A PR, A Knee & An Ab

A different Angela walked into the gym today, or hobbled in thanks to the pesky right knee. The right knee has given me trouble off and on for some time and in two different ways. The back of the knee bothers me when squatting or with full flexion, while the front of the knee randomly hurts when I am walking or standing. Both are annoying and uncomfortable in the moment, and both issues seem to come and go at random. The front knee problem hasn’t been an issue for a while, which means that it must be feeling left out. It bothered me at work yesterday and all day today. Normally this front knee problem doesn’t affect my performance in the gym, except for walking from one piece of equipment to another. Mostly…

1. front squats-in flat shoes

75 lbs x 5, 105 x 6, 135 x 5, 145 x 5

2a. bench press, close grip

43 lbs x 6, 63 x 6, 83 x 8, 98 x 8, 105 x 8 PR

with slingshot: 125 x 5, 135 x 5

Sometimes the close grip makes the presses feel a bit harder due to the longer range of motion, but these felt solid today. Even the sets with the slingshot were rather solid. Michael and I were both expecting some wild reps, but I managed to keep them controlled. Well, except for the potential sixth rep on the final set. That missed rep was a combination of losing a shoulder, the slingshot slipping off an elbow, and a bit of a misgrooved position.

2b. deadlifts-conventional

Prior to each deadlift set, I had to do an isometric deadlift hold for 5 seconds, not too far off the floor, using absolute effort and maintaining proper form. Then, after about 10 seconds, I would do my proper deadlift set.

135 lbs x 5, 165 x 5, 195 x 6, 215 x 5, 215 x 5

Last week’s deadlift session was a rough one, but these felt so much better, faster, lighter. The isometric holds likely helped with making the sets feel lighter and faster, but I also like to think that I don’t often have consecutive bad training sessions  very often. 😉

3a. sumo block pulls

185 lbs x 10, 235 x 2?

As far as the weight goes, I definitely had the strength and ability to do more than the two reps I managed on that final set. The problem was the right knee. The sumo stance was fine in the first set, but the knee wasn’t very happy during the second set. Stopping seemed like the best thing to do, even though I wanted to continue.

3b. I was also supposed to do ab work, but that didn’t work out as planned thanks to a super sore spot right beneath my ribcage. I am fairly certain that is from the ab wheel on Monday. The spot isn’t as all-over sore the way that my abs have felt after other ab work. At least I’m not moaning and groaning with every move of my abdomen! However, this soreness is strongest in particular movements and situations. A sneeze. Laying back on the bench. Toes to bar. Overhead pressing. So Michael had me try some sit-ups on the GHD. One painful rep. Two painful reps. Nope. He had me try to do little circles on the Swiss ball. Just assuming the plank position on the ball and maintaining some stability was painfully uncomfortable. Then he asked about doing some hanging knee raises using straps to support my arms. Yeah…not! So much for the ab work today.

Despite the knee and abdominal issues, this was a good training session. I guess that’s just the way it goes…good days and bad ones and simply okay ones.


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