Do Unto Others…

So, the other day, Mike said he felt like he’d hit the muscle-building wall with his current routine, and could I come up with something he could do at our office gym, that wouldn’t interfere with his running 3x+ a week, and could be done during lunch.

Unfortunately… yes, yes I could.

In the fine tradition around here of “I will do anything I make anyone else do,” this was my lunchtime workout today. There’s a twist at the end, so keep reading.

Day 1: Back, Chest & Shoulders

  • DB Bench: 1×15 @ 45 / 1×10 @ 50 / 1×8+ @ 65
  • DB Row: 2×20 @ 65 / 1×20+ @ 65 (Investigating the feasibility of doing seated cable rows,, wired to both stacks, it looks viable with a slightly asymmetrical grip, which could be swapped between sets, or mid-set, since that will allow up to 150# for both.)
  • Front Flye 3×12 @ 25, and adjust accordingly to get a feel for “moderate, moderately tough, and tough” weights. After the first exercises, 25# was definitely the right level of challenging.
  • Rear Flye 3×12 @ 15
  • Clean & Press: 1×15 @ 25 / 1×12 @ 30 / 1×10+ @ 35 (adjust for suitable difficulty)
  • Shoulder Complex (Lateral Raise, Front Raise, Upright Row, Curl): 3×15 @ 15 (adjust as needed)
  • Pushups: 3x whatever (I skipped these, since I’m doing multiple sets of 50 throughout the day)
  • Plank Hold: 3x2x30+sec (face down, face right, face left – two of each in turn; so it would be down, right, left, not down, down, right, right, left, left)

Ideally, to get the cardio benefit, you’d do one set of benches, followed immediately by the rows. Short break, then another pair.  Ditto for the flyes. C&P and Complexes can stand alone.

Day 2: Legs & Torso

  • Forward Lunges: 3×10 (each leg, so 10L, 10R, not 1L/1R)
  • Pulldowns: 15 @ 80 / 10 @ 100 / 8+ @ 110+ (alternately, assisted pullups with progressively decreasing assistance; these can be made progressively easier by doing the first set with a wide overhand grip, the second with a parallel grip, and the last with a relatively narrow underhand grip)
  • Deadlifts: 15 @ 45 / 12 @ 50 / 7+ @ 65
  • Clean & Press: 1×15 @ 25 / 1×12 @ 30 / 1×10+ @ 35 (adjust for suitable difficulty)
  • Goblet Squats: 3×15 @ 35 (note: this is one 35# DB held in both hands, right under your chin)
  • Shoulder Complex (Lateral Raise, Front Raise, Upright Row, Curl): 3×15 @ 15 (adjust as needed)
  • Pushups: 3x whatever
  • Incline Bench Knee Raises: 50+ total reps
  • One-Legged Glute Bridge: 3×25 each leg (unweighted for now)

Now, what Mike didn’t tell me until I was remarking on how tough the Day 1 workout was (in a good way), was that he didn’t pay attention, and did it as a circuit — one set of each exercise, then back to the top. I did it as written — set of bench & set of rows x3, front & rear flyes x3, C&P x3, Complex x4=3, Planks x2.

His way is a hell of a lot easier in terms of shoulder exhaustion, especially those first two pairs.



  1. Do you find that company slows you down?

    While I love having a spot — I can actually do barbell bench — I find that having someone else with me typically slows me down, and I get less of a workout.


    • It depends on whether or not I’m alternating sets with someone. Today, I had this cycle to myself, but had to share the bench with some people doing other stuff. Had there been multiple folks wanting to use the same single pair of dumbbells, then someone would have had to wait, etc.

  2. […] Do Unto Others… […]

  3. […] in the spirit of “Do Unto Others,” I joined Mike for the upper-body portion of that routine […]

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