The Body, Brain & Bladder Conspiracy

Tuesday and Saturday nights are typically the nights when I am the most tired and wiped out from my early starts and rigors of my work days. Since those are also essentially my Fridays, I am often reluctant to crash as early as I do most of the week. This is the struggle of a night owl living as an early bird. It appears to work and I can function in such capacity reasonably well; however, there is always, always a fine line between the need for sleep and the desire to stay up late.

Despite the fact that I was very tired by the time I finally went to bed last night, I did little more than toss and turn and make treks to the bathroom for several hours. It was a mad combination of a brain that wouldn’t shut off, a body that could not get comfortable, and a bladder gone crazy. Of course, every trip to the bathroom would result in a new struggle to find a comfortable position when I got back into bed. Five minutes after thinking I had a comfortable position I’d be tossing once again to find a new one. Then the brain would kick in, reminding me that I’ve been positionally sleep challenged for more than two years now, ever since I first had a shoulder problem. Even though I am seldom in actual physical pain while laying in bed these days, my body just will not agree with any position. I’ve always been a side sleeper, but the shoulders won’t tolerate that for very long anymore. The right shoulder can only last maybe 5 minutes, while the left can put up with 10-30 minutes depending on how awake I am. I cannot sleep on my stomach at all, so I’ve been stuck mostly on my back. I don’t like it. Last night I noticed a funky feeling in my neck when attempting to lay on my side and a funky feeling in my lower left back when on my back. Thank goodness that I’m not really having the numbness and tingling in my right foot anymore or that would only add to my struggle. Eventually I fell asleep and stayed mostly asleep, but it took hours to get there. Hours of precious sleep.

Still, I walked into the gym this morning feeling pretty good. Tired-yes. Quads slightly stiff and sore-yes. Ready for hard work-yes.

1a. sumo block pulls, standing on a 1/2″ mat

45 x 8, 95 x 6, 135 x 6

with straps: 185 x 8, 215 x 8

with belt & straps: 235 x 8, 235 x 7

These felt pretty good today, probably better than last week. I certainly got more reps in at 235 pounds than I did last week, so that is exciting. Last week I got 5 reps at that weight and then Michael dropped the weight for the final set. I most likely could have, should have had 8 reps on today’s final set. The seventh rep got a little away from me, but I managed to get ‘er done; however, the extra effort required to get that rep made my brain kick in, scaring me into taking extra time to set up for the eighth rep. Sometimes that extra time helps me but not always, probably less often than it hinders me. I set up and my body shut down.

1b. incline bench press, almost competition grip, the dreaded touch and go

45 x 10, 65 x 8, 75 x 4.5, 75 x 5, 75 x 5.5, 75 x 5

65 x 10 AMRAP

Michael made a comment at one point about the incline being like my overhead press. Absolutely! I completely understand what he meant by that comment, and I actually knew what he was going to say as he was in the process of saying it.

2a. deficit deadlifts with straps

185 x 6

with belt: 205 x 4 + 4

The first set of deficits wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. Why am I so surprised by that lately? I used to kind of like deficit deadlifts, but recently they have felt so tough, especially coming right after the sumo block pulls. But, the tough factor has been decreasing each week. The set with the belt was interrupted by my belt digging in and up under my rib cage making me feel super uncomfortable. That’s never really been an issue before, but my hips were dropped more which might have made the difference. I adjusted my belt to sit slightly over the bottom of my ribs and Michael made sure that I didn’t drop my hips and there was no problem finishing off the set.

2b. recline lat pulldowns

90 x 9, 90 x 8

It’s nice to know that you can have a crappy sleep and still have a decent training session. Of course, the flip side is also true. You can have the best sleep ever and have done everything right with your food intake and have a crappy training session. Been there, experienced that, too! There is an ebb and flow to training, or so it seems anyway, although it may not be quite as steady in its rhythm. There are good days and bad days. You show up and do the work. Some days the work is brutally tough and other days it feels easy. That’s life. I’m a little tired today, but I had a good training session. I call that a success.


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