Monday, November 11, 2013

Back Development/Incorporating major lifts

So today I decided to hit back. I hit legs yesterday and like all of my leg days, I ate A LOT that day. We had a pizza party at work, then Raunel's birthday get together after work. Needless to say, I helped myself to 2-3 plates. I had to hit something hard today, so why not back? Back days feel great even when you kill yourself with heavy weights. It only makes sense.

I recently lifted with Keith and we happened to hit back that day. Keith is currently doing a strength program, so most of his sessions consist the major lifts. For those of you who do not know what the major lifts are, they are bench press, squat, deadlift, and overhead press. These lifts are crucial to develop a well rounded body.

I haven't incorporated deadlifts into my training for a while, which I know is a huge mistake. It is always hard to try to incorporate a movement that is somewhat uncomfortable and unnatural. However, like squats, I have incorporated it into today's sessions. I know the movement will become easier throughout time and learning the technique. Honestly I hated squats and deadlift, but you need to learn to LOVE these lifts. Nothing will help you develop a more fundamentally sound body like these lifts. I have been killing myself with squats recently with tremendous growth resulting from it.

Practice makes perfect, don't be afraid of the unfamiliar and familiarize yourself with it!

5 x 6-8 Deadlift
4 x 8 T-bar Rows
superset w/ 4 x 10 Iso-lat Pull-downs (underhand)

4 x 10 Lat Pulldowns
4 x 8 Hammer-strength Low Rows

The session was around 40 minutes. I decided to do a high volume vs low frequency workout because I myself am trying to bulk up, converting from hypertrophy to strength training. I am keeping the rest time to a minimum, trying to push my body's limit. I don't do enough cardio, so this keeps my heart rate elevated. My v-taper and lats are coming in well, but doing deadlifts really pointed out flaws within my training. It exposed my lower back, which will need better development to keep my core strong. It's always important to improve ourselves with these movements instead of avoiding them. Felt great afterwards, took an updated progression shot:

Felt traps playing a role, it shows!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Friends don't let friends skip leg day!/

This morning lift was straight to the point! Dany and I decided to hit legs on a Monday. Nothing like a case of the Mondays at 5AM. Dany and I are at two very different weights. I stand around 170ish, Dany however weights about 130ish. One thing I love about lifting with friends who truly want to develop is that they lift with a purpose. Dany does the exact same workout that I do, but we obviously lift different weights. Adjusting your workout accordingly to what you NEED to do so your body will see progression. For example, I was squatting 135 for warm-up, Dany was squatting 135 for his strength training. My rep range was 10-12, he pulled out a clean 8 each time. Don't worry about what others might think of your so-called 'flimsy' weight, do what you have to do for yourself. We all go to the gym for ourselves(hopefully), so don't sweat it for others.

5 x 10-12 Hammer-Strength Leg extensions (2 sets of warm up)
5 x 10-12 Hammer-Strength Leg curls (2 sets of warm up)
5 x 8-12 Squats

5 x 8 Overhead Press (1 set of warm up)
superset w/ 5 x 12 Lateral Raises (10lb plates)

This workout was fairly short. It was about 30-40 minutes long. Squats and overhead press really took the most time. We lifted heavy for how much we weighed. One thing I love about lifting heavy is how you feel in between sets. Dany just kept on saying that he felt 'strong'. There is no simpler way to put it. You lift heavy, your going to feel strong.

Really been impressed on the progression Dany has made in the matter of two weeks. The consistency with him is there, which is a must when you start out! Kill it everyday and you will see the changes.

Stay strong and fit, friends!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

No time for rest.. literally!

Good Morning! Started the workout early today! Woke up at 4:30 AM, got lazy so stayed in bed till 5ish, Drank my death mix and went straight to the gym! Today was arms, because I keep on activating them throughout my sessions this week but haven't really emphasize them. My arms last time I measured was a slim 15.5 inches in diameter.Not bad but not great. My chest sits around 41-42 inches around, so my arms should ideally for me sit around 16.5 inches. It was arms so the pace was pretty fast.

5 x 10-12 Hammer-strength Preacher Curls
superset w/ 5 x 10 Hammer-strength Seated Dips

4 x 8-10 Seated Dumbbell Curls
supetset w/ 4 x 8 Hammer Curls

4 x 10-12 French Press
supetset w/ 4 x failure Push Ups

4 x 12 Cable Tricep extensions
superset w/ 4 x 12 Hammer Curls

3 x 15 Bicep Curls (machine)
supetset w/ 3 x Failure Dips

Stretching/Foam Roller
10 minutes afterwards

I finished my workout in about 30-35 minutes. Decided I needed to stretch out afterwards. All about form, especially with the supersets. Mad vascularity today! Quick and simple!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Having Myself a Field Day/'Feels' Day!

Today went by fast! Spend the majority of my day at school, did some homework, and cooked some dinner. Today was considered an 'exciting' day because I was off of work, did my homework, hit chest and shoulders, FINALLY got the call about my new work schedule next week, and spend some quality time with my babe.

My morning session today began around 8:30 AM. It was on the later end for me, considering I would probably be at work or cooking a mean breakfast this time on other days. I really wanted a good 'feel' day and since it was technically my second day on my routine, I just had to hit chest. My alternative focus was going to be arms, but I changed it to shoulders/traps in the middle of the workout. Weighed in around 171lbs this morning, felt good and lean!

Chest/Shoulders/Traps Complex
4 x 8-10 Bench Press
superset w/ 4 x 10-12 Lateral Side Raises

3 x 10-12 Dumbbell Incline Press
superset w/ 3 x 15 Shrugs

4 x 10 Hammer-strength Decline Press
superset w/ 4 x 8-10 Lateral Side Raises

3 x 12-15 Cable Flyes
supetset w/ 3 x 10 Shoulder Press

5 x 12 Cable Tricep Extension
supetset w/ 5 x 10 Dumbbell Hammercurls

(Didn't do much but one group set)

Felt the pumps for sure! If you ever want to look like an action figure, this complex will leave you STACKED. Felt dense throughout the workout, vascularity all over! I have been supersetting a lot my sets lately not only because I do not want to be at the gym forever, because I can feel the burn so much more. Pre-exhausting a muscle to immediately jump in to exhausting another will leave those muscles erected! I finished up around 40 minutes into the session, leaving with all of my potential 'gainz'.

After today's session, I noticed what I need to really improve on. Need to incorporate more delts and trap workouts. Need to do so to bring the upper body together. There are always room to improvement! We just need to recognize it and capitalize on it! Can't improve yourself if you don't start working on the trouble areas! Work with it, don't work around it! Rehab it!

Back on Track!

Nothing like a 5 AM workout! Today was my first day back after having two days off consecutively, which hasn't happen lately. I find myself training a lot harder when my body is already in the groove. So today was my intro-day back into my routine. There are a lot of people who tend to take their first day back lightly, which doesn't make much sense to me. If you are training frequently enough to the point where you know your body, you should hit your days back even harder then any other day. You had time off for your body to recover and if you are really on track with your scheduling, you should be maximizing all gym time. I will go over my split on my next post to better understand what I am saying.

I decided to have a field day on my 'gainz' this morning. My last session was with chest and abs, so I decided to hit back and legs. I woke up around 4:30 AM, with nothing in my stomach but my pre-workout. I like to live life dangerously. Legs today was more about pumps then anything. The last two leg workouts I've had were heavy leg days. Back was my primary focus today so I hit that a lot harder(obviously).

5 x failure Hammer-strength Leg Curls (2 warm up sets)
5 x failure Hammer-strength Leg Extensions (2 warm up sets)

5 x 10-12 Lat Pulldowns

4 x 10 T-bar Rows
superset w/ 4 x 12 Iso-lat Pull-downs (underhand)

5 x 8 Cable Rows

3 x 12 Hammer-strength High Rows
3 x 12 Hammer-strength Low Rows

I started off with leg extensions, trying to warm my body up. I tend to wear a hoodie in the morning because the gym is freezing, even if the weather is hot. After finishing the extensions, I jumped onto the cable lat pull-downs. I had 2 warm up sets with rep range around 12-15, immediately starting my working sets. I pretty much pre-exhausted my lats, so I went start to the t-bar and superset it with iso-lat pull-downs. Stretching out and resetting is crucial with the iso-lat pull-down! Austin helped me out with correcting my form a while back. I tend to keep it under tension, but the solid pumps comes from the reset. You will noticed your lat activating a lot better and will start to develop a much rounder lat.

My back was thickening out, so I decided to finish legs out with leg curls. I threw on a good amount of weight and just started to rep out. I love the way the hamstring contracts! Just like flexing your biceps but with a much larger muscle. If you tend to show off your guns, I hope your foundation pars up!

Finished the curls and went to cable rows. Focused on the squeeze and form. I changed the range of motion and my positioning so the last 2 sets really focused on my lower back. Went straight to high rows to finish out my workout but decided to throw in low rows since it was sitting right next to me.

Good Workout! This session was just the right approach to this upcoming week. Last week was my birthday week and got a lot done! Ana and I got an amazing living room set for an extremely inexpensive price. It was the couch I really wanted right before the car accident, but with the matching love set and 6 more pieces! Ana bought me GTA 5, which I couldn't believe because It will now destroy my social life. Dinner was at Maggiano's with many great friends. I appreciate all of my friends for the birthday wishes and calls. Ana's little sister Katty even called! Sweetest 10 year-old ever! I am excited to hear back from full-line and for Ana as she is applying for a management role. We are finally back on track with our lives after the accident and I am excited to see how this year finish out!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Going to Failure/Life's Opportunities

Today started off great! Ana and I had a very small glass of wine around 7 PM last night and found ourselves completely passed out. It was from the long day we had at work but I am pretty sure the wine played its role. Waking up around 8 AM, we both started to do our homework. We both really don't get an off day with school being on our days off of work. School was a breeze and caught some early dinner at the mall. Ana somehow always gets something more delicious and cheaper than my meal. Went to work shortly after the mall to finish up some of our management internship homework and finally got home!

Tomorrow is my birthday, so I decided to kill myself at the gym so I can have a fat-day for myself at dinner tomorrow night. I am most likely going to engorge myself over all of the pasta and free bread, like always. I decided to train legs/arms. Legs was planned but I threw in arms because there was a lot of douchebag-looking teenies up in cedar park tonight. So my routine tonight was:

5 x 10-12 hammer-strength Leg extension(warm-up)
5 x 10 Squats ATG w/small plates underneath ankles
5 x 10 hammer-strength Leg curls
4 x 15-20 Calve raises

4 x 12 Seated arm curls
superset w/ 4 x 8 seated hammercurls
superset w/ 4 x 12 Lateral raises

4 x 12 Skullcrushers
superset w/ 4 x 10 french press

3 x to failure hammer-strength preacher curl

Lifting tonight felt amazing. I ate a moderate diet of carbs and protein with a good amount of dat good fat we all need to look for(Polyunsaturated). Had my pre-workout 30 minutes prior so by the time I was done warming up my legs, my thighs was feeling 'dat feel' we all need in our lives. I have been training the last 3 months with the right amount of intensity( Thanks to my good friend Austin), which has made my sessions actually shorter. I finished the work out a little under 45 minutes. Good to keep the heart working at a good training pace, really focusing on the motion and the activation of the muscle throughout the motion.

Squats are a pain, but it truly is the best compound movement you can do. I have been doing squats almost religiously and I have notice a significant amount of body fat decreasing since then. It only makes sense. Your legs have some of the largest muscles, it only makes sense that training them will help you shred the unwanted fat that we all have. There really is no such thing as 'spotting'. To get shredded, you need to put your time into your sessions. Don't find yourself constantly looking at your phone, it defeats the purpose of being at the gym. The gym is YOUR time, put in the effort in and you will get the results you are looking for.

Arms wasn't planned at all but with the amount of traffic tonight and teenies, I threw them in. I didn't spend much times with training arms but I did superset all of my sets to get the maximum amount of volume into my biceps/triceps. People have such a strong misconception when it comes to training arms. Swinging weights around might work for some, but clean form and moderate weight will do the trick. To be able to only pump out 4 curls vs. 10 curls, I can honestly say you will have a better activation of the muscle with cleaner form. Don't get me wrong, we all need to put in time and lift heavy shit once in a while, but that's the difference with strength training and bodybuilding. They go well together but depending on your goals, if you wanna lift heavy shit, strength train. If you wanna just look rip and shredded, hypertrophy rep range is a good idea.

Finished the session with preacher curls. Good weight, pushed out as many reps as I could willingly and forcefully. I was able to rep out a consistent 8 reps before it really started to burn, but continued to push myself out of my comfort-zone with the reps. It got pretty high up there and my arms were bloated. Nothing feels better then your arms feeling like they are about to blow out of your skin. That's when you know your workout was successful.

So today I incorporated a failure set into my session. Gym problems honestly are exactly like daily life problems. Sometimes we don't like to push our limits and we like to work with what we are comfortable with. But if we are not striving for a change, how will we ever know what could have been? Work has been really getting to me lately. I work for a company that means well and it has always given me opportunities to grow with it on a regular bases. I haven't really tried to move up but they are giving me the opportunity to. We should take advantage of situations like that in life because we should always make the best out of life's opportunity. I might not be planning to stay with the company forever, but life throws curve-balls at you. If you are working hard and being recognize for it, moving up can't hurt you. Don't be afraid of failure, you won't know what failure is if you are constantly avoiding it. Plus if you do fail, you are just improving yourself. At the end of the day, its about resting your head on that pillow, knowing you took advantage of opportunities to better yourself and your life.

Shit Happens

Yes indeed! Shit happens. I have decided to join the blogging world after seeing all of my sister's post about my baby niece, Noelle. I have found myself wanting to write down a lot of my thoughts lately. However, most of my memorable thinking pops up during my workouts. OH NO,  ya'll are probably thinking. Dennis is starting a FITNESS blog. No, that's actually not the case. You are obviously reading this because you found yourself clicking the link. Curious enough to click the link, so I'll make  worth your while. This blog will  have a lot of readings about fitness, but ultimately this will be my diary. Most likely the majority of my post will happen right after the gym, but that is totally irrelevant. Like I said early, I just happen to think more at the gym. I hope ya'll enjoy these short reads I will be posting regularly!