I didn’t make it to the gym today and it isn’t the end of the world

Walt - GymLast week I was sitting out on my deck, finishing up a cigar, and browsing YouTube. I came across a video by Mike Rashid and CT Fletcher. Mike Rashid was doing an Overtraining Chest Workout while CT Fletcher provided commentary. The video reminded me of some of the workouts I did in high-school while on the wrestling team.

Back in the beginning of May I made the decision to shed weight and live a healthier life. I joined a gym and found a cutting routine on JeFit. This particular routine calls for moderate weight and high repetitions over an eight week period.

After four weeks on the program I began to grow bored. I didn’t want to quit the program but I needed to alter it in a way that made it more enjoyable. I decided to blend the program with what I saw Mike Rashid do in his overtraining video.

Let’s take a quick look at what I did yesterday so that you can see what I’ve been doing all week. A typical exercise is made up of three sets with fifteen reps per set. I can generally go beyond the prescribed reps on the first set but fall short on sets two and three.

Cardio Warm-Up

  • 5mph Rolling Hills on Treadmill for 15 Minutes

Bench Press

  • Set 1: 20 Reps at 110 Pounds*
  • Set 2: 10 Reps at 110 Pounds*
  • Set 3: 8 Reps at 110 Pounds*
  • Set 4: To Failure at 100 Pounds*
  • Set 5: To Failure at 90 Pounds*
  • Set 6: To Failure at 70 Pounds*
  • Set 7: To Failure at 50 Pounds*
  • * Plus Bar – Smith Machine

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

  • Set 1: 14 Reps at 35 Pounds
  • Set 2: 12 Reps at 35 Pounds
  • Set 3: 10 Reps at 35 Pounds
  • Set 4: To Failure at 30 Pounds
  • Set 5: To Failure at 25 Pounds
  • Set 6: To Failure at 20 Pounds

Cable High Crossover

  • Set 1: 10 Reps at 60 Pounds
  • Set 2: 12 Reps at 50 Pounds
  • Set 3: 10 Reps at 50 Pounds
  • Set 4: To Failure at 40 Pounds
  • Set 5: To Failure at 30 Pounds
  • Set 6: To Failure at 20 Pounds

Barbell Curl

  • Set 1: 15 Reps at 30 Pounds*
  • Set 2: 12 Reps at 30 Pounds*
  • Set 3: 12 Reps at 30 Pounds*
  • Set 4: To Failure at 20 Pounds*
  • Set 5: To Failure at 15 Pounds*
  • Set 6: To Failure at 10 Pounds*
  • Set 7: To Failure with No Weights – Bar Only
  • *Plus Weight of Short Curling Bar

Cardio

  • 4.2mph Rolling Hills on Treadmill for 30 Minutes
  • As a note, anywhere I have ‘To Failure’ it means that I didn’t count the reps (or I can’t remember) because JeFit only logs the first three sets in this routine.

    Working out like this has had a very interesting impact on me. Take the bench press for example. When I’m pushing to failure on that last set there is hardly any weight on the bar. I’m trembling, giving it everything I have to get the bar up one last time. The bar raises slowly, the higher it climbs the slower it moves. It feels like it takes ages to get the bar completely up and then my muscles fail me. Forward momentum stops and now the bar is creeping back down towards me. I don’t have any gas left in the tank, I’m done.

    When I lock the bar and get out from under it, I’m exhausted. The bar has a mere fifty pounds on it and yet I feel like the baddest mother fucker in the gym. I get up with my head held high, feeling great knowing that I just poured all of myself into that exercise.

    Every day this week has looked very similar to what I have outlined above. Monday I worked Shoulders and Triceps, Tuesday I worked Legs, Yesterday I worked Chest and Biceps, Today I was supposed to work Back, and tomorrow is supposed to be a Cardio day.

    Last night all of that intensity finally caught up to me. I was sitting at the cigar shop, attending a Knob Creek Single Barrel Bourbon tasting (I had a whopping 1oz of specialty bourbon that was being pitched to the club as a limited run that we could buy as a group in barrel quantity) and I felt absolutely drained. The process of sitting in a chair and listening to a presentation was exhausting.

    I got home around 7:10pm and was in bed by 7:30pm. My body was wiped out but my mind was racing. When my alarm sounded at 4:00am to let me know it was time to head over to the gym, I just couldn’t get myself out of bed. By 5:00am I had given up on the pep-talks and decided to stay in bed.

    On one hand I feel like I’ve failed by not forcing myself to get up and work out but, on the other hand, I know that my body demanded the extra rest. I won’t be able to make it to the gym today (I work out in the mornings when my wife is scheduled to work and I work from home). Instead, I’ll take it easy and make today my cardio day. I’ll probably spend about an hour on the treadmill going at a slow pace. Nothing hard, just something to keep me moving. I’ll get back on that horse tomorrow.

    My lack of energy is probably caused in part by having gym sessions so close together. I work out in the afternoon one day and in the the morning the next (roughly 12-13 hours apart). I should also take a look at my nutrition. I’ve scaled back on carbs in an effort to shed pounds and I may need to bost them a bit.

    I don’t have a pre-workout supplement (nor do I want one) and just stick with fruit. Post workout I try and eat something high in protein. I have a protein powder supplement but I quit using it a while back. Eating 8 oz of salmon (46 grams of protein) and mixed vegetables for dinner plus a protein shake (30 grams of protein) in a short period of time seems like a waste (the shake has extra calories and can my body even use 76 grams of protein in one sitting or is it wasted?)

    I have some kinks to work out but otherwise I feel good, mentally and physically. I like what I see in the mirror and I am eager to progress.

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