Why Is Everything Heavier on Friday?

today is leg dayDon’t feel like I’m doing all that well today. I slept poorly last night, part of it on the sofa. I woke up dreading getting on the bathroom scale and feeling nervous about going to the gym, which is unusual for me. Turns out there were good reasons for both.

I’d picked up almost a pound overnight. I hope it’s muscle, but I did have that bagel with cream cheese yesterday, so there are no guarantees.

My wife bought me several t-shirts for me to workout in to replace or augment the ratty, old, oversized gray t-shirt I normally wear. I chose the tightest one, a black t-shirt, and it seemed for the first time to fit pretty well. I hoped it was a good sign.

Then I got to the gym. Here’s what happened. I tried to rest ~60-90 seconds between sets but for those last two sets of hack squats, it was more like a two-minute rest. I was really tired.

Barbell Hack Squats

5x 135lbs/61.23kg (warm up)
5x 185lbs/83.91kg
5x 185lbs/83.91kg
5x 185lbs/83.91kg
5x 185lbs/83.91kg
5x 185lbs/83.91kg

Barbell Bench Press

5x 135lbs/61.23kg (warm up)
5x 150lbs/68.03kg
5x 150lbs/68.03kg
5x 150lbs/68.03kg
5x 150lbs/68.03kg
5x 150lbs/68.03kg

Barbell Bent Over Rows

5x 135lbs/61.23kg (warm up)
5x 150lbs/68.03kg
5x 150lbs/68.03kg
5x 150lbs/68.03kg
5x 150lbs/68.03kg
5x 150lbs/68.03kg

hack squat
Photo credit: galleryhip.com

Overhead Cable Triceps Extensions w/rope

8x 70lbs/31.75kg (warm up)
8x 90lbs/40.82kg
8x 90lbs/40.82kg
6x 90lbs/40.82kg

Pull ups (bodyweight)


I powered through the hack squats but standing up from the bottom of the “gravity well” was murder. I hope my quads are getting something out of this. They’d better. Come Monday, I have to increase the weight on this exercise again.

I did the same weight on bench presses that I did on Monday and it seemed a little harder than I remember. I managed to get through okay, but that last set especially I really had to concentrate to finish all 5 reps, resting at the top of the fourth rep just for an extra second or two.

I wasn’t really satisfied with my bent over rows. It seemed like I was having trouble hauling the barbell all the way up to my torso and I’m dubious that I was using a full range of motion (more on that in a minute).

I decided to up the weight slightly on the warm up portion of my overhead triceps extensions. My son David came over to kibitz once I started my working sets, and pointed out that my elbows were flaring out too wide, which means I was engaging more of my shoulders and less of my triceps.

I focused on keeping them in more and the result was only 6 reps on the last set. Of course, he was talking to me when I was working so that was pretty distracting too.

He’s probably right, which means I’m going too heavy on the triceps extensions and I’ll have to back down on the weight to improve my form.


Same for my pull ups. After the first set of 5 reps, he said I was lowering myself most but not all of the way down. We discussed keeping the shoulders engaged at the bottom, but he demonstrated that I was still too high at the bottom, engaging my shoulders and upper back.

I tried it his way and only could manage 3 reps on the second set and a mere 2 reps on the final set.

I’m thinking about temporarily switching to weighted lat pulldowns and setting the weight at less than my body weight. If I do, for instance, 180lbs/81.64kg, that might make it possible for me to do 3 sets at 5 reps each. From there, I can build up to my body weight and switch back over to standard pull ups after that.

runWell, it’s a thought.

I made it though another week, but all in all, it was a pretty discouraging morning. After I got home, I noticed my t-shirt was bunching up and didn’t fit as well as I thought originally. A small detail, but a lot of such small details have been adding up this morning.

Even now, my arms and shoulders feel tired and heavy, and when I stand up and start walking, my legs feel like they weigh a ton each. My traps and lats ache. Either I had one heck of an effective workout or I’m a wimp.

There are days when I think I’ve made the gym my b*tch but today, I’m her b*tch.

Tomorrow is my final ab and cardio session for the week. May next week be better.

That which does not kill me should run.

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