Day 25 – The Bar Didn’t Get Lighter, I Got Stronger

Today, I completed Workout C, Phase 1 from Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training “15 Pounds of Muscle in 8 Weeks” program.  This workout is an Upper Body Dominant workout. While the bulk of the exercises are Back & Shoulder focused, the Chest, Biceps & Triceps also get some action as well.

While I like all four workouts in Phase 1, workout C is my favorite.  One reason is that this workout includes a few of my favorite exercises: Pull-ups (with 5 second negative) & Inverted Body Weight Rows.  Another exercise that I did today that I have yet to speak of is the Dumbbell Lumberjack Press:

(Photo Courtesy of

(Photo Courtesy of

As you can see from above, this exercise is shoulder focused.  Believe me, the shoulders BURN after completing 8-10 reps per side!  The arms & core also get a nice bit of work as well as the legs.  The BB Lumberjack Press is actually not included in Workout C but due to some equipment restrictions, I substituted it in place of another shoulder exercise.  I’m glad I did.

I initially learned of the BB Lumberjack Press during my training with Roman.  At first I wasn’t strong enough to use a barbell.  I mean, I could lift it but my form was crappy.  The key to this exercise is to keep the barbell level during the entire movement.  But when I attempted to do the exercise with an empty barbell it was like I had a teeter-totter on my shoulder.  So I had to use a dumbbell for a long time.  But I kept at it.

Eventually I was able to use the barbell but it had to be empty.  I was lucky to get in 3-4 good reps per side but it was something.  At this point, I established a two-fold goal: to increase my rep count & then start adding weight to the bar.  So I set out to achieve my goal.

Guess what happened over time?  I was able to add a weight plate to the bar.  At first it was only a 2.5 pound plate on each side. But I had taken a step towards achieving my goal.  I was only able to squeeze out a few good reps each side but I was making progress.

Fast forward to today’s workout.  For my warm-up sets I used the empty barbell.  I was able to keep the bar perfectly level the entire movement.  And it was easy. 10 reps per side really didn’t seem like much weight at all.  A few months ago this would not have been possible.  That’s when it hit me, “The bar didn’t get lighter, I got stronger!”.  

That, my friends, is an empowering feeling.  What once seemed like an impossible task has now become something I can do with relative ease.

Establish a goal, see the end result clearly in your mind & then make it happen!

Today’s Workout Track listing:

  • Nookie – Limp Bizkit
  • Summer Nights -Van Halen
  • Sehnsucht – Rammstein
  • Feel Good Hit of the Summer – Queens of the Stone Age
  • Panic -Sublime with Rome
  • Devil Man – Rob Zombie
  • American Prankster – The Offspring
  • Shake Ya Ass – Mystikal
  • Move Bitch – Ludacris
  • Witchcraft  – Wolfmother
  • No One Knows – Queens of the Stone Age


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