Hell Raiser Training for Chest and Triceps

/ Posted 05.22.2012

Another workout update. I am now 15 weeks out from competing in the Natural Mr. Universe contest on September 1st in Chicago. I have been dieting now for 9 weeks as I started my diet 24 weeks out. My weight today is now a little over 200 pounds. I weighed 194 this morning and was probably around 198 when I started my workout at 12:30 today. I am slowly coming down in weight, losing about 1.5 – 2 pounds per week.

I have been alternating Power Cycles lasting about 6 weeks in length with Hell Raiser Training. For those not familiar with HRT (Hell Raiser Training), I do 8 regular reps with a moderately heavy weight followed by 4 forced negative reps where my training partner pushes the weight and I resist for a four second negative. It’s a great training method for getting an awesome pump and it’s a welcome change of pace after training heavy for 6 weeks during the Power Cycle.

My body has been hurting a little over the last week or two. My left elbow tendonitis is back in full force and my right knee is also hurting during my leg workouts. I’m icing these joints after my training and during my down time but they are still hurting. I’m just going to have to use good ole’ common sense and try to work through the pain as well as I can. I can’t completely lay off training at this stage of the game but I don’t want to cause any serious injuries either. Let’s face it, after 35 years of hard and heavy training, I’m going to have some joint pain. It’s up to me to find a way around the pain and get in some good workouts.

Today was chest and triceps and calves. I applied the HRT technique to my chest and triceps workout but not my calves. I pulled a muscle in my calf doing forced negatives a couple months ago so I stick with conventional training when it comes to this muscle group. However, it worked good for chest and triceps and I didn’t have to go as heavy which gave my joints a little bit of a break although the elbow was really hurting again today.


I started off my chest workout with the Barbell Incline Press. I warmed up with two sets of 15-20 reps using only 135 pounds. Then, I did another warm-up set with 185 pounds for 8 reps. For my first real set, I used 185 for 8 reps followed by 4 forced negative repetitions. This felt pretty easy so I went up to 205 pounds for my last set and I was able to get 8 good reps followed by another 4 forced negative reps. My elbow wasn’t too bad on this exercise and my chest was off to a good pump.

For my second chest exercise, I did DB Bench Presses. I went right to my first set because I was plenty warmed up after the first exercise. I grabbed the 95 pound dumbbells and did 8 good reps followed by the four forced negative reps. I used this same weight for the second set but I was only able to get 3 forced negative reps because the muscles gave out and failed on this set.

For my last chest exercise, I did Incline Flyes. I used the 75 pound dumbbells and did two good sets of 8 reps followed by the four forced negative reps. My chest was pumped and full after this workout. I hit some poses in the locker room and I’m definitely looking tighter. I like the fact that I still have so much time left so I can get really, really lean and still have time to fill out and get harder.

For triceps, I started with the Close-Grip Bench Press. This is a great mass-builder but my elbow was really hurting on this exercise so I had to stay away from the forced negative reps. I used a moderate heavy weight for two sets of eight on the Close Grip Bench Press, using only 185 pounds.

I did the Lying Triceps Extensions next and this was also killing my elbows, as most extension movements tend to put a great deal of stress on the elbow joints. I started with 100 pounds and did an easy (and very slow) 10 reps. I added 20 pounds to the bar for the second and third sets, using 140 pounds for two sets of 8 reps.

I finished with the Kneeling Cable Overhead Tricep Extensions. I do these like the first Mr. Olympia, Larry Scott, used to do. I kneel on the floor and place my elbows on a high bench so my upper arms are parallel to the floor. I used a straight bar and started with 60 pounds on the cable machine and did an easy 10 reps. I went up to 70 pounds for the second set and did another 10 reps. I finished with 80 pounds for 10 reps on the third set. My elbow was hurting on this exercise but I got a great pump in the long head of the triceps.

I finished my workout off with calves. I usually train calves twice a week with about 2-3 days rest in between workouts. Today, I did Seated and Standing Calf Raises. I did four sets of the Seated Calf Raises, warming up with about 90 pounds for 20 reps. I added weight each set but kept the reps high to hit the soleus muscle in the calves. I used 140 pounds for the second set for 15 reps and finally finished off with two sets of 10 reps with 180 pounds.

For our last calf exercise, my training partner and I went over the Smith Machine and did Standing Calf Raises. I started with 225 pounds and did an easy 15 reps. For my second set, I went up to 315 pounds for 12 reps. I finished my calf workout off with 2 sets of 10 reps using 365 pounds. My calves were very pumped and vascular after the workout was completed.

More Workouts coming up Soon!!

Filed Under: Photos, Workouts

Paddle Boarding in St. Pete

/ Posted 07.11.2011

Summer is in full swing out here in Tampa, Florida! Because I moved here in late August of 2010, this is my first official summer in Florida. It’s different than I thought it would be. I expected it to be brutally HOT because that is what I was warned by every Floridian since I moved here. However, although the humidity is definitely high, it’s nothing like Vegas in July when the temperature can hit 120 with 100 at night. The temperature out here in Florida is normally in the 90’s but it never gets higher than that.

I have been surprised by the frequent raining. It seems to rain every day and, even if it doesn’t rain, there are plenty of threatening clouds overhead to make it look like rain. The pattern seems to be beautiful sunshine in the morning followed by clouds and rain in the afternoon and evening. Because of this weather pattern, I decided to try some summer water activities early this Sunday morning.

I figured since I’m only 30 minutes from the beach and the ocean, why not take advantage of this beautiful location and start getting in some extra physical exercise while I’m at it. I’ve got my choice of jet skis, kayaking and water boarding. I’m not ready to give actual surfing a try (unless it’s on a computer) but water boarding is more my speed. I’ve seen people doing it on the ocean and today was my day to try it.

I took a class at 10 am on Sunday to learn how to paddle board. As can be expected, the most difficult thing about paddle boarding is keeping one’s balance. Whenever a boat passed us in the ocean, the resulting waves created quite a challenge when it came to staying on the board. However, after the first fall, the anticipation of falling goes away and it becomes easier to focus on the actual technique.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I’m pretty good at paddle boarding. I was going much faster than anyone else in class (it must be the lats! ;) and I wasn’t tired or sore anywhere. I thought my core would really be sore but it didn’t really wipe me out. I guess my frequent HIIT cardio sessions on the stair master are paying off. I think I fell about 4 times but that’s OK. It’s like anything else in life, the more you fall, the more you have to get back up and keep trying. I’m looking forward to trying paddle boarding again but maybe I’ll hit the kayak next weekend.

Filed Under: Cardio, Photos