Shoulders, Traps, and High Intensity Cardio

Busy day today.  I had to take care of my kids during part of the day, which was great.  I hit the gym early this morning and set some more pr’s.


Hammer Strength Shoulder Presss 170 per arm x 4,4,5

Seated Laterals 45lb dumbbells x5,50×5,5

Hammer Strength Shrug Machine 6 plates 3sets of 25

Posterior Delt Raises Chest Supported 70 lb dumbbells x6,6

10 minutes of high intensity cardio

Level 17 manual setting .77 miles (close to a Personal Record)

Tomorrow is going to be busy.  I have to work until 11 am and then I will hit the road to drive to Evansville to judge the INBF Mid America Championships.  Hosted by my good friend Dr. Joe.  Be sure to say Hi!!

Back, Biceps, and High Intensity Cardio

I got to the gym this afternoon ready to rock and roll.  Back and Biceps is my favorite training day.  I made some changes and they were good ones.


Pullups BWx21,18,13  (I decided to start the workout with good ole pullups.  This was great and totally worked well.  I know my lats will be very sore)  Steve buddy I gotta get up with you doing 3 sets of 25 🙂

Hammer Strength High Row 225×4,4,5

Seated Dumbbell Curls 60 lb dumbbells x 5,6

Strive Curl Machine 70 lbs x 15,14,12  (decided to go lighter here which was good considering I have some bicep tendon issues going on)

10 minutes of super high intensity

Level 17 Distance .68 miles which I believe matches my best. 

This routine has really been productive.  I will take a week off in about 3 weeks. 

Quads,Hamstrings and High Intensity Cardio

Today’s workout we decided to use stationary dumbbells as our base movement for quads. I am hoping it won’t irritate my repaired knee. Finding exercises that don’t cause harm to your joints should be of highest priority for you. There is no reason to perform exercises that hurt joints.
Stationary lunges dumbbells 70 x 5 per leg, 85 x5, 90×5 100×4 80×5
Seated leg curls 250 x 5,5,5
Back extensions 1 set 45 lbs added x35
10 minutes of moderate intensity cardio
.58 miles covered at level 17
On leg day I like to have cardio be lower intensity than the other days in which I am going all out trying to beat a previous record. I call cardio at lower intensity cruising.

I gotta give some props to a super client. Steve, can do lunges with 90 lb dumbbells, no straps, for at least 8 reps per leg. Oh, I forgot to mention he weight just 150 super ripped pounds. Steve, dude I out weight you by 50 lbs and you kick my tail all over the gym. Superfreak!!

Chest, Triceps and High Intensity Cardio

I got to the gym about mid day.  I usually don’t like working out at this time but that’s the way we have to roll for now.  Nevertheless, we were ready to rock and roll.  I was jacked up on some serious caffeine.  Here is what went down.


Flat Hammer Press Machine 135 per arm x 5, 145×5, 160×3.5

Low Hammer Press 225 per arm x 5,5,5

Close Grip Presses 245×5,5

1 arm dip machine 100×5,5

10 minutes of High Intensity Cardio

.68 miles covered at level 17  This distance was another personal record.  Great workout.

Forearms, Abs, Calves and High Intensity Cardio

I felt great today entering the gym.  Today was one of those days where you feel invincible.

Standing Wrist Curls 95×10,112

Reverse Wrist Curls 50 lb dbells x 8,8

Calf Slide Machine 1 legged x 15,15,15,15 2 legged Calf Raises 8 plates x 80

Cybex Crunch Machine Stack x 8,8,8,7

10 minutes of High Intensity Cardio

Level 17 Manual Setting

.65 miles (Another PR on this machine)

My conditioning is improving dramatically.  Strength levels are really good.  My knee this week did give me some troubles.  I believe the 1 legged leg presses are irritating the graft.  To work around this my leg workout will be 2 legged leg presses for 2 sets of 20-30 and stationary lunges for 3 sets of 5 or so.  Hopefully, this won’t irritate the knee.  Being over 1 year out from the transplant we are still in a recovery phase.  I plan on getting crazy strong on those stationary lunges.  Oh, by the way I won’t be using wrist straps to hold the heavy dbells.  I don’t believe in that 🙂 

Back, Biceps and High Intensity Cardio

I am a little behind here on this weeks updates.

Wednesdays workout


Pulldowns 285×5, 300×5,5

Hammer Strength High Row 225 x4,4,4

Standing Alternating Curls 75×5,80×4,4

1 arm preacher curls 40 lbs x 25,24

10 minutes of High Intensity Cardio Manual setting Level 17

.63 miles (I believe this was a PR for this particular Elliptical)



Hammer Strength Shoulder Press 170 lbs per arm x 4,4,4 (My neck was still bothering me from the Levator Scapulae strain I suffered 2 weeks ago.)

Seated lateral Raises 45 lb dbells x5,50lbsx5,5

Hammer Strength Shrugs Machine 6 plates x 25,23,23 (With the neck injury I decided to go light here, smart move.)

Posterior Delt Raises 70 lbs x 5,5  Chest supported on about a 30 degree incline

10 minutes of High Intensity Cardio Manual Setting Level 17

.77 miles – I believe this was another PR on this machine. 

The Single Biggest Mistake Competitors Make

After 20 years of competing, coaching, researching and observing there is ONE HUGE mistake I see.  This one mistake can and does happen to even the greatest of athletes.  That mistake is coming into a competition too HEAVY.  Let me be as blunt as I possible can here.  If you don’t get lean enough you will not win.  In fact, if the show is large you will end up going home with ZERO.  No trophies or award, just an ego that is severely bruised. 

Let me explain a couple ways or thoughts to combat this defeat or less than desirable outcome.

1) Do not let your off-season body-weight exceed 15% of your contest weight.  If you have never been lean enough in a previous show I would get expert help to determine where you should be.  Bottom line, don’t get fat in your off-season.  I know its fun to be the biggest guy in the gym, but that won’t win a show.  To get freaky lean on show day you must establish an off-season weight that’s not excessive.

2) Since you aren’t super heavy in your off-season we now approach inseason dieting with very, small changes.  Small changes to your macronutrient totals, small changes through the addition of cardio, and much less stress on the immune system.  Slow steady dieting will lead to maintenance of lean body mass which will help with a much fuller, harder, and grainier appearance come the big day.

3) Fear of losing muscle tissue will kill your efforts.  Many times I hear competitors state they feel they are losing muscle during the dieting process.  Fact is, if they stayed fairly lean in the offseason their precontest diet won’t be drastic and maintainance of muscle is probable.  Another problem is very few competitors have an accurate assessment of just how much skelatal muscle they possess.  Measurement of bodyfat is VERY inaccurate.  So don’t rely on that as an assessment tool.

4) Take pictures weekly the final 12 weeks.  Pictures will not lie as painful as they are.  If you want to be successful you must be willing to pay a price.  Part of that price is taking pictures under the same conditions weekly.

5)  Hire a good coach to help with the process.  I am a great coach and I will tell you like it is.  In fact, sometimes my honesty hurts feelings.  But I am here to help you and truth will lead you to success.  Sooner or later.

Just some words of advice today.  Take it or leave it.  But you will not win if you don’t get lean enough.

Quads, Hamstrings, and High Intensity Cardio

I slept in a little this morning.  Today I decided to make some changes to my base leg workout. 

1 legged leg presses 4 plates x30, 6 plates x 20,20 (going up to 6 plates is causing a little irritation to the knee with the transplant.  I am going to have to be smart. )

Stationary lunges 50 lb dumbbells x 6, 70 lb dbells x 5, 85 lb dbells x4 per leg   (I decided to add these to my quad work.  I think this will be a good choice for me.  Very little irritation to the graft site and I think I can be quite progressive here.  We will see as time goes.  I am still quite nervous about this left knee.  The goal is to train progressively without irritating the bone and cartilage graft over the lateral trochlea.)

Back Extensions 45 lbs added x 30

Seated leg curls 250x 5,5,5

10 minutes of high intensity cardio

By the time I got to cardio today my legs were dead.  I think those lunges did some damage 😉  I just cruised through the cardio not trying to set a personal record.  I will hit it again hard tomorrow. 

Manual setting, resistance 17   .55 miles covered.

Chest, Triceps, and High Intensity Cardio

This afternoon I had a great Chest and tricep workout.  I am definitely closing in on my best strength levels ever.  I really enjoy the laser focused approach of this workout.  MAX OT is hard to argue against.  Progressive overload is a foundational principle to building muscle.  The guys at AST-SS are pretty smart to put together this plan. 

Here is today’s workout


Flat Hammer Presses  150 per arm x5,5,4 (A personal record here)

Incline Hammer Presses 180 per arm x 4,4,4 (It has been a long time since performing this exercise.  I will have to look through my log books and see what my previous bests were.)


Close Grip Presses 275×3, 265×5,4 (Good execution here, I just wish I would have had someone there to at least watch me.  It’s a little scary performing presses by yourself).

1 arm Dips Machine 150 lbs x5,5 (A new exercise which was a great choice.  The facility I performed my workout had some different equipment.  I enjoyed the muscle fiber involvement with the 1 arm dips.)

10 minutes of High Intensity Interval Cardio

.76 miles on manual setting resistance 17

(For some reason my performance was off on the cardio.  Oh well, I’ll get it tomorrow.)