My 9 days off work were absolutely wonderful! It was nice to have time off without having my time booked up with activity. While I managed to get a lot of stuff done around the house, go to a couple of appointments and a few training sessions, and throw myself a little birthday party, most of my time off was extremely low key. I woke up at a respectable hour each day, except for one night where I only slept 4 hours, and I stayed up late most nights. Stuff got done, but I took great pleasure in the freedom to do as little or as much as I wanted. Typically when I book time off work I have a specific purpose for those days which usually means I’m busy anyway. This holiday was so nice for the simple fact that life was mostly unplanned. But, as nice as the holiday was, it was good to get back to work today and back to my semblance of routine.

1a. front squats, with sleeves

45 x 8, 75 x 6, 95 x 6, 115 x 6, 135 x 6

The front squats were smooth and fast today. In fact, by the time Michael told me to rack the bar one set, I was already down for the sixth rep! I told him that he needed to tell me a little faster. He said I needed to squat a little slower!

1b. floor presses, competition grip

43 x 8, 63 x 8, 80 x 8, 85 x 6, 85 x 6

The first few sets were smooth and easy, while the first set at 85 felt a little heavy and tougher. During that set I noticed some soreness in my right pec towards the armpit. It wasn’t an injury kind of sore…just sore like I must have worked that muscle well on Wednesday. Regardless of the reason why the pec was sore (and only beginning to feel it at this point in my session), I think it did make the set feel tougher than it should have. It’s not a big deal. I’ve been feeling twinges of soreness all day in my shoulders, traps, lats, triceps, and now pecs; Wednesday was upper body day!

1c. pull-aparts with orange band-Ys, Ts, Ws, Ls

3 sets of 5 each

2a. deficit deadlifts

115 x 8, 165 x 8

with straps: 185 x 8, 205 x 6 with my new belt

I want to say that these weren’t too bad today, although my form was probably a little shaky for the first set at least. I hadn’t done deadlifts in 3 weeks. My form was near perfect that last deadlift session but not today. Guess I was rusty. The set at 205 was the only set with a belt and the first time I have used my new belt for deadlifts. I actually did one rep at that weight before remembering that Michael wanted me to use my belt. That solo rep felt a little heavy, but the same weight kind of felt a little lighter once I had my belt on. However, the belt did mess me up a bit with my form. This belt is thicker and more rigid than my old belt, so I will need to get used to it, and I just haven’t used a belt with deadlifts very much since my last competition. Thankfully I have plenty of time to break the belt in and get used to it.

2b. kettle bell arm bar presses

10 kg x 3 each, 12 kg x 3 each, 12 kg x 3 each with pause at bottom

3a. toes to bar

x 2…chalk up and get 8 more reps, x 7…probably could have done at least a couple more but Michael stopped me so I could finish with good form

3b. block pulls, with straps

185 x 8

This was an okay set. I told Michael that I felt like it was difficult to hold or regain tightness everywhere as I set up for each rep, so he suggested doing “touch and go” for the next set.

185 x 8 touch and go

This set felt, and probably looked, so much better! It wasn’t too much of a challenge to keep everything tight. Obviously I have the strength to keep the tension. What did Michael say the issue likely was? Man, those deadlifts wiped me out! Come on, brain! I think he said that the difference in the start position makes it feel harder…or something like that, but there is probably more to it than that. Whatever he said, I do know that it simply means that there is something else to work on!




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