Thursday, July 2, 2009

Back @ Gold's Gym, Venice

The race is on! I'm telling you, I am back on track, no, in fact, I'm on a whole new track.
I dont remember ever being this focused for a competition, and with 10 weeks left, and my 6 (or more like 8) pack starting to become clearly visible, I'm now more motivated than ever!!
I'll be posting a few new pics soon!

I met with my friend today at Gold's Gym in Venice. No, we're not dating or anything, we just both share the same passion for fitness, and as she's looking to do her first competition in August, we are helping each other stay highly motivated.

Today's focus group was Back - the Lats and middle-upper back to be more precise, as I felt after a heavy quads session the day before, any lower back work such as deadlifts and hyperextensions would somewhat aggravate my legs, and impact their recovery.

You can see the full breakdown of my exercises, sets, reps and weights on my Bodyspace, as well as all my other previous workouts to date (I've only recently started using it again overthe last 2 weeks, but I'll try and keep it updated as often as I train).

Today was a fairly quick workout - mainly because my friend had to drive back to babysit her nephew, and I had to get back home to finish some more editing.

After a couple of light warm up sets on the Lat Pulldown machine, I strapped up (wrist straps), and loaded up the stack. After just 2 sets, I was lifting the heaviest weight I can remember doing - 240lbs, with control and good form for each rep, finishing off with a couple of underhand pulldowns with even more weight - 260lbs.

After feeling a great pump in my back, I moved onto Bent Over Rows, and once again, loaded up the weight for a couple of overhand sets, followed by 2 more sets of close-grip underhand rows. Using straps on each set to ensure my hands would not be the weak link in the chain, and force me to rack the weight before my back had fully fatigued.

By now, my gym vest was feeling tight on my body, as my lats had flared out and delts and traps were pumped full of blood. I decided to make full use of this pumped effect, and knock out some heavy sets of machine pulldowns (Iso Lateral - Fixed angle pulldown) and managed - with a little help from my friend who was spotting, to pull down 300lbs for 8 solid reps. If you'd have seen her spotting, it would have put a smile on your face, as there I was, nearly 190lbs pulling down 300lbs, with my friend weighing little over 100lbs (she's built well, and is by no means skinny), holding onto the top of the bar with al her might! I swear, had I of let go quickly, it would have flung her half way across the gym!!

I finished off with seated cable pulls, using two handles attached to the cable (so that both arms were pulling an equal weight, and not compensating for the weaker side by using a fixed grip or bar). Again, I went heavy-ish, and loaded the stack up to 210, with a solid 10 reps. I still feel as though I could have done more though! One of the many benefits of keeping records each time you lift - so that you can make necessary changes to each workout, and look back and see when you hit a plateau, what can be changed or modified!!

Although it wasn't a very long workout, and only 4 different exercises in total, I actually felt better that I lifted as heavy as I could for as long as I could, then got out of there before I started to become catabolic, and waste my time trying to do more exercises when I should be refuelling, and letting my body start the recovery process.

As soon as we were out of there, I took my supplements (5g L-Glutamine, 5g BCAA's, a further 2 Norateen Hollywood Body, and had an Orange, Carrot, Lemon and Ginger smoothie, plus a few cubes of Papaya fruit - great source of anti-oxidants, fiber and free-radical fighting properties, followed by about 6oz of chicken on the drive home. Not my usual post-workout meal, but sometimes you just need to make the most of what you have available to you, and when I'm with friends, I'll always try and accomodate them first, rather than grab a protein shake, and leave them feeling like they shouldnt be eating anything! Just make sure that what you do eat is within your daily nutrition plan. Once you know your numbers, its easy to modify and be able to continue a successful training plan no matter where you are.

For more updates and everything health and fitness - join up a free fitness account at

Morning Cardio/Abs Blast

Woke feeling good today. Alarm went off at 5.45, but I hit sleep for another 15 minutes. (I gotta be getting out of bed by 5.30 so that I can get to the gym, do my morning cardio, and be back home ready for my first meal, so that I can stay on track with smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to help burn off these last few pounds of body fat).

Usual supplements taken prior to gym.

5g L-Glutamine
5g BCAA's (mixed in with a little low-cal sports drink to aid uptake, plus to make it taste a little better!)
2 LA FatStripper Intense
6g L-Carnitine

and about half a liter of water.
For more information about these supplements, check out this link here.

If you've been keeping up with my blogs, you'll know that I trained legs hard yesterday, and so cardio sprints just didn't seem an option for me this morning.

Instead, I did upright bike for 20 minutes at an intensity of 12 (12 out of 20), with a speed of 70 rpm, and then a brisk walk on the treadmill for another 20 minutes at a speed of 3.6 mph and an incline of between 6.5 - 8. Again, my HR watch ceased to work, but I would guess I burned close to 500 calories from cardio alone.

Then on to abs.. Here's my insane abs split!
performed as supersets with no rest between exercises, then 2 minutes rest before starting the next set of supersets with new exercises.

Superset 1
Bent Leg Hip Raises (on a decline bench) 50:50:50
Standard Crunches (Shoulders off ground) with 25lb plate on chest. 50:50:50

Superset 2
Lying Leg Raises (performed on a bench, hands by side, legs straight to 70-degrees up) 50:50:50
Cable Crunches. 50:50:50

Superset 3
Oblique Rotations (holding a plate close to my chest) 50(25lb) : 50(25lb) : 50(35lb)
Single Arm Cable Crunch (with a twist to work obliques) 30:30:30 (all with 90lbs - single cable pulley)
Hyper-Extensions (Holding a 25lb plate). 30:30:30

Total time in gym: 80 minutes
Total reps on abs: 1020
Total calories burned: At a guess, probably just over 1000!

As soon as I got home, I took the same supplements as I did prior to hitting the gym (minus the fatstripper's), and took my multi-vitamin packet with another 1/2 liter of water.
Plus 5g of Fish Oil capsules, high in Omega 3.

For breakfast, I kept it simple.

80g of Quaker Oats
60g of BSN Syntha 6 Chocolate Mint protein (mixed with water for a shake)
100g of frozen raspberries & blueberries (split 50:50) - good source of fiber.

Here is the total nutritional breakdown.

Total Calories: 611
Total Protein: 40
Total Carbs: 80
Total Fat: 15

I always have 25% of my total carb intake for my morning meal, and a further 25% of my carbs post workout, with the remainder 50% split throughout my other 4 meals of the day.
More on this later.
You can keep track and plan of all your nutritional meals by using my nutrition planner that I devloped for this very purpose. To be your own nutrition accountant!

Got work to do now.
Stay posted for my evening workout when I'll be hitting back and arms.