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JoeKingPT 01-06-2014 10:51 PM

The Comeback
My official comeback journal - I'm keeping it simple, short and to the point. Feel free to comment/post ask any questions here. I won't be posting much elsewhere on the boards, so if you want me to see it - post it in this thread. Thanks!

About me:

I became a personal trainer in 1999. Throughout the years I've been certified by ACE, AFAA, ISSA and NASM. I currently hold NASM CPT, PES and CES as well as dotFIT nutrition cert. I earned a B.S. in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Nutrition and Wellness from CSU Hayward in 2004 and a M.S. in Exercise Physiology from CSU East Bay in 2007. I've been writing health and fitness articles for various publications and websites since 2001. I started off as an administrator/co-owner of (under the handle "Yu Yevon") and wrote in-depth training, nutrition and supplementation articles for the Journal of Hyperplasia Research (JHR). In 2006 I became a staff writer for Livestrong and have written over 180 in-depth articles to date.

Today I am the Personal Training Director and Strength Coach at a athlete-oriented fitness facility in the California Bay Area with a staff of over a dozen expert trainers and coaches. I also help maintain a fitness blog. In the past, I have been known for my intense workouts (especially with high volume and shocking principles). I'd like to share some of them and my progress here in this journal. I've been out of bodybuilding for about 6-years and I'm testing the waters to see if I still have what it takes.

Here is my current workout split, although I keep it dynamic so I don't necessarily adhere to it exactly.

Mon - Chest/Triceps
Tues - Back/Biceps/Traps
Wed - Thighs/Calves
Thurs - Delts/Traps
Fri - Biceps/Triceps/Forearms
Sat - Rest (or lower body)
Sun - Rest

I typically train abs every third day mixed in with the rest of my routine. I look forward to logging my workouts and getting motivation from this community!

Here's my first entry:


Today I felt pretty good, even though my workout partner had to skip because he's sick. I trained Chest/Triceps. My right shoulder is still in a fair amount of pain (recovering from torn labrum), but it has been consistently feeling better and better.

A.M. Cardio - Stairmaster (45-minutes on Lvl. 7) - 685 calories

Afternoon Weights:

5-min warm up on the rower

Dumbbell Flat Bench Press - 5 sets (15/12/10/8/6). 2-3 second hold on the bottom of each rep.

Barbell Incline Bench Press with Medium Grip - 4 sets (12/10/8/6). Keep your elbows slightly forward to enable you to go deeper with the bar. My shoulder hurt so I couldn't go quite as deep as I would like.

Hammer Strength Single-Arm Incline Press - 4 sets (15/12/10/8). One arm at a time, make sure to get full extension each rep.

Standing High Pulley Cable Crossovers - 4 sets (12/10/8/6). Focus on the squeeze.

Barbell Seated Overhead Tricep Extensions superset with Standing Rope Extensions- 4 sets (12/12/10/10 and 15/12/10/8). Increase the weight halfway through the barbell work and try to increase the weight each set of rope extensions.

One-Arm Pulley Pushdowns - 4 sets (20/20/20/20). Keep the weight the same and burn out the triceps.

Cambered Bar Standing Tricep Pushdowns - 4 sets (12/10/8/8). Finish strong.

JoeKingPT 01-07-2014 11:29 PM

Today felt great! It was hard to get things started but once I did I had a pretty good workout.

AM Cardio:

15 minutes Stairmaster (228 calories)
30 minutes Elliptical (388 calories)

PM Weights:

5-minute warm up on rower

Standing Cable Single-Arm Row - 6 sets (12/10/8/6/6/25). Pull and squeeze the shoulder bladed together with minimal trunk rotation. On set 6, drop the weight just below where you started with set 1 for 25 reps.

Hammer Strength Low Row Machine - 6 sets (12/10/8/6/6/25). Same technique as above.

Bent Over Barbell Row - 5 sets (12/12/10/10/8). Not heavy, focus on the squeeze at the top and control the eccentric.

Neutral Grip Lat Pulldown - 6 sets (12/10/8/6/6/20). Use the 1 1/2 method here. This is where you perform one full repetition then one half repetition (the bottom half). Each one and one half reps counts as ONE. Drop the weight on the last set and rep it out, still using the 1 1/2 method.

Pullups - 5 sets (8/8/8/8/8). Strict pullups, no kipping.

Seated Dumbbell Curl - 10 sets (15/12/12/12/10/10/10/8/8/8). Also use the 1 1/2 method here. Complete one full curl then stop halfway down and curl up again for a half rep. Each one and one half reps counts as ONE. Drop the weight on the last set and rep it out, still using the 1 1/2 method.

Preacher Curl Machine - 5 sets (15/12/10/8/25). Use the mid-pause method here. With every concentric AND eccentric contraction, pause briefly (1-2 seconds) in the middle of each repetition (that means pause in the middle going up and pause in the middle going down). On the last set, drop the weight down but continue using the mid-pause method.

Barbell Wrist Curl - 5 sets (20/20/20/20/20). Nothing fancy, just get maximum extension in the wrists.

Dumbbell Wrist Twists - 5 sets (20/20/20/20/20). With your forearm supported on a flat bench and holding onto a dumbbell over the edge, rotate your wrist (and the dumbbell) as close to 180 degrees as possible in a controlled manner.

I finished with a little shoulder PT work and that was it. Thanks for reading.

JoeKingPT 01-10-2014 01:03 AM

Something came up at work and I had to skip legs on Wednesday. I will have to make up for it on Saturday.

A.M. Cardio: 40 minutes on the Elliptical (510 Calories)

P.M. Delts and Traps

Dumbbell Lateral Raise superset with Cable One-Arm Raise - 4 sets (15/12/10/8 for both). Increase the weight on each exercise every set.

Seated Dumbbell Arnold Press superset with Standing Neutral Grip Dumbbell Front Raises - 4 sets (10/10/8/6 and 8/8/8/8). Increase the weight each set for Arnold Press but keep the dumbbells the same for front raises. Be sure to keep a neutral grip.

Seated Military Press - 4 sets (12/10/8/6). Perform progressive drop sets each round. Progressive drop sets mean that you start set 1 with a certain weight, then drop it down and continue to failure. On each progressive set, increase the starting weight but keep the amount of weight you drop the same.

Reverse Machine Flyes - 4 sets (10/10/8/8).

Cable Upright Row superset with Cable Shrugs - 3 sets (10/8/6 and 15/15/15). Increase the weight each set on Upright Rows, keep the weight the same on Cable Shrugs.

Barbell Shrugs superset with Plate Shrugs - 4 sets (20/12/10/10 and 15/15/15/15). Increase the weight each round of Barbell Shrugs (no straps!) but keep the weight the same for plate shrugs. Work on peak contraction.

Unilateral (One-Arm) Dumbbell Shrugs - 4 sets (15/15/15/15). Same weight throughout, focus on peak and tight abs.

Shoulder Press Machine Burnouts - 1 set. Start off with a heavy weight that you can only get about 6 reps out of. Immediately drop the weight by one or two plates and complete 8 reps. Continue to drop the weight using this rep scheme (6/8/10/12/14/16/18/20). By the time you are on your last round the weight should be very light, but your shoulders and arms will still burn.

JoeKingPT 01-10-2014 10:47 PM

No cardio today, just arms.

I modified Fred "Biggie" Smalls arm workout for today.

Dumbbell Hammer Curls - 5 sets (15/12/10/8/8).

Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extension - 4 sets (15/12/10/8).

Dumbbell Concentration Curls - 4 sets (12/10/8/8).

Close Grip Bench Press - 4 sets (20/15/12/10).

Dumbbell Preacher Curl - 4 sets (10/10/8/8).

Rope Pushdowns - 4 sets (15/15/10/10).

Cable Standing One-Arm Curls - 3 sets (10/8/8).

One-Arm Reverse Cable Pushdowns - 3 sets (12/12/12).

Got a decent pump, I was able to focus on increasing weights because there are no real shocking principles or supersets in this workout (which is what I am normally used to). None-the-less the results feel good.

JoeKingPT 01-14-2014 05:24 AM

Had an hour to train chest/triceps today, so it was quick but effective.

Bench Press - 6 sets (15/12/10/10/8/8)

Incline Dumbbell Press - 5 sets (15/12/10/8/6). Focus on a slow eccentric contraction.

Leverage Incline Press superset with Leverage Flat Press - 6 sets (8/8/6/12/12/10 and 12/12/10/8/8/6). Here's how this works: for the first 3 supersets go heavy on the Incline and lighter on the Flat then switch for the last three supersets. It's a great combo for bringing out the shape of the chest.

Standing High Pulley Cable Flyes - 5 sets (15/12/10/10/8). Hold for 2-3 seconds at peak contraction on each rep, take your time.

Cambered Bar Lying Skull Crushers - 10 sets (12/12/10/10/8/8/6/6/4/15). Go light to heavy then very heavy and drop the weight in half for the last set.

Shoulder is feeling about 10-15% better from last week, so that's encouraging. Hopefully I will be full strength soon.

JoeKingPT 01-15-2014 12:21 AM

Back and Bicep supersets today.

Incline Bench Reverse Dumbbell Flyes superset with Incline Bench Prone Curls - 4 sets (15/12/10/8 for both). Lay chest down on an incline bench and perform the Reverse Flyes. Without changing position, allow your arms to hang down in front of you and perform Curls with the same weight. Increase the weight each set.

Medium Grip Lat Pulldown superset with One Arm Dumbbell Concentration Curls - 4 sets (15/12/10/8 and 12/12/12/12). Keep the weight the same for the Curls, but increase the weight on the Lat Pulldowns each set.

Neutral Grip Wide Seated Cable Rows superset with Cambered Bar Curls 3-ways - 6 sets (10/10/10/10/10/10 for both). For the Cambered Bar Curls, your first three sets are wide, medium and close then repeat again for the last three sets. Keep the weight the same for all sets.

Pull-ups - 8 sets (8/8/8/8/8/8/8/8). 8 sets of 8 strict pull-ups using full range of motion.

Felt pretty good!

JoeKingPT 01-16-2014 04:09 AM

Great leg workout today, although my workout partner's schedule didn't quite match up with mine, so I had to go it alone.

Front Squats - 5 sets (15/12/10/8/6). Go heavy and deep. Your hip crease needs to drop below your knees. I used a belt on the last two sets.

Leg Press superset with Seated Calf Raises - 6 sets (15/12/10/10/8/8 and 25/25/25/25/25/25). Go as heavy as you can on the leg press, add weight each set. Keep the weight the same for the Seated Calf Raises.

Leg Extensions - 5 sets (15/12/10/10/10). Increase the weight on each set, perform a triple drop set on the last set of 5, keep the reps the same for each drop.

Lying Leg Curl - 5 sets (15/12/10/10/10). Use the same method as you did for the Leg Extensions, including the triple drop at the end.

Leg Press Calf Raises - 4 sets (50/50/50/50). Keep the weight the same and rep it out. Focus on the reps, though, don't bounce!

Leg Extension Burnouts - 1 octouple drop set (6/8/10/12/14/16/18/20). Select a weight you can do about 10 times, but only perform 6 reps. Drop the weight by one plate and add 2 reps. Do this for each round until you have extremely light weight for 20 reps. It will hurt and is my favorite way to finish a leg workout.

JoeKingPT 01-16-2014 11:56 PM

Shoulder felt pretty good today for the first time in a long time. I think it's about 30% better from my lowest point. Overhead presses with wide elbows and open shoulders is still painful, but nowhere near where it was before.


Machine Shoulder Press superset with Dumbbell Lateral Raises - 5 sets (15/12/10/8/6 and 12/12/12/12/12). Increase the weight each round of Machine Press but keep the weight the same for the Dumbbell Laterals.

Lying Barbell Front Shoulder Raise - 4 sets (12/12/10/10). Lay down with your chest resting on an incline bench and hold a barbell with your arms loose below you. Raise the barbell up to shoulder height while keeping your chest in contact with the pad and lower the bar slowly. Don't worry about weight, focus on form and controlling the eccentric.

Cable Military Press superset with Cable Shrugs - 5 sets (15/12/10/8/6 and 15/15/15/15/15). Increase the weight each round of Military Press but keep the weight the same for Cable Shrugs.

High Pulley Cable Reverse Flyes superset with Plate Shrugs - 4 sets (12/12/10/10 and 25/25/25/25). Increase the weight halfway through on the Reverse Flyes. After each round of Flyes grab a couple of 45lb plates and burn them out.

Heavy Barbell Shrugs - 5 sets (15/12/10/8/8). Go heavy here. I used straps after the first round to focus more on the traps than on the grip. Full Range of Motion.

The pump was great and I'm stoked my shoulder feels good.

JoeKingPT 01-17-2014 08:04 PM

Killed it today, arms felt great and with a light day at work I was able to really stay focused in the gym.


Spider Curls - 5 sets (12/12/8/6/15). Lay chest down on an incline bench and grip a barbell below you. Slowly curl to your forehead and control the weight back down. Increase the weight each set except for the last, where you will drop the weight and burn it out.

Incline Dumbbell Curl - 3 sets (8/8/6). Now sit down on that incline bench and take some heavy dumbbells. Perform alternating curls.

Standing Barbell Curl - 3 sets (8/8/12). Go heavy the first two sets then lighten the weight a little for the last set. Rest/pause if you have to.

Preacher Curl Machine Burnouts - 1 large drop set (12/10/15/20/25). What I did here is selected a weight I could perform 12 times with great effort. Then I immediately peeled some weight off and only performed 10 reps. Drop again and perform 15, then 20 and 25. Going heavier on the first part of the drop pre-fatigues the biceps and doesn't leave much left for the rest of the set.

Cable Triceps Pushdowns - 4 sets + Triple Drop (12/8/8/8). Perform the triple drop on the last set.

Seated Overhead Triceps Press - 3 sets (10/8/8). You can use a single heavy dumbbell here, but I chose to use the cambered bar because the angle feels easier on my shoulders, plus I feel like I can get extra range out of it.

Low Cable Lying Triceps Extension - 3 sets (12/12/15). Place a bench up to a low pulley. With a cambered bar, perform lying triceps extensions. Focus on the eccentric pull for maximum burn.

Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension - 3 sets (15/15/20). Very similar in function to the Lying Cable Triceps Extensions, but the feel is totally different. Use light weights and focus on control.

Reverse Wrist Curls Over Bench - 4 sets (25/25/25/25). These shouldn't be easy, rest/pause if you need to and use a challenging weight.

Standing Reverse Barbell Curls - 3 sets (15/15/15). More curls. Keep the weight the same each set.

Dumbbell Hammer Curls - 2 sets (both to failure). Try and get at least 15-20 reps here. These are not alternating curls, and try to avoid swinging the dumbbells.

Pretty happy with how this workout ended up. Now I get the afternoon off to spend with my son. :)

ssobol987 01-18-2014 04:40 PM

Hey buddy! I'm coming back/making a comeback myself too! Keep posting and keep up the good work!! Send me a PM

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