Huge Beast – Day 40

And on the fortieth day, Roc rested.

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Oh how I wish I had rested. At least that’s what I thought as I struggled to wake up and motivate myself. It had been a very long week.

Continuing with the warmup, work, fail sets mentality I shared recently, I was excited to conquer the Bulk Chest workout. Quick breakdown on the first bit of the workout so you have an insight to what follows:

  • short warmup
  • 15 seconds close grip pushups
  • 15 seconds normal pushups
  • 15 seconds wide grip pushups
  • 15, 12, 8 increasing weight superset of incline chest flies and incline chest press. I jumped weight increments: 15, 25, 40 lb dumbbells for flies; 30, 40, 60 lb dumbbells for press. There was about 10 seconds rest between each set with a drop set of lightest weight for press.
  • Forced set flat chest press with rotation so 60 lb dumbbells 5 reps, hold 3 seconds, 5 reps, hold 3 seconds, 5 reps, hold 3 seconds, 5 reps, hold 3 seconds, 5 reps

That brings you to what completely destroyed me, and the value of having a spotter. Part of me hopes you’re thinking “Shit Roc! That already looks like a killer workout.” Thinking that way helps me motivate myself.

The next exercise was an Incline Bench Press Progression set which consisted of 15 light, no rest, 12 medium, no rest, 8 heavy. 90 second rest. 8 heavy, no rest, 12 medium, no rest, 15 light. I used 30,40, 60 lb dumbbells for this. My chest was exhausted going into this exercise. My arms were already shaky. My core was hurting from all the forced breathing and support.

I needed a spotter.

Like anything, there can be good and bad spotters. There can also be good and bad use of spotters. Some people will let the spotter do the work yet convince themselves of their accomplishment. I believe in self-motivation, but reality checks are also important. Use your fail weight, but that shouldn’t be so heavy that you cannot do at least 4 reps of any given exercise.

There are also guys like me that when using a spotter actually find two things happen:

  • I push harder because I know there is a safety net
  • I push harder because the alpha male in me wants to establish dominance and impress the spotter

Rob was there this morning, and available to spot me. He shadowed me closely as I picked up the two 60 lb dumbbells for the final set of the ascending half of the exercise, then using my knees, upped them into position. With forced breath and great exertion I did the set of eight reps without any assistance.

Ninety seconds later, Rob was there again. I took a few quick breaths, psyched myself up, got into position, and exhaled while exerting. Nothing. The weights didn’t move. I couldn’t get it up. (That’s what she said.)

Instantly Rob was spotting. With open palms he lifted my elbows just enough to get me going and I was on my own. It was actually what a good spotter would do. With that initial lift I was able to finish the set of eight reps and immediately continue on with the twelve reps, then the eight. I literally cried out for Rob during the fifteen rep set with 30 lbs dumbbells. My arms were shaking horribly, my chest cramping with exhaustion. He was there again, offering only as much physical support as needed until I finished.

Make sure you have a good spotter. Make sure you use weights that challenge you but don’t overwhelm you. Make sure you breathe. Always breathe.

I’d like to say I was finished with the workout. Bodybeast is literally that. There were still five more exercises to do, the last one being a whole bunch of decline pushup combos with ab work.

I was well spent by the time I walked to the showers. Hot water – such a nice thing.

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2 responses to “Huge Beast – Day 40

  1. Ok, for the benefit of myself and others who haven’t been to a gym (Exercise indoors? Crazy Talk!): What does a spotter do? What does it take to be a good spotter? (You know, in case it rains, and we get asked)

    • A spotter is essentially a training partner that helps you from hurting yourself.

      They basically stay close to you on super heavy weight sets, fail sets, etc, and while they verbally encourage and push you, they are also there for safety.

      If the weight is too much, if your muscles fatigue, if you screw up your form, whatever the case may be, they are there to grab the weight as needed. Sometimes it can be a light tap to help you finish the set. Other times it’s to grab the weight entirely so you don’t hurt yourself.

      A spotter is essential if you are doing a lot of exhaustive training, which you should be.

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