That went well, but I am going to make some revisions.
Leg day, and a novel day because I got to use a real rack for once, instead of one of those peg/pyramid types where nothing is adjustable. It was great to be able to put the hooks at my height, the catch pins at my depth, and to be able to unrack the bar and take a simple 2 steps back into position. I felt safer, I felt more confident, and less encumbered by external factors. That is — I could focus on squatting.
An interesting side note is the wall is all mirrors, so I was able to fully see myself the entire time — including at depth. While I don’t want to watch myself too much, I am happy to have it for the positive feedback about where I am regarding depth. I don’t want to focus on it, because I don’t want to be going for a 1RM and focusing on my hip crease and not on the squat itself. But while I’m working up, I certainly can use it as a means of check and reinforcement. I dig that.
Whereas I’m basically doing a mass/hypertrophy focus, squats are a bit of an exception. I think squat is my weakest lift, both in terms of relative poundages but also technique and under-the-bar confidence. I’ve been working on my descent because that’s the setup for everything — when that’s good, the lift is good; when that’s not, the lift is not. A few weeks ago I hit upon some good cues and technique, a good groove, and I’m working on maintaining and improving that. Thus, I’m setting up my work to help me focus on improving my squat.
I do a 5/4/3/2/1 workup, then I want to hit singles up to a nice fairly heavy single. It shouldn’t be a max, tho could be a training max. And somewhat by feel: If I’m feeling good, go for it; if I’m not, just go as heavy as I feel like. I want to push, I just don’t want to overdo it. After the singles, then lower the weight for a set of 3, then like today I dropped and did an AMRAP set (aiming for 8-12, maybe 10-15, whatever… something in that area). No failure, no 50%. I want to have that last set push me, but not kill me. Again, I’m thinking a lot about my technique, so I don’t want to be exhausted and have technique degrade — trying to reinforce this technique improvement, and that won’t happen if I’m tired and sloppy.
I may refine it more, with some more drop sets, like a set of 3, then a set of 5, then an AMRAP. I don’t know yet. But basically, squat more, squat relatively heavy since that helps reinforce the technique, AND since that of course is how I’ll get stronger.
After that, stiff-legs. I changed my mind on what to do here a couple times, like stiff-legs? Romanian deadlifts? In the end, I settled on 1″ deficit (stand on a 45# plate) stiff-legs. Start on the ground with that extra range of motion, knees are bent, and it’s stiff leg (not straight-leg). Focus on dragging the bar up and down the body, with emphasis on pushing the hips back – not hinging. That was just perfect. Just what I wanted.
Lunges. Just bodyweight walking. I like the new gym has a long turf area for things like Prowler pushes and tire flips, and it made for a good walking area. Ultimately it’d be 100 reps each leg, but I have to work up to that. So the first phase? 50 reps each leg, with the goal of 50 finishing it without a break. Today, I had to take breaks. I don’t recall how many I did, but it was maybe like 30 reps each leg, then I took a 1 minute break, then continued, got as many as I could, I think then maybe I was 5 reps each shy, but I was tapped; rested like 10 seconds, then kept going and got the 50 each. As much as I don’t like unilateral work, it’s good for me. This also helps to give me one hell of a pump. 😉
Leg curls. These didn’t go so well. The curl bench they have feels a little awkward. So was it that? having to get used to it? didn’t adjust it as well as I could have? or maybe the fact my quads were burning so much and the downward pressure on them while curling was killing me. Maybe a little bit of all of them. But I didn’t feel like this did anything for me. I’m going to reevaluate. Maybe I drop them. Maybe I add them in but in a different way, like before I lunge. Dunno.
Then calf raises were on the slate but I discovered — this gym doesn’t have any sort of calf raise machines! It doesn’t surprise me when you think about the gym’s orientation, but it also feels like such a standard piece of equipment (but you can’t have all the machines). Still, there are things I can do, I’m not without the ability to, but I opted to scrap calf work for today.
So, you can see there’s a bunch of revising to do. We’ll see how it goes.
- bar x 5
- 135 x 5
- 160 x 4
- 190 x 3
- 240 x 2
- 270 x 1
- 300 x 1
- 315 x 1
- 275 x 3
- 225 x 12 (AMRAP)
- 1″ Deficit Stiff-Leg Deadlift
- 225 x 8
- 225 x 8
- 225 x 8
- Walking Lunges
- BW x 50e (aiming for non-stop but breaking it up if I have to)
- Leg Curls
- 25 x 12
- 25 x 12
- 25 x 12