My attitude towards upper body days has been shifting ever so subtly over the past few months. Dread might be too strong of a word for how I used to feel about the upper body work, but it has always been blatantly obvious that I would much prefer to squat, bench press or deadlift than to narrow the focus to smaller, weaker muscles. While I still prefer the main lifts, I realize that I head to the gym with a positive attitude even knowing that upper body stuff is on the agenda. That doesn’t mean the work is always easy, but some of the tasks are getting stronger and more consistent…more often than not. But there are days when everything just feels tough once again.
1a. Pendlay rows-with my bench press grip
75 lbs x 10, 95 x 8, 105 x 7, 105 x 7, 105 x 7
I ran into some bar positioning trouble with my first set at 105 pounds. The bar was too far ahead rather than centred over my feet. With better positioning, the final sets felt better, but it was still a struggle to get the reps.
1b. military press
45 lbs x 8, 55 x 8, 65 x 6, 65 x 5, 65 x 5 + 4 push presses
Wrist positioning was an issue for some of these sets. Even though I’d start a set with the bar sitting low on my palms and wrists in good position, somehow the bar would shift during the set and the wrists would bend back.
1c. dragon flies
x 10, x 10, x 8, x 7
Michael had warned me that ab work was going to become a part of every training session. Part of me is looking forward to it, while the other part of me is trembling in fear of the pain coming my way. Michael allowed me to choose which ab move to do today. My choices were heavy GHD sit-ups, ab wheel, toes to bar, or dragon flies, and he wanted 4 sets of 10 reps. In all honesty, I don’t know why I chose dragon flies, as they are probably the most difficult of the options. Obviously I didn’t manage the full number of reps for the final two sets…my abs were pretty much giving out at that point. I could almost feel my abs cramping up on my drive home, and I know that the post-training soreness will come.
2a. chin ups
I was supposed to try to better my record of 2 unassisted reps or at least equal it, but I could barely manage one.
with small green band: x 6, x 5, x 4
I’ve been assured that I do indeed have lats and that activating them will help my chin ups. I think I noticed a bit of a difference on the last set when I followed the cues given to me by Michael. Sadly though, chin ups are a struggle and my reps drop quickly.
2b. push ups on parallettes
x 8, x 8, x 6 + 2 more partial reps
The last set was tough. I almost couldn’t even push myself back up on the sixth rep. Took a 2 second breather and then reset to finish the reps. Although I hadn’t been descending too deep anyway, those final two reps were cut shorter than the rest. I wouldn’t have survived them otherwise. I think my triceps are a bit sore from Monday’s close grip Spoto presses.