Uplifting Upper Body Day

While I’ve known for some time that music can help me focus my mind and energy onto a specific task or goal, driving my son’s car this week has reminded me of that truth and especially today. The radio just won’t cut it, and the lack of music made it all too easy for my thoughts to roam and wander in the opposite direction that I wanted them to take. This morning was upper body day…the one training day when I most need the mental focus and determination, because upper body days are challenging. Without Sia reminding me that I’m titanium, invincible, unstoppable and powerful, I’m afraid my positive self-talk took a detour when I turned the corner at Gordon and Guisachan. And yet somehow, I think I managed to pull myself together to get the job done. Yup! I left the gym with shoulders feeling as if they were the size of beach balls, but I am rather happy with what I did this morning.

1a. military press

45 lbs x 8, 55 x 6, 60 x 5, 60 x 5 with the last rep eked out on my tiptoes!

These haven’t been so great of late, and last week was about learning to engage my lats properly. I think I did a better job of that today, although the last set finished a little rougher than I had hoped. As I set up for that set, Michael said that we could up the weight for another set if my rep speed was good. As soon as he said that, I wanted it. Really, I don’t know why…the military press isn’t a favourite. Okay, so  I’m competitive, even with myself. I love a challenge. I love being able to do more, to be better. <sigh> The last couple of reps were a bit tougher, and I was only able to grind out the last rep as I extended myself onto the tips of my toes. Now how being on tiptoe helps finish an overhead press, I do not know. No increase in weight, but my set up was better.

1b. chin ups-using a barbell with my legs on the top of an incline bench

x 10, x 9, x 8 all with an overhand grip

x 8 with an underhand grip

These were easier than I expected but still challenging.

2a. Pendlay rows-bench grip

63 lbs x 10, 83 x 10, 93 x 10, 93 x 10

I feel like these were better today, at least in terms of reps completed. I chose not to go up in weight on the final set in order to maintain my rep range. I’m capable of using a bit more weight than this, but the reps usually drop quickly. My lower back has been a bit achy since Monday afternoon, which I could definitely feel in the position for these rows.

2b. push ups on parallettes

x 8 , x 8, x 8, x 6

The first set was ugly. On one rep the left arm would almost feel as if it were collapsing, but another rep the right arm would slack off. The second set was better for both arms working together properly, but my shoulders were hunching forward. The final two sets, with effort to focus on keeping those shoulders down, were better.

3a. side laterals

15 lb dumbbells x 3 or 4 (too heavy, in my opinion) + 10 lb dumbbells x 10

10 lbs x 10

3b. alternating dumbbell curls, held at end and supination of wrist

15 lbs x 5 (Michael said that was too easy) + 20 lbs x 17

20 lbs x 20

3c. triceps cable pull downs

40 lbs x 11 x 2 sets



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