I drove to the gym with music blaring heavy, dark and powerful themes from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. The music fit my mood. It wasn’t that the work day was horrible, but it wasn’t really an enjoyable day. I’m not really prone to feeling claustrophobic, however, today it seemed like every time I turned around there was someone in my way. I definitely felt pressed in upon and my mood suffered as a result. Even knowing that I’d be doing deadlifts today, I couldn’t wait to get to the gym.
We changed things up just a wee bit today by lowering the bar position on my shoulders. I have been using a high bar position for quite some time, because it has felt the most comfortable and easiest on my shoulders. Michael wants me to work towards getting the bar down lower, figuring it might help keep the bar path from pitching forward as much. I have never really felt comfortable with a low bar position before, as it has never felt secure so low on my back. So, we moved the bar down a little lower but not all the way to the lowest position.
warm-up: 95 x 3, 115 x 3, 135 x 3, 155 x 1, 175 x 1
main event: 5 singles @ 185
Although having the bar lower definitely felt strange and will take some getting used to, I think I kind of liked how it affected my squat. Much to my surprise, my squat felt better! My feet felt more solid. I could actually feel more activation of my glutes and hamstrings. There was less of a sticking point, and I rose faster. They felt stronger, and there was less forward movement of the bar. So long as my shoulders stay in good shape, I guess I’ll keep working at the low bar position!
2. bench press
warm-up: 45 x 5, 65 x 5, 85 x 4 (we experimented with a different grip position for each rep, starting with narrow and gradually going wider…definitely stronger with the narrow grip)
main event: 90 x 1, 90 x 1, 90 x 1, 95 x 1, 105 x 1 which was my previous PR, after a bit of deliberating we decided to try for a new PR of 110 pounds. Michael said he wouldn’t let me try it if he didn’t believe that I could do it. That was re-assuring but I was fairly confident that I could do it. Of course, I misgrooved my bar path a bit, but I still managed to get the job done and set a new PR. With a narrow grip. Then we backed down to 95 pounds for 4 reps.
3. the dreaded deadlifts
warm-up: 135 x 5, 165 x 3, 195 x 3
We loaded up 215 pounds and debated whether to do a single or go for reps. Michael said the decision was mine. Part of me really wanted to just do the single, but the deadlifts were feeling okay today, not nearly as difficult as last week. So I opted to go for reps knowing that I needed to push past that little mental block. I got 6 reps, started to lift for the 7th rep, got it off the floor even, but it just wasn’t there so I put the bar back down. I cannot recall the last time I did deadlifts for as many reps as possible. It’s been a while, probably before I started doing my own tracking last October.
4. yates rows
75 x 12, 85 x 11, 85 x 11, 85 x 11
Michael said that today was a bit of redemption for last week in terms of bench and deadlift, and he’s right. While there wasn’t anything wrong with last week’s bench presses, I didn’t get to attempt a PR weight. I know that it isn’t necessary or even always a good idea to go for PRs all the time, but it is kind of nice to see and feel the progress. As for deadlifts, well, last week’s were tough and I instantly felt as if deadlifts were going to be a constant struggle…forever. Today’s deadlifts felt so much easier than last week’s. In fact, my set of 6 reps felt easier than any of last week’s single reps! I might still prefer squats, but I’m not hating the deadlift today. And just as I expected, my choice in music for the drive home was much lighter and happier.