Barbell Therapy

Fridays are essentially my Mondays. My weekend is over, and it is back to the grind. Lately Fridays have felt like the typical Monday. If I were a toddler, I’d probably throw a little tantrum, stamp my feet and stubbornly refuse to do anything I didn’t want to do. Hopefully I am somewhat more mature than a toddler, even if I might have moments of pouting and foot stamping, but today was a very real struggle. I don’t know that I have ever been so excited for deadlifts as I was today.

After months and months of deadlift frustration, I am thrilled to be feeling the deadlift love once again. Of course, enjoying the deadlift again doesn’t automatically mean that deadlifts are easy or that my mind doesn’t want to play tricks with me, so I was quite intentional about wearing my “doughnuts & deadlifts” tank and my “deadlift diva” socks. I’ll still take whatever motivational help I can get! A little anger and frustration also helps.

1a. deficit deadlifts without a belt

95 pounds x 5, 135 x 5, 165 x 3, 195 x 3, 205 x 3, 225 x 4.7 with straps (I was going for a fifth rep but couldn’t quite lock it out. I totally dropped the bar…and it felt really, really good to do that! Ha! Michael said that he’s never seen me fail on a rep like that before…he’s probably right about that. If I am going to fail on a deadlift rep it is usually right off the floor.)

185 x 3

1b. dips

with a small green band: x 10, x 10

with blue band: x 9, x 7, x 7, x 6  Michael had me work on only coming up to about 95% of lockout. I seem to have a tendency to overextend my elbows.

2a. front squats (wearing flat shoes instead of squat shoes)

75 pounds x 6, 115 x 6, 115 x 5, 115 x 5

I’ve always done my front squats holding the bar with two fingers on each hand. Michael had me try the last set using three fingers per hand. It felt pretty good. Of course, the weight wasn’t too taxing.

2b. incline dumbbell curls

I jokingly asked if I should use 8 pound dumbbells. Michael said that I should use at least 10 pounds, maybe 15 by the end, so I grabbed the 15s right for the start. I might grumble a little, but I’m a fighter.

x 10, x 9, x 7, x 8 most with wrists back

3. Then Michael decided to see how fast I could row 500 metres on the machine. My legs certainly didn’t feel very fresh after deadlifts and squats, but I rowed and rowed. At one point Michael asked if I was going as fast as I could; I didn’t bother answering him. The first 300 metres didn’t feel too bad, and, even though the remaining metres flew by quickly, I was definitely feeling the burn in my legs and my lungs for the final 200 metres. Once I reached the end I couldn’t get off of the rower fast enough! My legs were jelly, and I was breathing hard, but my time was 1:55. I have no idea how good that is, but I worked hard for it. I’ll work even harder to improve on it!

Thus ends my unplanned de-load week. I have the 5K race on Sunday morning. On Monday, it’s back to the powerlifting grind as I prepare for competition. I’m hoping that the right hip will settle down once the race is finished and I am done running for a while. My hip is not very happy these days. It is positively throbbing right this very moment. So not cool.


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