Chin-up Challenge Workout 19: All Sorts of Hurt

The first exercise today was the chin up. As in, no assistance – just your straight up, chin-over-bar exercise. From there, I was to do as many as possible and then do assisted chin ups once I failed. I haven’t tried to do a real chin up in a while because I know it’s not going to look pretty and it’s a bit of the ‘ignorance is bliss’ syndrome, but today I had to do it. It was written in the stars.

I did everything right.

I bypassed those amped up pop songs and let the hardcore rock songs stay silent. I went for the motivational speech. It’s one of those things that make you feel powerful when you listen and you really believe that whatever is holding you back doesn’t have a chance.

Today is your day.

This is your time.

Take a listen, it’s worth it: Mindshift Motivational Video (The video itself is fairly typically cheesy, but the audio is what gets me going.)

I started stretching with the words sliding over the air and setting up camp right in my very core. I even put on gloves for better grip. I paused before reaching for the bar, envisioning my muscles going through the motions. And then I started to lift.


As in I have maybe gained a centimeter or two, maybe even an inch of distance since the beginning of this challenge. I can’t blame the motivational speech – that was spot on. The chin up really is a mark of physical strength. There’s just no way to cheat it. When you’re doing cardio, you can run slower; when you lift weights, you can sacrifice form. With the chin up, you just do it or you don’t. There is no gray area, no sort of, no excuses.

So, needless to say, I went straight to the assisted chin up from there. I also had my second run-in with the devil’s trifecta: front raise, lateral raise, rear delt raise – no breaks. Individually, these exercises are A-OK, but one after another is a rough go, particularly with my weak left elbow. Now, I also had a sporting commitment in the evening so my workout was followed up with a grueling season opener broomball match. Grueling in that my team only had one sub… And this was my third sporting event of the week. So, If I were to add on to Tuesday’s soreness diagrams…. it would look something like this:

stick all pain_edited-1

Today’s Workout

  1. Chin ups (do assisted once you fail)
  2. Deadlift
  3. Bent over row
  4. Assisted chin ups
  5. Crunches
  6. Stability ball plank
  7. Dumbbell squat
  8. Reverse lunge
  9. Chest press
  10. Front raise
  11. Lateral raise
  12. Rear delt raise

Chin-up Challenge Workout 18: Butt Hell Fire

Tonight, I’m going to let these simple doodles sum up how my body is feeling with less than a month left in this challenge. And yes… I actually now have a document saved in my vault of stuff called butt hell fire. I feel, somehow, not quite as mature as I did a mere half hour ago.

hurt, pain_edited-1This is only the beginning…


Don’t let my stick form worry you. The agony isn’t about some painful accident in which I seemed to have lost two fingers from each of my hands. It’s just a *mild* case of sciatica.

butt hell fire_edited-1And this, well, this is clearly about gluteal muscles. I’ve been doing a lot of squats and reverse lunges lately.

Now, I think I am going to have  to call ‘er quits on this post and end on that note. Nothing else is going to top butt hell fire.

Today’s Workout

  1. Assisted pull up with 5 lb weight, controlled descent
  2. Assisted pull up, unweighted
  3. Dumbbell row
  4. Bicep curl
  5. Hanging leg raise
  6. Hyperextension
  7. Push ups
  8. Plank
  9. Dumbbell squat
  10. Reverse lunge
  11. Stiff legged deadlift

Chin-up Challenge Workout 17: To The Point

Today, I’m going to save you all from being subjected to another one of my… Witty? Cool? Entertaining? Lame? Horrible? Awesome? posts and jump straight into the workout exercises. Besides, as you can imagine, it went exactly how all the previous workouts have gone (now that’s some succinctness right there.)

Until next time!

Today’s Workout

  1. Jump pull up with controlled descent
  2. Bent over row
  3. Hanging leg raise
  4. Dumbbell row
  5. Bicep curls
  6. Barbell squat
  7. Reverse dumbbell lunge
  8. Bench press
  9. Push ups
  10. Shoulder press
  11. Tricep overhead press

Chin-up Challenge Workout 16: Those 5 Pounders…

It felt grueling out there today.

I mean… every workout feels grueling as I’m a superb weakling trying to attempt the seemingly impossible (the impossible being the lifting of the more than a hundred and fifty pounds of myself over that dad-blasted chin up bar) with a titanium plate in my elbow and sciatica firing in my back, but today was a just a little bit more… harsh. Just a smidge.

I normally keep it pretty consistent with the dumbbell fly, but today I couldn’t even manage one using 15 pound weights and had to scale back to 10 pounders. But where things got particularly dicey was for the front raise, lateral raise, and rear raise part. No breaks, no rests – nothing. After a couple sets of that trifecta, my arms went on strike. I mean, I ordered them off the picket line and back to work, but it just wasn’t quite the same.5 pounders

Every time I use a 10 pound weight… or 8 pound…. Or… *sigh* 5 pound… I can’t help but think of the end goal and how the aforementioned plus 150 pounds is supposed to be hoisted to victory by me. Me. The person who sometimes uses 5 pound weights. Sure, the 5 pounder doesn’t appear too often, but when it does – it just looks like defeat.

Although! There is no doubt that I am stronger. I see it in other ways so that is encouraging. I am getting somewhere, but by the end of the challenge it still probably won’t be… up.

Today’s Workout

  1. Assisted chin-up
  2. Inverted row
  3. Dead lift
  4. Hyperextension
  5. Sit ups
  6. Dumbbell fly
  7. Front raise
  8. Lateral raise
  9. Rear raise
  10. Overhead press
  11. Bicep curl
  12. Dumbbell squat
  13. Spider crawl
  14. Mountain climbers

Chin-up Challenge Workout 15: Mastering the Couch Press

The flip-flop of the past few workouts continues! That controlled descent was back with the full four count lowering (again, not for every rep though.) So the good news is that I’m not 100% pathetic – just a mere 50% pathetic. But who’s keeping stats, right?

Recently I’ve upgraded to phase two of my training so although the workout exercises look primarily the same as what I’ve been doing since the beginning, they are a bit more strenuous due to increased reps and what-not. On Thursday I laid down morelifting-24401_640 squats than previously and my body was still sore going on to today. As an added bonus round to my workouts, I also spent yesterday afternoon helping another friend move out which gave me another chance to crush some couch presses, coffee table curls, and booze box lifts. Now, remember folks – always lift with your legs!

Today’s Workout

  1. Assisted chin-ups with 4 count descent
  2. Deadlift
  3. Inverted row
  4. Hanging leg raise – alternating sides
  5. Dumbbell squat
  6. Reverse lunge
  7. Stiff legged dead lift
  8. Dumbbell fly
  9. Reverse delt raise
  10. Push ups
  11. Planks