Category Archives: Strength training log

HIAH, Get Ready, workout 2A

I feel like I just got beat up.

My legs and shoulders were really sore from the last two days of lifting and swimming before I even walked into the gym yesterday. I’m even worse for wear today. There is no question that I need to take the weekend off.

Even with the soreness, I still feel like I gave my all on this one.

Here are the numbers.

Cable Standing Mid-Pulley Row (130×7, 175×6, 205×7, 220×5)

I found a pulley with a bigger weight stack. The first two were still pretty easy. The last two sets gave me some balance issues. I can move the weight but I can’t stand perfectly still. I have to rock back to keep from going forward. I wonder if I’m doing these right. Maybe I should go back down to 200 lbs or so.

Dips (2, 3, 1, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 1)

This might have been the toughest lift ever. I still can’t believe I managed to do 25 dips. I remember back in high school I couldn’t even do one. That was back when I weighed 235. I guess I’m a lot fitter now then I ever was.

I had to do a little grunting and even some screaming to get some of those two reps sets. That second one was ALWAYS tough.

The toughest part was doing these with 45 second rest periods. Even with that it still took me damn near 30 minutes. Nevertheless, I did it and I’m pretty damn proud of that.

Dumbbell split squat (50×6, 50×4, 50×6, 50×4, 50×3, 50×2)

I actually did these right this time. They were tough. I think the hardest part is figuring out when to stop. At some points I almost fall over. When I’m doing my second leg I know I have to match the previous leg and that can be quite an adventure.


HIAH, Get Ready, workout 1C

The weather was bad so we went to the gym that’s closer to our house. It’s certainly not as nice as our gym in the suburbs but it’s still a nice change of pace.

When I first looked at this workout I thought it would be the quickest. In theory I could finish all three  lifts in two and a half sets. My wife is doing NROL for women so she had five lifts. I thought I’d be waiting for her to finish. It didn’t turn out that way. She ended up having to wait a good ten minutes for me. This was the longest lift of the week. I spent at least an hour in the gym.

Here are the numbers.

Cable standing low pulley row with rope attachment (100 x 23, 110 x 12, 110 x 12, 110 x 3)

I suck at finding things in the gym. I tore the gym apart looking for that rope attachment. Went through every box and stalked around every machine. I ended up using some straps that serve basically the same function. As you might expect, as soon as I finished I found the rope hanging at eye level from a pulley machine.

Pushup (20, 4, 6, 8, 6, 6)

Twenty pushups is still no joke to me. Once I got that first set I felt like my arms were done. The rest period seemed like it flew by. I pretty much had to just tough it out from there. It took me five sets to get the last 30 but I’m pretty happy that I got it done.

Squats (135 x6, 135 x 10, 135 x 10, 135 x8, 135 x 8, 135 x4, 135 x 4)

I didn’t do this right the first time and I ended up paying the price. You’re supposed to do 20 in your first set. I don’t know why I stopped at 6. I guess I had visions of past back pain in my head. I got two sets of 10 immediately afterwards so I know I could at least do that much. It’s just mental. I’m gonna have to get past this.

Since I didn’t do 20 I ended up having to figure out a way to get 44 more reps in. I soldiered on even when my legs felt like jelly. To add insult to injury, the locker room in my gym is upstairs so I had to do the old man walk up there to get changed.

HIAH, Get Ready, workout 1B

Today I got lucky with picking weights. Had to pick a weight that I could lift 10 to 12 times. Every single one of them was right on the money.

There’s really not much to say about anything else…

Here are the numbers.

Underhand grip lat pulldown (135 x 10, 135 x 8, 135 x 6, 135 x 6, 135 x 5)

Dumbbell standing shoulder press (35 x 12, 35 x 8, 35 x 6, 35 x 5, 35 x 4)

Deadlift (185 x10, 185 x 8, 185 x 6, 185 x 6, 185 x 5)

HIAH, Get Ready, workout 1A

Weight lifting never ceases to amaze me.

I spent a grand total of 30 minutes in the gym. That includes a half mile warm up jog and a half mile cool down jog. Even so, I’m about as sore as I can be right now. I walked out of that gym completely spent.

Today was the first lift of Huge in a Hurry. For the next three weeks I’m going to do the introductory phase  called “Get Ready.”

The whole point of this program is to lift fast and stick to specified rest breaks. Doing that shaves a lot of time. We’ll see how it works.

Here are the numbers.

Cable Standing Mid-Pulley Row (35×7, 42.5×7, 95×7, 95×4)

The machine I used doesn’t have enough weight. 95 pounds is the max and it’s simply not enough. I exceeded the load number every time. I probably could have done sets of 20 if I wanted. You’re supposed to stop immediately after you exceed the load, though, because that’s a sign that it’s time to add weight.

I looked around and saw another one that goes up to 140 (I think). I’m gonna try it next time. My new gym hides the pulley stuff over with the rest of “the machines.” I have no idea what’s going on in that area. From day one I’ve done all I could to avoid it. I might have to spend some more time over there.

Dumbbell decline bench with neutral grip (50×7, 60×7, 65×7, 65×4)

You have two choices with this lift. Either do dips or the decline bench. I figured that there’s no way I could do a dip so I opted for the bench. After going through this ordeal it’s clear to me that I’d better figure out a way to do dips.

I ended up maxing out with 65 pound dumbbells but I don’t think that’s my max. That’s the amount that I was able to get in position. The whole thing is very awkward and I still don’t know how to pick up the weights and get in position. Those last two sets probably took me 5 minutes each. Maybe I’m dumb but I figured the only way was to put my legs in the things, pick up the weights and then lay down. This was VERY difficult for me to do. Once I got them up there, though, I had no trouble getting the reps.

After my workout I found the dip station and tried to do one. I was actually able to do a half decent rep even with tired arms. I’m gonna give real dips a try next week. If that doesn’t work I”ll use the dip assist machine. If I stay with this decline bench thing I’m bound to take a dumbbell to the head sometime soon.

Dumbbell split squat (50×4, 50×4, 50×4, 50×4, 50×3, 50×4, 50×2)

I just figured out that I did these wrong. I did lunges. I stuck my leg out, went down and then came back. In this exercise you’re supposed to keep your feet on the ground and then go down and up. Since these sets are basically of no use for determining my future progress I’ll just say that they were very hard and forced me to grunt like a weirdo at times.

Belly Off 2008, week 8, Saturday challenge

Belly Off 2008 is done!

Unfortunately, I still have a belly so the project wasn’t as successful as you would imagine if you just read the title. Nevertheless, I”m OK with the progress I made.

I actually gained five pounds over the course of the program but I had two holidays thrown in there. That’s almost exactly what I gained over the same period of time last year. (You can take that for what it’s worth).

Today I did things a little different. I ran a half mile warm up lap and then did my bike intervals. After that I did the Power of 10 workouts twice for 30 seconds each. Then I finished with another half mile jog.

My final push up total was two sets of 15 each.

I made a lot of progress. On the first Saturday I did the Power of 10 once for 30 seconds and then managed a grand total of 5 pushups. I thought I was gonna die. If I went back and tried that workout today I bet I wouldn’t even break a sweat.

Belly Off 2008, week 8, day 3

The final lift of Belly Off 2008 is officially in the books. Just one Saturday challenge to go and then I’m done.

I made an effort to give this one as much as I had. I feel like I did. I spent most of the time struggling for air.

Here are the numbers.

Hang Clean/Front Squat/ Push Press (8×95, 8×95, 8×95)

This is the same weight as last week but this time I did all 8 on each set. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do that on the last set but I just gritted my teeth and struggled to get it done.

Push up/pull up ladder (2/1, 4/2, 6/3, 8/4, 10/5)

The first four sets weren’t too much trouble. I was determined to finish all the reps on that last set so I did it in reps of 5-1-4. The pullups on that last one were pretty pathetic but I was happy to try them. I sometimes think about what it would be like to do a real pull up. Then I wonder if what I’ve been doing is going to get me any closer to that.

I’m gonna be honest and say that if the day ever comes where I can do just one pull up from a dead hang I’m gonna consider myself super fit.

X Chop (8×16, 8×16, 8×16)

I think these would help somebody with their golf game since it’s pretty much the same motion as a swing. Unfortunately, that doesn’t do much for me right now. Maybe I should buy some clubs.

Thrusters (10xBW, 10xBW, 10xBW)

I made a note that the second set was done consecutively. That’s huge for me. I’m was sucking wind for almost every rep so getting 10 in a row was an exercise in stubbornness.

Medicine Ball Bicycle (20×4, 20×4, 20×4)

Each time I broke it down into sets of 5. That was surprisingly hard. Even harder to breath then the thrusters.

Belly Off 2008, week 8, day 2

One more lift to go!

I’ve gotten in to the habit of doing a little pre lift cardio. I run two laps around my gym which is equal to a quarter mile. The problem is that I do this in my lifting shoes. I’m not sure if that’s a good idea at all. Probably not. It seems to be working though. No back problems yet again.

For some reason the gym was packed out today. I wasn’t able to do any circuits. I did all my lifts in straight sets.

Here are today’s numbers.

Dumbbell Snatch (8×40, 8×40, 8×40)

Last week I only managed to do one set of these so I stuck with the same weight to get them all. I’m gettting better here.

Ranging Squat (10×140, 10×145, 10×145)

I added 10 pounds at the end and that’s about as much as I felt comfortable going up in one lift. I’m still getting used to doing these without any back pain. It’s crazy. I keep waiting for it to happen and it never does. Love it!

I wasn’t as tired as I normally am on these. Thinking back, I really could have gone up another five or ten pounds on that last set. Oh well, slow and steady…..

One Arm Dumbbell Press (10×50, 10×50, 10×50)

My left arm was much weaker then my right. Towards the end I struggled with the left but had no issues at all with the right.

Dumbbell RDL w/row (10×32.5, 10×32.5, 10×32.5)

I don’t know if I’m ever going to have these included in any future plans. I know I won’t miss them if I don’t.

I feel good about my form but the row part makes me pretty miserable.