Body Building – Legs/Glutes – Day 54

Day 54

barbell-glute-bridge

My glutes are already sore from last nights workout. I made sure to squeeze my glutes HARD during the barbell glute bridges (pic of exercise above). I used a fixed barbell (don’t do that- haha), but next time I need to use an Olympic bar so I can get under it, instead of lifting it and placing it on my hips. I’ll be able to lift more weight and be a little more comfortable that way.

50 lbs. wasn’t enough to make me feel challenged at rep 8. I could have done 50 reps with 50 lbs.  A major drawback to this exercise is that it’s almost bordering on gym porn, but don’t let that put you off too much because the benefits outweigh the negatives. I still believe squats and deadlifts are the best mass builders, but you can activate the glutes and squeeze hard doing the Barbell Glute Bridge, so here is how to do it.

  • Sit on the ground with a loaded barbell over your legs (don’t go too heavy to start). You may want to add a pad to the bar as it can become quite uncomfortable. Roll the bar so it is directly above the hips then lie flat on the floor.
  • Now start by driving through the heels, extending your hips vertically through the bar. Your weight should be supported by your upper back rear delts and the heels of your feet.
  • SLOWLY extend as far as possible and squeeze that contraction hard at the top, then reverse the motion to return to the starting position. 

Remember you will activate more of the glutes at the top of the movement so no point going too heavy and just doing half reps!  Pay close attention to form and the mind muscle connection on this exercise, your butt should be burning (like how your calves burn after a high volume workout).

Burn Baby Burn

Leg extensions: 2 warm-up sets with lighter weights ( 40 lbs. ) of 30 reps

Wide stance barbell squat: 95 lbs. – 6 sets of 8 reps

Seated leg curl: 70 lbs. –  4 sets of 8 reps, last set to failure

Single legged deadlift (foot on bench): 40 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps

Barbell Glute Bridge: 50 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps

Donkey calf raises:  Calf press on horizontal leg press machine: -110lbs. – 3 sets of 20 reps

Seated calf raises: 3 sets of 20 reps

Body Building – Shoulders/Cardio – Day 53

Day 53

women_upper-body

Wow. Jaime Eason has a beautiful pair of arms. There is nothing “manly” about those. I don’t think I want to go quite that big, but I love the definition and curves. Totally sexy, totally feminine and beautifully proportioned. It still amazes me that you can build or reduce muscles any where on your body and shape it like a piece of clay. It’s not easy, but it’s within your reach. It’s not something you can buy, it’s not something that can be given to you, it’s something you have to work for. Lift heavy for best results, but don’t over do it and injure yourself. Don’t follow the weight I have listed in my routine. You should be figuring out your own personal challenges and logging your own weight.

How do you figure out how much to lift? Typically, if you lift 60%-80% of max, you could do anywhere from 10-20 reps. Lifting at 80% and above takes you down to the lower rep range, which is where you’ll be if you’re trying to gain size. That means keeping your reps somewhere between 8-16, if you’re lifting for weight loss and fitness. Your weights are determined by the number of reps you’re doing.

For Beginners:

  • Choose a weight you can only lift 16 times. You don’t need to go to complete failure, but make sure you’re challenging your body.
  • Begin with 1 set of each exercise, slowly working your way up to 2-3 sets (i.e., adding a set each week)
  • When you’ve added sets and have a solid foundation (after 6-8 weeks), add more weight so that you can ONLY do 8-12 reps.
  • Continue to progress by adding a rep each week until you reach the max reps (no more than 16), increase your weight and drop your reps back down to 8-12.

Before you train your shoulders, it’s important to understand the muscles you’re targeting. Your shoulders are composed of the larger deltoid muscles—anterior, medial, posterior—and smaller rotator cuff muscles that support the ball and socket joint. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles—the teres minor, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and subscapularis—which help in all overhead and rotational movements at the shoulder.

The deltoid muscles are the prime mover of arm abduction—moving the arm away from the body.. The front (anterior) muscles are involved in shoulder abduction when the shoulder is externally rotated—think lateral raises with your thumbs turned up. The anterior deltoid also works with the subscapularis, pectorals, and lats to internally rotate the humerus bone, effectively turning your thumbs in and towards the center of the body so your palms face back.

The rear (posterior) fibers are strongly involved in transverse extension, as in cable back rows. The lateral fibers perform basic shoulder abduction when the shoulder is internally rotated, like in lateral raises. They also perform shoulder transverse abduction, as in a reverse fly, when the shoulder is externally rotated. An important function of the deltoid muscles is also to support the humeral head to prevent dislocation when carrying very heavy loads.

Summer Shoulders 

Arnold dumbbell press: 20 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps

Seated bent over rear delt raise: 12.5 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps, last set to failure

Alternating single-arm dumbbell press: 20 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps

Superset:
Front dumbbell raises: 15 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps
Upright rows: 20 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps
End of Superset

Side lateral raises: 12.5 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps, last set is a drop-set

Reverse flyes: 4 sets of 8 reps – Still can’t do these without my rotator giving me hell. I did one rep with 10 lbs., disappointed. Maybe I should drop to 7.5 lbs. and try that next time instead of not doing them at all.

Cardio: 30 minutes medium intensity cardio (running, elliptical, step-mill, etc)

Body Building – Arms/Abs/Cardio – Day 52

Day 52

stop

Jumping right into the routine today.

Push Yourself!

Barbell bench press: 45 lb. Olympic Bar – 1 warm-up set of 8 reps
Reverse grip barbell press: 45 lb. Olympic Bar – 4 sets of 8 reps
Extra Credit: One more set of Barbell Bench Presses. I wanted to make sure I was warmed up.

Superset:
Dumbbell flyes: 12.5 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps
Dumbbell bench press: 17.5 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps
End of Superset

Superset:
Incline Dumbbell press: 17.5 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps
Dips (on bench with feet on box and using a 25 lb. plate in lap): 4 sets of 8 reps
Medicine ball crunches: 3 sets of 25 reps
Hanging leg raises or roman chair: 3 sets of 15 reps
Reverse crunch (on bench): 3 sets of 15 reps
Cardio: 30 minutes medium intensity cardio (running, elliptical, step-mill, etc)

Extra Credit:
Decline Weighted Sit Ups  – 3 sets of 12
Decline Weighted Russian Twists – 3 sets for 20

Body Building – Legs – Day 51

Day 51

cake

I felt like I was pretty weak in my leg workout tonight. I could have pushed a lot more on my vertical leg presses, but I was lazy and didn’t want to get up and add more weight. Terrible, I know. In my defense, my hamstring are still really sore from my last leg training FOUR DAYS AGO. I suppose it was from pushing 250 on my extra credit leg presses and the 6 sets of wide stance squats at 95 lbs. Yeah, that’d do it.

-Segue-

Squats: Make no mistake, the classic barbell squat is one of the cornerstones of countless great lifting programs. It trains everything from your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. I just found the below link that has 27 variations of squats! Christmas miracle maybe?  It also has some video clips and this girl isn’t playing with her pistol squat. Jealous! I HAVE to do this. As soon as my legs recover, it’s on!!! Speaking of recovery.. I need a protein shake pronto…

She’s got legs!

Narrow stance squats: 2 light sets of 45 lbs. Olympic bar x 15 reps and 2 heavier sets of 95 lbs to failure

Vertical narrow stance leg press: 70 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps (could have done more weight)

Barbell step-ups: 30 lbs. -4 sets of 8 reps

Walking barbell “double” lunges (step- down-up-down): 30 lbs. – 3 sets of 20 reps

Single leg barbell squats (foot on bench): 30 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps

Leg extensions: 90 lbs. – 3 sets of 10 reps, last set to failure

Seated calf raise: 80 lbs. – 3 sets of 20 reps, last set to failure

Encyclopedia of squats weblink

Body Building – Arms/Abs/Cardio – Day 50

Day 50

Abs the easy way.

Got abs

In general, when you are trying to build up a weak area of the biceps, the best technique you can employ is one-arm dumbbell exercises. Doing an entire set with just one arm at a time allows for maximum concentration and intensity, and ensures that each arm works to its maximum. This keeps a stronger biceps from overshadowing the weaker, which can result in asymmetrical arm development. Also, be sure to twist the wrist during the movement for total biceps contraction.

However, I believe one major reasons bodybuilders show weak points in the biceps is that they do the exercises incorrectly. You need to master proper technique–keeping the elbows steady, lowering the weight rather than dropping it, employing as many Shocking Principles as possible–and then you will be much less likely to have problems in this area.

For example, I see a lot of bodybuilders using their forearms when they do curls, starting the motion with a kind of Wrist Curl which takes away from the effectiveness of the exercise.

Or they will do a Curl and, at the top, instead of flexing their biceps–to maintain maximal tension–they will just throw the weight back toward their shoulders, leaving the biceps loose and not working at all. I recommend instead using the peak contraction principle–flexing the biceps as hard as possible when you get to the top of the Curl.

-Arnold Schwarzenegger

For Mass
Lift Heavy. Takes intense mental focus and concentration. Visualize your biceps growing! Do Barbell Curls and Cheating Reps.

For Length, Thickness
You must full stretch the biceps to the max and concentrate on working the lower one-third of the mass. Try prone curls or incline curls to really focus the biceps to the max. Preacher curls work very well for isolation and thickness development. For even better isolation, try the single arm isolation preacher machine. Try rotating the wrists 180 degrees for your last set.

For Height
Concentration curls work well to build that peak. Use a dumbbell or cable for the movement. The intensity should be placed heavily on the top one-third of the muscle mass. Flex your biceps as hard as possible without causing them to cramp at the top of the movement for peak development.
This should really burn and give you a tremendous pump. Dumbell curls that cause your thumb to point outward by twisting the wrist towards the outside of your body as you lift the weight will build great height also. After completely burning the biceps strike some poses in the mirror emphasizing your peak.

For Mass & Outer Thickness
Any kind of curls that bring the weight in towards your chest, such as Close-Grip Barbell Curls or Close-Grip Preachers will develop great mass and outer thickness. Concentration curls that are done inward toward the center of the body will get that outer thickness growing too.

Mass & Inner Thickness
Hammer curls work very well for developing inner thickness. Hammer curls are where you face your palm inward rather than upward as you lift the weight in a semicircular arc. You will notice the difference in stress this places on the biceps. Also, some basic movements work will such as standing barbell curls (wide-grip), seated or standing dumbbell curls incline dumbbell curls, wide-grip barbell, preacher curls.

For Striation, Separation, & Definition
Use as many different biceps exercises as possible. Dumbbell movements are a must because of the great range of motion they provide and the ability you have of hitting every different angle with them. Reverse curls are very good at developing the brachio radialis and biceps so that your back double bicep shows lots of definition.

For Mass & Upper Triceps
Do dips, one-arm cable pressdowns cable pressdowns reverse and regular, and kickbacks very slowly and strictly, flexing completely. Hold the concentration briefly at the top of the movement.

For Mass & Lower Triceps
Weighted dips and dips behind the back in which you descend fully, but only go three-quarters of the way up force intense concentration on the lower portion of the triceps because stress is placed on them constantly during the set.

Pullin’ out the big guns!

Superset:
Narrow push-ups: 4 sets of 15 reps
Seated triceps press: 20 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps
End of Superset

Superset:
Cable one-arm triceps extensions: 20 lbs. – 3 sets of 8 reps
Triceps pushdown: 60 lbs. – 3 sets of 8 reps
End of Superset

Superset:
Skull-crushers: 30 lbs. – 3 sets of 8 reps
Close-grip barbell bench press: 45 lbs. – 3 sets of 8 reps
End of Superset

Incline Dumbbell curls: 12.5 lbs – 4 sets of 8 reps

Alternating Dumbbell curls: 15 lbs. –  4 sets of 8 reps

Barbell Curl 21s: 20 lbs. – 2 sets 21 reps

Stability ball crunches: 3 sets of 25 reps

Stability ball jackknifes: 3 sets of 15 reps

Stability Ball reverse crunches (ball between feet): 3 sets of 15 reps

Cardio – 30 minutes medium intensity cardio (running, elliptical, step-mill, etc)

arm -49

My arm on day 49

Body Building – Back/Rear Delts – Day 48

Day 48

rear delt

Today I couldn’t do my reverse flyes or my bent-over rear delt flyes. Wah! My rotator cuff on my right side was bothering me so I decided not to push through it and cause an injury I may regret later. It’s disappointing to grab weights, get into position and only do one rep. I do need to look into some rotator cuff specific exercises and make sure I am adding them into my routine more. I don’t want this to become an issue.

I went to bodybuilding.com and found this.
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/criticalbench24.htm

Looks like I need to add in some Cuban Press Rotations, Cable External Rotations and some Cable Internal Rotations. All of which I never do. The truth is that because those muscles are so small, we tend to forget about them. We concentrate on what we are building for aesthetics and not what’s important for health. It doesn’t take much time and/or effort to train them adequately. A few minutes per week are all they need to stay healthy and ready for the rigors of the more “important” training of the superficial muscles. If we slow down long enough to focus on the minor, finer muscles, the major muscles will forever be grateful — and grow. I need to remember this…

Delt Demolition!

Barbell Deadlifts: 70 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps

T-bar row: Olympic bar plus 25 lb. plate – 4 sets of 8 reps

Wide-Grip Lat pulldown: 60 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps, last set is a drop-set (went from 60 to 50 and did an additional 15 reps. in drop-set)

Seated cable row: 50 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps, last set is a drop-set (went from 50 to 40 and did an additional 8 reps. in drop set)

Straight-arm pulldowns: 30 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps

Reverse flyes: 4 sets of 8 reps – only did one rep with a 12.5 lb. dumbbell

Bent-over rear delt flyes: 4 sets of 8 reps – only did one rep with a 12.5 lb. dumbbell

Extra credit/Punishment for fly failure: – 3 sets of 13 push ups.

Cardio: 30 minutes medium intensity cardio (running, elliptical, step-mill, etc…)

Body Building – Legs – Day 47

Day 47

squats

One of the best exercises for you, whether you’re trying to build muscle, lose weight or both is the squat!

However, it’s also one of the most difficult exercises to do properly unless you actually know what you’re doing.  Let’s take a look at why this exercise is so great, and then how to perform it properly for maximum results and minimal chance of injury.

Squats work a LOT of muscles in your body. If you’re looking to burn fat, you want to do exercises that trigger as much of your body as possible so it’s all getting worked.  On the other side of the coin, if you’re looking to build muscle, your legs and back can put on the most muscle in the shortest amount of time. Sweet! Gimme some quad mass!

A few tips to remember:
Squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. If you don’t go down that far, you’re cheating yourself and doing a fake squat.  Go way down, and you’ll feel it in every muscle in your leg.  This will give you a really strong core along with strong legs and a strong back. If you can’t use any weigh yet, that’s OK! Just practice your form (sideways in front of a mirror) with just your body weight until your comfortable with the position and movement.

Do not to extend your knees past your toes. If you’re doing the squats right, you should be sitting back with your ass out and back straight. It may feel a little weird sticking your butt out like that, but that’s the way to do it. It helps prevent your knees going over your toes.

Don’t arch your back. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to keep your head up when you squat, and KEEP YOUR ABS tight throughout the whole exercise (that’s right, squats will even work your abs).

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, and point your toes slightly outward.

GROW a pair! (of legs)

Leg extensions: 3 warm-up sets with lighter weights (30 lbs.) of 30 reps

Wide stance barbell squat: 95 lbs. – 6 sets of 8 reps
I also did an extra credit set of 12 reps. with just the Olympic bar and went ALL the way down each rep.

Seated leg curl: 40 lbs. – 4 sets of 8 reps, last set to failure

Single legged deadlift (foot on bench): 4 sets of 8 reps -0- I read this wrong at the gym and did single leg squats with 30 lbs… Damn it.

Barbell Glute Bridge: 20 lbs – 4 sets of 8 reps

Seated calf raises : 75 lbs. – 3 sets of 20 reps

Extra Credit:
Leg Presses: 3 sets of 10 reps. I did my 1st and 2nd set at 200 lbs and went for 250 on my third set.