Countdown season has begun. Six days until Christmas. Four work days left in my week. Casey’s birthday is in four days. The countdown to the end of 2016. My birthday is coming shortly after the start of the new year. So much to do. So little time, or so it seems. Despite having my weekend cut short, I woke up feeling refreshed this morning. That’s a good thing, because I’ve got a very busy week ahead and I likely won’t feel refreshed by the end of it.
As I warmed up with body weight squats this morning, there was some discomfort at the back of my right knee. Some stretching and lacrosse ball rolling seemed to help it quite a bit.
1a. front squats
43 lbs x 10, 93 x 8, 123 x 8, 153 x 6
I cut that last set after the sixth rep, as I felt that attempting another rep or two could put me in some difficulty. The problem was with keeping the upper back tight, even from the third rep on.
203 lbs for a hold of maybe 15 seconds. I didn’t even step out with it, just lifted it off the rack and held it. Can’t believe how heavy that felt! And choky! My Darth Vader impression is on point.
1b. back squats, high bar
133 lbs x 8, 153 x 8, 173 x 8
For the most part, I think I was doing a better job at not letting my hips shoot up faster than my upper body. The last set was tougher and felt heavy, probably cut depth on the final rep. I have to say that doing back squats after the front squats doesn’t feel very good, but I’ve only got one more week of this left.
1c. pause squats
155 lbs x 5 x 2 sets
The pauses felt short on the first set, probably about 2 seconds as Michael called out when to rise. The second set’s pauses felt longer. Michael said after that he might have extended the pause to 2.24 seconds. Ha! As much as I love pause squats, my legs were rubbery by this time and every rep felt like torture.
2a. military press
45 lbs x 10, 55 x 8, 65 x 6PR, 65 x 4, 65 x 5
The second set at 65 pounds found me battling a bit of bad positioning at the end, and I might have pushed it a little too far the set before. Still, my military press is improving significantly! A year and a half ago in competition, I did a single rep at 66.1 pounds, and the military press has been my nemesis pretty much ever since. At one point this past spring, I did get 2 reps at 75 pounds, but I basically saw little progress for months and months. My technique is finally becoming better and more consistent, mostly, although I do still tend to waste strength and energy at the bottom of each rep. But I am seeing progress and improvement!
2b. incline dumbbell presses
25 lbs x 10, 29 lbs x 10, 29 x 7, 29 x 10
I’m not really sure what happened with the second set at 29 pounds. The set before felt good and easy enough. Maybe I didn’t give myself enough rest. Maybe my positioning wasn’t as good that set. Maybe I was just fatigued from the pause squats. Whatever the case may be, my final set was much better.