10/3 Thursday - Chest and Biceps
Due to my field trip, I decided to take a light training day again so I will keep it quick. After my warm-up I did two sets of flat bench press. I used 135 pounds and got 15 reps each time. I then went up to 155 for two sets of ten. I was mostly looking to get a good pump and get out of there. I was very busy with school and still lacking in my diet. I know that I won't grow unless I eat, so there is no sense in just wasting energy lifting heavy weight today. I just want to keep my muscle memory up to date with the exercises. I moved on to incline press where I did 115 for 3 sets of 10. I skipped the dips and moved on to dumbbell flys. I did tow sets with a pair of 45's for 10 reps each.
I was now ready to do a quick biceps workout and get out of there. I started off with four sets of standing ez-bar curls with 65 pounds. My first set was for 10, followed by three more sets of 12 each. I then moved on to two sets of incline dumbbell curls. I started with 35's for 10 and then 40's for 8. My final exercise was two sets of dumbbell hammer curls, using a preacher bench. I began with a 30-pound dumbbell for 12 reps. My final set was for another 12 reps. That was my workout. I know I won't get sore, or grow from this workout, but I think it will help me next week when I will be back on my diet, and ready to lift heavier.
10/4 Friday - OFF
10/5 Saturday - Shoulders and Calves
I'm so glad I took Friday off, I feel much stronger and back to normal. I was excited about getting in the gym and working hard. I was also excited about doing behind the neck barbell press for my shoulders. It's a fairly new exercise for me and I am improving rapidly.
After my warm-up on the bike and some lengthy stretching, I was ready to hit the weights. I began with three sets of light dumbbell side laterals to get a pump going in my shoulders before hitting the press. I did my typical three sets of 10x15, 15x12, and 20x10. I was now ready for behind the neck press. I began with 95 pounds for 15 easy reps. I then moved up to 115 for a set of 12, 10, and 9. I felt fairly strong and excited to move on to one arm side laterals. This is an exercise that my roommate Phano introduced my to and I am seeing the results in only a month.
I am getting some nice striations on my side delts, and they always burn like hell after this exercise. I began with a 20-pound dumbbell and did 15 easy reps. I could have skipped this one because it was a little too light for me. I moved on to 30 pounds for another 15 reps. I then moved on to a 35 for 12 reps and a 40 for 7 hard reps.
I had to use an incline bench for my rear delts as opposed to the T-bar. It wasn't too much different. I was able to get 15 reps for my first set with 30 pounds. For my second set I used 40 pounds for another 15 reps. I did another set at 40 pounds for 15 more reps. For my fourth and final set I used 45 s for 7 reps. I moved onto front dumbbell raises. My first set was with a 30-pound dumbbell in each arm for 10 reps. I jumped up to 40's for my next two sets, which I got 9 and 7 reps each.
For calves, I decided to go with Smith Machine raises. I began with 135 for 20 easy reps. After stretching I went up to 225 for two more sets of 20 reps. I then went up to 315 for two more sets of 15 and 12. All and all, it was a great workout. I was back to my normal strength level in every exercise.
10/6 Sunday - Triceps
I was definitely excited about training triceps. I always train them Sunday night around 7 or 8. I like going in the gym after a full day of carb loading, having a great workout and then going home to shower and sleep. It's a good way to end the weekend. After I warmed up I headed over to the dip bars to get to work. I did two warm-up sets of 15 reps, followed by a third set of 12 with a 45-pound plate. I was now ready for close grip bench press. I began with 115 for 12 reps. After a quick stretch I went up to 135 for another 12 reps. I then went up to 155 for 9, and 185 for 6 harsh reps.
I decided to drop back down to 135 for a final set of 8 slow reps. It was now time to move on to skull crushers. I began with 50 pounds (plus the 17-pound bar) for 15 reps. I then moved up to 70 plus the bar for a set of 7 and two sets of 6. The skull crushers felt really good, I could feel my triceps stretching and contracting hard. I kept the movement slow so momentum would not come into play. I also do these slowly because they can put tremendous strain on your wrist, elbow, and shoulder regions. After some water and some stretching, I moved on to pronated cable pushdowns.
I began 110 for 15 reps. For my second set I moved pin up to 140 and banged out another 15 reps. For my last set, I chose 170 and was able to get 7 difficult reps. I made sure not to lean into the weight, but rather just let my triceps do all the work. I moved on to supponated cable pushdowns. I only did two sets using 110 for 14 and 130 for 8. I decided to do one more exercise, bench dips, to finish off my evening. I began with a 45-pound plate on my lap for 14 slow reps. I kept constant tension on my tri s by never locking out at the top. I finished off with 90 pounds on my lap for 8 slow, burning reps.
10/7 Monday - Quads and Hamstrings
After my warm-up on the bike, I immediately began my leg extensions. I performed three sets using 60, 80, and 100 pounds for 15 reps each. After a little more stretching, I moved onto squats. Starting with 135 pounds, I performed 15 reps. I then added a 25 on each side to 185 and did another 15 reps. For my third set I put on 225 for 12 reps. My fourth set was with 275 for 6 reps. I decided to move onto Leg Presses. I began with 270 pounds for 14 reps. I made sure to lower the sled as deep as possible on every rep. For my second set I used 360 for another 14 reps. I then went up to 450 for three sets of 12, 10, and 9.
After Leg Press, I moved on to Leg Extensions to isolate my quads. I began with 130 for 10 reps. My quads were really burning now. I finished with 150 for 8 slow reps. I was really feeling nauseous by now but I knew that I had to keep at it. I moved over to the hack squat machine and threw on 180 for 16 reps. I then went up to 270 for two sets of 8. For my last set, I dropped back down to 180 for only 8 reps. I was done with quads!
For hamstrings I began with one-legged curls on a cybex machine. This machine is great for your hamstrings because you can really squeeze them hard at the top of the movement. I began with 45 pounds (per leg) for 20 reps. I then jumped up to 90 pounds for two sets of 12. For my last set, I used 135 for 7 reps. I moved on to straight-legged deadlifts. I used a barbell for this exercise, which I normally don't do. I kept the weight very light because otherwise I just end up using my lower back the entire time. I did four sets using 135 pounds. My first set was for 15 reps. My next two sets were for 15 and 12, and my last set was only for 8. I think I rushed into my last set without adequate rest.
10/8 Tuesday - OFF
10/9 Wednesday - Back and Traps
I was feeling refreshed after taking Tuesday off, so I was eager to get back in the gym for some back and trap training. After my warm-up, I set off to do some pull-ups. I completed a total of 31 in four sets of: 10, 10, 7, and 4. My third set is still improving, so I was happy about that. I really felt this in my lower lats today. After some deep stretching, I moved on to my second exercise: Bent over Barbell Rows. Today was my "Dorian" style rowing day, which means I perform the rows with a supponated grip, and I only lean over to a 70 degree angle. This allows me to use much heavier weight than the standard style of rows. It also places more emphasis on the lat region as opposed to the mid-back area. For my first set I performed 17 easy reps with 135 pounds. For my second set I got another easy 13 reps with 185. Now it was time for my two work sets of 225. On my first set I was able to get 11 reps, and on my second set I was able to get only 10.
Reverse grip pulldowns were next. I love this exercise because you can squeeze the hell out of your lats. When performing these, remember to use your hands as hooks to pull the bar down, and don't let your biceps do the work for you. Refer to my article "Back for Beginners" for some other tips on Back training. For my first set of pulldowns I set the pin at 110 and performed 13 reps. I then did two more sets: 120 for 12 and 140 for 8 difficult reps. My lats were pretty pumped after this, so I decided to take a minute and really stretch them out. I moved on to one arm dumbbell rows. I performed 5 sets of these.
My first set was more of a warm-up, using 60 pounds for 12 reps. The next four sets were all with a 100-pound dumbbell for 10 reps each. I moved on to a new machine, the cybex pulldown machine. This machine is kind of weird, because I can use 300 pounds apparently. For some reason I don't think I am quite that strong yet!! Regardless, I can really feel this exercise in my last, so that is why I use it. I did two sets at "300 pounds" for 8 reps and 7 reps.
Now it was time for my to hit my traps. I chose standing dumbbell shrugs. Beginning with a pair of 80's, I shrugged 18 reps. I made sure to lower the weight myself, and not let gravity do the work for me. I then went up to 100's for a set of 15, 12, and 12. That was it, simple and effective. Until next time, train safe!