Day 25: Going Negative
Today I spent the workout addressing my problem with back exercises, more accurately trying to master the chin up. It seems that I am always looking for ways to change up my work out in someway, to keep it interesting. A little variety couldn’t hurt.
Negative Chin Ups
Over the past few weeks since starting this training chin-ups have been my biggest failing – my weakest exercise. But today I started my Day 3 exercises with negative chin ups. For those of you who don’t know what negatives are, it is the lowering phase or eccentric portion of the lift. In this case, I added a little hop to get me to the top of the movement and then lowered myself back down as slowly as I could.
I did this for 4 sets to failure. I think the other back exercises and bicep workouts have made this a little easier, however, I do still struggle considerable at the bottom of the movement to initiate the chin-up. Hopefully with a few more sessions using negatives I’ll start to be able to do proper chin-ups.
With the addition of chin-ups at the beginning of the workout I was interested to see how it would affect the rest of the exercises remaining. I reduced the weight on the barbell and started doing barbell rows.
Surprisingly my back and biceps were more tired than I had anticipated, requiring me to drop the weight on the barbell row to just 30kg. I continued on as per usual with pyramid sets and lifting til failure.
Again I need to review the way I do barbell rows as I feel as though I am not using good technique or cheating somewhat. I often find that in order to bring the bar to my chest I rotate my wrists and contract my forearms. I feel that at the top of the lift my back isn’t getting the full range of motion it could.
The barbell curls were surprisingly ok. I was expecting them to be harder after the chin-ups and b/b rows. The affects of fatigue only really set in during the dumbbell lifts when I struggle to get a high number of reps that I usually could. However, I still managed to bust out 8-12 reps and push my biceps to failure.
I should add that I have also made a slight adjustment to be b/b curls. Before I was using a standard to wide grip, but lately I have found that I prefer to use a close grip. This supposedly allows me to target the outside edge of my biceps. I don’t know if its true, but it couldn’t hurt to add a little shape to my balloon shaped biceps.
Harder, Stronger, Better, Faster
Again, I wonder if I am pushing myself hard enough, it does feel as though I could lift more but my body doesn’t seem to want to respond. Who knows, but at least I’ll get another stab at all the muscles as I go into the second half of the week. The sessions in the latter part of the week tend to be more intense as I try to push myself to oblivion.
Again, I’ll be performing these exercises after work. And I think this might actually be my first week where I’ll have done all the workouts back to back. Hurrah! We are also now nearly 4 weeks into the program. Time flies.
155 days to go.