Tag Archives: lifting

GAINS: Crank It Up

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Music is a very important part to my workout routine.  It makes me work harder, elevates my mood when I’m too tired to get anything going, and helps me tap into some aggression when I need it most.  The first step to any of my routines is plugging my phone into the stereo and putting on my ever-growing workout Spotify playlist.

Currently, there are 478 tracks in the playlist, totaling 31 hours and 54 minutes of music.  Genres include metal, rap, pop, jazz, electronica, and rock.  The playlist is set to be collaborative, one of Spotify’s many great features, which allows Brandon and whoever else works out with us to add their own favorite music.  It’s always great to have variety, especially with how quickly the music gets stale because of how often we listen to it.

Here’s a link to our playlist if you’d like to use it yourself, I’m sure you can find something in it that helps you find that inner beast.

GAINS: Girl Power

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I’ve always been a big advocate for women going beyond the treadmills and yoga mats and doing some legitimate strength training.  This is Sami, a relatively new member to The Cave.  She enjoys video games, zombies, ranch dressing, and most recently, weightlifting.

I’ve trained a few girls at The Cave, and there really are no major differences between male and female strength training routines.  The girls tend to be less available for workouts, so I usually focus on an upper body/lower body routine split instead of the chest/arms/back/legs split that I use for Brandon and me.

Sami has been quickly improving, perfecting her forms in various movements and making big strides in how much weight she can handle.  She’s always willing to stick to a routine until the end, and she isn’t willing to cut corners.  I have a ton of respect for the ladies of The Cave who choose to better themselves, as well anyone else who makes that commitment.

GAINS: Arm Routine & Tips

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Arm day is probably the most fun I’ll have working out during the week.  It involves lots of different, challenging movements that really get your blood flowing.   Many lifters tend to dismiss a day exclusively for arms since they are common to the guys who “lift for the ladies” or those who lack a good foundation, but I think well-developed arms are important to heavy lifting.  Be sure to warm up properly and have a spotter nearby before starting, and concentrate on proper form during each set.

  • 5×10 Random Straight-Bar Cable Pushdowns
    • Grab a partner for this one, particularly one who wants to push you.  Have your partner set the weight to a random amount (within your possible range) and alternate sets.  Use this exercise to warm up for the rest.
  • 4×10 Preacher Curls
    • Free-weight curls tend to give me a lot of wrist nerve pain, so I like to do these on a built-in bar on the edge of the bench.  You can also do these with an EZ-Bar off of the edge of the bench.
  • 4×8 EZ-Bar Skullcrushers
    • Keep your elbows straight on these and go as low as possible.
  • 4×12 Hammer Curls
    • I like to take the hammer curl motion all the way across my body in order to fill out the lower bicep.  Try to go as heavy as possible on these and really focus on sweeping the dumbell across your midsection.
  • 4×10 Standing Dumbell Tricep Extension
    • One of my personal favorite movements, these work your lats as well as triceps.
  • 4xFail T-Curls
    • A bicep excercise from powerlifter CT Fletcher.  These are a great way to finish your arm day workout as it will tax every part of your arm.

Be sure to use proper form and exercise caution throughout the entire workout.

GAINS: Chest and Shoulders Routine & Tips

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It’s no secret to anyone who has seen me work out or knows my workout habits–I’m a fan of the chest and shoulder routine.  I’ve seen my best gains in this area, so naturally I tend to gravitate towards such a mass-building group of movements.  Let’s start with an average chest and shoulders routine.  Be sure to properly warm up and grab a spotter before attempting, and consult instruction videos if you’re unsure about proper form.

  • Pyramid set – Benchpress
    • May as well jump right in, right?  Pyramid sets will push your body to its limit and send a lot of blood to the targeted muscle group, and benching is one of the best movements for them.  Start with low weight and slowly move up to a weight that you can only complete 2 or 3 repetitions, then perform 3 more sets where you gradually go back down to the original weight.
  • 3 sets of 12 repetitions – Dumbell Butterflies
    • Nothing too fancy here, just keep your arms nice and straight on the way down.
  • 3 sets of repetitions TILL FAILURE – Dips
    • Go until your arms give out on this one.  As a more advanced lifter, reps till failure becomes a regular thing for almost every movement, but this is definitely one that requires no recommended number at all levels.
  • 3 sets of 12 repetitions – Lateral Dumbell Raises
    • Concentrate on your form here–nice and straight.  Not a lot of weight can be used, so don’t be discouraged.
  • 3 sets of repetitions TILL FAILURE – Pushups
    • The classic chest builder.  Pause for a second at the bottom of each rep for an added challenge.

If you still have anything left in the tank, other movements such as reverse flies, machine butterflies, and dumbell presses can be added.  Don’t be afraid to push yourself, but always remember to practice good form and safety precautions.

Welcome!

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There are many special places in South Louisiana, but none are more dear to me than The Cave in Schriever.  Though it may seem like a regular sheet metal building at a regular house, inside is one part gym, one part arcade, and one part crucible for greatness.  Hopefully this blog can provide a window into that world.

This blog is also one part gym and one part arcade.  I will be providing workout tips, stories, and sample routines, as well as impressions on games we play, gameplay footage, and weekly competitions.  I hope to inspire you to make a commitment to bettering yourself, whether that be in video games or weightlifting, and to show you that a little drive and determination goes a long way in both.