The Pause

Although I slept well last night, I was exhausted before 10:00 this morning. My bake shift wasn’t super crazy, busy, but it felt as if I was fighting a dozen little fires all morning. That probably sounds more dire than the reality though. It wasn’t a bad day…just taxing. Especially without my mid-morning iced latte which I have given up for the time being because of the dairy! Yup, I have noticed the absence of my espresso beverage, but I had a coffee after work in anticipation of my training session. That is my pre-workout, and it usually does the trick quite well.

1a. squats, low bar

without belt: 45 x 8, 95 x 5, 125 x 5, 155 x 5

with belt: 185 x 3, 205 x 1, 205 x 1, 185 x 5, 185 x 5, 185 x 5

With my warm-up sets, Michael said I was deeper with my depth. The 30 pound jumps were no problem. The first single at 205 was decent, but Michael offered the opportunity for another, so I took it. I think the second single was better. I almost ran into some trouble on the very last rep of the very last set. It felt like I went super deep and then almost couldn’t get out of the hole. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Michael move quickly as if to rescue me, but I quickly remembered to get my chest up and recovered without assistance.

1b. bench press, competition grip

43 x 5, 63 x 5, 85 x 5, 100 x 5, 110 x 3, 115 x 1, 100 x 5, 100 x 5, 100 x 5

These were decent. The single at 115 was a little tough and slow but not really due to feeling heavy. Michael was giving me the commands, which he often does for singles as we prepare for a competition. I unracked the bar and waited. He gave the start command, and I took an extra second or two to make sure my breathing was good before beginning. I think that extra pause at the top threw me off a little, maybe mostly mentally, and made the weight feel a bit heavier than it really felt. It wasn’t a complete grinder of a rep, but it was slower than normal. Although, with this competition being 100% RAW, there is no ‘start’ command!

2. pause squats, no belt, low bar

155 x 3 reps with 2 second pause, 155 x 3 with 2 second pause and a 3-4 second pause for the final rep

I know I said it last week, but I will say it again. I like pause squats! Granted, the weight is far from maximal for these, but I feel so much more connected to my form and technique when doing pause squats.


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