Feeling Green at the End of Round 2, Week 4

LouSo I wore this t-shirt (the image seems bigger on my shirt) to the gym this morning. Actually, there’s a funny story about it (well, to me). I got dressed for the gym and put on a light zip up sweat shirt because it was kind of chilly outside. My wife got up to get ready for work but didn’t notice my shirt at first.

Then I heard her exclaim, “What the heck is that (or words to that effect)…Is that the shirt you paid $26.00 for? It’s ugly!”

Oh well, I guess the Hulk has a face only a mother could love…but my wife doesn’t love it (to be fair, the Hulk is supposed to look scary).

Anyway, I walked into the gym wearing my “Hulk” t-shirt. No one said anything about it or reacted…well, I think I caught one guy in my peripheral vision smirking at me, but that was about it.

I probably won’t wear it to the gym again until my son David comes with me so he can take a photo of me, hopefully lifting some insane weight (I’m thinking deadlift) and grimacing like a maniac.

Speaking of lifting weights, here’s how Friday morning’s workout went. I rested an average of about 120 seconds between sets, sometimes a little more, occasionally less.

Barbell Back Squats in Squat Rack

4x 160lbs/72.5748kg
4x 185lbs/83.9146kg
4x 215lbs/97.5224kg
4x 215lbs/97.5224kg
3x 220lbs/99.7903kg (Bonus set)

Barbell Bench Press

4x 145lbs/65.7709kg
4x 155lbs/70.3068kg
4x 170lbs/77.1107kg
4x 170lbs/77.1107kg
3x 175lbs/79.3787kg (Bonus set)

Barbell Bent Over Row

4x 145lbs/65.7709kg
4x 155lbs/70.3068kg
4x 170lbs/77.1107kg
5x 170lbs/77.1107kg (Bonus rep)
3x 175lbs/79.3787kg (Bonus set)

bench press
Photo credit: bodyworks24.com

Cable Triceps Extension w/Rope

8x 65lbs/29.4835kg
6x 85lbs/38.5554kg
5x 90lbs/40.8233kg
4x 90lbs/40.8233kg

Pull ups (Bodyweight)

5x
5x
4x

Barbell Zercher Squats in Squat Rack (Bonus)

8x 135lbs/61.235kg
8x 155lbs/70.3068kg
6x 185lbs/83.9146kg

Body Hang w/Shoulders Engaged (Bodyweight)

x35 seconds

Dead Hang (Bodyweight)

x25 seconds

Body Weight on Awakening

191 lbs / 86.6361 kg / 13.6429 stone

As you can see, I had a pretty full morning. Workout A (above) seems to go more quickly than Workout B. I’m not sure why unless the overhead press and standing curls just take more out of me, requiring more rest between sets.

Anyway, I tried to do my best in the squat rack. I was feeling rested and more focused, so I concentrated on going as low as I could. I felt it in my lower back as I got down into the squat and I wonder if I’m not balancing correctly. This even happens in zercher squats when my legs hit parallel to the floor.

However, I was still feisty enough to put 5 more pounds on the bar and do 3 reps at the heaviest weight I’ve ever done in a squat. That’s my projected working weight for next week (though I’d love to bump it up to 225).

barbell rows for batwings
Photo credit: t-nation.com

I did the same for my barbell bench press and bent over rows, adding a bonus set at next week’s working weight and knocking out 3 reps. I probably wasn’t lowering the bar as far down toward my chest as I could, but I wanted to make sure I’d be able to push it up again.

Later, when I was resting between sets of triceps extensions, I saw a guy, probably in his 40s, doing barbell bench presses, first just with the bar, and then with nothing heavier than 105 to 115 pounds, lowering the bar until it almost touched his chest.

I assume he was practicing for form as opposed to strength or muscle hypertrophy, just like the fellow I mentioned the other day doing squats with a 95 pound barbell.

I might have to try that in round 3, week 1 when the weights are lighter.

I saw a different guy doing what looked like straight leg deadlifts, but he was using an 80 pound fixed weight barbell.

Back to my bent over rows, on the last working set, I was surprised to find I had an extra rep in me, so I did 5 reps instead of the required 4.

I added a bonus set at next week’s working weight just for giggles and managed 3 reps.

Triceps extensions went as expected except I did an extra rep in the third set. Pull ups were better than last time, but I only was able to do 4 reps on the last set.

I had a little less than 15 minutes left, so I did some zercher squats, same weights, sets, and reps as Monday.

Edit: I made a mistake. On Monday, my heaviest set of zercher squats was 165 pounds for 6 reps, but today, I went 20 pounds heavier and still did 6 reps. I’ve really got to pay more attention to my weights when I write these blog posts.

After that, I barely had time for my body hang exercises.

I forced myself to do 35 seconds at an “engaged” hang but at 20 seconds into my dead hang, I could feel my fingers beginning to slip off of the bar. I barely made it 25 seconds and then let myself drop to the floor (actually, I just straighten my legs since I’m fairly tall).

hulk times square
Lou Ferrigno as the Incredible Hulk

It was still a couple of minutes until six, and I was more than done, but feeling pretty satisfied with my performance. I don’t know if wearing the “hulk” shirt was added motivation. Sometimes, watching my reflection in the mirrors, I wondered if it was more of a distraction.

Next week is the fifth and final week in round 2 of my mutant strength workout program, where the reps per set go down to 3 and the weights go up to the heaviest I’ve ever moved.

Especially with squats and deadlifts but also with just about every other exercise, I really felt the challenge all this week. Weights this heavy are definitely not easy for me and they do represent a certain amount of risk. But like the Fred DeVito quote says at the top of my main page, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

It’s better to be a lion for a day than a sheep all your life.

-Elizabeth Kenny

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2 thoughts on “Feeling Green at the End of Round 2, Week 4

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