Week7 – Day17B – Twist & Ow

Weight:  181.2 lbs
Duration:  12:08 – 1:15 ~ 53min.

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×55 + 3×75 + 2×95 + 5x5x125

Right shoulder wasn’t cooperating much again today.  The bar doesn’t seem balanced on my back, there is a slight “twist” in the way the bar is position as if I’m driving the bar forward more on one side than the other.  I can feel my right traps engaging more than my right.  Since my right shoulder isn’t as mobile, I’ve been resorting to having a slightly wider grip on the right side.  This relaxes my traps and rear delts, this could explain the twist.

Seated Plate Raises:  3x10x25
Seated Lateral Raise:  3x10x10
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  3x8x10

Not bad, went down to 10lbs today from 12 lbs.  There’s this strain that I get sometimes in the back of my neck when doing the lateral raises.  Should look up what’s going on.  I’m banking on it being bad form.

Deadlift:  5x115 + 3×135 + 1×155 + 5×175

I may need to get some pads on the plates, dropping the bar to the ground is really loud in the gym and I get the feeling one of the workers is going to come up to me and say something.  I think I was using a little of my lower back, but I don’t have much DOMs today from the deadlifts, just slight bruising on the shins.  This is definitely getting a bit heavy

Accessories:
Preacher BB Curls 10×40
Seated DB Curls 10×25
Tricep Extensions 10×40
Incline Bench 10xBar
Tricep Pushdown 10×40

Tricep pushdowns were fairly heavy, probably shouldn’t have done 40 lbs!

Week6 – Day15B

Weight:  178.0 lbs

Changing up the posting format…again!  The wall of text doesn’t look very appealing to me when I flip back through my posts, so I’m going to break it up by exercises.

Duration:  11:03 – 12:07

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×55 + 3×75 + 2×95 + 5x5x115

Squats were great today.  My shoulder cooperated a little bit better.  I made it a point to bang through the empty bar and warm-up ramp sets.  The warm-up sets should be done fairly quickly and the time between sets should only be time to increase weights and add/remove plates.  I think the shoulder was feeling much better since I moved the bar up a bit, pretty much high bar and resting on the traps.  Kept the elbows up to lock the bar in place, but it didn’t feel great with the bar riding up towards the back of my neck.  I’ll have to do some more shoulder mobility work, I need to get my low bar grip back!

Seated Plate Raises:  3x10x25
Seated Lateral Raise:  3x8x12
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  3x8x12

Shoulder shockers were definitely exhausting.  I managed to find 12lb dumbbells!  I used those to increase resistance a bit on the shoulder shockers, they were getting a bit easy.  Because of the nature of these exercises isolating smaller muscles and they’re not really compound movements, I definitely understand getting fatigued a lot sooner.  I might try some empty bar overhead presses as warm-up next time.

Deadlift:  5x115 + 3×135 + 1×145 + 5×165

Man, do I love me deadlifts.  The pulls still felt pretty light.  Time to video record some of these pulls to ensure my form is on point!  Not looking for any herniated disks or sore lower backs.  I was trying to keep the bar on my shins as much as possible.  I leaned back a bit when pulling as if I was going to hurl the bar backwards over my head.  I feel like this helps me engage the hamstrings more and to avoid transferring the entire load onto my low back aka back rounding.

Accessories:
Preacher BB Curls 10×40
Preacher EZ Bar Curls 10×40
Seated DB Curls 10×25
Tricep Rope Pulldown 15×30
Tricep Extensions 15×35
DB Fly 10×15

Doing preacher curls using a regular straight barbell was definitely different.  Good different, in that it felt like it worked the biceps a bit more than using the EZ Bar.  Dumbbell flies were bothering my right anterior delts on the positive.  I’m going to lay off these or drop the weight on it.  Other than that, the arm isolations were good.

Week5 – Day12A

Squats:  3x5xBar + 5×65 + 3×75 + 3×85 + 5x5x100
Bench:  3x5xBar + 5x5x70
Rows:  5x5x85

Preacher EZ Bar Curls:  10×40
Tricep Pushdown:  20×30
Standing BB Curl:  10×30
Tricep Extensions:  10×30
Seated DB Curls:  10×20
Tricep Rope Pulldown:  10×25

Duration:  1 hour

Pretty good workout.  The lifts all felt light!  I was expecting the Squats to feel a bit heavier, but it was pretty easy peasy!  Bench wasn’t bad, got a case of the shakes in the arms under load.  Although, I’m not sure if my form is all there with the bench.  Rows were great, explosive and tight form.  The accessories were pretty good.  Thinking of subbing out some tricep isolation for some chest isolation on A day.  Did the overhead tricep extensions again today.  I think I’m feeling pretty confident with my shoulder so I’m going to hold on to these and keep doing them, making sure when I up the weight that I be careful.  Lowering the dumbbell back down did feel like my shoulder was a bit vulnerable.

Week5 – Day11B

Squats:  3x5xBar + 3×65 + 3×85 + 5x5x95
Seated Plate Raises:  3x10x25
Seated Lateral Raise:  3x10x10
Seated DB Shrug + Clean + Half Press:  3x10x10
Deadlift:  3x95 + 3×135+ 5×145

Standing BB Curls:  10×30
Preacher EZ Bar Curls:  
10×30
Standing DB Curls:  10×20
Tricep Rope Pulldown:  2x10x30
Tricep Extensions:  10×25

Duration:  ~1 hour

Got a great session in.  It took me a total of 1 hour.  The time I accounted for includes:  warm-up (bands and stretching), core lifts (including warm-up sets) and the arm isolation accessories.  I’m going to try and track how long my sessions take.  I will also try to start tracking my weight.  My appetite has steadily been growing over the last month since I started lifting.  It’s amazing to think that I’ve already started my second month.  Having done StrongLifts before, I definitely have great appreciation for being in these early stages of lifting.  The weights are relatively light so I feel pretty fresh from workout to workout.  And because I can still recuperate well between workouts, my mental state is clear.

Squats were good.  Still messing around with bar position on my back.  Low bar is getting better, less pain on the shoulder.  Shoulder shocker wasn’t bad.  I lightened up the dumbbell weights from 15 to 10.  It was still very strenuous.  Looking at some videos on how to do the lateral raises, I need to take note of making sure I don’t hunch over in the starting position.  The starting position is with an upright torso with the dumbbells to the side not under me.  Deadlifts felt heavy, banged up the shins and top of the knee a bit.

Week5 – Day10A

Squats:  3x5xBar + 3×65 + 3×75 + 5x5x90
Bench:  3x5xBar + 5x5x65
Rows:  5x5x80

Preacher Curls:  2x10x40
Incline DB Press:  10×20 + 10×25
Standing BB Curl:  2x10x30
Tricep Rope Pulldown:  2×10×15

What. A. Monday.  I hit a little hiatus with the gym going and hadn’t been there for a week.  Thanksgiving and all.  Excuses.

Squats were good, bench was ok and rows were good.

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:  
10×40
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.