Week4 – Day9B

Squats:  3x5xBar + 3×65 + 5x5x85
Seated Plate Raises:  3x10x25
Seated Lateral Raise:  8×15 + 2x10x10
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  8×15 + 2x10x10
Deadlift:  5×95 + 3×115 + 5×135

Standing BB Curls:  10×30
Preacher EZ Bar Curls:  
Standing DB Curls:  10×20
Tricep Pushdown:  2x15x30
Tricep Rope Pulldown:  10×30

Day 9?  Thought it was day 10?  A nope.  Unfortunately, last Friday my company had its annual luncheon event spanning an unnecessary 5 hours from 12:30pm to 5:00pm.  I probably could have opted to go super early in the morning, but I most likely wouldn’t have been able to get any work done since the day ended early at 12:30pm.  Stronglifts guidelines by Mehdi are pretty strict and I honestly do respect that.  Missing 1 workout right now, I think, will be ok and won’t be affecting me much with the lighter weights.  Down the line, however, with my lifting history in mind, I know I have the tendency to start becoming inconsistent as I start failing on lifts a lot.  The combination of fatigue and disappointment are big players on discouraging me from wanting to lift at these later stages.  It’s also at these limits that the chances of injuring myself is all the more possible.  Having the right state of mind and preparation for PR lifts is crucial to remaining injury free and getting through these walls.  In conclusion:  1) don’t make missed workout sessions a habit, 2) easy days do not equal I-can-skip-it-day.

So, workout summary for today:  solid.  Left work earlier today, around 10:50, compared to the usual 11:45 departure.  I managed to swing back to work around 12:20 which was nice.  Did the usual leg swings, static squat stretches and right shoulder band work.  I’m thinking of upping the band resistance for one of the strengthening exercises (green to blue)- it’s getting too easy.  The legs felt very loose today which was nice.  Still using high bar position.  Shoulder is getting better, will start narrowing grip and inching the bar position down lower from the traps down to the shoulder blades.  I’m starting to breath a little harder much sooner with the weights going up.  I’m going to full 30 second rests between sets now.  Shoulder shocker sets weren’t too bad.  I think it felt ever so slightly easier today.  Someone was using the 10lb dumbbells so I was doing the lateral raises and shrug-clean-half-presses with a 10lb plate.  Deadlifts were pretty good, heaviness is getting there.

Week3 – Day8B

Squats:  3x5xBar + 3×65 + 5x5x75
Seated Plate Raises:  3x10x25
Seated Lateral Raise:  3x10x10
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  3x10x10
Deadlift:  5×95 + 5×125

Standing BB Curls:  10×30
Preacher EZ Bar Curls:  
Tricep Pushdown:  20×25 + 20×30

Tired.  I’m not sure if it’s the lack of sleep or the workout, but I am pretty drowsy typing this right meow.  Didn’t get home until 11:00pm last night and was up until 1:00am for a 6:00am wake-up.  Procrastinating to wash dirty dishes and cooking something up real quick for a very late dinner kept me up.  But, gotta keep chuggin’ along.

Squats were interesting today.  I was trying to pay particular attention to my left knee.  Even when doing the static squat stretches, I felt like my left knee wasn’t where it was supposed to be when I was in the hole.  Typical of people new to squatting is, once the weight gets heavy, their knees will buckle inwards because the body is trying to compensate by falling back on the quads.  I don’t think I have this issue, although I do think that my knee is not in line with my foot when I’m in the hole.  I’ve noticed this subtlety before when I was focused on form, but never really took any action on it.  A previous consultation from an orthopedic doctor evaluated my left knee as potentially having a partial meniscus tear.  My left knee has felt, for lack of a better word…strange for some time now and the tear may or may not be attributing to that feeling.  It’s not a painful sensation, but rather a feeling of instability.  I don’t consciously think about it, but I do feel that even something simple like walking sometimes doesn’t feel normal.  Anyhow, picture taking is in order!  Must find out what’s going on.  End rant on squats.

Shoulder shocker sets were preeeeetty brutal.  I don’t know why they were so difficult today.  The first time I did the shoulder shocker routine, it was a breeze!  Deadlifts were pretty easy.  Weight is going up fast.  I forgot how aggressive SL is on the deadlift weight progression, but 10 lbs increase every workout is definitely adding up fast.  I’ll be pulling with 45 plates next B day session, woot!

Finished off the session with some curling and tricep push downs.  I’ve heard both arguments of straight bar vs. EZ bar curling for optimal bicep isolation.  And so to cover all grounds, I did 1 set straight bar and 1 set EZ bar, no brainer there!  The 40lb preacher curls were grinders, but still finished them off.  By way of triceps isolation, I did two high (20) rep tricep pushdown sets, the first with 25lbs the second with 30lbs.   The second set was killer.  I need to find something else I could do in addition to the triceps pushdown.   Dips are the first thing that come to mind, but I’m not doing them until I’m confident with my shoulder so that’s off the table.  In the past, I’ve also done overhead triceps extensions which did wonders for targeting the triceps, but anything overhead is a no no, so that’s also off the table.  So, a little research is in store for shoulder friendly exercises to isolate the triceps.

Week3 – Day7A

Squats:  3x5xBar + 3×65 + 5x5x75
Bench:  5x5x55
Rows:  5x5x70

Preacher Curls:  3x12x40
Incline DB Press:  3x10x20

Was feeling a bit gloomy this morning so I wasn’t feeling very motivated.  Forgot to bring my shorts!  But, luckily, I had a pair of pants I left in the trunk of my car from last Friday’s workout.  Gross? Maybe.  Did I get my workout done? Yes.  That’s all that matters.

Did my usual warm-ups, band work, leg swings, wall shoulder flexion.  I was resting about 15-20 seconds per set, so the lifts went by very quickly.  I’m encountering the same problem again with the Bench…*sigh*  Right shoulder/triceps were working harder than my left.  I feel like I’m tucking a lot more on my right arm compared to my left.  Rows were good, legs were burning a little.  I was playing around with direction I was pulling the bar towards my body.  I was pulling straight up or pulling slightly angled, sort of towards my stomach instead of straight up towards my upper chest.  Not sure really what’s the correct form, I’ll have to watch some YouTube videos.

Did some assistance isolation on the arms just because.  I’m going to do at least one isolation incline shoulder pressing movement every session just so I can hit my shoulders more since I’m not doing any straight up overhead pressing compound movements.  I’ll do one bicep, one tricep and one shoulder as assistance after the core lifts are done.  And also maybe 1 core…we’ll see how much time I’m taking.  As the compounds get heavier, I’m most likely going to have to budget more time for those and cut out the extra accessory stuff.

Week2 – Day6B

Squats:  3xBar + 5×5×70
Shoulder Shocker-
  Seated Plate Raises:  3x8x25
  Seated Lateral Raise:  3x8x10
  Seated Shrug + DB Clean + Press:  3x8x10
Deadlift:  5×95 + 5×115

Preacher Curls:  2x15x30
Incline DB Press:  2x10x20

Session went purdy smoovly despite only having about 3-4 hours of sleep.  Late night in the city.  I’m going to sleep like a baby after work.

Leg swings, static squat stretch, standing shoulder flexion against a wall, band work.  Squats weren’t bad.  My shoulder is definitely more mobile compared to when I first started.  Tried low bar for a set, and had considerably less pain, but still reverted to high bar position for the remainder of the sets.  Need to start recording to see if I’m leaning forward too much.  Did some Preacher Curls while waiting for the squat rack to free up.  Did some incline dumbbell presses to finish off the session.  I did 5×95 as a deadlift warm-up, going touch-and-go.  The work set was not bad, but felt it a bit in the lower back, so I was probably rushing a tad.


Week2 – Day5A

Squats:  5x5x65
Bench:  5x5x50
Rows:  5x5x65

Seated Plate Raise:  3x8x25
Seated Lateral Raise:  3x8x15
Seated DB Clean & Press:  3x8x15
Row Machine:  3x15x40

Warmed up with leg swings, static squat stretches and some wall walking shoulder stretches.  Today took a bit longer than Monday’s workout.   Squats felt very light and felt like my form was pretty on point.  Bench was pretty easy as well, did powerlifter style with high chest and squeezed shoulder blades and tucked elbows.  Rows were easy- I need to figure out what grip width I should be using.  I’ve always used a narrow stance and hand placement was a bit wider than this.

Out of curiousity, I did the  T-Nation “Shoulder Shocker”  routine after finding it just a bit before going to the gym.  I wanted to find an alternative to doing overhead presses and stumbled across the article.  The article bashes the overhead press pretty hard, providing some reasons as to why the overhead press isn’t the best in the shoulder health department.  I don’t know enough about my own shoulder anatomy to know whether or not overhead pressing is detrimental to my shoulder health.  But, for the purposes of making sure I don’t forget to get my shoulder work in, I think I’ll definitely be using this routine to help strengthen the shoulders.

Week2 – Day4B

Squats:  5xBar + 5×5×60
Incline Press:  5×55
Deadlift:  5×105

Got in and out of the gym in an hour of getting there (including the shower and getting dressed up!)  I can’t spend too much time out since I have to get back to work, but a solid hour of leaving and getting back to work including the driving to and from, is pretty awesome.  It took me roughly 5 minutes between each core lift.  I was resting maybe…15 seconds to 20 seconds the most between reps, so they were going by fast!

So in place of the overhead pressing movement, I decided to sub in the incline presses until I feel that I’m ready to get back to full on overhead pressing which probably won’t be for another month or two.  I will supplement the incline press with more upright seated rows and incline dumbbell presses, just so I can hit the shoulders still without going crazy.  I may also sprinkle in some heavy dumbbell rows for more upper back work.

I have to get my camera and start recording myself again.  I would really like to see where my form’s at with the lifts.  As of now, I’m doing a very wide with-thumb grip with the squat.  I’m also using high bar at the moment because the torque strain put on my shoulder using low bar is just giving me a really bad sharp pain inside my shoulder.

Week1 – Day3A

Squats:  5x5x55
Bench:  5x5x45
Rows:  5×65

Somewhat unexciting, but we’re moving.  Slowly perhaps, but all in good time.  Did the regular band stretch work before and after the workout.  Also did some seated upright rowing on the machines to speed up strengthening the upper back.  Also did some leg swings and static squat stretches to wake up the legs.

Week1 – Day2B

Squats:  5×5×50
Incline DB Press:  3x20x20
Tricep Pushdown:  3x15x40
Preacher Curls:  2x10x25 + 8×35
Deadlift:  5×95

Not a bad day.  I took a bit longer today because…I didn’t prepare and had no clue at all what to do in place of overhead presses.  Warmed up with some leg swings and static squat stretches.  I also did some band work for the right shoulder:  band pull-downs (blue), external lateral rotation (blue), internal lateral rotation (blue), rear deltoid raise (green).  I’ll have to do some research and figure out a circuit of band shoulder exercises I can do, probably before I head for the gym.  In addition, I will should probably look for some specific weighted shoulder exercises to strengthen the shoulder a bit more.

Week1 – Day1A

Squats:  5x5x45
Bench:  5x5x45
Rows:  3x5x45 + 2x5x65

First day back hitting the iron.  Gym was pretty crowded for noon time.  Getting acclimated to the typical judgmental vibe from the regulars.  I did some extra stuff for shoulder, but I’ll have to do a bit more research and see what I can do to alleviate the shoulder impingement and strengthen it with some extra shoulder exercises.