Of a Knee & Shoulders

The last two weeks of this current 6-week training program haven’t exactly gone as originally planned, although there still have not been any real back squats in this time. The right knee threw a wrench into the front squats, so we have been playing nicely with the knee. Last Monday and Wednesday were not fun training sessions due to the fact that I was insanely exhausted. This week is the last week of the 6-week program, but I am not certain when we will begin the next program. The next program will be in preparation for competition which is eleven weeks plus a few days away. While I certainly do miss doing proper squats, I haven’t minded this program as much I thought I might. Of course, I’d be happier if my knee would stop throwing hissy fits. Still, I am looking forward to when I can start preparing for competition.

1a. single arm dumbbell presses

15 lbs x 4 + 20 lbs x 8, 25 lbs x 8, 25 x 7, 25 x 8, 25 x 5

1b. chin-ups with small green band, neutral grip, leaving 2 in the tank

x 6, x 6, x 5, x 4

without a band, overhand thumb-less grip hold x 10 seconds or so

We were going to try another one of those, but I was supposed to try and keep my chest at bar height and pull my elbows in towards the body more…couldn’t do it.

2a. dips

with blue band x 8, x 8

with red band x 6

2b. single arm kettlebell rows

16 kg x 10 each x 3 sets

3a. deadlift stance dumbbell shoulder extensions

10 lbs x 15 x 4 sets

3b. floor press, close grip, minimal arch

45 lbs x 10, 65 x 8, 85 x 8 keeping elbows tucked in more, 85 x 7

I know I haven’t done floor presses for a while, but these felt good yet weird. My shoulders felt so pumped by this point, that the act of bringing the bar down towards my chest felt almost difficult, but then there was almost the sensation of springiness as I would begin to press. Also, I am not sure that I have ever had as smooth and consistent of an upward bar path motion. I did have some elbow flare in the earlier sets, which Michael had me correct by being sure I kept my elbows pulled in. The close grip made the entire motion feel exceptionally long and that is completely normal. It’s been a while since I’ve done proper bench pressing, too…looking forward to doing a heck of a lot more very soon!

3c. chest-supported rows

70 x 8, 55 x 12, 55 x 12

Pressing 85 pounds away from my chest feels so much easier than pulling 70 pounds towards my chest! Doing 8 reps at 70 pounds was tough. Dropping down to 55 pounds made it much easier to get the full and proper range of motion that Michael wanted.

All in all, I think today was definitely better than last Wednesday’s session! Most days the upper body work never truly feels easier, at least not by more than the smallest of margins; however, I just need to keep plugging away at it. There is value in all that I’m doing, and I am improving, even when I don’t think I am.

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