Bob’s Transformation – Week 9

Bob's Transformation

Day 1 – Chest and Triceps


AM: 15 Minutes L.I.S.S training

Very tired today. The morning run did the job and woke me up. The run was ok same speed a bit more blowy though.

I try to convince people that a bit if CV first thing is a great way to wake up and set them up for the day. 


Still tired when I got to the gym. I thought if I am going to be tired make it for a reason. I was careful not go to mad. I didn’t want to get an injury so late in the game.

Good man, best to be safe than sorry. I suspect you are still fatigued from last week.

Bench Press 12 – 15 Reps
Bench Dips 12-15 Reps
Kettlebell Swings 15-20 Reps

The bench press felt heavier today. I couldn’t get into it at all. Did the first set fine but after the dips and kettlebell swings I failed the second set at 9. I was so angry with myself. I completed the second sets and failed on the third bench at 12 this was a big push to finish just that. I felt very frustrated. Until I had finished all the sets and thought ‘well that’s them sets are finished, screw it move on’.

Hmm. Well done for pressing on. I suspect last weeks efforts of tagging all session after one another due to the beginning of the week allowing for no training has taken its toll. You probably need a rest!

Dumbell Press 12 – 15 Reps
Pec Flyes 12 – 15 Reps
Kettle Bell Swings 15 – 20 Reps

Dumbbells were also the same. Must be fatigue although I have eaten correctly and taken on all the carbs I can failing second set at 12 third set at 9. Flyes are weird for me. The weight is light until it’s in the lower position being moved up. Then it feels like it weighs a ton! But finished all the sets. The bell swings were tough too but did all reps.

Well done for keeping going, despite the mental and physical fatigue. 

Dips 12 – 15 Reps
Standing Tricep Rope Extensions 12 – 15 Reps
Kettlebell Swings 15 – 20 Reps

Dips supported were a little relief but my chest was definitely feeling it. Failed second set at 13 but finished third set weirdly enough. The standing tricep ext I upped the weight. Making it difficult to finish but completed the first two failed third at 10. I was cheering up a bit now. The swings were working my chest again and my legs were faltering a bit. Finishing the swings just. I had to have a sit down before I moved on. I think the fitter I am getting the harder I am pushing myself and I can feel it.

Sounds good Bob, well done. A bit of Bootneck determination.

Incline Dumbell Press 12 – 15 Reps
Incline Pec Flyes 12 – 15 Reps
Kettlebell Swings 15 – 20 Reps

More presses! Seriously? I kept this at the same weight as I would for this rep range. The same for flyes. With this exercise I can’t go heavy with flyes either but any less I can’t feel it. I have heard about muscle activation… this could be a cause? Finishing flyes but failing chest press second and third set.

Activation yes. Or just being intune with your muscles. A bit of mind-muscle mapping perhaps. Feeling the squeeze in the chest as you weights are raised. We can speak about this when you’ve finished.

Reverse Grip Incline Bench Press 12 – 15 Reps
EZ bar incline Skull Crusher 12 – 15 Reps
and you guessed it more kettlebell swings 15 – 20 Reps

Reverse grip bench press is becoming a real favourite. A bitch on the tris especially as tired as they were. But a good challenge aswell. No failure but a lot of grunting to finish. Skull crushers though failure second and third. Working really hard to complete every last rep. The swings were terrible now. Just starting was tough but got into the swing of it…Pun intended. But failed at 5 first set, 5 second and third making it to 6! So glad I had finished. I had no energy left at all.

Well done Bob! A strong finish. I’m impressed by your perseverance. Something many people can learn from. The reverse bench press is a good one when you get into it, so glad to hear its a good one to finish. Keep it up.

Day 2 – Legs and Abs


AM: 15 Minutes L.I.S.S training and Tabata Sit Ups

Same Speed. Tabata sit ups using a medicine ball for the hell of it.

I love it. A hard day the session before, so you add in extra “for the hell of it”! Well done Bob.

Deadlifts 12 – 15 Reps
Back Extensions 12 – 15 Reps
Push Press 15 – 20 Reps

No pain from the deadlifts any more and I kept to the timings though I did use the same weight too I have reached the limit for now but it will increase again I’m sure. I failed at 12 on the third set. Back extensions are still relief from the deadlifts. Push Presses ugh. I have dreaded these all days. Still the same weight that I used the last time. Completing all the reps.

Well done. Good work. Glad the deads are sorted. And push press – they are a bit of a delight aren’t they?! Keep focussed, you have to be out of the comfort zone to make progress.

Back Squats 12 – 15 Reps
Sissy Squats 12 – 15 Reps
Push Press 15 – 20 Reps

Squats were done with the same weight again. A hard job to finish again. A weight increase is due as I finished all the reps. I did the sissy squats careful to keep the right position. Failed third set legs were shaky. Push press again. Thighs were burning and just finished the reps.

If the legs were shaky after sissy squats, you’re now getting it right. Great little addition after squats. I love that you know you need to increase the squats as you completed all reps. Well done Bob, your mental strength and body awareness have increased no end. Keep it up!

Front Squats 12 – 15 Reps
Split Squats 12 – 15 Reps
Push Press 15 – 20 Reps

Front squats again are at the limit. Using the crossed arm hold which is purely because of the push press taking it out of my arms. I just finished the sets. Split squats were a real challenge. My legs were definitely feeling it and I just couldn’t get the bend in my knee that I got before without lowering the weight. Failing second set 12 and third set 12. Push press failed 3rd set at 12.

Fronts will be a bit uncomfortable on the arms in general. Following push press they will be even more so. The crossed arm method is fine, but if you continue on the fitness journey you may want to learn the other method as well. Split squats are always a challenge, even more so after everything else you’ve done. Just keep making your way through the reps, even if it means dropping the weights right down!

Leg Extensions 12- 15 Reps
Leg Curls 12 – 15 Reps
Push Press 15 – 20 Reps

Finished all the reps at the same weight for both the curls and extensions, though not easily. An increase is due next time. Push press was a bit more successful finished all the reps. I think as I was sat down for this exercise the blood must have returned to my legs,

Push press will be more achievable after these as they are isolation rather than compound exercises, so a little easier on the heart and lungs. Good effort on the leg ext and leg curls. Glad you’ll be taking it up next time: as we’ve said, progression is crucial. So keep progressing as you mean to.

Tabata Plank

Nice exercise as I’m off my feet.

Good man. If it’s too easy, add a disc weight across the lower back/upper glutes.

Day 4 – Back and Biceps


AM: 15 Minutes L.I.S.S training

Wide Grip Pull Down 12 – 15 Reps
Bicep Barbell Curls 12 – 15 Reps
Kettlebell Swings 15 – 20 Reps

I used the bosu ball again for the pull downs. I am not sure though if the bar I use is wide enough. It’s the longest attachment they have. Finished all the reps and kept to the timings. Using the same weight for the curls I failed third set. I kept my arms in nice and tight for the exercise causing my biceps to tire. Kettlebell swings. Built a sweat up after the third set.

All sounds good to be. Don’t worry about the width of the bar; it will be fine I’m sure and as long as it s the same each week allows for progression of weight without changing exercise as well. Sounds like you are nailing technique on the curls, so well done. KB swings are designed to get the heart rate up here, so that’s hitting the spot from what you’ve said.

Close Grip Chin Ups 12 – 15 Reps
Hammer Curls 12 – 15 Reps
Kettlebell Swings 15 – 20 Reps

Hammer grip on the assisted chin ups. Massive fatigue caused which is great for the hammer curls…not. Causing massive failure second set for the chin ups at 13, and third a 9. Hammer curls failing third set 1 short of completing the sets. I was careful to make sure I made the full rep every time eating into the tempo a bit. Just because of fatigue.

Perfect. The close grip on hammer grip will really make the biceps curls hard, but hey, it’s working and getting you to failure. Well done Bob!

Bent over row 12 – 15 Reps
Straight arm pull down 12 – 15  reps
Kettlebell swings 15 – 20 Reps

The weight I used for the rows increased which is great. I am happy with that! I kept form throughout Failing third set at a pitiful 11. Straight arm pull downs I have increased on again finishing all sets. Tiring of kettlebell swings.

Great to see you constantly getting the weights up while maintaining form. Just as we need to. Very impressed Bob. It’s easy to stay put and not to make it harder, but that’s not going to get results and more to the point, that not you. Nicely done.

Prone incline dumbell row 12 – 15 Reps
Incline bicep curl 12 – 15 Reps
Kettlebell swings 15 – 20 Reps

No increase on the rows or curls. But a struggle every time. Mainly due to where they are placed in the workout…I tell myself. Kettlebell swings struggling to finish. Lungs burning and my arms and legs too.

By now, anything will start to be hard. We are working the body again and again; burning calories and asking it to adapt. You will find it hard. You will fail. But we want you too. Sounds like the KB swings are just as we want. Good work Bob.

Pull Ups Failure
Inverted Row 12 – 15 Reps
Kettlebell Swings 15 – 20 Reps

Lowering the assisted weight for the pull ups ensures I got to no more than 4 before failure. Inverted rows failing second and third. Kettlebell swings really enjoying putting down the kettlebell after finishing.

A really strong session today Bob. Impressed. Keep this work rate up.

Day 5 – Legs and Shoulder


Plyometric box jumps  4 – 8 Reps
Dumbell Walking Lunges 16 – 20 Reps
Single Arm Snatches 8 – 10 Reps

Love the box jumps. Same height no slipping this time. Walking lunges finished all reps at the same weight. Sweating again. The jumps are a good cardio exercise with the lunges too its great. Single arm snatches were finished ok aswell.

I’m really glad you are still enjoying elements of the sessions. It can become monotonous and feel like it’s just a grind, so when I hear you are enjoying certain things it gives me a sense that this isn’t just an uncomfortable dredge for you everyday. 

Overhead press 12 – 15 Reps
Upright Row 12 – 15 Reps
Single Arm Snatches 8 – 10 Reps

A weight increase for the overhead press again! I thank the push presses. Upright rows I had a slight increase but it made me fail second set at 12 and third at 9. I’ll keep the weight the same next time. Single arm snatches finished.

It doesn’t matter that you failed on the uprights from taking the weight up. Just like the increase in the overhead press has probably come from the push press, taking the weight up for the uprights, will get easier again and allow another progression; all the time helping your body to adapt, add muscle and in turn burn bodyfat. Great work.

Front Squats 12 – 15 Reps
Push Press 12 – 15 Reps
Single Arm Snatches 8 – 10 Reps

Legs being tired I was not looking forward to the front squats again. But did them anyway. Actually surprised to finish all the sets at the same weight as before. Push presses again I used a heavier weight than before. Ensuring I reached failure. Only making 10 last set. All snatches completed.

Brilliant work Bob, gritted teeth, dug deep and wasn’t as bad as you though. Very impressed.

Seated D.Bell Shoulder Press 12 – 15 Reps
Incline Lateral Raise 12 – 15 Reps
Single Arm Snatches 8 – 10 Reps

Shoulder presses with a weight increase. About time I had some sort of increase. These are difficult every time with the intensity, I failed third set. Incline lateral raise finishing all reps completed an increase would affect the technique so I will leave it the same always a good pump though.

Sensible choices and what I would recommend: increase the press, leave the lat raises alone. Sounds like a good set.

Back Squats 12 – 15 Reps
KettleBell Goblet Squats 12 – 15 Reps
Single Arm Snatches 8 – 10 Reps

Back squats the same weight. Keeping to the tempo I managed to do all the sets so an increase is due. Goblet squats were shaky again. But managed to finish. I aimed to keep intensity up although tired. The hard work on the legs is a good feeling. I have noticed the difference in my leg muscles.

Brilliant that you have noticed the difference. The legs are the biggest muscles in the body, so increasing them WILL raise the metabolism as muscle is our metabolic tissue. This will mean you can take more Calories and thus help us keep your bodyfat lower over time. Nice work Bob.

Farmers Walk 20m
Shrugs 12 – 15 Reps
Single Arm Deadlifts 8 – 10 Reps

Proving to be a nice cool down. I like the farmers walk. Straight into the shrugs to keep intensity up. What a relief to be putting down the dumbbell when I finished this set.

Like the jumps the farmer’s walks offer something a little different to break the monotony, while still keeping the heart rate up. They also offer practical strength when we men HAVE to carry all shopping bags from the car in one go. Good effort Bob.

Day 6 – H.I.T.T


10 x 60m sprints.

These do not get any easier. Although I was able to return to waiting for the next whole number to continue to sprints. A victory to me.

Great to hear. Overall, a much more balanced week than last week and some real increases on big movements like fronts, deadlifts and overhead press. Solid performance Bob, you will reap the rewards from all, this work. Superb.

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.