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HELLISH back/biceps/traps workout; Eight years smoke-free!

Friday, October 31, 2008 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Yesterday’s workout turned out to be the longest and most grueling so far on this bulk. The trend this week as I’ve designed my workouts seems to be underestimating the difference between what looks challenging on paper and how that plays out in the gym.

I’d like to talk about the workout a bit, but first let’s take a look at what I did (and what I’ll be doing for the next three weeks on back/bicep day):

4 x 8 Deadlifts (+ 4 warmup sets, at the top of every rep on the warmup sets do 3 power shrugs)
3 x 5-7 Power cleans w/ power shrug on each rep
3 x 10-12/10-12 Low cable rows/Dumbbell pullovers (supersets)

3 x 10-12 Barbell curls
3 x failure Hammer curls (quad drop sets)
3 x 8-10 Concentration curls

OK. The first thing that threw me was how difficult the triple shrugs after each rep would be on the deadlift warm-up sets. When I warm-up for my deads I usually do something like 135×12, 185×10, 225×8 and 285-315×6. Normally that’s a perfectly fine warm-up progression that allows me to get loosened up without fatiguing my muscles. With the shrugs, it was a whole different ballgame: I’d done over 100 shrugs before I even started my working deadlift sets! After the warm-up sets my traps were on fire, but I can’t say that really affected my ability to deadlift; I was able to increase the number of reps I did last week (using the same weight). Next week I’ll be increasing the weight.

OK, so at this point in the workout I’m barely out of the gate but my traps are feeling more or less destroyed. Of course now I’ve got to do power cleans – with more shrugs! I was able to hit my target reps on the PCLs and I only had to reduce the weight 10 pounds from what I was using the last time I did them (while totally fresh). I felt good about this.

The low cable rows supersetted with dumbbell pullovers was a lot of fun. I only took a minute between each superset, but the endorphins were flowing like a river at this point and I was no longer feeling pain.

This morning my traps, back, lats, biceps and forearms are all extremely sore. It’s only been a little over 12 hours since my workout, so the DOMS will be increasing quite a lot over the next 36 hours (for me, DOMS tend to peak around 48 hours after my workout).

October 31st is a day that I often like to commemorate in my daily updates: it was eight years ago on this day that I gave up smoking for good! Quitting smoking was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. Thinking back to how I horrible I used to feel when I couldn’t smoke for more than an hour, or always having to break away and go outside to feed my addiction… Man, I was a slave – there’s really no other way to put it. Well, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being controlled by anyone or anything. When I decided to quit I went through hell, but I tried to focus on how empowering it felt to fight through the cravings. I was once asked, “Why did you quit on October 31st? Why not wait until January 1st like most people?” Actually the original plan was to wait until January 1st, but when I thought about it I realized that waiting was just another excuse (“Now is just not a good time to quit…”). So I quit then and there, and on January 1st I had been smoke-free for two whole months. If you smoke, then please don’t put quitting off another day. I did it, countless others have done it and YOU can do it!

On a somewhat lighter note (it is Friday, after all), I posted a new food picture in my journal. Also, if you scroll down a few posts you can see how I looked 22 years ago.

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