Barbarian, Civilized, or a Bit of Both?

arnold squat
Photo credit:

Ouch, ouch, ouch. Lots of “sore” to go around. Muscles pretty tired post-workout. This is the last lifting day for round 2, week 1 of my continued “mutant” strength training routine.

I woke up 2 hours before I needed to and finally got up over an hour before my alarm was set to go off at 4 a.m. Oh well. No rest for the weary.

Couldn’t find a yam, so I just had a banana for carbs along with my water and coffee.

I’ve been noticing my weight creeping up this week, but I don’t think I’ve been overeating particularly. I can only hope that lifting less weight for more reps is creating some gains and that the weight is added muscle as opposed to fat.

Got to the gym right before it opened so I was standing at the squat rack 30 seconds after the lights went on.

I decided to add more time to my rest, so I’d sit as much as I could for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes between sets, except when I was changing the weight on the barbell.

Barbell Back Squat in Squat Rack

10x 135lbs/61.23kg
10x 155lbs/70.3kg
10x 170lbs/77.11kg
10x 170lbs/77.11kg
8x 180lbs/81.64kg (Bonus)

Barbell Close Grip Bench Press

10x 85lbs/38.55kg
10x 105lbs/47.62kg
10x 115lbs/52.16kg
10x 115lbs/52.16kg
8x 125lbs/56.69kg (Bonus)

Barbell Bent Leg Deadlifts

10x 140lbs/63.5kg
10x 165lbs/74.84kg
10x 195lbs/88.45kg
10x 195lbs/88.45kg
8x 205lbs/92.98 (Bonus)

Barbell Overhead Press

10x 50lbs/22.67kg
10x 55lbs/24.94kg
10x 60lbs/27.21kg
10x 60lbs/27.21kg

snatch deadlift
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Barbell Standing Curls (Fixed Weight Barbells)

10x 50lbs/22.67kg
10x 60lbs/27.21kg
10x 70lbs/31.75kg
10x 70lbs/31.75kg

Body Weight Upon Awakening:

192.2 lbs/ ~87.18 kg/ ~13.72 stone

Height (for reference):

6′ 2 3/4″ or 74.75 inches/1.89865 meters or 189.865 cm

On the one hand, it’s Friday and everything feels heavier because my body’s at the end of a week of exercise. On the other hand, it’s Friday and it’s time to roar a little, so I added some bonus sets while my body held out.

Since next week the weights go up a bit and the reps go down to 8 for each set, I decided to “try out” next week, so to speak, by doing a bonus set of squats at 180 pounds. Did 8 reps just fine for an extra workout for my quads, hams, and glutes. I got low enough in my reps to where I could even feel the effort in my calves.

Same deal for close grip presses, except next week’s working weight is 120 pounds for 8 reps, and today, my bonus set was 125 pounds for 8 reps.

I also pushed it for my deadlifts. Next week’s working weight is 200 pounds even, but I did a bonus set today of 205 pounds for 8 reps. Yeah, it was challenging but I pushed through.

The thing is, by the time I was done with all that, I didn’t have a lot left in me. I barely made it through my overhead press, even though I took my working weight to 60 pounds and not 65 pounds like I accidentally set it on Monday.

As I was about to start my standing barbell curls, I noticed that my hands were shaking, indicating that I’m pretty tired at this point. On the other hand, the curls were beckoning me, and I didn’t turn them down.

I did manage to finish all of my lifts including the bonuses, but I actually went overtime by about 10 minutes. I think it was the extra resting periods between sets that did it. I definitely had no time for any zercher squats or my hanging exercises. I just left when I was done.

I also felt a little like the maid at the gym today.

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Usually, when someone is using a bench or a weight rack, you don’t take any weight plates from that station because they’re already claimed…

…or so I thought.

I was sitting on the bench resting between sets of deadlifts, when I felt some “vibration” on the bench. I looked back and saw a woman, one of the regulars in the weight room, take a 35 pound plate off of my bench rack. When she noticed me looking at her, she smiled, then proceeded to do some squats while holding the plate in her hands between her legs.

Good thing I didn’t need my 35s. I almost reached for them when I did my bonus set, but I just used a 25 and 10 pound plate on each side of my barbell instead.

It wasn’t that big a deal (and the next part probably isn’t either), but when she put it back (at least she put it back), she put both 35s on the same side of the bench. Typically, one goes on each side for ease of loading on the bar. So, during a rest period, I fixed it. Guess I’m compulsive.

Then there was the guy using the squat rack. Actually, he was alternating between the leg press machine and the squat rack. He had the barbell set for 95 pounds and was doing sets of 5 reps. OK, so the testosterone-soaked part of my brain got competitive remembering my own numbers for the squat, but I suppressed it.

I stopped paying attention to him and got back to work, but later on, I noticed he’d left without deloading the barbell. OK, so it’s not a huge deal, but gym rules say that once you’re done with the equipment, you put things back the way you found them.

For that matter, there are signs all over the place telling gym patrons to put the weight plates back on their pegs and not leave them all over the floor. This morning, there were weights all over the floor by the squat rack.

Yeah, we’re supposed to pretend we’re barbarians when we lift, but we are expected to be civilized human beings when we’re done. The gym is a shared space, not each person’s individual workout room.

“Your Mommy doesn’t work here. Put your stuff away when you’re done playing.”

Oh, I checked all this with my son David to see if I was just being picky, but if I am, he’s picky the same way.

am I the only oneIf anyone reading this tends to be “careless” at the gym, please stop. No one wants to have to pick up after you. Being strong is more than just the amount of weight you can lift. It’s behaving responsibly. You’ll get a lot more respect at the gym by being considerate of other people and the equipment than leaving the weight rack looking like a dog dish. Don’t be that guy or gal.

End of rant.

That’s the end of week 1 in round 2. I ache all over but it’s a good ache. Let’s hope “ache” turns into muscle and strength. I’m going to need it for week 2.

You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.

Michael Jordan


2 thoughts on “Barbarian, Civilized, or a Bit of Both?

  1. Good evening J. I may have asked you this before . . . why is your #BackSquat so close to your #Deadlift? I know mine are split to far apart because Ima slow getting going on the squat, but it seems your DL would be higher based on your BS. Just curious.

    And no you are not being too picky. I will occasionally leave change plates on a bar when my sesh is finished, but the gym is in my basement. And Ima the only one that lifts there. And my plates are laid out EXACTLY so they are matched side to side.

    “Leave everything better than the way you found it.”

    Have a great weekend!


    1. Greetings,

      You’re asking me why the weight I use for squats is so similar to deadlifts.

      Probably because I’m still a novice at all of this. In my defense, I can only say that I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got. I do seem to be getting steadily stronger, but I would rather go at a slow but steady pace rather than try to (in my opinion) jump steps, suddenly go a lot heavier, and injure myself.

      If I worked out in a basement, I’d probably not be so particular, since I’d be the only one affected by the condition of my personal gym. I’m sure I’d be more like you and everything would be arranged for my convenience, which makes a lot of sense.

      Hope you’re weekend is going well.



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