Happy Monday

I woke up this morning feeling as if all was right in my world again, or at least mostly. My car needs a new fuel pump, but at least I know what day of the week it is today. Yesterday I wasn’t so sure. With the exception of this most recent New Year’s Day, I worked a Sunday shift for the first time in years, and I wholly believed it was Saturday until 3/4 of the way through my night. I was supposed to have today and tomorrow off; however, tomorrow’s day off has been sacrificed by the need to help out another store in need of a key-holder. (insert internal freak out here) So, today is my only day off until Sunday. I can do it, but gosh darn it does it ever mess up my internal calendar. But Mondays are gym days. Mondays are for squats and bench press. I know Mondays! Yet, I had to borrow my son’s car to get to the gym, as mine is sitting in my driveway unable to go anywhere. My neighbour is a mechanic and will get it working soon, I hope. Driving my son’s car felt weird, like I’m dragging my butt along the road, but his car does have better sight lines than mine. But I couldn’t plug my iphone into his car to listen to my theme songs on the way to the gym. I tried the radio…so not the same. Still, I think my training session was a good one.

Michael started off by challenging me and my gym buddy to hang out in a bodyweight squat for a minute. I have no idea how long I was squatting, but it was easily well more than a minute. At home I can try to do 3 minutes each day. Pretty sure I could do 5, although I wonder if it would be more difficult without my knee sleeves on. I’ve been wearing them on squat days at the gym, because I can and it makes my problematic right knee feel a bit better. That knee isn’t too happy with deep squats without the sleeves, not even just kneeling, so my 5 minute goal might not be as easy as I thought.

1a. squats-low bar, with sleeves

45 lbs x 10, 95 x 8 with a pause on last rep

Michael changed the positioning of the safeties after that second set.

125 x 6

I hit the right safety on the first rep! Michael teased about squatting deeper as he returned the safeties back to the previous position, while I held the bar. With safeties no longer a peril, I finished the set.

155 x 6, 185 x 6, 195 x 5

195 felt a little tough, and there was a rep in the middle in which my right knee felt funky but not in the usual spot. The back of that knee is typically what bothers me while squatting, but this time I felt something in the front spot that only bothers me while standing or walking. Whatever was going on there during the set wasn’t severe, but it still bounced around like negative energy inside my head enough to make me fearful of being able to finish the set. The final two reps were tough but fine on the knee. There was some throbbing for about a minute after the set. Predictably, Michael dropped the weight for the next set.

175 x 6

This was much better, and the knee was fine.

At one point I asked Michael if he could tell if my low bar position was even lower than normal for me, and he agreed that it was. I had been feeling as if that was the case for the past couple of weeks. It’s not a bad thing.

1b. bench press-competition grip

43 lbs x 10, 63 x 8, 83 x 6, 100 x 6, 100 x 6, 110 x 6, 110 x 6

Michael wanted me to keep the reps fast. Sometimes my first rep is a bit slower, as if I need to realize the need to put some effort into it. Can’t really deny that!

Just like I’ve been feeling the lower bar position in my squats, I’ve been feeling as if my arch is improving for the bench press. Michael agreed. My set up is feeling and looking good, and my pressing is feeling consistent and strong.

2a. pause squats-low bar, 2 second pause

135 lbs x 5, 160 x 5

These were good. I love pause squats…I say it all the time! When I do pause squats, my technique dials in almost perfectly, and I’m fairly certain this is due to the fact that I control my eccentric, slow and steady, knowing that I’m going to be stopping at the bottom. With my regular squat sets, I pretty much dive bomb, which gives me a bit of spring out of the hole but can also throw off my bar positioning and get me into all sorts of trouble. You know what that realization means? Some slower eccentric work is going to come my way…

2b. Spoto presses-2 second pause about 3″ off chest

95 lbs x 6 x 2 sets

And in appreciation of my son allowing me to use his car, I replaced the battery in his key fob today!


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