I woke up this morning and looked at the clock. It said 3:50 a.m., meaning I had to drag my butt out of bed. Wasn’t sure if I wanted to lift today or save that for tomorrow and just do another cardio session. Figured I’d let my first cup of coffee make the decision.
I was a little hesitant to squat because two days ago, after my cardio and gut work, the weight room was completely empty and the squat rack was calling my name. I decided to do something I haven’t done in a long time…squat without a bench or box.
For the past five or six months, I’ve been using a “target” for my butt. The bench I normally use for main lift squats puts my thighs at nearly (but not quite) parallel to the floor, and the box gets me to parallel or below, though I only do box squats with much lighter weights.
I decided to try some lightweight squats on Monday with just me and the barbell. Never went heavier than 85 pounds, but I did 5 sets at 10 reps per set. I might try slowly increasing the weight for my “raw” squats as assistance lifts so that eventually, I get rid of the bench for my main lifts.
Wasn’t sure what shape my legs would be in this morning, but the temptation to lift won, so I walked into the gym right at 5 a.m. and headed straight for the squat rack. I beat strong, bent over guy there by 5 minutes.
Here’s how Wednesday went.
Cycle Seven, Week Two, Day Two 3/3/3+
Back Squat in Squat Rack
10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 95lbs/43.0913kg (warm up)
3x 175lbs/79.3787kg (joker)
2x 190lbs/86.1826kg (joker)
1x 205lbs/92.9864kg (joker) PR
Overhead Press in Squat Rack
10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
2x 95lbs/43.0913kg (joker)
1x 100lbs/45.3592kg (joker)
0x 105lbs/47.6272kg (joker) -failed rep-
Lightweight Bench Press
Yeah, I dragged the bench in with me since I wanted to try for a PR. Warm ups went fine. No problem with those formerly tight hams. The first working set went OK, but I started feeling the weight during the second set. Still managed 4 reps for the 3+ set which made me happy.
Long story short, I got that PR. Yes, I know. a single rep at 205 pounds qualifies me for wimp of the year, but it’s the best I’ve done…ever, at least for a full squat. My goal is to do 225 for 1 rep. That’s probably still a long way off, but at least I’m getting a little closer.
Oh, trivia note. On 3/3/3+ week for the previous cycle, I set a new PR at 200 pounds. I’m inching ahead just a tiny bit. That 205 pound squat was pretty difficult (for me). My face got all red as I was pushing up out of the hole.
So, a new PR for the back squat. Could I do the same for my overhead press?
While I was doing presses, strong, bent over guy pulled a bench into the Smith machine and started doing back squats…except his were a lot heavier. He did 2 or 3 reps at 315 pounds but that wasn’t his heaviest. That would be 6 or 7 reps at 345 pounds. He paused between sets and his face was proverbially beet red. Guy’s tremendously strong, I’ll give him that. I feel like Tweety Bird next to his Incredible Hulk.
Felt pretty good for the first 2 working sets. For the 3+ set, the fourth rep almost stalled and I really had to push to make the fifth rep. I was hoping that meant I was strong enough to go all the way to a new PR. I remember when I could barely do a single rep at 85 pounds.
Managed 2 reps at 95 and a single at 100. I went for broke, but I’m still not strong enough to push a 105 pound barbell over my head. Typical scenario. I pushed, got halfway up and stalled. Lowered the weight and tried again. Same result.
Guess I’ll have to wait a little longer for that one.
Most of the benches were being used so I skipped bench dips and did a bunch of lightweight bench presses instead. I just kept increasing the weight until I couldn’t do 10 reps anymore. Pushed myself anyway for the final 2 sets just because I could.
By this time, it was almost the top of the hour. No time for mobility work. I’ll do that tomorrow. Maybe I’ll even get back to rack pulls on Friday.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward.