International Chest Day

Apparently International Chest Day takes place on Mondays at gyms everywhere, but not at my gym. On Mondays, we squat. Actually, my coach tends to work more than just one part of the body at a time for a balanced approach. While I did squat today, there was also more chest focus than usual for a Monday. That is what happens when my coach discovers a weakness! I cannot complain too much though, because I do appreciate the fact that he has the ability to make changes to my program on the fly in order to protect injuries, target weakness, or to work around limitations. It’s all about making me better, more efficient and stronger, even if I miss my competition lifts.

I am fairly certain that I haven’t done any normal, competition style squats or bench pressing since Westerns two months ago, which means that I also have not been using significant weight. Having competed three times in a three month span was kind of crazy, but I also kind of liked it; however, I was definitely ready for an off-season by the time I finished Westerns. Now two months later, I miss my big lifts. I miss having a target or goal to aim for. There is immense value in the training that I am doing now, even if it isn’t as much fun as competing. Michael keeps reminding me that all this work we’re doing now will carry over into my competition lifts. The weaknesses we attack will get stronger and that prospect excites me, because I really want to break through my bench press ceiling! Today’s training wound up being all about those weak spots, but I still got to do some squats. There is weakness there, too.

1a. Anderson squats, high bar

45 lbs x 8, 95 x 8, 115 x 8, 125 x 8, 125 x 8, 125 x 8

This was my third time doing this type of squat, and this was most definitely my best work. So much easier and more consistent than last time and a small increase in weight and volume.

1b. band pull-aparts

1c. bench press with Swiss bar, widest grip and tough ‘n go

33 lbs x 10, 63 x 10, 83 x 10, 83 x 10, 83 x 8

Touch and go reps are not always kind to me, and today was one of those unkind days. Maybe it was the Swiss bar’s fault. I made the mistake of admitting to Michael that I wasn’t really feeling anything in my chest when he asked me about it. Weakness exposed.

2a. chest flys with resistance bands

x 12, x 10, x 6?

2b. barbell split squats

75 lbs x 10 each leg, 85 lbs x 11 each leg

2c. flat dumbbell presses

20 lbs x 9, 20 x 11

These presses were done in such a manner that the focus was on using my chest to initiate the press rather than my shoulders and then squeezing the chest muscles as I brought the dumbbells together at the top. Essentially I was to do the same thing with the chest flys, but my shoulders wanted to do the work. So, I can practice the flys at home and work at relaxing the shoulders. The good news is that the right shoulder is feeling much better than it did last week! I am also no longer feeling strain in the left glute. Could it be that my body is currently all on the same page and feeling good? Well, except for post-training soreness, of course!

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