Splitting Time Between Grandkids and Deadlifts

LandonWe’ve had our grandkids all weekend long, so things have been kind of chaotic (fun, but chaotic). Actually, my son brought them over for dinner Thursday and Friday evenings as well, so we’ve had plenty of exposure to them and them to us. He works weekends, so my wife has gone over to his place Saturday and Sunday mornings to watch over the children so my son can leave for work.

But that means sleep’s been somewhat spotty and our Sunday workout routine has been changed around. My 7-year-old grandson spent the night here, but since we don’t have a crib (we had to “donate” it to our son), our 9-month-old granddaughter went home with Dad last night.

My wife brought her back over here this morning while I was making pancakes for my grandson, and the missus went to the gym first. That meant I didn’t hit the weights until after 9:30 this morning. I spent the time up until then feeding my grandson pancakes and my granddaughter her bottle, and then playing with them. When my wife returned and as I was preparing for the gym, I was wondering how crowded the weight room was going to be at this “late” hour. As it turns out, very.

Since we’ve had our son and grandkids over for multiple meals, there’s been a lot of cooking and a lot of eating, so my diet has been off. It hasn’t really gotten back on track since it derailed months ago, and it shows on my waistline. I’ll have to get to that, but I also have to get on with my strength training. What would Sunday morning be like?

I was tempted to abandon 3/3/3+ week and switch to a lighter deload given my recent poor performance on both back squats and the overhead press. I may have to modify my squats this week, since every time I get up from the floor (when you have a 9-month old around, you spend a lot of time on the floor), my thighs, particularly my left thigh, have complained bitterly. This is especially troublesome when I have a baby in my arms and don’t want to drop her.

I had a bit of a headache as I arrived at the gym. Lots of cars in the parking lot. Nice day, so I didn’t wear a hoodie. I walked in and headed to the weight room. Like I said, pretty crowded, mostly with people I didn’t know, but I did see “Big Daddy” (without “Hit Girl”) working out as well as a few of the Sunday regulars I recognized. Fortunately, both bench press stations were free, so I chose my favorite, re-arranged the plates so they were more organized, and then got to work.

I was hoping for a good day. Here’s what I got.


Main Lifts

Barbell Bench Press

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
8x 95lbs/43.0913kg (warm up)
3x 105lbs/47.6272kg
3x 115lbs/52.1631kg
5x 130lbs/58.967kg
3x 140lbs/63.5029kg (joker)
2x 150lbs/68.0389kg (joker)
1x 160lbs/72.5748kg (joker)

deadlift chalk
Photo: lift.net

Bent Leg Deadlift

10x 135lbs/61.235kg (warm up)
3x 180lbs/81.6466kg
3x 200lbs/90.7185kg
5x 225lbs/102.058kg
3x 240lbs/108.862kg (joker)
3x 260lbs/117.934kg (joker)
1x 280lbs/127.006kg (joker)

Assistance Lift

Barbell Bench Press

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg
10x 65lbs/29.4835kg
10x 75lbs/34.0194kg
10x 95lbs/43.0913kg
10x 100lbs/45.3592kg
10x 110lbs/49.8952kg
6x 115lbs/52.1631kg

Core Work

Balancing on one foot
30 seconds each side

Leg Back Raises
Lx10, Rx10
Lx10, Rx10
Lx10, Rx10

Leg Side Raises
Lx10, Rx10
Lx10, Rx10
Lx10, Rx10

Alternating Arm/Leg Raises (Bird Dog)
10x each side
10x each side
10x each side

I didn’t feel super strong in my bench press, but I didn’t feel too bad, either. With each rep, I tried for an explosive motion upward, which got more difficult as I increased the weight. Did 5 reps in my 3+ set at 130 pounds, and for each subsequent joker, I increased the weight on the bar by 10 pounds.

bench press
Photo credit: bodyworks24.com

The results were predictable, but at least I matched my PR for a single rep lifting 160 pounds. I was afraid with so many people around, that being intimidated and anxious would cause me to fail the rep, but after a brief slowdown halfway up (thanks to my still lagging triceps), I pushed through and got the barbell all the way to the top.

For the tiniest fraction of a second, I considered trying for a second rep, but decided one was enough.

I set the weight on the barbell to 135 pounds and put it on the floor for my warm up set of deadlifts.

The working sets went fine, but as I increased the weights in the joker sets, I started to get that old nervousness about failing a heavy rep. I didn’t want to back off of the weight, but I didn’t want that feeling of not achieving a goal either.

Between sets, one older guy decided to do some dumbbell work right in front of me, and I mean right in front of me. If I had tried to do deadlifts right then, I would have hit this guy’s backside on the way up. He could have done what he was doing anywhere, but a bleeding heavy barbell was on the floor at my feet, and I couldn’t very easily move it sideways.

I think he saw the look on my face after he finished his set because he didn’t come near me afterward.

When you see someone lifting a pretty heavy barbell, it’s good to avoid standing right on top of him (or her). The weight room isn’t that small.

After the first joker at 240 pounds, I increased the weight on the bar 20 pounds for each subsequent set, which allowed me a triple at 260 pounds.

But for the last joker, I put the weight up to 280 pounds. I’ve done this for a single rep PR before, but I’ve subsequently failed 280 pounds as well, so it was questionable what would happen next. I was kind of hoping last Friday’s new PR of 295 pounds at the rack pull had primed me for a victory today.

I let myself get plenty of rest and finally approached the barbell and set myself up for the rep.

It came off the floor, but it was slow. For a split second, I thought I was going to stall, but I managed to keep pulling up. I tried counting the seconds in my head as I was continuing to stand, but my concentration was on pulling up on the barbell. I think it was 5 to 8 seconds by the time I was standing and could see my beet red face in the mirror.

snatch deadlift
Photo credit: crossfittidalwave.com

I barely made it, but I completed the lift and held the barbell there for several seconds. I was only marginally aware of the people around me. You get sort of “tunnel-visioned” when you are lifting a particularly heavy weight.

Then I went back down and the barbell hit the floor with a familiar and satisfying metallic “clank”.

I felt particularly wrung out as I was unloading the barbell and considering what to do for an assistance lift. Most of the benches near the dumbbells and most of the weighted cable stations were taken up, so, since I already had a bench press station (and no one else seemed to be doing bench presses today), I decided to stay where I was and bench “boring but big”.

I changed things around a bit, and instead of using a single weight for 5 sets doing 10 reps per set, after a warm up set (not that I needed it at this point) with just the bar, I increased the weight a little bit at a time set over set.

I did 5 working sets starting at 65 pounds and ending at 110, but I wanted to go up to 115 and to heck with the number of reps.

I’d planned for 8 but could only reasonably manage 6, then I called it good.

After my Kasey the Chiropractor core work, I headed on out.

By the time I got home, my son Michael (“Uncle Mikey”) was up and playing with my grandson. My granddaughter was beginning to go into “meltdown” mode, meaning she needed her nap, so my wife was getting her ready to go to my other son’s place so she could sleep in her crib.

I can’t believe the weekend is over and I have to go back to work tomorrow. It’s great having the grandkids at our place, but it does take up most or all of our time.

I think we’ll be doing this every other week, at least for a start.

My arms are particularly tired, probably because of the bench presses. I could feel the pressure in my lower back from deadlifts, but no pain. Deadlifts work the hams and not so much the quads, so I’m relatively OK there.

Uncle Mikey promised to dedicate his Sunday to play with my grandson, so they’re having their adventures right now. Lunch for my grandson is a grilled cheese sandwich. Great to be a kid and eat “comfort food”.

Honestly, I feel like I could take a nap right now, but I guess sleeping in won’t happen until next weekend. Time for another cup of coffee.

I won’t be seeing my chiropractor for another week, so I hope I can manage decent squats and overhead presses in a few days. If not, then something’s gotta change.

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.



2 thoughts on “Splitting Time Between Grandkids and Deadlifts

    1. Still feel like my bench press is crappy, but the deadlifts felt great. Had to move some stuff out of my son’s garage this evening, and I was reminded that his being 30 years younger, even though his body took a real beating when he served in the Marines, is a heck of a lot stronger than mine.


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