Arm day! Feeling quite strong with my arm work recently – It’s really encouraging. Feeling positive.
- 10 x bent over barbell rows (25 kg, 35 kg x 3)
- 10 x dumbbell bench press (10 kg each hand x 3, 12 kg each hand x 1)
- 10 x TRX angled rows/pull-ups
So, on Saturday I did my first every hour-long personal training session (they’re normally half an hour). I also learned an important lesson. While coffee is the perfect fuel/stomach liner for a half hour session, I need more than that for an hour. Perhaps some food. At the 40 minute mark I was feeling good, and if we’d called it a day at 45 minutes or even 50 I might have walked away feeling like I had a top session. Those last 10 minutes though? They got hard. At one point I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to vomit or faint, and the frustrating thing was that I knew that it was likely just a result of not eating anything before I came to the gym. Grr!!! Anyway, it was a good one:
- 10 x safety squats (45 kg, 55 kg x 3) – NB: still not sure what the weight of this bar is. I know I had 20 kg added for the first set, and 30 kg added for the rest.
- 10 x clean and press (20 kg, 25 kg x 3) – super happy with these. I managed to do 7 reps in each set without bouncing to get the press up – I did strict presses
- 20 x walking lunges, with wall ball carried above head (no weight, 2 kg x 3)
- 10 x raised push-ups
- 20 x raised heel (hack) squats, 2 second lower and 2 second raise (final set was normal lower and raise)
- 10 x lat pulldowns (30 kg, 35 kg x 2)
I think this was possibly the latest in the evening I’ve worked out before (6:30 pm) and that combined with having moved house across the weekend made for interesting energy levels. Still, a good workout!
- 10 x Kettlebell clean and press each arm (8 kg, 10 kg, 10 kg)
- 20 x wall ball slams (20 pound ball, so that’s… 9.07 kg)
- 8 x barbell cleans (20 kg)
- 8 x barbell presses (20 kg)
- 8 x barbell bicep curl (20 kg)
- 8 x dumbbell hammer curl (6 kg per hand)
This arm day was challenging, both physically and mentally. Mostly mentally. My PT got me doing some new arm-based exercises that, while I’ve done similar moves before, really pushed my comfort zone in terms of seeing what my dodgy shoulders are capable of. The only reason I completed the movements and allocated sets and reps is because I completely trust my PT in terms of what he knows my body is capable of and when it’s ready to have its limits pushed, and because I completely trust his spotting.
He got me doing bench pressing today, which I’ve definitely done before, but today we really worked on technique. Turns out I’ve been starting with my arms angled back (towards my face) and bringing the weights down on an angle (towards my face), so moving the weight towards my hips more was a big adjustment. He also reduced the weight I used for my second set of reps on the dumbbell bench press, so that I could work on the technique.
The horizontal flies were a super new thing for me, and very scary from a mental perspective. PT originally handed me 4 kg weights but we dropped them back to 3 kg – if I’d been doing less reps 4 kg might have been a go-er, but not doing 24 in a row! Ultimately I needed the 3 kg to push through my sticking point at the bottom of the movement, but could have gone up a few kg for the rest of the movement.
- 6 x barbell overhead presses (20 kg)
- 12 x dumbbell side raises (4 kg each hand)
- 24 x dumbbell overhead presses (4 kg each hand)
- 6 x barbell bench press (25 kg)
- 10 x dumbbell bench press (8 kg , 7 kg each hand)
- 24 x horizontal flies (3 kg each hand)
On a day that I’m still very stiff and very sore from my last arm/back/shoulder day (damn those pull-up negatives!), I hit leg day with limited enthusiasm. Luckily I really enjoyed the session, with thanks to a new barbell – the safety squat barbell. As I’ve said before, I have issues with back squats. I can’t get my weight in the right spot, I lean way too far forward, and my depth is shocking. Experimenting with front squats has helped – with those I can squat deeper and with better technique, but I have to drop the weight. Fine for technique, not so great for my legs.
The safety squat bar sits on your back, but has handles across your shoulders that you hold at the front of the body. I knew straight away we were going to be friends. With this bar I could squat deeper, with better technique, and still maintain a decent weight. In fact, I ended the session feeling that if I did a few more sessions at that weight, I’d probably be able to increase the weight pretty soon. I even feel like I might be able to squat unsupervised with this bar.
I know it’s not the solution to just stop back squats all together, but it’s nice to know that I can improve my depth, technique and weight in my squat.
- 10 x safety squats (30-35 kg, 40 – 45 kg x 2 sets) – we weren’t sure how much the bar weighed!
- 20 x walking 2 pulses lunges (no weight, 10 kg each hand x 2 sets)
- 25 x leg extensions (25 kg)
- 25 x hack squats (raised heel squats)
Arm day! My arms are pretty much jelly right now – I’d planned on washing my hair post-workout this morning, but the jelly arms meant that definitely didn’t happen. It was one of those workouts that was ok – nothing earth shattering, didn’t feel amazing, but also didn’t feel shocking or completely break me.
- 10 x cleans from hanging position (20 kg, 30 kg, 25 kg x 2)
- 10, 10, 8, 8 x jumping negative pull-ups (final two sets being held by my trainer at the top for an increased negative)
- 10 x inclined barbell press on smith machine (smith machine bar plus 15 kg)
- 10 x standing Arnold dumbbell press (10 kg each hand)
Back in the gym after a week and a half off. My trainer was on holidays, and I said I didn’t need a replacement trainer while he was gone because I could look after myself for a single week. Turns out I was wrong. Anyway, back on the horse now for an arm day!
- 10 x wide grip lat pull-downs (25 kg, 30 kg, 35 kg)
- 10, 10, 8 x single arm barbell snatches each arm (12 kg, 14 kg x 2)
- 10 x raised push-ups (on bottom rung of pull-up machine)
- 10 x bench press (20 kg, 25 kg)
- 10 x single arm bent over rows each arm (12 kg, 14 kg)
Arm/upper body day today. But because the scale have gone up instead of down over the long weekend, my PT threw in some whole body/fat burner stuff just for funsies (his funsies, not mine). I totally hadn’t mentally prepared for it after Sunday’s humungo hike (I’ll write about that later in the week when I’ve got some time), and my legs weren’t too happy, but I found some ways to mentally push myself and be reasonably happy with the workout.
- 8 x pull-ups on the pull-up machine (50kg, 45 kg x 2)
- 8 x dips on machine (50 kg, 45 kg x 2)
- 8 x raised push-ups on lowest pull-up machine step
- 30 seconds x battlerope slams (31 – 35 slams each round)
- 30 seconds x wall ball squat throws (12 – 16 throws each round)
Oh no! I forgot to write up Monday’s workout! Out of order. Bugger. Oh well! Arm/back/upper body workout, and my PT told me he thought I was having a strong day. When he says that I’m normally thinking to myself ‘hey, these weights are actually manageable and I’m keeping good form’ so that’s good.
Barbell complex x 3
15 kg x 8 reps, 15 kg x 10 reps, 20 kg x 8 reps
- Bicep curl
- Overhead press
- Normal grip clean
- Wide grip clean
- Upright row (note: final set was with 15 kg for 8 reps, not 20 kg)
- Bent over row
- Clean and press
- Lat pulldown x 10, 8 (25 kg) – 3 seconds down, 3 seconds up
Arm day! A five car pile up on the freeway meant I arrived 10 minutes late for my half hour training session today. I started my workout with my PT, then he gave me instructions for the rest of the session and left me to it. Normally in these situations I have a tendency to reduce either sets or reps, telling myself that I have to get to work and don’t have time to finish. Today I finished the full sets prescribed, with the right number of reps, without blowing out my rest time. It’s tiny, but I feel proud of myself for doing it.
- 20 x raised push-ups (on a bench)
- 20 x angled pull-ups
- 5 x jump pull-ups (jump, aim to pause at the top then have a controlled lower)
- 10 x barbell clean and press (20 kg x 1, 25 kg x 4)