7/8/02 Monday - Shoulders
I was skeptical about today s training session because I haven t been able to eat the number of calories that I normally do simply because of my commitment to Dave s contest this past Saturday. I woke up this morning, drank a protein shake and a TwinLab Ultra Fuel and lounged around for about an hour.
I popped two xenadrine and started getting myself ready to hit the weights. I was really motivated to train because of the show on Saturday and my renewed determination to body build once again. I warmed up on the bike for a few minutes and then proceeded to warm up my delts with standing dumbell side laterals. Using 15s, 20s and then 25s, I performed three sets of each all for 15 reps. I made sure to stretch and flex the delts in between these three warm up sets. Afterwards, I pondered on what pressing movement to perform until I reluctantly decided to perform seated dumbell presses.
I haven t done this exercise in a good while so I knew I d be a little weak on it. I grabbed the 65s and banged out 15 easy reps. I then increased the weight to 85s and managed a set of nine reps and then a set of eight reps. To my surprise, the 85s were a lot heavier than I remember them being. Oh well, I guess I know where I stand on this particular exercise. Next came the standing dumbell side lateral drop sets. Using 25s, 20s and 15s, I banged out 10 reps on each set for a total of two drop sets.
I remember that on my second drop set, I wanted to quit because the burn was unbearable but something in my mind wouldn t let me quit. I just kept repping it out until I finished my target number of reps. My final exercise for that day was t-bar rear delt laterals. I grabbed the 45s and banged out 15 warm up reps. I then grabbed the 65s and banged out a set of 12 reps and finally a set of ten reps. My delts were aching so bad that it hurt just to have my arms hang to my side. I knew I had done my job right despite my apparent lack of calories the few days leading up to today.
7/9/02 Tuesday - Arms
I was actually excited about training arms today which is definitely a break from the norm. I don t know if it was contest fever or if I was just crazy. Nevertheless, I was intent on having a self motivating arm workout. I arrived at the gym around 2:00 PM to find it relatively empty. Just enough people there to make it interesting but not so much that it pisses you off. I jumped on the bike and warmed up for a few minutes and then headed straight to the dumbell rack to grab a pair of dumbells for some standing alternating dumbell curls.
Using the 40s, I banged out a set of 20 alternating reps. I then increased to the 50s and banged out another 20 alternating reps. For my one and only work set, I used the 60s and managed 16 alternating reps. My biceps were already pumped at this point. I then moved straight to the e-z curl preacher bench. Using a narrow grip and the steep side of the bench and 70 lbs, I banged out 12 easy reps making sure to squeeze my biceps at the top of the movement. I then increased the weight to 90 lbs and banged out two sets of eight reps each.
After some rest, some isometric tension and some stretching, I grabbed a 40 lb dumbell to perform one arm preacher curls off the steep side of the preacher bench. Using the 40 lb dumbell, I managed nine reps per arm. I then increased the weight to 45 lbs and managed six reps per arm. I could have gotten a couple of more reps in my second set but I believe I didn t take sufficient rest time. If you don t rest properly in between sets, you ll pay. My final biceps exercise came in the form of e-z cable curls using an inside grip. I set the pin at 100 lbs for my first set and banged out 15 easy reps.
On my next set, I moved the pin to 150 lbs and banged out ten reps. It hurt like crazy but I know I was doing myself justice. Now that my biceps were thoroughly thrashed, it was time to hammer the triceps. I started triceps training with two sets of bodyweight dips for 15 reps each just to get some blood flowing through the target muscle group. I then moved directly to close grip bench press and slapped on 135 lbs.
On my first set with 135, I banged out ten quick and easy reps. I then increased the weight to 225 and banged out another easy ten reps. For my one work set, I increased the weight to 275 and grinded out eight tough as hell reps. Since my triceps are already overly developed, to say the least, I chose just one more exercise: reverse grip triceps extensions using the e-z bar. I set the pin at 200 lbs and performed two sets of ten reps each both to positive failure.
I know that I need to bring up my biceps if I ever want to have better arm development and if I keep hammering my triceps the way I am used to, my biceps will never catch up. Hence, the lessened intensity in triceps training.
7/10/02 Wednesday - Quads
Believe it or not but I was really excited to be training my quads today. I didn t know if I would actually train hamstrings today or not because squatting always makes me sick. I was just going to play it by how I felt. I arrived at the gym to find it decently packed. There were people who were new and people I recognize from last semester but regardless, no one was squatting. I jumped on the bike for a few minutes to get the blood in there and actually stretched out a bit.
I then hopped on the leg extension machine and performed some warm up sets. I set the pin at 60 lbs and banged out 15 easy reps. I stretched a bit and then moved the pin to 100 lbs and banged out another 15 reps. For my final warm up set, I set the pin at 150 lbs and banged out ten easy reps. I then headed straight to the vacant squat rack to begin my self torture. I loaded the bar with 225 and banged out 15 easy warm up reps.
The weight was just flying up on my first set! I stretched a bit and then loaded the bar with 315 for which I banged out another easy ten reps. After some more stretching and a quick drink of water, I loaded the bar with 405 and banged out ten solid reps to below parallel. If you squat, make sure you squat to at least parallel. Anything higher than that is cheating yourself out of maximum muscle growth. After my last set of squats, I wasn t feeling too well but I wanted to finish off with leg extensions.
I walked all the way across the gym and adjusted the leg extension machine. I set the pin at 80 lbs and performed unilateral leg extensions just so I can concentrate on each quad. I performed ten reps per side with 80 lbs. For my next set, I increased the weight to 100 lbs and still managed ten reps per side. I m not going to lie to you. On a 1-10 scale with one being the lowest and ten being the highest in intensity level, I would give this workout a 6.5. I just don t feel the need to push my quad development any further. They re already advanced especially for my age and when I bring up the rest of my body to match my quads, everyone better watch out!
7/11/02 Thursday - OFF
7/12/02 Friday - Hamstrings
I had to train earlier than I usually do because I had to get it done so I could be on time to pick up my girlfriend from school which is about an hour away from Athens. This plus the fact that I had to work today only compounded matters for me but I was up to the challenge. I arrived at the gym at 11:00 AM, which is a couple of hours than my usual time. What still amazes me is how training at different times of the day affects my workouts.
Lucky for me, the gym was fairly quiet so that meant no waiting for anything. I hopped on the recumbent bike for a few minutes and then made my way straight to the lying leg curl machine. I positioned the pin at 80 lbs and banged out 20 reps with my feet positioned together on the padding. I then stretched and increased the weight to 120 lbs and banged out 15 more reps. I then increased the weight once more to 160 lbs and banged out another 15 reps. After some stretching and isometric tension, I increased the weight to 200 lbs and banged out ten reps.
This was extremely difficult so I lowered the weight to 180 lbs for my next set. On this set with 180 lbs, I managed another ten reps. I wanted to get about ten reps in on my last set, so I dropped the weight once more to 160 lbs. With 160 lbs, I managed ten grueling reps. After this one exercise, my hamstrings were screaming but I wasn t about to stop there. I went straight to the platform to perform some romanian deadlifts.
I loaded the bar with 135 and banged out 15 easy reps making sure to stretch and squeeze my hamstrings. I then increased the weight to 225 and managed one last set of 15 reps once again making sure to stretch and squeeze the hamstrings. After I unloaded the bar, I got the hell out of the gym.
7/13/02 Saturday - Chest
Today was chest day and the way things have been going lately, I should have an awesome workout. Maybe it s because I m eating more carbs or maybe it s just in my mind. But whatever it is, my workouts this week have been through the roof. I can only hope that the trend continues. I went to train around 2:30 PM today which gave me enough time to sit around and eat a couple of meals and get plenty of water in my system.
I even popped two xenadrines before heading to the gym. I don t know if I ve built an extreme tolerance to the xenadrine in the past two or three years of use but I definitely don t feel the effects as I did when I restarted my use of thermogenics just a couple of weeks ago. Remember that I took a 3 month break from all stimulants so I could feel normal again. Regardless, I was in a bad mood because I was arguing with my girlfriend so I went to the gym pissed. This could be good and it could be bad depending on how you look at it. It could fuel enough rage to usher an awesome workout or it could just depress the mind so severely that the workout suffers as well.
I was determined to not let my quarry with my girlfriend suppress my workout. Once again, there were very few people in the gym so I had my choice of exercise equipment. I jumped on the bike for a few minutes and then started my warm up with flat bench press. I loaded the bar with 135 and banged out 15 easy reps. Ever since discovering a small problem with my benching technique last week, I am using a thumbless grip on all of my barbell movements.
This seems to help me out a ton! I then loaded the bar with 185 and banged out ten easy reps. After some light stretching, I increased the weight to 225 and banged out ten easy reps. For my final warm up set, I used 275 for 6 easy reps. Now that I was warm, it was time to work a bit. I went to the dumbell rack and grabbed the 110s to begin my pyramid on flat dumbell presses. Using the 110s, I performed ten easy reps. I then grabbed the 120s and without a spotter, I threw up nine reps. For my final set using the 130s, I managed eight gut wrenching reps with the aid of a spotter.
What was strange about today s workout was that I knew I had an enormous pump but I just didn t feel the entire pump. I guess I didn t eat enough of the right carbs the day before or perhaps I didn t eat enough sodium or drink enough water. I just wish my workouts could be the way they were when I was just starting. Every time I touched a weight, I would get a pump. It just seems that the more technical I get about things, the more I have to worry about things. Maybe we re all making things more complicated than they really are. Maybe not.
My next exercise was flat bench press, the classic mass builder. I loaded the bar with 275 and banged out a set of seven reps and then a set of six reps. Not the greatest but hey, I ll take it. Next came high cable crossovers, one of my favorite chest exercises. Why? Well, because it doesn t involve my delts or triceps and works primarily my chest! After all, this is chest training, right? For my first set, I used 80 lbs per side and banged out 15 easy reps making sure to squeeze the living daylights out of my chest.
For my next set, I increased the weight to 100 lbs per side and managed 12 reps making sure to once again squeeze the hell out of my pecs. My final exercise was my incline movement. I neglected all incline movements last weekend so I decided to throw one in today. I loaded the incline barbell with 225 and began my torturous two sets. On my first set, I managed eight reps and on my second set, I managed six reps. Once again, not the best but I ll take it. All in all, an excellent workout. I just wish I could feel the full intensity of the pump as I do with all my other bodyparts.
7/14/02 Sunday - Rest