Workout diary: Sun 23 Feb 2014

Time for another workout diary. I’ll keep adding these as and when to give a flavour of how my workouts come together and switch up a gear.

Strength training

  • Close grip chin ups
  • – a bodyweight move to focus the mind and mobilize the back ready for…

  • Deadlifts
  • – this week’s BIG compound exercise. I’ll generally switch between deadlifts and power cleans; picking one of these exercises to concentrate on each week. Update – those deadlifts really bite 24 hours after the event. Without a doubt, you can initiate a ton of muscle growth with nothing more than a barbell and some plates –

    “A barbell can and will transform a human body dramatically, radically, and quickly if the right exercises are performed using the proper techniques and protocols,” Marty Gallagher of The Iron Bible

  • Cable front raise (performed one arm at a time)
  • – shoulders, front

  • Cable lateral raise (performed one arm at a time)
  • – shoulders, side

  • Seated row close grip
  • – and more shoulders, rear, with some back and biceps, which leads nicely to…

  • A sequence of –
  • #1. Reverse (pronated) grip bicep curls using a cable and straight bar attachment
    – Why the reverse grip? I’ll let Mike Robertson of Bodybuilding.com’s Built by Science – Daily Trainer explain,

    “As soon as you go into a pronated grip, you lose the mechanical advantage of your biceps. In this position, your brachioradialis has a very strong line of pull.”

    In other words, it’s a neat way to emphasise the forearm (the Built by Science series does a great job of running through the anatomy on this and much more, and is well worth checking out for free on YouTube).

    #2. Normal (supinated) grip bicep curls using a cable and straight bar attachment
    – now it’s time to fully power up the biceps, which I pair with some tricep work, namely –
    #3. Single arm cable tricep extensions

    Next up is core, which I’m now trying to hit at least once in every workout (towards the end of the session, when the heavy lifting is ticked off the list).

  • Side-plank knee-to-chest (feet elevated on a bosu, 2 sets of 10 for each side, alternating after each set)
  • I pulled these into the session after seeing Galen Rupp’s weight room routine on Flotrack, via James Dunne’s Kinetic Rev site.

    This a tough exercise and will soon highlight any strength imbalances between left and right sides, which is an area I need to work on.

  • Chest fly machine
  • – I jumped on this for a couple of sets just to fill in some gaps from last Thursday’s press-focused workout, and to give my core a few minutes rest after those side-plank moves.

  • Wide grip lateral pulldowns
  • – Getting to the end of the strength session now. As in the last workout diary, I’m keeping the weight lighter rather than heavier for these pulldowns. Adding enough kg’s to stretch out the back after the deadlifts earlier in the session.

    Cardio
    20 min of 2 min easy / 2 min easy-moderate
    – my slow build up towards this year’s 10k race series (starting May)

    Related reading on workingouttheworkout

    Workout diary: Thu 23 Jan 2014

    10k reboot: turning back the clock

    Advertisements

Bar work: introducing the power clean

The power clean (pulling the bar up from the floor and racking it on the front of your shoulders) is a beautifully intense exercise that puts mind and muscle to work with big rewards. Definitely one for the front-end of your workout when you’re feeling fresh and full of energy.

Sally Moss from Ultimate Performance demonstrates the move in the clip below –

If you’ve mastered the deadlift then you’re well on the way to getting to grips with the power clean. Give it a go – you’ll need some weight on the bar so that there’s enough resistance to work against, but as always start light and explore the technique before attempting to break any records.