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.

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

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 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

I mixed things up a little today. Still did sets on the 2:00 but focused more on triceps lifts. Things went well, my tri’s were spent.

  • bench press
    • 1 x 12 @ 135 lbs on the 2:00
    • 2 x 12 @ 155 on the 2:00
    • 1 x 9 @ 155 on the 2:00
    • 1 x 8 @ 155 on the 2:00
      • This got hard. Last 2 sets were to failure. 155 may be a good weight for next time though.
  • behind-the-neck shoulder press
    • 1 x 12 @ 65 lbs on the 2:00
    • 1 x 12 @ 75 on the 2:00
    • 1 x 9 @ 75 on the 2:00
    • 2 x 12 @ 65 on the 2:00
      • I must have been extra spent from benching. This was not a lot of weight but felt real hard. The last 2 sets I bumped down the weight and went slow. Good shoulder burn.
  • skull crushers
    • 1 x 12 @ 45 lbs on the 2:00 (assuming the french-curl bar is 25 lbs, I think it is)
    • 1 x 12 @ 55 on the 2:00
    • 3 x 12 @ 65 on the 2:00
      • Easy. Went slow, really hit my tri’s.
  • cable press-downs w/ rope
    • 5 x 12 @ 40 lbs on the 2:00
      • Kinda easy. Really felt this in my tri’s though.

I’m thinking a shift of focus from big lifts to arm workouts will positively affect my weight. That is, I will lose some. I weighed 183 lbs, dressed, this morning at the gym. That’s not a size that’s conducive to efficient climbing.

first shed

Lifted chest this morning at the shed. Went fast – lifts on the 2:00 for 40 minutes. Included dips at the end this time.

  • bench press
    • 5 x 12 @ 145 lbs on the 2:00
  • close-grip bench press
    • 4 x 12 @ 125 on the 2:00
    • 1 x 10 @ 125 on the 2:00
      • failed the last 2 reps
  • incline bench press
    • 5 x 12 @ 105 on the 2:00
  • dips
    • 5 x 8 on the 2:00
      • easy

The first 30 minutes were brutal, throughout bench, CG bench and incline. Couldn’t concentrate comfortably on form cuz I was just trying to get through the thing. Good workout, I’m liking the timed intervals.

early shedding

Lifted chest at the shed this morning. Went extra light and fast – sets on the 2:00, 5 sets each exercise, 12 rep sets. Even sets between exercises were on the 2:00.

  • bench press
    • 5 x 12 @ 135 lbs, on the 2:00
      • really felt it in my chest
  • close-grip bench press
    • 1 x 8 @ 115
      • too heavy, not recovered from bench
    • 3 x 12 @ 95
      • easy, got recovered
    • 1 x 12 @ 105
      • good weight. Do 5 sets of this next time.
  • incline bench press
    • 5 x 12 @ 95
      • easy. Maybe do 105 next time.

the best part of waking up…

Knowing I’m going to bench press gets me out of bed Monday mornings. Had I not been motivated by the bench I might still be in bed.

  • bench press
    • warm-up
      • 1 x 12 w/ the bar
      • 1 x 10 @ 135 lbs, feet up
    • work sets
      • 1 x 12 @ 155
      • 2 x 10 @ 165
  • close-grip bench
    • 1 x 10 @ 145
    • 1 x 12 @ 145
  • incline bench
    • 1 x 12 @ 115
    • 1 x 12 @ 125
  • dips
    • 30

Did not feel good today. Starting with the flat bench, 165 is more than I’ve been doing on my light chest days but this felt not good. I could not find a rhythm. Nothing felt great after that. Concentrate on getting the lats involved.
This workout made me feel that I should change something. I still want to do these lifts on Monday but probably should mix up the pace. Try lifting on the 3 minute, for instance. Keep things going fast, be done with bench, close-grip and incline early then move on to a couple more chest/triceps lifts.
Finished with shoulder rehab exercises.