Deadlifts in the Morning

Today would normally be a rest day for me, but things had to be changed up a bit this week. As much as I am very much a creature of habit, I do still enjoy throwing routine to the wind once in a while. I may be used to deadlifting late in the day, after an early start and a long work day, so it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to do them in the morning occasionally when I am fresh…although I’m not exactly sure that I am well rested since I just trained yesterday. C’est la vie!

1a. handstand push-up practice

x 3, x 4, x 3

Yesterday Michael said that we would begin practicing these every training session, because frequency is important to mastering the exercise. I can agree with that statement. He didn’t want me to go to failure, so it didn’t really matter if the reps were low. I am getting better at kicking my legs up into position.

1b. front squats with knee sleeves

45 x 8, 75 x 6

These first two sets were done without shoes on, because they were alternated with the handstand push-ups. It felt a little strange at first to not have that slight heel elevation; however, I had no difficulty in hitting depth.

95 x 4, 115 x 3, 135 x 3

main event: 155 x 4 RPE 7, 160 x 4 RPE 8.5, 155 x 4, 155 x 4 RPE 8

Michael wants me to start thinking about and tracking my rate of perceived exertion. He already has a fairly good idea of my RPE when he observes a set, but there are times when he is busy with another client and doesn’t see my set. And I suppose it is just good for me to know, too! He also opted to not push the weight more with these today, so I just had to work on keeping each rep fast.

1c. incline dumbbell presses with a 2 second pause at the bottom

15 lbs x 20, 20 lbs x 15, 20 x 15, 20 x 11, 20 x 10

2a. snatch grip deadlifts

without straps: 135 x 6

That weight really shouldn’t have felt as heavy as it did, but my calluses were sore and my grip was struggling.

with straps: 165 x 6, 185 x 6, 195 x 6 RPE 8

For these sets, Michael had me keep constant tension but with a softer touch at the bottom than standard ‘touch and go’ reps. In other words, I would allow some of the flex out of the bar at the bottom while keeping tension. Clear as mud? It worked though! Positioning was good and everything felt easier with the tension being constant. To be honest, after the dumbbell presses, I really wasn’t sure how well I would do with the snatch grip today. I remember having a heck of a time re-setting the tension with each rep last week and expected it to be even more challenging with my current level of fatigue; however, the reps were not as difficult as I anticipated.

2b. toes to bar

with chalk x 12

Twelve touches is my record, and I just cannot seem to get past it. I was so close last week, and I was so close again today. It just wasn’t there! My technique is getting smoother and more efficient, but my lungs seem to be working harder to bang out those reps. By the time I get to that twelfth rep, my lungs are burning and I can’t seem to get enough air. That and there is just an overall sense of fatigue by the tenth, eleventh and twelfth reps. It is a challenge just to get the toes all the way up to the bar for those final reps, but I really think that figuring out the breathing thing is the key to getting that thirteenth rep! It will happen.

x 7, x 7



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