Day 728: A good day of work at the gym

Day 728

I was (and still am) quite a bit sore before I went to the gym today, but decided to push through anyway, making sure to do a good dynamic warm-up routing.  I did my exercises a little out of the usual order, as the squat rack (and the space around it) was being used, and that is the only place I could do my explosive movement exercises.  It was not a problem, however, as the fellow using it was quite friendly and notified me as soon as the rack was free for me to use.

  • Reverse-grip bench press
  • Hang jump shrugs
  • Split squats
  • Dumbbell push presses
  • Corkscrews
  • Planks

I was able to push myself quite hard today, especially on the hang jump shrugs and split squats, where I was able to increase my loading by a significant amount.  I also noted some improvement in the reverse-grip bench press, and a little in the dumbbell push press.


Day 726: Sore but still pushing it

Day 726

Things have been busy, busy, busy at work.  It’s my last few days working on the project here in Lima, and there are still quite a few loose ends to tie.  Nevertheless, I made sure to get to the gym this evening, and do the following exercises.

  • Hang power cleans
  • Single-leg back extensions
  • Horizontal pullups
  • Side-to-side pullups
  • (Medicine ball) 1-2-3 throws
  • Dynamic planks

My legs and glutes were still sore from doing Bulgarian split squats two days ago, and I was thinking of not pushing myself too much.  However, my right wrist has sufficiently healed so I did not feel any pain when doing the catch portion of the power cleans.  I thought it was a good time to try to progress the loading on this exercise and set/rep combination (4X5), and I almost succeeded, just missing the very last rep.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to push myself as hard with side-to-side pullups.  Perhaps I used up my power on the power cleans, perhaps it was the different set of pullup bars.  I do know that pullups are much tougher when done toward the end of the session instead of the beginning!

There were no medicine balls at the gym I go to here in Lima, so instead of throwing a medicine ball, I substituted with a dumbbell instead.  I made sure to hold instead of throw it in the “throw” movement though!

Day 724: Turning Bulgarian

Day 724

  • Dumbbell snatches
  • Alternating sets of
    • Side-to-side pushups
    • Jackknife pushups
  • Bulgarian split squats
  • Cable push-pull rotations
  • Planks

I was on my first set of split squats when I felt that the initial weight I put was too heavy.  I thought I was just having a bad day, so I decided not to increase the weight, but instead, decreased the weight a little in the third out of the four sets.  When I looked back on my training notebook, I realized I was doing Bulgarian split squats (with the rear foot raised on a bench) instead of split squats (with the rear foot on the floor).  Even with the reduced weight I was close to my best weight for 6 reps on this exercise, so it turned out ok.

Day 721: Chinups first

Day 721

Today’s routine went like this:

  • Chinups
  • Narrow grip hang snatches
  • Romanian deadlifts
  • Two-point Dumbbell rows + twist
  • Kneeling reverse woodchops
  • Two-point planks

I went to the gym after work, and as I finished my warmups, I found that the squat cage was being used, and so I couldn’t start my session with the usual explosive exercise (snatches, cleans, and their variations).  Today then I opted then to start with chinups.  I have noticed before that usually the vertical pull exercise (chinups or pullups) came in as fourth exercise, and usually by then my muscles were already quite fatigued from the earlier exercises.  Since I did chinups first today, I almost completed the prescribed 4 sets of 8 chinups (I just had to do last two reps on the fourth set as negatives).

Doing chinups first did have an effect on the explosive exercise (narrow-grip hang snatches) as I felt just a little bit less power, but I was able to complete the exercise to my target weight anyway.  What a good feeling that was!

Day 719: Blowing off some steam at the gym

Day 719

Today I did the following exercises after a hectic day at work.  I was glad to blow off some steam there!  I was able to beat my set targets on all the exercises except for the last one.  The last two exercises should have been swapped in position, but I had to put one before the other as the two flat benches were in use by the time I finished the second exercise.

  • Hang dumbbell cleans
  • Step-ups
  • Supported dumbbell one-arm  presses
  • Close-grip bench press

I intended to do two more exercises (for core stabilization and rotation), but had to postpone it until tomorrow as I had to rush back to my hotel to watch the replay of the world cup semifinals between Germany and Spain.  I already knew the result (I had the live commentary behind my work applications), but I wanted to see for myself.  Best wishes to Spain in the final, but I wasn’t convinced by their performances during the whole tournament and was supporting Germany to win that match.

Day 717: Keeping stable feet

Day 717

My exercises today, done after work, were the following:

  • Muscle snatches
  • Single-leg Romanian deadlifts
  • Cable face pulls
  • Single-arm pulldowns
  • Russian twists
  • Side planks + Reaches

Today, the most challenging exercise (besides the muscle snatches) were the single-leg Romanian deadlifts.  It was quite difficult to keep stability on one foot while wearing my running shoes.  Normally, I would simply remove my shoes and do this particular exercise in my socks, but the gym I go to won’t allow it.

    Day 713: Rest and then shifting gears

    Day 713

    I am returning from a one-week break from training, as I was at the midpoint of the training program that I have been following (the push-pull general fitness program from Men’s Health Power Training by Robert Dos Remedios).  I also felt that it was the perfect time to rest to allow my wrist to recover and strengthen itself.

    I am now in the third phase of the program, and this meant another change in the set/rep scheme for the exercises.  For the next twelve sessions (including this one), the first exercise (explosive exercise) will be 4X5 (it was 5X3 previously), the second to fourth exercises (lower-body hip/knee dominant, horizontal push/pull, and then vertical push/pull) are 4X8 (previous was 4X6), the 5th exercise (twist) is 4X10, and the 6th exercise (core stabilization) is 4 sets of 30 to 45 seconds.  These were the exercises I did today:

    • Clean pulls
    • Front squats
    • Dumbbell bench presses
    • Push presses
    • Woodchops
    • Planks

    I had some concerns with doing front squats as I normally do these with my palms extended in the “clean” position, but I found that I didn’t feel much pain once I did a few warmup sets.  What was more scary for me though was on my third set as I unracked the bar from the squatting cage and got into position, I felt dizzy for a few seconds and had to concentrate hard to make sure I re-racked the weight properly.  I think I may have forgotten to breath properly and deeply enough to recover from the previous set!  Good thing I always use clamps on the bars so I didn’t panic as I guided the bar back to position.