Tuesday=Chest day

/ Posted 09.30.2008

For me, two things are pretty certain on Tuesdays.  One, my legs are going to be sore.  And two, I’m doing a chest workout!  My legs, glutes, and back are growing more sore (from my squats yesterday) as I write this blog entry.  It’s a good thing that tomorrow is a rest day.  I’m going to need it!!!

Tricia met me at Hyde Park Gym today for our chest workout.  I love working chest at Hyde Park because the bench press rack is low enough that I can actually get the bar racked by myself if necessary, and I love the angle of the incline press bench!  Add to that, I don’t have to listen to any lame-ass music here, so I can concentrate better.  I love bench pressing, but I’ve kinda been struggling with the bench lately.  In my first few warmup sets my left pec was hurting and my shoulders were really stiff and sore.  On my third warmup set my right elbow popped on every rep.  I don’t know what that was all about!  On my fourth set it popped for about the first 5 reps then stopped and didn’t bother me the rest of the workout.  Thank God!!!

As I said, I’ve been struggling a bit with the bench press, but my incline presses have really been improving.  That’s very encouraging!  I’ve been getting significantly stronger on my pec machine flys too.  I followed my chest workout with some “bonus” lateral raises and hammer curls.  I’m really liking the feel of doing the lateral raises after chest.  I’m so much stronger than when I do them after overhead presses on shoulder day.

Bench Press 135X12X12, 185X12X12, 205X12, 225X8

Incline Press 135X12, 165X10, 185X10, 205X8X10

Pec Fly Machine  3 sets 12-15 reps

Lateral Raises 4 sets 15, 12, 12, 10

Hammer Curls 3 sets 15, 12, 12

Filed Under: Chest, Photos

Split leg workout

/ Posted 09.29.2008

This morning I had a client cancel and was able to do my “split” leg workout. By the time I finished my 9am client, got my workout drink mixed, got changed and got my gear together I had 40 minutes to do my super-heavy squat workout. This workout consisted of half-squats and “just above” parallel squats in the power rack. I’m still trying to get used to the feel of really heavy weights on my back, but I’m definitely improving weekly on these squats. During the execution of both exercises I was feeling more strain in my back than in my legs. But, as I performed the reps I concentrated on perfect technique and contracting my quads hard on the way up. Within 10 minutes after I finished I was really feeling the fatigue in my vastus lateralis…..exactly what I need! Three hours later I was at Gold’s for the rest of my leg workout. I wanted to do my deep squats first, but all of the squat racks were taken. I thought I would warm up with leg presses until a squat rack opened up, but every time somebody left, someone else stepped in the rack before I could finish my current set of leg presses. I ended up going very heavy on leg presses (up to 810 lbs). I felt very good about being able to go this heavy after the heavy squat workout in the morning. After leg presses I did super-deep squats and was definitely feeling the fatigue. By the time I finished squatting and doing leg curls I was totally out of gas, but cranked out a couple sets of leg extensions for good measure.

Heavy Squat workout (10:20am):

Half-squats 135X10, 225X10, 275X5, 315X5, 365X5, 405X5, 435X5, 455X5

Just above parallel squats 315X5, 365X5, 385X5

Regular Leg workout (2:45):

Leg press 10 sets 20 reps

Squats 135X10, 185X10, 225X10X16X10

Single leg Leg Curls 4 sets 15, 10, 10, 10

Lying leg curls 3 sets 12, 12, 10

Leg Extensions 2 sets 15, 20

Filed Under: Legs, Photos

End of a busy week

/ Posted 09.26.2008

Once again, I’m sitting here amazed that it’s already Friday.  It’s been another busy week!  I’ve been busy training my clients and and crankin’ out hard workouts.  Tricia and I adjusted our workouts up a day this week because she anticipated being gone today.  But, she didn’t leave town until this afternoon so we squeezed in an extra leg workout this morning.

With the workout adjustment we trained back on Wednesday.  Eli Kaplan from The Daily Texan (UT’s student newspaper) wanted to photograph our workout, so he met us at Hyde Park Gym shortly after noon.  It seems that being photographed or filmed during a workout always gets my adrenaline going and Wednesday was no exception.  I was extremely sore from my heavy squat workout on Monday and my chest workout Tuesday.  But, with the workout being photo-documented I was able to summon the strength to knock out a Herculean training session.  On Thursday we met at Gold’s and even though I was sore all over, we still got a great shoulder and arm workout.  Maybe it’s the extra carbs I’ve been eating but my bi’s and tri’s were so pumped that they felt like they were about to explode!  While I sometimes complain about the intense burn, I love that feeling!!!!

Wednesday Back:

Lat Pulldowns  5 sets 12, 12, 10, 8, 12

Seated Cable Row  4 sets 12, 12, 10, 8

High Pulley Row  3 sets 12, 12, 10

One Arm DB Row 3 sets 10-12 reps

Partial Deadlifts (my back and legs were still very sore from squatting.  These were hard!)

5 sets 15, 15, 15, 12, 12

Thursday   Shoulders/Arms

Seated DB Press 7 sets 15, 15, 12, 10, 10, 10, 6  (85 lb DB’s for my final set)

DB Lateral Raise  4 sets 12 reps

Rear Delt Flys  4 sets 12-15 reps

Skull Crushers  4 sets 15, 15, 15, 12

Pressdowns  4 sets 15, 10, 8, 4 with a drop set additional 6 reps

Friday Legs

Single Leg Press 6 sets 15-20 reps each leg

Single Leg Extension 5 sets 12-15 reps each leg

Lying Leg Curls  4 sets 10-12 reps (these still hurt my hamstring tendon a lot.  And, it’s been 14 full months since the surger)

Calf Raises on the Hack Machine  5 sets 12-15 reps


Sore Today!!!

/ Posted 09.23.2008

Just as I anticipated, I am very sore today!  Not only are my legs sore, but my entire back is sore from shouldering the heavy loads on the squats.  This morning I was not only feeling the soreness, but I also still felt fatigued from yesterday’s leg training session.

As Tricia and I started warming up for the bench press I was feeling some pain in my left pec.  After I got a few sets under my belt it pretty much went away.  I’m wondering if it’s from supporting the bar on squats.  Or, maybe it’s being caused by the spasms that are going on all over my back!  Whatever the case, the first few sets of bench felt horrible.  After I got warmed up well I started feeling pretty strong and had an excellent chest workout.  For quite a while now I’ve been throwing in a few sets of curls after my chest workout.  Today I dropped the curls because we are going to do our back workout tomorrow and I want my biceps to be fresh for the pulls.  I did, however, do four sets of DB lateral raises after chest today.  I got a really great pump in my medial deltoids with just 4 sets.  I’m going to continue with the “bonus” lateral raises on chest day.  I think this technique helped my biceps considerably this year.

Chest Workout

Bench Press 95X15, 135X12, 165X12, 185X10, 205X10, 225X10, 245X5

Incline Press 135X12, 165X10, 195X8 215X6, 165X16

Pec Fly Machine 4 sets 12-15 reps

DB Lateral Raise 4 sets 15, 15, 12, 11

Filed Under: Chest, Photos

Heavy Squats

/ Posted 09.22.2008

I’m on a serious mission to improve my legs. Today is Monday….also synonymous with Leg Day in my book. Tricia wasn’t feeling well today, so I worked out on my own at Hyde Park Gym. Since I wouldn’t be slowing anyone down by stringing together a long workout, I decided to do some really heavy squatting. I started with the heavy half-squats and “just above parallel” squats that I did in my split routine last week. I followed that with some heavy full squats (below parallel). I did a number of singles and worked up to the heaviest full squat I’ve done in years, but I didn’t go to a complete max. I finished the squatting session with a good set of full squats at 315 and then several sets of very deep squats at 225. It didn’t take a whole lot of leg pressing before I was absolutely wiped out. I really had to push myself to get leg curls and extensions done. I slammed a Pro Fusion Protein drink immediately after the workout and then took about a 30 minute nap on the floor of my office. Yes, totally wiped out!!!

Half Squats 135X10, 225X8, 275X6, 315X5, 365X5, 405X5, 425X5, 445X5

Just above Parallel Squats 315X5, 345X5, 365X3

Full Squats (breaking parallel) 275X1, 295X1, 315X1, 350X1, 365X1, 315X8, 225X15X12X8

Leg Press 270X20, 450X20, 540X20, 630X20

Superset Lying Leg Curls and Leg Ext 3 supersets, 8-12 reps

Standing Leg Curls 3 sets 10 reps

Filed Under: Legs

I can’t believe it’s already Friday

/ Posted 09.19.2008

Holy cow! I can’t believe it’s already Friday again! It’s been a really busy week for me and the time has just flown since I posted my leg training blog on Monday afternoon. Sure enough, I was really sore from my split leg training on Monday. I usually don’t start getting sore until about 24 hours after a workout, but I was so sore Tuesday morning that I had a dream that someone shot me a bunch of times with an automatic weapon. I didn’t go down, but I was in a lot of pain in my dream. Then I woke up….in pain from the leg workout. Imagine that!

Tricia had to get her wisdom teeth out on Tuesday, so I trained solo at Hyde Park Gym. My shoulders were pretty stiff and a bit sore starting out, so I followed each bench press set with a light set of high pulley rows. Light rows was the plan. They started out light, but left to my own devices, they got really heavy by the end of the bench session. With my chest workout I’m trying to get used to handling some heavier weights again, so I worked up to a relatively heavy single…..definitely not a max….just fairly heavy. Then I finished with a set of maximum reps with a fairly light weight (185 lbs). My chest is actually still sore this morning. I added just a few sets of lateral raises and a few sets of curls at the end of the workout. I still want to bring up my biceps some more and also improve my medial deltoid to give my upper body more width.

Yesterday I had a morning cancellation and was able to do my heavy deadlifts for my split back workout. Again, I’m working up to heavy singles, but not to maximum singles. Yesterday I didn’t feel as strong deadlifting as I did last week. It was probably due to leftover fatigue from the super-heavy leg workout on Monday. I worked up to a 425 deadlift, where as last week I pulled a 435. I did some box jumps in between deadlift sets. On the jumps I don’t jump to fatigue. I do a set number of jumps at each height, going for maximum explosiveness.

I did my deadlift workout from 9:15am to 10am, then met Tricia for our regular back workout at 1:45pm. Yes, she just had oral surgery on Tuesday, but she had sent me a text on Wednesday saying that she was going nuts sitting around her parents house and needed to workout. Yesterday morning she sent another text saying that she could feel her muscles atrophying (is that a word) and couldn’t wait to workout! Now that’s a true gym rat in the making!!! LOL! She obviously had to take it easy in the workout, but she made it through the whole thing and wasn’t spitting any blood, so I guess she’s fine. My back was very fatigued from the heavy deadlifts and my strength was down a little. This morning as I sit here typing, my back is feeling really uncomfortable!!!

Tuesday Chest :

Bench Press Super-setted with High Pulley rows until the final set of high rep bench.

Bench press 135X12, 165X12, 185X8, 205X6, 225X4, 235X3, 245X2, 255X1, 185X20

High Pulley Row 120X12X12X12, 140X6, 160X4, 170X3, 180X2, 200X5

Incline Press 135X12, 165X10, 185X8, 195X3, 205X3, 185X7

Pec Fly Machine 3 sets 12 reps

Lateral Raise 3 sets 20, 15, 15

Alternate DB Curls 3 sets 12, 10, 8

Split Back workout

AM session

Deadlifts 135X12, 225X8, 275X6, 315X3, 365X2, 385X1, 405X1, 425X1, 315X10

Box jumps between DL sets 12″X10, 17″X6, 18″X3, 21″X3, 24″X3, 26″X3X3

Pullups 12, 10

PM Session

Lat Pulldowns 4 sets 10-12 reps

Seated Cable Row 4 sets 10-12 reps

High Pulley Row 4 sets 10-12 reps

One arm DB Row 3 sets 10 reps

Back Extensions 4 sets 12 reps

Filed Under: Back, Chest, Photos

Split leg workout

/ Posted 09.15.2008

I know that I need to improve my legs to win on the national level in the NPC. Having experimented a few times with splitting my back workout, I thought it might be a good idea to try it for legs too. I realize that my usual training partners probably wouldn’t be too keen on spending 45 to 60 minutes at the squat rack while I work my way up to some heavy half squats so, whenever possible I’m going to do super heavy (it’s heavy for me at this point) squats in the morning, then the rest of my leg workout in the afternoon.

Today one of my morning clients canceled and Tricia and I weren’t scheduled to workout until 3pm, so it was the perfect opportunity to try my split leg workout. It was a very late cancellation, and by the time I got my gear together and myself mentally prepared, I only had 45 minutes in which to complete the squat routine. I set the pins on the power rack to stop me when my thighs were at about a 45degree angle….about halfway to parallel. I warmed up with a couple sets of 10 reps at 135 and 185 lbs, then moved up performing sets of 5 reps. After working up to 435 lbs for 5 reps on the half squats, I moved the pins lower in the rack to a a point where they stopped me just above parallel. I want to get accustomed to squatting some heavier poundages again, and without the pins to stop me, I always go below parallel. I dropped the weight to 315 lbs and knocked out 2 sets of 5 reps and 2 sets of 3 reps. These were the heaviest squats I’ve done since long before my hamstring injury. I’m sure I’m going to feel crippled tomorrow!

Tricia ended up having to cancel her workout with me, so I did my second training session at Hyde Park Gym. I love the leg press machine here and decided to pile on the weight. My quads were somewhat fatigued from the squats, but I really got my head into the workout and ended up having the best leg press session I’ve had in over a year.

Squat session 11am:

Half squats 135X10, 185X10, 225X5, 275X5, 315X5, 365X5, 405X5, 435X5

Squats (just above parallel) 315X5X5, 335X3, 355X3

Leg workout 3pm

Leg Press 90X20X20, 180X20, 270X20, 360X20, 450X20, 540X20, 630X20, 720X20, 810X20, 860X10, 720X20X30

Leg Ext 4 sets 10-12 reps

Lying Leg Curls 3 sets 12, 8, 6

Standing single leg curls 2 sets 8 reps

Standing calf raise (on hack squat machine) 5 sets 12-15 reps

Filed Under: Legs, Photos


/ Posted 09.12.2008

Thank God it’s finally Friday!  It has been a long very busy week and I’m still not recovered from competing in the Team Universe last Friday and Saturday.  I never get enough sleep during the week because I start personal training early in the morning and work late in the evenings.  Usually I’m able to “catch up” on sleep on the weekends but when I compete in bodybuilding shows I don’t get to do that and I feel the effects all week long.  This is definitely one of those weeks, so I’m looking forward to getting to sleep a little later tomorrow morning.

Every day this week I have gone into my workouts with the mind-set of taking it easy.  Somehow I get going in the workouts and I can’t seem to hold back!  Today was no exception.  Tricia came to meet me at Hyde Park Gym for our shoulder and arm workout.  My back is extremely sore from yesterday and I was thinking “take it easy today”.  But once again I got into the workout and went really hard.  We had a great shoulder and arm workout!


Seated DB Press 6 sets 20, 15, 12, 10, 10, 15

Lateral Raise 4 sets 12 reps

Rear Delt machine flys 4 sets 12-15 reps

Seated Tricep Extensions 4 sets 15-20 reps

Pressdowns  4 sets 12-15 reps

Standing DB Curls 4 sets 12, 10, 10, 8

Close Grip cable curls 4 sets 10-12 reps

Hammer Curls 4 sets 12 reps

Skull Crushers 2 sets 15 reps

Filed Under: Photos, Shoulders & Arms

Rest and hard work

/ Posted 09.11.2008

Wednesday is generally my day to do the Shredder Walk. On my normal 4 day split I don’t weight train on Wednesdays. Last week (because of the contest) I ended up working out 6 days in a row. Sunday we actually walked around NYC for a couple hours before traveling back to Austin. Monday was back to work and back to regular workouts, starting with legs. Tuesday was chest. So, yesterday I finally rested! It wasn’t complete rest. I trained 8 clients and also did a one hour phone consultation, but I didn’t do any cardio or weight training. Last night was possibly the first night (since I started dieting in April) that I slept all night without waking up. I guess the rest was good!

Today it was back to work, fast and furious! I squeezed in a heavy deadlift session mid-morning between clients and did some box jumps between deadlift sets. Then I met Tricia at 1:30 for our regular back workout. I’m really enjoying the “split back workout”, where I deadlift heavy in the morning and then do the rest of my back with Tricia in the early afternoon. I think I’m going to stick with that strategy as often as my personal training schedule allows. I’m thinking about trying to do the same thing with squats and bench press too. I also added a few sets of quads at the end of my back workout. Doing the “bonus bicep work” on my chest day has really improved my biceps, so I’m going to try the same thing with quads. I definitely need to improve my legs, so I’m hoping this helps.

Deadlift workout:

135X12, 185X8, 225X6, 275X5, 315X3, 365X2, 405X1, 425X1, 435X1, 405X1 These singles were not maximum singles….just heavy

Between deadlift sets I did box jumps at the following heights and reps

12″X8, 17″X6, 18″X6, 19″X5, 23″X3, 24″X3, 25″X3 I haven’t done box jumps in a long time and was careful about working my way up. I land with my legs almost straight so that the box height is actually what I’m jumping vertically. I don’t do these to the point of fatigue. My goal is to do each jump explosively and safely.

Regular Back workout:

Seated Row: 5 sets 10-12 reps

Lat Pulldowns 4 sets 12, 10, 8, 8

One arm DB Row 4 sets 12, 12, 10, 10

Partial Deadlifts 4 sets 12-15 reps I didn’t go very heavy on these. My back was exhausted at this point!

Bonus Quad work:

Single Leg Extensions 4 sets 10-12 reps one set with my left leg, followed immediately by a set with my right leg, then back to the left. I did this continuously for the 4 sets each leg. My right leg is still significantly stronger than my left.

Filed Under: Back, Photos

Back to work!

/ Posted 09.09.2008

We arrived back at home about midnight Sunday night. The alarm clock went off at 5:30am and I was back at the gym and work by 7. After a solid morning of clients I met Tricia for our leg workout. I was determined to keep it light, but somehow I got kinda out of hand on the leg press. When we started squatting I could feel the effects of the rigorous contest weekend, including way to much sitting on the plane! We got through a decent leg workout and I was just pleased that I had done it!


Leg Press 10 sets (see, I told you it got out of hand) 40, 25, 25, 20, 20, 20, 20, 15, 10, 15 810lbs on the last 2 sets

Squats 4 sets 10 reps

Leg Ext 4 sets 20, 15, 10, 10

Seated Leg Curls 4 sets 15, 15, 12, 10

Donkey Calf Raise 4 sets 15, 12, 12, 15

Speaking of Tricia, here’s a couple of great photos of my gorgeous training partner. She did a shoot with outstanding Austin photographer, Georges Schemagin last Saturday.

You see why I like to workout???

Today Tricia met me at Hyde Park Gym for our chest workout. I have a spasm going in the left side of my upper back and it’s making my left shoulder hurt. My triceps and pecs are still sore from the weekend, so I didn’t push it today. I got a really good pump and decided to leave well enough alone!


Bench Press 5 sets 20, 15, 12, 10, 10

Incline Press 4 sets 10 reps

Pec Fly Machine 4 sets 12 reps

Bonus Bicep work: Standing DB Curls 3 sets 10-12 reps

Filed Under: Chest, Legs, Photos