Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gym regimen - July 2010

24 July 2010
87kg, BMI 25
A3 workout: Hamstrings and Back: 80 mins

Warmup: Stretching/calisthenics

Straight leg deadlift: 12x, 10x, 8x, 7x @ 50kg–90kg

Leg curl: 12x, 15x, 15x, 15x @ 20kg–30kg

Underhand barbell row: 12x, 10x, 8x, 6x @ 40kg–90kg

Wide-grip lever lat pulldown: 12x, 10x, 8x, 6x @ 55kg–85kg

Lever bench row: 12x, 10x, 8x, 6x @ 40kg–90kg

One-arm dumbbell row: 12x, 10x, 8x, 6x @ 12.5kg–32.5kg [?]

Straight-leg deadlift: 20x @ 40kg;
Wide-grip lat pulldown (negative): ~1min @ 40kg
Leg curls: 35x @ 15kg (to failure) Hanging leg lifts: 30x, 30x (these KILLED my forearms yet again! So much so that I'm having my new kitten type this log for me. … No, her name is not Mr. Bigglesworth. Her name is Cheetoh. Cheetoh Jackson, for legal purposes.);
Stretching… lots of stretching


I tried to move through this workout quickly and you'll notice it was under my usual 90 minutes, even despite the fact that I chatted it up with a Mr. Xie. He's one of the "big guys" at my gym, though he has chicken legs, and when he saw me doing my first or second set of straight.leg deadlifts, he came up to me suddenly to compliment my form. He marveled at how "naturally" I seemed to do it, especially how straight I kept my back. At about half the weight I was lifting he said his lower back couldn't bear the strain. The problem, he realized, is that he lets his back curve at the lower part of the deadlift, whereas my back remained as flat as a board on the way up and down. I explained that my years of training in crew had taught me to keep the back board-stiff, like a platform, and I recommended he try some "Supermans" or hanging back extensions to "get the feel" of a proper deadlift back. Actually, you need slightly to hyperextend your spine while standing so that on the way down, it will naturally (!) level out into a firm platform. Otherwise, a curved back shifts the fulcrum from the hips to the lower back and really is dangerous. Mr. Xie was also really impressed at how flexible I am, saying my body type is better than a lot of the young guys who "just want to get big." I appreciated his encouragement, but also found it ironic, since he is clearly someone who's put a lot of time into getting big, yet without getting flexible or strong in some "big lift" core muscle areas, such as the lower back and glutes.

I worked the hell out of my back today. I made some noticeable weight gains from my last A3 workout, which felt good. So good, in fact, that I was seriously tempted to just stick with my A workout, or switch my other 4-day ("B") workout, as outlined in Arnold's The Education, and forget 'downgearing' to his 3-day full-body routine. We'll see. As with my recent A1 workout, today's workout felt good because it reminded me of crew. I've already put on some muscle, yet today I only weighed in at 87 kilograms. Certainly this drop in weight was due to the fact that I wore sandals today, which I removed for the weigh-in, and because I wore a long-sleeve shirt today, precisely in order to sweat a lot. I wrung my headband out three times, yielding a shower of sweat. When I did my last, cooldown set of straight-leg deadlifts, I left two puddles of sweat under my cuffs at the bottom of the lift.

It dawned on me that neither my A workout, nor the Ur-Workout, nor even the one-set HIT workout I cited in the post yesterday about the Ur-Workout includes a plain ol' deadlift. This intrigues me. I'm eager to try the deadlift, since it is allegedly the purest, rawest lift there is, engaging nearly the entire body in a totally "concentric" motion (versus the usual eccentric-concentric [up-down, flex-reload] motion of, say, the bench press or barbell curls). I realize that between the squat, curls, shrugs, and straight-leg deadlifts, I get all the benefits of the deadlift, so I'm actually intrigued by the idea of training sans deadlift for a few months and then seeing where I stand on the deadlift Chain of BBing. Once I get over this little rib soreness, I need to get back to working the hell out of my abs, albeit every other day. My midsection is getting a bit puffy recently; not exactly pudgy or weak, just… oddly distended. I think it's from the milk I've been trying to incorporate into my diet lately (nuh-uh, sorry, no more of that: I'll have to down a yogurt or something instead before bed; lactose intolerance woes are for the birds) and from the protein loading I've been doing after workouts; I hear the stuff can make you feel bloated. I guess I can vouch for that. Once I finish this canister of it, I'll decide whether to get anymore. My reading in an exercise physiology textbook and the testimony a of BB friend has me mostly convinced powder-protein-loading is just a BB fetish, and that the normal caloric gains from increased food consumption suffice to "bulk up" muscle hypertrophy.

Stay tuned.

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