Arms All Day Long

Today’s training was all about the arms. Okay, so the upper body probably also figured in there, but really it just felt like all arms. I am the first to admit that my arm and upper body strength is lacking. I do not like how difficult various arm exercises feel, and I am easily intimidated when Michael asks for higher reps and weights. But I can get stronger. I have to believe that, even for those exercises that make me feel weak and uncoordinated. Since this is my off-season and the time to work on my weaknesses, it looks like we’ll be hitting those arms a lot. Oh joy!

1a. chin ups, with large green band

I didn’t know what would be on the schedule for today, but I really shouldn’t have been surprised when told I’d be doing chins. It’s been a while, so I was quite glad when Michael said I could use the large band.

x 10 neutral grip, x 9 underhand grip, x 8 pronated grip

The first set felt quite easy, but the changes in grip for the following sets proved challenging. For the final two sets, I stuck to a neutral grip but tried to hold the bar more with my palms than fingers and attempted to bend the bars.

x 8, x 6

1b. dips

with small green band: x 10, x 10

with blue band: x 8, x 6, x 6

The dips weren’t too bad with the green band, but I began to struggle once I got to the blue band, which doesn’t mean that it was the band’s fault. Weak arms and upper body, remember.

2a. chest-supported barbell rows, with a short hold on last rep

75 lbs x 10, x 12, x 12, x 11

2b. flat single arm dumbbell presses, with body off-centre of the bench

25 lbs x 10 each x 4 sets

The left arm was typically struggling more than the right, but even that arm was moving a bit better after the first two sets.

3a. barbell curls

45 lbs x 7, x 5

3b. kettlebell triceps extension

10kg x 10 x 2 sets

This was one of those times when my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw the weight that Michael was giving me. I was certain that 10kg was going to be too heavy, but it was probably about right. I did turn down his offer to increase the weight on the second set…maybe another day.

So here I am two days into my off-season training program, a program that I last did roughly two years ago apparently, and I’m already missing what it feels like to be a powerlifter. That might be a slight exaggeration though. I’m still having fun. I’m also feeling muscles that I didn’t know existed anymore. I’m breathing heavier than I have for a while, and I’m definitely breaking a sweat now. With excitement and trepidation, I wonder what will be on the agenda tomorrow when I walk in the gym.

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