Woke up with a back that did not like me.  Usually, by the time I get to the gym, any stiffness will have passed.  Not today.  As I hit the gym floor, I warned myself to “go easy.” 

Started with my normal warm up of 50 Swiss Ball Crunches and 50 Decline Push-ups.  No single leg today.  Still stiff.  Then on to DIY Phase 5 – Workout B: 30 Rep Max – 15 reps per set.

  • Roll Out: Did two sets up 15.  By the end of the 2nd set, my back started to feel better.
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: Warmed up with 35s and then did 2 sets of 15 with 45s.  That is really strange, since 50s are my max on 4-5 reps.  I will try 50s next week.
  • *Trap Barbell Squat:  Did 3 sets of 10 reps with 90 pounds on the bar.
  • Cable Face Pull with External Rotation: Moved the weight up to 160 – will up it again to 170.
  • Barbell Straight Leg Dead Lift with Row:  2 sets of 15 with 30 lbs on the 45 pound bar.  Since I needed to be in a bent over position, I did not increase the weight.

By the end of the workout, my back was feeling a lot better.  There would have been a time in my life that I would have bailed out of going to the gym rather than dealing with an “iffy” back.  Not this morning.  Not any more.

*ETA: I happened to stumble upon a better description of the “Trap Bar.”   It is also called a Hexagon Bar or “Hex Bar” which is a more accurate name.  What follows is a picture that closely resembles the one I am using at the gym.  This one is new and shiny, while the one I use is old and looks more like a worn bent barbell.  One Article recommended strengthening your lower back by doing squats with this bar.  Here I thought it just gave me a more balanced grip than using dumbbells.