2017-06-23 training log

An excellent lifetime Press PR of 185×3 – but it’s much more than the paper number.

My previous best-ever press was 185×1 set back at the end of December during my big 1RM testing week. So today’s 3-reps of the same weight blows that PR away. So simply enough, that’s a great lifetime PR. But really, there’s more to it than that.

First, that 1RM testing day was geared towards maximizing my 1RM effort. That is, I did a light warm-up, then just took singles at semi-large intervals towards a 1RM. Basically aiming to have more than 3-4 1-rep sets towards setting that new 1RM. Everything to minimize fatigue and maximize energy conversation to ensure the best 1RM I could get.

But today? It was just another work day in the cycle. Just another 5/3/1+ week/day. My volume today was almost twice what I did back in December, so to have not just hit the same weight but for more reps, after doing a lot more work, after accumulating more fagitue? That makes it even better.

Also, the top-set went funky. I started the first rep, got half-way up, then stalled. fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckpresspresspress, but nothing. (more on this below). I reset (didn’t rack, just went back to the starting position), and started again. And hammered out 3 reps. Consequently I spent a bunch of energy and built some fatigue from that failed first rep. I know I could have gotten 4 today if not for that; 5 or more? unknown but doesn’t matter. Point is, there was more. Yet still, 3 reps today is quite in line with my progress.

Then, the down sets? Down sets are not a place for setting PRs, because of fatigue. But my 165 set? It went quite well. Looking at my numbers/sessions since December, 165×6 on a down set? That’s awesome! Part is being strong enough to do it, but the larger part was the mental push-through to do it. I dug deeper, made my whole body tight (crush-grip the bar, clench my ass like I’m making diamonds) and just push that bar up. I’m really happy about it.

So sure, on paper simply going from 185×1 to 185×3 looks good. But I care more about the greater context, and that makes it much better for me. Yes, building strength is a slow process, but you put in the work, and you get the results. It’s very satisfying.

That said, why did I stall on the first rep of the top set? Honestly, I don’t know. It all happened so fast and I was more concerned with getting the reps than figuring out why I had a problem. The best I can think? I rushed it.

See, the rack at my gym isn’t ideal. The pegs I have to use are a bit low; the next pegs up are just a hair too high. So it’s a little awkward to unrack the bar. Then given I have all the weird head-rush/dizzy issues while Pressing, I sometimes hurry through things. From what I can tell, I just rushed it too fast. I unracked, felt the weight in my hands, and wanted to get going. I was not in the best position, the bar was too far from the body, out of groove, out of mechanican advantage, and it just wasn’t going to go. But when I reset, the bar was back into me, close, better mechanical position, and up it went.

It’s hard to work on that at lower intensities, but hey… this is the sort of thing that makes me think about doing templates like “Boring But Big”, to get in a LOT of work and reps on the main movements.

But that will have to wait for another day.

I am taking next week off — totally off. I expect to do some cardio, but that’s all. Giving my body some much-needed rest. Then into the new “Prep & Fat Loss” program. I must say, as I see the numbers come together, oh lawdy lawdy… the next 6 weeks are going to be a bitch. But hey, the way to get better in life is to do the hard stuff, to do the things you suck at, the do the things you hate — because you know it’s what makes you better.

Remind me I said that around the end of week 2. 😉

In other news… front plate raises all the way above the head with a 25# plate? I hate these things, but by gawd they are awesome. I think I’m falling in love with it.

Also, since I won’t be doing any direct arm work for the next 6 weeks (the bro in me dies a little), I did some drop sets at the end of my curls.

  • Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 80 x 5
    • 100 x 5
    • 115 x 3
    • 145 x 5
    • 165 x 3
    • 185 x 3 (3 rep PR, lifetime best)
    • 165 x 6
    • 145 x 9
  • Lat Pulldowns (pronated grip, to chest)
    • 110 x 12
    • 120 x 12
    • 130 x 12
    • 130 x 10
    • 130 x 7
  • Front Plate Raises (all the way above head)
    • 25 x 29
    • 25 x 20
    • 25 x 13
  • Skullcrushers
    • 80 x 10
    • 80 x 10
    • 80 x 10
    • 80 x 10
  • Hammer Curl
    • 45e x 10
    • 45e x 10
    • 45e x 10
    • 45e x 7 (then a couple cheat reps, then drop sets to 35e, then 25e)