Sick of the Safety

It’s been two weeks since the box fell on my neck, which means that I have been forced to use the safety bar for squatting three times. The first two times sucked, because that is how the safety bar feels. As tough as those squat sessions felt, I was actually somewhat relieved to be using a bar that didn’t add any stress to my sore neck. Now that I’ve been feeling some serious improvement for several days, I am chomping at the bit to get back to a real bar. Sadly, I was instructed to use the safety bar still today, but I am desperately hoping to get the green light from my chiropractor tomorrow. Provincials are in 20 days, and I kind of have some heavy singles to do.

1a. squats, safety bar, no sleeves

75 x 8, 105 x 6, 125 x 6, 155 x 6, 165 x 6

with belt: 165 x 6, 175 x 6

As much as the safety bar sucks, my squats today felt and looked better than they did last week which were better than the week before. Unlike the previous two weeks, I felt absolutely no discomfort on my neck as I was setting up for each set. While the safety bar does “protect” my neck more than the regular bar, I could still sometimes feel a bit of discomfort if I didn’t have the pads sitting just right. But there was none of that today! I think that means I am good to go, but I can be stubborn sometimes.

1b. bench press, my new competition grip which is wider, about an inch inside of the outer ring

45 x 9, 65 x 6, 85 x 6, 100 x 6, 105 x 6, 110 x 4, 110 x 5 PR

These were good. According to my records, my previous PR for reps at 110 pounds was 3. We tried for a fifth rep on the first set at 110, but I got stuck and Michael grabbed the bar rather than letting me grind. I thought I might have misgrooved the rep, while Michael thought I was overthinking it. I did pause at the top longer than for the other reps, taking extra breaths and probably fighting off mental panic, so essentially Michael was bang on with his assessment. Telling me not to overthink is like telling the sun not to shine, but I did get that fifth rep on the last set!

2a. rope face pulls

30 lbs x 12 x 3 sets

As Michael told me to start my next round of exercises with face pulls, he set the weight at 30 pounds. My eyebrows rose, but I didn’t say a word. I’ve never done face pulls at 30 pounds before, only 20 pounds, but sometimes I feel like I can take on the world, so long as rear laterals aren’t involved. It’s a small thing really, but I am super proud of being able to do these today with relative ease. It makes up for the mocking soon to come.

2b. chest-supported rows

90 lbs x 5 strict

After this set, I asked Michael if I could drop the weight, even though I knew exactly what he would say. “What are you pressing?!” Okay, so yes, I had already pressed 110 pounds and was currently doing 90 pound Spoto presses. Yes, I know that I should and can pull as much as I press. Gosh darn it! However, he did tell me that I could use more of my body for the following sets. Sigh.

90 x 8, 90 x 9

I guess a little body English helped a bit.

2c. Spoto presses with pause 1″ off chest and not coming to a lock out

90 x 6

90 x 7 or 8

I thought I counted 7, while Michael thought I did 8; however, he did say that he couldn’t count because I was breathing too loudly. By that he really means that I wasn’t breathing at all!

90 x 6

My breathing may not have been perfect this set, but I did allow a portion of my brain to focus on trying to breathe. Honestly, when it comes to deviations from the normal movements, I sometimes have trouble breathing through the reps.



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