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My weird workout logs; Incredible workouts this week; Wrist pain forces change.

I have a simple single page workout log template that I print out and use to track all my workouts. This template has been modified slightly over the years, but it’s more or less the same animal that I started off with. I have literally thousands of these logs going all the way back to 2003 when I first started lifting weights. On these logs I note the obvious stuff like exercise, weight, reps, rest intervals and and any special techniques such as supersets, giant sets, rest-pause sets and so on. I also have a somewhat strange system of symbols and words that I use to gauge my progress from one workout to the next. Some examples? If I perform the same reps using the same weight as the previous workout, I put a check mark to the right of the log entry. If I move up in weight and/or reps I put a double check mark next to the entry. If I’m having an off day and do less reps using the same weight as the previous workout I jot down a frown face :(. If I reach total muscular failure on a particular set I write the word “Whew!” next to the reps recorded for that set. I also log the start and stop time for the complete workout, and when the session is over I’ll note if it was an especially good or bad workout along with any other salient information (unusual pain, weakness, high energy, how I was feeling before the workout, etc). It’s a weird system, I know, but it’s just something that sort of evolved and I’ve stuck with it.

For the past few weeks there have been a heck of a lot of double check marks and “Awesome workout!” notes on my logs. This week in particular has been amazing. My Monday workout log and yesterday’s workout log both have double check marks next to each and every exercise. I’m building a lot of momentum right now and that’s a great feeling.

My right wrist has been pain-free on all my lifts with one exception: dumbbell lateral raises. Nothing hits the side delts like laterals, and I’ve tried just about every variation I can think of (leaning one-arm laterals, to the front laterals, cable laterals…) and the pain is pretty bad. There’s just so much downward force that it’s really killing my wrist. My doctor gave me the go-ahead to train while I’m taking the anti-inflammatory, but he said if something hurts I’ve got to stop. Well, I think I’m going to have to stop doing the laterals. I don’t want to stop working my side delts, so I think I’m going to start doing Arnold Presses instead, which hits all three delt heads. I like the Arnold Press, but I don’t think anything compares to laterals when it comes to targeting the side delts. Still, it’s not like I have much choice if I want my wrist to heal.

Today’s a cardio day, and I’m still not sure where I’m going to go riding this morning. I might do a Geocache, but I’m kind of in the mood to get muddy (it rained hard yesterday). I’ll figure it out while I make breakfast. Hope your day is a good one!

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