Of Knees, Squats & Sleeves

As much as I was looking forward to this morning’s training session, I was also mildly frustrated before I even arrived at the gym. The right knee has been bothering me again since Saturday in both of the usual areas. The right shoulder has also been bothersome for a few days, although to a lesser degree. It is an exceptionally rare training day that Michael does not ask how my body is feeling. In answering that question, honesty is the best policy, because my coach needs all the pertinent information in order to assess what’s going on and make any necessary adaptations or changes. But sometimes I don’t really want to. I don’t want the weight to be dropped. I don’t want my favourite exercises to be skipped or softened. Still, I have to be honest, so Michael told me to wear my knee sleeves. I half expected it to be difficult to put the sleeves on, since I haven’t worn them since August; however, putting them on over top of my socks makes the task easier. The right sleeve did feel tighter though. With the sleeves on, the pain in the knee at the deepest part of my squat was almost eliminated, not completely but enough.

1a. squats-low bar, with sleeves

45 lbs x 9, 95 x 6, 125 x 8, 155 x 6, 185 x 6, with belt 195 x 6, without belt 175 x 6

The squats felt incredibly good today! Last week was my first time doing low bar in quite a while, and my top set at 185 felt heavy and tough. Today, 185 pounds felt much lighter, much faster, and much smoother. Even today’s top set felt lighter than last week’s and easier. I guess I’m also not quite as fat as I thought I was, since I was able to get my belt on to my old notch again. 😉 With each set I was cognizant of ensuring that my stance was slightly wider. When Michael had me widen my stance last week, it felt okay but weird. Today it felt natural, and I could feel the positive difference in my squat.

1b. bench press-competition grip

43 lbs x 10, 63 x 8, 75 x 8, 90 x 6, 105 x 6, 105 x 6, 105 x 5.5

I’d say that today’s bench press sets were solid, smooth and consistent, even though they felt a little bit tougher than last week’s. The failed final rep was my fault, according to Michael, and I can own that. Somehow I misgrooved the rep and got into trouble. Sometimes I can feel that a rep is going to be off right from the beginning of the rep. The wrists might not be feeling like they are in a comfortable position. One or both of my shoulders might have slipped from its position. I might breathe wrong. This time I think it was my wrists. Generally my wrists were in a good position each set, but I noticed a sense of discomfort as I set up for the final set. Such little details…

2a. pause squats-low bar, 2 seconds

135 lbs x 5, 160 x 5

2b. Spoto presses-close grip, 2 second pause

85 lbs x 8 x 2 sets

As I settled into position for the first set, Michael made a comment about how he might have misjudged the weight. Seriously?! You make a comment like that right as I am getting ready to unrack the bar! But, I was only a couple of reps in when he said that he had gotten it right.

Although we didn’t have time for it today, I was warned that a lot more ab work is coming my way, like every training session. Joy!

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