Today was my first time using a regular barbell for back squats since the box fell on my neck on May 23. Although I have used the safety bar several times over the past couple of years and I understand the benefits of using it, I’m not much of a fan. Safety bar squats suck! Even though I knew that I wasn’t going to lose strength squatting with the safety bar for a few weeks, with a competition looming I was a little worried about my squats and peaking, and I think that subconsciously tempered my excitement for the competition. With the green light to return to a normal barbell, the excitement began to simmer. Now that I have finished today’s training session, the excitement is starting to boil.
1a. squats, low bar with knee sleeves
45 x 8, 95 x 6, 135 x 5, 165 x 3
with belt: 185 x 1, 200 x 1, 210 x 1
Although I am permitted to use a real bar, I am not allowed to use a high bar position right now, which is perfectly fine by me as I prefer low bar anyway. These squats felt good, really good. Definitely easier than the safety bar with lighter weights!
185 x 3
185 x 3 but with a thumbless grip to see if that helped me keep my elbows tighter. I don’t know if it made that big of a difference with the elbows, but this set might have looked a bit better overall compared to the previous.
1b. bench press, competition grip about 1″ in from outer ring
45 x 10, 65 x 6, 85 x 6, 100 x 6, 110 x 2, 115 x 1, 120 x 1
105 x 3, 105 x 3
2. deadlifts, conventional
135 x 6, 185 x 3
with belt: 215 x 1, 235 x 1, 255 x 1
It was so good to have a decent, heavy session. It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that my heaviest deadlift today is close to my gym PR. Squats felt great, easy and light. And I wasn’t surprised at all when Michael said that I could gain a bit of weight over the next couple of weeks; I was actually waiting for it. I will see what I can do!