Meditations, Musings & Muscular Contractions

Pull & leg workout a couple of days ago, & chest+delts+arms+RDL&Shrugs earlier today. I’ve been in a deficit for a few days but have been back in a surplus recently as my health improves. This day was slightly different as I’ve added leg curls to this day instead of doing them on the other day.

Underhand Lat Pulldowns: 110kg 8.5, 100kg 8
Leg Curls: 75kg 8, 65kg 8
Tbar Rows: 55kg for 8, 65kg for 8, 55kg for 6

So lat pulldowns went really well, especially considering the deficit. This was like 99% powered by a large Chinese meal the night before with all the cals & sodium still in me. Leg curls I basically went 5kg heavier on both sets for a similar number of reps to when I’d go 5kg lighter after RDLs or Good Mornings & have a little fatigue from those, (evidently). Nice to see these stronger, although the entire stack is 90kg so I hope I don’t have a load issue eventually. Rows sorta fell away on the last set. Super important: The day after my first RDL session I had novel soreness in my upper back. Not the top of the traps & not the lats but various midback muscles. So RDLs seem to hit the upper back a lot harder than Good Mornings. Interesting. And this affected my rows a little bit but I’m not too worried about it, I actually think my recovery will improve since it was such a novel stimulus. In fact RDLs sound super fucking efficient.

Leg Press (pin loaded): 165lb 6, 6, 6
Hip Adduction: 100kg for 12
Decline Situps: 5kg for 6
Calf Raises: 151kg for 10

PR on leg press but it’s still a novel stimulus so no biggie. I did adduction like one minute later since it was free, hence the 12 reps compared to 15 the previous session. Situps I’m working on holding the plate above my head further back for harder leverage, literally wasn’t capable of it earlier on so this is a PR in some respect. Calf Raises nothing special today.

Pec Deck: 115kg for 6, 100kg for 7, 95kg for 7
Reverse Pec Deck: 60kg for 10, 85kg for 8
Star Trak OHP: 50kg for 7, 60kg for 9, 50kg for 6 (SS)
DB Overhead Extension: 30kg for 7, 24kg for 10

Went way way heavier on DB overhead extensions, maybe shoulda left it at 28kg but whatever.

Cable Lateral: 7.5kg for 7, 4
Rope Pushdown: 25kg for 8, 30kg for 9/4, 30kg for 6/4

I normally do biceps at the same time as the above, then hip hinge & shrug later in the day, (after work since it’s not a weekend), but today I decided to curl after I RDL & shrug since it’s weird holding that heavy bar with tired biceps.

RDL: 120kg for 10, 10
Shrug: 130kg for 8, 8
Preacher Curl: 28kg 12, 9
Hammer Incline Curl: 16kg 8, 14kg 8

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A lovely Saturday training session. Felt good to also have leg curls here on this day. Made the workout feel slightly more substantial. Without the leg curls, this training day would have six exercises versus the other workout - chest/arms/delts + RDL/shrugs/leg curls, containing eleven exercises. Now it’s Seven exercises to ten, a better balance. It doesn’t need to be 1:1 on the number of exercises. It’s a matter of feeling it out basically, due to the different levels of fatigue from different movements. I think in that respect it’s now close to 1:1. A step in the right direction.

Underhand Lat Pulldowns: 110kg 8.6, 100kg 8
Leg Curls: 75kg 9, 65kg 9

Getting closer to 110kg lat pulldowns for that top set of 9 reps. Closer than last time at least. Leg curls - this is actually a cause for celebration, adding an entire rep to the top set & backoff set from last session to this one. Felt strong, came out on top, nice. One of the two proper highlights of the workout.

Leg Press (switch-pin loaded): 100kg 6, 6, 7
Hip Adduction: 100kg for 12

Back on this leg press after doing a different one the session before. Went up one pin amount basically but again, it’s mostly neural at this stage. Hip adduction literally like one minute afterwards, so only hit 12 reps. Kinda hoped to do more actually.

Tbar Rows: 55kg for 8, 65kg for 9, 55kg for 8
Decline Situps: 5kg for 6
Calf Raises: 151kg for 8

Tbar rows, great win, hitting 65kg for a top set of 9 reps, very good stuff. Calf raises were underrecovered it seems, quite odd. Decline situps, I managed to do all 6 reps with the weight held behind my head well & proper.

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RDL/Shrugs/Bro Day today. This was slightly different. I trained RDLs, shrugs & curls at lunch time & then did chest, delts & tris in the evening after work.

RDLs: 122.5kg for 10, 10
Shrugs: 135kg for 9, 8

Added 2.5kg on the RDLs & still managed two sets of 10, not losing any reps despite the load increase. I filmed the set from side on & the speed looked fine, felt harder than it looked. Shrugs, also adding a rep here. 7 hours after the RDLs & I still feel that fatigue in my lower back, big time.

Preacher Curls: 30.5kg 11 28kg 9
Machine Preacher Curls: 55kg 7, 45kg 8

EZ bar preacher curls, I added 2.5kg onto the bar, going from 28kg last time, to 30.5kg this time. Big jump, but this was fine because it was like my third time doing these so I only lost a rep & ended up with 11. Dropped to 28kg on the backoff set for 9 reps. Went to the familiar movement, machine preacher curls, but only matched my performance, not beating it.

Back in the gym six hours later, (rush hour, busy as hell).

Pec Deck: 115kg for 6, 100kg for 6, 95kg for 7
Reverse Pec Deck: 60kg for 10, 85kg for 9

Nothing here, (well, the reverse one was ok). Progress has been shit on pec deck since I increased the ROM. Not sure if I’m under-recovered, (additional stimulus from the stretched position). I could never ever ‘feel’ under-recovered when it comes to the vast majority of my body. I did tens of chest work twice a week & made no gains but I wasn’t feeling like crap all the time, or at all really.

DB OHP: 24kg for 7, 9, 22kg for 9
DB Overhead Extension: 24kg for 6, 30kg for 8, 24kg for 11

First time doing DB OHP in a long time, this year for sure. First set felt like crap but improved shortly after. Stabilizers. Here’s my reason for the change - if recent exercise science literature is to be trusted, then the stretched position is much more consequential to growth than the short position. I liked machine OHP because of the stress it puts on the front delt when you’re near full extension, but I now wonder if that’s pointless if you’re losing out on the brute damage of the bottom of the lift. So, I’ll go back to DB for a little while. BIG win on DB overhead extensions, hitting that 30kg dumbbell up for 8 reps, & then backoff set adding a rep there too. Win, win.

Cable Lateral: 7.5kg for 8.5, 5
Rope Pushdown: 25kg for 8, 30kg for 11/2, 27.5kg for 9/2

Little PR also on rope pushdowns, I’ll gladly take it. And promising performance on laterals.

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Writing this workout without commentary as it was three days ago.

Underhand Lat Pulldowns: 110kg 8, 100kg 8
Leg Curls: 80kg 7, 65kg 9
Leg Press (plate loaded): 120kg for 6, 6, 6
Hip Adduction: 100kg for 13
Tbar Rows: 55kg for 6, 70kg for 6, 55kg for 10
Decline Situps: 5kg for 6
Calf Raises: 105kg for 8

Today’s session. Saturday morning, got it all done uninterrupted.

RDLs: 125kg for 10, 6
Shrugs: 140kg for 8, 8

Unfortunately my lower back felt funky on that second set, could feel my disk bulging a little bit, so cut it short. Strong on shrugs though.

Pec Deck: 115kg for 7, 100kg for 7, 95kg for 8
Reverse Pec Deck: 60kg for 10, 85kg for 8

Good performance on pec deck today.

DB OHP: 24kg for 10, 22kg for 10
DB Overhead Extension: 24kg for 6, 30kg for 9, 24kg for 11

Adding a rep on my top set of OHP, & also adding a rep on DB overhead extensions, hitting that 30kg dumbbell for 9 reps, awesome.

Preacher Curls: 33kg 9, 30.5kg 10
Reverse Preacher Curls: 20.5kg for 10, 8

Went heavier on preacher curls by 2.5kg today, going from 30.5kg on the top set to 33kg, reps went from 11 to 9. Increased the weight on the backoff set from 28kg for 9 to 30.5kg for 10 which is really awesome. New lift - preacher curls with a reverse grip! Good choice of weight. Yep, I’m going all-in on the preacher bench for bicep stuff, no more machines for a little while. Weighted stretch lifts are getting that priority & I’ll see what happens.

Cable Lateral: 7.5kg for 7, 4
Rope Pushdown: 25kg for 8, 30kg for 12/2, 27.5kg for 9/2

Good PR on pushdowns, adding a rep on my top set with 30kg, awesome awesome.

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Yesterday’s training session.

Underhand Lat Pulldowns: 110kg 7, 100kg 7
Leg Curls: 80kg 8, 65kg 9

Guess I was a little under-recovered on pulldowns, getting one less rep than my best. Leg curls went amazing however, since I turned my previous performance of 80kg by a rep & securing a new PR with 80kg for 8.

Leg Press (switchpin loaded): 100kg 6, 110kg 6, 100kg 6
Hip Adduction: 100kg for 14

I think the neural gains on leg press have come & now it’s about adding muscle to get stronger. Still, little PR today with 110kg for 6.

Tbar Rows: 55kg for 6, 70kg for 7, 55kg for 9
Decline Situps: 5kg for 6
Calf Raises: 100kg for 9

Great PR on Tbar rows with 70kg for 7, adding a whole rep on the previous performance, awesome stuff.

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I wouldn’t normally train today, the day after my previous workout, but tomorrow I have a work lunch so I can’t train at mid-day, and I don’t really want to do the chest, delts, arms & RDLs & shrugs workout after work before a rehearsal for a theatre production, (5 weeks out). So, I did chest, delts, and arms today, and I’ll do the RDLs and shrugs tomorrow, which should take me all of 20 minutes.

Pec Deck: 115kg for 7.7, 100kg for 8, 7
Reverse Pec Deck: 60kg for 10, 85kg for 9

Pec deck went well, small PR there.

DB OHP: 26kg for 8, 22kg for 10
DB Overhead Extension: 24kg for 6, 30kg for 10, 24kg for 11

Increased the weight from 24kg to 26kg on my top set of dumbbell OHP, & got enough reps with the heavier weight to consider it a small improvement. Awesome PR today on overhead extensions, increasing the top set from 30kg for 9 to 30kg for 10.

Preacher Curls: 33kg 10, 30.5kg 10
Reverse Preacher Curls: 20.5kg for 11, 9

Really busted my ass on preacher curls to get that 10th rep with 33kg, feels awesome. Second time performing reverse preacher curls, in which I turned the rep count from 10, 8, to 11, 9 which is nice but I also expected it considering it’s the second time doing this new movement.

Behind the Back Cable Lateral: 5kg 9, 7
Pushdown: 25kg 8, 32.5kg 9/2, 27.5kg 9/2

Performed behind the back cable lateral raises for the first time and they were great. You can get a stretch on this movement if your hand is in front of your body or behind, but I think it’s slightly better with the hand behind the body. Another thing that I noticed is that the top position is a little bit easier and the bottom is a little bit harder compared to in front of the body, which is strange because I can’t fully envision why, since the height of the cable is the same, and my height is the same, hmm. Added weight on pushdowns & they went pretty good too!


RDLs: 125kg for 11, 11
Shrugs: 140kg for 8, 8

Went to the gym just to do these. Awesome PR on RDLs, adding not just a rep on the first set but also the second by a significant margin. May jump to 130kg for next time.

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Underhand Lat Pulldowns: 110kg 7.5, 100kg 6.5
Leg Curls: 80kg 9, 65kg 9

No dice on pulldowns today either. However, big news on lying leg curls, hitting 80kg for 9 reps, an all-time PR. The entire stack is 90kg so I may run into an overload issue at some point. Especially since I’m already doing two seconds up two seconds down rep speed.

Leg Press (pin loaded): 165lb 6, 180lb 7, 6
Hip Adduction: 100kg for 12

Firstly, nice PR on this leg press. But man, little things that you don’t necessarily get told - leg pressing DEEP definitely hits the adductors pretty hard because they’re more tired from this than they ever were on hack squats, hence why I’m just coasting on hip adduction machine while the leg press gets stronger.

Tbar Rows: 55kg for 6, 70kg for 8, 55kg for 9
Decline Situps: 5kg for 6
Calf Raises: 151kg for 11

Really nice stuff on rows, adding a rep on the top set - it was a little weak so I’m gonna try to consolidate it & make it look more convincing next time. And calf raises with 151kg, (obviously a different machine to the one where I struggle with 105kg), for 11 reps, a PR on this machine, which is nice.

Monday is a public holiday so I’ll definitely be lifting then - Chest/Delts/Arms & RDLs+Shrugs. I’m looking forward to trying out 130kg RDLs, adding a rep on DB OHP & DB overhead extensions, doing preacher curls again & reverse preacher curls, & doing cable laterals behind the back once again.

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RDLs: 130kg for 10, 10
Shrugs: 140kg for 9, 8

RDLs today going heavier than before, increasing from 125kg to 130kg & hitting two sets of 10 reps, went pretty well! I’ll probably do 135kg next time on the first set & probably drop to 130kg on the second set. 140kg not too far away.

Pec Deck: 115kg for 8, 100kg for 9, 8
Reverse Pec Deck: 60kg for 10, 85kg for 7

Another PR on pec deck, finally hitting 115kg for 8 with the handles a little further back. I think RDLs & shrugs very very marginally fatigued my rear delts hence the shitty performance on these today.

DB OHP: 26kg for 8, 22kg for 10
DB Overhead Extension: 26kg for 6, 32kg for 9, 26kg for 9

Nothing progression-wise on DB OHP unfortunately, ah well. Anyway, a real nice PR on overhead extensions. Increased the acclimation set weight from 24kg to 26kg for 6, & increased the top set weight from 30kg to 32kg & went from 10 to 9 reps with this increase, which I consider a small PR. Dropped down to 26kg instead of 24kg about 90 seconds later for a set of 9 reps.

Preacher Curls: 35.5kg 7, 30.5kg 11
Reverse Preacher Curls: 23kg for 10, 8

Added 2.5kg on the top set of preacher curls, going up to 35.5kg. It was heavy, just got 7 reps, wouldn’t go heavier than this. Same backoff set weight, 30.5kg, where I added a rep somehow, this was brutally hard. Reverse preacher curls I also added 2.5kg which is a tremendous amount of weight to add to a reverse curl, & managed to hit 10, 8, which is only a rep drop by 1 with all that weight added, very happy with this.

Behind the Back Cable Lateral: 5kg 13, 8
Pushdown: 27.5kg 8, 32.5kg 10/2, 27.5kg 9/2

Waaaaay stronger on these laterals than my first time doing them 4 days ago, but this particular cable station’s 5kg load is about 5% lighter than the one I used at the other gym that other time. Still, this is a big rep increase. I only rested between the sets long enough to do the other arm. Added a rep on rope pushdowns on the top set which is really fantastic too. And that concluded the workout. For a guy who doesn’t do a lot of sets per muscle, this workout sure has a lot of sets.

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