Workout Report: Bench Day 3/19/11

Posted: March 19, 2011 in Workout Reports

The weeks keep ticking by like the sound of a playing card in a bicycle’s spokes. Already bench day? Jeez. How did that happen? Well, off I went to Northwest Community Center to do that thing I do. Details below the fold.

I wasn’t too sore today, which was nice. I did the elliptical machine for 20, then stretched, then did some tune up work on my legs with the machines. Went back to the breathing 20 rep method on leg press, and upped the weight to 325 this time. Also did curls and extensions, and a 50 rep set of calf presses at 325.

On bench, I did 70 reps at 135 to warm up, going from really close to fully wide. I changed it up a little, not doing full stop benches, but rather doing a plain old 6×6, close grip day at 225. I’d done a lot of pressing on Thursday, so I didn’t want to aggravate my elbows too much.

I had been contemplating going to barbell bent-over rows, as the dumbbells had essentially played out. 80s are just sort of easy for that exercise. I have, in the past, rowed with really heavy ‘bells, like 130s, but I don’t have access to anything like that. Barbell rows, however, are scalable. In the past, I’d always done the hanging rows that you see bodybuilders do, but I’ve been studying up, and both Stronglifts and Starting Strength suggested going from a dead stop on the floor, as it is supposed to be the way to go. The floor, however, is way down there. I found myself seeking a happy medium.

I found that, if I balanced the bar on the bench, it was just about perfect. I only had to pull a half an inch upward before I was into my row, and the bar was easy to address. With all the off-the-ground work I do, I don’t feel that it is necessary for me to hoist off the deck when I’m rowing. I did 5×5 this way with 225. Let me say that, yes, that feels heavy. I think that the exercise is a keeper. It should have a good effect on my bench, as it is an antagonist movement. It should also prove to be helpful for sandbag/stone lifts, as you sort of row those implements onto your lap. Finally, it should give me more horsepower for ripping. If you’ve never tried heavy, dead-stop barbell rows, they’re a real SOB. I recommend them. Just be sure to control your breathing and keep your back tight.

I finished up with some more machine fluff, namely butterflies and reverse butterflies, as well as a no-stop superset of curls and tricep pushdowns on the cable machine. Yeah. Weak bodybuilding stuff, but after the rows, I didn’t have the poop to do Irish Mikes. I did 20 minutes on the recumbent bike, and that was the workout. Not bad for an old fat guy.

Happy Lifting!

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