Tuesday, Jan. 7, ’14: Back, Biceps

Looks like we’re getting a heat wave today! Temperatures are going to jump up to the mid-30s. As with many things in life, it’s all perspective. Great workout, and strength is still on the rise. Weights that were previously tough were relatively easy, so the selector on the PowerBlock set has been moving more than usual…

Back: DB rows (3 x 10, 9, 8 + X Reps); Bent-arm bent-over laterals (4 x 10, 9, 8, 10(Xcel) + X Fade); Undergrip rows (4 x 10, 8, 7, 10(Xcel) + X Reps); DB shrugs (3 x 12, 12, 11 + X Reps) 
Biceps: DB curls (3 x 10, 8, 6(10) last set was a drop); Concentration curls (3 x 10, 8, 7(9) + X Fade-last set was a drop); 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: While I haven’t trained specifically for strength in over a decade, it still feels good when weights that are normally heavy start to feel lighter. The pump was rather impressive for a Power day, too, so something seems to be working. Strength on Hammer curls, for instance, was higher than it’s ever been. That’s not a horrible feeling, but it’s just too bad that strength doesn’t always equate to muscle gains. We shall see.


Thursday, Oct. 31, ’13: Chest, Triceps, Abs

I celebrated Halloween today by doing some Spooky Super TORQ sets. Chest, triceps and abs were smoldering like a gasoline-filled Jack-o’-lantern…

Chest: Incline DB presses (5×50,40,30,20,10 + X Reps); DB flyes (3×12,10,8 + X Reps)
Triceps: Lying DB extensions (5×50,40,30,20,12 + X Reps); Overhead one-arm DB extensions (3×12,10,6 + X Reps)
Abs: Full-range crunches (5×50,40,30,20,15 + X Fade)

Note: My current PowerBlock gym program is based on the Alternate Phase 2 workout in The Size Surge Workout 2.0 plus 4X, TORQ and Super TORQ techniques, as well as various hybrid techniques from Beyond X.

Summary: As great as Monday’s workout was, I really didn’t want to do an exact copy, and was simply in the mode for some variety today. Chasing the pump, I suppose, and it worked! It’s been a few weeks since I used Super TORQ, so that was the plan today. Luckily, you tend to forget how deep the burn is when you’ve been away from that scheme for a while. Wow! The pump was unreal and the burn almost unbearable. Almost.

I ended chest and triceps with DP 3X on a stretch exercise just to see if I could call in some more muscle fibers. It proved to be a great combo. Abs felt completely blasted, too.

I was obviously incredibly focused today, as I got upstairs from the home gym to realize I had never put my gym shoes on. I was still wearing my house slippers. Now that’s spooky! LOL


Monday, Oct. 21, ’13: Chest, Triceps, Abs

It was time to mix things up, yet I still like my current training protocols quite a bit. It seemed that the best way to change things up would be to alter my training split, so I’ve adopted the Alternate Phase 2 split from Size Surge 2.0 once again…

Chest: Incline DB presses (3×15,12,8 + X Reps); Incline DB flyes (4×10 + X Reps); DB bench presses (3×12,9,6(7) + X Reps—last set was an X-cel drop set): Dips (4×12,10,10,8 + X Fade)
Triceps: Incline DB extensions (3×15,12,9(7) + X Reps—last set was an drop set); Overhead one-arm DB extensions (4×10 + X Reps); DB kickbacks (4×10(6) + X Fade—last set was an X-cel set) 
Abs: Leg raises (3×15); Full-range crunches (3×12 + X Fade) + Twisting crunches (1×12)

Note:My current PowerBlock gym program is based on the Alternate Phase 2 workout in The Size Surge Workout 2.0 plus 4X, TORQ and Super TORQ techniques, as well as various hybrid techniques from Beyond X.

Summary: I liked the old training split I was on, but just felt the need for some change. Plus, some of the recent E-zine articles we’ve done regarding the idea of hormone production focused around training a large muscle group followed by a smalle muscle group tipped the scale for me.

This will be similar to what I did last fall and winter, but I’ll keep it as a 3-day split rather than breaking it up over 4 days as I did last time around. This will also allow me to go back to a 6-day training schedule as I’ve been wanting to do.

I started chest with upper-pec work, as I need a bit more muscle thickness there, and I ended with dips as a transition from chest to triceps. Recalling some old MRI studies on tricps work, I decided to set the Sport Bench to do incline extensions. Those provide a very focused workload, and the ensuing pump was proof.

I ended abs with Twisting crunches as the 4th set of a 4X round, so it was just 30 seconds of rest after the final set of Full-range crunches. It was a very quick and efficient workout this morning. I like that!


Tuesday, Oct. 15, ’13: Delts, Arms

It seems that no matter how much effort you put into training shoulders and arms, you really can’t call it work. It’s just too enjoyable for that word. Ha! A little bit of variety was added to spice things up today, but overall just a great delts and arms day…

Delts: DB upright rows (4×20,15,12,8(10) + X Reps—last set was an X-cel drop set); Incline laterals (4×10 + X Reps); Leaning one-arm laterals (3×30,20,12(10) + X Reps—last set was an X-cel drop set); Alternate DB presses (3×15,12,8)
Triceps: Dips (4×15,12,10,8(8) + X Fade—last set was an X-cel drop set); Overhead DB extensions (4×10 + X Reps); Strict lying DB extensions (3×30,20,10(8) + X Reps—last set was an X-cel drop set)
Biceps: Standing curls (4×15,12,10,8(7) + X Reps—last set was an X-cel drop set); Incline curls (4×10 + X Reps); One-arm spider curls (3×30,20,12(9) + X Reps—last set was an X-cel drop set)
Forearms: Wrist curls (3×20,15,10(9) + X Reps—last set was an X-cel drop set); Reverse wrist curls (3×20,15,10(6) + X Reps—last set was an X-cel drop set); Forearm rockers (1×20(15)(10) + X Reps—double drop set)

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: Low back was great today, so it was DB uprights to start things off again. I was going to end with the Leaning one-arm laterals, but they felt so good that I wanted more. I gave standing alternate DB presses a try, and I really liked them. Delts were fatigued enough that ridiculous weights weren’t needed, but they were still a struggle at the end. Finished with a very unique feel.

I started triceps work with the dip attachment and concentrated on keeping my form upright in order to keep all the tension on tris. In the name of efficiency, I did the overhead extensions simultaneously rather than one arm at a time, and I finished with strict lying DB extensions. As a midrange exercise, I like a bit more range, so I’ll let my elbows angle back in order to have the weight go behind my head. As a contracted exercise, however, it’s important to keep the shoulders locked  in order to maintain the triceps isolation. Good stuff!

Biceps got finished off with one-arm spider curls, using the SportBench at about a 90° angle for support. One of my favorite biceps exercises, so I’m happy to be able to do them in my home gym now.


Wednesday, Oct. 9, ’13: Legs

Another morning of intense anticipation for a great workout. The only problem with that was that I got too excited and didn’t let my pre-workout food settle enough, so the first few sets required a little extra rest, just to prevent Mount Vesuvius from ruining my workout…

Quads: One-leg split squats (3×15,12,10); Barbell hack squats (3×20,15,12 + X Reps)
Hamstrings: Stiff-legged deadlifts (4×30,20,15,10 + X Reps)
Calves: One-leg calf raises (4×20,18,15,12 + X Fade); Seated DB calf raises (4×30,20,15,12 + X Reps)

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: The One-leg split squats kicked my arse last time… And I loved it! Plus, they’re forcing me to regain balance, which I seem to have lost over the years. Finished quads off with Barbell hacks, but this time used a couple of chairs to “rack” the weight until I build some stands for the PowerBlock straight bar. Getting off the ground is no problem, but it’s hard to avoid crushing my ankles, hence the current chair racks. LOL! That made the Stiff-legged deadlifts a lot more user friendly, too.

I used DP 4X on One-leg calf raises, but strength held tight, as you can see by the minimal change in rep numbers. I also discovered that I can do the Seated DB calf raises by sitting backwards on the Sport Bench, as it is just narrow enough for the exercise, and the larger base can be used just as well for seated calves as it is for the standing variety.


Sunday, Sep. 29, ’13: Chest, Back, Abs

Man, I hate when I miss a day of training, but at least I can usually live with that as a bonus recovery day. Missing three days, on the other hand, can drive a guy crazy! I had to work away from my office from Wednesday through Friday last week, and it just so happened that the schedule was altered each of those days, making it necessary for me to leave 3 hours earlier than planned, and get home later as well. Hence my first Sunday workout in years, but the excitement of my new gym setup played a big part in that…

Chest: Incline presses (5×50,40,30,20,10 + X Reps); Flat flyes (3×15,12,10 + X Reps)
Back: Bent-over rows (5×50,40,30,20,10); Pullovers (3×12,10,8 + X Reps)
Abs: Knee ups (3×20 + X Reps), Full-range crunches (3×20 + X Fade)

Note: My current program is based on the NEW–>4X and Super TORQ techniques, plus various intensity techniques from Beyond X.

Summary: Plans change, and sometimes that can really tick you off. Then again, maybe a few days of missing workouts is a good thing in this case, as I was so amped to train that I did it on a Sunday morning. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the PowerBlock set I’ve been lusting over showed up on Saturday. I never expected to be this riled up about training at home, but the convenience and fact that I can create my own training environment really seems to have stoked a new fire in me. Cooling weather helps, too, as I’m a big fan of cold-weather training. Having a basement gym should help in that arena quite a bit come winter.

Training was great today! That was guaranteed after missing a few days, but using real weights at home blew it through the roof. I followed my Super TORQ rounds with modified 4X. They were 3X sets with 30 seconds of rest, but I just had to use some weight, so the reps were actually to failure on each set. That made for a nice Sunday morning celebration. Best chest and back workout in close to a month!

PowerBlock U-90