It’s Friday, the end of Week 2 of this pre-competition training cycle, and I’m feeling pretty good. Of course, feeling good is all relative! My lower back and hamstrings are a bit stiff and sore from Wednesday’s deadlifts, but my headache is finally gone and I’m experiencing much less dizziness. A few minor muscle aches are merely an inconvenience that disappears once I begin warming up at the gym. I have been sleeping and eating reasonably well. While there were several moments (maybe some rather extended moments) at work where I felt like my head would explode with frustration, it was still generally a good day.

1a. squats

warm-ups: 95 x 5, 115 x 5, 135 x 3, 155 x 3, 175 x 1…all beltless

main event: 190 x 1, 205 x 1, 255 for walkout & 10 second hold only, 205 x 1…all with belt

pause squats: 2 sets of 3 @ 150 pounds with generous 2-second pauses (generous 3-second pauses for the third reps)…beltless

Squats felt good today. A couple of reps might have been a touch slow, but I think I had consistently decent form and bar path today. After how tough squats felt on Monday, I was a little worried that today might be on the tough side, too.

1b. bench press

warm-ups: 43 x 8, 63 x 5, 78 x 5, 93 x 3

main event: 100 x 1, 105 x 1, 110 x 1 misgrooved it but made it, 110 x 1, 110 x 1 this one was exceptionally ugly but I got it, 110 x 1

AMRAP but leave one in the tank: 85 pounds x 9

Obviously nailing down the proper bar path is extremely important for me. I had the strength to finish the press even when I misgrooved today, but the difference between a well-grooved press and an ugly one is huge. But you know what? It’s always a work in progress, and I doubt there will ever be a day when I am 100% perfect with every lift, every time. No matter how much I might like to be perfect! The fact that I did 110 pounds for 4 singles, with 2 of them as ugly as they could possibly be, shows the progress I’m making, because 110 pounds was my all-time personal best for one single time more than a month ago!

2a. one-arm rows with a 16kg kettle bell

x 12, x 12

2b. glute-ham raises:

x 14, x 12 with hands at head

2c. sit-ups on the GHD:

x 10ish, x 6ish with hands over head for a slow eccentric

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