PRs and Fails

It’s my Monday…the most physically and mentally exhausting day of my week, and that is before I ever get to my training session! Today wasn’t a bad day, not like some of my Mondays, but it was still draining. Not long after finishing work, I got a text asking if I could train a bit earlier today. Most certainly I could!

I knew that deadlifts would be on the agenda today along with some front squats and long pause squats. Last week I did the deadlifts first. Today Michael gave me the choice to do deadlifts or front squats first. I’ve done both combinations and neither one is without fatigue, so it really didn’t matter too much to me.

1a. front squats with knee sleeves

45 x 8, 75 x 5, 95 x 5, 115 x 6, 135 x 6, 150 x 6, 165 x 6 PR

Aside from sounding like an asthmatic, these were pretty solid front squats with decent speed. The set @ 150 pounds was a personal record and felt fairly easy, so we threw an additional 15 pounds on for another set. It is definitely easier to start with the front squats. Fresh legs make for an easier time!

1b. close grip bench press

45 x 8, 65 x 8, 80 x 6, 100 x 8 (I think that is a PR for close grip), 115 x 1 + 2…it felt a little heavier than expected, so Michael had me rack the bar and take 20 seconds or so to rest and re-group before doing 2 more reps.

with slingshot: 115 x 5, 125 x 5

without the slingshot, as many reps as Michael would let me do: 100 x 6

2a. deadlifts, conventional touch ‘n go

without straps: 95 x 5, 135 x 5, 165 x 5

with straps: 185 x 8, 200 x 8, 210 x 7…dropped the eighth rep

We were working technique with these today by trying to keep my shins forward over the bar every time I touched the bar to the floor. After I finished that last set, Michael was asking me about what I had felt and where. Did I feel that my legs weren’t able to push? Did I feel like I lost tension anywhere? I made a quip saying that my quads would never fail me and then said that I likely felt the weakness in my upper and lower back.

3a. pause squats

95 x 10 deep breaths…this was easier than the same weight last week. With knee sleeves for this set only.

125 x 10 deep breaths…I had absolutely no problem holding my position for the full count of breaths; however, I realized early into the count that I was probably going to experience tremendous difficulty in getting myself back to a standing position. It kind of felt like I might have had a wider stance than normal, but more than anything my legs were literally dying as I sat in that squat. As I anticipated, I could not get up! After rescuing me, Michael asked what had happened. I said that my quads let me down. We laughed, because I had just said not very long before that my quads would never let me down! Be careful what you say or it will come back to bite you! Honestly, I don’t know why my legs failed. I didn’t have a problem last week, and they were also at the end of my session after front squats and deadlifts! Maybe it was because I had pulled my knee sleeves down in order to do the hamstring curls that were alternated with these pause squats. Maybe it was the fact that I did two PR sets of front squats. Maybe it was the fact that I was doing hamstring curls in between the pause sets. Who knows! But we added weight to the bar anyway.

135 x 10 deep breaths…and again I could not stand back up! In fact, my fail was less graceful this time around. Ironically, the actual pause felt easier this time than the 125 pounds did, and the legs were less shaky during the hold. There was just nothing left when I needed it.

3b. TRX hamstring curls

x 7 + 5…Michael mocked me when I stopped at 7, but my calves and hamstrings were in serious peril of cramping! I took a couple of seconds and eked out a few more reps.

x 20 This set was a bit easier, although the leg muscles still were threatening to cramp. You know, I think it was these curls that killed my pause squats! Yup, that and the lack of knee sleeves. That’s my story…

Michael enjoyed teasing me, I think, over the fact that I failed a squat at 125 pounds. I have absolutely NEVER failed a squat at such an easy weight. I know that I have failed a 200 pound squat, but I don’t recall failing one that was less than that. Of course, this wasn’t a typical squat, so I am okay with a bit of ribbing. I’m not afraid to dish it out, too!

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