5 10 2011

6am to 8am.

Two hours.

Two hours to get my butt outta bed, get to the gym, do what I need to do, and get back.

More time, more effort.

STAR JUMPS: 20 reps

SQUATS: 60kg, 6 reps || 120kg, 10 reps, 2 sets

BENCH PRESS: 60kg, 10 reps || 100kg, 6 reps, 3 sets (last two sets spotted on 5th and 6th)

LATERAL PULLDOWN: 105lb, 8 reps, 4 sets

BARBELL SHRUGS: 100kg, 8 reps, 3 sets

MILITARY PRESS: 40kg, 8 reps || 50kg, 6 reps || 50kg, 4 reps || 40kg, 8 reps

CROSS TRAINER: Random Hill, Resistence 13/20, 20 mins

Decided to try something slightly different today. Instead of sit ups, I warmed up with some star jumps and stretches, to see if it would make any difference.

It didn’t.

So, scratch that idea.

Squats were veeeerry hard today, so hard in fact that I could only pull out two sets. I put it down to still recovering from last week.  I definitely wasn’t ready to move to 125kg this week, and I doubt I will be next week either, but we’ll have to see.

I returned to bench press today to see if it had improved somewhat after my 3 and a half weeks of tricep and shoulder work. I don’t think there was any noticeable improvement, which was a bit frustrating. However, on the upside, I talked to a trainer who gave me some good tips about the difference between strength and size training, and also some key things that will help with Bench press. Briefly:

– Strength training involves low reps (4-6) with long breaks. The objective is not to tear as much muscle fiber as possible to gain size, but rather to condition the muscle for lifting heavy. This is, I guess, why power lifters aren’t typically as big as body builders, and body builders are conversely not as strong for their size. So to get my bench up 1RM up, I will have to work with a spotter and do this kind of training.

Explosive training. Power is about explosive energy, so I need to work on pumping weights up as hard and as strong as possible. Press up with claps is apparently a great exercise for supplementing bench press, as it forces you to push as hard as you can do elevate your torso for long enough to clap before you hit the ground again.

I’ve decided that I’m from now on going to do no less than 20 min of cardio every work out (we’ll see how long that lasts). You’ll notice that I’ve switched down from resistence 17 to 13, as it is recommended that medium intensity cardio is better for sculpting than high intensity, as high intensity tends to be more taxing on the muscles.

Overall I felt more depleted than usual after my work out, I think due to it’s length, and I’m liking it. I’m going to try and maintain this sort of intensity and see how I go.


Protein shake + cereal + mandarin


Cereal + banana


Banana + orange + yoghurt + fruit & nuts

Late afternoon

Wholegrain toast (two pieces) + cooked fish + protein shake


Cooked seasoned Vegetables + chicken + protein shake

Ok so lunch was pretty shocking, but I blame it on the ill-timed meeting at work. Plus, I brought new protein today!

Definitely not as good tasting as Nutrex, but I have a feeling this will work better. It definitely has a better rep anyway. $119 from NZ Muscle on Queen Street! Check it out

















WORKOUT #11 (Kiddie weights)

2 10 2011

Today I was fortunate enough to work out with my friend Larissa at the Kings College gym for free. I had been sick most of last week and wasn’t getting much sleep, so I definitely wasn’t lifting at full capacity. That said, it was still a fun session.

ROWING MACHINE: 5 mins (digital display wasn’t working, so unsure of the distance)

SQUATS: 70kg, 6 reps || 100kg, 6 reps || 120kg, 6 reps || 140kg, 3 reps

45 DEGREE MILITARY DUMBBELL PRESS: 20kg, 8 reps || 27.5kg, 8 reps || 27.5kg, 8 reps || 30kg, 10 reps

BOWING CRUNCHES: 100lbs, 12 reps, 3 sets

DIPS: 10 reps

BACK EXTENSIONS (exercise ball): no weight, 12 reps || 6kg, 15 reps, 2 sets

JACK HAMMERS: 15 reps, 2 sets

This workout was a bit different for me, but good. Larissa spotted weaknesses in my core and lower back so she showed me some exercises to help deal with them. I’m sure they worked, because I was in some serious gym-pain afterward. It felt good though.

Today was an off-day diet wise, so I’m not going to bother listing what I ate here.



28 09 2011

I don’t know what was up today. I got a decent sleep, but in the morning I still felt groggy and not up to it. Still, I pushed through.

Here’s what I did:

SIT UPS: 25 reps, 3 sets.

SQUATS: 60kg, 6 reps || 120kg 10 reps, 3 sets

TRICEP DUMBBELL EXTENSIONS12.5kg, 6 reps (cross body) followed by 6 reps (hammer head), each arm, then with 10kg then with 8kg (Dropset), two in total.

PEC FLY MACHINE SUPERSET WITH PRESSUPS: 90lbs, 8 reps followed by 8 pressups, 3 sets

CROSS TRAINER: Random Hill, Resistence 17/20, 5 min

Oh MY LIFE that superset was difficult. I felt my pecs burn like NOTHING ELSE. I might begin to do more supersetty type things to add some more fatigue to my routines and get my heartrate up a bit more. It will be challenging, but fun at the same time.


Protein Shake (with water) + One piece of Toast + Curried chicken

Mid Morning

Bowl of toasted muesli


Toasted Tuna sandwich (wholemeal bread!! no cheese this time, hummus instead) + apple


Protein Shake (with milk) + orange + banana + yoghurt


Bhuja Mix (20g)

Lol at dinner. I had band practice so I didn’t get around to eating anything useful. Furthermore I had to spend $3.00 at the corner store for them to let me get the cash out I needed for the practice room. What better way to spend money than to get Bhuja mix! 9.7g carb-filled grams of Indian spicy goodness.


WORKOUT #9 (Early Start)

27 09 2011

5:45 wake up. Needed to get to work by 9am (as opposed to 10am), so I only had until 7 at the gym.

Here’s what I did:

SIT UPS: 25 reps, 3 sets.

SQUATS: 60kg, 6 reps || 120kg 10 reps, 3 sets

STANDING BARBELL MILITARY PRESS: 20kg, 8 reps || 30kg, 8 reps || 40kg, 8 reps || 40kg 8 reps, 35kg 6 reps, 30kg 5 reps (dropset)

CROSS TRAINER: Random Hill, Resistance 17/20, 10 min

So that’s all I did. For some reason my sit up + squat pre workout took longer than I expected, and I needed to jet.

I know for a fact that the bump up to 120kg from 115kg squats took a bit more out of me, so my rests were bigger. But yeah. Stink


Protein Shake (with water) + One piece of Toast + Curried chicken + orange

Mid Morning

Bowl of toasted muesli


Toasted Tuna sandwich (wholemeal bread!! with a little bit of cheese) + apple


Protein Shake (with milk) + orange + banana + yoghurt


No-Carb chicken Kebab

WIN! 5 meals today, no carbs late. What let me down was a red bull during the day (refined sugar, naughty) and a bit of Juice before bed. See, I’m a sucker for Juice, and in our fridge, we have a 3L bottle of Fresh Up Feijoa blast. How I can be expected to resist this, I do not know lol.

I thought of a good idea today – whenever I feel like a “drink”, have a glass of water beforehand and then reassess if I still feel like that drink. For me, 9/10, the water quenches my thirst sufficiently and I no longer crave the sugary beverage. Plus, I’ve had a glass of water! If you, like me, struggle with sugary drinks, try this nifty trick.


WORKOUT #8 (4.5 hours sleep)

23 09 2011

If you wish to work at full capacity, get more than 4 and a half hours of sleep

To get only this amount of sleep and then work out the next morning is a doongie thing to do. For more information about other doongie things to do, go here 

So today I obviously wasn’t working at full capacity. I ought not to make a habit of this.

Here’s all I did today:

SIT UPS: 20 reps, 3 sets.

SQUATS: 60kg, 6 reps || 115kg 10 reps, 3 sets

CLOSE GRIP BENCH PRESS: 50kg, 10 reps || 60kg, 10 reps || 70kg, 10 reps, 2 sets

-Squats and sit ups were feeling a lot better after taking a day off yesterday. Especially squats – the 60kg warm up literally felt like nothing was on my shoulders, and my 115kg reps were a lot quicker and the breaks in between were shorter. Hopefully this means I can move to 120kg with the same rep/set routine next week.

-Close grip bench press was also fairly easy, and I perhaps could have done more sets, or increased the weight. Because I was a doongie and didn’t get much sleep, I was tired and frankly couldn’t be bothered, so I stopped.

Oh yeah. It’s humbling watching a man who is 30kg lighter than you squat repping 170kg (that’s 10kg over my 1RM), but it inspired me at the same time. I will get there. Apparently for my weight I need to be able to 1RM 192kg to be considered an ‘advanced’ squatter, according to these Strength Standards. Hopefully I can manage to bump up 5kg every two weeks. At that rate it will take me 12 weeks – but something tells me I’ll plateau earlier than that, or run into some kinda brick wall. We’ll see.

Diet so far today:


Eggs on toast + Protein shake


Skip (busy at work again. naughty me)


Salmon on toast


WORKOUT #7 (You’re still walking)

21 09 2011

You’re still walking

..said someone to me at the gym today, as they smiled and walked past my sorry, fatigued and limping self.

This, for some reason, stuck with me. Now I’m not going to encourage anyone to work out to the point at which they can’t walk anymore – that would be rather silly. But what I got from this was the idea that  it’s our minds which often limit us, rather than our bodies. This morning I felt particularly demolished, especially after squats. My mind was telling me – you’re tired, this is lame, you’re over it, just leave and go home – but I was still walking.  It was then that I found the strength to nail one more workout before I went home.

This is what I did:

SIT UPS: 20 reps, 3 sets.

SQUATS: 60kg, 6 reps || 115kg 10 reps, 3 sets

BARBELL BICEP CURLS: 40kg, 6 reps, 4 sets

BARBELL MILITARY PRESS: 45kg, 6 rep, 3 sets

DUMBBELL SHOULDER FLIES: 10kg, 10 reps, 4 sets


– Squats were more difficult today. Last night I went to the driving range, and it’s surprising how much energy is expended doing 50 full power swings lol. I hadn’t replaced any of that with carb energy, so maybe that was why I wasn’t quite at 100% this morning.

– Bicep curls were stronger than last time. I managed to do more sets and complete them

– Military press was solid. Next time I’ll be looking to up the weight

– Dumbbell shoulder flies felt better than I expected them to. I previously avoided them because it always felt like I was never doing it properly. This morning however, I really felt the burn in my shoulders, which is a good thing.

– So clearly I wasn’t feeling the cardio all that much today. I was shattered from the weights session, and rowing is one of those exercises I really need to be in the mood for, which I definitely wasn’t.

Dietwise, I was a bit average today. I skipped midmorning because work was quite busy, and I forgot to take the protein powder I made a point of taking to work this time. Breakfast was good though – scrambled eggs, a slab of salmon steak and wholegrain toast. Lunch was a tuna sandwich with light coleslaw and fruit, Late afternoon was porridge, and dinner was chicken, shredded beef and vegetables in blackbean sauce and egg foo yong.

Not too bad today, could have been better.


WORKOUT #6 (Forward movement)

19 09 2011

New week, new weights.

Always improve. Always go harder.

Always move forward

SIT UPS: 20 reps, 3 sets.

SQUATS: 60kg, 6 reps || 115kg 10 reps, 3 sets

45 DEGREE MILITARY DUMBBELL PRESS: 27.5kg, 8 reps || 27.5kg, 7 reps, 2 sets

TRICEP PULLDOWN MACHINE: (drop sets) 60lB, 50lB, 40lB, 6 reps each, 3 sets

45DLP CALF EXTENSIONS: 14 plates, 12 reps, 4 sets

TRICEP PUSHDOWN MACHINE: 150lb, 8 reps, 4 sets

ROWING MACHINE: 20min, 4.07km

– After a week of daily sit ups and squats I decided it was time to step it up. I increased my sit ups sets from 15 reps to 20 reps, and my squats from 110kg to 115kg. Given how well squatting was last week, along with the success from last nights HEAVY LIFTS #1,  I was tempted to jump to 120kg sets. To be honest, it felt like I could have finished at least one set of 120kg for 10, but probably not three. I remembered the importance of being disciplined with taking small increments and nailing them, rather than getting ahead of myself and failing sets, like I tend to do. 10kg is a bigger increase than you would think! Nevertheless the 115kg sets, albeit not terribly easy, were definitely solid, and I felt a satisfying sense of accomplishment after finishing them.

-I’m still spamming the tricep work outs until october, at which time I will revisit bench press and see if my lockout issue  has been somewhat mitigated. Plus, nice looking triceps do wonders for the general aesthetic appeal of your arm 🙂

– I decided to change up the Cross Trainer with the rowing machine for my cardio routine. This was mainly just to try and cull boredom, but also to give my upper body the chance to do some stamina work. It’s also worth mentioning that about a month back, I rowed daily for 2 weeks and experienced a significant reduction in skinfold around the bicep. This is because the motion and resistance is similar to doing a low-weight high repetition work out, and that sorta thing is known to assist with toning muscle.

Dietwise, I had a bowl of cereal for breakfast with a protein shake, and I’ll probably have some porridge and fruit for midmorning, and a tuna sandwich (wholemeal bread) with salad for lunch, a piece of toast, fruit & nuts and some yoghurt for late afternoon, and a vegetable dish for dinner with chicken. I have been forgetting to bring my mini containers home from work so I can take my protein powder – which is poor form – protein shakes are quite important for muscle development, especially if your diet isn’t particularly abundant in protein. I will remember tomorrow! In fact I’m putting it in my bag right now.

Right now.