I Think I Do Know Squat

Competition is 8 weeks away! As exciting as it is to look ahead to competition day, I have to keep the bulk of my focus in the here and now. There is a lot of work to do before I step on the platform. After Monday’s somewhat shaky and frustrating squat session, I clung to the belief that today’s squat session would be better. It had to be better! Although I truly haven’t been dwelling on Monday’s squats, I wanted to head into today’s session with my head in the right space, which meant that I had to wear my ‘I know squat’ socks from Sox Box. With the right socks on my feet and determination to get my squat back on track, I was ready to hit the gym.

1a. squats, low bar, no sleeves

without belt: 45 x 8, 95 x 5…Michael reminded me to put some effort into moving the bar, 115 x 5…this set was faster, 135 x 5

with belt: 155 x 4, 175 x 4, 190 x 1, 195 x 1, 175 x 4, 175 x 4, 175 x 4

While not every rep was perfect, my squats generally felt much better today than they did Monday. Somewhere in there I didn’t hit depth for at least one rep, and I knew it in the moment. I don’t want to make excuses, but I can tell that I am still adjusting to the new belt and sometimes I might get a little cautious or over-correct when a rep isn’t quite right.  I think my singles felt decent, and I realized that those single reps were the heaviest weights that I’ve had on my back for just over two months! Honestly, 195 pounds felt lighter on my back than 175!

It was so nice to have a respectable squat session today. Aside from the odd little bit of feedback from my coach, I didn’t give my squats too much thought, because I didn’t want to fall into the trap of over-thinking them. I just went through the motions and trusted that I actually did know what I was supposed to be doing. That may not always be the best way to train, but I think it helped today.

1b. floor press

competition grip, more or less: 43 x 10, 63 x 7, 83 x 5, 100 x 5

slightly narrower grip: 100 x 5, 105 x 5, 105 x 4

The floor presses felt pretty good. While I would never say that I am completely perfect, I am super stoked by how solid my presses have been lately. I couldn’t say the same thing about my bench press a year ago! It’s kind of funny really when I think about my bench press, because…well, I honestly don’t give much thought to my bench press! I know the bench press is part of being a powerlifter, but I’m so used to my bench press being the weak link in my powerlifting chain that I seldom have expectations for my bench heading into a competition. Usually I just hope to do better than I did the previous competition. I still don’t have any bench expectations heading into this competition, because my biggest expectation is with the deadlift; however, I am beginning to feel excitement over the prospect of competing with a bench that feels solid.

And that is all that was done today, although many band pull-aparts were done between the squats and presses. It may not seem like much, but that’s okay. We are training with a specific purpose right now, so it is understandable that my training program is going to look different than it has for the past few months. Bring it on!

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