Monday morning was met with much trepidation and excitement, and then I got to the gym and almost turned around and left. It was insanely packed with everyone who got the idea to workout before the holiday….ironically that thought hadn’t occurred to me, my squats just fall every 8th day. Fearing the worse, as there are only 2 1/2 squat racks (one is a cage, but the barbell hooks seem to grow legs and wander off), I was preparing myself for a hefty wait before working out.
To my utter surprise it was chicken legs for day! Every single bench was taken, but not a single person was working legs. Not only was I able to walk right up to my favorite rack, but there wasn’t even anyone hanging around waiting until my very last set, and that was just phone guy. He likes to take 3 min rests between every single set of squats (from the empty bar and up).
Squats! My warm up sets and my first working set of 5@120 all went easy peasy, and then suddenly it didn’t. Slapping on some 45 plates, my 5@135 felt heavy AF. I was super slow and it just felt hard, I was starting to worry about my 8@150 goal. Taking a few minutes to get out of my head, I put my belt on and was primed and ready. Taking a big ol belly breath I unracked and to my sheer amazement, 150 felt no heavier than 135! I hit my first 5 reps at a good pace, took a few seconds and some little breathes before hitting rep 6 and 7, then digging deep to get number 8. While 7 and 8 felt slow, the video I took shows me remaining pretty consistent. The barbell kept a pretty good path throughout the reps and while there are things I still need to work on, I am stoked about how well it went.
5×10@155 Deadlifts followed suit. Since I have been working on grip, I have been shooting for double overhand grip on my 5×10’s for as long as possible. This usually means I hit 5-6 reps before the barbell starts to slip out. I did this for 4 sets, then switched to mix grip for the remaining reps. On my final set though I just did tap and go with a mix grip and successfully completed the 10 reps without pausing. Those last two reps were haaaaaaaard but it felt good.
After a quick break to wash the chalk off my hands and eat some sour patch kids, I worked my way through my bro stuff.
Starting with Good Mornings, I think I probably could have gone heavier than 65 but I’m still not 100% on these, maybe it was too light, as I really can’t say I felt it working anywhere but my upper back from pulling the barbell down (working on “bending the bar” in every lift now).
Box squats went almost as awkwardly as the good mornings did. In hindsight, I should have used the smaller box and just put a plate on top, instead I used the next size up which proved to be slightly too tall so I didn’t really get any depth. Next week I’ll improvise, so hopefully I won’t have to go scavenging for things.
Front squats are improving! They do still make my wrists twinge but it has gotten much better, I think I’ve finally figured out a grip that works for me. I did use my wrist wraps for these but it gets the job done so I’ll take it. I enjoy front squatting, even with my wonky wrists, I am always happy when they show up on my bro list.
My last squat of the day ended up being tempo squats. I was trying for 3:1:3 but it really ended up being more like 2.5:1:2. I had my phone on the bottom part of the rack so I could watch the stopwatch, I think next time I’ll use the timer countdown though as watching all the mili-seconds threw me off. I’m a simple person, the speeding little numbers were making me think more time had passed than it had.
Finishing off my day with 4×8@35 walking lunges and my legs were toasted. I got some good stretches in and called it a day.
Taking the 4th of July off was an impromptu decision as I had intended to go walking, but ultimately margaritas called and that was the end of that.
This morning however, possibly still tipsy from last night, I did run sprints for 20 minutes. I started off with 30s sprints into 5 push ups and a set of abs with 40s recovery. I did this for 4 rounds before focusing solely on sprinting. I ended with 20s sprints 30s recovery for about 8 minutes and then finished off with continuous push up and ab circuits until my timer went off. My sprint days are usually just thought up on the fly, I am trying to incorporate some push up and ab work into them as these are areas I am lacking in. I would like to see improvement in sprint time but frankly it’s not a focus for me at this point in time. I mainly do it because I think conditioning is important for my overall healthy and strength. I don’t want to be a marathon runner or even a 5k runner anymore, but that being said, I do still enjoy running and will continue to do so once or twice a week.
Tomorrow is bench day and the start of the 3+ days!