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The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:25 am

No ink here. I have thought about it, but could never find something that I wanted to put on my body permanently. And I'd want to be sure it was artful. I'm not interested in a scratch job.

My dad, on the other hand, has two half sleeves and tattoos on both calves. He likes his bling . . . .

I'll have to check out the supplements you're on. Sounds interesting, although I'm often weary of recommendations from GNC staff, since I know they're largely motivated by commission.

For now, I use Optimum Nutrition whey protein isolates for protein supplements (I try to get casein protein from food sources like cottage cheese). For pre- and post-workout, I started using Rival-Us products (specifically Complex5 and POST-Rx). The pre-workout mix is caffeine free, which I like. The post-workout mix is mostly BCAAs. I get the orange and lime flavours. You can check out the product here: http://www.rivalus.net/products/complx5.

Otherwise, I just take a multi daily.

I've heard mixed results about creatine (which is essentially just three amino acids and sugar), so I've stayed away. Some protein powders (such as the ones from MuscleTech) include creatine in their formula. I suppose that would be one way to test the water.

Since we were talking about celebrities, I did a few searches and landed on this forum discussion at bodybuilding.com: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=155996843.

It's got the usual nonsense comments you'd expect to find on any discussion board, but some interesting points are raised regarding hard work, diet, nutrition, possible steroid use, film editing and special effects. Nothing you won't have already considered. But the names we've discussed (Jackman, Wahlberg, Hardy) all come up. And it should only take you about five minutes to scroll through.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Mon Aug 19, 2013 1:33 pm

Oh, I usually do not listen to the reps at GNC very much, and this guy has mentioned Afterglow to me several times. He said that everyone he has recommended it to has switched to it and not gone back. So I gave it a try with a smaller cannister, and I do like it. It eliminates the need for another source of quick-metabolizing carbohydrates to supplement whey and casein protein mixes. Based on Stoppani's recommendation, I had been eating a small handful of Bottle Caps post-workout along with my protein mix, and then eating a full meal an hour or two after that. He likes Wonka candies because they are made with dextrose, which converts to glucose in the bloodstream and restores glycogen stores into the muscles. But the Afterglow uses unrefined cane syrup to give the same carbohydrates while still giving 20 grams of protein, along with the BCAAs and other goodies. At 208 calories a serving, which is not much more than many plain protein powders, it gives the same effect with a net of less calories, which is not a bad thing.

I have not had a chance to scroll through the thread, but I will get it done.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:23 am

I might give it a go once I run out of my current supply. I think I'd find myself supplementing it with straight protein regardless, or taking a double scoop. I prefer closer to 40 g of protein post-workout. But I do like the idea of an all-in-one supplement.

Bottle Caps? Is that a brand of post-workout candy? I've always stuck to a banana post-workout for my carbs.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:48 pm

No, Bottle Caps are just candy. But they are made by Wonka, which uses dextrose. A post-workout banana is awesome (and worth eating anyway) but that is of course largely fructose, which needs to be digested and processed by your body, whereas dextrose (which is essentially glucose) goes straight to the muscles. From one of Stoppani's nutrition articles:

"My favorite form of post-workout carbs is candy that uses dextrose as the main ingredient. Examples include Wonka Pixy Stix, Wonka Bottle Caps, and Wonka Sweet Tarts. Dextrose is basically glucose, the form of sugar your body uses. That means when you eat candy made of dextrose, your body doesn't have to digest it. Instead, it absorbs immediately into your blood stream and heads straight to your muscles." That is his theory, anyway.

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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:10 am

I think marshmallows are largely dextrose too. Never really thought of them for a post-workout snack.

The theory makes sense. It's the same approach diabetics take when crashing -- throw down some sugar.

A tough workout will deplete our carbs and glycogen reserves, which is why they need to be replenished. I've simply defaulted to a banana or cereal.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:10 pm

Well, if you do endurance exercising, supplements such as Power Gels and Cliff Shots (among others) are little more than glucose syrup. Eve takes them when she is running marathons, precisely because they restore glycogen to muscles that have completely depleted their stores. That they work is pretty much beyond question, so it is not much of a stretch to apply the same principle to hard weight training -- I say it that way because there is no need for those carbs for the punters who just play around on the machines at the gym. But if you are truly working your muscles to failure, it is very similar to what is happening to the muscles during endurance sports. But hey, the protein and bananas have clearly worked for you! Every body is different. I have noticed a difference in my own recovery when I hit fast-metabolizing carbs immediately after a workout, but everyone's mileage varies.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Fri Aug 23, 2013 5:46 pm

In the end, it's all fun and pain!
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:39 am

Speaking of which, Pain and Gain is coming out shortly. I missed it in the theatre, but I am actually looking forward to seeing it on video. Not often that I would say that about a Michael Bay film.

And speaking of all that, it was 81 degrees Farenheit at 5:00am inside the gym where I work out. Chest/triceps today, with the heavy weight pattern (3 sets of 6 followed by a pump set of 25.) I was seriously dragging, even after setting up four different fans blowing at top speed into the weight area. Tomorrow is leg day; if it is that hot and humid, I am going to have a lousy workout.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:23 am

Ugh. That sucks. I've had a few days in the gym where it has been too damn hot and it's draining. Chugging water only helps to a point.

I took yesterday off to catch up with an old friend, so I'll be at it today. Today is shoulder day, which I find worse than leg day. I can push through the pain in my legs, but I find my shoulders just ache. Oh well.

I'm also looking forward to picking up Pain and Gain. Comes out today, I think.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:00 pm

It is not so much the aches and pains with the legs that is the issue for me, it is the energy expenditure. Hotter/more humid conditions completely drain me. Shoulder day does not require as much overall effort as leg day. Fortunately, the AC was fixed and I had a pretty good workout. Went bicycling this morning for cardio too, and picked a pretty hilly route, so my legs are REALLY sore right now. But in a good way.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Fri Aug 30, 2013 10:57 am

I really wasn't very clear there. I agree that the biggest pain while working legs is that it taxes the whole body. Work legs properly and you end up huffing and puffing and pissing sweat. Shoulders aren't quite like that, but they smart big time for me when I work them hard. Shoulders are my weak spot. I have a horribly weak overhead press compared with the other big lifts like bench, rows, squats and deadlifts (the exception being stiff-legged deadlifts, which I find tweak my sciatica for some reason).
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:51 pm

No, you were clear. It all depends on your definition of "worse." In my case, the overall energy expenditure is worse, especially in hot and humid weather. I can deal with being sore. On the other hand, with this week being the 3/6 plus 25 week, I did legs on Tuesday, went bicycling on Wednesday (on a hilly route, no less) and did deadlifts today as a part of back and biceps. I can vouch for the fact that my entire legs plus hips are killing me right now. The aches from shoulders on Thursday are nothing in comparison!
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:36 pm

The problem with me after a shoulder workout is that I have a helluva a time getting my t-shirt off, as I can barely raise my hands above my head!
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:05 am

Stoppani has a new one, and it looks like a doozy. He calls it MED training, for Micro-Loading/Extended-Set/Drop-Set training. Basically, it is one extended set per exercise. It involves doing one exercise with alternating a different version of that exercise that gives you a biomechanical advantege, with drop sets. In a nutshell, to take lat pulldowns as an example, you do one overhand set of 8-10 reps to failure (or near failure,) then immediately switching to an underhand grip and repping to failure again, then immediately dropping the weight 30% and repping out overhand again, followed by underhand, then repeating that two more times. So it is really one extended set in eight parts. Did that make sense the way that I described it? The micro loading part comes from the fact that it is done in a linear periodized fashion, but increasing the weight each week by the smallest increment possible. He also does a very different split system, since the muscles will be worked to such a level of failure that you need to make sure that there are a couple of days rest for complementary groups. For example, he starts with chest, biceps, forearms and abs, then shoulders, traps and calves, then back, triceps and abs, and finally legs and calves. He also uses a different system for some body parts that just will not work with that system, such as rest/pause for abs and calves. A sample of the first day of the first week:



Workout 1: Chest, Biceps, Forearms, Abs

Exercise Sets*/Reps^

Reverse-Grip Bench Press 4/8-10

extended set with

Bench Press 4/to failure



Incline Dumbbell Press 4/8-10

extended set with

Dumbbell Bench Press 4/to failure



Incline Cable Fly 4/8-10

extended set with

Cable Fly 4/to failure



Barbell Curl (narrow grip) 4/8-10

extended set with

Barbell Curl (narrow grip) 4/to failure



Incline Dumbbell Curl 4/8-10

extended set with

Alternating Dumbbell Curl (standing) 4/to failure



Behind-The-Back Wrist Curl 2/8-10

extended set with

Barbell Wrist Curl 2/to failure



Barbell Reverse Wrist Curl# 2/8-10



Smith Machine Hip Thrust# 4/8-10

Cable Crunch# 4/8-10




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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:46 pm

Doozy? I can think of a few other choice words to describe that workout.

Are you going to give it a go? I'm not sure, but I think I would be into overtraining territory with a workout like that. For Day 1, that's basically 24 sets for chest, 16 sets for biceps, six sets for forearms and another eight for core. Yikes. Having said that, if the first set is truly done to failure, the subsequent drop sets will only be three or so reps, and fewer still as the extended set continues. It'll hurt, but the overall volume might not be so high that the workout becomes too much.

If you give it a go, let me know how you feel. And I hope you have a spotter!
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:17 pm

No, I do not think that it will be that bad -- or rather, I do not think that it will be bad in the sense of overtraining.  There is absolutely no way that you will hit 8-10 reps on all eight "sets" (again, I think that it is better to consider it a single "extended" set like Stoppani does.)  I bet that your total volume would be no more than if you did four sets at 8-10. But think of it this way; if it takes you three minutes to perform all eight sub-sets, and you generously give yourself three minutes recovery time between exercises, then you are talking about an exact 45 minute workout (with 21 minutes of rest between exercises.)  So I do not think that you will get into the over-training category at all; what you WILL get into is absolute muscle failure, which is always hard for me to to hit, so I think I would like to give it a try.  I am finishing up the mass gain routine this week, and have been doing fairly similar two-minute rest period routines for ten weeks, so I wanted to switch up to something like HIITs/rest-pause/tabatas or the like.  I was going to do the M&F "continuous partial recovery" routine that is all 30-45 second rests, or ladders with no rest.  But this would be similar, as it is really a partial recovery routine (just VERY short recovery!)  

No spotter, but I would use the Smith machine for anything like barbell benches and squats, with safeties set.  The hardest part would be dropping the weight on barbell exercises.  I think that the only way to pull it off without getting too much rest would be to plan for every weight, then load the bar with smaller incremental plates rather than larger ones so that I can knock off plates quickly and go back, without having to put plates on.  It would take mental focus to keep moving, but it could work.  The other problem would be some of his pairs -- looking at the chest day, he pairs incline bench cable flys with regular ones, but you would really need two machines to pull it off.  If I do it, I would probably substitute cable crossovers with a low pulley and cable crossovers with a high pulley.  That would only take a few seconds to switch, and would still alternate a more difficult move with one that has more mechanical advantage.

Not sure, but I am thinking about it.  The continuous partial recovery workout is a five-day split, and while the weather is nice I would prefer to still hit the bicycle on Wednesday, so the four-day split is better.  During the winter, I do more five-day splits.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:40 am

Well, and that's why I corrected myself mid-thought to say that it might not get into overtraining territory. However, I was attributing that comment to me. While this might not be considered overtraining for many, it could be a bit too much for me. I often find that less is more, so long as I perform my sets with proper intensity.

You could also consider improvising and mixing up the exercises a little. For example, instead of barbells, use dumbbells. Dumbbells are quick to swap up and are also easy to dump should you get into trouble. If I'm alone in the gym (which is often), I prefer heavy dumbbell presses over bench presses for that very reason. Dumbbell squats are also fairly effective, since they move the weight forward and focus more strain on your quads. Of course, regular squats are much better for your glutes and overall leg development. But it's good to mix it up from time to time.

Because of other life commitments, I always find a four-day split easier to follow than five-day. That has been the struggle with the Jackman workout I'm doing, as it follows a five-day split. Incidentally, did you get a chance to check out that workout? I imagine it's posted on the Muscle and Fitness website now.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:08 pm

I did get a look at it, and it indeed looks challenging. I would not mind the five-day split in the winter, but I prefer to stick to four during warmer times so that I can get an extra day of bicycling in. I used to switch to three-day splits during the summer so that I could bicycle four days, but at this point I am firmly committed to the weights and do not do less than four.

I did the first day of the MED routine today, and it does hurt. I did follow the first day mostly to the letter, and used the smith for the reverse grip/regular grip bench presses. (I have a harder time with form on reverse grip dumbbell presses.) I was shaking after just that first exercise, and gave a full three minutes to do the incline/flat dumbbell presses. I picked a weight that I should have easily done 8-10 reps, and nearly dropped them doing the first rep. Had to drop a couple of dumbbells down, so that shows that it REALLY pushes your muscles. I was able to pull off the cable flies just fine -- I did incline bench flies with a low cable, then switched them to a high cable and just stood straddled over the bench. All things considered, it took me nearly an hour, but I needed to figure out the starting weights and had not done some of the exercises, so that slowed me down. If you keep focused and are not tripping over anyone else, I think that it can stay under 45 minutes. (One of the exercises was behind-the-back wrist curls, which I have never done, and let me tell you that they REALLY isolate the forearms!)
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:28 pm

Workouts that really challenge you, especially on the first set or exercise are humbling. You really have to dig deep when the rest of your workout has you using much lighter weights than you're used to, simply because your muscles are so fatigued that you have no other choice.

I've been paying closer attention to the ingredients in my supplements lately and I'm not convinced that a lot of these things are necessary. I think I need to cut back. For example, I've been taking a BCAA mix post-workout, but it doesn't seem to contain anything more than I'd get from a good protein shake. And too many amino acids can be hard on the liver and kidneys. I'm thinking of going back to taking only whey protein (first thing in the morning and pre and post workout) and multis. The other stuff seems unnecessary. The exception might be creatine -- to get the three aminos that aren't generally present in most protein mixes. Are you still enjoying the AfterGlow blend?
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:53 pm

I do like the Afterglow, yes. I take a regular whey protein pre-workout (the generic Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60) from GNC, and then the afterglow post-workout.

I did the shoulder routine yesterday, and you would hate it. The funny thing is that it is "only" three exercises for the shoulders, plus one for the traps, followed by two for calves. So all things being equal, it would not be that bad, but YIKES is is brutal! For shoulders, he had behind-the-neck Smith shoulder pressed paired with front presses, lateral dumbbell raises (arms at the side) paired with lateral raises (arms in front) and cable delt flies from a high position paired with lying cable delt flies. For the traps, he had behind-the-back Smith shrugs paired with front shrugs. The presses were agonizing -- I expected that -- but the surprising thing was just how bad the lateral raises were. My shoulders were burning so much it felt like someone was pounding nails into the muscle!
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:05 pm

So here's the funny thing: I actually enjoy front, lateral and bent-over raises. The presses, however, suck and the first extended set you described does indeed sound like it sucks. Big time. How many reps were you able to bang out for each transition? I think I'd crumble, particularly if the rest time between each transition was minimal.

I might check out AfterGlow when it comes time for a protein and supplement run.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:17 pm

Well, that was my point.  I expected the presses to suck; I was not expecting lateral raises to be that bad!  But needless to say my shoulders were already fatigued, and the arms at the side/arms in front does not have as much of a mechanical difference as other pairs do.

Speaking of which, leg day (Friday) was the worst, and once again not necessarily in the expected fashion.  He had five leg exercises plus three calves.  The legs were deadlifts (sumo stance)/deadlifts (normal stance), front barbell squat/rear barbell squat, leg presses (feet close together)/leg presses (feet wide), leg extensions (toes pointed in or out)/leg extensions (toes straight), leg curls (feet pointed out)/leg curls (feet curled up.)  And yes, that all sucked big time.  I have never done sumo stance deadlifts, and unfortunately we do not have a true Olympic bar at the gym, so my feet were uncomfortably close to the weights, which was distracting since I was worried about dropping the weights on them. I may have to switch to dumbbells, but that limits me to 200lbs.  

But the calves -- mein gott, the calves!  He had them all done tabata-style, with the regular 8 sets 20 on/10 off, starting with seated raises, then toe presses, then standing raises.  That is a helluva lot of calf raises.  I did fine on the seated raises, but put too much weight on the leg press machine and could not finish a full 20 seconds on the last few sets.  So by the time that I got to the standing raises, all that I could handle was having the empty bar across my shoulders.  This week, I will scale back the weights on the presses and add light ones to the standing raises.

I went bicycling the next morning, and by Sunday morning my calves were so tight that I could barely walk (and I did stretch out!)  I cannot remember the last time that they were that tight.  Good thing, actually, as calves are difficult for me to make any progress on.   My calves are plenty strong and have good endurance, but not much mass.  (Too many years of bicycling.)  It is hard to hit "true" failure with them.  But I did on Friday!
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:28 pm

Calves are largely dictated by genetics.

Stick at it though. Sounds like a tough workout.

Unfortunately, I've had to abandon working out this week. Still, the gym will be there next week or the week after.
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Iago on Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:14 pm

Well, understandable! You will make it back eventually.


Everything is governed by genetics, of course. But in my case the lifetime of bicycling is equally significant. I have essentially trained them to a certain point in a consistent way, and breaking out of that requires extraordinary measures.

I did leg day for the second week this week, and since we were driving across Wisconsin for a marathon right after I finished, I took my damned sweet time stretching out afterward. I doubled my normal leg stretches and tripled the calf stretches. And after a five hour drive, I felt fine. We shall see how I feel tomorrow morning, though!
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Re: The New Other Bench Audiophile Thread, astonishing arrogance edition

Post  Seamaster on Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:20 pm

How was it? My leg day will be tomorrow. Got the damn shoulder workout to look forward to this evening.
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