The Lats Have It

My body currently feels cranky. Generally I don’t think it is too bad, but there are several body parts which are uncomfortable or mildly achy. My right wrist. Right knee. Right hip. Left lower back. Neck. Mostly right shoulder but a little of the left, too. And I’m not even talking about muscle soreness! Some of the discomforts are connected. Because the shoulders are cranky, I cannot sleep on my side for more than 5 minutes (and I am a side sleeper), which means I’m either on my back or on my side with my head propped up enough to somewhat ease the discomfort in my shoulders. The head elevation likely is the cause of the neck and back complaints. That’s just the way it goes sometimes, but it didn’t impact my performance in the gym today.

1. front squats-flat shoes

43 lbs x 10, 93 x 5, 123 x 5, 133 x 5, 133 x 5

Sometimes I wear my squat shoes for front squats, and other times I wear my flat shoes. It really depends on what else is on the agenda for the training session. With today being deadlift day, flat shoes were what I put on my feet. Squatting typically feels better with the slight heel elevation from the squat shoes, but I don’t have much of a problem adapting to the flats for the front squats. Still, the front squats weren’t the best feeling today, but they weren’t truly horrible. The bar was especially chokey today, which likely made the weight feel heavier. The right hip flexor felt a bit tight during the first couple of sets. The back of the right knee, sometimes bothered with a deep squat, held up okay in the gym, but it is feeling a bit sore now.

2a. bench press-close grip

43 lbs x 10, 63 x 8, 88 x 8, 100 x 6, 100 x 6, 105 x 7

with slingshot 125 x 6

When the time is right, I am greatly looking forward to seeing what I can do for a max attempt, because my bench press feels solid, smooth and strong…more often than it doesn’t lately.

2b. deadlifts-conventional

135 lbs x 5+

I’m not sure how many reps I did at this weight. I had already done a few, when Michael stopped me in order to give me a new cue to engage my lats. Then I did some more reps to practice the cue…engaging my lats by rotating my arms to show my biceps.

165 x 5, 195 x 5, 215 x 5

The cue seemed to help, and these looked good. Maybe even really good. Michael made a comment about me only having something like 50% tightness previously, but today was about 80%. <laugh> My coach usually knows what he is talking about. Sometimes I just need to be told what to do repeatedly before I actually get it.

2c. some sort of rope face pull thing

20 lbs x 12 x 4 sets

3a. Romanian deadlifts

165 lbs x 10 x 2 sets

The first set was okay, but the second was both more challenging and better.

3b. toes to bar

x 7, x 8

I haven’t done serious toes to bar for quite some time. As I was going on the first set, Michael commented that I should be able to do 6. Of course, I had to do 7. Finding the right rhythm is key for me when doing toes to bar. While not perfect, my body seemed to remember what toes to bar rhythm felt like on the second set and I was able to get an extra rep.

3c. single arm kettlebell row

16kg x 10 each x 2 sets

These rows were slightly different than the norm in terms of arm motion and angle. Now I cannot recall exactly what Michael said about it, but I’m fairly certain he said it would target the lats more. Have you noticed a common thread with my training lately? Lats, lats and more lats!

Now my biggest, most difficult decision is whether to sleep on my back (which I hate) or sleep on my side with head elevated, flipping sides all night (which my neck will hate). Sigh.


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