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(2 grunts | lift it!)

Fifth HST cycle [21 Nov 2005|08:59pm]
I'm in the early phase of my fifth HST cycle. I'm going to switch things up a little this time. Actually, I switch things up every time, which is one of the things I like about HST's cyclical nature. I'm going to train four times a week: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Two days I'm going to focus only on the basic compounds, the way I did last cycle. The other two days I'll train in the gym and do a couple of isolations on top of mostly compounds. I'm going to reintroduce specific arm and calf training, though in a more limited fashion from what I was doing before.

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(2 grunts | lift it!)

[28 Oct 2005|09:16am]
I'm a couple of weeks shy of finishing my fourth HST cycle. As previously noted, I did things differently this time, focusing mostly on compound-exercise training five or six times a week. I alternated two workouts of four exercises as follows:

Workout A

Military Presses
Front Squats
Bent-Over Rows
Incline Bench Presses

Workout B

Lateral Raises or Bent-Over Flyes
Stiff-Legged Deads
Pull-Ups
Dips

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(lift it!)

Musings [14 Sep 2005|12:37pm]
I trained at my gym for the first time in close to a month yesterday. I didn't even feel like heading over there--would've been perfectly happy to train at home--but I am paying for the membership and figure I should use it at least occasionally. Another reason I went is that I've been isolating myself at home for a while now. Figured it would be good to mingle with humanity, even if only for a half hour or so.

Still, my workout was not only NO better than at home, I felt even more annoyed than usual with people watching me on the gym floor (admittedly, I am unusually sensitive about this) and with locker room issues. Why is it that, even when there's only one other guy in the locker room, he somehow ends up changing RIGHT NEXT TO ME? On second thought, don't answer that question.

Obviously, my home gym is nowhere near as well equipped as a commercial gym--but with a power rack, an assisted chin/dip unit, 300 pounds of Olympic weights, and dumbbells up to 55 pounds, I'm doing just fine. This is all I need for the basic compounds I've been focusing on. I don't know whether I'll continue training this way indefinitely, but if I do, it would be stupid to keep paying for a gym membership.

Not ready to let it go yet, though.

(lift it!)

15/4 [07 Sep 2005|04:05pm]
Today my workout looked like this:

Stiff-Legged Deads: 15 x 45, 2 x 15 x 140
Assisted Pull-Ups: 2 x 15 x bw-50
Assisted Dips: 2 x 15 x bw-40
Lateral Raises: 15 x 8, 15 x 10

I have a feeling that, with almost-daily training, this journal is going to become needlessly repetitive--not really useful to myself or others. I think after today I'll just update when there's something about my training that I'd like to process, or when I reach some noteworthy milestone.

(lift it!)

15/3 [06 Sep 2005|12:09pm]
Today I did this:

Front Squats: 15 x bw, 2 x 15 x 85
Bent-Over Rows: 2 x 15 x 95
Incline Benches: 2 x 15 x 85
Military Presses: 2 x 15 x 55

Not much to say about this workout, other than what's becoming the usual: it was short and sweet, and it feels as though my shoulders are under-performing.

One other thing: despite no specific arms training in about three weeks, mine feel full and hard, and are measuring in at only slightly below where they were when I ended my last cycle (minus 1/8 of an inch each). This could also be the result of a restricted-carb diet, which I'm doing because I'd like to lose a little fat.

(2 grunts | lift it!)

15/2 [05 Sep 2005|10:36pm]
I worked at about 75 percent capacity on the following:

Stiff-Legged Deads: 15 x 45, 2 x 15 x 135
Assisted Pull-Ups: 2 x 15 x bw-60
Dips: 15 x 50, 15 x 30
Lateral Raises: 12 x 15, 13 x 10

I haven't worked on my ceiling in a couple of days but can still feel the effects of that job when I do shoulder work--in this case, lateral raises. I could've smoked out fifteen good clean reps with 15-pound dumbbells (never mind tens) just a few weeks ago. Today I conked out early and light. Bah! Still, it was productive. With the deads, I can watch my form more closely in the mirror of my home gym. And I got a huge pump on my pull-ups. Good stuff.

I'm enjoying the brevity of my workouts now; I got this one done in about twenty minutes. I also LOVE the convenience of being able to do it at home. I have a feeling I'm going to be training at home more often than I anticipated earlier. Why waste gas and time driving to the gym to do something I can accomplish here?

(lift it!)

15/1 [03 Sep 2005|11:06pm]
I worked out for the first time in two weeks today. I have to say, I enjoyed the break, but it felt good to move some weight; was getting a little rusty. I trained in my home gym. Man, am I glad I have that setup, especially for what's going to be short workouts for the next couple of months. I'd feel a little silly driving to Gold's six days a week for a 20-minute workout. Going to keep the membership, though--variety is good in all respects, including training environment. I'll work out there roughly half the time.

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(8 grunts | lift it!)

Plan for next cycle [02 Sep 2005|08:05am]
I haven't updated in awhile--ended up concluding my last cycle a little early because I'd been working on a major household project (painting the ceiling) that was very physically demanding. I'm not quite done with the project, but it's time to get back in the gym. I've been out for about two weeks for rest and deconditioning purposes.

I'm going to try something different during my next (fourth) HST cycle: train six days a week, mostly compound movements, and very brief in duration. I'm going to set up two workouts--two or three sets each of four exercises--and alternate between the two. The volume should be about the same as what I was doing before; the difference will be higher frequency. I expect to have good energy throughout because the workouts will be so brief. I plan to do maybe half my workouts at home and half at the gym.

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(1 grunt | lift it!)

Post-5s/3, 4 [20 Aug 2005|09:08am]
I'm a little behind here--going to document two workouts in one entry:

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(2 grunts | lift it!)

Post-5s/2 [17 Aug 2005|09:32am]
Yesterday was day two of the post-fives:

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(lift it!)

Post-5s/1 [13 Aug 2005|04:24pm]
Today was my first day of post-fives:

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(3 grunts | lift it!)

[11 Aug 2005|09:55pm]
Today was the last and heaviest day of the fives:

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(1 grunt | lift it!)

5/5 [09 Aug 2005|02:01pm]
Today I worked at 95 percent on the fives. Satisfyingly heavy. I think the latter half of the fives is my favorite part of the cycle.

Military Presses: 2 x 5 x 85, 15 x 65
Front Squats: 15 x bw, 2 x 5 x 130
Stiff-Legged Deads: 15 x 45, 2 x 5 x 205
Donkey Calf Raises: 2 x 5 x 600, 15 x 400
Pull-Ups: 4 x bw + 25, 4 x bw + 10, 9 x bw (palms facing me, narrow grip)
Bench Presses: 2 x 5 x 135, 15 x 105
Incline Hammer Curls: 4 x 35 + loaded stretch, 5 x 30, 15 x 20
Lying Triceps Extensions: 2 x 5 x 95, 15 x 70

It was a good workout today. I was a little too aggressive on the pull-ups, but mostly stayed just within my limits. It felt great. I really dig HST.

Just seven more workouts and I'll be done with this cycle; then it's off to see family back east (most of 'em for the first time in four years, egad). Perfect timing for the deconditioning period, though.

(9 grunts | lift it!)

5/4 [07 Aug 2005|08:12pm]
Worked at about ninety percent capacity on fives today. It's starting to get heavy:

Military Presses: 2 x 5 x 80, 15 x 65
Front Squats: 15 x bw, 2 x 5 x 120
Seated Calf Raises: 2 x 5 x 190, 15 x 140
Hamtractor Leg Curls: 2 x 5 x 220, 15 x 195
One-Arm Rows: 2 x 5 x 75, 15 x 55
Dips: 5 x bw + 40, 4 x bw + 35, 15 x bw
Barbell Curls: 2 x 5 x 75, 14 x 60
Lying Triceps Extensions: 2 x 5 x 90, 13 x 75

I repeated most of my last workout because I'm probably going to train at home on Tuesday, and to some extent that dictates my exercise choices.

I'm really concentrating on my front squats--using relatively narrow foot placement, driving up through my heels, and focusing on my thighs (as opposed to my glutes, hips, and lower back). Liking the way it feels and feeling more confident about the movement. In fact, I'm tempted to do more of these than hack squats for the rest of this cycle.

(lift it!)

5/2 and 5/3 [05 Aug 2005|08:57pm]
Didn't update a couple of days ago, so I'm going to include the day before yesterday's workout along with today's.

5/2

Military Presses: 2 x 5 x 70, 15 x 65
Stiff-Legged Deads: 15 x 45, 2 x 5 x 175
Front Squats: 15 x bodyweight, 2 x 5 x 110
Seated Calf Raises: 2 x 5 x 165, 15 x 140
Pull-Ups: 2 x 5 x bw + 10 pounds, 9 (narrow, palms-in grip)
Bench Presses: 2 x 5 x 115, 15 x 105
Barbell Curls: 2 x 5 x 70, 14 x 60
Lying Triceps Extensions: 2 x 5 x 85, 15 x 70

5/3

Military Presses: 2 x 5 x 75, 15 x 65
Hack Squats: 15 x machine, 2 x 5 x 305
Donkey Calf Raises: 2 x 5 x 540, 15 X 400
Hamtractor Leg Curls: 2 x 5 x 210, 15 x 195
One-Arm Rows: 2 x 5 x 70, 15 x 55
Dips: 2 x 5 x bw + 40, 15 x bw
Incline Hammer Curls: 2 x 5 x 30, 15 x 20
Narrow-Grip Benches: 2 x 5 x 115, 14 x 100

Must say, I enjoy the fives, especially when the weight gets heavier. I also really like the metabolic sets at the end; they give a nice pump.

Added some weight to my dips today--finally! This movement felt great. It's a superior exercise, one of the very best things you can do for your upper body.

(2 grunts | lift it!)

5/1 [02 Aug 2005|08:50am]
I haven't updated in a while because I had to go out of town unexpectedly--spent last week in Missoula, Montana. I was able to stay on top of my training courtesy of a traveling membership with Golds; it was interesting to work out in a different venue.

The Golds in Missoula lacks some really basic stuff--a chin/dip unit, for example. I did chins on the bar atop the squat rack, but there were no parallel bars for dipping. On the other hand, they have one of those Olympic hex bars, which you can use for shrugs or squats--awesome for squats, in fact. I've wanted to try one of those fer-EVER and was psyched to finally have the opportunity. For some reason they're kinda pricey, but if I can ever get my mitts on one second-hand for my home gym I'll be all over it.

Anyway, it's good to be home and training in my own gym again. Yesterday was my first day of fives:

Military Presses: 2 x 5 x 65, 15 x 65
Hack Squats: 2 x 5 x 270, 15 x 200
Donkey Calf Raises: 2 x 5 x 470, 14 x 400
Hamtractor Leg Curls: 2 x 5 x 185, 13 x 200
One-Arm Rows: 2 x 5 x 60, 15 x 50
Dips: 2 x 5 x bodyweight (152 pounds), 15 x bodyweight
Incline Hammer Curls: 2 x 5 x 25, 15 x 20
Narrow-Grip Benches: 2 x 5 x 105, 11 x 110

Reviewing my workout log, I see that somehow I made a mistake around finding my numbers for dips: specifically, I didn't do so this cycle. Don't know how I could have messed up for such an important exercise, but there ya go. Explains my lack of progression there. I'll be more careful next time.

(1 grunt | lift it!)

10/1 [19 Jul 2005|06:58pm]
Yesterday was the first day of tens. I worked at about 75 percent capacity:

Military Presses: 2 x 10 x 60
Hack Squats: 2 x 10 x 200
Stiff-Legged Deads: 2 x 10 x 145
Donkey Calf Raises: 2 x 10 x 390
One-Arm Rows: 2 x 10 x 55
Dips: 2 x 10 x bw
Incline Hammer Curls: 2 x 10 x 20
Narrow-Grip Benches: 2 x 10 x 95

This was an easy workout--and it's a good thing, because I was feeling a little off-kilter.

I'm somewhat concerned at the fact that I've been doing bodyweight-only dips for awhile now--lack of progression and all. Also, I suspect that flat bench presses aren't as effective as doing the movement with dumbbells on a (very slight, under 20 degrees) incline. My chest is usually pretty responsive to training but I don't feel as though I'm making the same advances there that I was in my first two cycles.

On the other hand, I'm measuring at 39", and it's early yet, so maybe I'm just being paranoid.

(12 grunts | lift it!)

15/6 [15 Jul 2005|02:56pm]
Last day of the fifteens, praise be to Jesus!

Military Presses: 2 x 15 x 70
Front Squats: 15 x bw, 2 x 15 x 105
Hamtractor Leg Curls: 15 x 205, 15 x 195
Seated Calf Raises: 15 x 160, 13 x 160 + 2 x 160 (rest pause)
Assisted Pull-Ups: 15 x bw - 60, 10 x bw - 60 + 5 x bw - 70
Bench Presses: 2 x 15 x 105
Barbell Curls: 15 x 60, 12 x 60 + 2 x 60 (rest pause)
Lying Triceps Extensions: 15 x 70, 15 x 75

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(lift it!)

15/5 [14 Jul 2005|07:57pm]
Nearly at the end of the fifteens...yesterday's workout looked like this:

Military Presses: 2 x 15 x 65
Hack Squats: 2 x 15 x 170
Stiff-Legged Deads: 15 x 45, 2 x 15 x 165
Donkey Calf Raises: 2 x 15 x 400
One-Arm Rows: 2 x 15 x 60
Dips: 15 x bw, 14 x bw (~152)
Incline Hammer Curls: 15 x 20, 13 x 20 + 2 x 20 (rest pause)
Narrow Grip Benches: 15 x 110, 9 x 110 + 2 x 110 (rest pause)

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(lift it!)

15/4 [12 Jul 2005|09:40am]
Yesterday was day four of the fifteens:

Military Presses: 2 x 15 x 65
Front Squats: 15 x bw, 2 x 15 x 95
Lying Leg Curls: 15 x 140, 15 x 120
Seated Calf Raises: 2 x 15 x 145
Assisted Pull-Ups: 2 x 15 x bw - 80
Bench Presses: 2 x 15 x 95
Barbell Curls: 2 x 15 x 55
Lying Triceps Extensions: 2 x 15 x 65

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