A Commercial Gym

Provincials are in one week, and I experienced a few firsts today. Not once have I ever trained on a Sunday. My training schedule is usually Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, although there are occasional changes to a Tuesday or Thursday depending on holidays and such. Today was the first time I have trained on a Sunday. Also, today was my first time going to a commercial gym for the purpose of weight training. I have gone to commercial gyms in the past, like a long time ago; however, I had no clue what to do with free weights and stuck to the circuit machines and cardio equipment. Since I always train with my coach, today was also my first time training without him!

I went with my husband to his gym, Anytime Fitness. It was actually pretty quiet during the time that we were there this afternoon, so I didn’t have to wait for a squat rack. As we walked into the gym, I went straight to a change room. Almost as soon as I came out of the change room, Kane introduced me to a young man who he was in conversation with and seemed quite interested in meeting me. As I went about putting on my socks, knee sleeves and squat shoes, this young man peppered me with enthusiastic questions about what I do, how to prevent knee pain when squatting, the benefit of knee sleeves, and so on. Oh my! That was a little weird. He was a nice guy, very chatty and hopeful that he might glean something from me to help him improve in his pursuit of strength.

1a. squats, low bar with knee sleeves

45 x 8, 95 x 8, 135 x 5, 165 x 5

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

165 x 3, 165 x 3

I can only assume that the weights are accurate, because I honestly don’t know how much the bar weighed. Also, I have to say that I did not like their squat racks. There were two squat racks, both the same, with rack height spacing too wide to set the bar at the proper height for me. I had the choice of going at a comfortable height but getting hung up on the hooks as I unracked or going at a really low height. I chose the low setting. Thankfully, I am used to working in at low settings while warming up at competitions, so it wasn’t too much of an adjustment. It was certainly better than the alternative of needing to stand on my tiptoes to get the bar over the hooks as I stepped out.

2. bench press, wide grip

45 x 8, 65 x 5, 85 x 5, 100 x 3, 115 x 1, 115 x 1, 115 x 1

100 x 3, 100 x 3

Kane helped me by giving me a hand-off beginning with the set at 100 pounds. He tried his best, but he wasn’t very good at it. I survived though. Thankfully I’ve never really experienced bad hand-offs in competition and hopefully never will! Now that I know to arrange my hands based on the outer rings, I have been faithfully doing just that; however, I felt like the outer rings on this bar were further out than the bars I am used to using. I could be wrong, but it just felt off so I made a slight adjustment to my position. Still, the bench press felt pretty good considering.

3. deadlifts, conventional

95 x 8, 135 x 5, 185 x 5

with belt: 215 x 2, 225 x 1, 225 x 1, 225 x 1

205 x 3

The deadlifts were okay, I think. Some of them felt slightly heavy but not too bad. There was still some lingering low back soreness from last week’s deadlift session, and I did feel some low back soreness with today’s deadlifts. Now that I’ve given it some more thought, I think there was more soreness/discomfort on the left side of my lower back, which is where I’ve been having some issues lately. With the post-deadlift soreness over the past four days, I couldn’t really tell if that spot was still an issue or not, but I guess it is still not completely settled.

4. toes to bar

x 6, x 5

I wasn’t told to do these, but I figured it was a good idea for my spine. See, I learn. 😉

So, the commercial gym wasn’t too bad. It helped that there were not many people there at the time, but I’ve been spoiled by decent equipment and having my coach there to assist, to give feedback and correction, to encourage and give fist bumps.

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