T Nation

Clockin' A Grip


10-2 Mixed Doubles, Chest/Bicep

Bench Press
These sucked, I couldn’t get set up tight or keep the bar level. Right elbow kept moving around.

Incline Dumbbell Beinch
35 x12
50 x12
55 x12, 12
These were good. They moved just like I wanted.

Pec Deck
warm up x1
3 sets of 12. Nice squeeze and hold at top.

Barbell Front Raise
30 x10, 2 sets
40 x8
50 x8

Barbell Curls
65 x12
85 x10, 10
75 x12

Incline Dumbbell Curls
3 x12

Bench was shitty, everything else was good. My gf did well on everything, getting the elbows out a little and using the pecs more without any issues. Its fun to lift with somebody again. Even a girl.

I’ve been doing lots of machines and stuff on incline benches. When I’m “seated” and my arms are moving I can feel the left side of my back against the back of the seat. Often I feel my right side “more arched,” like my right side lower back is not straight and not against the seat. To put my right shoulder in a whack position. As I’ve been more aware of keeping my back flatter and straighter and my shoulders more level, some of my lifts have improved. Incline and overhead dumbbell pressing, pulldowns, shrugs over a bench, more vertical kinda shit.

Last night, I could feel myself pushing my whole back squarely into the seat on the inclines. But I don’t really know what was going on during flat bench. Next week I’ll use one of the bench press machines where you sit up instead of lay down. Lots of contact between my back and the bench with my ass to keep level. Hopefully I’ll just get the right feels and it will be great.


10-3 Bonus Solo Traps (Happy Place) Workout

Dumbbell Shrug, Incline Bench
4 x15
Lower back neutral, Head Up, low trap squeeze

Barbell Shrugs
4 x15

Rear Delt Cable Extensions
4 x12

Rear Delt Destroyers
3 x many reps.

Close Grip Pulldowns
4 x12

Yoke oriented. I should do this more often.


10-4 Doubles Back

Trap Bar Deadlift
sets of 8, feeling this thing out.

1 Arm Pulldowns
4 x12

Old School T Bar
4 x12

Wide Grip Shrug, Hold at Top
5 x12

3 x8

I had my coach to check out my posture/head position for trap bar and t bar rows. I had to get my head up and sit back a little more. Both moves felt good, but weak. Barely got to 300 on the trap bar, but no belt no power panties. Pulldowns and shrugs felt stronger. Good workout.


10-5 Doubles Shoulders/Triceps

Close Grip Bench, Pause off Chest
Bar for a bunch, 115 x10
140 x10

Seated Dumbbell Press
30/35/40/45/40/40 x5 reps

Cable Face Pulls
4 x15

Decline Close Grip Bench
125 x12
135 x12
145 x12

PJR Pullover with Dumbbell
3 x16
Mini Band Pushdowns
x75 x2 sets

Hanging Leg Raise
3 x10
Leg Raise off Bench
2 x20

Everything felt good, setups felt tight, shoulders felt squared up. Light Weights will do that.


10-8 Mixed Doubles, Legs

Laying Hamstring Curls
4 x8

Stretch hip flexors and short step ups between sets.

SSB Box Squats
2 working up
205 x6,6,6,6,10

45 Back Raise
25 plate, mini band around knees x15 x4 sets. Tried to go with a steady, not fast speed. It was killing me.

Single Leg Press, No Lockout
Light x15
Working up, 3 x15

Dumbbell Stiff Leg Dead
45 x12
55 x12
65 x12
75 x12

Seated Calves
4 x12, Pause at bottom

Walking Lunge
14 steps down and 14 back x3.5 trips

I keep seeing Mass guys say, first mid-range exercise then stretched exercise. Like something short range and pumpy for quads before the deep stretch of lunges, or 45 degree back raises before dumbbell stiff legs. I could really feel it working last night. Great mmc on the first and big ROM on the 2nd.

Good workout.

Push workout this evening. Real hype to use that horizontal press machine.


10-9 Mixed Doubles, Upper Front Muscles

Dumbbell shrugs, wide pulldowns, seated horizontal press machine, 2 sets each as warm up.

Bench Press
45/95/135 x12
155 x10 x2 sets

Dumbbell Incline Press
45 x12
60 x10
70 x10

Pec Deck
Light x15
Less light 3 x12

Skinny Little Barbell Front Raise
+20 x10
+30 x10, 8

Barbell Curl
65/75/85 x10
95 x7

Incline Curl
20 x12
25 x10
30 x8

Seated chest press machine was cool. As soon as I got in there I could feel my lower back too arched, and my upper back too loose. That was easy to fix with the full back support, plus ass in seat plus feet dug in. It felt natural to use everything to get tight. Different than a Hammer Strength machine, which in comparison feels like sitting up in a little kids high chair, feet swinging above the ground. Then I could watch my shoulders and elbows in the mirror to make sure things stayed lined up.

Bench Press went smooth. Dumbbell bench felt solid. Good workout.


10-11 Mixed Doubles, Back/Hams

Sidebends, plate twists. Some step ups and hip flexor stretches.

Trap Bar Deadlift
135 x8
205 x8
255 x8
275 x8
225 x8, 8

My girl tweaked her back doing a set with 225. I feel like I rushed her and I’m responsible.

Single Arm Pulldowns
4 x12
Up to 105 per side. A new high.

Chest Supported T Bar Row
4 x12. Great motion/contraction.

Barbell Shrug, Wide Grip
135 x15
205 x15
225 x12
245 x12. Gaining some momentum on these.

My poor woman has had like 3 issues/pulls/tweaks in the gym, over about 5 years. Twice when we were messing with the trap bar. I thought that thing was safe. Selfishly, I had a good workout.


Unless you pressured her to use the trap bar/ go heavy on it a la “don’t be a pussy… do this now!” you shouldn’t feel responsible.
I know how you feel though. As a trainer I felt bad whenever someone, whom I helped out or chose exercises for, hurt himself. Even though I had no fault.

If your girlfriend has been lifting for 5 years she probably knows about the associated risks and pain. She is responsible for herself at that point.

Hope she gets well soon and it isn’t anything serious!


Thanks man. So far, she’s been OK, just a little slow getting around.

10-12 Shoulders/Triceps

Dumbbell Y Raises and Rear Delt Cable stuff x 2 sets to get going.

Close Grip Bench, Pause off Chest
A few working up
155 x10, 10

Seated Dumbbell Press
20 x12
30 x10
40 x5,5,5,5,10

Cable Face pull
3 x15

Decline Close Grip Bench
95 x12
145 x12
155 x12, 8

PJR Pullover
50 x15
60 x15
70 x15

Mini band Pushdown
x90 x 2 sets

Fast Friday workout. The bar tried to helicopter a couple times with close grips but otherwise everything moved pretty well.


10-15 Solo Legs

I tried some box squats. They sucked so I did bird dogs and band walks and some warm up sets and they still sucked. Halfway through first work set I got some sharp pain in my left knee. I think I was using too much quad/sliding my knees forward. Like all my knee stuff got a little stretched. Frankly, I find the whole thing a little frustrating, a few weeks ago squats felt great.

10-16 Mixed Doubles, Chest/Front Delt/Biceps

Bench Press
4 sets working up
160 x12
170 x11

Incline Dumbbell Bench
35 x12
50 x12
65 x11, 11

Cable Flies
1 set handles shoulder height, 1 high, 1 low

Barbell Front Raise
30 x12
40 x12
50 x10, 9

Barbell Curls
65 x15
75 x15
85 x15
95 x15 -cheated up a few

Incline Curls
25 x12
30 x10
25 x9


I bet your muscles are all big and poofy from all those high rep sets of light weight you are doing…


I got a little carried away trying to gain weight over the summer. Mid August, I was up 10 pounds to a fat 227. Just the worst saggy chest/love handle fat. Not jolly big guy style. It was hard to see much gains. For about 8 weeks I’ve been eating better while trying to stay the same scale weight. Now I’m less fat at 225. I can see some muscles.


10-18 Mixed Doubles, Backs

Single Arm Pulldowns
3 x12. Steady motion, good squeeze at the bottom, feeling the tension. Getting that MMC going.

Chest Supported Row
2 working up
3 x10. Less slow, less squeezing at top, more strongish.

Pulldowns, Straight Bar, Hands outside Shoulders
4 x10

Dumbbell Stiff Legs
2 light ones
65/75/85 x12

Snatch Grip Shrugs, Hold at Top
135 x15
185 x15
215 x15
235 x15
255 x12. These are feeling good.

Seated Calves
1 light to stretch out
3 x12 with pause at bottom

Standing Calves
2 x15. Hold last one at top.

No deadlifts today. My girl’s back seems back to normal and issue free, but we didn’t rush it. Good workout anyway. I could do rows and shrugs for fun.


10-19 Mixed Doubles, Tricep/Shoulders

Close Grip Bench, Pause off Chest
45 x15/20
95 x12
135 x12
155 x12
170 x11

Seated Dumbbell Press
20 x15
30 x10
40 x5
45 x5, 4 sets

We put the bench up 1 click steeper. Like 75-80 degree angle. Felt good, way more shoulder focused and smooth. A little more difficult, but 5 reps no problem.

Close Grip Decline
135 x12
155 x12
165 x12

PJR Pullover
55 x17
65 x17, 17

Rear Delts on Reverse Pec Deck
3 x15

Felt good and normal. Like I could keep my chest up and my shoulders tight without supreme concentration and effort.

Some how, some time, I pulled my groin. I’m not sure if it happened Monday, during shitty squats or before, causing shitty squats or after, inflamed by shitty squatting. Anyway, something else to ice.


10-23 Solo Deload

Kettlebell Sidebend x6
Kettlebell Shrug x6
Kettlebell Suitcase Walk, Down and Back
Twice each side

Reverse Hypers x20
Dumbbell Shrug ,Chest Supported on Incline Bench x20
Cable Rear Delt x20
Rear Delt Destroyers x25
Twice around

Incline Press Machine x20
1 Arm Seated Cable Rows
Dip Machine x20
Twice. 3 sets of 1 Arm Seated Cable Rows because they were legit.

Seated Calf Raise
1 light with stretch at bottom
3 work sets, 1 wide/narrow/medium stance

Easy blood flow BS workout. Appetite and sleep have been off for 4-5 days. I skipped the gym yesterday and did this fitness session today. Made me remember the dark days when this shit was all I could do and was my entire routine. Anyway, it felt good today and I didn’t hate it.

1 Arm Seated Cable Rows were really good. I’ll try to remember to do those in the future. Incline and dip machines felt good together, I might work these in and turn bench day to chest day for awhile.


I listened to this podcast with Bret Contreras.

He talked about sciencey principles and how you could use them together to design programs. Putting it all together instead of focusing on one thing. All ideas we’ve heard before, but from more of a general fitness, but still serious perspective. He talked about 3 the mechanisms of hypertrophy (mechanical tension, metabolic stress and muscle damage) and how to use them together without having to push one balls to the wall. Almost like how a dude who is real good at organising would work out.

One obvious/genius thing he said that sticks out: If you have genetic soft tissue problems, like you’re always problems with tendons and pulls, dont go crazy with Muscle Damaging techniques like stretching the muscle under load and accentuating the negatives. Oh Yeah, duh!

10-26 Solo Legs, deload week

Single Leg Curl x8 x 2 sets
45 backraise x12
Do that twice

Squat Machine
Sets of 10 up to 3pps x10

some Sidebends Between Sets.

Step Ups
4 x10
Paired with Smith Machine RDLSs
4 x10

Band thru belt walk, step sideways on to short step x40
McGill Curl Up then regular crunch then Iso hold
Reverse Hypers x20
3 grips around

Seated Calves 4 x12 as cool down.

Machines and easy, focusedstuff with short rest. Good workout. A couple years ago I used this squat machine and it took a few workouts to get up to 3 plates, where I started today. Stronger on a machine than I was 2 years ago. Progress Baby!

I just went to the gym twice during this deload week. I was just sorta winging it, not following anyone’s advices/routine. I automatically reverted to paired sets and circuits and short rests. I must like that stuff.


My hamstrings have been sore for days. Those smith machine RDLs were way more effective than they felt at the time.

10-29 Mixed Doubles, Shoulders/Triceps

Shrugs, Face Down on Incline Bench 3 x20
1 Arm Pulldowns 2 x12
Rear Delts on PecDec 4 x12ish

Decline Close Grip Bench
45 x20, 20
95 x15
135 x12
155 x12
165 x12

Seated DB Press
20 x20, 20
30/35/40/45/50 x5

Close Grip Bench, Pause just barely off Chest +34 chains
95 x10
135 x10
155 x10
165 x8

Cable Tricep Pushdowns
5 x15. Used different grips

Good workout. Shrugs on an incline bench for mid-back squeeze is becoming one of my favorite lifts. Close Grip Bench with chains was cool. I could feel my shoulders start trying to squirm around near lock out on my heaviest set. Making this tighter seems like it will be good.


Controlled Angular Rotations for Shoulder Impingment.

You just move your arm in a circle like dude demonstrates. You can start farther from the wall. Anywhere in the ROM you are tight or can’t move properly you can just put your hand against the wall and stretch the wrong muscle or contract the right muscle. The more you suck, the more you have to stop, stretch and correct and the farther you will be from the wall. As you progress the motion gets smoother, bigger and more controlled.

The move also works as an assessment. You can feel what’s wrong/tight/not working properly and then roll, stretch, activate or strengthen based on that.

One of the moves here is arm circles with the band for resistance. This is really nice because you work the whole joint, in all directions/positions with 1 move instead of endless prehab stuff, 1 direction at a time. In my opinion, locking the elbow and wrist straight while the shoulder still moves is the most important thing involved in this little move. Start small, increase ROM while keeping elbow straight.

2 more good moves. One to get after the little muscle between your bicep and pec. People like hanging for their shoulders, but if your shoulder pain is bad enough, hanging is super painful and not really possible. This little band pullover type move is much less intense. The band uppercut motion is great to rehab bicep stuff.


10-30 Mixed Doubles, Back

Smith Machine RDL
2 sets working up
2 plates x12 x2 sets

Medium Width, Neutral Pulldowns
3 x12 working up to 180
160 x12

Dumbbell Row
55 x20
70 x15
80 x12

Snatch Grip Shrug, Hold at Top
95 x15
135 x15
185 x15
215 x12
235 x12

3 x30 reverse Hypers
2 x25 leg raises off Bench
1 x12 sidebends

Shoulda done a second kind of rowing.


11-1 Mixed Doubles, Chest/Front Delt/Biceps

Single Arm cable rows, single arm cable rear delts, Y-Raise for lower traps x2 sets of 12ish

Plate Loaded Incline Press Machine
5 x12, getting a feel for machine/motion.

Dumbbell Bench Press
4 x12ish, looking for that nice groove over the chest instead of above the shoulders.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise x8-12 right into dumbbell front raises x8-12 x 4 pairs

Barbell Curl x10 right into
Incline Dumbbell Curl x12
4 pairs

Side Plank then Stability Ball Crunches x2
McGill Curl Ups, into regular crunches into static ab hold.

Made a couple changes to this workout. Felt good. Muscles all swipe without getting to crash with weight or reps.