Archive for the ‘bench press’ Category

Well Kane has kept me close to his bed side for the last few days grounding my workouts and runs.  However, starting tomorrow that can change.  While Kane still isn’t mobile he is a bit less whiny- no doubt because his pain is lessening as his body heals.  So with him able to allow me some personal time mor ethan three feet from his bed that means I have a lot of catching up to do since it is Tuesday and I have three resistance training session and at least three runs to fit into my schedule.  As a result I will do some doubling up.

My schedule for the next few days includes an early morning session of stretching:

Neck/Trapezius Stretch (seen to the left; do in all four directions); Wrist Stretch (seen to the left; do in two positions- palm facing body and knuckles facing body);Seated Hamstring Stretch; Bent-Knee Forward; Bridging; Pat the Back; Seated Side Straddle; Back Straight Leg Extension; Back Curl to Extension; Spinal Twist

Each stretch is done twice for 30-45 seconds each with a few seconds rest in between. (more…)

How Healthy are you Right Now?

  1. What is your ideal weight?  Try this site, which will give you several methods of finding your ideal weight.  This will give you a good general idea of a healthy weight range for you. 
  2. How does my blood pressure and my resting heart rate..well…rate?  All you need to do for this one is head down to your local Wal-mart and take 30 seconds at the blood pressure testing machine.  It isn’t spot on accurate, but it is close enough.  I recommend taking 90 seconds (i.e. 3 times) and averaging them out.
  3. Find your caloric needs.  You need this many calories just to survive and exist. 
  4. Check out your waist hip ratio
  5. How are you arteries doing?  Run this simple ten question test to see how your cholestorel level might be effecting your health.
  6. Are you healthy enough to start exercising
  7. Are you presently at risk for diabetes?
  8. How much fat is on my (your) body?  If you have access to a fat caliper click here, if not try this siteand this one too.
  9. How is your vertical jump?
  10. Male girth calculator.  It isn’t what it might sound like.  This calculator uses your wrist measurement to tell you how big the rest of your body should be.
  11. JUST FOR FUN: Enjoy this health and longevity quiz
  12. How many push-ups can you do and how does that rank?
  13. What is you frame size?

How much _________ should I _____________?

  1. How much protein should I be eating?
  2. How much fat should I be eating?
  3. How much fiber should I be eating?
  4. How many carbs should I be eating?
  5. How much (pick your favorite exercise/activity) should I do to lose one pound?  Find out here.

Now I’m Working Out, So….

  1. First things first, do you know proper weight room etiquette?
  2. Finding your ideal heart rate range for cardio.
  3. Find out how many calories are epxended by your favorite activities from standing to yardwork to softball. 
  4. JUST FOR FUN: How does your bench pressing skill rank?  Load the bar with 80lbs and see how many reps you can do.  Input your info and see how you rank.
  5. Calculators for runners.
  6. Predict your one rep max and lots of other stuff.

I hope this helps.  Best of wishes on your fitness journey.  As always, if you have questions I am glad to answer them. 

“That last rep where you’re trying as hard as you can and you barely make it! That is what turns on the growth mechanism in your body. That last almost impossible rep where you’re bearing your teeth, you’re shaking all over, you need assistance! That rep is very special, that rep is very different. There’s something special going on inside your body when that happens.” – Mike Mentzer


I did it again!  I went in the gym today, feeling pretty down thanks to the last three or four days of nothing but rain.  To compound matters dipwad A and dipwad B* were once again monopolizing the squat rack. So I had to substitute leg presses for squats- something I don’t like doing. 

After a mediocre showing at the chin-up bar (read: no progress since last time), I decided to go for it with my bench press.  I set the weight to 230lbs and settled down beneath the bar.  I performed my usual bench press ritual.  What is that ritual?  Well first I close my eyes and take three deep breaths.  Then I visualize myself performing 6 perfect reps, moving my arms as if I was actually pushing the weight.  Then on the sixth rep I just adjust my hands back a bit and grip the bar and transition into the exercise as if it were my seventh rep. 

Well anyway, I glided smoothly from my ritual weightless reps into a set of 6 reps with 230lbs on the bar.  It felt great.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Nope.  The last three reps I used a great technique called “stop-n-go.”  It makes the exercise more difficult and according to Mens’ Health magazine it recruits more muscle fibers into the movement. 

How sweet is that!?  I submit to you that it is wicked sweet!

*Note:* Dipwad A is a personal trainer and dipwad B is his annoying little client.  They are record holders when it comes to monopolizing equipment, standing around doing nothing, and showing very little progress of any kind.  They will show up again in another article this week.

Although far short of my youthful record (which my pride now forces me to hide) I broke my recent record with a 220 lbs bench press.  This means that at 169 lbs I am currently bench pressing 125% of my weight.  I am aiming for a goal of 165% (or 275 lbs). 

I kept my workout short this morning with only: Squats, Shoulder Press, Chin-ups, Bench Press, Wood Choppers, and Chest extensions (into tricep extensions).  I felt good after my workout, but I can tell I still have some lingering stuff in my lungs from my recent fight with the common cold. 

A brilliant and humble man recently wrote an excellent article on how to build more muscle in less time.  Yeah, for all you dinosaurs out there who think you need to be in the weight room for over an hour, please read up.  You can be in and out in less than twenty and perform a higher quality workout.

How so?  Well, have your tried multi-joint exercises?  Here are some benefits of multi-joint exercises…

1. Multi-joint exercises are more anabolic. Meaning your body will produce more of the hormones you need in order to grow muscle and burn calories.

2.  Multi-joint exercises build real world strength.  Ever need to move a wheel barrel, carry a heavy rock, push your car after it broke down?  All of these activities require you to utilize multiple joints and muscle groups.

3.  Multi-joint exercises burn more calories as they incorporate multiple muscle groups at the same time.

Click here and read more!

Warning: The above article link contains excessive amounts of sarcasm that might be toxic to the overly refined sense of humor. 

I feel invigorated and refreshed, like I could take on the world! I began by jogging to the gym at a brisk pace. The distance from the parking garage to the gym is about a little less than half a mile. Today the gym has far fewer people then usual, and none of the usual clowns who spend entirely too long on the same piece of equipment.

Squats: 270lbs for 12 reps (3,240 lbs)

Chin-ups: 10 (1,660 lbs)

Bench Press: 210lbs for 6 reps (1,260 lbs)

Shoulder Press: 160lbs for 10 reps (1,600 lbs)

Sit-ups: 15 reps (900 lbs)

Superset of flyes and reverse flyes: 35lbs each hand, 12 reps each (1,680 lbs)

Explosive Push-ups: 15 (2,100 lbs)

Crunches: 20 (Zero)

Tricep Pushdown: 50 lbs each hand for 10 reps (1,000lbs)

Bicep Curl: 95 lbs for 11 reps (1,045 lbs)

Wood-choppers: 40 lbs for 12 reps each side (960 lbs)

Tricep Press: 15 reps (1,800 lbs)

Total Pounds Pushed and Pulled: 17, 245 lbs

And be sure to stay tuned as some time this weekend I will be posting a few healthy and cheap alternatives to protein and exercise bars.

Frustrated by my inability to hit 159lbs, I am thinking of beginning my bulking up phase earlier than expected. I think I will wait and see how the next goes.

Monday’s workout will be a tough one. Up at 4:30 a.m. to make the 2 hour drive to Greensboro. A crack of dawn run at 6:30 from the parking deck to the Student Recreation Center.  I like to end my run by running the steps outside the fitness center- about 40 in all up a steep incline.  Then a hard workout- as I’ve given my body about 5 days off. When I say hard workout I mean this:

Leg press: [goal] 12 reps@ 270lbs

Squats: [goal] 6 reps@ 180lbs

Chin-ups: [goal] 10

Leg Lifts: [goal] 12

Push-ups: [goal] 50

Reverse Rows: [goal] 20

Pull-down Rows: [goal] 8 reps@ 180lbs

Knee-ups: [goal] 12 reps

Bench Press: [goal] 8 reps@ 210lbs

Dips: [goal] 10 reps

Tricep Push-down: [goal] 7 reps @ 100 lbs

Bicep Curl: [goal] 9 reps @ 90 lbs

Side planks: [goal] 3 reps (each side) @ 20 seconds each.

I ALWAYS start out with legs. Why? Because leg exercises (like squats) are the most anabolic. They get the blood and the testosterone flowing better than any other exercise I can think of. They bring in pretty much every major muscle group and focus on the largest muscle groups in your body- the muscles in your legs.

I will update this post with my actual accomplishments come Monday. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Thanks to all the weight I’ve lost combined with the strength I’ve gained, I can now bench press more that I weigh. This is excellent news. Why? Because your bench press to body-weight ratio is an important number and also a source of a good deal of pride.

My current ratio is 1.07 OR 107%. I am shooting for a 200 lb bench press tomorrow. If I complete that lift my ratio will be 1.19 OR 119%. [To get your ratio divide the weight lifted by your weight.]  My goal is to hit 135% within three months.  Assuming I stay the same weight I would need a 225 lb bench press to accomplish that goal.  I think that is very achievable!

BTW I got a blood pressure and pulse check today. My B/P is 108/65 and my resting pulse was around 70. When I started back in February my B/P was 129/76 and my resting pulse was 79.