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Thread: Chris407's Journal

  1. #26
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  2. #27
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    7/5/10 - Back/Triceps

    Deadlift
    warmups
    225x3
    255x3
    275x3
    295x3
    305x3
    315x2, 1
    225x3
    Rack pulls from below knee
    225x2
    275x1
    315x2, 1

    Notes: Kind of frustrating again. I feel like I'm a lot stronger than this, but as soon as I get over 315 my hips start to rise too fast. I don't have that problem with rack pulls, but strangely, I don't seem to be much stronger on those.

    I also did some static holds with 315 off of the rack pulls for about 10 seconds each. Unfortunately, this destroyed my callouses...

    DB Skullcrusher
    20sx10
    25sx10
    30sx9 (+1 rep), 6

    Notes: Nice sets. Added a rep on my first top set. The second set of 30's I lost a rep, but I think I also kept a slower tempo than last week, so I'm okay with that.

    Chins
    bwx5
    +10x5
    +20x5
    +30x3, 3 (+1rep)

    Notes: My hands gave out on the first set of +30. I set my grip better for the second set. Next week I'll get 4 reps.

    Triceps Pushdown
    8.5x12
    9.5x12
    10.5x12, 9 (+2 reps)

    Notes: Nice sets. Very controlled.

    Low Cable Row
    10x10
    11x10
    12x9, 7

    Notes: Also a little disappointing. Technically I added a rep on the second set of 12, but I'm not going to count it because it was sloppy. I also attribute this to destroying my hands on the static holds.

    DB Overhead Tri Extension
    45x10
    50x10
    55x9 (+2 reps), 8 (+2 reps)

    Notes: Nice sets. Good stretch, plus I kept my elbows in (they have a tendency to drift out, and bring my shoulders into the movement).

    Overall, this workout was a little frustrating, especially the back movements.

    My deadlift in particular seems to be stalled. As recently as 6 weeks ago it was climbing like crazy. On 5/17/10 I worked up to 270 for 12 good reps. I only recently went to lower reps, so maybe I will lighten the weight and work at higher reps. I don't understand why my form seems to deteriorate when I get over 315, though.

    The triceps work was good, though. I think pullups and rows would have been better, too, if my hands weren't such a mess.

  3. #28
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    Some more thoughts on my deadlift:

    I realized that my form probably breaks down on both low rep and high rep sets. I think I just don't notice it on sets that don't feel "heavy."

    Next week I'm going to go lighter. I'll work up to 275, shooting for 6 reps per set. I'll really focus on perfect form, resetting between each rep. Once I get to the point where I can do 275 for 10 perfect reps I'll add 10 pounds and continue like that.

    I think I really need to drill perfect form for a while. I'm doing deadlifts in order to build my posterior chain and back, so I'm not going to sacrifice form to pull 20 extra pounds.

  4. #29
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    Excited for shoulders today.

  5. #30
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    7/6/10 - Shoulders

    On the iPod today: Archie Eversole - "We Ready"

    Standing Military Press
    95x5
    115x5
    135x5
    145x4
    Seated Military Press
    135x3, 2

    Notes: Standing presses were a little disappointing. Didn't add weight or reps. I'm going to change directions slightly with Military Press. See below for full discussion.

    Seated Neutral-Grip DB Overhead Press
    40x10
    50x10
    60x6 (+1 rep), 5

    Notes: Really good sets.

    Strict Lateral Raises
    20sx12, 12, 8, 6

    Notes: Focused more on really feeling my delts work on the last two sets.

    Rope Face Pull
    8.5x12
    9.5x12
    10.5x7, 7

    Notes: Had to move this before the rear delt machine because it was occupied. First week at new weights. All sets were very controlled, with a pause at the top of the movement.

    Rear Delt Machine
    60x15
    65x15
    70x12, 10

    Notes: This was my first week at 70, so no rep pr's. These sets felt really good.

    Hammer Strength Shoulder Press
    140x13 (10 second pause, then 2 more reps)

  6. #31
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    I realized today that I'm having the same issue with military press that I'm having with my deadlift. I've been focusing a ton on increasing the weight, but ignoring how my delts are working to move the weight.

    I was looking through Allen Cress' journal the other day and noticed that he said:

    The mind muscle connection is at the heart of the notion that the muscles work the weights; the weights donít work the muscles.
    I think that perfectly explains what's been missing from my deadlift and military press work. I also had this problem when I used to do BB bench press... I would keep adding weight and reps, but I'd never "feel" it.

    On the seated military presses I focused more on feeling the tension, rather than just getting the weight from point A to point B. Normally I can do 135 for 8 reps or so, but doing it this way I had to stop at 3.

    So, next week I'm going to do seated presses and go lighter. I'm going to work up to 125 for my top sets, and really focus on "feel." I'm still going to focus on adding weight or reps workout to workout, but not if it means sacrificing the mind muscle connection.

  7. #32
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    Didn't sleep well last night. Hopefully it doesn't affect leg day too much.

  8. #33
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    7/7/10 - Legs

    Leg Press
    2ppsx15
    2.5ppsx15
    3ppsx15
    3.5ppsx14, 10

    Notes: The last sets were intense. I've never really done LP much before, so I think I'll probably make some huge gains on it over the next several workouts. These absolutely destroyed my quads, especially the vastus medialis (which I'd really like to bring up).

    Romanian Deadlift
    195 x 5, 5, 5 (+5lb on all sets)

    Notes: Really good sets. Good stretch. Actually felt easier than last week, despite being heavier.

    Leg Curl
    50x12
    65x12
    80x4
    70x6

    Notes: Wow. I did these with my toes pointed (to take the gastroc out of the movement), and really focused on the mind-muscle connection... and these were way harder than last week. But I think I got a better hamstring workout, despite dropping reps.

    Leg Press Calf Raise
    3ppsx17 (+2 reps), 14 (+2 reps), 13 (+1 rep)

    Notes: Nice sets. Great stretch, paused at the bottom. My calves are already sore...

    Hanging Leg Raise
    bwx4, 3, 2

    Notes: I also did these differently than last time. Rather than just getting my legs parallel to the ground, I went all the way up. Basically toes touching my hands at the top. This was much harder, but I'm going to stick with this style, as I think it hit both my hip flexors and my abs better.

    Overall this was a really good workout, especially considering how tired I was when I got out of bed this morning. I was especially happy that the LP left me with a huge pump in my vastus medialis. It seems like I have some mass at the top of my quads, but not enough right above the kneecap. The calf work was excellent too.

  9. #34
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    Off to the gym for chest/biceps soon. Feels like a good day...

  10. #35
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    7/8/10 - Chest/biceps

    My iPod began malfunctioning right at the start of the workout. Had to listen to the horrible gym-pop. Still had a good workout though:

    Incline DB Bench
    45x10
    55x10
    65x10
    75x7 (+1 rep), 5

    Notes: Really nice. Great form, great stretch at the bottom of each rep. Could have probably had one more rep on each set, but it would have been a grinder.

    EZ Curl
    50x10
    60x10
    70x10
    80x7, 4

    Notes: Wasn't quite ready to add a rep, so I did an extra set. Super-strict form.

    Hammer Strength Chest Press
    90x8
    110x8
    130x8 (+1 rep)
    140x4

    Seated DB Curl
    30x10
    35x10
    40x10 (+1 rep)
    45x4

    Notes: The 30's are way too easy. I'm going to drop that set next week and work up to 2 top sets of 45.

    Low Cable Raise
    3x15, 15

    Notes: Well, my usual station wasn't occupied this week... it was just missing the pins to select the plates. Again, I did these on the crossover machine. Again, the sets were okay.

    Overall, very good. Inclines in particular were excellent. I would have liked to add reps on EZ curls, but I wasn't quite there.

    I think my iPod is dying. There seems to be something wrong with the headphone jack. If I play around with the headphone plug I can get sound, but when I let go I lose it. Oh well... its pretty old.

  11. #36
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    Off to do some cardio. No weights today

  12. #37
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  13. #38
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    7/10/10 - Arms

    Paused EZ Skullcrushers
    50x7
    60x7
    70x7
    80x7
    90x7 (+1 rep), 5 (30 second rest, then 2 more)

    Notes: Great sets. The first set at 90 took a lot out of my tris.

    Barbell Curl
    65x7
    85x7
    95x7
    100x6, 4, 4

    Notes: Pretty good. I wasn't able to add reps at 100, but the set at 95 was very good. The final set at 100 was a little loose. I will try again for 7 at 100 next week.

    Nautilus Tri Machine
    55x12
    70x12
    85x11 (+1 rep), 9

    Hammer Strength Preacher Curl
    45x10
    55x10
    65x8, 5

    Notes: This felt harder than last week. Not sure why. But all the reps were good.

    Overhead Cable Tri Extension
    5x12
    6x12
    7x6, 6

    Reverse Curls
    45x15
    65x8 (+1 rep), 7

    Wrist Curls
    65x20
    75x20
    85x17, 15

    Notes: I did a better pause at the top of each rep, so I lost a rep on each top set. But the sets were better. After the reverse curls and wrist curls my forearms were ridiculously pumped.

    Good workout. I didn't smash PR's on every exercise, but overall I added a few reps here and there and everything felt solid.

  14. #39
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    Another note: after my workout I tried some paused bench presses. I haven't done BB bench in a while, but doing it with a pause at the bottom felt a lot better. If I ever go back to BB bench I will do them this way. I did a few easy reps at 135 and 185 with a 2 second pause at the chest.

  15. #40
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  16. #41
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    I did 40 min of LISS cardio this morning on the treadmill. 5% incline, 3.5mph, 380 calories burned.

    I felt too soft this morning. I really wanted to go on a cut now rather than waiting until November. I know I don't look terrible, but definitely softer than I would like. I definitely want to add a little more mass before I cut, though. So I'm going to keep going, nice and slow. But it messes with your head a little when you want to be both big and lean.

  17. #42
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    Headed to the gym. I'll be focused on keeping my form super-tight on deadlifts today.

  18. #43
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    7/12/10 - Back/Triceps

    Deadlift
    warmups
    135x6
    185x6
    225x6
    245x5, 3

    Notes: Working up on these I was feeling great. I was focused on feeling the movement, not just getting the bar from point A to point B... and then my low back tweaked at 245. No pain.... just a twinge and it felt unstable all of a sudden. So I cut these short. I'm a little confused, because I'm pretty sure my form was perfect. Maybe when my back feels better I will post a video for some feedback, just to be sure.

    DB Skullcrusher
    20sx10
    25sx10
    30sx9, 6

    Notes: Same as last week, but very controlled. These sets felt very good.

    Chins
    bwx5
    +10x5
    +20x5
    +30x3, 2
    bwx4

    Notes: I really thought I was going to get 4 reps on the first set at 30. I was about 90% of the way up, but just couldn't get my upper chest to touch the bar, so I didn't count it. Apparently that took a lot out of me, because after that I had no pullup strength whatsoever.

    Triceps Pushdown
    8.5x12
    9.5x12
    10.5x12, 10 (+1 rep)

    Notes: Very good sets. I will keep working at these weights until I can get 2 perfect sets of 12 reps with 10.5.

    Low Cable Row
    10x10
    11x10
    12x10 (+1 rep), 7

    Notes: Good sets. Much better than last week. Nice pause at the top of all reps, except the last one on the second top set (still a clean rep, though... just couldn't hold it there).

    DB Overhead Tri Extension
    45x10
    50x10
    55x10 (+1 rep), 9 (+1 rep)

    Notes: Very good sets. I will probably move up to 60 for a set next week. I get such a good triceps stretch at the bottom of these.

    Other than deadlifts this was a good workout. I think I am going to take a few weeks off from deadlifting. I'll move pullups to the first exercise and probably add either a machine row or a dumbbell row as an additional back exercise. Then I'll work back in with some light ones and hopefully get a video for some feedback.

  19. #44
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    Headed to the gym for shoulders.

  20. #45
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    This morning's workout:

    7/13/10 - Shoulders


    Seated Military Press
    95x8
    105x8
    115x7
    125x4, 3

    Notes: Wow, these were a lot harder than expected. I focused on feeling the movement in my shoulders. Also I did a fairly slow descent for each rep. These definitely hit my shoulders harder than standing presses do.

    Seated Neutral-Grip DB Overhead Press
    40x10
    50x9
    60x3, 3

    Notes: I actually lost reps on these, because my shoulders we so much more tired from my first exercise. Its okay, though. I'll just build back up from here. Nice form on these sets.

    Strict Lateral Raises
    20sx12, 10, 7, 6

    Notes: Again, fewer reps, but more focus on tension in the muscle.

    Rope Face Pull
    8.5x12
    9.5x12
    10.5x8 (+1 rep), 7

    Notes: Again, the rear delt machine was occupied, so these came first. Very nice sets. Good pause on each rep. Also, focused a lot on the external rotation aspect of the movement.

    Rear Delt Machine
    60x15
    65x15
    70x14 (+2 reps), 12 (+2 reps)

    Notes: Great sets. Super controlled reps, and I had a huge pump in my rear delts afterward (which is a cool feeling...).

    Hammer Strength Shoulder Press
    140x15 (+2 reps)

    Notes: Very nice set. I will keep doing this until I get to 20 reps at 140, then move up to 160.

    Nice workout. I'm glad I switched to seated military presses. My back was really tweaky again this morning. Still no major pain, just a little instability. The seated presses were so much harder. I don't use leg drive with my standing military presses, but I think I do tend to lean a little as I get heavier. With seated presses I kept my torso upright, flat against the back of the bench. That seems to make a huge difference, as my delts were really fried after the set at 115.

  21. #46
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  22. #47
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    This morning's workout:

    7/14/10 - Legs

    Leg Press
    2ppsx15
    2.5ppsx15
    3ppsx15
    3.5ppsx15 (+1 rep), 12 (+2 reps)

    Notes: Really good. Its crazy how hard I can push my legs on these, not having to worry about my back giving out. Really felt these in my lower quads again, too.

    Romanian Deadlift
    200 x 5, 5, 5 (+5lb on all sets)

    Notes: Good sets. Still light enough that it didn't bother my back. Once I get up to 225 I might start adding reps rather than weight.

    Leg Curl
    50x12
    65x12
    70x7, 6

    Notes: Very controlled. Again, done with toes pointed which really seems to focus on my hamstrings

    Leg Press Calf Raise
    3ppsx20 (+3 reps), 18 (+4 reps!), 14 (+1 rep)

    Notes: Great sets. Probably an ever better stretch and pause than last week too.

    I was in a rush, so I skipped my ab work.

  23. #48
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    7/8/10 - Chest/biceps

    Incline DB Bench
    45x10
    55x10
    65x10
    75x8 (+1 rep), 5

    Notes: Nice sets. Both top sets were smooth... no grinding reps. Thought I'd get more than 5 on the second set, but they were really good reps.

    EZ Curl
    50x10
    60x10
    70x10
    80x8 (+1 rep)

    Notes: Finally got 8 at 80. Next week I might add another set at 80.

    Hammer Strength Chest Press
    90x8
    110x8
    130x8
    140x5 (+1 rep)

    Seated DB Curl
    35x10
    40x10
    45x4, 4

    Notes: These were only okay. My form with the 45's wasn't great. I'm going to stick with these weights and reps next week and just focus on improving my form.

    Low Cable Raise
    3x15, 15

    Notes: Eh. I think next week I'm just going to replace these with a couple of burnout sets of pushups. I think it'll give me a better pump, plus pushups seem to be good for my shoulder health.
    Last edited by Chris407; 07-15-2010 at 02:17 PM.

  24. #49
    Prodigy Child TeamArmenia's Avatar
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    Hey bud,

    Was just reading through all your workouts, you got a great mindset when it comes to working out. Your lifts are looking great as well.

    I am not sure if you are a conventional puller or you pull sumo deadlifts. I myself found that my form was much better as a sumo dead lifter. Try to make sure your hips dont fire up fast you don't want to be in lock out position before you even have the weight at your knees. I find that is one of the major issues with most guys I see at the gym. Get nice and low, close to the bar and pull in one fluid motion. Two things to concider, form and getting into a fluid motion is key. Upload some vidoes of your dead lifts etc, it can give us a better idea as to any further suggestions. I will upload some sumo deadlifts that I have done in the past to give you an idea if you like.

    Also, what are your goals in the gym? What is your nutrition break down (fats/protien/carbs)?

    Keep strong,

    Joe
    465/405/495 = 1365
    squat / bench / dead

    TeamArmenia's Journal - Joe Avakian

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamArmenia View Post
    Hey bud,

    Was just reading through all your workouts, you got a great mindset when it comes to working out. Your lifts are looking great as well.

    I am not sure if you are a conventional puller or you pull sumo deadlifts. I myself found that my form was much better as a sumo dead lifter. Try to make sure your hips dont fire up fast you don't want to be in lock out position before you even have the weight at your knees. I find that is one of the major issues with most guys I see at the gym. Get nice and low, close to the bar and pull in one fluid motion. Two things to concider, form and getting into a fluid motion is key. Upload some vidoes of your dead lifts etc, it can give us a better idea as to any further suggestions. I will upload some sumo deadlifts that I have done in the past to give you an idea if you like.

    Also, what are your goals in the gym? What is your nutrition break down (fats/protien/carbs)?

    Keep strong,

    Joe
    Hey, thanks, Joe.

    You are dead on about my hips shooting up too fast if I'm not 100% focused on form. I realized that recently. Its mostly a problem when I'm trying to get extra reps... I'll keep my form tight for the first rep of a set, but if I'm going for 5 reps with a challenging weight my hips will start to rise on later reps.

    I pull conventional. I used to pull sumo style, but I haven't in years. I injured my left knee playing basketball 5 years ago, and unfortunately any stance for squats or deadlifts that's much wider than shoulder width still bother's my knee.

    I'm going to take a couple weeks off from deadlifting, but I will definitely try to post a video at some point in the future.

    As far as goals, I'm mostly looking to add as much muscle mass as I can in the next few months, without adding too much fat. As far as lifts... the goal is just to get as strong on my main lifts as possible.

    Actually, my #1 goal is not to get injured and have to take time off lifting. I've done that way too many times in the past...

    I'll post more about diet when I have a chance. But basically ~3500 calories/day, 5 main meals a day, 90% clean at the moment (high carb, but mostly from good sources). Some of my diet is kind of instinctive... like if I'm not hungry and I feel like I've eaten enough for the day I'll skip my usual bedtime snack.

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