Rantorcha's AAEFX Training Journal - Road to...

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  1. This morning since I have my girls all week, as usual, I hit Cardio at home on the treadmill for 20 minutes. It actually went pretty fast...which is all due to the Monday Night Football highlights on ESPN this morning. It's the mid-week 40-minute session with barely any sports that's a killer! lol

    This afternoon, it was time...time to hit legs. If you follow my journal, you'll know I am ok with my legs and only train them once every two weeks. For my last show, my legs were thick, but not as cut as I would have liked. Eric and I think that has to do with my legs being over worked - hard weekly workouts and tons of cardio. Plus, I think my legs can and sometimes do overpower the rest of my physique, so we are trying this out to see how it goes. As of now, so far so good. I guess we'll know for sure in 8 weeks!!!

    So, after not training legs for two weeks, usually I am pretty psyched. But, for some reason, today I just wasn't feelin' it. True to form - as I discussed yesterday - when I do "Power Week" I tend to have neck and shoulder issues. My neck really stiffened up this morning. MOTHER!!! And, my heart just wasn't into training today, which has been VERY unlike me for quite some time.

    But, I knew what was at stake...a shot at a Pro Card. So, I kept shaking off any negative feelings and pushed forward as hard as I could. By set #2, it was ON! I can't say it was my best leg workout ever, but I can say that I left everything I had back at the gym. By the end of it, as I was stretching, I could have dropped dead right there on the floor (figuratively of course).

    I know that this is Power Week, but Power Week doesn't agree with me and my legs. In Spanish, we say "no me combiene", which essentially means, it's no good for me. lol So, I decided to do things in a quick manner and hit it Shock-style.

    Anyway, here is how it went...
    Hack Squats ss/ Rev Hack Squats - 2 sets of this sh*t!
    Leg Press ss/ Stiff Leg Deads - 3 sets of these mother f*ckers!
    Leg Curl ss/ Leg Ext - 2 crazy ass sets of super-squeezing. At this point I wanted to die...but still had glutes and calves to do!

    Rev Leg Curl (On Floor) ss/ Abduction Machine - 2 sets of 15 for the Rev Leg Curls and 2 sets of 25 reps on the Abduct Mach

    Leg Press - 2 sets (20 and 16 reps, respectively). Prob could've stopped at about 13 or 14, but kept going until I wanted to die!
    Seated Calf - 2 sets 135/13, 135/12

    OK!! TIME TO GO HOME (oh, crap. I still have to work the rest of the day.) DAMN!!!!

  2. Very nice work!

  3. well i was trying to rep both you and crader but my reps aren't working

    so in theory reps, good work, and hi crader it's been awhile

  4. Quote Originally Posted by natty texan View Post
    well i was trying to rep both you and crader but my reps aren't working

    so in theory reps, good work, and hi crader it's been awhile
    LOL hi Tex!!

  5. Quote Originally Posted by crader View Post
    Very nice work!
    Thanks, crader! Coming from you, that's quite a compliment.

  6. Quote Originally Posted by natty texan View Post
    well i was trying to rep both you and crader but my reps aren't working

    so in theory reps, good work, and hi crader it's been awhile
    There you are, Tex!! Glad to see you again. And I'm glad to see you and crader can meet in my journal. lol

  7. So, yesterday I did my morning cardio as I usually do. CARDIO - 20 minutes on my home Treadmill. Got dressed for work and off I went. At about 930, I got a call that put my noon-time workout in jeopardy. Getting ready for a show is hard enough, but when a monkey wrench is thrown into your plan, it can shake you up a bit - just ask Eric!

    Well, I was able to get in an abbreviated workout and only completed Power Lats. Traps, Rear Delts and Abs will have to be worked out between today and tomorrow somehow. I'll get it done!

    Here's yesterday's kick ass workout! Even though it's Power Week, I am using Power week rep ranges (or at least trying to) with Rep Range tempos.

    WG Pulldowns 210/8, 225/6, 210/8
    Smith Machine Rack Deads (to Knee) - 425/10, 425/12, 455/7
    Rev Grip BB Row - Smith Mach - 225/10, 255/10+1, 275/8+1
    Underhand Pulldown - 195/10, 225/7
    Rope Stiff-arm Pulldowns - did these more as rep range b/w 8-12 reps

    That's it in a nutshell. Immediately after this one I needed to get in my AAEFX Kre-Generator/NF Pro Whey post workout shake as well as my LG5 (Glutamine).

    After resting and hanging out with my girls in the evening, I enjoyed THOROUGHLY the ass kicking The U gave the bumble bees. lol

    This morning, I woke up and did my usual 20 minutes of CARDIO again on the home Treadmill.

    This aftenroon - off to train arms, calves and try to get in the stuff I missed yesterday. I'll keep you posted.

  8. Good luck!

  9. Quote Originally Posted by crader View Post
    Good luck!
    Thanks! I really appreciate it.

  10. Really quick afternoon update…
    Holy shiz! Did I tear it up this afternoon! My arms will be very sore tomorrow as my back already is from yesterday. It was “ON” today. I went in with “that mindset”…the zone, as some call it. I have been hearing & watching more and more of Kai’s trainer’s philosophies (Oscar Ardon). His “power of the mind” stuff is something I marvel at for some reason. It talks to me. It sounds a little hokey, but I guess you can call me hokey.

    Now, as for my workout, here it goes…remember, this was the last day of my Power Week and most likely my last Power week of this prep. I know this seems like I packed in a bunch, but my rest periods were minimal.

    Barbell Curl – 2 heavy sets
    DB Curl – 2 sets
    90 degree Preacher Curl – 2 sets

    Smith CG Press (Broser-style) – 2 strong sets
    Incl Lying Tri Ext – 2 sets
    Body-over-bar Pushdowns – entire stack 13 reps and 11 reps
    Dip Machine

    DB Shrug – 3 strong sets. Did these back to back…bent over 45 degrees and focused on mid traps

    Did some V-ups, Decl Bench Crunch and twists

    Top Cable Rev Cross – 3 sets, very little rest

    Seated Calf – 3 sets
    Free Motion Press – Triple drop sets

  11. 7 WEEKS TO GO!!! And with each passing day, each passing hour, minute, training session, set and rep, I am gearing up for the fight of my life. November 7th - Coral Springs, FL!

    I'm not sure how I'll look on that day, but I will say that right now I am in better condition than at any point prepping for my last show...and I am looking to be at my all-time best come that Saturday.

    I had the luxury of being able to train with The Master, The ONE, our Yoda on Sunday. We did some chest, etc. And, not only was it a great training session, but he was able to eval me prior to training (pre-pump or anything) and he said I was on track. We still have a long way to go, but I feel decent where we are at right now. As I usually say, we'll see how it goes...

    Rack Incl Smith Press (done as drop set) - 2 sets
    Flat Smith Press (done to the neck) ss/ Dips - 2 sets each
    Incl DB Flye ss/ DB Pullover - 1 set each

    Mini-LATS - all of these done in the 13-15 rep range. Not necessarily on purpose, but I felt so good, I kept going...not stopping after a prescribed number of reps.
    One Arm DB Row - 2 straight sets
    Smith Rev Grip BB Row - 2 straight sets
    Side Lat Pulldown Machine - 2 straight sets

    V-ups ss/ Cable Crunch

    CARDIO - done after training on Treadmill

    CARDIO only - done on Home Treadmill
    Since I trained yesterday, I am treating today as a rest day. Back at it again tomorrow and I can't wait!

  12. So, today was a training day to remember. But first, I woke up with a pretty decent-sized headache. Actually, it started last night before I hit the sack. These headaches usually go away during my sleep. Don't know why, but this one lingered all night long and into the morning. I always try not to take any medicine, but today I had to! I took some ibuprofen and hit CARDIO at the gym today on the Stairmill. I love to hate & hate to love that thing!! But, I am sure the results will show come November.

    By the afternoon, I wasn't feeling all that great either. Actually, I felt a little run down. But, as I have been lucky enough to feel during these last couple of months, once I take my EFX supps, then 30 minutes later my pre-w/o shake and set foot in the gym, a switch gets turned on. And to add to the motivation, I've been checking out a few minutes of the pre-Olympia footage from Branch, Wolf and Kai.

    On a side note, I don't know why, but there is something about watching & listening to Kai & Oscar that speaks to me. I watched every one of Kai's Arnold "video journal" entries and was in awe. I have picked so many different training techniques - most notably his passion to go above and beyond any limitations of rep scheme. And I am incorporating them today!

    So, like I said at the beginning, this one was one to remember!

    Life Fitness Delt Press Machine ss/ Standing Side Laterals
    Alt Hammer-grip DB Front Raises ss/ Seated Side Laterals
    20/13each...25/13 (Fr Raises done really slow, controlled and squeezed at the top)
    Upright Cable Row (Narrow grip) ss/ Rev Pec Dec - 2 sets each
    AND........................DON E!!!!! SHEESH!

    Body-over-bar Pushdown (triple drop)
    200-stack + 2-25s/11..drop..200+25/4..drop..200/6
    Incl Tri Ext ss/ Bench Dips
    95/10...16 reps
    Rev One-arm Pushdowns ss/ Bench Dips
    17.5/15...14 reps

    Leg Press Raises - 2-triple drop sets
    6plts each/20...5ea/12...4ea/16
    6plts each/16...5ea/14...4ea/15
    Walking would be a serious challenge after these.

    Another fantastic workout in the books. If I didn't grow at least a little after this one, then there is no hope! Lol

  13. Every couple of weeks, and sometimes every couple of days, I find myself rededicating myself to my mission. I don’t find myself dropping off in terms of intensity or anything like that, but every few days/weeks, I feel that I need to focus that much more to what I am doing. Sometimes, eating the same things every day, the same supps every day, the same everything every day, you could tend to get a little robotic. So, last night I refocused my outlook. At different places in my apartment, I taped notes around my house.

    I am also going to stop looking in the mirror for a little while! lol I am pretty much not wanting to constantly critique myself. I am going to start wearing big, baggy shirts and try to only see my progress after a few days, at least.

    This mental aspect of my prep usually comes on days that I am not scheduled to train. haha So, obviously today is a cardio-only day!!

    CARDIO – 45 minutes on the home treadmill

  14. I can completely sympathise with the same food and same supps rut. It can get really old to do the same things every single day with nothing new to look forward too. Props to you for finding a way to stay motivated to the end goal.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by crader View Post
    I can completely sympathise with the same food and same supps rut. It can get really old to do the same things every single day with nothing new to look forward too. Props to you for finding a way to stay motivated to the end goal.
    Thanks, crader! I really appreciate the support. It's nice to see I'm not alone soemtimes. lol

  16. This morning started out a little rough. I woke up at 5am, but my alarm wasn't set to go off until 5:50am. Of course, i couldn't go back to sleep, so I said, "F-ck it!" and I got up to do my morning cardio.

    CARDIO - 1st thing in the morning. And it was almost as easy as pie. With a little more than 6 weeks left and cardio on training days coming so easy at this stage makes me nervous! I AM NOT complaining, that's for sure.

    Needless to say, I was a tad tired by about midday, but that was training time and I needed to get up for my back day. Back is an area I have really been busting ass on to improve in terms of width. Hopefully I have done that, but with 6+ more weeks to go, now is no time to back off.

    Wghtd Chins - 2 drop sets. Held contraction at the top for 1-sec. 2nd dropset was less total reps, but double the effort to get there. Even used rest/pause on the drop.
    High Cable Seated Row - 2 really nice dropsets of this one
    - High Row ss/ Rev Pulldown - 1 supserset
    - Rev Pulldown ss/ High Row - 1 supserset
    Hyperextensions - triple drop
    2-25s...1-25...0. Did two triple drops of that!
    Rope Stiff Arm Pulldowns - very nice contraction and stretch

    1/2 Pulldown (almost to top of head) - squeeze traps
    ss/ V-ups - did 2 supersets of each
    DB Shrugs ss/ Decl Bench Crunch - did 2 supersets of each

    Star Trac Machine Press - did 2 dropsets of this and was toasted! On the surface, this doesn't seem like much of a mini-chest routine, but I can assure you, I couldn't do a thing more than this after those dropsets.

    I must say, it took me a little bit to get into the swing of things. But once I was "in", there was no turning back. Once again, I left everything I had in the gym. Hopefully, the results will speak for themselves.

  17. After yesterday's early wake up call, I went home and crashed! I laid down on the couch to watch TV and took a half-hour nap. Good nap...but DAMN was it hard to get up after that! I still had one more meal to eat. Later after scarfing that down, of course getting to sleep was a bit of a challenge...and I woke up tired again! MOTHER! lol

    Anyway, since I didn't have my girls, I went to the gym for morning Cardio so I could hit the Stairmill. Have I mentioned that I love that thing! After that, I went home and had my first meal. I have to say that first meal is like eating candy. I savor almost every bit of that meal like it was my last.

    So, this afternoon was training and the last of this week. So, essentially after today, I have 6 weeks until the dance. When I think about 6 weeks and look at it on a calendar, it seems like forever, but for some reason, it “feels” like the day is right around the corner. No rest for the weary! I must make sure that each day is better than the last.

    EZ bar Pushdowns – 2 sets (dropset on 2nd set)
    Dip Machine – 3 hard sets
    Overhead Lean Forward Rope Ext – 1 dropset 120/7…90/6
    Cross Body 1-arm Ext – 3 increasing weight-sets

    Life Fit Preacher Curl – 2 sets (dropset on 2nd set). Used this machine for the first time and love it! Major pump.
    Seated Curl – 40/8 x 2 sets! Arms were SO freakin’ pumped!
    Lying Top Cable Curl – 120/16

    DB Side Laterals (run-the-rack)
    35/10..30/9..25/9..20/9..15/9 – 46 total reps!!
    35/10..30/6..25/6..20/6..15/8 – 36 total reps!! Couldn’t lift my arms after this.

    Seated (drop)
    Leg Press (drop)
    5plts each sd/16
    4plts each sd/16
    3plts each sd/15
    Walking to the car was a major challenge…even after stretching.

  18. You know I am a contest judge. I have judged more than a dozen shows for the NGA, OCB and SNBF. If you would like to email me a few shots of you "six weeks out," I will give you some solid feedback.

    [email protected]

    I am Master of Ceremonies at an NGA show in Atlanta tomorrow, and you already know I am Master of Ceremonies at the NGA show in Coral Springs on November 7th. I won't be judging in Florida so I can offer you some advice without prejudice.

    Old Navy

  19. After a pretty long weekend filled with fun and surprises, I am almost looking forward to the week! lol Over the weekend, I did my 45 mintues of cardio at the crack of dawn. Since I've had my girls for several weekends in a row, I've had to wake up way before them to get it in. If they are up, they're too young (at least Sienna is) to let me get cradio in.

    And, this morning...same thing. Got my cardio in and will be hitting the weights this afternoon...in about an hour.

    6 WEEKS TO GO!

  20. In my previous post, you saw I had a bit of a rough weekend. So, I was a little concerned that I wasn’t going to be able to “get up” for my training today. And even as I was entering the gym, I didn’t seem to “have it”. But, as I walked up the steps into the main part of the gym, something clicked. I threw on my elbow sleeves after my first warm up set, my wrist supports after my second, and my belt after my third….and it was ON!

    To be perfectly honest, after this weekend of keeping myself covered up and never being pumped in any way, I started to get a little down. Maybe my body just wasn’t responding properly. And with only 6 weeks to go, now is not the time to feel that way. Well, after my first exercise, I decided to do a little posing in the mirror and I feel ok now. My condition is really starting to take shape and sometimes I still can’t believe that’s me in the mirror!

    Make no mistake, I don’t know what my competition will look like, but I will be at my best ever!

    Incl DB Press – hands angled – 2 sets…90/8, 85/10
    Star Trac Press Machine – 210/13, 225/8, 225/8
    Incl Flyes – 2 sets
    Incl Hammer – I was absolutely brutalized after these! I had to do some major stretching. I also did some posing.

    Front & Side DELTS
    Hammer Press 2 sets with drop set on last one
    Front Raises – 2 sets alternating hammer-grip & hammer grip with twist at top
    Cable Upright Row – 2 high-rep sets…toasted my delts
    Side Lateral Raises – major pump!!! Side delts are really noticeable these days, which for me is a major accomplishment.

    V-ups – 2 sets of 20 reps
    Decl Bench Crunch – 2 sets of 20 reps
    Decl Bench Side Crunch – 2 sets of 15 reps each

  21. How old are your little ones?

  22. Quote Originally Posted by crader View Post
    How old are your little ones?
    Sidney is 5 and Sienna is 2!

  23. Due to some work conflicts, I had to rearrange my workout schedule today. I woke up at 5:45am to hit the gym for a grueling leg workout. My plan has been to hit legs every 2 weeks and this week was the week. I’ll be honest (as I always am), I was looking forward to it, but at the same time, not. I went in there with a sense of purpose. Since I am only hitting it once every two weeks, I blast my legs into submission. And it’s even funny to me how badly I “F” them up…I have a seriously hard time walking down the stairs to get to my car!

    Lying Leg Curl (drop…done as Glute Crunch)
    140/12…65/8; 140/10…65/8 – these always kill me. And to start out with them was a bitch!
    Stiff Leg Deads – 265/ 12 and 11 reps
    Seated Leg Curl – 160/13; 160/10…115/8+3 X-Reps
    It’s funny how when I try a contracting movement after SLDeads, it’s hard for me to get that good contraction. But, since I did a dropset on the last one, that sufficiently toasted my hams!

    Smith Front Squats – something told me to try these today. I don’t know why! I can never seem to get this right. But I tried them anyway. I ended up doing…225/10, but this isn’t heavy enough to stimulate my quads, but TOO heavy on my shoulders. Lol
    Ft Forward Smith Squat – since the Front Squats didn’t work, I went under the bar…
    315/15; with less than a minute rest… 225/15
    Smith lunges – 135/12, 135/12
    Single-leg Leg Press – 3 plts each side/9; 3 plts ea/10 reps…then put both feet up and did 12 faster reps.

    Abduction – 2 sets of 30…really concentrating on the contraction
    I only had time for these…I may end up doing more glute work tomorrow on my cardio-only day.

    Free motion Calf Ext
    200/18 + 6 X-Reps
    200/18 + 6 X-Reps
    Talk about sufficiently toasting my calves on only the first exercise!
    Seated Calf
    115/16 + 10 X-Reps

    CARDIO – 20 minutes on the Stairmill
    I really hate doing cardio after training now. I’ve gotten so used to doing it first thing in the morning and then training in the afternoon! But after doing legs, it was even MORE grueling. This was probably the most arduous cardio session of my whole prep so far….and it was only 20 minutes. Now, I have the luxury of going home and refeeding!

  24. Yesterday I felt great and I was hoping to carry that momentum into today. But if you know anything about getting ready for a show, it doesn't always pan out the way you'd like or hope. That brings me to last night...

    I went to bed seemingly just fine when all of a sudden I practically jumped out of bed thinking it was time to get up. But when I looked at the clock, it was only 12:34AM!! For some reason my body was ready to wake up and I had no idea why. So, in the hopes of falling back asleep, I turned on the TV for about 1/2 hour. I finally got back to sleep and woke up again 20 minutes before my alarm went off.

    Now I could have said the hell with it and started my day, but I decided to try to fall back asleep for those all important 20 minutes. And sure enough when the alarm clock went off, I wanted to kill someone! Not a good feeling at all. But I got up and hit the gym for my CARDIO session - the long version, since its a cardio-only day. I kind of dread these days, but I know they are a means to an end.

    I'm going to try to find a way to get some rest tonight. We'll see how that works out for me. lol

  25. It's been a mixed bag of a day. I woke up and did my training-day Cardio on my Home treadmill. I woke up my kids and they wished me a happy birthday, which was awesome and got several phone calls and emails since then.

    On a training-front, things were weird today. For the last couple of days, I've had a strange impingement on my left hand between in index and middle fingers. It doesn’t quite hold me back from gripping, but it is uncomfortable. In addition, I’ve had a nerve impingement right above my left shoulder blade and it sometimes shoots up my neck.

    Needless to say, this caused a tad bit of a problem when it came to pulling from below upward. Add to that the fact that I wasn’t quite feeling it today. It was a pain in the ass!

    ALL OF THAT SAID, I obviously didn’t let it stop me! I made sure to push through and go past the level of comfort during each set. No time to back down. After today, there are only 36 days left…a tad over 5 weeks…essentially only 4 hard training weeks to go.

    Underhand Bent Row - 3 sets of 11, 9+2, & 8 reps
    D-bar Pulldown - 3 sets of 13, 9, & 8 reps
    T-bar Row - 2 sets of 12 reps
    Hammer Rev Pulldown - 2 sets of 13 & 12 reps
    Hyperext - 25/15; 25/14..drop..0/10
    Rope Stiff Arm Pulldown - major pump!!

    Seated DB Shrug - 100/18, 100/18 - major stretch and contraction
    1/2 Pulldown to top of head - 2 sets of 20 & 15 reps
    DB Bent Over Laterals - 2 pump-inducing sets

    ABS - ran out of time because I wanted to do some posing...

    POSING - did one round of mandatories. Got some comments from some guys in the gym about my physique and were surprised how I still have 5+ weeks left.

  26. Happy Birthday!!!!!

  27. Quote Originally Posted by crader View Post
    Happy Birthday!!!!!
    Why thank you, crader! That's very sweet of you!!!

  28. Last night was awesome...my family came over and I had my girls celebrating my bday. But without chocolate cake, it just didn't seem like a birthday to me. lol

    I hit the CARDIO machine early this morning yet again and was ready to hit the weights in the afternoon. Once noon came around, I crossed that off my list with a fury.

    Now, all that's left is to get my weekly update from Eric and follow the plan. I am down another pound and a half and am really noticing some nice lines recently - and not a moment too soon! lol

    5 WEEKS TO GO kids!!!!

  29. What a great weekend! I went to my H.S.’s football game. St. Thomas is ranked #1 in the country and the team they played from South Carolina was ranked #2. It was even on ESPNU! Then I went to The “U”’s game against Oklahoma. And even though it was a ton of fun, I was SOOO tired. I took my food and supps with me so that was cool, but staying up that late was rough on me….to the point that I had to hang on the couch for most of the day on Sunday!

    I woke up this morning and was still pretty tired, but I hit the gym to do CARDIO on the Stairmill. Training was in the afternoon.

    Incline Hammer Press – 1 straight set, 2 drop sets
    Machine Press – 1 straight set and 1 triple drop set
    Incl Flye – 2 sets
    Cable Crossover – 3 sets

    Smith Press – 1 dropset and 1 triple drop set
    BB Upright Row – 2 sets
    DB SideLaterals – 3 sets

    ABS – ran out of time, so I’ll have to hit them tomorrow!
    Did some posing during and stretching afterwards which made the session complete.

  30. You're almost there!!!


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