There may be only 24 hours in a day, but today felt exceptionally long and I am really only talking about the 7.5 hours that I was at work. The work day itself wasn’t horrible. In fact, for my Monday, it was actually a pretty good day. The problem lay within myself. I am usually placed in the most demanding position on Fridays and not always with the strongest help. Today was a wonderful exception! I had decent help and it wasn’t crazy busy, but I was hurting. My shoulder was still sore. My elbow was tender from being worked on yesterday. I had a raging headache, most likely from the sore neck and upper back that I was also experiencing. Then, to make me feel so much better, I walked, full speed, into the steel door handle of our walk-in cooler…right on the bony part of my hip where there is no extra padding. That really hurt! The left side of my body wasn’t feeling so great today, but I wasn’t going to let that interfere with my training session.
1a. front squats with knee sleeves
warm-up: 45 x 8, one set of 4 using two 16 kg kettle bells, 95 x 5, 115 x 5
main event: 135 x 8, 145 x 8, 145 x 8
These felt good today and fairly fast. The latter reps were probably faster than the initial reps, because that’s just the way I roll most of the time.
1b. Swiss bar presses
wide grip: 33 x 8, 63 x 8, 83 x 8, 83 x 8
middle grip: 83 x 8
Spoto presses with Swiss bar, wide grip with 2 second pauses:
63 x 6, 83 x 8
This was my first time ever using the Swiss bar, but I think I did well with it. There is definitely a little more stability required from the wrists, and I did feel more triceps in the movement. With the bench press, my sticking point tends to be about midway up, so Michael had me do the Spoto presses. Surprisingly, I had no trouble with them at all. In a way, they seemed easier than the earlier sets of presses with the full range of motion.
2. deadlifts, conventional, touch and go
135 x 5
with straps: 165 x 7
185 x 8
As I was going through the motions of this set, I knew that I was nailing the form, and Michael thought so, too! He said it was near perfect, probably the best I’ve ever done! My shin angle was good every time I touched the bar to the floor. The bar skimmed my legs up and down for virtually every rep, and my back never rounded or broke form. I think I was even pushing with my legs and pulling my hips through! Wow!
195 x 8
This set was just as good as the previous one!
200 x 8
Before I even began this set, I had this expectation in my head that it would feel heavy and that doing 8 reps would be a challenge. I pulled that first rep with really good, like really good, form, and it felt super easy and light! That rep was fast and the entire set felt easier, faster than I had anticipated. Michael could tell that I had thought it would be harder and said that first rep just flew up! This set was so much easier than the same weight and reps last week!
3a. single leg skater squats, using 5 lb dumbbells
It has been a long time since I’ve done these, and, ironically, on Wednesday we had just talked about how much I disliked single leg exercises. See! Be careful what you tell your trainer, because he will pick on your weaknesses.
x 8 each leg, x 8 each leg
The left leg was definitely stronger or better at these today than the right, and that isn’t always the way it works out. Balance is often an issue for me. I need to remember to squeeze those glutes, and I need to fix my gaze on one spot. There was an improvement late in the last set when Michael asked where I was looking and told me to focus on the same spot. To be honest, I think my gaze was going anywhere and everywhere, so focusing it makes sense.
3b. GHD sit-ups
x 15 just bodyweight
Then Michael made the mistake of telling me that he had done the same number of bodyweight and then done 10 reps with an 8 kg kettle bell. Naturally he wanted me to try using the 8 kg kettle bell, too, and naturally I wanted to get at least one more rep than he did!
x 11 with 8 kg kettle bell
Yeah, I did! I appreciate that Michael has a good sense of humour and doesn’t take himself so seriously when I beat him at something. It’s not like I am out-doing him all the time, because I am so not! But, I did complete the 10, 000 kettle bell swings in a month challenge that he gave up on after a couple of days! And now these sit-ups…small victories, really, but I am a competitive person and will take my victories wherever and whenever I can get them. 😉
3c. trap bar farmer’s carry with chalk (because chalk is awesome)
155 x 4 lengths, 155 x 5 lengths
These were continuous carries, no setting down at the end of each length. I definitely could have done some more lengths or added a bit of weight, but it is good to know that I can carry my body weight a decent distance.
On Wednesday, I arrived at the gym feeling good but left feeling mopey, frustrated and with a shoulder in pain (before I even started training). Today, I arrived at the gym feeling sore and achy, but I left feeling much better. The shoulder didn’t hurt or bother me at all while training today. The neck/upper back pain disappeared, and the headache settled to a dull simmer barely noticeable, even now a couple of hours later. And my attitude…oh so much better! This is how I usually leave the gym.