Day 43 – You Make It Look So Easy

Today, I completed Workout A, Phase 2 of Craig Ballantyne’s “15 Pounds of Muscle in 8 Weeks” program.  This is an Upper Body, Chest/Back Antagonistic Superset based workout. While the arms & shoulders get a little bit of secondary work, the main focus of this workout is chest & back.

The Press/Row in-set dynamic is one aspect of this workout that I really enjoy.  I also like the fact that this workout is heavy on the Inverted Bodyweight Rows:

This is a great exercise for growing a larger, stronger back.  The arms get a good pump during this exercise, especially when using an underhand grip.  The shoulders & chest even get in a bit of indirect work during this exercise as well.

The Inverted Row is also a very versatile exercise.  Grip, feet placement, tempo & many other variables can be changed rather easily.  The Inverted Row is probably one of the best & most versatile exercises you aren’t currently doing.

I had no idea the inverted row existed until a few months ago.  And man was I not very good at it when I first discovered it!

It has taken some time but I am now able to knock out a decent amount of rows during this workout.  This specific point was the topic of discussion a bit earlier.

My 10-year-old son was in the weight room at the time observing me when the following conversation took place.  I had just completed a set of Underhand Grip Inverted Rows when he asked me the following question:

“Is that exercise hard?”

Me: “Yes!”

Him: “Then how do you make it look so easy?”

Me (smiling): “Lots of practice & building strength are why it looks easy.  You missed the sessions when I first learned the exercise.  I struggled with it & could barely do a few reps.”

Him: “Wasn’t it hard getting strong enough?  Did you ever want to quit?”

Me (with a bigger smile): “Yes, it was hard.  Yes, there were times when I wanted to quit.  But I kept going.  You know why?  Because I was unhappy with where I was at & I knew that eventually this would become easier.  It is still a tough exercise.  But it looks easier because I became stronger. And so will you once you begin to lift weights.”

Him: “Don’t worry dad, when I start lifting I am going to keep going when it gets tough.  And I won’t quit.  I know you don’t like quitters and I want to be your workout partner so I won’t quit on you.”

Me (with lump in throat): “That’s awesome buddy.  Soon enough you will be able to be my partner & we’re gonna turn you into a big boy!”

As if this 90 day contest hasn’t motivated me enough to keep pushing in the weight room.  Now I have an even bigger, more important reason than winning this contest.

One of the most important people in the world is watching me.  He wants to be like me.  He’s counting on me to show him the way.  I MUST continue down the path that I am on.

In just a short time, my workout partner will be old enough to join me in the weight room.  I must be ready for that day!

Today’s Workout Track Listing:

  • Hallelujah Goat -Volbeat
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls – Metallica
  • So What’cha Want – The Beastie Boys
  • Expendable Youth – Slayer
  • Communication Breakdown – Led Zeppelin
  • Sober – Tool
  • Stayin Alive – Ozzy with Dweezil Zappa  (click Ozzy Stayin Alive for a little listen)
  • Zero – Smashing Pumpkins
  • Animal – Pearl Jam
  • Your Disease – Saliva

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