I Don’t Know Squat

I was a little surprised by the scale this morning, when it said that I weighed 164 pounds. To be honest, I felt a moment or two of panic, not because I think I am fat but because I don’t really want to get further away from my competition weight class. I guess I wasn’t really too surprised, when Michael suggested cutting out sugars and flours so that I can lose a few pounds to make my pre-comp weight cut more reasonable. I’m okay with that. It might not be super easy to cut out the sugars and flours, but then again it shouldn’t be too difficult. I’ve done it before, and I am capable of narrowing my focus in order to reach my goals.

Michael said that we’d likely hit a single at 80% of my max with my squats today. I was excited about that, but it never happened.

1a. squats, no sleeves

without belt, high bar:

45 x 6, 95 x 5, 135 x 5, 155 x 3

Last week Michael had me try a small adjustment to my pause squats in an effort to protect my knees, since my knees typically push forward quite a bit when I squat. So I tried doing the same thing today. It wasn’t too bad, but I was definitely slower and grindy.

with belt:

high bar, new style 175 x 1…slow and grindy

low bar, new style 175 x 1…still a bit of a grind but felt better than the high bar

low bar, old style 175 x 1…We were trying to see which style felt better and faster, but I seemed to have gotten all mixed up to the point that I didn’t know how to squat anymore. This rep was super deep which caused a heartbeat of panic. I made the rep, but it wasn’t a very accurate indicator for which style was best.

low bar, trying to reclaim my old form 185 x 1

low bar, still trying to reclaim old form:

175 x 5…Made it but it felt harder than it should have. Michael asked if I wanted to drop the weight to work on technique. I agreed, but I didn’t like it much.

165 x 5…slightly better

165 x 5…even more slightly better

I’m trying not to give too much weight to the issues with the squats today, so I’ll just blurt it all out here and then, hopefully, wipe the mental slate clean. It was a little disconcerting to have those struggles today. I know that every training session isn’t going to be perfect, but I suppose I have grown comfortable in believing that the squat is my favourite lift, quite likely my best lift and where I feel the most confident and consistent. Today’s squats rattled that belief and shook my confidence. Just a little. I know I will get it back! Michael pointed out that there are many variables at play. This was really my first time doing squats without knee sleeves for quite a while, so that can mess with my head and possibly make the squats feel a bit more difficult. My lower back was really quite sore over the weekend from Friday’s deadlifts, more sore than it had been for some time. In fact, it might not have been that sore since post-competition last October! Even though the back is feeling significantly better today, there is still fatigue going on there. Those are two of the big and obvious factors.

1b. bench press, competition grip

43 x 8, 63 x 6, 80 x 6, 95 x 3, 105 x 1, 110 x 1, 100 x 5, 100 x 5, 100 x 5

At least my bench press is great! I don’t think there was a bad rep in the bunch today. They were solid, smooth, and consistent.

2a. lat pulldowns, mimicking my bench press

100 x 8, 100 x 8, 100 x 9

2b. reverse barbell lunges

75 lbs x 12, 75 x 12

I just spent at least 3 minutes looking at my training log, taxing my brain to figure out why I only had two sets of lunges written down. Did I do three sets and forget to write the last set down? Or did I only do two sets? Why would I have only done two sets of lunges, when I did three sets of pulldowns? My brain is done for the day, but I finally remembered that Michael scrapped the last set of lunges to give my legs a break after all the squats!

3a. hanging leg raises, no momentum, keep my legs as straight as possible and raise as high as I can

x 10, x 10

3b. glute-ham raises

x 10, x 10 (7 with hands behind the head and keeping my upper back super tight + 3 with hands free)

Okay, now it is time to shake off the less than satisfactory squat session, so that I can fall asleep instead of chasing after a hundred random thoughts.



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