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Bob’s Transformation – Week 10

Bob's Transformation

Week 10 – Day 1 Shoulders and Arms

 

AM: 20 Minute L.I.S.S

Who wants to up at 6:30 in the rain and dark? Me actually for a swim. Followed by the sauna. Great swim and it is deserted. Always a good way to make an appetite for breakfast.

I’m a big fan of swimming in an empty pool. Something very, very serene about it. I used to open a gym in London and do a 20min swim before members were allowed in. A great way to start the day.

PM:

Supersets with 4 sets for the first exercise. The rest mercifully are three sets.

Overhead Press 12- 15 Reps
Upright Row 12 – 15 Reps
Front Disc Raise 12 – 15 Reps

Went into the gym ready to attack…as cheesy as it sounds. Overhead presses with more weight. 5kg more actually, lovely burn. Finished 15 reps. Upright row I had a 2.5kg increase. My forearms shoulders and tris did not like it finishing 15 just. I found a good weight to start the disc raises with and finished all 15. Second set more or less the same. 3rd set failure across the board. Failing overheads and 12. Straight onto Rows and failing at 13 and front disc I really had to push to finish without bending my arms and making a pushing movement causing me to lose my tempo. I was in there just over 10 Mins and I was sweating and blowing in the corner! Last set I managed 12 again for presses rows I got to 10 and raises well 8 would be an overstatement just got to 7 1/2.

Sounds like you worked to the required level. Well done Bob. Great start.

Barbell Curls 12-15 Reps
Skull Crushers 12-15 Reps

I have found with the curls that with the strict form I have had to keep the same weight. Finishing the first and second set just but only just. My eyes went blurry finishing the second where I pushed through. Failed then on 10 last set. Skull crushers still a favourite but one I haven’t improved on yet still failed 2nd set at 13 and third at 10.

Don’t worry about improving on the weight. Getting an extra rep or simply keeping perfect form and tempo is progression enough. Keep this up and keep prioritising the form over the weight.

Prone Incline Reverse Flyes 12-15 Reps
Incline Lateral Raise 12-15 Reps

Struggled with the flyes today it burnt so much, fatigue maybe. Failing 2nd set  at 13 and 3rd at 12. Weird how it’s a little weight that you can throw and still it burns like hell. Just as bad though for the incline lateral raise My upper body was screaming for a rest. The 60 seconds rest did not feel long enough, but only failed 3rd set.

Good work Bob. As you say, a little weight, yet it hurts a lot. The benefits of doing the exercise correctly and with time under tension.

Bicep Cable Curl 12-15 Reps
Bicep Rope Hammer Curl 12-15 Reps

I have had marked improvement on the curls by increasing the weight. But failing 2nd set at 14 and again at 12 for 3rd set. What I have noticed still is my elbow slip out more on the pulley. I may use a strap to keep my elbows in as the weight increases. Hammer rope curls are better aswell. Failing second set at 10 didn’t bother me I was able to be as strict with the form as I am with other exercises for a change even with the failure I had rope in individual hands and kept the elbows in tight. Different motion. I think as the rope bends my elbows can stay in the same position.

I wouldn’t use a strap. Use your mind and strength. Using a strap removes the needs for the synergists to ensure you are keeping everything in place and thus you get more training benefit. Sounds to me like a good superset overall. Just keep doing what you are doing.

Standing Tricep Rope Extensions 12-15 Reps
Tricep Overhead Rope Extensions 12-15 Reps

No weight increase for these two exercises. In fact just finished the first sets my arms were a bit wobbly and I had a good pump on as well (which is more noticeable now) failing second set at 13 for the standing tri extensions and 10 for the overheads. Failing at 8 for both the last set.

Perfect. Again, no shame in keeping the weight the same. Most machines, the jump up is too large for isolation exercises. Just concentrate on form and tempo. Add reps if you need to add intensity until you can increase weight properly.

Day 2 – Legs and Abs

 

AM: 20 Min L.I.S.S

Had a swim again…I should have had a run but couldn’t resist some time in the quiet.

The run will probably be slightly more beneficial than the swim in terms of fatloss, but only marginally. If it’s a choice between a 20min swim and a 10min run or no run. The swim is the way forward. 

PM:

Deadlifts 12-15 Reps 6 sets
Incline reverse Crunch 12-15 Reps 6 sets

I did the deadlifts at the same weight as the last time. I have been lucky that my back is feeling better and I didn’t want to over do it especially with the extra sets, but finished the sets but really struggled with the 3rd and 4th. I kept going even though it was a slower tempo. Failed 5th and sixth at 4. But finished much to my relief. Crunches were good I did them on the floor holding onto the squat rack for convenience, like a dragon flag cross crunch… it really works, finished them all again with a slower tempo.

Good man. Great news about your back, and it’s great you’ve found an ab exercise that works for you. If you can feel it working, that’s the one to do. We are all different in terms of biomechanics. So just because I’ve written something and that works for me, doesn’t mean its best for you. Very pleased here Bob.

Squats 12-15 Reps
Rollouts 12-15 Reps

This was where I got really excited. An increase on my squats! I couldn’t believe it after. The extra weight did me in though, I am sure I forgot how to breath third set. Finished first and second but failed on 11 third set. I used the TRX to do the rollouts tonight as its directly behind the squat rack. I put my feet a bit further away than normal as I was told it made the workout that little bit more difficult it did. How many times have I hung off the TRX now a sweaty mess? I couldn’t finish the second set failing on 8 ha ha. And 8 for the third. I didn’t write down the plan correctly I must of over looked the change in sets and not changed it (I use a draft for the plan and edit it on a weekly basis and print it). I only did 3 sets. I ripped myself off! My fault. Add another p to the 6 ‘P’s, 7th ‘p’ for plonker disappointed to be honest but happy with the increase.

Hahaha! Forget the missed sets, I’d rather 3 rounds working to top intensity than four mediocre and it sounds like what you performed was top notch. Good effort on the added squat weight – do breathe though. You need the oxygen to work hard. Breathe out as you come up from the squat and in as you lower. On EVERY rep. Rollouts on the TRX are great. Just keep the pelvis tucked under and core strong.

Leg Extensions 12-15 Reps
Leg Curls 12-15 Reps

With how much fun… or not, I am having with the other exercises this is becoming boring although still a challenge. With the higher reps it causes its own dramas failed third set for extensions at 12. But finished the curls.

Well done Bob. It should REALLY burn so that you want to jump out of the machine. Especially after the previous exercises and fatigue caused. Ensure tempo is slow and controlled.

Day 3 – Rest

 

Resting.

Day 4 – Back and Biceps

 

All supersets 3 sets each. These low carb days really show in the gym. I have found that if I only have carbs for breakfast and dinner I can keep to the carb limit for the day. There always feels like there is something missing. Maybe it’s mental but I don’t feel as strong and tired.

It’s not normal. Especially in this day and age where everywhere we turn carbs are there. Restaurant and fast food places, let alone supermarkets make a killing from cheap carbs. You will get used to it, just stick with it.

Chin ups 12 – 15 Reps
Straight Arm Pulldown 15- 20 Reps

Warmed up on the rower today as the last time I started on the chin ups I didn’t feel adequately warmed up. I could tell the difference straight away.

Good man, well done.

I lowered the supporting weight again and I am on the last before it’s unsupported.

Superb!

But this caused me to fail second set on 8 and third on 5. This could be due to the pull downs aswell. But it got tough really quick! The pull downs went well though I increased the weight and it really made a difference in the burn weirdly I only failed third set. The weight above is too heavy for the rep range  failing on the first set at 8 with the strict rest period I didn’t think it was worth doing it that heavy.

Sounds like a solid set to me. You’re doing really well. Chin-ups have progressed hugely! You should be very pleased.

Lat Pull Down 12- 15 Reps
Prone Incline Dumbell Row 15 – 20 Reps

An increase again on the pulldowns. A good weight too. Keeping to the timings I got a bit shaky towards the end of the set and just finishing them and failing third set at 12. Prone incline Rows were fun. I didn’t go heavy at first but when I was five reps in I changed them. It felt too light it was tough after but finished the first set but failing the 2nd at 12 and third at 10. Great.

Perfect. Yet again, pushing on to increase and progress. Standard for you now Bob. Superb again.

Single Arm Row 12 – 15 Reps
Bent Over Row 12 – 15 Reps

Single arm rows felt good. I didn’t change the weight from the incline rows and failed the second set really struggling to get 12. Third I failed 10. Inverted rows have improved loads since I started the program. I increased by 5 kg. Loving it aswell. Finishing first and second with good form but failed third at 6 I could barely lift the barbell to put it back on the rack. I couldn’t go any heavier I think technique will fail me before my muscles.

Great work again. Can’t fault the work ethic Bob. Don’t go heavier. As said above; technique over weight. Stick with it, strength will come with the repetition.

Incline Hammer Curls 15 – 20 Reps
Standing Bicep Dumbell Curls 15 – 20 Reps

As I felt at this moment I had a lot of energy in my biceps. But minimal movement in my back which felt pumped. So these felt slightly easier than when I have done them before. Only failing third set with  my right arm doing 18 and my left only doing 12! Why? Hammer curls onto dumbbell curls are naughty but a blast on the biceps is enough to make any man feel good. Failing third set at 15 both arms the same this time. I will ask Sean if I can do these preacher style to ensure both arms get the same treatment.

Absolutely. Don’t allow one arm to continue. You’ll get an imbalance. Stop the stronger arm at the weaker arms range and over time it will catch up. Good question.

Day 5 – Chest and Triceps

 

3 Sets of Supersets.

Bench Press 12 – 15 Reps
Pec Flyes 15 – 20 Reps

Ok feeling good about this workout not a bad week. I am at the limit with the bench presses. I don’t think I can up the weight at the moment. Failing second set at 11 and third at 12 justifies that. Although progress has been made on this exercise since I started. Pec flyes were increased by 2kg, woo! Again feeling heavy on the negative side of the movement until lifting. I don’t know whether I should up these and try keep the same form.

Form first Bob! Form first. But… don’t forget on an exercise like this you can of course dropset easily by taking the upper DB weight for the exercise until you fail and then use the weight you have been using to finish.

As you say, great improvements on the bench press across the entire programme, so well done. Stick with this weight for now and let it go on up on your next programme.

Incline Dumbbell Press 12 – 15 Reps
Incline Pec Flyes 15 – 20 Reps

Again no increase for the presses. Any heavier I always seem to lose it in my forearms before my chest. Finishing first and second but failing at 8 on the third. Incline pec flyes were same weight as the flat ones which is an improvement. Finishing all sets.

Try to keep your wrist straight and not cocked at all. This may help the forearms. Either way, you’ve had good increases across the programme so nothing to worry about.

Dips 12 – 15 Reps
Press Ups 15 – 20 Reps

I lowered the supporting weight again to the same as the chin ups at the beginning of the week.  Failed all sets. Not making it past 6 on either of them. I am not sure if I should have gone supported to get a few reps. But I thought I want to get better at them! Doing the first set of press ups told me I should have gone supported on the dips. Didn’t keep to tempo as good as I should have done. Failing third set at a miserable 8. My chest was a bit worse for wear.

Good decision to try the dips at a lower supporting weight. Despite failing all sets, it’s pushing your body on, which is what we need. A lot of chest work so far, so unsurprising that the chest was feeling it!

Skull Crushers 12 – 15 Reps
Close Grip Bench Press 15 – 20 Reps

Same weight as before. Failed third set. But only just finished the other sets. If I go any higher I wont keep to form and I probably wont make the first set I may go higher next time and just reach failure on the first set and battle through it. Same for the Close grip bench press. It’s not a lot of weight on top the olympic bar. But I can just finish these sets always failing third really early on. Always keeping my elbows tight to my body so it’s just my elbows that are bending on the negative side of the movement.  Here I blame their position in the workout for the struggle…and maybe the dips but pushed on through anyway.

Agreed, the position of these exercises in the programme does make them far more difficult, but that is also done on purpose! Well done overall and good plan to try one heavier, at least for the first set, next time. You can only try. You may surprise yourself.

A good day overall. Well done Bob.

Day 6 – TRX Stuff

 

TRX jump squats in this order.

50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 = 300. With 1 minutes rest between sets.

I started off well. Doing 30 before I started getting tired. From then it was broken down to mini sets, unwillingly. Still using the strict 1 min rest between sets on top of the few seconds (at most) in between the sets. I didn’t know if I was relieved to finish or not. Until I got to the locker room when it hit me. Chuffed!

This is a monster of a session. Mentally and physically. One of the reasons I put it in the programme was to show people how hard you CAN work and how hard you can work with nothing but a TRX. The beauty of a TRX is you can take it anywhere and it allows you to work at home, in a hotel or on holiday. This session is a great one for really getting the legs working without the need for 80-100kg. And by the sounds of it, it worked.

You deserve a pat on the back. A lot of people give up on this session, so to finish it is a great achievement. Well done Bob. And yes, it certainly is one that hits you later as a “wow! I did that”. Another milestone and another thing to be proud of. They are totting up Bob.

Bob Manser - Author

I am currently doing a 12 week transformation with the help of Sean Lerwill. I'm 27, overweight and overworked. Trying to change the fact that my hair is thinning more than my waist line.