Safe Squats

Like most Wednesdays, I had a morning training session and then I went to work. At one point at work, I was connecting with a customer as I made his latte. He asked if I had done my powerlifting training already this morning, which took me by surprise. I don’t hide the fact that I am a powerlifter; however, aside from my barbell tattoo on my forearm, I don’t exactly go out of my way to advertise it. This customer didn’t look familiar, and I am generally very good at remembering faces…names, not always, but faces most of the time. There is always the possibility that I have chatted with this customer about powerlifting before, but the fact I don’t recall his face would mean that any such interaction would have taken place quite some time ago. I just find it all rather odd and amusing. It’s not as if I look like a powerlifter!

Today’s training session was not my typical upper body Wednesday type stuff…I got to do back squats…after sufficient warm-up.

1a. squats-low bar, squat shoes

45 lbs x 8, 95 x 7, 115 x 6

with belt: 135 x 4 + 1 paused

with belt, 3 second eccentric and 1 second pause:

135 x 5 x 5 sets

After not having done back squats for more than a month, I was super glad to get back at ’em. These squats were okay. The low back was basically fine…just a bit of a feeling of tightness at the bottom. My depth was high or questionable for many of my reps. At first we weren’t concerned with pushing for depth, but I wonder if I’m just subconsciously tentative. It’s quite likely actually. But today wasn’t about setting new PRs. It was about getting back under the bar, working on technique, and getting some reps.

1b. incline bench press-competition grip

43 lbs x 10, 63 x 8, 83 x 5, 83 x 5, 73 x 7

The first two sets were good, but the two sets at 83 pounds felt a bit heavy. The first set was probably harder than the second but not by much.

2a. chest-supported kettlebell rows

12kg each hand x 15, 12kg x 15, 16kg x 15

These were easier than I expected. Michael demonstrated with 16kg kettlebells, and I was relieved when he gave me 12’s to start, thinking the 16’s would be too heavy. Isn’t it funny how we (or is it just me?) can doubt our ability despite previous successes! I should have gone up to the 16’s on the second set…

2b. push ups

x 8, x 6

Just realized that I never did my final set of these! Oops.

And then, my coach and I talked a bit about my targets for Provincials in June. My competition best results are: squat 253 pounds, bench 132 pounds, and deadlift 308 pounds. What am I hoping to accomplish at Provincials? While I have a bunch of goals I want to reach at any given time, for Provincials I don’t have anything more specific than bettering my last results and breaking my own Provincial records. We settled on a conservative 5% increase, which would give me numbers that I think are just a tad scary but doable. And exciting!

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