06: ‘Triceps Torture’

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With only having strength gain success, but no size gains, after finishing the previous 6 weeks AthleanX Ultimate Arms program, I’ve decided to go rogue again to address the situation.

As mentioned in my Ultimate Arms review vid, I had been hoping to pick back up on my upper torso concentration workouts. But now I’m on a mission of sorts to see what it takes for me to get size gains in my upper arms.

So here’s a pic of me right after finishing Ultimate Arms, and beginning Rogue II…
Let’s see what happens. I’ll try to keep a running log of my workouts/experiences on this page with an occasional photo.

Week 1 (07/24/16):

I received many many recommendations from fellow fitness friends for how I should approach/what I should change in my workout/nutrition routine. So as I’m apt to do, I spent the week reading, studying, researching, questioning everything I thought I knew about doing fitness justice. Learning LOTS.

Workout-wise this week, I took Monday off (mostly to do the Ultimate Arms review vid). Considering my previous rogue routine (where I *had* made decent gains), on Tuesday I hit my triceps, Wed my biceps, Thu back/shoulders/abs, Fri chest/abs, Sat abs. It felt SO good to be hitting my upper torso again! DOMS, more DOMS lol… Here’s week’s end pic (jeez, I even look happy…)
RogueII - EndWeek1.jpg

 Week 2 (07/31/16): DELOAD WEEK

So I’ve been doing a LOT of reading/studying/cross-referencing/planning for my upcoming workout phase. Several excellent books/websites referred to something called a Deload or Rest Week. I’d never heard of that before, but the idea is that after 8 – 12 weeks, one should take a week “off” or “light”. So considering that I’ve now worked over this poor old body for more than 9 months straight, I figured, why not? The science sounds reasonable, and I could sure use a break (lots of “life” stuff going on…)

Wouldn’t you know? Today, my measurements are BIGGER than last week’s, and all I did was a couple of HIIT and ab workouts! (nearly 1/2″ on the upper arms, btw… What’s up with that???)

So today 7/31/16 I embark on a 7 week program that will encompass full body workouts, but greatly emphasize my triceps. I basically culled this 7-week program together from principles laid out by Michael Matthews and Chad Waterbury — both introduced to me by friends of Team Athlean. Of the 6 workout-related books  I devoured over the last two weeks, their work impressed me the most. This 7 weeks is going to be tough– the first time I’ve faced a workout program with concerns I might not be ready for it. If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m a pretty tough booger. But if it’s too much, you’ll hear about it here, no doubt. I’ll post experiences on this blog as I progress, and do a review vid after I finish the program and complete another deload week in mid September. Wish me well!

Week 3 (08/06/16): ‘Triceps Torture’ (end week 1 of 7)

Wow, I think this is really good stuff. Instead of two super-pumps a week, I’m walking around with constant, what I’d call, mini-pumps all week. Triceps are really firm and starting to pop, and they’re even making my biceps stand out more too. It is tough, and my arms are letting me know I’m walking a fine line. To protect myself from overworking or worse (injury), I found I had to drop all other upper body ‘push’ workouts while doing this Triceps thing. So no chest or shoulder presses for 7 weeks :/ But I’m cool– I have a feeling it will be worth it. (For those asking, NO, I am not ‘juicing’ — I have no respect for that. Natty all the way.)

This week, I received my first-ever compliment (3 actually) from a non-gym/fitness person since I started working out 9 months ago
— Man, is that encouraging, or what! Here’s a pic 8/6/16:

Week 4 (08/14/16): ‘Triceps Torture’ (end week 2 of 7)

Finishing week 2, phase 1 of intense Triceps work. This phase involved overreach, and not only involved intense triceps workouts, but required long post-workout stretching and icing routines. This was a readying phase for the upcoming strength and hypertrophy phases to follow. Finally at the end of this 2nd week, it feels like my triceps are ‘getting’ it, and are now in shape enough for stepping it up over the next four weeks.

Thank you everyone who’s asking about my progress! It’s incredibly encouraging, humbling, and incentivizing to be asked by so many people if I’m seeing progress. Here’s a photo so you don’t have to take my word for it 😉
Triceps_EndWk2bThat inside of my triceps looks like it’s really starting to bulk out. What do you say?

 Week 5 (08/21/16): ‘Triceps Torture’ (end week 3 of 7)

Began ‘phase 2’ (strength phase) this week. Bit of a rocky transition — always is when learning new exercises and not knowing which weight to use, proper technique, etc. But got that sorted out by the end of the week and had a satisfying workout yesterday. Still not used to NOT having a full pump by the end of these workouts, but, ‘trust the process’, ya know? Definitely feeling some residual volume in my arms, so we’re cool.

Also this is the 2nd week I added commensurate biceps work to the triceps work. All other work (back, legs, etc.) staying routine 3sets x 10reps. First injury this week since starting working out 10 months ago, btw. Right elbow, nothing major, due to moving out of my home and hauling boxes and furniture all over creation. Applied previously learned technique for addressing ‘golfer’s elbow’ (heat, stimulus, ice) for a couple of days. Slight pain for a week but nothing to interfere with the workouts. TBD…

Also, this may be my last post for awhile. As I mentioned, moving out (sold my home) and no where to go yet (still looking). So who knows how regularly I’ll get in workouts or where I’ll be next weekend to update this blog? (Stress much??? LOL) Wish me well.

A couple of interim shots for those who have been asking for ‘more flexing photos’. And btw– no reposting please!?!?!? Thanks to a Youtube subscriber for pointing out a couple of reposts of my pics. Cheers!

Week 6 (08/27/16): ‘Triceps Torture’ (interruption week)

Moved this week. ALL week. With temporary apartment hunting (no home to move into yet). And trying to get my regular job done. More stress much? So… total INTERRUPTION week, no workouts unless you count hauling a million boxes and furniture around all week. And did not heed nutrition at all. And this too shall pass…

Week 7 (08/28/16 – 09/03/16): ‘Triceps Torture’
*** One Year Pre-Fitness Anniversary! + “This Changes Everything…” ***

Sunday (08/28/16):
–> Finally finished moving out today. After four days of constant hauling of boxes and heavy cleaning, happily not sore at all! A definite benefit of nearly 11 months of working out. But also realized I now have to go find a new gym this week. No ‘mom & pop’ shops in the area in which I’m temporarily living, so off to one of the big fitness chains :/
–> Also realized this is the 1 year fitness pre-anniversary of when I started my keto diet, which 6 weeks later would be my beginning of Athlean X’s AX1 program, and thus my new fitness lifestyle. I’ll have to think of something to celebrate…
–> Sunday night entry: Decided how to celebrate — by beginning prep exercises for planching!

Monday (08/29/16):
Finding a new gym–
Selling and moving out of my home of 16 years went MUCH more quickly than expected. My original thought in starting Triceps Torture was that I’d be in my home for at least the 7 week duration of the program. Then when I eventually moved I’d seek out a local gym to join.
But selling went quickly, so that timing was not to be. So my Triceps Torture work was interrupted about 3 weeks in and now it was time to resume.
Confession. I hate gyms. I feel clueless, dorky, too self-conscious, and intimidated by all the gym rats and complicated machines and weights.

GYM 1: When I first started AX1, I used a one-month free membership to the big chain that advertises a judgment-free atmosphere. It was approaching winter time and I needed somewhere to do treadmill and other conditioning work, so that was fine. (But when I was told wearing a bandana was not allowed, I realized full membership at this particular chain was not going to work for me.)

GYM 2: A previous business-acquaintance had opened a cross-fit gym about a year prior, so I wound up there next. I hardly even went until I started Ultimate Arms and realized I would not be able to complete it properly without a gym. Since I knew one of the owners, it was easy for me to get introduced and feel accepted there. Big open gym space, with tons of free weights, hanging bars, a couple of benches, lots of heavy things to lift, and ONE machine (simple cable push/pull-down).

GYM 3: From all my studying about fitness following my disappointment with Athlean X’s Ultimate Arms program, I was convinced I was going to have to get serious about gym membership. (More on that in my upcoming vid.) The theme of a recent vid by Jeff Cavaliere was even about getting your workouts out of your house and into a gym.I was hoping that joining would coincide with moving into a new home, but as I said, not to be. Now that I’m in a tiny 4-room apartment with hardly room for a pair of dumbbells, I needed to get into a gym asap.So this afternoon I set out to look over four of the big chain gyms and make a quick decision. It was pretty easy, actually. Two were too gimmicky with cute front-desk ladies in revealing body suits, pizza nights, movies, and pushing hard all kinds of sign-up opportunities for various fitness classes. Another was a 24-hour (thought that sounded cool) unattended gym, but no one was there to answer my questions (thus, unattended) and honestly it looked a bit junky. My fourth and final visit was spot on, and ironically the one I thought I’d like the least– Gold’s Gym. In my mind that was the REAL gym-rats’ gym, so the one in which I’d feel least comfortable. Man, was I wrong.

     –> I’m thinking of doing a vid “How to Find a Good Gym for People who Hate Gyms” — should I?

Tuesday (08/30/16):
My first Gold’s Gym experience. I had a one-hour introductory appointment with the day manager, who took me around to show me where various equipment was located, and demonstrated how some of the machines worked. Had a pretty decent workout in the process (military press, reverse flies, chest press, and db triceps press). Then I got the sales pitch. Having done my online research, I was expecting it. It was REALLY difficult to convince this guy I NEEDED to complete my Triceps Torture routine. As I explained it, he kept shaking his head saying it was nothing he’d ever heard of and couldn’t approve. I finally stopped trying to explain, and signed up for an “old school” trainer (I kept insisting I wanted to get help with The Big 3: barbell squat, deadlift, and bench press). I could see his eyes glaze over as he glanced around at all those fancy machines in there, and here I was saying I wanted traditional barbell work instead. So we made an appointment for Thursday for me to start with the One “old school” trainer he had on staff.

Wednesday  (08/31/16):
Couldn’t sleep most of the night, not wanting to give up on Triceps Torture just to accommodate some ‘old school’ trainer’s program. So I contacted Gold’s Gym and made my case, one more time, emailing over my Triceps program and insisting I HAD to finish it. I was assured it would either be incorporated into my new trainer’s program, or I could just continue it on my own around the trainer’s own program.

Thursday (09/01/16):
Met trainer Charlie, and in the process discovered the “gold” in Gold’s Gym. This guy is for REAL. A couple of years younger than me, personality out the gazoot, with a lifetime of knowledge and experience (been lifting since he was 14 years old), and a LISTENER too. He interviewed me pretty intensely, asking and challenging me about my only having 10-months workout experience, nutrition, fitness hopes and desires. He also balked at my Triceps program, so I cut off conversation about it and told him I’d just complete it on my own, around his program. He shrugged and off we went into the gym.
BOOM! Right to the squat rack. Awesome. We progressed up to 155lbs (15 more than my body weight). Not easy on my first out, but felt so good. Charlie seemed surprised too and congratulated me saying something like only 1% of people can squat more than their body weight. Have to check on that statistic.
Next to the pull-up bar. (“I can do this!”) — First pull-up, banged my head into the adjacent pull-up bar. THIS is why I hate gyms LOL! Set one of 10, rest. Set two of 10, rest. Set three of 10, only made 8, rest. Set four of 8, only made 4, rest.
Next to the squat rack again for a Jerk/Overhead Press (not sure what it’s called). Basically held the barbell at my waist, one foot in front of the other, used my whole body to jerk it to shoulder, and then press overhead. Heavy weight, so 3 sets of only 3 reps each. Pretty tough. Cannot remember the weight I used :/
Finally, dips. Being in the middle of Triceps Torture, I’m really good at these right now. 3 sets of 10. Banged them out. Charlie laughed and yelled at me the last set, “Slow down! Time under Tension, Time under Tension!”
Left the gym thinking, this is another new beginning– THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING…

Week 8 (09/04/16 – 09/10/16): ‘Triceps Torture’

Tuesday 9/6/16: “The New Normal”
– OK, so now I’m settled in my tiny temporary apartment, new routine established.
Work with new trainer two times a week (Tue/Thu) at the gym, and continuing ‘Triceps Torture’ on my own– Because of my relocation interruption weeks, I started Phase II over again, so it will take a bit longer for me to finish. Will do abs/core, planche prep, and HIITs on the in-between days.
–> Today’s gym workout, leg day. Have to say I went into it not feeling 100%. Only lasted 45 min of the hour session; got ligjht-headed, felt nauseous, and just ran out of steam. Happened once before on a leg day during AX1. But autumn allergies are hitting me hard and I was having a hard time breathing.

Week 9 (09/11/16 – 09/17/16): ‘Triceps Torture’

     Continued Triceps Torture program, and week 2 my new The Big 3 weight training program.
Short beach vacation Thu through Mon. This is an annual getaway mostly with people I only see once a year. Very satisfying to hear everyone’s compliments on my getting lean and fit. Sometimes we can be our own worse critic, so yeah– very satisfying. Don’t let my expression in the photo fool you– I was loving the attention 😉

 Week 10 (09/18/16 – 09/24/16): ‘Triceps Torture’

True confession – my new trainer does not approve of my doing ‘Triceps Torture’ along with his own program (which is excellent in itself). So being the stubborn idiot I am, I’m still doing Triceps Torture, but on the sly :/ I am so impressed and pleased with the results, I could not NOT finish it. Here’s my current results (DO NOT REPOST… thanks):

BTW– 2 weeks to go to finish Triceps Torture, AND 2 weeks until my 1 Year anniversary of starting AX1. Time for a new vid??? It’s time to celebrate somehow or other. On that note, I’ve had a lot of requests on themes for various vids. Here’s some I’m willing to do — Anything you’d like to see? Some of my thoughts:
–  Nutrition (how to eat) and/or Supplementation
–  Ed’s favorite exercise for each muscle group
–  How to find a good gym / Gym Tips for Newbies
–  What Ed would do differently during his first year
–  Fitness life after Athlean X
–  ????????

Week 11 (09/25/16 – 10/01/16): ‘Triceps Torture’

–  Pretty standard week– Continuing Triceps special workout combined with twice-per-week full body gym routine. Slacked off on core work this week and over-carbed on foods somewhat– been out-of-town for work and pleasure the past few weeks so eating out a lot. Will focus on changing that for next week.

–  On the other hand, I’m gaining weight! — Added 4 pounds over the last month, and I’m pretty sure most of it is muscle. I credit that to the new strength training work I started a month ago at the gym. BF% is up a point to almost 11% over the month, but I’m not real worried about that. Two weeks ago my trainer had me cut out HIIT workouts for now. Plus as mentioned, I’ve been eating a tad loosely. I got this.

–   Thanks for the several responses to what I should do for an upcoming vid. One thing thing I just won’t do:is an outright flexing vid (c’mon ya’ll– there are millions of those on the web already, by dudes in much better shape than myself– it’d be pretty embarrassing, and I’d like to minimize the ‘Dislikes’ 😉 ). Also, requests to see my legs?– well, they’re certainly not ready for prime time– yet 😉

–  Couple of guys mentioned they’re afraid to join a gym. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll do that joining a gym vid and address that.

–  Couple of people asked– no, I have not been measuring my arms at all during Triceps Torture. 1) I’m a little bit ticked off at that damned measuring tape LOL; 2) I guess I’m kind of looking for a nice surprise at the end of the Triceps program; 3) Some of my shirt sleeves are a little tighter, so I know I’m making some progress 😀

Week 12 (10/02/16 – 10/09/16): ‘Triceps Torture’

  • Frustrating workout week. For the 2nd time missed my pullups goal (in fact, did one fewer than previous week), and had a pretty poor push day performance imo.
    Today I’m in a bad mood (unusual for me). Has nothing to do with working out though. (It has to do with anxiety over making an offer on buying a new house.) I know some people say when they’re worked up over something, they take it out on the weights. But I found that when I’m in a bad place, my workouts suffer. Did one anyway today (Saturday, 10/8/16). Used my bad mood to defy my trainer (wants me to lift light/high reps/2-3 sets on Saturdays), and do what I wanted instead (lift heavy/low reps/4-5 sets). Turned out to be a good workout and I’m in a much better mood. So here’s two pics from today.
    DO NOT REPOST PLEASE (thanks…)
  • Triceps Torture — One week to go! Definitely a good program and will recommend it cautiously (not for novices– in fact, hurt myself doing it).
  • THANK YOU to everyone who writes and says nice things. Like a lot of people, I can be my own worst enemy sometimes. Thoughts of doubt, thoughts of failure, thoughts of self-pity. But then I’ll get an email like this one this week, and my world suddenly gets saturated! (reprinted by permission)

“Hey EnderEd, Just want to thank you for putting that video up of you doing the AX1 program. Because of you I decided to do the program and I started July 4th weekend. I just finished it and cried some good tears. See I’m one of those people with a cloud hanging over my head. I almost never finish what I start. I’m 41 years old now. I’m a high school drop-out, military drop-out (honorable discharge), never hold down a job for more than 2 or 3 years, marriage fell apart. I could go on and on. Now I know it may not seem like a lot but I completed the entire 90 day AX1 program and feel like a new man. Not only is my body in much better shape, but in my mind it feels like I’m ready to take on the world. I’m actually thinking of starting to do part time school so I can qualify for a job I want to apply for at my company. I don’t think I ever would have even had that idea to do that if it wasn’t for your video and I’m serious. I hope it doesn’t sound to weird. If you ever come out Phoenix way let me know and I’ll treat you to a steak dinner or something LOL. Or we can arm wrestle for who pays the bill 😉 Don’t worry, you could beat me even if I use 2 hands. But you better keep working out because I’m not stopping LOL. I hope you don’t mind but I plan to keep in touch. You progress looks amazing and I want to try to follow your footsteps man…”

— Just getting an email like that is more than enough payback and makes it all worthwhile. But I do love a good steak dinner. And I do love a good arm wrestle. Any takers??? 😀

Week 13 (10/10/16 – 10/16/16): ‘Triceps Torture’

  • Finished ‘Triceps Torture’ with a whimper! I attempted ONE of the final three workouts that constituted Phase IV of Triceps Torture, and on the very first set of the very first exercise felt it was all wrong. At the forefront, the Triceps program said all other push workouts should be abandoned. The new strength program I had started a month ago included a significant push day, and it all caught up to me. My body is BEAT UP! So… having seen significant triceps gainz as it is, I let sleeping dogs lie, as they say, and gave up finishing Triceps Torture. It’s rare, but sometimes I let prudence win out over stubbornness 😉
    –> Left arm: gained 0.2 inches
    –> Right arm: gained 0.25 inches
    (My unswole, flexed left arm now measures 13.7 inches; my right 13.85 inches)
  • Takeaways:
    – HFT (high frequency training) is effective, but wearing (it exasperated elbow inflammation with which I’ve had to deal, originally hurt while moving furniture);
    – It is probably for lifters who have been training for more than a year with compound lifts (heavy barbell squats, deadlifts, and bench presses);
    – Increasing triceps size not only increased overall arm size, but has definitely accentuated my biceps and forearms more;
  • Until I do a review vid where I might publish the website for the program, if you want the workout, please shoot me a note (endered@gmail.com) and convince me you’re experienced enough to not hurt yourself LOL
  • Before and after photos, both times ‘cold’ (several days following workout, no pump)

— “Old School” Strength Training:
As mentioned in the above entries, I started a traditional strength training program under tutelage of a professional trainer on 16 Sep 2016. One month later, in squats I’ve progressed to 3 reps at 205 lbs; my bench is up to 2 reps at 155 lbs. Right now I plan to continue this program for two more months and then deload for the holidays. But I’m also still seeking to purchase a new home. Selling the old home sure threw a monkey wrench into the previous three months’ workout plans. So who knows what’s going to happen??? One thing I do know– over the next 2 months I WILL get Bigger, Leaner, and Stronger 😀


‘The Ultimate Triceps Program” aka ‘Triceps Torture’
*** Recommendation:  I believe HFT is for advanced, not beginner, lifters (like myself :/ ). I found the Triceps HFT program to be more intense than my usual workouts. To protect yourself from potential injury, it would be best if you read Huge in a Hurry first to better understand the theory and method behind HFT.

NOTE: If you do try this program, please give me feedback when you’re done? Thanks.

Best to you, & Cheers!

–> 6 months of “The Big 3” – weekly workouts centered on increasing strength by performing Squats, Deadlifts, and Bench Presses

NEXT PAGE: 07: One Year! + Fitness Resource Recommendations

NEXT PROGRAM: 08: 6 months ‘The Big 3’