It’s the Little Things

For now, Wednesday mornings are still mainly upper body training sessions. I know that this stuff is important and beneficial, even if it isn’t necessarily as fun as the big lifts or very easy. It seems funny to say that these little exercises aren’t very easy. I’m sure most of my friends and acquaintances would look at squats and deadlifts and think that those are incredibly difficult. I’m sure they would prefer the piddly little exercises that make me cringe on upper body day. Or maybe they wouldn’t! I can’t possibly be the only one who struggles with the little stuff, right.

1a. close grip bench press

45 x 8, 65 x 10, 85 x 6 followed by the directive to breathe more, 95 x 6 better because I was breathing! See, it is smart to listen to your coach!, 105 x 5

with slingshot: 115 x 5, 125 x 5

1b. Y’s and T’s (at least I think they were T’s) with orange band

6 sets of 8 reps

1c. chest supported rows

90 lbs x 12, x 10, x 10, 100 lbs x 10 PR, 100 x 10, 100 x 8

Chest supported rows seem to be a funny beast. Last week they were a little on the tough side of the scale. Today, these felt much stronger and easier, even with a previously unexperienced 100 pounds on the bar. One day my rows will match my bench press. One day.

2a. military press

I suppose that I should simply stop hoping that there will be a day when the military press disappears from my training entirely, because, while it may come and go from time to time, I suspect that I will never be completely free from it’s evil grip. Michael was talking about there being three different sources of…oh what is that word? Limitation? Argh! It has escaped me, but it is something along that line. I freely admitted to having all three impediments when it comes to the military press.

43 x 6 Although this set was just with the bar, it felt sucky. I’m trying to keep my elbows forward more, but every rep felt as if it was all over the place. I grabbed a couple of 2.5 pound plates to add, knowing that Michael would have me add weight but not feeling like I was capable of much more than an additional 5 pounds. He might have raised an eyebrow at that, but he indulged me.

48 x 7 This set was so much better! Maybe the addition of a bit of weight helped the bar to feel less chaotic, if that makes sense. I certainly find that any exercise done with just the bar tends to be slightly more difficult to keep controlled because of how “light” it is. I might have been able to get 8 reps here, but I paused after the fifth rep to ask Michael how many reps he wanted me to do. He said 8, but I didn’t even attempt the eighth. I knew I wouldn’t get it.

58 x 5 Michael selected the weight to add this time. I might have cringed. Okay. There’s no “might” about it. This set was okay.

58 x 3 or 4…I can’t remember.

53 x 3 Michael dropped the weight down and told me to do as many as I could. Ha! Normally, I rise to those little challenges, but the military press is like Kryptonite. Well, not really. It’s all in my head. Maybe also a bit in physical limitations or weaknesses. Possibly also in that third limitation I can’t remember at the moment. Michael did tell me to approach the bar the same way that I do for a squat or deadlift instead of the usual way I approach it for the military press. He’s right. I do approach it differently. I set myself up for the military press by believing that it is going to own me, that I will struggle and never nail it. When I set up for a squat or a deadlift, I might have a touch of fear or doubt, but I believe that I can, that I will, that I am ready for the challenge. I am so not there with the military press, but I can get there!

2b. lat pulldowns

70 lbs x 15, 80 x 12, 80 x 8 + 90 x 4

These were good today. For once I didn’t mind when Michael increased the weight for the second set; I was actually going to do it myself!

3a. rope face pull

20 lbs x 15, 20 x 20

3b. incline rear laterals

10 lbs x 15, 10 x 20

Rear laterals…there is another one of those mental block things that make me cringe and want to cry. The first set felt tough. The second set didn’t feel a whole lot better, but I was able to get the twenty reps that Michael said I should be able to get. I’m sure they weren’t very pretty though.



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