Week 2, Day 3

I finished a cup of coffee about a half-hour before my training session this afternoon. So maybe I am beginning to appreciate the benefits of caffeine pre-workout. Hopefully the caffeine won’t keep me from sleeping tonight!

My training session felt rather good today, at least from my perspective. It’s never perfect, but some of the technique tweaks are starting to feel right and more comfortable.

1A) squats

warm-ups: 95 x 5, 115 x 3, 155 x 1, 175 x 1

main event: 5 sets of 5 @ 160 pounds (a 5 pound increase from last week)

The first set was done beltless, but I used my belt for the remaining sets. I could have easily done them without the belt, but sometimes it is good to train with the belt. The second set felt easier, which could have been because of the belt or just the fact that my subsequent sets tend to be better than my first. Possibly it was a combination of both!

I am also working to keep my elbows down and my torso upright. The bar path was much better today, I think, with the exception of a few reps where I kind of shifted forward on my toes. The good news is that I recognized that this was happening and that it wasn’t ideal.

1B) bench press

warm-ups: 45 x 8, 65 x 5

main event: 6 sets of 3 @ 75 pounds with a 2 second pause for each rep (about a 4 second pause for the final rep of the final set)

Michael gave me a new cue. When I am gripping the bar he wants me to “turn” my thumbs in towards my face. It’s an action that subtly corkscrews the shoulder into place, and it also had the added benefit of keeping my wrists straight. This cue is so amazingly simple, but it made the bench press feel incredibly easier. Michael can repeatedly tell me to pull myself down with my hips when I squat, but it just doesn’t compute. This bench cue clicked instantly.

Although I was supposed to do 6 sets of bench, I think I actually did 7. Even though I am writing my sets down in a journal as I go, somehow I still manage to get “lost”. The same thing happened last Friday with bench.

2. deadlifts

warm-ups: 135 x 4, 165 x 3

main event: 6 sets of 3 @ 185 pounds

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