lifting doesn’t feel so good anymore

Now that I’m lifting weights once a week and swimming almost daily my joints don’t feel super good after a session with the weights. For instance, I’m sore today. I lifted last night with Marcela at the Shed. She has great form on the bench, by the way. But the once a week thing is just enough to make me sore, rather than accomplish anything significant, I think, in the strength department. This may call for a drastic overhaul of my weight training strategy. Recently, sets every two minutes was all the rage. Looking forward, it may make more sense to slow down the pace of my sessions but increase weight. I’m just saying, it’s something for me to think about.

da numbers:

  • bench press
    • 1 x 12 @ 155 lbs on 2:00, feet up
    • 1 x 12 @ 165 lbs on 2:00, feet up
    • 1 x 6 @ 185 lbs on 2:00, feet down
    • 1 x 12 @ 165 lbs on 2:00, feet down
      • I went heavy on the third set, mostly to mix things up, and to psych up for a big fourth set.
      • I like this feet up/down transition. Feet up for light weights and warm ups. If an upcoming set is a concern, put feet down. I think it’s good to train this mental switch – when feet are down it’s business time.
      • There was more than 2:00 minutes before the next exercise, maybe more like 5:00.
  • incline bench press
    • 1 x 12 @ 115 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 125 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 6 @ 145 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 125 lbs on 2:00
      • There was more than 2:00 minutes before the next exercise, maybe more like 5:00. 
  • behind-the-neck press
    • 1 x 12 @ 65 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 85 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 3 @ 105 lbs on 3:00
    • 1 x 10 @ 85 lbs on 2:00
      • Slowed down a little here, had “technical difficulties”.
  • arms super set – standing BB triceps extensions & biceps curls with the french curl bar
    • extensions – 1 x 12 @ 45 lbs
    • curls – 1 x 8 @ 60 lbs
    • extensions – 1 x 12 @ 65 lbs
    • curls – 1 x 10 @ 70 lbs
    • extensions – 1 x 12 @ 65 lbs
    • curls – 1 x 10 @ 80 lbs
    • extensions – 1 x 12 @ 65 lbs
    • curls – 1 x 10 @ 80 lbs 
      • Just tried to keep moving here, didn’t pay attention to timing these sets.

Finished things up with some abdominal work and restorative shoulder exercises.

first iron

Was a little tired from a bunch of training this week, as is typical of Fridays, but got myself in to the gym for a good session with the weights. Today’s focus: arms and abdominals.da numbers:

  • DB bench press
    • 3 x 12 @ 65 lbs on 2:00
  • DB flys
    • 3 x 12 @ 25 on 2:00
  • DB seated shoulder press
    • 3 x12 @ 35 on 2:00
  • preacher curls
    • 1 x 12 @ 65 (assuming the french curl bar is 25 lbs) on 2:00
    • 2 x 12 @ 75 on 2:00
  • triceps cable press down
    • 1 x 12 @ 45 on 2:00
    • 2 x 12 @ 55 on 2:00
  • incline seated DB curls
    • 3 x 12 @ 30 on 2:00
  • reverse crunches
    • 3 x 12 on 2:00

Finished with some shoulder cuff restorative exercises.

late iron

Lifted late afternoon yesterday, opting to swim before work. So, by the time 5:30 PM came around I was not a raging bundle of energy. But things came together, as they usually do, once I started pushing the weights around. This turned out to be a good session, and a good fitness day.

da numbers:

  • bench press
    • 3 x 12 @ 155 lbs on 2:00, feet up
  • incline bench press
    • 3 x 10 @ 135 on 2:00
  • behind-the-neck shoulder press
    • 3 x 9 @ 85 on 2:00
  • standing BB triceps extensions
    • 1 x 12 @ 35 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 45 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 55 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 65 on 2:00
  • standing BB biceps curls
    • 1 x 12 @ 35 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 45 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 55 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 85 on 2:00
  • dips
    • 3 x 20 

first iron

I got to the Shed this morning at 6:30 to commence operation ‘Don’t Puke’ – don’t know what was going on with me but trying not to yak took all my concentration. And this is odd because ordinarily I would love to be able to say I worked it so hard I hurled. When the time finally comes though, it doesn’t feel so good. Nausea is not inspiring.

Tried something a little different. Sets on the 2:00, although a few intervals between exercises I pushed out to 3:00 because setting up seemed particularly involved today. For example, setting up for super sets, two bars with weight and adjusting the bench, takes some time. Anyways, the thinking was I would go through my key chest and shoulder lifts (bench, incline and shoulder press) fast before moving on to arms, for which today was the focus, then finish with abdominals. Yes, abdominals. And yes, I know that’s my stomach. I hate abdominal exercises, never do them, but I’ve had it with my belly. It sticks out way far and looks funny. I’m pretty lean right now and in good condition for being me, you can even see stomach muscles, but it just sticks out. Maybe there’s nothing that can be done but I thought I’d try. On the list of exercises I never do, abdominal stuff is at the top.

the numbers:

  • bench press
    • 1 x 12 @ 135 lbs on 2:00
      • feet up
    • 1 x 12 @ 155 on 2:00
      • feet up
    • 1 x 12 @ 175 on 2:00
      • feet down
      • felt good – this is kind of a chunk of change for me for sets on 2:00.
  • incline bench
    • 1 x 12 @ 95 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 115 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 135 on 2:00
  • behind-the-neck shoulder press
    • 1 x 12 @ 55 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 2:00
    • 1 x 9 @ 95 on 2:00
  • arms super set – skull crushers w/ the bench bar & standing curls w/ the french curl bar
    • skull crushers
      • 1 x 12 @ 55 on 1:00
    • curls
      • 1 x 12 @ 50 (I think the bar is 10 lbs anyway) on 1:00
    • skull crushers
      • 1 x 12 @ 65 on 1:00
    • curls
      • 1 x 12 @ 50 on 1:00
    • skull crushers
      • 1 x 12 @ 65 on 1:00
    • curls
      • 1 x 12 @ 60 on 1:00
    • skull crushers
      • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 1:00
    • curls
      • 1 x 12 @ 60 on 1:00
    • skull crushers
      • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 1:00
    • curls
      • 1 x 12 @ 60 on 1:00
  • dips
    • 1 x 16 on 2:00
    • 2 x 20 on 2:00
  • reverse crunches
    • 3 x 12 on 2:00
      • I thought my stomach muscles might explode out of my body. A major cramp here felt imminent.
  • hanging crunches
    • 1 x 12 on 2:00
    • 1 x 10 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 on 2:00
      • Again, cramping imminent.

first iron


While watching the U.S. women’s gymnastics Olympic trials last night I realized I suck. Shawn Johnson, for comparison, does not suck. She’s physically a specimen and a monstrous competitor. And if you just looked at her face you would think she is a sweet little high school girl. She is a predator posing as a house pet and she’s rad. So, this morning I tried to be ferocious like Shawn. I don’t know that I achieved ferociousness but I certainly was inspired.

The numbers:

  • DB bench press
    • 1 x 12 @ 65 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 70 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 2:00
  • cable flys
    • 2 x 12 @ 40 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 45 on 2:00
  • seated DB shoulder press
    • 1 x 12 @ 30 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 35 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 40 on 2:00
  • later DB shoulder raises
    • 2 x 12 @ 15 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 20 on 2:00
  • preacher curls
    • 1 x 12 @ 65 (assuming 25 lb bar) on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 85 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 2:00
  • skull crushers
    • 1 x 12 @ 75 (assuming 25 lb bar) on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 85 on 2:00
    • 1 x 11 @ 85 on 2:00
  • triceps cable press downs
    • 2 x 10 @ 55 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 40 on 2:00

Did some restorative shoulder cuff exercises at the end. And lots of stretching.

first iron

I changed things up a bit today. Rather than 5 sets of an exercise I did 3 and did 7 instead of 4 separate exercises in a comparable amount of time. Again, on the 2:00.

  • bench press
    • 1 x 12 @ 155 lbs on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 165 on 2:00
    • 1 x 9 @ 165 on 2:00
      • Massive failure, had to throw the weight in to the “emergency stops”, as I call them. Got to watch 165 lbs fly at my face though. Rad.
  • incline bench press
    • 2 x 10 @ 115 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 115 on 2:00
  • DB flys
    • 3 x 12 @ 25 on 2:00
      • Light weight, good stretch. I like finishing chest workouts with this exercise.
  • behind-the-neck press
    • 1 x 12 @ 65 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 65 on 2:00
  • arms super set – standing overhead triceps extensions & standing biceps curls, both with french curl bar
    • 0:00
      • tri’s – 1 x 12 @ 65 lbs (assuming a 25 lb bar) @ 0:00
      • bi’s – 1 x 12 @ 65 @ 1:00
    • 2:00
      • tri’s – 1 x 12 @ 65 @ 2:00
      • bi’s – 1 x 12 @ 65 @ 3:00
    • 4:00
      • tri’s – 1 x 12 @ 55 @ 4:00
      • bi’s – 1 x 12 @ 55 @ 5:00
  • triceps cable press down w/ rope
    • 1 x 12 @ 75 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 80 on 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 85 on 2:00
  • incline seated DB curls
    • 3 x 12 @ 25 on 2:00

Finished up with some shoulder & chest stretches and my rotator cuff exercises.

first iron

First iron at GVAC. Went fast, felt good, was sweating hard (unusual). Focused on really hitting my chest, shoulders and triceps. Looked for the pain, found it, sorta went through it. I always think I could have done better but today hurt good.

  • dumbbell bench press
    • 5 x 12 @ 65 lbs on the 2:00, feet up
  • dumbbell flys
    • 5 x 12 @ 25 on the 2:00, feet up
  • dumbbell seated shoulder press
    • 2 x 12 @ 30 on the 2:00
    • 3 x 12 @ 35 on the 2:00
  • cable press-downs
    • 2 x 12 @ 40 on the 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 55 on the 2:00
    • 2 x 10 @ 55 on the 2:00

first iron at the Shed

Morning workouts at the Shed are extra fun. Just me and the weights. Hit chest, shoulders and triceps today. Felt OK.

  • bench press
    • 4 x 12 @ 155 lbs on the 2:00
      • Fourth set was real hard.
    • 1 x 6 @ 155 on the 2:00
      • Yeah, that’s how hard the fourth was. Total failure on the fifth set.
  • behind-the-neck press
    • 5 x 12 @ 65 on the 2:00
      • 65 lbs sounds way light, I know. I was spent after benching, so this actually was an alright weight.
  • skull crushers
    • 1 x 12 @ 55 on the 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 65 on the 2:00
    • 2 x 12 @ 75 on the 2:00
    • 1 x 10 @ 85 on the 2:00
  • dips
    • 1 x 14 on the 2:00

Going fast like this, on two minute splits, kills me. My triceps were spent. These recent routines are more focused on my arms, as this allows me to avoid the weight gain associated with lifting large muscle groups like my chest and back. Going fast and keeping the weights light also helps.

GVAC first iron

Ahhh, another Thursday, another shoulder routine.

  • DB bench press
    • 1 x 12 @ 60 lbs on the 2:00
    • 3 x 12 @ 65 on the 2:00
    • 1 x 9 @ 65 on the 2:00
      • failure
  • DB flys
    • 5 x 12 @ 25 on the 2:00
  • seated DB shoulder press
    • 1 x 12 @ 20 on the 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 25 on the 2:00
    • 2 x 12 @ 30 on the 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 35 on the 2:00
  • dips
    • 5 x 12 @ 2:00
      • super easy

This was the first day in a long time I’ve drastically changed my Thursday routine. And it went really well – Monday was barbell bench, today I benched with dumbbells. Same thing with shoulder press. DB flys were a little light so I focused on the stretch, real slow. Then finished with some dips. Which felt super strong, sets of 12 on the 2:00 was too easy. My chest was visibly way pumped, looked like tits. Rad.