2017-05-01 training log

Quite a good day. Set a PR that’s more than just a simple number.

Today was to work up to 335. That did mess with my head a bit because it’s just 10# shy of my all-time best, AND I need to do it for reps. Last night I made the goal of at least 3 reps, because that’s really what I need to continue to progress and stay on track, and this morning my head was pretty clear so I was pretty much focused on squatting. Good deal. But I still had a bit of nerves, a bit scared of the weight because it’s pushing to the edge of where I’ve barely ever gone, and my sessions haven’t been on fire so yeah… I was a little nervous, but also excited at the prospect because I knew when I made it, it’d be great.

During the 2nd warm-up set I felt a pop in my right knee. That did scare me because I thought maybe ACL? But no, I think it was just a “knuckle crack” sort of thing because nothing felt odd or unstable afterwards; that does happen from time to time.

First work set and I really cinched the belt tight. I do that sometimes thinking “I need more support now”, but gee, why? It actually was too tight – constricting – and it was hard to get a full breath and a good stable torso, plus it does something weird to my gultes and hams. There’s supportive, then there’s too tight, and this was too tight. But it did tell me something, because this does happen on days like this: I’m treating heavy weights like heavy weights, and I treat light weights like light weights. I should be treating light weights like heavy weights. That all the discipline that I’m putting in today, I should be putting into every rep every day. Something I need to get better at.

To that, the 2nd work set (300) killed some momentum. I know I’ve been falling forward a bit, and because I was working harder on being “strict” today (again, I should do that all the time) I was able to see that my fall forward happens as I get into the hole: I lose a little bit of back erectness. Sure you will lean forward some, but I’m leaning probably a little too much and the weight is falling out of groove (not over the mid-foot). So this set found myself really focusing on being tight upper back and upright. Thus, on the 3rd rep I felt like I was almost totally vertical (I wasn’t, but it felt that way) and as a result it was a bit of a grinder to get that 3rd rep. That didn’t set me up for the last set very well: going to go up 35# and get 3 reps, and I just struggled on less weight for 3? Ugh. But I also told myself that the reason was I was overcompensating with the torso. That I should just work on being TIGHT, but otherwise don’t think about it too much.

There was another factor in play: depth. I recently have felt like I’m cutting depth as the weight gets heavier. I have done some videos and I’m getting to parallel, but for sure there’ll be a rep here or there that’s just a hair short. No no, not good. Sink it. I don’t need to go ass-to-grass, but I do want to ensure I’m clearly breaking parallel. So I told myself I’d rather get 1 GOOD rep today at 335 than 3 (or any) that cut short. Depth was important today.

So I put it all out of my head. Told myself a few cues then discarded and started again because it was too many cues. My one cue? TIGHT. And I also told myself: you will go down, and you WILL come back up. It’s that simple. Of course I knew I needed a few other things, like depth and so on, but I wanted to minimize cues: TIGHT, and you will come back up.

Rep 1. Fine. Rep 2. Fine. Can I do 3? My muscles didn’t feel fatigued, but I knew things overall were tiring. Still, 3 was my goal and I figured I had a good shot, so I went for it.

I got to the sticking-point – and I stuck.

In the span of about 1 second I had a long conversation with myself. It started with a “SHIT!”. Then my brain screamed “DUMP THE BAR!”. Then the rest of me said “NO!” and I kept pushing. I mean, if the lift is going to fail, it will fail – let things give out on their own, not because I gave up, y’know? And I pushed, and I grunted, and I got the rep.

On the one hand, it was a great PR. But on the other, it was a more meaningful PR because I pushed through. PR sets (in the 5/3/1 philosophy) are intended to push you to greater things, to expect more from yourself. It’s how you dominate, it’s how you get better. And for me, it was that inner battle that was more meaningful. Life pushes you down, and you get back up. When it pushes harder, you push harder. There’s no need for you to give up: if something’s going to give out, then it will give out, but don’t let that be your mind or spirit. Keep fighting for it. It’s sweeter.

So, today was cool. 🙂

Pauses were pauses.

Instead of lunges, I opted for bodyweight squats. Nothing too taxing, but also because I wanted a little more time on squats to work out some form issues. I just got Wendler’s new “5/3/1 Forever” book and finished it over the weekend. It got me thinking about some things with my programming; not going to change things just yet as I need to digest and think a little more. But one consideration is not necessarily a BBB template, but something to simply give me more work in the main lifts so I can continue to work on form and technique (maybe Boring But Strong).

Anyways, tomorrow will be interesting. My arms are still feeling less than 100%, so I’ve got some minor modifications to bench day and I’ll see how it goes.

  • Squats
    • bar x whatever
    • 140 x 5
    • 175 x 5
    • 210 x 3
    • 265 x 5
    • 300 x 3
    • 335 x 3 (3 rep PR)
  • Pause Squat
    • 265 x 3
    • 265 x 3
    • 265 x 3
  • Bodyweight Squats
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
  • Leg Extensions
    • 55 x 12
    • 55 x 12
    • 55 x 12
  • Twisting Crunches
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 13
    • BW x 10