Heavy Squat/Lighter Heart

It was so good to be back at my gym for training this morning. Last Thursday’s training session feels like an eternity ago and, while the commercial gym experience on Sunday was fine, it just can’t compare to training with my coach. He’s had no idea what has been going on inside of my head lately, so he might have got more than he bargained for when he asked what I was thinking today. But it was good to share those thoughts with him and get his perspective and encouragement.

1a. squats, low bar with knee sleeves

45 x 8, 95 x 5, 125 x 5, 155 x 3

with belt: 175 x 2, 195 x 1, 210 x 1, 230 x 1

205 x 3

In the middle of my “bar only” warm-up set, I hit the safety on one of the reps. Michael noticed that I had more forward knee movement than normal, even for me, which is why I was getting lower than usual. Without wanting me to make too much of an adjustment to my squat at this point in time, Michael tried to get me to break at the hips a bit more. I’m not sure how successful I was at that, but I didn’t hit the safety again until the second rep of my backdown set! Of course, that slight tap of the safety during the backdown set had me moving more slowly and cautiously on the final rep. It was slower as a result but still okay.

Aside from that, the squats felt good. I’m doing a better job of keeping my chest expanded and up, which really seems to help my sticking point. The single at 230 pounds felt good and smooth. It felt much better and easier than the 231 pound squat I did at my last competition 5.5 weeks ago! Having that heavy single feel good today makes me feel much better about my squats at Provincials. In fact, it helps me feel better mentally, emotionally and physically!

1b. bench press, my wide grip

43 x 10, 63 x 6, 83 x 5, 100 x 3, 110 x 1, 120 x 1, 125 x 1

110 x 3

We hadn’t really planned on doing my heavy bench today, but that’s what we did! Bench felt good today. Quite often when it gets to the heavy singles in the gym, my bench press goes a little crazy and unpredictable. I will frequently miss the mark when I bring the bar down to my chest, and then the weight feels heavy and tough and I end up grinding. Today was not one of those days!

2a. face pulls

20 lbs x 15, 25 lbs x 15

2b. toes to bar

x 6, x 5

hanging knee raises x 13

I left the gym feeling better than I did when I walked in the door. There may still be a sense of disconnect, but now I feel a little more excited, a little more confident, a little more focused on the task at hand. My coach is the best!

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