A New Beginning

I received week one of my new online coaching program yesterday, but I wasn’t able to get to the gym until after work today. It probably wasn’t the best time to train, but sometimes you just got to do what you gotta do! I worked a closing shift last night, and the night owl woke up pretty much as soon as I slipped into bed. Between a brain that wouldn’t shut off and shoulders that couldn’t quite seem to get comfortable, I didn’t sleep too well. I worked until 5:00 tonight, which meant I wanted to hit the gym as soon as possible, before eating dinner and winding down for the night and my weekend. I was under-caffeinated, tired, and feeling sluggish.

I am actually quite excited with my new program. The first day didn’t feel super great, at least not all of it, and I did drop some weight and sets. It will get better. I know it will. My most recent training had a different focus, so my body has forgotten what it is like to do these sorts of things. It will remember!

1. high bar squats

warm up: 95 x 6, 135 x 6, 165 x 4

main event: 185 x 2, 165 x 4, 165 x 4

The warm up set at 165 felt tough, so I put my belt on for my working sets. 185 pounds felt tough and ugly. Ironically, when I looked at the video after, my form actually looked good, certainly better than how it felt. Still, that weight was tough and I was supposed to do 4-6 reps. I dropped the weight in the hopes that I could at least get more reps in, but the second set still felt quite tough and ugly, especially the fourth rep where I’m sure my chest was lagging behind. The final set was the best. It didn’t exactly feel easy, but the reps felt better.

2. bench press, close grip

warm up: 45 x 8, 65 x 6, 85 x 6

main event: 100 x 6, 100 x 5, 100 x 4

Warm ups felt great. The first working set felt good. The fifth rep on the second set misgrooved a bit and felt tough enough to call the set, and I was basically done after the fourth rep on the final set.

3. front squats

65 x 15, 65 x 10

I was given a decent weight range for the front squats, since my new coach is only just learning what I’m capable of and what works for me. Since the front squats have been feeling tough lately, I stuck with the lowest weight in the range…well, for that reason and also that I was feeling wiped out and weak already!

4a. walking lunges

40 lbs x 15, 50 lbs x 15

4b. dumbbell rows

20 lbs x 12, 25 lbs x 12

4c. plank

x 30 seconds, x 30 seconds

4d. dumbbell rear delts

8 lbs x 12, 8 lbs x 12

These four exercises were supposed to be done for 3 sets, but I cut it at 2.

First day done and so am I. Tomorrow I’ll be back for day 2, and then I can get back on track with my regular training days.


A Nap or Coffee?

Training for a powerlifting competition is vastly different than the training I am doing right now. The change is good, but it is also hard work. It is only mid-morning and I am desperately wishing for a nap, except I am seldom able to nap and I have to work in a couple of hours. A one hour training session has utterly wiped me out. I might need some coffee before work to make it through my closing shift.

warm up:

overhead squats with 35 lb bar-2 sets of 10

narrow stance windmills-bodyweight x 8 each, with 10kg kettlebell x 8 each

1a. skater squats with 5 lb dumbbells

to 3 folds of the mat x 12 each leg

to 2 folds of the mat x 10 each leg

1b. single arm dumbbell push press

20 lbs x 8 each, 25 lbs x 8 each

2a. front squats-flat shoes

43 lbs x 10, 93 x 8, 113 x 6, 113 x 6

2b. chin ups-neutral grip, with small green band

x 7, x 6, x 6, x 3

3. a 12 minute circuit of:

-dumbbell curls with 15 lbs x 15, x 13, x 10

-kettlebell triceps extensions with 10kg x 15, x 10, x 6

-ab wheel x 15, x 11, x 10

-skipping 1 minute x 3 rounds

Maybe I can try closing my eyes for 15-20 minutes…

14 000+ Pounds Pulled

It has been about an hour since I finished my early morning training session. I start work in an hour and a half, and I sincerely hope that my muscles will have stopped quivering by then, although I highly doubt it. While it may only be 10:00 AM, I feel completely wiped out, but I have eaten enough to satisfy a small hippopotamus. For now.

1. deadlifts, conventional, touch and go, maximum of 2 minutes rest between sets

75 lbs x 10, 125 x 8, 165 x 10

175 lbs x 10 x 5 sets

This was slightly more weight and volume than last week, and it was still all about pushing with my legs and bringing my hips to the bar instead of pulling with my back. For the most part, I think my form was pretty good today, but the short rest between sets had me breathing hard.

2. stiff-legged deadlifts

95 lbs x 10, 95 x 10

Michael seemed to think that I was using too much back and not enough hamstrings and glutes. After the second set, when he asked me if I felt the difference and I said a little, he changed things up a bit. For some reason Michael interprets my “a little” response as meaning “not really”. I suppose he knows me well enough to be able to read me that easily, but sometimes I actually do feel what he wants me to feel a little. This was one of those times. I did feel my glutes and hamstrings working, although I can admit that my brain doesn’t always easily grasp the concept of the movement. So, he had me do the stiff-legged deadlifts with a kettlebell.

24kg x 20 x 4 sets

3a. barbell rows, underhand grip

75 lbs x 12

75 x 10  Michael put a plate on my lower back again. My body so wants to cheat. The last few reps were tough, because my upper body was creeping up and the plate was beginning to slide.

75 x 10

3b. glute-ham raises

x 10, x 11, x 12

Normally I love glute-ham raises, but these weren’t so easy today. Guess I was working those glutes and hamstrings!

3c. ab wheel

3 sets of 10

While these were not as brutal as the last time I did them, I did experience some discomfort in my abdominals. About midway through each set, my abs began to feel as if they were going to rip apart. Not literally, of course, but I’m not used to that feeling while using the ab wheel. It didn’t seem to matter how far out I rolled, but maybe it was just fatigue since the feeling began midway through each set.

I don’t usually drink a lot of coffee when I am at work, but I think I just might need to have a cup before I start today. Could I survive without it? Absolutely! But I think it is going to be a long day and I could use a boost. A hot tub would also be nice, but I don’t have one of those.