Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Shoulders with back and abs between sets

DB Lateral Raises: 3 x 4 x 50
  • 10 Hyperextensions between sets

  • Bradford Press: 3 x 4 x 135, 145, 155
  • 50 crunches between sets

  • DB Rotating Shrugs: 3 x 4 x 60
  • 10 Good Mornings (45 pound bar only) between sets

  • Upright Rows: 4 x 115, 2 x 4 x 165
  • 10 Captains chairs between sets

  • Front DB Raises: 3 x 4 x 40
  • 10 Side bends between sets

  • This felt like a good workout. The good mornings were surprisingly easy and felt good. The lower back felt tight, but not as if something was wrong or overexerted. Thanks to Jason Paris for the encouragement to hit some lower back along with the abs.

    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    Benching at the Bubble v2

    Smith Press: 3 x 6 x 315
    Incline Press: 8 x 135, 8 x 165, 8 x 185
    Machine Flys: 3 x 12 x 220
    Decline DB Press (Fast reps): 3 x 10 x 75
    Bent Over Cable Flys: 10 x 60, 10 x 70, 8 x 90
    Dips (240 bw): 12, 15, 19

    I was so excited about today's new PR that I got off a little early to go to the bubble. I have 8 visits left on my pass, which I need to use before August 12th or I lose them.

    I'm also thinking about joining a neighbor once a week in his basement to lift. With the meet next month, I probably should do a few negative sets to get used to the real heavy weight. Good day today.

    395 bench - new PR

    I was building up mentally all day for this lift. I planned on going down at fifteen minutes till noon to warm up. Man it takes a long time to get ready. It really did take 15 minutes to prepare. When Christian and Luke showed up I had the weights all ready.

    The camera was acting up on me, so I didn't get it filmed as I felt pressured to hurry it up as Luke and Christian were waiting for me.

    I put the leather belt on the third notch in to keep the shirt down low. I felt the weight coming down real slow, but on the way up, I went out of my groove and the weight shifted left at which point I called for help. The weight felt so light coming down, I knew it was going back up. That was very reassuring, so I made a 2nd attempt a few minutes later.

    Christian also suggested that I move the bench a little lower and allow him and Luke to give me a liftoff. I agreed, and I think that helped.

    On the second attempt I took the weight down slow too. When I stopped at the bottom I pushed it up hard and fast. At the same sticking point (about 1/3 way up) I screamed it out literally past that transition point and it went up strong! I felt great with it. I'm just bummed I couldn't video it so I can critique it afterwards. They both said it was strict and looked good. At any rate, I was very pleased with the 2nd attempt.

    I did four more one rep sets of 315 without a shirt focusing on squeezing my shoulder blades together and that felt good. I didn't do anymore after that, because I plan on getting off at 3:15 to reward myself with a trip to the Bubble for a full chest workout with some good equipment.

    Monday, May 22, 2006

    Upper Back

    Chest Supported DB Laterals: 4 x 8 x 30
    Close Grip Cable Rows: 4 x 6 x 200
    Lat Pulldowns: 4 x 6 x 160
    Behind the Back Shrugs: 4 x 3 x 225
    Standing DB Lateral Raises: 4 x 3 x 40
    Military Press: 4 x 3 x 185

    60 Crunches between exercises, Total of 300.

    Today I had a slight headache to start, but I pushed through the prescribed workout to my satisfaction. Last Friday's table tennis was awesome. I played very well and I believe it is because I had two bottles of gatorade.

    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    Killer Chest and Tricep workout

    Bottom Half BenchOnly: 40 x 135, 30 x 155, 20 x 185
    supersetted with
    DE Bench: 8 x 185 (with chains), 6 x 205 (no chains), 4 x 225

    50 crunches, 50 pushups

    DB Press fast: 15 x 65, 20 x 65, 25 x 65
    supersetted with
    DE DB Flys: 8 x 35, 6 x 30, 4 x 25

    2 x (40 crunches superset with 40 pushups)

    Speed Dips: 12, 15, 18 (max)
    supersetted with
    DE Floor Press (legs up): 3 x 8 x 135

    3 x (30 crunches superset with 30 pushups)

    Total crunches & pushups: 220 each

    My arms were so beat that I could barely take my shirt off afterwards. On the dips and pushups it was the first rep that was the hardest. Once I got a few going, my muscles went into overdrive and I was able to keep going, but man was I fatigued between sets. These weren't very strict supersets, but just barely enough rest to actually get the reps done that I had prescribed. This was a fantastic workout!

    Wednesday, May 17, 2006

    Half deadlifts

    Today was one of the suckiest days in the weightroom. I put on 225 for doing squats, but I knew that I didn't want a repeat of what happened to me 2 months ago, so I only went down half way. I did 3 sets of 6 at 225.

    Then I did a couple sets of deadlifts, but found the weight to be too much. Since I came in late to work, I figured I'd scrap the rest of the workout and let my mind and body build up for tomorrow's chest workout. Not much enthusiasm today, that's for sure.

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    Heavy Biceps work while being distracted with deep thought

    Standing Preacher Curls: 6 x 115, 3 x 4 x 135
    Top Half only Standing DB Curls: 4 x 8 x 35
    Cable Concentration Curls: 8 x 40, 3 x 8 x 30
    Close Grip Reverse Grip Pullups: 4 x 3 (bw = 240)
    Alternating Standing DB Curls: 4 x 4 x 55

    Today's workout went fairly well, except I my focus was more towards obtaining some height in my biceps. They are full and long, but the height is not good at all, so I looked through Arnold's Bodybuilding Bible for some tips on obtaining some height. Now I am definitely not a bodybuilder, nor a fully converted powerlifter. All I know is that I wouldn't mind some decent guns and mine are definitely not peaked. I get the impression that "looks" don't mean too much in powerlifting so I had to resort to Arnold a little.

    I also had a deep conversation with Cathi about the topic of abortion just before noon. Not due to personal reasons in case you're wondering, but the topic came up and during the course of this discussion with her I realized that my believe system is "weakening" a little in that I am much less likely to believe in black and white anymore. There are tons of gray area and circumstances that cause me to believe less in absolutes. Anyhow, my mind was greatly off track while trying to maintain a good workout. I think this workout had a very small amount of quality and unfortunately finished just as confused as before about my own beliefs about the topic at hand.

    I also did NOT get the burn I wanted, but I also realized this was supposed to be "Heavy" and not necesarilly working to get that burn. But I left disappointed a little nonetheless.

    Monday, May 15, 2006

    Shoulder and Neck


    Barbell Shrugs: 3 x 3 x 275
    DB Military Press: 4 x 5 x 65
    Bent Arm DB Laterals: 5 x 8 x 40
    Cable Front Raises: 4 x 6 x 50
    Preacher Bar Front Rows: 3 x 4 x 135
    Lateral DB Rows: 6 x 40, 8 x 40, 10 x 40, 12 x 40

    60 Crunches between exercises: 300 total

    Today the music was good, the motivation was good and felt strong. Excited about going to Lagoon this coming Saturday where I do my annual High Striker game. (You know the game where you hit the stump with the mallet and the electronic display shows how hard you hit it?) Although it isn't completely a test of strength as it depends on the angle where contact is made as well as the location the mallet hits the stump. There is something about that game that either strokes or destroys your ego. I shouldn't be that way though, I know.

    Thursday, May 11, 2006


    Pull Ups: 3 x 3 (max)
    Seated Cable Rows: 3 x 8 x 180
    Chest Supported DB Rows: 3 x 8 x 40
    Close Grip Cable Pulldowns: 3 x 6 x 180

    Today I was feeling sick and barely got this workout done. I was low in motivation as well as energy. Not a great workout, but better than just going home.

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    ME Chest and new lift -"Angel Press"

    ME Bench: 4 x 275, 3 x 315, 2 x 335, 0 x 355
    Tate Press: 6 x 8 x 50
    Incline Press: 8 x 205, 6 x 225, 4 x 245
    Decline DB Flys: 3 x 4 x 60
    Angel Press: 8 x 25, 8 x 20

    On the second to last set I called Luke down to spot me. I was glad I got the 335 twice, but very disappointed I didn't get the 355 once. I felt a little pressure to hurry into it instead of taking more rest to recover.

    During my DB Flys (which were very hard), I noticed that my arms weren't as straight as I wanted them to, so I was toying with the idea of an "Angel Press" which is what I'm calling them. I haven't seen these done before and figured it would help my shoulders, lats and chest. The idea is that instead of doing a press its a combination of press resistance and rotator work.

    Angel Press starts out lying on a flat bench on your back. With DB in each hand hold your arms to your hips along your side with your palms up. Then move your arms out keeping them parallel to the ground and keeping your elbows locks and rotating your arms all the way till your are reaching far above your head and the DB touch. The point is to keep the weights level with your body and to fight gravity with the weight. Move the weights slowly back down to your side and that is one repetition.

    I call them Angel press because its like making snow angels. It isn't really a press, but a good resistance exercise and good for stretching out the entire pec muscle. Let me know what you think if you try it.

    Tuesday, May 09, 2006

    Endurance Legs

    Today I did a high number of reps/low weight for legs:

    Squats: 3 x 15 x 135
    SLDL: 3 x 15 x 155

    I also did 200 crunches total.

    My legs were pretty fatigued which is pretty normal after working legs, but what was different was that I was out of breath and light headed. I guess doing that many reps is what made me out of breath. Luke was in the weight room this time doing his routine.

    Last night I played Table Tennis with Sanjay Bakshi for about and hour and a half. I was sure sweating.

    Monday, May 08, 2006

    Speed Work - Triceps

    CGBP: 8 x 3 x 185
    Floor Presses: 8 x 3 x 225
    Dips: 3 x bw (240) + 25, 7 x 3 x bw
    French Presses: 8 x 3 x 75
    Lying Cross Face Tricep DB Extensions: 8 x 3 x 25
    Jason Paris' One Arm Barbell Press: 3 x 8 x 45

    This workout was the first time I left with a ton of energy and rather disappointed in that I really had to hold myself back in the weight and in reps in order to get quality speed on the lifts. I'm used to using 90% of my effort on each and every set so that I only could do one or two more reps, not ending with the ability to double or triple the reps. But the goal was to get quality speed not worry about weight or reps. I loved the fact that after the workout I was bouncing around with energy rather than being beat. Tomorrow I'll have to do legs as I want to be fully recovered before doing any upper body work.

    Friday, May 05, 2006

    Lesson Learned: Don't checkout your financial situation before lifting!

    Today just before lifting, I was curious how my financial situation was. Bad Move.

    I was in a much worse situation that I thought, and it ruined my mental state for my lift.

    I ended up doing:

    Alternating DB Curls (Slow and controlled): 8 x 45, 6 x 50, 3 x 4 x 55

    At this point I was so filled with worry trying to figure out what expenses this month I could cut, or what part time job I could try to get, or how I could really tighten my belt, etc... My mind and emotions were in disarray and ended calling it a day after five sets of curls.

    So lesson for today: Don't check your finances before lifting! It could really screw up your mind.

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    DE Shoulders

    Today I decided to do a Dynamic Effort Workout (DE) for shoulders since its probably the only non-sore part of my body:

    Military Press: 25 x 95, 20 x 115, 12 x 135, 15 x 125
    Wide Grip Behind the Neck Pulldowns: 18 x 120, 15 x 130, 12 x 140, 10 x 150
    Close Grip Seated Cable Rows: 4 x 18 x 150
    Barbell Shrugs: 2 x 15 x 135, 2 x 15 x 135 (reverse grip)
    DB Lateral Rows: 2 x 12 x 40, 2 x 15 x 30

    The close grip seated cable rows were probably the most intense. I wanted really bad to stop at 15 on several of the sets, but I pushed out 3 more although not very cleanly.

    Its weird to do more than 12 reps. I've tried to avoid reps more than 12 in the past, but I hope that the DE concept actually produces fruit for me. I have tomorrow off work, which means that I'll also be taking tomorrow as a rest day from lifting. Friday = ARMS!

    I also had a question for Jason Paris(or Dave Tate) regarding the 3 lifts at 90% or more. I probably should find out what my 1 rep max is raw, but I'm nervous about screwing up my shoulder with a non shirted one rep max.

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    ME Squat and Deadlift with Core work

    Today is the first time since my back injury that I did Maximum Effort Training on Squats. I still did them without any belt or wraps. Here is what I did:

    Squats: 2 x 225, 2 x 275
    DL: 2 x 295, 1 x 315
    SLDL: 2 x 275, 1 x 295

    75 Crunches and 15 captains chairs between sets: 450/90 total

    Today I wrote down this workout BEFORE I went downstairs and followed the prescribed workout completely. Actually I did better than what I prescribed. I did 2 reps of 275 rather than 1. I was very happy with today's effort.

    Lifting Terms: ME and DE

    I've found several other bloggers using ME and DE terms in their posts and just now found out what that meant. This article explains that ME: stands for Maximum Effort Method, which is that you lift one exercise for one rep at 90% - 100% of your max. DE: stands for Dynamic Effort Method, which is that you lift between 70 - 90 % of your max but do several more reps.

    Benching at the Bubble

    Yesterday afternoon on the way home I stopped at the Bountiful Bubble to lift. The weightroom was empty.

    Here is what I did:

    Incline Bench: 12 x 185, 2 x 8 x 195
    Fly Machine: 2 x 8 x 200, 6 x 200
    Decline Smith Press: 3 x 8 x 275
    Cable Flys: 8 x 60, 2 x 8 x 70
    Smith Upright Rows: 3 x 8 x 135
    Flat Bench: 15 x 225(Low end only), 15 x 225 (High end only), 6 x 225 (Legs up), 15 x 135 (Legs up)

    Later in the evening my pecs would cramp so I tried stretching them out and that was fine, but a sign that I definitely worked the chest today. Next time, I'm going to follow the advice given in this article by Dave Tate, point number 10 (per Jason Paris' suggestion to do speed bench). Next time I work chest I'm going to take the weight clear down to 60% and do some speed bench work.

    Monday, May 01, 2006

    Reset Bench 1 Rep Max PR (385)

    Today I was planning on setting a new record in my Bench. However I always plan to reset my existing PR (385). On the first attempt I slipped out of my groove on the way up and paused too much half way up. I did get it up on my own, but the movement wasn't progressing at one point. So I took three minutes to prepare for another attempt. This time I had Brendon tighten my weight belt as my shirt kept sliding up to my neck and choking me. I had it so tight around my waist that the shirt didn't budge when I brought my arms up. That made all the difference as my second attempt was very clean and solid.

    Here is the video. I didn't bring in my good camera so I had to settle for my Motorola video phone. Sorry about the quality, but for those of you with low bandwidth, practically no wait for you.

    Here is today's work:

    Flat Bench:

    1 x 225, 1 x 315 shirted, 1 x 365 shirted, 1 x 385 shirted (not 100% legal), 1 x 385 shirted (legal), 8 x 275 (2 block), 8 x 295 (4 block), 8 x 315(6 block), 8 x 405 (liftoff only)

    I'm rewarding myself with a stop over at the Bountiful Bubble this afternoon on the way home to get in an evening workout (which I'll post tomorrow).

    I was very pleased with at least getting the same PR as two months ago as now I have a video, and plan to go up to 395 the end of May (making sure the belt is tight on the first attempt), which should put me at 405 as my first attempt at the Utah Summer Games competition, which isn't sanctioned at all, and I just got word that shirts will be allowed (whew!). I would be thrilled to get 405, but even more so if I can get 425 which will be my third attempt if I can nail 405 and 415.

    For those of you with alot of Powerlifting competition experience, can you suggest a cycle I should follow to best prepare for this date (June 24th)?