Out of Gas

out of gas can
Photo credit: giveeveryday.com

Based on the title of today’s blog post as well as yesterday’s, you may be thinking that I’m taking these essays in an “automotive” direction. No, not really. It just seemed to fit the consequence of my really intense (for me) Leg Day yesterday.

But I suppose none of that will make any sense until you see what my workout was like. Here’s what I did. As always, I rested ~60-90 seconds between sets.

Barbell Hack Squats

  1. 10x 110lbs/49.89kg (warm up)
  2. 7x 130lbs/58.96kg
  3. 7x 130lbs/58.96kg
  4. 7x 130lbs/58.96kg
  5. 5x 140lbs/63.5kg
  6. 5x 150lbs/68.03kg

Barbell Straight Leg Deadlifts

  1. 10x 130lbs/58.96kg
  2. 7x 150lbs/68.03kg
  3. 7x 150lbs/68.03kg
  4. 5x 170lbs/77.11kg
  5. 5x 170lbs/77.11kg

Barbell Standing Calf Raises

  1. 15x 130lbs/58.96kg
  2. 15x 140lbs/63.5kg
  3. 15x 150lbs/68.03kg

Plate Loaded Leg Press

  1. 12x 250lbs/113.39kg
  2. 10x 250lbs/113.39kg
  3. 10x 250lbs/113.39kg
  4. 8x 250lbs/113.39kg
weighted cable crunch
Photo credit: musclemag.com

Captain’s Chair Leg Lifts

  1. x15
  2. x12
  3. x10

Weighted Cable Crunches with Rope Attachment

  1. 20x 145lbs/64.77kg
  2. 15x 145lbs/64.77kg
  3. 15x 145lbs/64.77kg

At this point, it had been 45 minutes since I entered the gym and started working out. As you can see at Bodybuilding.com (and in the photo just above), weighted cable crunches are performed on your knees, which is where I found myself at the end of the third set, dripping sweat on the floor with my chest heaving because I was out of breath.

I looked up at the clock and saw I had time to get in another calf raise exercise but my body felt like a soggy sponge. After 45 minutes of mostly intense lifting, pushing, pulling, and crunching, I was out of gas, or more likely, out of carbs. I knew my body was telling me to stop and not do anything stupid. Time to check my ego.

Comparing yesterday to last week’s Leg Day, I definitely upped the weight on the Hack Squats as well as number of reps per set. On the last set, I exceeded my max weight for this exercise by 10 pounds.

I did the opposite for the Deadlifts. Given that I’d gone a little heavy yesterday on Bent Leg Deadlifts, I decided to go a tad lighter for Straight Leg Deadlifts to give my lower back a break (well, not a literal break). My heaviest deadlift yesterday was 10 pounds lighter than the prior week, but it still felt plenty challenging.

Also, keeping last week in mind, I deliberately went a lot lighter on the Leg Presses, keeping all 4 sets at 250lbs. This not only allowed me to do 4 sets, but to up the reps to the 8-12 range.

Backing up a bit, after deadlifts, since the barbell was right there on the floor, I decided to do standing calf raises, upping the weight with each set. This seemed to work better than the seated calf raises, which habitually seem to result in one of my calves cramping. No problem with that doing standing raises for some reason. Maybe because the extension of the calves isn’t as long as on the machine.

I was going to do some Decline Bench Crunches, but there’s only one decline bench and someone beat me to it. I switched to the Captain’s chair and then returned to the weight room for the weighted cable crunches.

Just like on Tuesday, throughout the vast majority of my workout, I’m soaking my shirt with sweat and dripping all over the floor, the benches, and the equipment. I felt like I’d gotten a very productive workout for Leg Day and I knew that I was well and truly done by the end of the session.

muscles used for a deadlift
Photo credit: imgbuddy.com

It didn’t hit me until I got home, but my legs and glutes felt like lead, that is, they were heavy. It was like my butt was trying to drag the rest of me into a seated position while I walked. There wasn’t any pain, though. That comes the day after Leg Day.

Going into the gym and contemplating deadlifts, I was a little concerned that the soreness I was already feeling in my lower back was either going to impair my performance or possibly even lead to injury. While I did pull back on the weight a little, my deadlifts were spot on and I got a nice stretch of my hams on each rep. Even now, there is just the smallest amount of soreness in my lower back as I get up from a chair but it subsides pretty quickly as I’m walking.

I had been planning to hold off on adopting a full 5×5 strength and muscle building routine for several more weeks, but I’m considering putting it through a trial run next week, just for a single week. For part of the following week, I’ll be out-of-town on business, which will punch a hole in my exercise routine but also provide a rest period after trying out a whole week of 5x5s.

I haven’t totally made up my mind yet, but it’s certainly a consideration.

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burdens behind us.

Samuel Smiles

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