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Full Workout Logs

Starting 1/13/08

Off-Season

Weeks 1 - 5 of 10

by Gary F. Zeolla


These workout logs are continued from: Full Workout Logs: Starting 12/9/07: Routine One; Rotations Three and Four.

Next contest: NASA Northeastern States Championships in Washington, PA on June 7, 2008. For details, see Possible next contest/ going “unequipped”.

Weight Class: 114s or 123s.

Divisions: Unequipped/ Masters (40-49) Pure: Lifetime Anabolic Steroid Free.

Warm-ups are in brackets. All weights are in pounds. Format: pounds/reps.
Workout times includes set-up, warm-up, lifting, cardio, and clean-up.


Week One

Benches/ New routine after a week off

Off-season/ Week 1

Sunday – 1/13/08

DB Benches: [20s/15, 30s/10, 40s/6, 47s/3] 55s/6, 57s/5, 60s/4

Curl Bar Rows: [55/8, 80/4] 95/8, 100/6

Wrist Rotations: [10/10] 11/12, 11/12

Rotator Cuff (Lying on side): 5/12, 5/12

Heavy Bag: 3:30

Workout time: 1:05

After my geared squat workout last Sunday (1/6/07), I was absolutely exhausted. Actually, I’ve been overdoing it since I changed my routine a couple of weeks ago. So I took a week off to recover.

I was planning on entering a contest in April. But right now, that seems doubtful, so I won’t use gear for a while. But I will use chains and bands to keep used to the heavier weights. I’ll wait a few weeks before making a final decision on the April contest. If I don’t enter that contest, there's a couple of contests in the summer I could enter.

In any case, with all of this, I started a new routine with this workout. I’m still going to lift four times a week, alternating through four basic workouts: squats/ benches/ deadlifts/ bench assistance. But since I ended my previous routine with squats, I am starting this one with benches.

I’ll use an alternating weeks routine, doing “powerlift look-alike” major assistance exercises on odd numbered weeks (hence the DB benches here), and then the powerlifts with chains or bands on even numbered weeks. So I’ll consider this to be my “off-season” with not doing the actual powerlifts. I’ll do the actual powerlifts with my next routine and consider that to be my “in-season.”

I’ll only do one powerlift-type exercise each workout, for three sets, rather than the two exercises for two sets each that I just tried. So the volume will be lower and the workouts shorter. I have no idea how long I will follow this routine. It depends on when I compete again.

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Deadlifts

Off-season/ Week 1

Monday – 1/14/08

Good Mornings: [45/15, 75/10, 100/6, 125/3] 135/6, 140/5, 145/4

BB Shrugs: [95/8, 125/4] 145/8, 155/8, 165/6

Crunches: 25/12, 30/12

Jump Rope: 3:00

Workout time: 1:07

______________________________

Bench Assistance

Off-season/ Week 1

Wednesday – 1/16/08

Overhead Presses: [DBs: 10s/15, BB: 45/10, 55/6, 65/3] 75/6, 77/6, 82/6

Lat. Pulldowns (wide grip): [45/8, 75/4] 90/10, 95/9

Reverse Curl Bar Curls [35/10] 45/10, 47/10

Rotator Cuff (lying, down): 7.5/12, 7.5/12

Heavy Bag: 3:30

Workout time: 1:03

______________________________

Squats

Off-season/ Week 1

Thursday – 1/17/08

Manta Ray Squats: [55/15, 115/10, 155/6, 195/3] 215/6, 225/5, 235/5

Standing BB Calves: [105/12] 115/12, 125/12

Dip Bar Reverse Crunches: 13, 13

Step ups: 3:30

Workout time: 1:08

I can really tell the difference with using the Manta Ray. The quads are stressed much more than with regular squats, so it makes for a good assistance exercise.

I posted a while back about wondering if it was worth the time and effort to do calves work. I haven’t done any specific calves work in some time, but I was noticing that it is getting harder to walk the weight out on squats. So I am adding calves work back in.

 

Week Two

Benches

Off-season/ Week 2

Sunday – 1/20/08

Reverse Band Benches (light #3 bands choked around the top of my power rack, set so there is very little tension at the top of the lift):

[45/15, add bands: 105/10, 135/6, 165/3] 185/5, 195/4, 205/3

DB Rows (elbows out): [30/8, 40/4] 50/8, 55/6

Hammer Bar Curls: [20s/8] 25s/10, 26s/8

Rotator Cuff (sitting, side): 9/12, 9/12

Heavy Bag: 4:00

Workout time: 1:15

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Deadlifts

Off-season/ Week 2

Monday – 1/21/08

Chain Deadlifts (chain set-up weighs about 90 pounds):

[55/15, 145/10, add chains: 145/6] 225/5, 240/4, 255/3

Sitting DB Calves: 10/12, 20/12, 25/12, 30/12

Twisting sit-ups (reps to each side): 12, 8

Jump Rope: 3:30

Workout time: 1:06

This was the first time I did any form of deadlifts in three weeks. It was also the first time I used chains on deadlifts in some time. So I had no idea how much weight to use. The 225 was supposed to be my last warm-up set, but it felt so heavy that I made it my first work set.

This was also the first time in ages I had done sitting calves work. So again, I had no idea how much weight to use. Only this time, I started way too light, so I did an extra set, and it was still too light. But still, not a bad workout.

______________________________

Bench Assistance

Off-season/ Week 2

Wednesday – 1/23/08

Dips: [bwt./10, 25/8, 35/6, 45/3] 55/5, 60/5, 65/4

Lat. Pulldowns (medium grip): [45/8, 75/4] 90/12, 100/8

DB Wrist Curls [10/12] 12/12, 12/12

Rotator Cuff (lying, in): 7.5/12, 7.5/12

Heavy Bag: 3:30

Workout time: 1:10

______________________________

Squats

Off-season/ Week 2

Thursday – 1/24/08

Reverse Band Squats (average #4 bands choked around the top of my power rack, set so there is virtually not tension at the top of the lift):

[55/15, add bands: 195/10, 235/6, 275/3] 305/6, 325/5, 345/2

Standing DB Calves: 30/10, 30/10

Bicycle Abs (reps to each side): 20, 16

Step ups: 3:30

Workout time: 1:15

It had been a rough week, and I was really dragging for this workout. My first two sets of RB squats went okay, but I was wiped out by the third. It was supposed to be for 3-4 reps, but I got buried on the third rep. So I didn’t push too hard for the rest of the workout.

But at least I still got done in 1:15. I say this as in setting up this routine, my goal was for each workout to last between 1:00 and 1:15. This was the eighth and last workout I’ll be doing for this routine, and all of them fell within this range. So at least I got that figured out.

Week Three

Benches (video)

Off-season/ Week 3

Sunday – 1/27/08

DB Benches: [20s/15, 30s/10, 40s/6, 50s/3] 57s/6, 60s/5, 62s/4

Curl Bar Rows: [55/8, 85/4] 100/7, 105/5

Wrist Rotations: [10/10] 12/12, 12/12

Rotator Cuff (Lying on side): 6/12, 6/12

Heavy Bag: 4:00

Workout time: 1:06

Below is a video of the new rotator cuff exercise I just started doing. This one also really stresses my bad right shoulder.

Lying, Side

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Deadlifts

Off-season/ Week 3

Monday – 1/28/08

Good Mornings: [45/15, 75/10, 105/6, 125/3] 140/6, 145/5, 150/4

BB Shrugs: [125/8, 145/4] 165/8, 175/8

Crunches: 35/13, 40/15

Jump Rope: 3:45

Workout time: 1:05

The videos below are of the second two sets of GMs. I think my form is okay, but any comments would be appreciated. I am moving my butt back so as to keep the center of gravity over my hips. Otherwise, my form is similar to on SLDLs, except it is not possible to keep my head up, so my back is rounding some, but I don't think too much.

Good Mornings 1

Good Mornings 2

The next videos are of shrugs.

Shrugs

Shrugs are one of two exercise I recommend using wrist straps on (the other is rack pulls). You can see me wrapping them around the bar at the start of the video. If you don't have a pair, an inexpensive pair with free shipping is available from APT Inc.

Shrugs Close Up

I took the second one close up of my shoulders for posting on my site. I wanted to show that when you do shrugs, you’re supposed to actually shrug your shoulders! I say this as all too often, I’ve seen guys at gyms pile on hundreds of pounds on the bar, and then barely shrug their shoulders. That would always upset me as that is how bars would get bent at the gym.

______________________________

Squats (videos)

Off-season/ Week 3

Thursday – 1/31/08

Manta Ray Squats: [55/15, 115/10, 165/6, 215/3] 235/6, 245/6, 260/4

Standing BB Calves: [110/12] 130/10, 130/12

Dip Bar Reverse Crunches: 13, 13

Step ups: 4:00

Workout time: 1:14

I got a little behind in this workout with taking the videos. But I’m glad I was taking them. The second set of Manta Ray squats was supposed to be a set of five, but I lost count. It was only by checking the video that I knew I did an “extra” rep.

That said, I really like Manta Ray squats. As can be seen in the videos, they force you to keep an erect back. I left more time at the start and end of the second video to show the Manta Ray. A close up pic is also included below if you’re not sure what one is.

Pic of Manta Ray

Manta Ray Squats 1

Manta Ray Squats 2

The hardest part of doing standing BB calves is keeping your balance. You can see me stumbling some in the video. This is one exercise where I wish I had access to some kind of machine.

BB Calves

Week Four

Benches (video)

Off-season/ Week 4

Super Sunday – 2/3/08

Reverse Band Benches (light #3 bands choked around the top of my power rack, set so there is very little tension at the top of the lift):

[45/15, add bands: 115/10, 145/6, 170/3] 185/5, 192/4, 200/3

DB Rows (elbows out): [30/8, 45/4] 55/7, 60/5

Hammer Bar Curls: [20s/8] 26s/10, 27s/8

Rotator Cuff (sitting, side): 10/12, 10/12

Heavy Bag: 4:30

Workout time: 1:09

I am thinking of going “unequipped” for my next contest (more on that in a separate post). With doing so, I will stick with the same routine I already started, including doing chain and band work in my “off-season.” The last time I competed without a shirt, I missed my third attempt half way up, so some top end work will still be helpful. However, I wanted to be sure I was pausing all the reps, so I dropped the weight down some from my last RB bench workout. And all of the sets went as planned.

Just a video of the hammer curls for my Web site:

Hammer Curls

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Deadlifts (videos)

Off-season/ Week 4

Monday – 2/4/08

Chain Deadlifts (chain set-up weighs about 90 pounds):

[55/15, 145/10, add chains: 145/6, 210/3] 235/5, 250/4, 265/3

Sitting DB Calves: [30/12] 40/12, 50/12

Twisting sit-ups (reps to each side): 12, 9

Jump Rope: 3:45

Workout time: 1:08

A couple of more videos for my Web site:

Sitting DB Calves

Twisting Sit-ups

______________________________

Bench Assistance

Off-season/ Week 4

Wednesday – 2/6/08

Dips: [bwt./10, 25/8, 40/6, 50/3] 60/5, 65/5, 70/5

Lat. Pulldowns (medium grip): [55/8, 85/6] 100/8, 100/10

DB Wrist Curls [10/12] 17/10, 17/12

Rotator Cuff (lying, in): 9/12, 9/12

Heavy Bag: 4:00

Workout time: 1:10

It was at this point that I tentatively planned on entering a contest in June. See Possible next contest/ going “unequipped”.

I started this routine mid-January. It has distinct “off-season” and “in-season” elements to it. I am currently in “Week 4” of the off-season. Counting out the weeks until my possible contest June 7, I will have twenty weeks of training from the start of this routine to the contest. So I will follow the off-season part for a total of ten weeks, and then switch to the in-season part for the second ten weeks.

That said, below are more videos. For the dips, I took a couple of different angles to show that when you do dips you need to actually “dip.” I say this as too often in gyms, I’ve seen guys barely bend their arms and call it a dip. OTOH, you don’t want to dip down too far as that puts too much strain on the shoulders. So I think it best if you come down until the upper arms are about parallel to the ground, as can be seen in the videos.

Dips 1

Dips 2

For wrist curls, not only do I bend my wrists up and down, but I also let the bar roll down to the end of my fingers then curl it back up. This way both the forearms and fingers get strengthen to hang onto a heavy deadlift.

Wrist Curls

______________________________

Squats

Off-season/ Week 4

Thursday – 2/7/08

Reverse Band Squats (average #4 bands choked around the top of my power rack, set so there is virtually not tension at the top of the lift):

[55/15, add bands: 195/10, 245/6, 295/3] 325/5, 340/4, 355/2

Standing DB Calves: [20/10] 30/12, 30/10

Bicycle Abs (reps to each side): 25, 20

Step ups: 4:30

Workout time: 1:15

Standing DB Calves

Week Five

Benches

Off-season/ Week 5

Sunday – 2/10/08

DB Benches: [20s/15, 30s/10, 40s/6, 50s/3] 57s/7, 60s/6, 62s/4

Curl Bar Rows: [55/8, 80/4] 100/7, 105/5

Wrist Rotations: [10/10] 13/12, 13/12

Rotator Cuff (Lying on side): 7/12, 7/12

Heavy Bag: 5:00

Workout time: 1:08

I really had to struggle on the last rep of each set of DB benches, so I think my form wasn’t the greatest. So next time I will probably drop the weights slightly and concentrate on my form.

______________________________

Deadlifts

Off-season/ Week 5

Monday – 2/11/08

Good Mornings: [45/15, 75/10, 105/6, 130/3] 135/7, 142/6, 150/5

BB Shrugs: [125/8, 165/4] 185/8, 195/7, 205/6

Crunches: [35/13] 50/12, 50/11

Jump Rope: 4:00

Workout time: 1:05

Just a video of basic crunches. Playing in the background is one of my favorite songs from my all-time favorite group, Led Zeppelin’s “Kasmir.”

Crunches

______________________________

Bench Assistance

Off-season/ Week 5

Wednesday – 2/13/08

Overhead Presses: [DBs: 10s/15, BB: 45/10, 60/6, 75/3] 82/7, 87/6, 92/5

Lat. Pulldowns (wide grip): [55/8, 80/4] 95/10, 100/6, 100/6

Reverse Curl Bar Curls [42/10] 52/10, 55/10

Rotator Cuff (lying, down): 10/12, 10/12

Workout time: 1:03

______________________________

Squats (final video)

Off-season/ Week 5

Friday – 2/15/08

Manta Ray Squats: [55/15, 125/10, 170/6, 215/3] 235/7, 245/6, 255/5

Standing BB Calves: [115/12] 135/12, 135/12

Dip Bar Reverse Crunches: 14, 14

Step ups: 5:00

Workout time: 1:06

The video below is the final video I will need to take this routine.

Dip Bar Reverse Crunches

With this video, I now have posted on this Web site videos of just about every exercise I can do in my home gym. So my Weightlifting Exercises Videos” section is basically complete.

These workout logs are continued at: Full Workout Logs: Starting 2/17/08: Off-Season; Weeks 6 - 10 of 10.



Full Workout Logs: Starting 1/13/08: Off-Season; Weeks 1 - 5. Copyright 2008 by Gary F. Zeolla.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: Full Workout Logs

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