Tag Archives: gym

My First Video Post!

My friend introduced me to the SICKEST gym I’ve ever been to. Here are the highlights from my BACK/BIS workout.

1) Deadlift

2) Weighted pull-ups

3) Isolated barbell curls to dumbbell hammer curls (elevator on the last set)

4) Seated cable pull

5) Pushing weight a la NFL linebackers (don’t know the actual name)

 

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I Hate Leg Day

Fuck leg day. Fuck squats. Fuck lunges. Fuck calf raises.

But the habit has stuck. I do them shits anyway, rain or shine.

That’s the most important thing about lifting. Not training the body, but training the mind to prepare for training the body, day in, day out. The mental is much harder to conquer than the physical. But once you start showing up enough, you get used to showing up. Then it’s no longer a matter of “if,” but “what time tonight?” Because you’re gonna be there, just like I am, doing them shits, rain or shine.

YESTERDAY’S (1/27) TARGET: LEGS AND GLUTES

1) Squats: Problem when I go to 中正運動中心 is that the squat rack offers no support (bar on the lower end that you can rely on if you can’t push the weight back up). I also went alone tonight so there was nobody to spot me. Add that to the fact that this is the first time I’ve squatted in about 2 weeks (last week I was in Japan visiting my boo) and the decision was made beforehand: going on the lighter side tonight.

Warm-up set with the bar. Tack on 20kg on each side (60kg total). Then next set 30kg on each side (80kg). Next set 90kg total. This is where I stayed for the remainder of my squat sesh. Did 5 sets, till one rep before failure (failure on this squat rack would mean keeling over with 90kg on my back before being rushed to the hospital) before putting the weight back on the rack. Last set I did elevator downward (90kg, then 80kg, then 60kg).

2) Single leg bench lunges with barbell: A fucking BITCH to do right after squats. You set up like you’re gonna do squats. That is, standing with the barbell on that sweet spot on your neck. But maybe 3 or so feet behind you is a bench. Put your foot on top of the bench. (Make sure the bench will not move.) From there, you lunge forward with the isolated leg. Go down as far as you can without your knee touching the ground. Go back up and really get that butt flex going. Switch legs. You should be sweating balls by the end of each set. If squats ain’t the straw to break the camel’s back, this should be it.

I got up to 60kg total, and elevatored down to 40kg on my last set.

3) One-legged box squat: Not sure if this is the proper name, but it’s the best I can come up with. What you do is stand on the edge of a box with your outer leg hovering outward. Then you squat downward, doing your best to not let the outer leg touch the ground. Then push back up.

My legs were so sore after my first two lifs that I couldn’t go down all the way without cheating. Nevertheless, I kept on. 3 total sets.

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That’s all my legs and ass needed. As I write this, I’m sore as shit! You’d think I got buttfucked with no lube last night, the way I was sitting down on all them chairs today, concerted, meticulous effort and all. The best indicator of a fantastic workout.

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Polishing the Guns

LAST NIGHT’S (FRI 1/23) TARGET: Biceps, Back, and light Shoulders

1. Weighted pull-ups (alternating grip): One of my favorite workouts. An absolute MUST for a bigger, broader back.

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If you have a belt you can tie a plate around it. If you don’t have a belt like me, however, dumbbells work just as well. What you have to do is this: pull yourself up, then cross your legs. Have a friend put the dumbbell between your legs. The cross between your feet will hold the dumbbell up. Pull up until failure. Afterward, uncross your feet, let the dumbbell fall, and keep on with your now-unweighted pull-ups till failure. 5 sets.

2. Superset — Standing alternating bicep curls to Alternating shoulder flies: I always start with a warm-up set, light weight (15-20 pounds). Then I go heavy, such that I can only do 6 or 7 reps before reaching failure. Last night I curled 40 pounds, alternating to extend stamina. Immediately after, I did alternating shoulder flies, 20 pounds, 10 reps. How I do it is, I lean over the dumbbell rack and put one hand on a random top-shelf dumbbell for support. Then I do my flies, making sure to flex my shoulder on the way down. Switch hands after 10 reps. Rest a little bit, then it’s rinse, lather, repeat.

3. Superset — Lat pulldowns (narrow grip) to Dumbbell hammer curls: My motto is SUPERSET EVERYTHING (unless it’s a hardcore compound lift). 4 sets.

4. Alternating cable shoulder flies: 1 giant set till failure: Set the cable so the handle is on the ground. Pick it up with your left hand, then do as many flies as you can. Upon failure, switch and do the same amount of flies with your right hand. Without resting, go immediately back to the left hand, till failure once more. Then right hand. Do this a total of 4 times for each hand. Your shoulders should be burning afterward.

5. Dumbbell rows: I was tired by this point, so I only did 2 setes. 1st set 37.5kg (82.5lb), then 2nd set 35kg (77lb).

Overall good, solid workout. Stamina could’ve been better. Finished within 45 minutes.

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“Let the GAINZ begin!”

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The two words I hate more than any others when said paired together: “You’re lucky.”

I hear it all the time at the gym. Fellow Taiwanese gym-goers, small and skinny by nature, approach the 77kg me and say, “I wish I’d been born with that body.”

If only they knew. If only they could see the whole picture.

I used to be just like them. One time when I took my shirt off at basketball practice, a fellow teammate said I looked like I’d just survived the Holocaust. My whole life, all I knew was that emaciated frame as seen below.

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Then in 2012 I moved to Taiwan. I picked up my first weight right after New Year’s, if only by default, as I’d learned early on in Taiwan that playing basketball with Asians (authentic) wasn’t viable if one wanted to keep his sanity.

At first the weights and I didn’t mesh. There was no seamlessness about my trying to slap 5kg onto the bench and press it up 10 times, 3 sets. Not with my 65kg frame. Who would’ve approached me in JAN 2012 and said those horrible words in conjunction, “You’re lucky”?

But I kept showing up. Four to five times a week. Four months in, I could already see some gainz. I was lifting more. I’d upped my weight a bit. My form was no longer atrocious.

I kept showing up some more. Four to five times a week. A year in, now I was seeing Gainz, capital “G.” From a 30kg-bench I’d spiraled up to 75kg. My weight had finally scraped the 70kg mark. I’d purchased my first tub of protein. I was starting to show hints of looking like a real gym-goer.

And still I kept showing up even more. Four to six times a week. A year and nine months in, now I was seeing GAINZ, all caps. From a 75kg-bench I’d willed my way to a 100kg press. I’d long ago confronted and extinguished my fear of squatting—and with good form to boot! My new favorite workout was the deadlift, an excercise I’d refused to touch my entire first year in the gym. I’d surpassed my 77kg goal, plateaued to a meaty 80kg, and dieted back down to a healthier, better-looking 77kg. I’d kept on with the protein, and also added creatine to the mix. Here’s when all the “You’re lucky’s” started pouring in.

They’d thought it was easy. They still do.

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This blog is for the GAINERZ. Not those that want to dream it up a pipe or say, “I want that” to a TV screen. There’s no other way around it, especially if you have Asian genetics: you’ve got to work hard, you’ve got to work smart.

Recently I’ve been getting approached by more and more Taiwanese guys that want me to give them tips, or even train them on my free time. I’d love to be a part-time trainer, if only for the fulfillment it’d bring me to help those that want to help themselves–those that look at big-time GAINERZ and refuse to acknowledge, not even for a second, the existence of those two terrible words: “You’re lucky.”

Fuck luck.

You accept right now you’re at the root of it all. Then we can start.

Or in other words, let the GAINZ begin!

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This man knows.

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