings, one of my favorites!