No matter how much we plan it, there are always setbacks to our training program. I went out of town last week to promote one of the two Natural Bodybuilding competitions that I promote in Chicago. Due to a lack of sleep early in the week, I ended up with a brutal head cold when I finally arrived in the Windy City on Wednesday. Luckily, the cold got much better by Saturday so I was able to promote the contest without feeling like a garbage truck had run over me. However, I missed a full week of training in the process.
I arrived home to sunny and warm Tampa, Florida on Monday evening and took that day off as well to rest up and recuperate. Although I wasn’t 100% by Tuesday, I couldn’t wait another day to start training again. I missed the feeling of pushing heavy iron and getting pumped up. So, ready or not, I was in the gym again one week after my last workout for a heavy chest and triceps workout.
I am currently in the second cycle of my Power Training Cycle. This will last approximately 6 weeks and I am focusing on the basic exercises using multiple sets (3) of low reps (3-6 reps). This was scheduled to be the third week of the Power Cycle Training. I decided to attempt the poundages I had set for this week, despite missing a full week of training last week.
I began my chest workout with the Incline Barbell Press. The first week of my Power Training Cycle, I did three sets of 5 reps using 225 pounds. The second week, I did three sets of 4 reps using 235 pounds. This week, I was scheduled to do 3 sets of 3 reps using 245 pounds. After warming up with 135 pounds for 2 sets of 15-20 reps, I went right to my working weight. Even after being sick last week and not training since last Sunday, the 245 pounds for 3 reps was very easy. For the last set, my training partner Maks and I reduced the weight on the bar to 225 pounds and added two 20 pound chains to each side of the barbell. This, surprisingly, was also very easy and I did five reps on the last set.
For the next exercise, Maks and I moved over the Dumbbell Bench Press. For our second basic exercise, we were doing sets of 4 reps. I warmed up with the 95 pound dumbbells and then started my work sets with the 120 pound dumbbells. They were pretty heavy and I had Maks spot me close but I was able to get 3 sets of 4 reps with the 120’s. I was really having a great workout today after a week off.
For our last chest exercise, Maks and I did Incline Flyes. I am very strong on flye exercises and we were doing sets of 6 on the isolation exercise. I grabbed the 85 pound dumbbells for three sets of 6 easy reps on the Incline Flyes.
Next up were triceps. We started with the mass-builder, Close Grip Bench Press. I warmed up with 135 pounds for 15 reps and then did our working sets with 225 pounds for 3 reps. This was also pretty easy and I rammed up the weight for 3 reps for the first two sets. For the last set, we repeated what we did with the Incline Barbell Press and added the 20 pound chains to each side of the barbell. This was a little heavier, as expected, and I barely got 3 reps with 225 pounds plus a 20 pound chain on each side of the bar.
Lying Tricep Extensions, or “skull crushers” as they are more commonly called, was the second mass-building exercise for triceps. I started with 120 pounds and the goal was three sets of 5 reps. Because I was feeling so good and so strong today, I went up to 8 reps on the second set and it was very easy. I decided to add another 20 pounds to the bar for the last set and still got a good 5 reps with 140 pounds.
Our last triceps exercise was Overhead Cable Extensions while kneeling on the floor. I position my elbows on a high bench just like the first Mr. Olympia Larry Scott used to do. This makes all the difference in the world as it really helps to isolate the triceps. It is so much better doing the exercise this way instead of just bending the upper body forward away from the cable. I had Maks hold my back down with his hand so I could really concentrate on the triceps extending and flexing. I used 72.5 pounds on the cable machine for the first set of 8 reps and finished with 80 pounds for another 8 reps.
Great workout today! I can’t express how awesome it felt to get back in the gym and move some heavy weight around. I have less than 20 weeks until the Natural Mr. Universe contest in Chicago and I am going for the Gold this year. It will be my 20 year anniversary, having won my first Natural Universe title in 1992 so this is destiny. I am going to win the Natural Mr. Universe title again in 2012!!!