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

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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!

  5. 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

  6. How old are your little ones?

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

  8. 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!

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Happy Birthday!!!!!

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

  13. 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!!!!

  14. 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.

  15. You're almost there!!!

  16. Quote Originally Posted by crader View Post
    You're almost there!!!
    I am REALLY looking forward to it! I am really looking forward to a...

  17. It has been quite a whirlwind the last few days. Not only am I at capacity at work, but with my kids and some other things that I’ve had to do (life stuff), it has been hard. However, that hasn’t quite stopped me from kicking some ass in every facet of life. It’s just taking me a little longer to post some of my results. lol

    Tuesday’s training was leg day again and I must say that I am pretty pleased with my legs’ progress lately. Although I don’t think I’ll ever have ripped glutes, they are certainly much, much different/better than ever. And I have pretty high hopes for the next 4+ weeks. In the evening, on the way to pick up my girls, I signed up for my one-month tanning membership. This is probably my least favorite part of the contest prep. I really don’t like standing there (albeit for only 7 minutes) and waiting for that thing to stop. But, MAN!!! What a set of veins I had coming out of that booth! Whew.

    Wednesday was a pretty rough day. I started my day with my split cardio session #1 and at lunch, I went home and did my second session. All of this while work was pretty brutal. I had NO time for anything. Wednesdays are probably the hardest day of the week for me. Not only am I limited on carbs (since I am not training that day), but I am also feeling a little flat and a little more on the tired side. Luckily, it hasn’t been too bad yet. But I am ready for whatever comes my way!

    Again, since I have my girls, I hit cardio this morning at home. And training, as usual, in the afternoon. It was ON today! I actually felt pretty good all things considered and I had a decent workout. I keep having to push myself mentally to get every ounce of energy into every rep I do. My back is pretty sliced already, but it can always use more muscle and width, so there is no time like the present to get it.

    Chin-ups – 3 sets. 1-sec hold at the top and bottom.
    Smith Rev Grip Bent Row – 3 sets of increasing weight from 185 to 255 with a dropset on the last set
    Hammer-Top Row – 2 relatively high-rep sets
    One-arm Row – 2 sets. My left trap/upper shoulder blade seems to be having a problem the last couple of weeks, but I went slow to ensure I didn’t get a nerve pinch.

    Seated DB Shrug ss/ Cable Partial Pulldown - 2 sets of each.

    Hyperextensions – 3 sets with a dropset on the last one.

    Rev Cable Crossover – 2 sets

    Decline Crunch ss/ Twists – 2 sets of each

  18. What a last few days! Whew! I have a lot of catching up to do, so let's get to it...

    I had a kick ass arm workout on Friday prefaced by a morning cardio session. Arms felt absolutely great. I've been doing some extra posing after training now and really enjoy watching my body transform. Eric made a few changes this week, including a couple of fat burner changesm, but none to my actual diet except for no more fast-dig carbs after training...all slow-dig carbs from here on in. And, I enjoyed Friday night watching the Yankees pull one out in the Bronx!

    I woke up and hit the gym first thing in the morning to hit that Stairmill thing. Did my first session there as well as my second session before meal #3. After which I took a nice 1+ hour nap which really made my day! I did some stuff around the house, went to the store to get food, and rested for what was about to be a long evening. I already had it set that I was going to take my good friend (who just turned 40!) out to dinner, so that was rough, but I had my food with me! Then, another friend of mine had some family in town that I said I would meet and we ended up going out after dinner to a bar-type place. Luckily (again), I had everything with me that I needed (LG5, Kre-alkyline creatine, LBAs, etc.) and I spaced out my meals so that my last meal was around 2:30am. (Don't ask!!! What we do for friends!!)
    BUT THAT'S IT until AFTER the show!!!!!!!!!!!! No one gets me past midnight on ANY night and I am not setting foot outside my crib for 4 weeks. lol

    First session of Cardio on the gym's Stairmill. Had a meal and then my massage therapist friend (Blanche) came to my house where she proceeded to destroy every fiber of my being. From my forearms, up my arms and into my delts and armpits! She ripped up my back unmercifully! And the pain didn't stop until she finished my legs, calves & glutes!!! And with not much bodyfat to speak of at this point, she got ALL muscle! We concluded everything with some serious stretching. I am not lying when I tell you I was SPENT and couldn't move. Unfortunately, I still needed to complete my second cardio session, but this time I stayed home and ran it up on the treadmill. After eating Meal #3, I decided it was time for a nap!!! And I ended up taking a very nice 2 hour nap while watching football. That was pretty much it for Sunday besides some household stuff including cooking.

    This morning I woke up feeling SORE AS HELL from that damn so-called massage! lol But, it was time for cardio and I hit the gym for the Stairmill again. At lunch, it was time to hit the weights. This week will be a tad on the heavier side with some drop sets

    DB Inline Press (Angled hands) – 90/7, 90/6..drop..65/6 – very intense and very focused
    Hammer Incl Press – 115each side/7, 115ea/7.5, 115/6..drop..70each/8
    Dips – BW/16 and 15 reps each set
    DB Pullovers – 80/14, 90/9

    Hammer Delt Press – 90 each side/8, 90ea/6..drop..70ea/5..drop..45ea/8
    Rev Pec Dec – 150/22 (went ape **** on this one!), 180/11, 180/10.5
    DB Side laterals – 40/15 (somehow got 15 solid reps!), 35/15 (major pump!), 30/15..drop..22.5/10!!!

    Cable Crunch – 2 sets
    V-ups – 2 sets
    Side Crunch – 1 set of 15 each side

  19. Today started out nicely - as usual. I woke up and hit the gym's Stairmill. Got my cardio in and hurried home to catch the top of the hour's SportsCenter! I fell asleep at halftime last night and didn't catch the Fins finish. Awesome game, by the looks of it! lol

    I looked at the calendar again today and it hit me pretty hard....after all of the time that I've been getting ready for this show, there are only 25 days to go! That is nothing! But with each passing day, with each passing workout, meal, tanning session, cardio session, etc., my focus becomes more narrowed. I keep visualizing my name being called for my weight class. There is nothing stopping me at this point. Hop aboard or get the f*ck out-the-way! lol

    With that in mind, I destroyed my legs again. I am "special" when it comes to legs and I'm not sure if this will be my last leg training session or not. Regardless, they were pounded pretty damn good. Thank goodness I had my LG5 and Kre-Alkalyn Creatine from EFX! I needed to start the recovery process ASAP! Matter of fact, I almost puked during and after legs. It's going to be rough walking anywhere the next couple of days...not to mention how hard cardio is going to be.

    Single-leg Leg Press
    3 plts each side/15; 3plts+25each/10
    Walking Lunges
    100/30 slow steps; 100/30 steps - after my sceond set I actually got an ASS CRAMP on my left side!!!
    Leg Ext
    130/15; 130/13, 130/13 - honestly wanted to die!

    Seated Leg Curl
    145/15, 160/15
    Lying Leg Curl
    125/10, 125/9+1..drop..50/8 as Glute Crunch ALmost puked. Had to chill out face down on the pad for a couple of minutes to settle down!
    SL Deads - 185/12, 185/13 - super light and very deliberate!

    Seated Leg Press
    4plts/8; 3plts/14; 2 plts/20 + 5 XReps
    Leg Press Raises
    5 plts each side/15+5 XReps
    5 plts each side/16+5 XReps

    Abduction Machine - 130/30, 130/30

    Major stetching afterwards!!!

  20. LOL looks like you had a pretty intense leg day yourself!

  21. I must say that I am not very fond of the days off of training for a variety of reasons...

    1) I LOVE training and not training makes me not so happy
    2) non-training days are the days of much longer cardio sessions
    3) less carbs for the day
    4) and overall, the day just seems longer.

    And, of course, today is a non-training day, so I'm not much in the mood for much. I hit my first cardio session this morning on the gym's Stairmill and plan to go home at lunch for my second session to hit my treadmill. And, after yesterday's leg thrashing, my glutes were KILLING me this morning on the damn Stairmill. Nothing is being held back at this point. I've got all my cards on the table...eggs in this basket and any other cliche you want to add.

    Tanning and the grocery store tonight!

  22. I realize I didn't post anything yesterday, but there was a reason for that. Between work and taking my girls to the dentist, it was a long day. That didn't stop me at all from getting my morning cardio in as well as my afternoon workout.

    Actually, yesterday's Back workout was one of the most intense workouts I have ever done. I had a pretty narrow rep range in mind going in, but my muscles decided that the number was TOO LOW! I just seemed to have more gas than usual and kept of rollin'.

    Wghtd Pullups
    45/8, 45/7, 45/6
    Smith Rack Deads
    405/15, 455/10, 505/5 (NEVER did 505 before!) I actually tried to lift it from the bottom once and didn't get it up. The second time...it was ON!
    Smith Rev Grip Row
    225/15, 225/15
    Hammer Rev Pulldown ss/ DB Shrugs
    90each side/14..105/12
    90each side/13..105/13
    Stiff Arm Pulldown (drop)
    130/12... 110/6... 80/6

    DELTS #2
    Front Raise-across chest at the top ss/ Side Laterals

    ABS - need to do tomorrow!

  23. Another week of training is in the books and with that another week is crossed of the calendar in anticipation of November 7th. Things are going as well as can be expected, I guess. I'll probably see Eric this coming weekend to have him eval me, so I'll wait for him to see where we're at.

    Another great day in the gym today. I left nothing in the tank! Every single bit of sweat, every ounce of energy went into this workout. By my calculations, I only have a handful of training sessions left...prob about 11. Each one counts even more than the last. Win or lose, I want to make sure I have given myself NO EXCUSES.

    Seated Raises -
    Free Motion Press
    240/15, 240/15

    Top Cable-Double Bicep Curl - 2 sets
    Incl DB Curl - 2 sets
    Hammer Preacher Curl - 2 sets

    Overhead EZ Bar Press - 95/12, 95/10
    Pushdowns - 2 sets
    Dip Machine - 2 sets
    Rev Single-arm Pushdown - 2 sets

    V-ups ss/ Decl Bench Crunch - 2 sets each
    Side crunch on Decl Bench - 2 sets

  24. My friends. What a weekend! I probably had the best man-weekend in a LONG time. Check it out…

    I woke up and hit the gym for my morning cardio session on the loved/hated Stairmill. After, I came home, ate and then went to see friend’s kids play soccer. That was the extent of me leaving the house essentially for the entire weekend! I came home, ate and got ready for my second cardio session at the gym. After that, it was ALL food and football all afternoon and evening…and add in there a nice hour+ long nap. I watched so much football, my ass turned into a football from sitting on it for so long. At one point, I was flipping back and forth between three football games – including the Canes - and the Yankees. So picture me eating, sleeping, watching sports all afternoon and night. AWESOME DAY!!!!

    Did the same thing as Saturday morning, but I was able to sleep in until 8am!! Stairmill, food, food, but this time I hit the treadmill in my apartment for my 2nd session. Then I moseyed on over to see Eric for a quick eval. Everything looks ok, but I know in these next three weeks, I’ll have my work cut out for me. Let’s see how it goes! After that, I went to tan, got some food to prep and back home to do a little cooking and watching more football!

    Today started out the same as usual…at the gym on the damn stairmill. Today I felt pretty sluggish at the outset. Not sure why, but I just couldn’t get my gears going after cardio. Maybe I needed more sleep last night; or maybe the effects of contest prep are starting to hit for real now. Either way, I pushed through and was ok by training time. That said, it took me until the second or third set to really get going during my training…then it clicked! Here’s how it all went down…

    Incl Smith Press
    Incl DB Press ss/ Incl Flye
    Cable Crossover


    DB Press
    Side Laterals
    BB Front Raise ss/ BB Upright Row
    40/12..80/12 (2 sets like this!)


  25. LOL I loved the man weekend phrase. Glad you got some good down time!


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