A strength training maniac, maniac!

Alright, call this my ode to strength training, or me just geeking out after a good workout, but I gotta say – drop sets, I heart them. SO effective and always leave me with that jello feeling afterwards (which, yes, I love dearly).

After being away from consistent weight training for just one week (last week left me thrown off after the long weekend, my workout “schedule” was a mess!), getting back to the weights this AM was a welcome change. Since I chose yesterday as a mandatory rest day as I was STILL so pooped from that 9+ miler on Saturday, I wanted to get a doozy of a weight workout in this morning. And doozy it was!

Essentially, I’m in the last week of Cathe’s STS meso 2, which as many of you know by now, is all about hypertrophy – building muscle definition so weights are heavier than meso 1 and include less reps per set. I started the morning off with an upper body-based workout – including chest, shoulders and triceps.

Things started off just fine with the chest work:

  • pushups – standard, wide, narrow grip (note to self: need to work on these, couldn’t do them all on my toes, boo!)
  • flat bench chest press: set of 3 @22.5 lbs per dumbbell
  • incline chest flys – set of 3 @20 lbs per dumbbell
  • incline bench press – set of 3 @ 22.5 lbs per dumbbell

It was the shoulders that killed me – all done in drop-set fashion. Basically, a drop-set includes three sets of one workout done with progressively lighter weights, essentially to work that particular muscle to total failure by “tricking” the muscle into thinking its still lifting at the heavier weight. This is an ideal way to “shock” the muscle, thus promoting additional hypertrophy (i.e. muscle definition). Here’s how it looked on me:

Seated overhead press drop sets:

  • set 1: 15 lbs @ 10 reps
  • set 2: 12.5 lbs @10 reps
  • set 3: 10 lbs @ 10 reps

Incline bench front raise drop sets:

  • set 1: 12.5 lbs @ 10 reps
  • set 2: 10 lbs @10 reps
  • set 3: 7.5 lbs @ 10 reps

Seated lateral raise:

  • set 1: 12.5 lbs @ 10 reps
  • set 2: 10 lbs @10 reps
  • set 3: 7.5 lbs @ 10 reps

Seated rear delts:

  • set 1: 15  lbs @ 10 reps
  • set 2: 12.5 lbs @10 reps
  • set 3: 10 lbs @ 10 reps

Doesn’t seem like very heavy weight, right? Well – it’s not. That is, until you start drop-setting and then my shoulders were on FIRE. God, I love that feeling!!

From there, I completed the upper-body work with triceps:

  • flat bench triceps extensions using the barbell (set of 3 @ 25 lbs total)
  • close grip push-ups (set of 3; body weight only)
  • double-arm kickbacks (drop-sets again – @15, 12.5 and 10 lbs, respectively)

Whoa nelly! By the end of this workout, I was dripping. But wait, there was more to come. I crazily decided that a quasi-full body workout was the best way to start off the week considering how badly I’d missed strength training last week. So I proceeded to do an STS leg workout, done in triset fashion, too.  Trisets are another fave – basically, 3 groups of 3 leg exercises done 3 times, for a total of 27 rounds plus a round of calf work at the end. LOVE to hate the low-plane lunges in the last round, they kill me every.single.time.

After that, not to be outdone, I had to get my abs in since those went amiss last week too…and with a vacation coming up where I’ll be bikini-clad most of the week, I thought it a smart move to work those abs.

So – clearly I’m a total strength training nazi today. But sometimes, you just gotta do it, ya know?

What’s your favorite type of strength training workout and/or technique?  Do you love weight training as much as me? Not gonna lie – I used to be a cardio FREAK who hated weight training, but since STS came into my life (and to a certain extent, Group Power), I’m a big fan of both cardio AND weights and realize and embrace the value of incorporating both into my workouts. But you knew I’d say that, huh? 😉