The New Year

I was given a most unexpected but welcome surprise the other day, when I received a text from my trainer asking if I wanted to train on Friday. Uh…are you crazy? Yes! Since I haven’t trained since December 23 and didn’t expect to hit the gym again until January 4, I was extremely excited to go to the gym today.

1a. front squats with knee sleeves (because it’s just a good idea since I tweaked my knee not too long ago)

45 x 9, 95 x 8, 95 x 6, 115 x 6, 135 x 5, 145 x 5, 135 x 5

The first few sets felt easy, smooth and fast. Things slowed down a bit when I got to 135 pounds, and the bar felt heavy. The final set at 135 was much better, faster than the previous couple of sets. It would seem that my nervous system needed a bit of time to wake up, but I think that is often the case with squats. Still, despite the heavy feeling, it was good to squat, to test the knee out a bit (it was fine!), and to work on my squat face as I wheeze my way through each rep.

1b. flat dumbbell presses

20 lbs x 10, 25 x 10, 34 x 10

34 x 8 I’m pretty sure that my shoulders stayed tucked in position; however, my arms were all over the place.

34 x 7 with a 3-second eccentric and a pause at the bottom. Michael thinks I tend to rush the eccentric which messes me up, resulting in arms going everywhere. He’s probably right. He usually is about such things. So, this set was intentionally slower, and it seemed to help.

25 lbs x 8 + 5 or 6 Midway through this set, Michael changed my arm position. I was set up in such a way as to use more chest, but he changed it to a more triceps dominant position more in line with my bench press. Honestly, I noticed the difference immediately, which means that my triceps thought they were going to shrivel up and die if I kept going, but I managed to get a few reps.

25 x 15 This final set, with the “new” triceps position, was much better than the latter portion of the previous set. You would think that I should know by now that I do tend to have an easier, better time with subsequent sets after changing things up or starting something new, but I quite often forget that fact.

2a. supine rows

x 5 + 10, x 5 + 10

x 5 + 10 with the last 5 reps paused at the top

The first five reps were done with my legs straight out, while the final ten reps were done with my knees bent. I haven’t done these for a while, but I was pleasantly surprised by how decent the first two sets felt. Body positioning was really good, too!

2b. yoke walk

185 lbs x 4 lengths, 225 lbs x 4 lengths, 225 lbs x 4 lengths

I quite enjoy the yoke walk! This isn’t something that I get to do very often, but I like it. 225 pounds was a PR for me.

2c. GHD sit-ups

x 2 bodyweight + 10 with an 8 kg kettle bell

10 kg kettle bell x 10 which I do believe was a PR. I previously did 8 reps with this weight.

12 kg kettle bell x 8 Michael asked if I wanted to try a set with the 12 kg kettle bell, and I was agreeable. It was definitely more challenging than the 10 kg, but I managed to get a couple more reps than the both of us might have expected.

It’s kind of funny really, because it wasn’t until I was driving home that I actually thought about the actual weight of that kettle bell. I know it was 12 kilograms, but my brain isn’t trained to use metric for weights, as shocking as that may be for a Canadian girl. I know that one kilo equals 2.2 pounds, but I can pick up a 12 kilogram kettle bell and remain totally oblivious to the fact that it actually weighs roughly 26 pounds. Sometimes that is a good thing and works in my favour, like for these sit-ups. Other times it works against me and makes the task feel tougher than I am expecting.

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