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Training Journal Page 2!

Sure, you could get huge, but you could also injure yourself within the first 5 minutes that could put you out for six weeks. Not fun huh... Here are some tips for training safe and smart.

Training Journal #2

9/12 Thursday - Chest and Biceps

Today is the beginning of workout B. It starts the same way, 5 minutes on the bike and some stretching. I then headed over to the dumbbell rack. I start with incline dumbbell press. This is in contrast to beginning with flat bench press last week. My first set is with 50's for 12. After some more stretching I went up to 65's for another 12 reps. Now I moved to 75's for 9 slow reps. I finished off with 85's for 6 good reps. I love this exercise. I then adjusted the bench to do flat dumbbell press. Starting with 60's, I stopped at 10 reps so I didn't fatigue. Then came 2 sets with 70's for 9 and 7. My last set was with 80 for 7 reps. Next was flat machine press on the cybex chest machine.

I like using this because I can go heavy to get a few negative reps. I also like it because there is hardly any thinking involved; all I have to do is push and not squirm. I started with 130 for 10 reps, and then 160 for 6 reps. I decided not to do any negative reps this time. I then moved back to the bench to do some flat dumbbell flys. Starting with 40's, I got 8 reps. I then went to 50's for a set of 8 and 7. My pecs felt full and pumped.

After stretching a bit I moved on to my biceps. I started with straight bar curls. My first set was just the bar for 20 reps. I then put 10 on each side to get 15 reps at 65 pounds. I then moved up to 85 pounds and got 10 reps and 11 reps. I was not happy with that, but I haven't done straight bar curls in a few months. I decided I should do them to gain more mass in my biceps. The next exercise I did was spider curls on the opposite side of the preacher curl bench.

I have never done these before, they were suggested by Phano, and they were hard as hell. I started with only 20 pounds plus the ez curl bar and was only to get 10 reps. I decided to stay at 20 pounds and got a set of 9, 9, and 7. This isn't much weight, but I think I will see fast improvement in this exercise since it is brand new. It puts a lot of stress on the lower part of your biceps, and allows no cheating at all. My last exercise was standing ez bar reverse curls. My first set was with 45 pounds plus the ez bar for 10 reps. I then did three more sets of 10, 9, and 9.

9/13 Friday - Shoulders and Calves

I started off today with 5 minutes on the bike and a lot of stretching because my chest was pretty tight from yesterday. After stretching I headed over to the dumbbell rack to warm up my shoulders. I started with dumbbell side raises. Beginning with 10's for 20 reps, stretch, then 15's for 15 reps. After a little more stretching and some water I finished with 20's for 12 reps. It was now time for a new exercise for me.

My main mass builder has been dumbbell press or front press on a smith machine. I decided to drop the smith and use behind the neck barbell press. I don't have a spotter, so I have to ask around the gym to get help with this exercise. I really don't like doing this, but I don't have a training partner. I started with just the bar to work on form. Form will be very important over the next few months while I learn more about this new exercise. I then went to 95 pounds for 12 reps. This is a difficult exercise for me. Next was 115 for 10 and a set of 8. I hope to see good improvement in the future for this exercise. Next came leaning dumbbell side raises.

Starting with 25's I was able to get 15 reps. The next set was with 30's for 12, then 35's for 10. I side delts were aching so bad at this point. I made sure I kept perfect form the entire time. I then moved on to T-bar rear delt raises. Starting with 30's I got a pretty easy 15 reps. Then came 40's for two sets of 15. I think I will go up in weight next time. My final shoulder exercise was front dumbbell raises. I hold them as if I were doing a hammer curl for biceps. Starting with 30's, I alternated arms for a total of 10 reps. I then went up to 35's for 8 and 40's for a difficult 7 reps. I'm glad that's over. Training shoulders always gives me a weird feeling. That burning/aching feeling is different for me than other body parts. It almost feels wrong in a way, but it works.

Now it is time for calves. Stating with seated calf raises I did four sets. I started with 2 sets of 90 pounds for 15 and 15 reps. Then I moved to 140 for a set of 15 and 12. This is another exercise I have trouble with because I never did it before. I then moved to standing calf raises

9/14 Saturday - OFF

9/15 Sunday - Triceps

I began today with the 5 minutes on the bike and some stretching as normal. I then went to the dip bars. After two warm up sets of 15 each, I strapped a 45-pound plate around my waist and went to work. I managed a set of 12, which isn't too bad for me. After a quick stretch I did my fourth set buy only managed 7. I then headed over to the bench press so I could do my next two exercises: skull crushers with an ez bar and close grip bench press. I began with 50 pounds on the ez bar and got 12 reps. For my next set I put 70 on the bar and got 8 slow reps. Now it was time for close grip bench.

This is an excellent exercise for adding mass to the triceps. I have only been doing this exercise for a short time, so I still have to really focus on form and feeling it in the belly of my triceps. I put 115 on and got 10 reps. I stopped at 10 so I didn't pre fatigue. Next came two sets of 135 for 10 and 9 reps. I felt this a lot more so I was happy, now I just need to get my weight up. Now it was time to go to the cables and do suppurated cable pushdowns.

I began with 100 and got 15 easy reps. I then moved on to a set of 12 with 130 and a set of 9 with 150. My last exercise was pronated pushdowns. I did a set of 15 with 100 which was pretty easy. My last set was 150 for another 15. My triceps were full and tight and I was happy with what I had done so I left to drink my shake and go home.

9/16 Monday - Quads and Hams

Led Day: I always look forward to this day, but I fear it also. That's because if I have a great workout, I know my legs will grow from it, but I also know that having a great workout means I will bring myself to the point of throwing up, passing out, or just wanting to quit completely! Leg day is the hardest day without a doubt. After my warm-up and stretching I headed to the leg extension machine to get even more blood in my quads.

I began with a light set of 50 for 15 reps. I point my toes up and squeeze my quads at the top and then lower down slowly. I did a second set of 70 for 15 and then my final of 90 for 15. I could feel that my quads were a little more pumped so I stretched and flexed them a bit more before heading over to the squat rack. I like doing legs on Mondays because everyone else does chest. The benches are usually lined up with shaggy haired frat boys bouncing the bar off their chest like it's a trampoline and arching their back so far off the bench you would think they were trying to perform some obscene act. So I began my squats with 135 for 15 reps. I then moved up to 185 for another 15 reps.

After some stretching I did 225 for only 10 reps, which I wasn't happy about. I then moved up to 275 and managed 8 reps. I decided to do another set at 275 and got 7 reps. My last set was with 315 for only 4 reps. I've done better, but that's life. I then moved back over to the leg extension to burn my quads some more. I did my first set with 100 for 15 reps. I then moved up to 130 for another 15 reps. After a quick rest I moved the pin to 150 and got 12 nauseating reps. After I caught my breath I headed over to the hack squat. Starting with 180, I managed 12 and 11 reps. My third and final set was with 270 for 6 reps.

Now its time for hamstrings. Beginning on the leg curl machine I started off with 100 for 15 reps. After a minute or two of deep stretching I went back and got a set of 120 for 15 and 150 for 10. My hamstrings were already tight from the squats so I stretched again. My last two sets were 150 for 10 and 170 for 6 reps. I then made my way over to the dumbbell rack to perform stiff legged dead lifts. Beginning with 60's I got a set of 15 and a set of 12. I then jumped up to the 100's and got two sets of 8. I'm glad I was finally done. My intensity and focus started to go toward the end of my workout. Its something that will improve with time if I keep practicing. After only 12 months of working out, I am completely happy with where I am at. I know that if I keep working out like this I will make even more gains as my musculature matures and my focus and intensity deepens.

9/17 Tuesday - OFF

9/18 Wednesday - Back and Traps

My lower back is a bit sore today from my leg workout. Sometimes squats can bother my lower back. I began with about 8 minutes on the bike. I went a little longer because I thought it might help warm and loosen my lower back. I focused on my lower back during my stretching also. By the time I started my pull-ups it felt pretty loose. I began with a set of 10 and 10. Next I managed a set of 6 and a final set of 4. Next was bent over barbell rows. With this workout I keep a pronated grip and my back parallel to the floor.

This does two things: it changes the focus of this exercise and it also means I will use less weight. I began with a light set of 115 for 15 reps. Next I did 135 for 12 and 155 for 11. My last set was 185 for only 8 reps. Deadlifts were next. This is a new exercise for me, I have only been doing it for a few months and I am taking it really slow to make sure I have correct form. I began with 135 for 10 reps.

When I do Olympic style dead lifts I don't drop the weight on the floor between reps. I am not going for strength, rather muscular contraction, so I keep the weight off the floor the entire time to keep constant tension on my back. I was taught by an old school power-lifter. I met him at a gym back home this past summer. I then went on 225 for 9 more reps. I then did two more sets with 275 for 8 and 6 final reps. My back was tight as hell.

I moved on to lat pull downs. I only did two sets, 100 for 15 and 130 for 12. Next came V-bar rows on the cable machine. I started with 90 and got 15 easy reps. My last set was with 120 for 12 reps. My last exercise was dumbbell shrugs. I began with 60's for 15 and 15 reps. I finished with 100 s for two sets of 12. That's all I did for back. More to come later.