The Deadlift Zone

I was prepared for the craziness of working on a stat holiday, or so I thought. We survived the onslaught, and, despite the spurts of chaos, I think the shift was okay. There have certainly been worse shifts. Still, the holiday threw little wrenches into my routine. No big deal! I’m a big girl and can roll with the changes. The changes to my routine, coupled with the recent changes to my eating habits, meant that I had to be especially thoughtful about what I was going to eat this morning and when, so that I wouldn’t be starving when I got to the gym. That is also why it is currently 3:41 PM and I am sipping on a cup of coffee! Instead of having my second cup of coffee after work, I was at the gym at 1:00 PM, only an hour after finishing work. Right now I don’t even care if this cup of coffee will come back to haunt me at my early bedtime.

Deadlifts were on the agenda today! Can you believe that there used to be a time when I dreaded deadlift day? Thankfully, I don’t dread them anymore, not since my second powerlifting competition. Working my deadlifts may not always be easy, but my deadlifts on the platform are nearly always better. Today’s deadlifts were decent though.

1a. block pulls, conventional

without belt: 95 x 6, 135 x 5, 175 x 3

with belt and straps: 205 x 3, 225 x 3, 245 x 3, 265 x 2 PR

1b. military press

45 x 5, 55 x 3, 65 x 3, 75 x 2, 65 x 5, 65 x 5

The military press has long been my nemesis, and Michael is always trying to find ways to help me master the movement. I guess that’s a good thing, right! Actually, I think he finally found the key! He had me bring my elbows forward beyond the bar rather than keeping them vertical beneath the bar. This position forces me to push the bar back, whereas I normally tend to push forward into a more difficult angle. These were definitely the easiest military presses I think I’ve ever done, but they’re still not perfect. I waste too much energy holding the bar at the bottom, which means I need to learn to engage my lats more. But, for today, I am pleased with my military press! I have this crazy, vague memory of having done at least one rep at a higher weight, but I think I am confused. In my little PR notebook, I have my PR as 66.1 pounds for a single rep. I guess that means I set a new PR today for military press! Wow! I wasn’t expecting that when I walked into the gym this afternoon.

2. deficit deadlifts, conventional, with straps and belt

205 x 5, 205 x 5, 215 x 5, 215 x 5

The first rep of the first set felt incredibly long. I don’t really know if it looked slow or not, but it felt like I had to pull that bar a very great distance to get to lock-out. The very last set was the best of the bunch.

3a. front squats, with belt

95 x 5, 125 x 5, 135 x 6

I think the front squats got easier with each set. It’s been at least a month since I’ve done front squats, so the first set felt especially choky.

3b. hanging knee raises

x 15

x 12 with leg extension

In other exciting news, I was finally able to use a new hole on my belt today! With the exception of the first sets of block pulls and front squats, all my belted sets were one notch tighter. And I have somehow managed to blow a hole in the armpit of not one, not even two, but three shirts! Two gym t-shirts and, just today, one of my work shirts.

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