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Super Ape
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Pull day yesterday was pretty good.  I started with back and rear delts instead of biceps, and I can tell the difference.  My biceps feel like little pathetic peas that got too little attention, and my back has the usual one-day-out twinge when I put it through the right motions.  I'll probably have to amp up the bicep work on the more back-centric days, which is easy enough in concept.

Today was probably the most brutal Leg day I've done in years, as I almost literally kicked my ass with a lot of glute-heavy stuff after going a bit light on that Tuesday.  In honor of my comment in the NFL thread, I should call this the Shocker Tom workout. 

  • Leg curls (usually start off with these just to warm up)
  • Landmine single-leg sprinter lunges (my balance continues to be the fucking worst)
  • Squats (went up in weight)
  • RDLs (went up in weight)
  • Weighted hip thrusts
  • Sumo deads (went up in weight)
  • Barbell hack squats (hadn't done these in 18+ months, oh how I missed them)
  • Nordic curls like I've been doing
  • Calf raises (hey, remember working calves?)
  • Leg extension

I had nothing left for abs, but it didn't matter, because all the pulling & squatting lit my pathetic abs up something fierce anyway. 

By the time I finished hack squats, I was basically crawling around on the gym floor like an asshole, and people were looking at me like I broke something.  If I could have formed a complete sentence, I would have told them, "Nah, I'll be fine in 5 minutes, and besides, it's not my fault my workouts make yours look like shit."  Taking my clothes off in the locker room was an adventure, too: my shirt had to weight about 3x what it normally does from how much sweat it absorbed.

I need to do this to myself more often, because I am a sick, sick bastard.

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I thought I might have given myself a backiotomy after that workout, but I think I just have a really shitty mattress and/or box springs.  I wake up with sore ribs probably half the time, and this morning was a bad case, but went through Upper stuff today with no issues at all.  Just need to get a new bed, I guess. 

Anyone have any recommendations on that front?  I've been something of a side sleeper for a long, long time, and this bed is marginally better than my old one because I can fall asleep on my back once in a while, but I'd rather find something where I primarily (or always) fall asleep that way to avoid throwing my shitty shoulders any more out of whack.

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On 9/12/2021 at 12:05 AM, RunningFromAmerica said:

And here's me thinking of myself as playing my edge doing RDLs and Good Mornings in the same workout lol.

And I was, been struggling to recover from it lol. Having to swap Pendlays out and put machine rows in, and DB RDLs for RDLs and the GMs. 

I guess more traction work is required.

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Only one workout this week so far. Started the dips and reverse shrugs with 95 lbs and pull ups with 62 lbs did 3 rounds of dips and shrugs with that and 4 rounds of pull ups, then started dropping the weight by 11 lbs per round (or only 5,5 lbs there during one round) until I had 13 lbs extra for dips snd shrugs and 7 lbs for pull ups and stopped there. This took more than half of all the time I had for the workout, so I had to plow through the chest flies, lat pull downs and push downs -combos with resistance bands in much shorter time than usual, so there was just one long drop set of each of those. With warm up prior and stretching afterwards this all took less than an hour, so at least it was intense.

So far, this week hasn't been as bad at work, but I feel like I haven't mentally recovered from last week. This means any more workouts this week shall be considered a bonus.

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Next week I'm taking at least Monday & Tuesday off due to moving, so no Upper/Lower split for me, maybe just the PPL section - though if my move kicks my ass, I'll probably skip that, too.  So, this week has been a lot more playing around to find things that work.

Today was Push and I went a lot more shoulder-centric than usual.  Opened up with some rotator cuff warmups just to make sure my joints didn't want to break in half after 20 minutes, then went to barbell OHPs, which I don't do that often anymore.  But I did 75 for I dunno, 3x6-8 the last time I did them and went up to 85 this time, so that's good.  Then I did Arnold presses, and other than my shoulders being a bit crunchy, I really like these.  I don't mind at all having my upper pec jump in on them, because I need the development there anyway.  They're staying.  Should've done them sooner (along with other unilateral shoulder pressing).

Most of my other presses were there to take pressure off my elbows and wrists, and that went pretty well: barrel presses, coffin presses, decline BB bench (went up in weight by a good bit on this).  Did a bunch of flys, but the only new twist was using the pec deck for a few sets and just squeezing one arm at a time to really focus the contraction.  Problem is I can move 60+ lbs with either pec, but my arm doesn't want to play along, as the isometric hold feels like it's breaking down faster than my pecs.  My other tricep work was pretty sloppy by comparison, but I was trying to go up in weight on all of them, so some form breakdown is to be expected.  Plus, when I saw how shitty my 21s looked in the mirror, I stopped and did an extra proper set of them as punishment.  Started doing lateral raises with the cables instead of DBs on Monday, and I think I'm probably going to stick with that, although my range of motion is crap and I don't know if that's because I'm weak or because my joints are so bad.  I may have to do some butterfly raises to work on that.  Finished off with some more DB lateral raises while leaning forward to get the last little bit of effort out of them, and then bus drivers to just toast the front delt. 

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I used to do Arnold Presses all the time. Not done them in years.

Definitely some people think they're bad, at least the way most people do them (which was pretty much how I did them).

 

Funnily enough, I couldn't get on *my* bench today so decided to pivot and put a focus on shoulders and deload ever so slightly:

Seated (with back rest)Overhead Press - ramp up to training max (first time ever on this variation), 80kg final single. Will get more next time.

Incline Bench Press - 5 day of a 531 + joker set + FSL: 60kgx5, 70kgx5, 80kgx8, 85kgx8, 60kgx13

EZ Bar Curl - 3 x 10-12 30kg (this was humbling, first time I'd gone in this rep range for biceps in a while and it showed. Need to push this up)

Cable Crossover High to Low - 3x20 70kg, 75kg, 75kg

3x20 each superset Facepulls 40kg, V-Bar pushdowns 40kg, 45kg 50kg

2x20-25 Overload partial lateral raises 10kg, Cable Bicep Curl 25kg

This felt like an useful day, shoulders and biceps definitely feeling it but I haven't got that overwhelmed feeling I sometimes get with heavy bench and rowing. I deliberately gave the back some rest ahead of a planned heavy squat day on Saturday, so basically the heavyish curl got to replace a row. 

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Got a quick bench and lat workout in last night. Bench went something like this: 5x198, 5x242, 3x264, 1x275, 3×281, 3×264, 8×242, 15x198, 30x132. The lat stuff was mostly warm-up, except for 2 heavy sets on the horizontal lat pull (I don't know what is officially called?) with 6x220 and 5x242. Our lat pulldown machine is not super sturdy, even though it is bolted into the wall and to the floor, but even more I was concerned whether the cable was going to hold up, so the sets were maybe a rep or two shorter than I could have mustered. Not a very good week, but at least I should be able to recover from this pretty easily.

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I also like Arnold Presses.  I got to the gym yesterday, and for some reason there wasn't an empty barbell on either incline bench so I started my workout with the Arnold presses.  I think the part I like the most is that it forces me to be strong in non-optimal positions.  I can get the weight over my head, the challenge is controlling in on the way down, especially on the turn.  It forces me to really lock in, and focus on the technique of supporting my shoulders with my lats and try to keep the vertical range of motion as tight as possible.  It is a great exercise, especially when you are getting up there in weight and working out by yourself.  The limiting factor to my dumbbell presses, whether or not it is flat bench, incline, or overhead is getting 80+ lbs. off the floor to my lap on the bench.  The Arnold Press allows me to lower the weight and not feel like I'm not getting as much work as I would get with a heavier weight.

 

 

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I really fucking hate pull-ups now.

It feels like I can't really get into good form with them - can't get my chest broad enough, or scapular retraction is too much of an issue. I'm all bowed forward by the second or third rep and then there's little point to doing them.  I also can't do banded pull-ups because I'm too fucking tall, and getting the band down and my feet up is impossible without someone else's help.  It's especially frustrating since every other Pull activity I do has been going great, but that vertical pulling is a straight Dumpster fire.  I've seen a couple of hacks along the lines of using the V-bar handle on a pull-up bar and trying them that way, but just haven't remembered to try them.  Might have to go back to the assisted machine just to try to get something out of it.

I probably also need to steal a page from Fry and trick the Devil out of his shoulders.

 

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So completed my 531 cycle on the SSB Box Squat with 110kg x 8 for my 1+ set, then a joker set of 115kg x 5. That will be the last rep work I do on the box squat, other than speed squats, for some time.  We can PR on this lift, likely 10-15kg, and will do so soon. Definitely aware that my upper erectors and lower traps are weak. Need to thicken up. I may rotate in some Zerchers as an accessory squat, SSB GMs will help, and maybe some Y raises could be thrown in, but realistically I will have to work the Pendlays in more and get the weight up.

Accessory Lifts were:

Wide stance GMs: 70, 75, 80kg x 10 - there's some knee bend here, so these are definitely a squat accessory

Pendlay Rows: 60kg x 12, 15, 15 supersetted with Seated Hamstring Curl: 42.5kg x 15, 15, 16

EZ Bar Bicep Curl: 30, 32.5, 35kg x 16 supersetted with Seated Calf: 30kg x 16, 16, 16

I dropped the weight on the Pendlay Rows. I was doing 70kg before because I was deadlifting before and had the bumpers on, but the truth is I need to go back to 60kg and accumulate volume on these, and progressively overload. Ultimately though, I need to be getting these to 80kg for sets of 10 - my row shouldn't be so far off my bench and right now it's miles off the pace. 

So it turns out that the problem 2 days ago with the EZ Bar Bicep Curl was probably that my anterior delts were smoked - they are key movers on a full ROM curl. Without that issue I could get 5 more kg for 4 more reps and I probably could have got more reps tbh. I plan to try 40kg for 10-12 on Monday, and will climb again if too easy. I am still getting good burn from these though, clearly there are gains on the table here. 

Gym News (!):

Judging by stuff left hanging around, it seems like the gym owner is putting in a power rack and a deadlift platform!! That's going to be big. I'm salivating at the prospect of doing some dead pin bench and actually being able to play my edge on squat maxes.

I think there will also be a flat plate-loaded machine bench press. This kind of thing tends to be hit or miss for the individual, but will be cool to try mos def.

 

Update on workout:

That was rough on my recovery - I woke up feeling like absolute shit. I now understand why advanced lifters put a RPE cap of 7 on their squat rep work lol.

I was looking at my symmetrical strength scores and it seems like maybe my Pendlay Row isn't *so* bad, but I'll still be working in quite a lot of volume - even if at the expense of bench work.

 

 

Edited by RunningFromAmerica
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Turns out we're not getting a deadlift platform but we have a power rack now and that is super exciting.

The new machines are plate-loaded unilateral leg extension and prone leg curl - not really machines I wold normally gravitate towards but we'll probably give them a try this week.

Today was a pivot day, not really a full deload but not playing my edge either. So it was 60% speed bench day...I went with 72.5kg and tbh it might have been a bit easy. My medium-wide and close grip feel a lot less clunky now. I did hypertrophy sets of close grip at 77.5kg and 85kg for 12.....and the latter was really quite unchallenging. I'm pretty sure that's a rep PR and I was thrilled because it was pretty nonchalant. A week ago I got 6 at 95kg. So I think we'll do top sets of 90kg and 95kg for my next two speed days on the CG and see what we get. A 3 plate bench feels like a very real target right now - weak links will have to be improved but to me it feels on. I'm curious to know what I can dead bench and will probably find out in the next 2 weeks.

I now realised that I was so goofy from squats on Saturday that I completely miscalculated my weights on the EZ bar and that is why I was lifting so much heavier. LOL. I managed 35kg for 10 strict today with a couple of reps in the tank. My right elbow is starting to complain though, so I think we might do some reverse grip next workout.

Sunday I am planning a deadlift max of some kind god help me.

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Today I went and bit both bench and trapbar, because I've been skipping days left and right the past few weeks. Going one set bench and one set trapbar alternating with as little rest as possible in between. Trapbar sets were 12x140, 10x286, 8x375, then 4x4x451. Heavy sets were hard. I was no where near where I was a couplevof weeks back.

Bench sets were 5x204, 5x248, 3x264, 1x275, 2x281 (plus couple of partials), 5x264, 8x242, 11x220, 15x176 and 32x110. 

After the heavy trapbar sets I did a set or two of shrugs between each bench set. Ab work and rolling and stretching at the end, everything took 90 minutes in total.

On Sunday, we did go for a 60 minute walk at the end of which was a flight of stairs about 3 times as long (twice at least) than what I'm used to plus we did some upperbody stretching at home, but these past few weeks I haven't felt like myself at all.

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I got 4 days of workouts in the form of moving to a new apartment.  Blew my 45/35/20 diet right out the window with a supreme pizza tonight.  But, right back to the food grindstone tomorrow (today, technically) and Push day Thursday.  I still have so much work to do on the old apartment - some packing, but mostly cleaning - that I may take it a little easier than usual on the remaining PPL split.  Plus, my calves and mid-back have been absolutely screaming at me for about 72 hours.  Then again, I have until the 30th to finish my getting my old place back to par, so...we'll see.

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More lat work today with rows with a 70 lb kettlebell, lat pull downs with both the machine (with weights and short resistance bands) and the new, even stiffer resistance bands. Those were also used for chest flies and pushdowns, but I also did pushdown on the lat machine. 4 sets with 50 lbs with 20, 15, 12 and 10 reps per set. Some curls and ab work and I was done for the day. If I get one more workout this week, at least this week doesn't suck. It hasn't sucked at work, either, so that was nice for a change!

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I used the gym's power rack. So I actually did squat work for reps again, but doing a SSB 'free' squat for the first time. I was doing some free squats at home with a water cooler bottle during gym closures, so it wasn't entirely unfamiliar. It was supposed to be a somewhat light day, do just went up to a challenging 6 at 100kg. Pretty sure my depth was considerably below parallel though my stance is too wide to full ATG.

Plate loaded leg extension is interesting. The plate loaded prone leg curl I am less convinced by.

Operation biceps continued with 2 sets of reverse EZ bar 20kg for 2 sets of 20. Was pretty wiped out by then. Will push that for 2 more workouts, hopefully to 27.5-30kg. Then return to a more supine movement.

Deadlift variation max planned for Sunday.

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Got one more workout in today. First 5 sets of squats and 4 sets of calf raises on the machine with 180 and 220, then 6 rounds of pull-up, dip and reverse shrug combo. Starting with 66 lbs on everything , went three rounds with that, then 1 round with 44 lbs, then one with 22 and then bodyweight. After that 4 sets of curls with two 22 lb plates. Then I "ran the rack" with kettlebells and did behind the neck over head presses starting with 70 lbs and ending with 17 lbs with six sets in total with no interruption save for the changing to the lighter weight. Then abs and stretching and now it's done. I'm glad I was able to do 3 workouts with mostly big moves, so this week was ok overall.

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I finally did my much delayed '1+' day of my 531 close-grip bench cycle, and scored 8 reps on 100kg (RPE 8.5), which is a PR for sure. Tbh I haven't slept that well recently and I didn't feel I had my groove so I was very happy with that. I think on a good day I could get 10 reps, maybe 12, with a wider grip and soon enough I will try.

Secondary press was the Cybex Eagle and I went up to 106kg for 10 reps, which is a PR on that machine.

Tertiary was a seated pin press (!). First time doing a non-back supported vertical press since returning to the gym - v.interesting! I went up to 40kg for 10 at upper chest height, and then moved the pins up one level to the chin and did the same. Felt it in my traps and my biceps weirdly. Unfortunately the power rack isn't high enough to support me doing the standing pin press, but it's still providing some great assistance movements.

Then it was back to the EZ Bar curl for a top-set of 37.5kg for 10. Another PR I think, but I'm not sure I get to 40kg soon without a little body english. 

I finished up with high-reps on the wide grip tricep pushdown (50kg x 25,55kg x 22) and the db upright row (16kg x 20,22). I need to raise weight on the latter, but I was quite tired.

Sunday will be quite amusing, as I will pull a deadlift to a training max. Plus my gf will be coming along! 

 

 

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I'm getting old.....I drank 1 can of 'Mango APA', 1/2 a large bottle of craft lager, and half a can of black lager....and somehow woke up with what appeared to be a hangover. Weird. Anyway....some Coca-Cola, Ibuprofen and more sleep later and we managed to make it to the gym.

I showed my gf how to bench, then we tried squatting....and she has the worst ankle mobility lol. But actually she wasn't bad at Good Mornings and I think the rack gave her a lot of confidence.

I did some dead stop (i.e. off the safety pins)  SSB Good Mornings basically to warmup for the deadlift max

I had Rebi pull a deadlift of 40kg a few times, which she was very happy with.

I then started ramping up my max - semi-sumo approx. 2.7 inch deficit (no belt). I failed 130kg double overhand because of grip - that's not totally surprising because I haven't really been working on grip. Straps went on and 130kg flew up no bother. Followed up with 150kg and then Rebi watched me do the 160kg, which was a mild grind but no problem locking out and apparently I made the same face that I make when....anyway I think I could have made another jump, at least 5kg and maybe 10 - but tbh I was pretty happy with the lift under the circumstances and I didn't feel like making another jump. 

My weakpoint is at around knee level - pretty classic stuff and I think it's mostly technique, exacerbated by the deficit. I think put on a belt, address some technique issues, switch to trad conventional and remove the deficit and maybe I could be pushing around 200kg. I think I'll pull another max before I go on holiday in late October. I actually think I could probably pull more off Sumo eventually, but I have mixed feelings about that lol.

Rebi had been doing some lat pulldown and good girl/bad girl whilst I had deadlifted. And we finished with some hamstring curl and a bit of bicep (EZ Curl, just the bar for her) - she also did some db shoulder presses. She is dead hahahaha but she liked it and wants to go back.

We then picked up some really big chicken burgers and she craved a big glass of milk. We fought against the day and we won.

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Back in the gym today for Dynamic Effort Bench at 80kg (9x3), followed by 3x12 on medium-wide (pinkies 2cm inside the rings) at 80, 85, 90kg - last rep of the 90 was a proper grind actually. Coming in after deadlift yesterday may have affected my performance a little. I'll do 95 for 10-12 next week (hopefully), and then we'll drop the Dynamic Effort for a week and test AMRAP at 100kg with this grip.

Accessories were mostly nothing special, except I did deadpin JM presses for sets of 20. These are good - definitely will be able to push these harder in the cage. Today was about punching the clock really - I've probably got about 25 workouts to get to the 3 plate max by the end of the year. Will be interesting to see if it happens.

Day off tomorrow will be sweet.

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Ok, this week will again be 3 workouts, max, as Wednesday and Thursday will be off due to real life. Yesterday was a light, but long and intense upperbody pump, as shoulders, lats, chest, traps, triceps and biceps all got their shit in. I feel somewhat sore in all those places, but nothing too bad.

On Saturday we went for a stairclimbing workout. On the last climb up, I tried to especially activate my glutes and ended up with sore CALVES the next day. At least I felt it somewhere. Last night, before leaving work, I stretched my legs extra well and they were definitely in need of it. Biking home felt better than usual so I guess it did help.

Today, I'll do trapbar and Friday bench, hopefully. I want to know what my starting level in my mid 40's will be, as far as bench goes. As for other big moves, I'll find out in the upcoming weeks.

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If she will not be requiring too much of your assistance during her workouts, I'd say it should only serve as an extra bit of motivation for you!

Trapbar was not as overwhelmingly difficult as it was last week, but still felt heavy af! Started with 10x140, 10x242, 10x286 and 10x363, then with Versas on 6x430 and 6, 5, 5 and 4x451. Shrugs with 242 and 176 as well as all the pairs of plates I carried back to the rack. Ab work and stretching to finish. Later in the evening I stretched and rolled my quads and hamstrings throughly and once again it helped my bikeride home immensely. Friday it will be bench, I hope.

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She's pretty new to the gym, she'll need some coaching for at least the next couple of sessions and I think she will need to be spotted on the Good Mornings for a while. But it will be fun.

Tomorrow I think we'll go Hip Thrust, DB Bench Press, DB RDL, Low Row, Plate Loaded Leg Extension, Fluff & Abs. Tbh I may just swap out the DB Bench Press for a vertical press of some kind but otherwise do the same workout.

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