I’m not concerned about the .5 lb difference between today and three days ago. That could be any number of factors, including some 300 lb dude getting on the scale and stressing it out before I got on it.
It does look like my system’s planning to balance out in the low 160s, so I can kiss 170 goodbye! :D
I realized this morning that I had played myself last time by starting out with pyramids. You really want your first exercise to be heavy, so I overdid it, trying to find my limit. I found it, but in order to do that, I did a lot more reps than I should have, and pretty much jacked the rest of my workout. By the time I got to weight-assisted supersets, I was pretty much kaput.
This time, I decided to keep it heavy up front and save the light for the supersets at the end. I made some pretty good guesses, so I have a good template to start from next time I head back to the gym.
I do 6 reps per set, ’cause that’s how my coach @ MIT taught us to get busy. I know Dino doesn’t read this, haha but I’m sure he’ll never forget when I was happily benching and up to reps 7 and 8 and Coach was SCREAMING AT ME at the top of his lungs, and I stopped in the middle of a rep, looked over at him and said “Who? Me?” hahahaha :D So.. Yeah… Keep it heavy. If you can do more than 6 (or, actually, if you can do a good 6 and don’t feel stressed at the end of it), increase the weight for the next set.
Here’s the list:
- Close-Grip Pulldowns – 150 130 120
- Bent Rows – 50 40 40 – 50 was good, but I knew I didn’t have another 6 at that weight.
- Flies – 100 100 80 – I’ll have to find my old “flies” machine. The one they have in the gyms now are where you have your hands on the grips, NOT the ones that you push with your elbows. Taking the rest of your arm out of the exercise helps you focus way more on pecs. In this case, my shoulders were failing way before pecs, which is expected until my delts get used to working again.
- EZ-Curl (barbell) – 65 65fN 55fN – Unfortunately starting out with Pulldowns and then Bent Rows taxes your biceps from the giddyap, so I wasn’t too effective by the time I got to curls. I went for a second set of 65, even though I probably knew I shouldn’t have. I failed on the last rep, meaning I leaned and cheated, so I did a “negative rep” (letting the weight down extremely slowly. Great exercise if you have a spotter to lift the weight back up for you so you can do more Negatives) to kind of make up for that.
- My Pressdown/DeclineBenchPress exercise – 150 150 150 150 – I did four sets of this because using the pressdown cable with extremely heavy weight, you have to lean over it. When you do that, the cable is going to cross either your left shoulder or your right, causing one arm to do a pressdown, while the other does more of a decline bench press. I had to go right, left, right, left to get an even workout. The point of it is to get the chest involved as well as your triceps. If you do pressdowns the “right” way, you don’t lean over it and you only use your triceps to move the weight.
- Pressdowns – 70 80 80 – I did these relatively soon after the previous exercise. My triceps were still fatigued during the first set, but I could tell that I could do more weight, so I increased it to 80 for the next two sets.
- Shrugs (dumbbell) – 75 85 85 – Shrugs are the absolute JIZOINT for developing your traps (trapezius muscle), which basically shows up as the “connection” between your neck and your shoulders. Lots of guys don’t have traps at all, so their shoulders and their neck are at a right angle to each other (90 degrees, like an “L”). The problem with Shrugs is that you have to hold extremely heavy dumbbells for the duration of the exercise. What I used to do was wrap a small towel around each dumbbell and each wrist so that some of the pressure was relieved, AND if I wasn’t using gloves, the grips wouldn’t dig into my palms. They actually sell straps that are specifically for this purpose. I also find with Shrugs that your mind gives out before your body does, hahaha it’s really an interesting mental struggle to keep doing reps when “you’re telling yourself” nah, I can’t do any more of these! :D It has to be done though, and traps are CRITICAL if you want to look like you work out AT. ALL. :D When I get to heavier weights, I’ll have to switch to using a machine, because holding 100 lb dumbbells and doing strict reps of Shrugs is nearly impossible… well, for me, at least, being that the total of the weight I’d be carrying is way more than I actually weigh. Shrugs are REALLY more of a grip and mentality issue than anything else. Traps build fast with heavy weights and strictly performed reps.
- Weight-Assisted Super-Sets – 12 14 16 – The weights on this machine are only listed in double-digit numbers, so you can’t tell how much weight you’re actually countering your weight with. I started out at “12″, but being that dips, pullups, dips, close-grip pullups and dips emulate just about every exercise I just finished doing with heavy (to me, right now, haha) weights, I could tell after set #1 that I wasn’t going to be able to complete another superset at that weight, so I moved it down to 14 and then 16 for the third set. This was the only situation the entire time where I started sweating, which is what I had been saying about the impossibility for me to get over 160 lbs in the past. As soon as I do ANY kind of cardio, all excess materials sweat themselves out of my body. I lost four pounds one night going out to Roseland, between the dancing and the overall heat.
Due to last session’s early pyramid shenanigans, I ended up taking two days off instead of just one. This time, I feel well worked-out, yet not “destroyed”, like I was last time. Eventually, my workouts will move to daily and then twice a day, once my recovery accelerates. Also, as you’ll notice, I haven’t worked out legs yet, because that’s an INCREDIBLE drain on resources. First things first, haha. Upper Body gets in decent shape, then leg work, then total body… eventually. :D