Bob’s Transformation – Week 7

Bob's Transformation

Week 7 – Day 1 – Legs and Abs


A bit ominous driving into the car park today as it looked busy meaning a lack of equipment meaning me feeling like an equipment hoarder for the session, (something I have got used to with supersets). Resulting in me replying ‘no sorry mate still using that’. But I’m there to work hard and although I look greedy; I need that kit. Unless I can split the machine between sets obviously. Following the same format 3 sets with 2 x 10 sec rest pause.

It is a pain. I often find it’s best to reply with “I’m still using that, but you are welcome to work in if you don’t mind my strict rest periods”. They can make a choice then, but you aren’t being selfish as such. Nice to see you are thoughtful of others though; good gym etiquette. 

Squats 5-8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Straight Leg Deadlift 5-8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

5-8 Reps my favourite a chance to open up and lift heavy. Squats Rack was taken up. But rather than get frustrated I asked a few lads I have got to know whilst being there to spot me by lifting the weights onto my shoulders. Luckily they didn’t mind. It wasn’t a light weight either. This made these a bit interesting especially on the rest pauses. It got a few looks aswell. I needed the rest pauses this time just to get me through the sets. Just finishing the first 2 sets using the rest pauses. Failing on 7, 3rd set. I could get a lot lower this time. But I was conscious of not getting too low.

I’m not sure I would’ve done this. Not necessarily safe when lifting larger weights for 5-8reps. The idea obviously with rest pause is to go to failure within your 5-8 rep range then rest 10 seconds before going to failure again, then rest 10 seconds and go to failure again. I’m not sure if you could really do that without a rack for safety. But well done for getting on with the session anyway. Impressed! You obviously have a good effect on others in the gym if they are willing to help.

Straight Leg Deadlifts I used the bars along the squat rack as it came free after my first set. This felt a little better than it has done. Not lifting too heavy but did increase by 5kg, Finishing all sets.

Sounds good. Still increasing so still progressing. If you keep strict tempo, this will certainly do the business.

Deadlifts 5-8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Front Squats 5-8 Reps 2 x 10 Rest Pause

Lifting heavy for deadlifts is something I enjoy. I used the 10 sec rest pauses on 6 and 7 just to finish on the second set I used it at 4! not failing although only just finishing.

Remember to use the rest pauses to take you beyond failure, not just to finish the set! As many as you can, rest pause, as many as you can again, rest pause as many as you can – feel sick!

Front squats were great. I increased the weight by 5kg which was awesome. I only used one rest pause on the 3rd set the timing was just a little bit out as it took longer to extend for the last few reps.

Sounds like a good set. Nice to see you have made peace with the fronts and are now enjoying them. Often people neglect exercises that will strengthen their core when training for a transformation, meaning when they finish they have a strong upper body, a strong lower body but a glass middle waiting for injury. Not so with you when performing the fronts.

Leg Extensions 15 – 20 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Leg Curls 15 – 20 Reps 2 x 10 secs Res Pause

I upped this weight again. The burn was great today I had to stand up on my rest pauses! Failed 2nd and 3rd sets which I was annoyed about. Failing at 15 and 16 so not too unhappy.

I’m happy with that, failing = working hard, and as you upped the weight it’s bound to happen. Cheeky rep range for this as well, especially after the heavier stuff you’ve already done.

Weighted Ab Curls 8 – 12 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pauses
Supine Reverse Crunches (Supposed to be Incline Reverse Crunches)

Didn’t use the rest pauses for these two sets and upped the weight a lot. I couldn’t stand up after each set though. I had to roll onto my front to stand up! Which made me giggle to myself.

Haha! Good man, sounds like you really worked hard today Bob, very impressed.

Farmers Walk 50m

A little walk around the gym can’t judge the distance without the treadmill. So just a few laps.

Every little counts. Well done for not skipping it.

Day 2 – Back and Bicep


Chin Ups 6 – 10 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest
Barbell Curls 15 – 20 2 x 10 secs Rest

This was at the same supporting weight frustratingly. I did with a little less weight but struggled to do 3. Doing it at the supported weight isn’t easy either using the rest pauses at 8 and 9 on second set and 3rd set failing at 5.

Don’t get downhearted, often these supported machines have very big increments. Keep working at this weight for a few weeks and then try to lower – it’s a marathon not a sprint, remember.

Barbell curls were the same weight I do think I could up on this next time. Rest pauses just to get through it just making it to 5 before giving in.

Good set, especially after the pull ups. Try going up next week, but maybe take this weight as well, you can always drop set. I use dropsets quite a bit when transitioning between weights and the jump is quite big.

Straight Arm Pulldowns 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Inverted Row 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

Straight arm pulldowns were good, the weight increased this was good. Struggled to finish the last two sets. Failing on both with the help of the rows of course.

These two as a compound set are hard, the back really gets blown. So no surprise you failed, and remember of course that failure is good!

Inverted rows were horrible. Even the first set was tough to finish. The second I didn’t trust myself to hold my weight. Failing on all the sets the rest pauses not helping me reach one more either time.

I often find this, they are a devils exercise when you are fatigued, which by now you obviously were. Well done for getting to failure; many don’t and hence don’t make any changes.

Pull Ups 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Wide Grip Lat Pulldowns 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

The pullups were better this time I upped the weight after the first set… improvement.

Well done Bob! Great effort.

I lowered the weight again to work on the squeeze and again this was effective. But this caused dramas on the pull ups. Failing second set I tried pushing myself to finish with no rest pause but used them at 6 to fail on 7 on 3rd set.

Sounds good. Very sensible to drop the weight to ensure form and tempo were correct along with feeling the squeeze. Good drills.

Hammer Curls 15 – 20 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Incline Bicep Curls 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

Hammer curls were really tough today really feeling this, I kept lifting my elbows after the first set. I had to close my eyes to feel it, pushing myself to not use the rest pause and only rest pausing at 16 and 18 and failing 19 on 3rd set.

Perfect. Not easy this due to the high reps and therefore high volume, but it gets you used to the squeeze and feeling the muscle. The elbows coming up is natural as the biceps fatigue. Good effort stopping it.

Incline bicep curls were even worse. Failing all sets. Even with the rest pauses.

Bang on. Just what we wanted. Well done.

Close Grip Pulldown 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Reverse Grip Curls 15 – 20 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

I found myself leaning back for some of these reps. So performing a sort of straight-arm pulldown. The weight increase could be to blame but once I found myself doing it I could correct myself easily enough. No rest pause failure 6 on 3rd set.

Well done for correcting. To be honest, it’s probably partly my fault for asking for so much of the biceps on these reverse grip pulls after the curls beforehand. The body is trying to compensate. One thing to do would be to lower the weight.

Reverse grip curls were difficult again but upped the weight which is nice. Glad to finish all sets. Failing after the rest pauses at 17 second set and 15 3rd.

Well done. Increasing the weight on these is always tough, especially when the forearms are already blown. Good effort.

Bicep Cable Curl 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Bicep Hammer Rope Curls 15 – 20 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

No increase on these exercises but handled the rope with individual hands. No rest pause used but went to near failure on both. A weight increase is due I think.

Sounds good to me Bob, not easy after all the other reps. Try upping the weight, but it is the last of the session so be careful.

Day 4 – Legs and Abs


Squats 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Straight Leg Deadlift 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

Still going low and keeping the same weight used one rest pause on the 3rd set.

Glad you are getting low. Too many people get carried away with the weight and start to exercise poorly in terms of form. Keep the form at this level. Impressed!

Straight leg deadlift was a different story using the rest pauses to finish.

Just ensure good form on these too and squeeze the hamstrings to ensure a solid exercise. No need to go too heavy.

Deadlifts 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Front Squats  5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

Keeping the same weight I had to use the rest pauses to get through the last couple of sets of deadlifts. I was going a bit fast this time faster than the 4010 tempo. Making it more tiring.

Going faster shouldn’t make it more tiring, it should make it easier. 4010 would mean you are taking a 5 count for each rep, faster than that means the 5-8 reps are over quicker.

Same for the Front squats same weight. No rest pauses though.

Good effort, but remember the rest pauses are there not to help you finish, but to prolong the effort, making the sets harder. You finish the last set, rest 10 seconds and perform a set to failure, then rest 10 seconds and do that again. This will make the whole session more fruitful.

Leg Extensions 15 – 20 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Leg Curls 15 – 20 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

Heavy still but the same weight. No rest pauses but found it difficult.

Weighted Ab Curls 8 – 12 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Supine Reverse Crunches (Incline Reverse Crunches) 8 – 12 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

I upped the ab curls again.

Well done.

Farmers Walk 50m

Day 5 – Shoulder and Triceps


Incline Dumbell Press 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 Rest Pause
Bench Press 5 – 8 Reps 2 x10 Rest Pause

I upped the dumbbell weight but only by 4kg, above recommended the 2-2.5kg.

Wow. I suspect this felt a lot once they were up and you started to fatigue?!

Bench Press part of the superset I found the bench press difficult as heavy as it was. But finished the first set easily enough so upped the weight by 5kg. Finished the second without a rest pause but needed it 3rd set. I just finished the dumbbell presses not using any rest pauses.

I suspect the shoulders would’ve affected the bench press a little, but by the sounds of it this wasn’t the case! A good sleep? What did you eat the night before? It obviously worked!

Overhead Press 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Lateral Raises 15 – 20 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

Upped the overhead press again! Lovely jubbly. This was tough though. I felt the strain right the way down both sides of my back using the rest pauses to get through it. Failing 3rd set 7 even with the rest pauses.

Rather than strain, this was probably a bit of DOMS from back/biceps the other day. If you are feeling it in the lower back, you are probably leaning back to allow the chest to help. DON’T do this. You must stay upright and use the shoulders, this is how people injure their back.

Sean mentioned the squeeze when it came to the lateral raises so I lowered the weight. Ensuring the squeeze. I had to laugh at the difference. I struggled to finish these. So I’ll use this weight again.

Great news. Very pleased. Well done Bob. Too many lads just want to lift big, I used 6kg for my lat raises after shoulder press yesterday and squeezed like hell, sweating and wobbling through the 3010 tempo, but it works!

Dips 6 – 10 Reps 2 x 10 Rest Pause
Wide Grip Bench Press 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 Rest Pause

To finish myself off I did the last set of dips unassisted. Only reaching 3 before a rest pause and then reaching 4 before full failure.

Great effort! I’m so pleased with these Bob, well done.

I upped the weight for the wide grip bench press by 5kg. Using the smiths machine. Although I felt it in the wrist more than I think I should. But finished the first just and failing second on 7 with the rest pauses but just finishing the 3rd with a balls out effort.

Make sure the wrist is straight, like a punch not cocked back. You don’t want to damage your wrists by pushing in a cocked position.

Arnold Press 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Close Grip Bench Press 15 – 20 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

Arnold presses are difficult to start. Fatigue making the initial movement slow. But once I got through it the sides of my back are burning and my biceps, tris and shoulders. I kept telling myself its only 5 – 8. But failing at 6 on second and 7 3rd that was with the rest pauses.

It’s fine to fail. I suspect the body was starting to feel the rest of the week after an initial front for the shoulders and bench press. Well done for trying to push through it and failing where you did. Hard work pays off.

Close grip bench press felt the heaviest of the whole session. But were the lightest. Rest pause at 10  and 12 on the second set and failing at 15. The 3rd set resulted in failure after 18 with both rest pauses.

Hahaha. Time to hit the showers for your upper body I feel. Let’s see how the triceps fared!

Seated Dumbell Shoulder Press 5 – 8 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Prone Incline Reverse Flyes 15 – 20 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

I used the machine tonight for convenience but it felt unnatural, so will use the dumbbells again. Finished the sets but with 2 very needed rest pauses at 5 and 7.

I like the machine in my gym. Takes some getting used to, but the slow eccentric side of things is good with a machine. Always good to mix it up.

With low weight I did the incline flyes. Still feels better than using the heavier weights and the burn is more isolated than using the heavier weights. No rest pauses but didn’t finish easy.

Again, the light weights allow it to be done properly, which can be really affective. Well done Bob.

Standing Tricep Rope Extensions 12 – 15 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause
Overhead Tricep Extensions 12 – 15 Reps 2 x 10 secs Rest Pause

I enjoy this exercise its always been a choice of mine. But with the weight increase it was a bit more difficult. Ensuring I only used my tris and didn’t slope my shoulders or any other silly movement. Failure  at 13 on 3rd set.

Well done for concentrating on the form. It’s always something to consider and I’m pleased you are doing that.

Overhead Tricep Extensions didn’t fail but just pushed through it to finish. A weight increase next time. Happy with this session. But was pleased to be leaving the gym. Phew…

I bet you are, sounds like a mammoth session and a hard week. Well done Bob.


Day 6 – H.I.I.T

7 x 60m Sprints
3 x 40m Sprints

These were difficult today. I upped the speed to 18 kmph, where normally I have just been going for the distance required on the treadmill at incline 2. Then standing either side of the belt for the whole number usually about 4 – 5 seconds. This though was almost impossible today had to wait a little longer. I But finished. Hardest sprints to date.

As long as you keep finding ways to make it harder, your body will keep adapting and you’ll get the changes you want.

Very pleased with this week Bob, it sounds horrendous when I read it but I’m very pleased with how you are approaching it. Just make sure you stay safe (squats without a rack) and use rest pauses not just to finish a set in the rep range but to go beyond failure.

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.