Tag Archives: Belly Off 2008

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.

Belly Off 2008, week 8, day 1

Ehhh, I guess this lift was OK.

I added some weight in the deadlift and bench but I wasn’t able to finish the rest of the workout. I gave up on the lunges and I simply couldn’t do the intervals. I don’t know how anyone could do the HIIT after they’re really struggled with the deadlift.

Here are the numbers.

Deadlift (15×155, 12×165, 10×175)

I ended up starting too low. I thought I was doing 165 to start but after recaculating (after the set) I figured out that I was wrong. Even with the mistake I was still able to add 10 pounds to the end.

It might have been a good thing I didn’t figure out the weight right. The whole thing was tough. My legs were really beat down afterwards.

Bench (10×145, 10×150, 10×150)

I managed to add 10 pounds by the end. That’s pretty good. I didn’t have too much trouble until the last rep of the last set. Maybe all those pushups I’ve been doing are making a difference here.

Reverse lunge (5×25)

I did five reps and then my knees started hurting. I bailed after that.


I managed to do the five minute warm up and about 15 seconds in the first round before I stopped. Just didn’t feel like I could go on.

Belly Off 2008, week 7, Saturday challenge

Good workout.

The Men’s Health site has already flipped over to a new workout for 2009 so I’m gonna have to finish these last two challenges on memory. I’m sure that I did it right this time.

The intervals were the same as last time. To be honest, they didn’t seem as tough. I don’t know why. My legs weren’t burning as much as last week. I don’t know if that’s because I took an extra day off or if I’m just in better shape.

Did the power of 10 twice again. First round was 30 seconds and the second round was 20 seconds. I’m still unable to do the iso squat holds for the entire time. I did the first round with two 15 second sets. The second one was two 10 second sets.

I did 9 push ups in the first round and 10 in the second. That’s an increase of one overall but the first round was a lot lower then last time. I guess this is still good. I’ve had more energy in the end so I got a lot better on the second try.

Belly Off 2008, week 7, day 3

I’m really happy with today’s workout.

I don’t think I had any more to give. I also don’t think I could be any more sore right now.

FYI – I’ve gotten into the habit recently of running a few laps around the facility before I lift and I think that’s a good idea. I basically stole it from my wife. She started doing it and I tagged along.

Here are the numbers.

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

Added 15 pounds. I’ve never had any worries about the clean or squat part. I guess the push press was holding me back. Today I just went for it and threw the 25’s on the bar.

I couldn’t do them all at times so I did something I should have been doing all along. I took a quick rest and finished the set. In the first set I did 6 and then followed with the last two. In the second set I got all 8. In the final set I had to do 4 then 2 then 2.

Push up/pull up ladder (2/1, 4/2, 6/3, 8/4, 2.x)

Miracle of miracles. I got through the fourth set. This was the first time that I’ve ever attempted the fourth set of pull ups. I still can’t do a real pull up but I do my best to get as much as I can without jumping and then go down as slow as possible. The last one I did wasn’t anything. I jumped the entire way and fell down immediately.

Couldn’t get all 10 pushups on the final set. I regret not regrouping and banging them out no matter how many times it took. I think I’m gonna do that next week for my final lift.

Very happy with my push up form today.

X Chop (8×16, 8×16, 8×16)

Nothing to say about these.

Thrusters (10xBW, 10xBW, 10xBW)

No back pain so that’s good. I did a pretty good job of doing a lot of these consecutively. Never got ten in a row but I had a few good stretches of five in a row.

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

I think I did these right for the first time. I ended up doing 40 reps for each set. Twenty for each leg. I’ve always done 20 total. I thought about it and there’s no way that can be right.

A little bit of back pain caused me to take breaks in the early parts. Towards the end fatigue was the biggest factor stopping me.

Belly Off 2008, week 7, day 2

This was an abbreviated lift. I forgot that my gym closes early on Friday. I ended up having a grand total of 15 minutes before they kicked us out.

My main mission today was to increase my squat numbers so I did just that. I ended up doing one circuit of all the lifts and then the final two sets of squats.

Here are today’s numbers.

Dumbbell Snatch (8×40)

Went up 5 pounds. I didn’t feel too comfortable with my form. I’m not sure that you can really do these wrong though. I guess my reps were just slower then I think they should be.

Ranging Squat (10×135, 10×135, 10×135)

I added 35 pounds from last time. I’m embarrassed that it took me this long to do it. I’m also embarrassed that I was really nervous before I got under the bar. My back felt fine. Maybe the time crunch helped. I didn’t have time to think about it. I knew I didn’t have long so I just went at it as soon as I caught my breath.

I’m very happy with my depth. I think my decision to do these with my feet at a 45 degree angle has made all the difference. It’s just a different feeling then when they’re parallel.

One Arm Dumbbell Press (10×50)

I used the 50 on my last set last time so I started with it this time. Not too much trouble.

Dumbbell RDL w/row (10×32.5)

I was incredibly nervous about adding any weight on this exercise but I did it anyway without any problems.