Eric Van De Vens Blog

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Weight Training Day 3 Back and Shoulders!

Before I get into the workout specifics, I have to make a few comments about the gym, more precisely, some of its members.

Up until today, I was really enjoying this gym. No assholes, weight bangers, apes, or any other nonsense to deal with.

This morning, as Teala had to go in to work early which necessitated getting Marshall ready and all that goes along with that, by the time I finished my warm up run and got to the gym, it was 7:15 am. What a difference two hours makes! Where to start?

I’ll start with the law enforcement officers. Personally, I have no issues with law enforcement as long as they do their jobs and leave me alone. When you have your uniforms on and are out working, feel free to run roughshod over the general public all you like, until you get caught. In the gym, you are just a civilian like everyone else. Act like it! When you are in the gym, with other individuals who are actually there to work out and not stand around and bullshit, show some common courtesy and move along. There is no reason it takes three men an hour, on one machine, to complete a workout. If you actually worked out instead of standing around gabbing like the girls on the View, you could have finished in a third of the time!

The next group of idiots present today, would be the ones who possess no spatial awareness whatsoever! When someone is working out and standing a few feet away from the mirror, do not cut directly in front of them and look lovingly into your own eyes! Some of us, actually use the mirror to make sure we are performing the exercise correctly and not admiring our “fantastic” bodies. And by the way Spanky, you need a lot more work! Wearing a muscle shirt, doesn’t give you muscles! After the first set, I figured, I’d just let it go. When it happened during the middle of the second set, well…..there are always ways to make a point, some subtle, some not. Just to let you know Spanky, I wasn’t breathing heavy by accident, and apparently, after getting a little spit on yourself, you got my intended message!

Then, we have, the weight banger. When I am doing shoulder shrugs with 300 lbs. of weight, the last thing that is necessary is for some jackball who is working out with a whole 50 lbs., to bang the weight bar down on the machine next to me, after almost every rep. If you knew what you were doing, you would know that you are supposed to be controlling the weight, not the other way around. Another tip, when you are done with the 15 pound weight you are using for overhead presses, there is no need to slam the weight on the ground. You can’t possibly be that exhausted! And while I am on the subject of weight, specifically dumbbells, the rack has these little characters on it. They are numbers. Coincidentally, the weights also have numbers on them. Perhaps one day, you may be able to make the connection…but I doubt it will be anytime soon!

And lastly, “Cellphone Joe”! No one gives a crap that you “are at the gym, working out, bla..bla..fricken bla..”! If you actually put down the phone and concentrated on working out, perhaps you would be in better shape. One other thing, in the brief moments where you aren’t gabbing on your phone like a 12 year old girl, and are attempting to lift all of 10 lbs., move away from the weight rack and out of the aisle, which is one of two entrances to the abdominal/cardiovascular section of the gym! There is that spatial awareness thing again!

Now that the rant is over, I can get into the actual workout!

Back: I started out with shoulder pull-downs which actually work your upper back muscles. Three sets of ten using 80 lbs. for weight. Then it was on to the seated row for my lower back. Three sets of 10 using, eventually, 120 lbs. of weight. I was going to do lat pull downs, but the above mentioned law enforcement officers were deep into a conversation, which more than likely had noting to do with weightlifting, while surrounding the slumbering lat machine. Instead of engaging these very important individuals, I decided to skip this exercise. Missing one day won’t kill me.

Shoulders: The shoulder press machine at this gym is nice, as you can comfortably work out one shoulder at a time and the machine is so sturdy, that it doesn’t rock back and forth. I did three sets of 10 reps with 50 lbs. alternating arms,  then one set with 70 lbs. using both arms. The next exercise was the shoulder shrugs which develop your trapezius muscles. I do this exercise on the “Smith” machine as it allows you to maintain control of the weight, which in-turn, allows you to target the muscle you are trying to work. Three sets of 10 using 270 lbs. of weight. Even though weight slammer Joe was next to me, I still managed to finish this exercise, which is one of my personal favorites, without incident.

Time for the “21s” which is a great finishing/toning exercise. For this exercise, you take two dumbbells and lift them straight up and out in front of you, seven reps. Then, you  place the weights at your stomach, and pull the weights out to each side, then back to the starting position, seven times. You then press the weight over your head, seven times. You do these three exercises all in a row, hence the name, the 21s.  There are alternate methods to perform this exercise, but, this is the one I prefer. Three sets of those using 10 lbs. of weight and the shoulder workout is done.

Now, it is time to finish the workout with abdominals. I upped the standing leg pull ups to three sets of 20 and then on the sit up bench, three sets of 30, and the workout is complete.

I was a little tired because I started late and was out of energy. Tomorrow is legs, day two. I’ll be back at it at 5:00 am so there won’t be a repeat of today!


February 23, 2011 - Posted by | Home, Weight Training | , , , , , , ,


  1. What makes you feel you are currently working hard? How do you measure your work ethic? To whom do you compare yourself?

    Comment by px90 | March 20, 2011 | Reply

    • The answer to your first question is that I have been working out all of my life and at times, with some of the best trainers in this State. I know my body and know how far I can push it. At fifty years old, I am not trying to compete in a Mr. World contest.

      My work ethic has always been the same with everything I do. 100% or I don’t bother doing it.

      I don’t compare myself to anyone.

      Comment by magnuminsp | March 22, 2011 | Reply

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