Leg day at the gym...and a different one than we have done in a while. Well, in all actuality there were some things Angie and I have never really done. We began with standard squats for a warm-up, relatively light and with proper form. For our first set we opted for heavy-ish squats with plates under our heels to isolate our quads. My ass is already big enough to be in some hip-hop video, so I was looking to take some heat off of it and place it on the quads. It worked. After three sets of those, we switched to front squats with the bar on our delts and upper chest. Angie used an Olympic grip to hold the bar, elbows thrown way up, etc. I was impressed. I could only muster a bodybuilding grip due to lack of flexibility that I MUST increase. I need to improve on that in a few areas, namely when I flex my triceps. But that's for a later post. Nevertheless, we did three sets of those. Next was barbell lunges. We did each leg, rather than alternate, and on the last rep for each, rather than just do the rep, we went down and up three times, KILLING our legs. We did three sets of these. Did we stop there? Nope. We finished with leg extensions (never a fan of those) to failure, two sets. My quads were crying like Nancy Kerrigan after being wacked with a lead pipe. "Why?! Why?!"
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Then we did some ham work on the cables, rather than the leg curl machine. We used that furry thing that goes around your ankle, extended our working leg behind us, and worked those suckers from three different angles. My hams were nice and rounded, as were Angie's. Me like! Although we couldn't do the same weight as the leg curl machine, we were able to isolate them better. I think I will add those to the routine.
Lastly, we finished up with one-legged calves, holding a dumbbell. Three sets of these, with weights, and then when that became too much, we finished without weight. I saw the two heads of my calves, and that was nice. I haven't seen them stick out like that since my "Strength Shoe" days in football in college. I missed them! Welcome back guys!
So, I'm pretty pooped. If my legs have recovered by Sunday, (a big IF) we plan to go to the track and incorporate some wind sprints into the mix now that the weather is nicer. Wish us luck.
Tomorrow is chest day. I think I may try for 380 or so, since I got 365 for two sets of two, and 275 for sets of 8 to 10. It's tough, because I want to develop my pecs, which requires a different elbow angle than the power needed to put up heavy weights. Perhaps I will try for hypertrophy tomorrow, and next week go for the heavy lift. Who knows. I'll sleep on it.
Yesterday was legs. We had gone pretty light for a few weeks, in order to focus on running and boxing, so I was a little worried that my strength would be non existent. My max on squats had been 150lbs and that was a few months ago, so when we got into the gym, I thought trying to gain a higher max would be comical, but went for it anyway. 165lbs seemed to be a pretty decent number and with Mark spotting me, it shouldn't be a problem if I couldn't finish the lift. I was able to do the weight 4x. I was more than a little tickled that I was able to do more than one.
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Next week, we are going to see if I can max out at 180 or 200. The thought of that flabbergasts me, as I was barely able to squat my own body, without even a bar, when we first began. Nevertheless, my ass is in pain today. Quads are really tight too, so I'm expecting to be crying by later today.
Mark introduced me to one-legged squats and they were as awkward as they were difficult. I managed to do 3 sets though and hope for better form in the next couple of weeks.
I had been working calves hard for awhile but my upper had not caught up with the lower and I had to nix the seated calf raises for now.
All in all I was pretty impressed with yesterday's workout.
Squats: 165x4x1 95x8x3
One-legged Squats: (body weight)x4x3
Leg Curl: 40x10x3
We were running short on time, so SLD have to wait until next week.
No lifting today for us, for it is a scheduled day off! Instead, we headed to the gym for a short (30 mins) boxing workout. We were both a little sore from Monday and yesterday's workouts, but after we warmed up, that was gone. Five rounds is all we did, hitting the heavy bag. I don't have the speed with my punches that I once did, but I saw glimpses of the old Mark, back in my early 20's. Of course, when it came to boxing, I was never known for speed anyway. Nevertheless, Angie has taken to it with vigor, except she wants to hit me instead of the bag. Sometimes I let her, and play around, not really hitting her back. Then she lays into me and about knocks me on my arse. One of these days, I tell her. To the Moon, Alice!
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Good workout, though. Works as much anaerobically as aerobically. We vary it up with some hard punches into the bag, and a lot of quick-punches, either into the bag, or shadow boxing, to get some upper-body cardio going. We couldn't run today though, for we have legs tomorrow.
Sigh. The man in me knows its time to quit fantasizing about a time when I competed in sport (boxing, football.) I still dream about those days. I guess it's a testosterone thing?
The boy in me, though, still does. No matter what I do with my life, part of me always wishes I could have done it with my body, rather than my head. Does this seem peculiar to anyone? Do I just need to grow up?
Mark and I thought we'd start this journal to keep up with everything we do (and don't do.)
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Mark had been weightlifting for years before we married and I was raised to believe that a woman's place was on a treadmill or "lifting" pink weights just to "tone". This way of thinking put me extremely overweight and miserable.
So the journey for me began in August of 2002. I put my health into Mark's hands and he put me on the right path to long term weight loss and muscle gain. As of today, I'm strong, I see and feel muscles that I didn't know existed, I'm no longer scared to workout with the "boys" and I'm 170 pounds lighter than when we started.
My long term goal is to become even stronger and my short term goal is to lose 30 more pounds. I hope one day to reach out to others as Mark has done for me. There aren't a lot of women online (or off) that have started at the weight I did and watched it come off by weightlifting. I don't know if that is a good or bad thing.
As far as the lifts are concerned, leg day is my favorite (go squats!) and triceps run a close second. I absolutely love feeling the muscle in my leg and not a big fleshy mass that I had become so accustomed to for years. Who'da thunk that "I just wanna tone" would have lead to this?
As this journal progresses, I too, will progress.
Missed running this morning because we were up so late last night. Blah.
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Today was "beach muscle" day. Ha. What I mean, is that it was bicep and tricep day. Let me run down Angie and myself's routine. Not that anyone cares, but years from now, we may need to look back at this and say, "damn, we used to do that?"
After years of manipulating workout schemes, I have come up with one that I believe works. Or at least it works for me. When I have stuck to it without interruption (not counting rest periods) I have made considerable gains, in both size and strength. If you read the leading muscle mags, however, they will tell you that I should be doing each bodypart more frequently. Nonsense, I say.
Monday is back and shoulder day.
Tuesday is tricep and bicep day.
Wednesday, we don't lift.
Friday, Chest and biceps.
You see, I like to lift heavy and with intensity, as does Angie. I don't use a conventional "pyramid." Instead, I warm up with a lighter weight, and then hit my heaviest (or close to it) right off the bat. After that point, I will work my way down the weight rack, opting for more volume as the workout continues.
After my workouts, I am usually sore for 3 or so days, and attempting to workout anytime prior to complete restoration would be futile.
I am a big fan of many powerlifting movements, although I am not a powerlifter. We have just begun incorporating more movements into our routine. I am trying to find that balance between strength and hypertrophy.
Right now, I weigh about 220 or so. Need to lose some bodyfat, which Angie and I are in the process of doing. Summers comin', and I don't intend on having a tire around my waist. Unless I'm tubin'.
I don't know what lifts to put, so I suppose for a timeline, I can put some of my maximums.
Bench Press: 370 lbs.
Military, or overhead presses: 250 lbs.
Squats: 600 lbs
Don't know my deadlift max, but I will soon enough. As for the other body parts, I don't usually record maximum weights. Perhaps I will begin to.
My goal for this summer is an increase in my bench press to 400 pounds, and an increase in my squat to a higher weight. Oh, and I would like to knock some off my midsection. I may be biting off more than I can chew!