Training Journal Page 6!

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 #6

10/10 Thursday - Chest and Biceps

I have decided that starting next week, I will begin a mass building phase in which I will be lifting much heavier weights, hopefully, and eating much more food. I'm going to stop trying to eat so clean and just start eating a lot every three hours. That means I might be making some trips to Arby's for a few Big Montana's, or some trips to the Mexican restaurant, or some Chinese take-out. My body fat percentage is somewhere around 8-9%, so if I gain some fat it won't be a big deal. I am such a hard gainer, that if I do gain fat, I know exactly how to get rid of it fast.

I arrived at the gym feeling strong, and ready to finish out this last week before I begin my training with a new approach. I am giving myself this week to mentally prepare, because it will be tough. After my standard 5-minute bike warm-up, I went over to the bench press. This is the last time I will do bench for a while. Next week I will use incline press, and flat dumbbell presses as the two main mass builders for my chest. I began with two sets of 135 for 15. After some isometric contraction and stretching, I went up to 185 for a set of 8 and set of 6. I moved on to incline dumbbell presses. Beginning with 65's, I banged out a set of 12. I then went up to 70's for 3 more sets of 10,10, and 8.

After some water I moved on to dips with my feet out to place the stress on my lower pecs. I went with my body weight and got a set of 18, a set of 15, and a set of 12. My last exercise would be incline dumbbell fly's. I used 45's for an easy set of 15. I then jumped up to 55's for a set of 12 and 65's for a set of 8.

Unfortunately, I hurt my left wrist during this biceps workout. I was doing EZ-bar curls with a 35 on each side, and I guess my left wrist just lost it for a second, and that was all it took. My wrist bent backwards, and strained something on the outside of my arm. Oh well, that just means I'll have to tape it up for a while. My workout was obviously cut short due to this. All I did was four sets of curls using an EZ-bar. I managed a set of 15 with a 25-pound plate on each side. I then did another set of 15. I was able to get 12 with a 35 on each side, and then on my last set my wrist gave out. I called it quits and went home. I was disappointed but also determined to not let it stop me.

10/11 Friday - Shoulders & Calves

My wrist hurt quite a bit today, but I decided to tape the hell out of it and go on with my workouts anyway. I began with my warm-up, and then taped up my wrist and got to work. I continued my delt warm-up with my standard side raises. 10x15, 15x12, and 20x10. This felt fine on my wrist, so I moved on to behind the neck barbell press. I began with two sets of 95 pounds for 15 reps each. I then moved up to 115 for a set of 12 and a set of 10. I moved on to dumbbell presses. Beginning with a pair of 55's, I banged out a set of 10 and a set of 8. After some stretching and water it was time to blast my side delts. I did this by doing a drop set of seated side raises with dumbbells.

Using 20's, 15's, and 10's, I managed to get 10, 8, and 8 all with perfect form. This really made my delt's burn like wildfire. I moved on to two sets of standing one-arm dumbbell side raises. I began with a 30 and banged out 10 reps. I made sure to raise my pinky finger higher than my thumb at the top of the movement to get that little extra squeeze. I went up to a 40-pound dumbbell and got 9 slow scorching reps. My delts were aching so badly, but I had more work to do. Grabbing a pair of 30's, I went over to the T-bar bench and banged out threes sets of rear delt raises for 15 each. I then went up to 35's for my last set and managed 12 nauseating reps. I was in some serious pain, but my left wrist was actually holding up well. I taped it really good. My roommate Phano showed me the proper way to tape it up. He has had the same injury before so he knew exactly how to tape it so I would have support, but not cut off circulation to my fingers.

I went back to the 30's to do some front raises. I did three sets of 12, which burned like the deep pits of hell. It felt as if Satan himself was trying to jump out of my delts! I was done with my shoulders, so I headed over to the Smith Machine to do some standing calf raises. I began with 135 for 30 warm up reps. Its actually a little less resistance due to the smith machine, but I record it as if it were completely free weights. After some stretching I did two sets with 225 for 20 reps each. I then moved up to 315 for two sets of 15 reps. My calves were feeling full and pumped.

I moved on to the standing calf raise machine, which I usually use after smith rises. For me personally, the smith machine adds more mass to my lower legs than those calf machines do. I like using them to finish up because it gives my a little different feel and contraction. I began with 4 45-pound plates and got a set of 15 slow reps. I did these reps super slow with a deep stretch and hard contraction at the top. I did my last set with 6 plates for 12 slow reps. My shoulders and calves were smoldering by now, so I went home to eat some food and go to sleep. What else would I do on a Friday night in a huge college town?

10/12 Saturday - OFF

Ate some food, ate some food, and ate some food. Did a little schoolwork, and then ate some more food. All in all, a pretty productive day. Oh yeah, I also ate some food.

10/13 Sunday - Triceps

I love doing triceps on Sunday night. The gym is usually pretty empty, and I am coming off a great day of rest and food, and food, and food. I felt strong and ready to blast my triceps into some new growth. Of course I did my standard warm up on the bike, and then I headed over to the dip bars to get some blood into my guns. I did two sets of dips with my bodyweight for 15 reps each. After that, I headed over to the bench press area to do some close grip benching. I began with 115 for a set of 15 reps. I next put on 135 pounds and got a set of 15 and a set of 12. I went up to 185 for a final set of 8 difficult reps. I moved on to a favorite of mine, skull crushers. I can really feel this working my entire triceps area.

I began with a 25-pound plate on each side of the EZ-bar. I managed to get two sets of 15 reps. My triceps were fully pumped by now. I stretched a bit, and did my third set with a 35 on each side. I managed a set of 8 and a set of 6. I was a good bit stronger than on this exercise last week, so I was happy. I moved on to the cable portion of my workout. I always finish off my triceps workout with pronated and supponated cable pushdowns. I began 110 for 15 reps. For my second set I moved pin up to 140 and banged out another 15 reps. I finished with 160 for 12 slow reps. I moved on to supponated, which is my weaker of the two press down movements. I began with 100 pounds for 15 reps. I then went up to 120 for a difficult 10 reps. I was getting tired. I finished with one last set of 10 at 120 pounds. I called it a night, and went home to shower, eat, and go to bed. On a side note, my left wrist was tender, but the taping job held it together fairly well. It only hurt on the bottom portion of close grip bench press.

10/14 Monday - Quads and Hamstrings

I've been having intensity problems with quads. I'm not sure why, other than the fact that squats are very difficult for anybody, and I am just not stepping up to the plate like I was earlier. I'm doing ok, but I haven't been getting up to 315 pounds like I was a few months ago. Today would prove to be a good day, even though I didn't make it to 315. After the bike and some light leg extensions to get my quads going, I began my squats with 135. I was able to get an easy 15 reps. I moved up to 185 and got another easy 15 reps. Next I put on 225 and was able to get 12 reps. I then moved up to 275. I did three sets of 10, 10, and 8. I didn't get to 315 because 275 was feeling really good on my quads. It was difficult enough to work my legs hard, but I was able to stay in control and put all my effort into working the quads fully.

I moved on to hack squats after I caught my breath. I began with 180 pounds for two sets of 12. I finished off with 270 for a set of 8. My legs were strong today. I went over to the leg extension machine and banged out three sets of 100x15, 120x15, and 150x12. My quads were blitzed.

It was now time to hit my hamstrings. I decided to try something new. I super-setted curls with dumbbell dead lifts. Here's how it went: 80 for 20 reps on curls and 50's for 20 reps on deadlifts. I then went up to 120 on curls for 15 and 75's for 15 on deadlifts. My third set was 150 for 15 on curls, and 75's for 15 on deadlifts. For my fourth set I used 160 for 12 on curls and 75's for 12 on dead lifts. I was done! I haven't done super sets in a long time, and it tore me up. I stretched a bit on the mat to reduce the soreness, drank my shakes and went home.

10/15 Tuesday - OFF

Hamstrings sore as hell

10/16 Wednesday - Back and Traps

My hamstrings are still sore, and that might affect my workout since today I am doing partial deadlifts. After my warm-up on the bike I headed over to do some pull-ups. I was able to match the 31 reps of last week doing four sets of 10, 10, 8, and 3. I was able to add one more to my third set. Pull-ups have been getting a lot easier for me in the past month or so. I think I might be able to start using a plate for a few reps if I keep progressing like this. After my pull-ups I began my bent over barbell rows. Today I followed an "old school" form as opposed to my usual "blood and guts" Dorian style. I took an over hand grip, and made sure my back was parallel to the floor.

I began with 135 for 15 reps. For my second set I stayed at 135 and got another 15 reps. The middle of my back was already pumped. For my third set I put on 185 and banged out 6 slow reps, making sure each one was pulled all the way up to my mid-section. I stayed at 185 and got 6 final reps. This exercise really felt great on my mid back.

I made my way over to the cable machines and began some lat pulldowns. Starting with 100, I got 12 reps. I moved the pin down to 140 and did 10 difficult reps. I stayed at 140 for my third set and only managed 8 reps. For my last set I decided to drop the weight back down to 110 and just do as many as I can with perfect form and a long hard contraction. I was able to get 10 reps. It was now time for two V-bar exercises. I like to use the V-bar every other back workout or so to change up the way I contract my muscles. I began with rows, using 100 pounds of resistance. I was able to get three sets of 10 reps. I kept the reps nice and slow, and contracted the hell out of my back. I moved on to V-bar pulldowns. I began with 100 pounds and got two sets of 10 and a third set of only 8. I was getting pretty tired by now, but I still have deadlifts to do.

I use partial rep deadlifts, which means I set up the rack so the bar rests at my knees. I only move the weight from my knees to lock out position. This way I don't re work my quads more than I have to. It also allows me to use more weight, and put more stress on my back. I have only been doing deadlifts for about 6 months, but I can tell a huge difference in my back since doing them. My back is much thicker than it was before I did this exercise. I began with 135 just to get used to the movement. I got an easy 10 reps.

I moved up to 225 for another easy 10 reps. I went up again to 285 for 7 reps, and 315 for 3 reps. I was not resting enough in between sets and it effected my strength level a lot. Sometimes I get anxious toward the end of my workout and I just want to keep going and never rest. I am definitely the type of person who builds momentum through the workout and it can sometimes snowball out of control towards the end. I end up supersetting things when I don't mean to because I forget to take proper rest time. I finished with some dumbbell shrugs for my traps. I used 60's for 20 easy reps, and then went up to 100's for two sets of 15 and two sets of 12. Until next time train safe!