My workout plan for November. Should I be happy I made it out of the last one alive?
Too Much Neck!
Do you know the kind of headache that slowly creeps up from your neck to the base of the skull and further up? The one that feels like an ambushing enemy army taking over any clear thought and making movements uncomfortable?
That’s what I had the last couple of weeks and some decisive brainstorming revealed the culprit: me doing two varieties of pullovers. On Mondays it’s dumbbell pullovers for the chest with a sideload of lats, on Wednesdays barbell pullovers that work the other way around.
Both varieties involve the neck muscles and on both I tense the neck muscles. A lot. I never really noticed it until I tried to get to the ground of my neck pain. Various websites tell you tons of stuff you can do wrong when doing this exercise, but none mention the neck.
Maybe I’m doing it in some bad form unique to me, but I know I couldn’t do it with less weight. The movement itself I always did as prescribed, with no action from the elbow joints and no arching of the back.
Anyhow, replacing these two compounds with something that made sense wasn’t easy.
Evil’s Current Workout Plan (November 2014)
|Chest, Triceps, Abs|
|Weighted Wide Push-Ups||3||6 – 12 (5 – 8)|
|Inclined Dumbbell Presses||3||6 – 12|
|Flyes||3||6 – 12 (5 – 8)|
|Close-Grip Bench Presses||3||6 – 12 (5 – 8)|
|Lying Triceps Extensions||3||6 – 12|
|Triceps Kickbacks||3||6 – 12|
|Crunches||3||6 – 12|
|Tuesday||Cardio, 60 minutes|
|Back, Biceps, Abs|
|Weighted Pull-Ups||3||6 – 12 ( 5 – 8)|
|Barbell Rows||3||6 – 12|
|Barbell Underhand Rows||3||6 – 12|
|Dumbbell Curls||3||6 – 12|
|Concentration Curls||3||6 – 12|
|Weighted Chin-ups||3||To failure|
|Lying Leg Raises||3||6 – 12|
|Thursday||Cardio, 60 minutes|
|Shoulders, Legs, Abs|
|Lying Side Raises||3||6 – 12|
|Rear Delt Raises||3||6 – 12|
|Hack Squats||3||6 – 12|
|Good Mornings||3||6 – 12|
|Calf Raises||3||6 – 12|
|Crunches||3||6 – 12|
ExRx to everything I was too lazy to film yet.
Even when I wrote last month’s plan I got into mental discussions with myself if next month I should reintroduce dumbbell presses. Those had left my plans some time ago when my rotator cuffs became very unhappy with that exercise.
Now I decided against it. The more I read of other people’s experience with doing them after years of training, the less encouraged I am. Flat bench pressing and rotator cuff injury goes together like pizza and cheese.
Yet I still had to find a replacement for the dumbbell pullovers. As hinted above my neck started not appreciating that exercise, at least not when I also do it in its barbell version two days later.
Therefore inclined bench presses, that I last did May and stopped when they stalled, now find their place back into my workouts. The incline press is easier on the shoulder area and after half a year they should prove effective again. We’ll see.
Game over for the pullovers once more, although it didn’t make me happy to let this exercise go especially in its barbell version. The wide grip worked very well in engaging the lats with a sideload of chest work.
Even worse, replacing them with another nice compound back exercise you can do at home wasn’t easy. Barbell rows I already do. Doing barbell rows and dumbbell rows would be, let’s face it, pointless.
To my rescue came remembering that different grips on barbell rows make a lot of difference. The regular barbell row has no clear target muscle and works general back – the traps, rhomboids, lats and tons more are all involved in it. But go over to an underhand grip and a lot of the action goes the lats.
Therefore, after the lat-centric pull-ups I go over to regular barbell rows and from there to underhand rows. That order pushes the lats, gives them a bit rest and then gets their rest.
In case you want to copy this: on regular barbell rows you need a wide grip, on the underhand rows have no more than shoulder-width. Don’t follow this and you do the same exercise twice.
Dropping the front delt exercises from my Friday workouts was a good idea. They stopped being tender and calf raises turned out to be a fresh wind in my workouts.
On those I started with 2×10 kg and added another 2 kg every week, realizing that my calves were stronger than I thought. But what made calf raises really challenging and was an experience all on its own was learning the balancing. Lazy git that I am I of course do both sides at the same time, not holding on to anything.
I’m now contemplating a career move to become a tight rope walker.