Tucker: Learning from past mistakes

This week ran into a speed bump, but it was worth it because I got to apply what I’ve learned in the last year.

I had been doing a chest/biceps, shoulders/triceps, back, off, repeat type of routine while my knee healed up. I wanted to start bringing in hamstrings and calves, and I figured while I was at it I’d throw in some forearm work for fun. I thought I was being smart by taking out an exercise from the big movements and then adding a couple little ones, but it proved to be a little more than I bargained for and I was spending too much time in the gym. On top of that I didn’t get enough sleep last week, it seemed like something popped up every night that needed my attention, and then the seminar over the weekend and by the end I was toast.

Ever since getting mono last year, I’ve noticed a funny little stress trigger that when I’m getting overtrained or under rested, my lymph node that was swollen for almost a year straight starts to get the same feeling again. It’s like an internal warning light telling me to slow down and take some time off. I had noticed myself feeling more fatigued and less motivated last week, as well as reeeally craving junk food, but this was the thing that finally alerted me that I was time to check out and step back.

I took an extra couple days off in the gym and didn’t lift Mon-Thurs, and just got my a workout in bright and early this morning. Instead of trying to combine muscle groups I figured I would just go for a much lower volume approach and hit one muscle group at a time. I did 5 exercises on chest today and was able to get out in under an hour, including warm up. I’ll switch up the frequency and training split again within the 12 weeks I’ve got left for the show, but for now this feels really good and it’s the appropriate balance in volume and intensity.

*I tried 4 sets per exercise today but I started to fizzle out and lose focus by the end. I’ll try 3 next time and see how it goes.

Warm up with T spine mobility, planks, banded hip thrusts, side squats and rotation stability exercises using a cable machine. All courtesy of Craig Liebenson.

Cable pec flies 15,15,12,12
Flat hammer strength chest press 15,12,10,8 –
Drop set
Incline BB press 12,10,8,8
Flat/very low incline DB press 12,10,8,8
Decline hammer strength press 15,15,15,15

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Tucker Loken is a Bodybuilder turned Powerlifter turned Powerbuilder from Eugene, Oregon. He did his first bodybuilding show when he was still in high school, and has been training male and female competitors for shows since 2011. Several years ago he decided to take a step away from his normal routine and learn how to get strong. He worked with Brian for 9 months, added 200 pounds to his raw total and qualified as an Elite lifter in the 220 pound weight class. He returned back to bodybuilding much stronger and now incorporates the 10/20/Life philosophy into his training to keep himself healthy and making continual progress in the Big 3 as well as adding size and shaping his physique. Now part of Team PRS, he brings his unique expertise of nutritional knowledge and how to balance Bodybuilding with Powerlifting to help athletes achieve their best potential.

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