Craig Leonard

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It’s Chest Day, But I Feel Like It’s Supposed To Be Rest Day

Amber DeLeal March 12, 2016
Chest Day When It's Supposed To Be Rest Day

As I was writing about my terrible gym experience on chest day the other day, it got me thinking about how crazy and impressive our bodies are.

Specifically, that our bodies are capable of achieving progress even if we don’t feel it. Over time it even allows us to push harder and do more work because of the small steps of progress that come from working out consistently.

I was in the worst mood on Monday. The absolute worst mood. And nothing could make it better. It was almost as if I predetermined to be in a bad mood, like I wanted to be in that state of mind.

I kept thinking to myself that I didn’t want to be in such a terrible mood. But no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t snap out of it! And regardless of my horrible mood, my body pushed harder – despite my poor mental condition – and it resulted in delayed onset muscle soreness for several days after my workout.

Yep, soreness. From the workout I completed even though I didn’t want to.

Our bodies (and minds) are seriously amazing! Even after 8 years of seeing all the changes a body can go through, it still amazes me when I see results being crafted on my body and on the bodies of others.

It’s pretty crazy to think about all that my body has been through.

I’ve been pregnant, lean, pregnant, pregnant, overweight, lean, less lean and more fluffy (while putting muscle on during my off season), back to lean and more muscular. It’s impossible for me not to be amazed at what the human body is capable of.

I still see changes weekly, just over 5 weeks out from my first physique competition, and it almost brings me to tears thinking about how amazing these changes are.

And then I think back on how I mentally had such a terrible day at the gym the other day and it STILL resulted in a great chest day that left me sore.

I want to share a little more with you about why this surprised me so much.

Like I said in my previous post, I couldn’t focus, I wasn’t lifting as much weight, and I wasn’t hitting sets in my normal rep ranges.

I was so lacking in motivation that I didn’t even have it in me to superset more than one set of movements.

I normally have an idea of what exercises I’m going to perform and what order I’m going to perform them in. This day, though, my head was all over the place.

I decided on an exercise and after completing my final set I would look around the gym and make an on-the-fly decision of the lift I’d do next. I wasn’t prepared and I didn’t have any real focus or direction when it came to my workout. I didn’t have a real plan of action. And it showed.

So how did my muscles get such a great workout? So great that I’m still sore four days later?

My guess is that it was because the workout was so different than what I usually do. My muscles were confused, engaged in a different way, and more fatigued because of it.

I always recommend changing up your exercise routine on a regular basis for this exact reason. Muscle confusion equals muscle gainz!

Here’s what I did…

I completed four sets of six different lifts:

Incline Dumbbell Flies – Four sets of 12 reps, with finishing the last set as a drop set

Incline Dumbbell Press and Push-Ups (Completed In Supersets) – Four sets of 12 reps on each (Actually, I think I only got 10 push-ups repped out on the last 2 sets.)

Cable Crossovers – Four sets of 12 reps, with finishing the last set as a drop set

Incline Press Machine – Four sets of 15 reps (On the last set I could only muster 10 reps.)

Bench Press – Four sets of 15 reps

Underhand Cable Crossovers –  Three sets of 12 reps

There ya have it! That’s the workout that I thought was terrible. I can tell you this much… I got such a good workout using it – even on a day when I was off my game – that I’ll definitely be giving it another go in the near future.

I’m sure it will be even better next time when my head is more into it. I honestly can’t wait to try this workout when my mind and body are 100% in the game!

Instead of going into a chest day unprepared like I did, you really should give this chest workout a try and let me know how it works for you. If you change something up, let me know how it worked for you.

I’m always looking for new ways to improve and change my routine. One of the best ways to do that is by learning from each others’ experiences.

There’s always something to learn in the gym or in the kitchen to improve our results. As I’ve discovered, we can even take something valuable from a workout when it’s chest day and the mind and body are acting more like it’s rest day.

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