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Posts Tagged ‘weights’

One-Arm Dumbbell Rows

August 2, 2011 Leave a comment

The one-arm dumbbell row has been one of those exercises I’ve done in the past, but given up on quickly. The reason? I’ve never seen (or felt) any results from that exercise.

That said, I recently decided to incorporate it into my back workout, this time paying more attention to my form rather than the weight I was using. Another thing which I try to keep in mind while doing this exercise — you’re not pulling/jerking the dumbbell back with your arm, instead your pushing it back with your, er, back. Let your back lead your arm. I personally like the tips given in this YouTube video and I can attest that after 3 sets, your back will feel a nice swell to it.

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Importance of Squats

June 27, 2011 Leave a comment

As much as I hate to admit this, it’s been roughly 1 year since I added a proper legs routine to my workout. So last week I started my comeback by doing leg curls and squats (using the squat rack). I was tempted to use the Smith machine, but I stayed away from it because using the barbell gives you a little bit more natural motion and it works out your stabilizer muscles (that’s the case with any free weights vs. machines argument).

Squats are a great way to lose weight and pack muscle because they work out such a huge portion of your body. In retrospect, I was very stupid for ignoring them and can’t even tell you why I ignored them for so long (I thought my running was enough of a “legs workout.”)

A few years ago I used to be able to do squats with two 45-lb. plates on each side. This time around I started with the 45-lb. barbell only. The reason? I want to make sure my form is perfect. Otherwise you’re not going to reap the benefits. A good rule of thumb is to keep your head up while doing squats and pretend there’s an invisible chair behind you and you’re trying to touch the chair with your butt.

I ended up doing 2 sets of 12 (with the bar weight alone) and then two sets with 25-lb. plates on each side (8 reps). I’ll continue this routine for another week (or as long as it takes for me to feel comfortable with my form) before increasing my weight. Needless to say, the next day my legs were sore — I truly missed that feeling.

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Partial Rep Bench Press

June 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I started doing a new benchpress routine this week. On a flat bench using a barbell with two 45-lb. weights:

1st rep: do one traditional bench press (as shown in pic); lower barbell very slowly, pause at lowest point…
2nd rep: lift mid-way, hold, then lower barbell very slowly, pause at lowest point…
3rd rep: back to the traditional bench press; lower barbell very slowly, pause at lowest point…
4th rep: lift mid-way, hold, then lower barbell very slowly, pause at lowest point…
5th rep: back to the traditional bench press; lower barbell very slowly, pause at lowest point…

Essentially, I’m doing one full-extension bench press (without locking my elbows) followed by a partial bench press. The latter keeps constant pressure on my chest muscles — working them at their weakest point. I read about this routine in Men’s Health and figured I’d give it a shot. It’s a lot harder than it sounds and so far the danger I’ve found is that after that 4th rep, it’s hard to tell how much power I have left in me, so that 5th rep has been a struggle. This is the first time I’m doing this so hopefully it’ll give my muscles a nice variety from the routine I’ve been doing. From what I’ve read, the partial motion works out your pecs more, whereas the full-range uses your triceps more.

Counts & Reps

April 2, 2011 Leave a comment

Cardio
This post is going to be all about numbers. I ran on the treadmill today for 35 minutes. I did interval inclines with the incline varying from a height of “1” for two minutes to “5.5” for two minutes. (The speed was a constant 6.) I hit 182 bpm.

Push ups
Yesterday, I did 45 consecutive push ups during my chest workout. I’m debating if I want to train for 50 consecutive. I guess at this rate, I might as well, but I’ll admit those 45 were difficult. (Particularly the reps that followed number 42.) Maybe after I hit 50 consecutive I’ll go back to my medicine ball push ups.

Wide-grip pull ups
I can now do 4 solid wide-grip pull ups. I’ve noticed that at the pull up station at Equinox, I can only do 3. Here at the gym in my building I can do 4. The handles at Equinox (although padded and easier to grip) are wider. So I’m practicing on both stations.

Sleep
Five hours. That’s the amount of sleep I’m averaging per night nowadays. It’s not that I’m out doing anything, I’m just online or playing Angry Birds on my iPod. This coming week (and this weekend) I hope to start getting more sleep. It’s necessary when working out a lot.

New workout routine

March 14, 2011 Leave a comment

I finally switched up my workout routine at the gym. I’ve moved on from doing super slow drop sets to doing super slow sets that increase in weight. Here’s an example from my workout today:

Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly
10 reps at 100 lbs
10 reps at 100 lbs
8 reps at 120 lbs
8 reps at 120 lbs

I could have gone heavier, but I want to maintain 100% control of the weights while doing these exercises. My next routine (while I’ll probably start in May), will focus on heavy weights. And then I’ll just repeat the entire process. I must say, I feel great. This weekend I got a great back and chest workout and I just feel very healthy and strong overall. It’s a great feeling. Saturday I even hit the abs! Hoping to find an ab routine I can stick to. As far as pull ups, I’ve been doing t hem pretty much every day (every day I workout, which is 5x/week) since my trainer session.

Return of the push ups

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

I did my push ups x100 routine again today. The difference is that this time I started off by doing as many continuous push ups as I possibly could. I was a little disappointed that I maxed out at 35. (I could’ve squeezed an extra 5, but didn’t.) Back in 2001 I could do 50 straight push ups. And that is my new goal — I’m gonna bring push ups back into my workout and will practice them (with my chest workout) until I hit 50 straight. And depending on how long that takes, I might shoot for 60 straight after that. And then some.

On the flip side, on my second set of push ups today I did 25 reps, which was more than I expected, but still, I wanted to hit 50 in one shot. To be continued!

Push-ups 100x

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment

A lot of people at my job like talking about P90X. I didn’t give it much attention because it sounds like every other “get ripped in 90 days” program and after looking at the company’s website, I have to say it’s exactly what I thought it would be. However, I do like the workout’s main argument — change your workout routine every 30 days to avoid plateauing. In my opinion, that’s all you need to know about P90X. Save your $60.

That said, today I switched up my chest workout. I’m still doing the slow routine, but today I added 100 push-ups. (I used to incorporate medicine ball push ups in my chest workouts, but gave that a break.) I thought it’d be easy, but man it was pretty tough. Do-able, but tough. So my chest workout today looked like this:

1)Super slow bench press
185 lbs. x 6 reps
135 lbs. x 8
185 lbs. x 6 reps
135 lbs. x 8

2)Push-ups
20 reps
20 reps
20 reps

3)Super slow dumbbell incline flys
50 lbs. on each hand 8 reps
40 lbs on each hand 10 reps
50 lbs. on each hand 8 reps
40 lbs on each hand 10 reps

4)Push-ups
20 reps
20 reps

5)Seated bench press (machine)
140 lbs. 8 reps
100 lbs 10 reps
140 lbs. 8 reps
100 lbs 10 reps

6)Pull-ups
As many as possible