Half the year is over so it’s probably time for a quick mid-year review.  Feeling pretty good about where I’m at so far so let’s get this review started.

Fitness Journal July 2017 - psbarbosa.com


The main goals for this year was to improve my overall aesthetics so workouts thus far have all been tailored accordingly.  Chest has always been a lagging body-part so its been the center of most of my workouts.  One thing I’ve really taken into consideration is focusing on increasing my volume over time to help with hypertrophy.  Current literature indicates that volume is a large component of hypertrophy and adding more volume (correctly) seems to be working rather well.  If you’re looking for a good read regarding hypertrophy check out this great guide by the guys at Renaissance Periodization.  Lots of great information there so give it a go if you’re interested.

Workout A: Chest/Shoulders/Arms
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
1 BB Bent Over Rows 3-5 8-10 90 s
2 BB Bench Press 3-5 8-10 90 s
3 DB Incline Bench Press 3-5 8-10 90 s
4 Triceps Dip 3-5 8-10 90 s
4 EZ BB Curls 3-5 8-10 90 s
5 DB Side Lateral Raises 3-5 8-10 90 s
Workout B1: Back/Legs
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
1 BB Hang Clean 3 5/3/1 120 s
2 BB Squat 3 5/3/1 120 s
3 Chin Ups 3-5 8-10 90 s
4 1 Arm Tbar Rows 3-5 10-12 90 s
5 DB Shrugs 3-5 10-12 90 s
5 DB Incline Curls 3-5 10-12 90 s
Workout C: Chest/Shoulders/Arms
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
1 Pull Ups 3-5 8-10 90 s
2 BB Military Press 3-5 8-10 90 s
3 DB Piston Press 3-5 8-10 90 s
4 Plate Squeezes 3-5 8-12 90 s
5 DB Decline Skull Crushers 3-5 8-12 90 s
5 1 Arm DB Laterals 3-5 8-12 60 s
Workout B2: Back/Legs
Exercise Sets Reps Rest
1 BB Deadlift 3 5/3/1 120 s
2 DB Bulgarian Split Squat 3 8-10 90 s
3 Chin Ups 3-5 8-10 90 s
4 1 Arm Tbar Rows 3-5 10-12 90 s
5 DB Shrugs 3-5 10-12 90 s
5 DB Incline Curls 3-5 10-12 90 s

The meso had me working out 3x a week with 1 day rest between workouts.  I did workout B1 and B2 on alternate weeks.  During the last mesocycle I was playing basketball 3x a week so 3x a week in the weight room was all I could do.  Ideally I think that 4x a week would be better for hypertrophy.  It would make the workouts shorter and easier to fit the required volume into the workouts.


The weeks that called for 5 sets on exercises took a bit longer than I would have liked per workout session.  I currently don’t really see a way around it for 3x a week splits.

In the last mesocycle I tweaked my left shoulder and back and had to back swap out some back and pressing movements.  It’s better to always work around any pain and discomfort and never through it for longevity.  This meso I started doing resistance band shoulder warm-up before every upper body workout and that helped a lot to prevent any shoulder/back pain.  Band external rotations are a must, I don’t know why I stopped doing them.

Overall the last cycle of workouts were great.  I definitely feel like I’ve increased my size in my upper body, in particularly the chest and back area.  Arms are slowly getting bigger too although no focus has been put on them for now.  What I don’t like is that although I only have 1 day a week to focus on lower body alternating between Squat and Deadlift as the main movement, my butt seems to keep on growing.  If only my chest could grow like my butt everything would balance out.


The next cycle will be more of the same with slightly higher volume.  I’m really trying to see how much volume I can handle and still recover from.  Might do 4x a week since I don’t have basketball 3x a week for the summer.

I did notice that I’ve gained a little bit of extra weight around the waist.  Probably as much as I’d like too.  I’ve been on a caloric surplus for the last few cycles so I think it’s time after this cycle to go on a deficit for a short period of time and slim down the excess fat.

After another meso of hypertrophy I’ll go into a slight strength focused cycle while I go on a caloric deficit before going on maintenance and then going on a surplus for the rest of the year.

I haven’t quite reached my optimal body composition but am happy with the progress so far.  Half way there but lot’s of work to still be done.

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