Upper body training is the least favourite of my training days. I don’t hate the upper body work; it’s just more challenging and makes me feel weaker. With competition ahead, there have already been slight changes to my upper body programming, like I’m not doing chin-ups for a while. Soon, there will be more changes, as we will shift focus towards the big three lifts. I am looking forward to that next shift. I am looking forward to the competition!
1a. incline bench press, competition grip
43 x 8, 63 x 6, 68 x 6, 70 x 6, 70 x 6
For the final set, Michael had me pull out my wrist wraps and give them a try. They have been sitting unused in my gym bag for more than a year. I’m not sure if I wrapped them too tightly. It felt much like using Voodoo floss, and I was glad to regain circulation once I removed the wraps. But, they didn’t feel horrible to use.
The biggest issue with the incline, I think, is nailing the position on my chest. The first few reps felt the easiest and fastest, but I think those were also the reps where I brought the bar down to the best spot consistently. After those first few reps, my consistency was not so consistent and the reps got a bit slower and tougher.
1b. chest supported rows
45 x 15, 90 x 10, 90 x 10, 95 x 10
These are finally beginning to feel stronger. I remember just a few weeks ago, when 70 pounds felt tough. Today, 90 pounds felt decent and 95 pounds wasn’t too terrible.
2a. flat dumbbell presses
25 lbs x 6, 35 x 8, 35 x 9, 35 x ?
The second set at 35 pounds was much better than the first one. I’m at a bit of a loss with the third set at 35 pounds, because I have 3 reps written in my training log but that doesn’t seem right to me. I am fairly certain that I would have got more than 3 reps, probably got at least 7, maybe 8 or even 9. Why would I have written 3? Hmmm. When I finished that last set, Michael made a comment about only having me do 3 sets. It’s quite possible that I heard him say 3 and wrote that in my log instead of the actual number! I think that’s it. For the record, the first set at 25 pounds was just a little warm-up.
2b. one arm kettlebell rows
20kg x 10 each, 24kg x 10 each, 24 kg x 10 each
3a. incline dumbbell curls
15 lbs x 11, 15 x 9, 15 x 6…drop the dumbbells, stand up on a red band and curl it 15 reps
Nothing makes my biceps feel super-inflated quite like curls. Each set got more difficult, and that left arm was lagging again. Still. At times the right arm would lag a bit to allow the left arm to catch up.
3b. This was all about the triceps. Today my triceps sucked. In fact, at one point I called them stupid, little triceps.
I started off doing a triceps extension using a barbell and push-up like motion. Yeah, I am horrible at proper names! I did 6 easy reps before Michael decided to lower the bar. I managed another 6 reps or so, but they were much more challenging. Then he switched it to doing some triceps extensions using a blue band. The blue band was too tough. Tried a red band. I could not lock out my elbows. Switched to the cable machine. First with the rope handle at 20 pounds, maybe 4 reps, but I still couldn’t lock out my elbows to save my life! Changed to a straight bar. Easier. 30 lbs x 4 reps. 40 lbs x 6 reps. 30 lbs x 6 reps. Triceps toast.