Back, Delts, Biceps, Abs (Phase 2)

Apparently it’s been a long time since I trained on an every-other-day split, because I blew right through the weekend and only realized this morning that I missed a workout. LOL! I guess I’ll just consider the extra rest as a break-in for Phase 2. And NOW it’s in full swing…

Back: Chins (2×12,10); Pullovers (1×12); Behind-the-neck chins (2×10,8); One-arm DB rows (1×12); Bent-over bent-arm laterals (2×12); Forward-lean shrugs (1×14)
Delts: DB upright rows (2×14,12); Incline one-arm laterals (1×10); Lateral raises (2×10,9)
Biceps: DB curls (2×10,9); Incline DB curls (1×10); Concentration curls (2×10,9)
Abs: Leg raises (2×15); Full-range crunches (1×15); Planks (1×60 seconds)
Note: My current PowerBlock gym split is based on the Phase 2 workout in the 20 Pounds of Muscle in 10 Weeks e-book.

Summary: While I have trained on several weekend days over the past several months, it’s never been part of the routine, and just something I’d do when I felt the need. This is probably the first time in 6+ years that weekend training has been part of my schedule, and old habits die hard. It was a great workout today, though, and back felt pretty outstanding. Pump was great on all bodyparts, and I love the level of focus you need when you’ve only got 1-2 sets per exercise to make it worth it. Yes, my rep counts are, and will continue to be, higher than prescribed in the Size Surge Workout, but only because I like to maintain a balance between power and tension time. This is a good balance for now, and a big change compared to the last few years of training. It’s like a flashback while utilizing techniques that work better for me now that I’m “well aged” compared to when I was in my 20s.
Diet, Supplements & Nutrient Timing: For meal-by-meal diets plus training and nutrition info, see the X-treme Lean e-book.


Thursday, May 8, ’14: Delts, Biceps, Triceps, Forearms

On the stretch exercises, DXO is the way to go… At least for now. Great feel on delts, biceps and triceps today, and the DXO sets are more balanced with my active brain at the moment, so I’m enjoying them a bit more than Xcen from last week. Xcen is great in its own right, but the slow negatives sometimes give me too much time to think. LOL…

Delts: DB presses (3×30,20,15 + X Reps); Lying one-arm laterals (3×10—DXO + X Reps); Lateral raises (3×15 + X Reps)
Triceps: Lying DB extensions (3×30,20,12); Overhead extensions (3×97—DXO + X Reps); DB kickbacks (3×15 + X Reps)
Biceps: DB curls (3×30,20,12); Incline curls (3×10—DXO + X Reps); Concentration curls (3×15 + X Reps)
Forearms: Wrist curls (2×20,15 + X Reps) ssReverse wrist curls (2×20,15 + X Reps)

Note: My current PowerBlock gym split is based on the Phase 2 workout in the NEW Super-Size Crash Course e-book with TORQ and DXO sets.

Summary: Delts and arms were on swole patrol this morning. Great workout all around, and the only bad thing was the metallic crashing sound that came from the storage room during biceps training. Apparently something inside of our HVAC system decided to implode. Luckily the temps are down by about 15 degrees today and tomorrow, but hopefully things get sorted before the weekend when humidity and temperatures climb again. I’d rather avoid a weekend-long family steam bath.

Diet/Supps: For supplement truths and recommendations, see Jerry Brainum’s e-book, Natural Anabolics, available at

Nutrient Timing: For meal-by-meal diets plus training and nutrition info, see the X-treme Lean e-book.


Monday, Mar. 3, ’14: Chest, Back, Abs

It was a whole new definition of cold in the gym this morning, but I guess late winter storms can have that effect. Windchill was about -20° overnight, so it was probably near 40° in the gym if not cooler. It actually felt great after the first 10 minutes, but I wasn’t exactly taking off the fleece sweatshirt either…

Chest/Back: DB bench presses (4×12,10,8,6+ X Reps) ss V-grip rows (4×12,10,8,6 + X Reps); DB flyes (3×10 + X Reps) ss DB pullovers (3×10 + X Reps); Incline presses (3×10 + X reps) ss Bent-arm bent-over laterals (3×10 + X Reps); Decline parallel presses (2 x 20,15) ss Undergrip rows (2×20,15); DB Shrugs (1×20 + X Reps)
Abs: Full-range crunches (4×12 + X Fade); Planks (2 x 75, 70 seconds)

Note: My current PowerBlock gym program is based on the Phase 2 workout in the NEW Super-Size Crash Course e-book.

Summary: Great workout with only a couple of changes from last Monday. I went with 4X super sets for the openers rather than 3X, as I just had some Monday motivation going on—and I wanted to increase my body temperature to fight off the frost bite. LOL! I had to skip the leg raises for abs because my low back has a little something going on from the weekend. Not entirely sure what triggered it, but not willing to push my luck with regard to back health, so I increased the number of sets and reps on the Full-range crunches instead.

Diet/Supps: For supplement truths and recommendations, see Jerry Brainum’s  e-book, Natural Anabolics, available at

Nutrient Timing: For  meal-by-meal diets plus training and nutrition info, see the X-treme Lean e-book.


Thursday, Feb. 27, ’14: Back, Chest, Abs (The Switcharoo)

I pulled the old switcharoo this morning. Not only did I train upper chest before lower, but I also made back training the priority over chest. It was a great change to gain, and it seemed to make my shoulder joints a little extra happy, too…

Back/Chest: V-grip rows (3×12,10,8 + X Reps) ss Incline presses (3×12,10,8 + X Reps); Bent-arm bent-over laterals (3×10 + X Reps) ss Incline flyes (3×10 + X Reps); DB pullovers (3×10 + X Reps) ss DB bench presses (3×10 + X reps); Undergrip rows (2×20,15) ss Decline parallel presses (2 x 20,15); DB Shrugs (2×20,15 + X Reps)
Abs: Leg raises (3×10) ss Full-range crunches (3×10 + X Fade); Planks (2 x 75, 70 seconds)

Note: My current PowerBlock gym program is based on the Phase 2 workout in the NEW Super-Size Crash Course e-book.

Summary: Variety is a good thing, so today’s workout was a great one. Giving priority to back work made for greater back feel, obviously, but it had the odd effect of also making chest work feel better. It even felt like I had a bit more blood flow due to the pump. Strength on the DB bench presses was down a bit, but that’s not really a bad thing, as it meant the fatigue was high. Great workout!


Friday, Jan. 3, ’14: Back, Biceps

That was a rough start, but a great ending. Our son was up most of the night not feeling well, so sleep may or may not have happened; I’m not entirely sure at this point. I got out of bed much later than normal, but benefit #265 of having a home gym is that you can show up in your PJs and no one will care…

Back: Undergrip rows (4×10 + X Fade); Bent-arm bent-over laterals (4×10 + X Fade); Close-grip parallel rows (3×30,20,15); Pullovers (4×10 + X Reps); DB shrugs (3×30,20,15 + X Fade)
Biceps: One-arm spider curls (4×10 + X Fade); DB curls (4×10); Incline curls (3×30,20,15 + X Reps)
Forearms: Wrist curls (3×12); Reverse wrist curls (3×12)

Note: My current PowerBlock gym program is based on the Phase 1 workout in the NEW Super-Size Crash Course e-book.

Summary: While I was a bit short on time this morning, I knew that if I took too much time to wake myself up with the usual coffee, etc., that I could end up getting wrapped up in work and pushing the workout to tomorrow morning. I didn’t want that, so I went straight into the gym, pajama pants and all. The only downside was that I had nothing to eat prior to training, but I didn’t even notice until I was done. The first couple sets of back were rough, but only because I was half asleep. Everything went really well after that, and it was a typically great Friday training session. Plus, it probalby helped wake up me up much more fully than a cup or two of coffee would have.


Tuesday, Christmas Eve, ’13: Back, Biceps

I walked into the gym this morning to realize I may not be right in the head. My former training partner, Steve, is enjoying a tropical beach in the mid-70s this week, yet I’m the one who’s amped up about the weather outside. It’s in the single digits with a layer of ice and snow over everything, yet I wouldn’t even consider trading places. Might be time to go see a doctor. LOL…

Back: DB rows (3 x 10, 9, 8 + X Reps); Bent-arm bent-over laterals (3 x 10, 9, 8+ X Fade); Undergrip rows (3 x 11, 10, 9 + X Reps); DB shrugs (3 x 15, 14, 12 + X Reps) 
Biceps: DB curls (3 x 12, 10, 9); Concentration curls (3 x 10, 9, 8 + X Fade); Alternate hammer curls (3 x 9, 8, 7)

Note: My current PowerBlock gym program is based on the Phase 1 workout in the NEW Super-Size Crash Course e-book.

Summary: It’s hard to go wrong with training back and biceps on Christmas Eve. It was a great workout, and the rest of today and all day tomorrow are reserved for nothing but family fun times and relaxation. Well, with the exception of training legs early tomorrow morning, but with Santa as a training partner, it should be a good one.

Merry Christmas to all!


Thursday, Oct. 17, ’13: Chest, Back

 Swapped the sequence again today in order to hit back first. Had a great back workout because of it, and even brought back another old favorite exercise I hadn’t done in ages…


Back: Supported DB rows (4×15,12,10,8(10)—last set was an X-cel drop set); Pullovers (4×10 + X Reps); Supported bent-arm bent-over laterals (4×30,20,12,8(8) + X Fade—last set was an X-cel drop set)
Chest: Incline DB presses (3×15,10,8(7) + X Reps—last set was an X-cel drop set); Incline DB flyes (4×10 + X Reps); Parallel-grip bench presses (3×30,20,15 + X Fade)

Note:My current PowerBlock gym program is based on 4X, TORQ and Super TORQ techniques, as well as various hybrid techniques from Beyond X.

Summary: Started with back again, as I’m sticking with the plan to alternate the sequence on each chest/back day. Happy to be able to do supported rows in the home gym, but not happy about where the support comes from. Don’t get me wrong, it’s comfortable, but awkward. The seat of my stationary bike works perfectly for supported back work, but puts my face near space I’d rather not be. LOL! Keeping my chin up seems to prevent any contact, but I still wash my face vigorously afterward. Ha!

Chest was a repeat of last Thursday, and I’m really liking the Parallel-grips for a contracted move. Takes some concentration, but they’re surprisingly good. You’ll note that I didn’t do abs today because of an unexpected time crunch. The beauty of that, however, is that I can just do them later today since the gym is just a couple sets of stairs away.


Tuesday, Sep. 24, ’13: Delts, Arms

I had a shockingly good dungeon workout this morning. Mind you, delts and arms are the easiest muscle groups to work with in a limited-equipment environment. That environment is about to change for the better, however…
Delts: Shoulder presses (5×50,40,30,20,10(DXO) + X Reps); Upright rows (4×30,20,15,10(DXO) + X Reps)
Triceps: Lying extensions (4×30,20,15,10 + X Reps)
Biceps: Standing curls (4×30,20,15,10(DXO) + X Reps)
Note: My current program is based on the NEW–>TORQ and Super TORQ techniques and various intensity techniques from Beyond X.
Summary: Delt work was surprisingly great today, and I think it’s mostly because I’m really amped up on the idea of building out a nice little home gym. Plans are under way! I wouldn’t say I’m burned out on Super TORQ at all, and I’ll continue with it for the next few weeks at least, but I wanted to feel a bit more weight on arms today, so I increased enough to reduce the starting reps to 30. I needed that! As I mentioned, I’m really stoked on building out my home gym. It’s going to be basic, but I shouldn’t be lacking anything either. I’ll just need to come up with a clever name for it now.

Maxxis RC-1: Fast Track On a Budget

Maxxis RC-1

The new Maxxis RC-1 race & track day tire.

Thanks to friends at SCTS Racing in SoCal, I was able to test a shockingly good tire recently.  It was a set of the new-to-the-track-scene Maxxis Victra RC-1 tires.

If the pricing information that we’ve heard is correct, the Maxxis RC-1 should quickly become the track day tire of choice once officially released.  They’ll likely become the race tire of choice, too, for those who are looking for a great combination of grip, predictability, longevity and budget-friendly pricing. [Read more…]