Week Two Of My Training Does Not Include “Jaw Day”

bench press
Photo credit: imgbuddy.com

This is the start of week two of my 5×5 exercise plan. I mentioned yesterday that I wasn’t going to push it, especially when my lower left back isn’t 100% recovered. However, I made a few slight changes from my last Plan A workout. Here are the details.

As usual, I took ~60-90 seconds rest between sets.

Barbell Bench Press

10x 115lbs/52.16kg (warm up)
5x 135lbs/61.23kg
5x 135lbs/61.23kg
5x 135lbs/61.23kg
5x 135lbs/61.23kg
5x 145lbs/65.77kg

Barbell Bent Over Row

8x 115lbs/52.16kg (warm up)
5x 135lbs/61.23kg
5x 135lbs/61.23kg
5x 135lbs/61.23kg
5x 135lbs/61.23kg
5x 145lbs/65.77kg

Barbell Hack Squat

8x 135lbs/61.23kg (warm up)
5x 155lbs/70.3kg
5x 155lbs/70.3kg
5x 155lbs/70.3kg
5x 155lbs/70.3kg
5x 155lbs/70.3kg

Pull ups (body weight)

5x
3x
3x

Overhead Cable Triceps Extensions w/rope

10x 60lbs/27.21kg (warm up)
8x 80lbs/36.28kg
8x 80lbs/36.28kg
8x 80lbs/36.28kg
8x 75lbs/34.01kg
8x 75lbs/34.01kg

Pull ups (body weight)

3x
2x

After my recent failure with the close grip bench press, I was a little unsure of myself doing regular bench presses, but the wider grip seems to make all the difference. Although I didn’t increase the weight from the previous week generally, I upped the weight slightly just for the last set. I had to put a bit of an extra push into finishing 5 reps, but I did it.

home body workout
Photo credit: nateanglin.com

As you can see, I also did the same for my bent over rows getting the same results. I didn’t feel confident increasing the weight for my last set of hack squats since I was pretty fatigued and out-of-breath at that point. I’ll have to work up to that one.

Keeping the weight somewhat “light” on the hack squats did afford me the opportunity to get my thighs to go parallel to the floor and even to lower myself a tad bit more. It wasn’t so much that I felt the effort in my quads (although I do now whenever I stand up), I just felt effort as I was standing back up after each squat. It took a lot (for me, anyway) to muscle through each set.

Sad to say that the bent over rows aggravated my almost healed lower left back. It was pretty tender by the time I left the gym. I need a way to accelerate the healing process before Wednesday, since deadlifts will definitely be challenging. Of course, so will the hack squats, since I can feel the back stress as I stand after each squat.

After my first set of pull ups, my son David came over and said I wasn’t using a full range of motion. He encouraged me to lower myself all the way back down after each pull up.

That, sadly, made a big difference in my performance as I’m sure you noticed. I could only manage 3 reps in sets 2 and 3 when lowering myself completely. He also suggested I use a wider grip to more fully engage my lats.

I have to admit, it’s nice having someone around to critique my performance and give me tips. Being a “lone wolf” weight/strength trainer has its drawbacks.

It must have been “jaw day” at the gym, because a couple of regulars who are usually in a training class were yakking it up next to the only weighted cable station I could use for my triceps extension. The only other one available that’s outside of the “jungle gym” doesn’t have a height adjustment, and I need to put the cable pulley pretty much on the floor.

I had to politely interrupt them and ask if they were done. Yes, they were. Hopefully, my disdain didn’t come through in my voice or facial expression. They were even talking to each other while doing lat pulldowns and triceps extensions. I don’t think I’d have the breath in me to talk while lifting and I’d find it incredibly distracting for anyone to address me while I moving around heavy (for me) weights.

I hate to play the “I work harder at the gym than they do” card, but as the quote from Fred DeVito says on this blog’s main page, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” These guys didn’t seem particularly challenged.

Please, don’t be like those guys at the gym. You don’t have to be unfriendly and it’s not like you can’t take someone you know to the gym, but when you’re lifting, actually work hard. Concentrate. Focus. I can see a little light chatter between sets for a minute or so, but once you’re done with a piece of equipment, don’t stand around it and talk for five minutes. If you’re done, you’re done. Give someone else a chance to use it.

There is no such thing at the gym as “jaw day.” Give it a rest.

Okay, rant over.

I’m still trying to get a bead on the right weight for triceps extensions. I thought I could warm up at 60 pounds and then do all 5 working sets at 80 pounds, but it didn’t work out that way. After the third set, I had to knock it down by 5 pounds to make sure I could do 8 reps for the last 2 sets. Even then, that last set was murder.

When I was finished, my son was still on one of the treadmill machines and I had a few minutes to kill, so I thought I’d get another couple of pull up sets in. Being particularly tired, I could only manage 3 reps on the first set (I guess you could call it the fourth set) and 2 reps on the last, making sure to lower myself completely before pulling up again. Oh well, there’s always next time.

jaw day
Photo credit: humoar.com

I may have to “re-invent” the idea of progressive overload. Instead of increasing the weight of all sets of each exercise week over week, I may have to increase the weight for one or two sets of the five for a more gradual build up. This is based on my progress to date, particularly with the close grip bench press. If I overload too much or too quickly, I could easily find myself pinned under a barbell again or worse. Anyway, something to ponder for the next day or so.

That’s it for today. Tomorrow it’s ab work and cardio, and then anticipating workout B on Wednesday.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

Ronald Reagan

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