- Incline Barbell Press
- Close-grip Bench Press
- The 22 Push-up Challenge (Knuckle, w/ 12.5 lb backpack)
- Weighted Dips (BW = 172 lbs)
- 7.5 lb backpack, 7 sets x 7 reps
- Pin Press (9th pin)*
- 300 lbs x 1 rep
- 275 lbs x 3 reps
- 255 lbs x 7 reps
* I performed the pin press at the end of the workout in order to finish off the chest. This is the first time performing the pin press at the end of my workout and had no idea how fatigued I would be at that point. I was expecting to add 5 lbs to this exercise since the last workout but I could only do 1 rep instead of 5 reps as I was expecting.
- Superset: Barbell Curl & Skull Crusher
- Superset: Reverse Curl & Standing French Press
- 45 lbs, 7 sets x 7 reps**
- Superset: Concentration Curl & Dumbbell Triceps Extension
- 25 lbs, 7 sets x 7 reps***
* My goal was to try for three reps but I yet fell short of this goal. I might lay this exercise to rest for awhile and continue with high volume training for awhile instead before making another attempt.
** The weight I chose for this exercise wasn’t appropriate for the french press and I didn’t even feel a burn in the triceps. I will change this superset to alternating dumbbell curl and french press the next workout.
*** I already include an overhead extension in my workout so I am going to switch to overhead dumbbell triceps extensions to triceps kickback. I am just getting back into supersets and may have to experiment a few times until I find the right combinations.
I am also doing to add a fourth superset for the forearms combining reverse barbell curl and wrist curl together.
* I am only using 5 lbs for this exercise but it is nice to be able to use full range motion without worrying about injuring my left shoulder again. I also perform these sets quite rapid and only rest 10 to 20 seconds between sets. As the weight increase I will eventually have to rest more between sets.
* I finally reached my short term goal of 365 lbs for 12 reps in the barbell cheat row. I have done this exercise for over a year and a half and have been able to add 5 lbs every workout without fail. I know the form is bad in this movement but I perform it at home where no one has to see. Most people fail to understand that this movement is about moving huge weight around. If you move huge monolithic weights around it is only a matter of time before you become strong as an ox.
** I was able to complete all 25 reps but thought my grip was about to break on my left strap. Straps help eliminate the grip factor but I have used straps so long that I have maximized the benefit of straps and now grip has become a limiting factor once again. Perhaps this is not the end and maybe I didn’t have the strap on the left place perfectly. I could still move up in weight and perform lower reps.
I bought a few more 45 lb plates and will set a new goal of 700 lbs in the shrug even if the number of reps I can perform decreases. I saw a video of Kali Muscle doing shrugs with 725 lbs an he could only do 5 reps. Kali Muscle is a bodybuilder and wonder how much he can deadlift. Anyways, I am going to show up at a gym one day and freak everyone out because I am only 170 lbs bodyweight.
I also often perform a lockout using an over underhand grip without straps of course to ensure I still have the grip strength required to lock out the weight. So far locking out 600 lbs doesn’t seem to be a problem.
- Low Bar Back Squat (w/ belt)
- 275 lbs x 3 reps
- 315 lbs x 1 rep
- 325 lbs x 1 rep
- 340 lbs x Failure*
- High Bar Box Squat (w/ belt, 14″ box)
- Partial Rep Squat (w/ belt)
- 385 lbs x 20 reps
- 465 lbs x 20 reps
* I am starting to get to the point where I don’t mind failing. I have learned proper technique in which I can throw the weight off my back without consequence other than it crashes to the ground like thunder. It would be better to succeed but I can’t always add 5 lbs to my lift each workout. In fact it is progressively getting harder to add weight to my back squat and maintain full depth. As the weight increases I tend to shorten the range of motion. This is also why I always reserve at least a set or two dedicated to the box squat to properly assess strength gains.
Shoulders & Triceps
- Overhead Press
- Around The World Lateral Raises
- Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension
- Weighted Dips (BW = 170 lbs)*
- 2.5 lb backpack, 7 sets x 7 reps
* I added weighted dips to my program again and will be starting over from scratch. I consider myself fortunately to be doing this exercise again. I haven’t been able to do dips in the past half year because of a shoulder injury. When I first started doing weighted dips I could use 90 lbs for sets of 12 reps and worked my way up to 140 lbs for sets of 5 reps. So having to start right down at the bottom for me is like a kick in the balls but I am glad that I can do this exercise full range again and know I will work my way back up to a heavy weight soon enough.
By the time I have worked my way back up in the incline press, shoulder press, and weighted dips to what I used to be able to lift or even beyond I know for certain I will be benching more than I ever have in my life. Plus, I am so afraid of hurting my shoulder a second time that I perform this exercise really slow and fully contract the muscles at the top of the movement which in the long turn will build more muscle.
I also decided to split the workout into two segments and rest at least a half hour between each workout. This is one of the advantages of training at home. I would not be able to do this at a regular gym simply because who wants to hang around the gym for an extra half hour with nothing to do.
- Barbell Cheat Row (w/ straps)
- 275 lbs x 12 reps
- 360 lbs x 12 reps
- Barbell Shrug (w/straps)*
- 590 lbs x 25 reps
- 615 lbs x 5 reps
- Clean Deadlift (w/o belt, w/o straps)
- 280 lbs x 5 reps
- 210 lbs x 12 reps
- Dumbbell Row (w/o straps)
* For some reason I am really strong in the shrug as well as most back and biceps movements. I am going to try using 1/2 plywood to adjust my height the next workout. Again this is one of the advantages of being able to train at home in my garage. The pins of my power rack are a 1.5″ difference in height. However, the best height for me for the shrug is between two consecutive pin heights.
I tried a second set using 615 lbs from a lower pin height but found locking the weight out consumed some of the energy I had to shrug. If the pin is set too high I will often bang the barbell into the pins which makes it really difficult to control the weight and limits the range of motion. I am finding it easier to lift the weight of the uprights using my calves and taking a step back with the weight as opposed to placing it on the pins within the power rack and having to lockout it the weight.