Week One– February 3 thru 9

DAY ONE: SHOULDER DAY—I do shoulders three times a week now, breaking them up according to the three heads that the shoulder is made up of—rear, lateral, and front heads.  On this day, I focus on the overall shoulder, doing mostly pressing movements and saving most of the ancilliary movements for other days.  I train rear delts on back day and front delts on chest day.  Lateral delts get trained on this shoulder day.

I always begin with a warm up w/ 10lb db side laterals and overhead press.  I’ll do about 15-20 reps.  I’ll also do a little shoulder stretching, simply because my delts are often sore by this point in the day and I’m simply trying to warm them up.  My “warm up” is by no means “extensive.”

Db shoulder pressthis is my heavy movement, or strength movement for this work day.  On strength movements, I only do one exercise.  I will start the workout with this movement, as it is the hardest, and I want to be able to move a lot of weight.  If I saved this for the end, I’d not be able to reach the numbers that I want in my goal to be “strong.”  In my other work for that training day, I’ll do supersets or giant sets in order to exhaust the muscle (and typically end up with a massive pump!)

30×15, 40×12, 50×8, Drop set 15×20

I’m pretty pleased with having been able to press the 50s for 8, especially since I didn’t have a spot.  I have been hesitant to ask for help in most aspects of my life, and it was only recently that I asked for help in the form of a spot in the gym.  I know that probably doesn’t seem like a big deal for most people—asking for a spot—but it is a HUGE deal for me.  With a spot, I was able to do more reps with the 50s.  However, that person that provided the spot for me will be in the gym during my next shoulder workout, so I’m pretty excited to see what I’ll be able to do next time!

Cycle training, alternating modified Viking press off a standing calf raise machine with db side lateral raises (cycle training is a lot like supersets.  I’ll complete the two exercises, back to back, and then I’ll rest for about one minute before doing the next superset, until I complete the full cycle three or four times, depending on the exercise set. In the list below, the first set of numbers represents the weight and rep range for the first exercise—so I did 65lbs for 15 reps on the Viking Press and 15lb db for 15 reps.)

65×15, 15×15

75×15, 20×12

90×10, 25×12

Finished round with 30lb db side laterals for 8 (This is heavy weight for me, and without the aid of a spotter, I tend to cheat on this exercise a bit, using my body as momentum to carry the weight through the range of motion.)

Cycle training with behind neck and overhead standing shoulder presses off Smith machine and leaning side lateral raises (I hold onto one side of a shoulder press bench and lean out diagonally to the bench)

No weight x 15, no weight x15, 15×12

20 (total plates)x15, 20(tp)x12, 25×12

30×15, 30×15, 25×12

Finished the workout with a 20 minute HIT on the elliptical

DAY TWO: CHEST DAY—this is one of my favorite workouts because it combines strength with a lot of superset work which translates to high volume work which means I’m typically exhausted after the workout. But this is a good thing. I usually feel pretty tight and pumped after this workout. I combine this workout with some front shoulder work as well. I begin with some bench presses with only the barbell. Then I move on to a warm-up set with light DBS before moving on to the actual workout. The first working set will be the only strength set that I do, doing four sets of increasing weight but decreasing reps. Due to the amount of weight I’ll press and the tendonitis I have in my elbows, I’ll wear elbow sleeves for the strength sets for additional support before removing them for the supersetted sets. Haha! Here goes…..

Flat db chest press

35×15, 50×12, 60×8, 70×5. Pretty proud of the 70lbs! Haven’t done that since the early days after loss. I looked around for a spot coz I wanted to ask for help, but there was no one around that I trusted. Now on to the superset work! Here goes!

Superset #1:

Incline cable cross—30×15, 45×12, 50×10

Nautilus incline bench—not sure of weight stack, but increased a plate on each set 15, 15, 12

Front raises with straight bar off cable—30×15, 35×15, 40×12

Superset #2:

Pec deck—55×20, 65×20, 80×15

Push ups, real ones not girly ones—10, 12, 10

Bus drivers (holding a plate with two hands, like a steering wheel at 10 and 2, raising it in front of you to forehead level)—45x 15x15x20

DAY THREE: LEG DAY– my favorite of all workouts! I used to train very differently on leg day. I used to do a variety of compound movements, like barbell squats and leg presses.  Each set used to be done as a whole unit, so I’d do a three sets of leg presses, then move on to three of squats, and so on.  And I used to lift as heavily as I possibly could.  This was great, for a time.  And then my body started to really hurt, and it became more mentally challenging to lift heavy weight.  The combination was a barrier that was too hard to overcome, so now I train legs entirely differently, focusing on volume over weight.  I still use heavy weight—as heavy as high volume work will allow.  And I still sometimes squat, although not regularly.  I’ll incorporate squats into my workouts maybe two times out of the four or five leg workouts I’ll get in over the course of the month.

My leg training is all superset work, which makes for a great cardio workout as well.  I don’t do cardio on leg day—ever.  It’s much to taxing to do so, and I don’t want to break down my leg muscle any further with the addition of cardio on that day.  I’d rather refuel and get in the cardio on another day.

I begin with hamstring work because that is my weakest point.  My hamstrings, although tight, are pretty small and need the most work.  So I train them first when I have more energy, thus can move more weight or more reps.

Lying ham curl and seated ham curl 4×20 or 15 or 12, whatever I can get through.  I’ll increase the weight stack on each set.

Hack squats followed by deadlift 4×15-20. Hacks’ weight—begin with 45lb plates on each side, increasing by at least 25lb on each set, usually topping out with 3-45lb plates on each side.  Deadlifts stay steady throughout the workout—135lbs.

Leg press, wide and high and close and centered followed by split squats off smith machine 4×20, 4×12.  Leg press weight begins with a 45lb plate on each side, usually increasing throughout the work to end with 3 plates on each side.  Split squats—no weight, to 5 lb plate on each side, ending with 10 lb weight on each side.  Split squats are very difficult for me because I have really tight hips and my range of motion is quite awkward with these.  I’m considering swapping these out next time for some other exercise because I think my hips are not designed to complete this exercise as it should be done.

Feeling exceptionally gassed with this workout today. I think I didn’t get enough to eat. I’ve only had three meals today plus a bagel and coffee. Plus I didn’t get enough sleep last night. I feel like quitting but I’ll keep going coz I’d feel like shit if I quit and went home.

Last round…

Leg extensions with body weight squats 4×20 I’ll keep the weight the same for this exercise.

I’m so tired. And super sweaty. This is why I don’t do cardio on this day. This workout is way too exhausting for anything more.

DAY FOUR: ARM DAY–  I’m having a lowish kind of day today. Some days, just like everybody else, I feel like shit.  LOL. Nevertheless, I’ll do a workout that I don’t really want to do because I know that if I push myself through it, I’ll end up with a dopamine rush, and I’ll be just fine. This winter weather doesn’t help any of the low moments, though, especially these gloomy ugly winter Sundays. I’m ready for spring, heat, grass, sun. But until then, I’ll just do this arm workout.

Warm up close grip bench press 95×15, then 135×10, 135×10, 135×8

Maybe these weights for these exercises—and other ones—seem ridiculous and I suppose that begs the question: Why do I lift so heavily?  Because that is what my body, my muscles are accustomed to. And it’s a mental thing too I suppose. If I dropped weight, my muscles would likely atrophy to an extent. I don’t want that. I like having big muscles. I like that they are visible. I like that I can out-lift most guys here. It fuels me. It makes me feel good to be strong. I can only get stronger if I move heavy weight. So. I move heavy weight.

Most women are afraid to pick up a dumbbell that weighs more than 20lbs because they fear “getting bulky” or “looking like a man.”  Ladies…that is NOT going to happen. First, you don’t have the testosterone to look like a man.  Second, if you want any kind of strength, you need to tax your muscles.  Lifting light weights will not tax them.  Eventually, your body will adapt to those light weights and you’ll not see any progress.

Cable pushdowns 105×15, 120×15, 135×11

Fyi. Mood starting to improve. Heavy weight. Good beats—all a part of what fuels me and keeps me working out.

Hammer strength triceps pushdowns 4-45lb platesx12x12x8

And I still hate Chesty (He’s here today, working out while I am also. I wrote about him some years ago here…https://neverbuffenoughtwopointoh.wordpress.com/2011/06/30/characters/). Some of that old shit won’t go away. He’s still an arrogant prick with his booming laugh and his puffed up chest, hence his nickname, and I cannot stand that motherfucker. I would really like to throat punch him. Hard. But I digress…

And I digressed further because in the time after I wrote that, I stopped and talked to a friend for quite a while.  Normally, I’d make for quick conversation, but I haven’t seen her in a long time and I wanted to talk to her; and two—I’m between body parts within today’s workout, so stopping to talk with her is not going to really affect the pump of my triceps because I’m already finished with those anyway.  The rest will actually probably help me to have a stronger bicep workout.

 Bicep round

Db curls, preacher hammer curls, drag curls. Three rounds, increasing weight but decreasing reps

DAY FIVE: BACK AND REAR DELTS DAY–  I’m also a big fan of back day.  I think there isn’t a workout that I really hate anyway, come to think of it.  HAHA!  This workout is fun because I can move heavy weight and still do high volume work.  My back is my strongest body part, and to me, it’s easiest to do.  I don’t know if this is because I can’t see it when I’m training it or what, but I typically enjoy back day.  Maybe it’s because I don’t do heavy deadlifts on back day anymore.  I used to.  And that was the single most dreaded exercise during back day.  So maybe that was it.  I dunno.

Bent over rows to bent over rear lateral raises 90×15; 135×12; 155x 12.     15×20; 30×15; 35×15

One arm db rows to bent over barbell rear lateral raises 70×15; 90×10; 105×8    30×20;40×15;50×15

Rear pulls to pull downs with rope. No clue what weight I used but I did three sets.

Low cable rows to lying rear db raises. Again no clue what the weight was but three sets again

Hammer strength pull downs 90×15; 140×15; 190×10

Cardio is up next. So far this is a good day. I usually put together a pretty good back day.

I did a 20 minute HIT session.  I didn’t push really hard, but I still managed to work up a good sweat.

This past week, I’ve done a pretty good job with cardio, weights, and diet.  I cheated on the weekend.  I don’t think I went hog wild, but I wasn’t conservative either.  The day after my largest cheat meal (Sunday), I felt really tight.  The day before, I’d had some alcohol as well as lots of carbs and fat.  Not sure if feeling tight is a result of the weeklong diet followed by a “fill up” on carbs and fats or what.  So far, I’m enjoying this kind of plan.  Taking away the pressure of not having to compete is very enjoyable to me.  I’ll be curious to see how well my body responds to this kind of training and diet.  I want to enjoy life, and I don’t want to feel deprived like I typically do on a competition diet.

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