Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Bank Holiday Moan-day

See what I did there?

So then - first session of my slightly different training regimen.  Session 1 - chest.  Lighter weights, so easier.  Or so I thought.

ChestFlat Bench Press - 1 x 10 @ 60kg, 3 x 12 @ 80kg
Incline Dumbbell Press - 1 x 10 @ 25kg, 1 x 12 @ 25kg, 2 x 12 @ 22.5kg
Dumbbell Flye - 3 x 12 @ 15kg
Dip - 3 x 12 @ 90lb assistance
Cable Crossover - N/A (equipment not available during the entire session)
Dumbbell Pullover - 3 x 12 @ 15kg
Weighted Sit Ups - 3 x 12 @ 15kg

So then...  That hurt.  Quite a bit more than I expected, to be honest.  I dropped the warmup set once I'd actually warmed up (the bench press and incline DB press ensured that I was warmed up enough).

Bench press was difficult - I was surprised how much different 12 reps were.

I had to drop the weight down slightlt on the incline DB press, being pre-fatigued was a real killer - normally I give the previous muscle group a rest and work on a push/pull type of routine.  But the lack of rest was difficult.

The flye was OK, and I was struggling by the end, so I think I got that weight pretty much spot on.

Dips - when I was training before, I was 2 stone lighter and able to press more (but for less reps), even so, I've come down considerably in terms of strength.  I'll get back there though.

Cable crossover - the machine was unavailable throughout my entire gym session, so I had to give that one a miss.

DB pullover felt quite light, I think I'll move that up to 17.5kg next time.

Weighted sit ups went well.  Unsure whether to go up in weight or up in reps for that.

After those exercises, I felt a dull ache and generally tired.  So I'm pleased to report that I have full on man boob soreness today.

Next gym session is on Wednesday where I'll be giving my back a bit of a beasting.  Looking forward to that one as I gingerly return to deadlifting!

Thursday, 22 August 2013

I think it's about time that I updated...

So then, training has taken a back burner as I've been up to my rugby balls in coaching commitments.  On the plus side, I have a women's rugby team that are almost ready to do battle at the second to top tier of club rugby available to them.  On the minus side, I have a belly and rapidly diminishing guns.  But, I am about to bring about changes to my trianing regime.

Previously, I have been training whole body and I've done either squat or deadlift at every training session.  This has yeilded some solid results and I'm stronger than I've ever been, which is very pleasing.  But, I was beginning to plateau in almost every aspect of training.

My aims are (by Christmas):

  • To be 2 stone lighter and still as strong.
  • To take at least 4" off my waist.
  • To have some definition to my shoulders/upper arms

I will do this by doing the following workout - each training session will roll on from the previous (as it's rare that I'll be able to train in the gym 5-6 days per week)...

Session 1 - Chest
Session 2 - Back
Session 3 - Shoulders
Session 4 - Legs
Session 5 - Arms

So, more of a 5 day bodybuilder split routine.  Each session will be done as follows...

All exercises are 3 x 12, with 1 set of 10 @ half weight for warming up.

Flat Bench Press
Incline Dumbbell Press
Dumbbell Flye
Cable Crossover
Dumbbell Pullover
Weighted Sit Ups

Pull up
Barbell Row
Dumbell Row
Lat Pulldown (wide grip)

Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Arnold Press
Side Raise
Front Raise
Upright row
Weighted Sit Ups

Leg Press (single leg)
Knee Extension
Hamstring Curl
Calf Raise

Close Grip Bench Press
Skull Crusher
Tricep Cable Extension
Close Grip Pulldown
Ez Curl Bar
Dumbbell Curl
Preacher Curl
Weighted Sit Ups

The sessions will be done in this order as it makes the most sense for the gym that I go to.

Also, I have a couple of weeks off work coming up, so on those days, I'll be able to stick to this plan fairly religiously for that fortnight.

However, as we're all aware; training is a three pronged attack.  Muscular stimulii is laid out above.  I also intend to eat cleanly, I'm not a fan of supplements as I think that (for my aims), I can get enough nutrients from food.  So, out goes the processed foods, in comes fresh fruit and veg.  Beer/alcohol will take a back seat - unless I've got a celebration on, there won't be any beer.  Lastly, rest.  When feeling particularly tired, take 2 rest days from the gym.  Make sure that I get ~7 hours sleep per night.

So, that's the plan.  The new training regime will start next week - first session on Tuesday morning.  How I hate training in the mornings...

Monday, 25 March 2013

A Monday that I deserve?

Well, I'm off work for a couple of days, which means I can get my training done during the day.  Which is good - so, after a leisurely morning, I got to the gym at 10.30 and began training.

I've also decided to change my training protocol ever so slightly.  So, I am now doing a programme that will look a little like this...

Monday - Squat, bench, row, dip, hyper, weighted sit ups
Tuesday - Squat, press, deadlift, chin up, weighted sit ups
Friday - Squat, bench, row, dip, chin up, tricep extension, DB curl/preacher curl

I'll work in the following way... 1 x warm up set, 1 x intermediate set, 3 x working sets.  All 8 reps per set.

So today's workout was...

Squat: 70kg, 90kg, 3 x 125kg
Bench: 60kg, 70kg, 3 x 80kg
Row: 40kg, 50kg, 3 x 60kg
Dip: 60lb, 45lb, 3 x 35lb
Hyper: 5 x 10 @ 10kg
Weighted sit ups: 5 x 30 @ 15kg

Surprise Saturday.

So, no rugby.  What's a man to do?  Train, that's what.  Train and try to emulate what I might do in a game.  So, it was either to be higher reps and lower weights in an effort to get a good old sweat on.  Or it was going to be shouting a load of rubbish, occasionally headbutting things and standing on people who were simply in my way.

Thankfully, I chose the former as I'm not sure the 18st powerlifter would have taken kindly to being stomped on and I think the 11st skinny six-pack boys would have cried if I'd headbutted them.

So, I did the following...

Squat: 1 x 10 @ 60kg, 4 x 10 @ 80kg
Barbell press: 1 x 10 @ 30kg, 4 x 10 @ 40kg
Deadlift: 1 x 6 @ 60kg, 4 x 6 @ 80kg
Clean and press: 1 x 10 @ 30kg, 4 x 10 @ 40kg
Bench press: 1 x 10 @ 60kg, 4 x 10 @ 70kg
Dumbbell curl: 1 x 10 @ 17.5kg, 4 x 10 @ 20kg

I have to say that I really enjoyed this session and it was something a little different to my normal sessions.  I trained well and kept the intensity up.  On Sunday, I did ache - particularly on my inner thighs and my trapezius.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Freezing Friday

The last regular training session of the week and delighted I am to be doing it!  Following the normal plan today - squat/bench/row/dip/pull up/tricep cable.

So, the weights...

Squat: 70kg, 90kg, 105kg, 125kg, 140kg
Bench press: 50kg, 65kg, 75kg, 90kg, 100kg
Barbell Row: 45kg, 55kg, 65kg, 75kg, 85kg
Dip (assisted): 80lb, 75lb, 65lb, 55lb, 45lb
Chin up (assisted): 80lb (5 x 5)
Tricep cable extension: 25kg, 30kg, 35kg, 40kg, 45kg

Squat felt good, but I was stopped after set 4 and went cold, so did another set of 5 @ 100kg as a re-warm up.

Bench press was a solid session and wasn't too bad, really.  Fairly standard stuff, really.

Row again felt good and powerful, which is what I'm aiming for.

After previous weeks, I've decided that actual dips are going to be better than the dip machine.  But I wasn't sure where to start, assistance-wise as I've not dipped in a good while.  Felt really good and I think I'll give actual proper bodyweight dips a go next week.

Chin up - by God are these difficult!  Something to work on over the next few weeks/months.  I want to get towards bodyweight on these - might take some time though!

Tricep extension again was good - thought I'd push the weight up a little and managed 45kg which is a new PB!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Wednesday the weird.

Sometimes, things go well.  Sometimes things go tits up.  Mainly, things go tits up.  But today, stuff just happened and it made me feel good!

I've been having a little think about my training and nutrition etc.  I generally get between 5 and 7 hours sleep per night, which is plenty for me.  So that side of things is good.  Nutritionally, I've become a lot better - making smarter choices and actually having treats, instead of those treat items becoming part and parcel of my daily intake.  So, in caloric deficit, I'm struggling to make decent gains in the gym - I've definitely gained strength and my technique on the squat/deadlift has come on massively over the last 6-8 weeks.  But, I'm beginning to stall, because I'm not eating enough - because I want to lose bodyfat more than I want to gain muscle.

So, I'm going to keep the core of my workouts the same and I won't be looking to add weight every week - I'll do it when the previous session was completed with good form and all 5 of the heavy set were done in one go.

With that in mind, I had a slight change to today's session.

Squat: 65kg, 75kg, 90kg, 110kg, 110kg - all x8 reps.
Standing Press: 40kg, 45kg, 55kg, 60kg, 3 x 65kg
Deadlift: 60kg, 90kg, 110kg, 125kg, 135kg
Weighted sit up: 5 sets x 30 @ 15kg

The squat went well with the extra lighter set.  But it's not too difficult as I'm a 140kg squatter anyway.

Standing press went OK until the last set and without almost doing a push-press, I couldn't get more than 3 reps.

Deadlift would have gone a lot better if I'd remembered my lifting straps - my grip was beginning to give out at 125kg, so I didn't push to the 145kg as there's no way that I could have held on.  I disappointed myself there.

Sit ups went well - this was the first time that I've done 5 sets of 30 with the 15kg.  Looking at ways of making it heavier next week - I think I might do a middle set with a 20kg plate and see how that feels.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Mondays are no fun.

Phelgmatic.  That is the word of the day and it sums up my gym session, really.

You'd think that I'd be buoyed by last week's PBs.  But, no.  Instead I just feel like I could sleep and not bother with anything.  I'm blaming the amount of junk food that I ate during the weekend.  Must eat better during the weekends.

Anyway - the training plan...

Squat: 75kg, 90kg, 110kg, 125kg, 145kg
Bench:  55kg, 65kg, 80kg, 90kg, 100kg
Row: 45kg, 55kg, 75kg, 80kg, 85kg
Hypers: 1 x 10 @ bw, 4 x 10 @ 10kg
Sit ups: 1x30 @ 10kg, 4 x 30 @ 15kg

But before I did that, I had to hang around and weight for the squat rack to become free.  So I ended up doing...

Wide grip lat pullwdown: 55kg, 65kg, 75kg, 80kg, 85kg (all 10 reps)
Leg press: 200kg (2 x 10)

So, after the 2 time filling exercises were done, I dived onto the squat rack and had a reasonable squat, didn't get as low on a couple of the 145kg reps, so I'll do the same session next week and hope for some improvement in the next week.

Bench was OK - being un-spotted, I'm a little nervous about having that weight overhead.  So I didn't do the prescribed 105kg.

Rowing is still difficult, especially at that weight, but I've had a decent gain in it before, so I'll stick with it.