Recovery Cycle: Week Three, Day Two

cardio elliptical

I decided to lift today instead of Thursday basically because I was bored. Two days of cardio was more than enough to convince me that I wanted to switch it up. I’ll do cardio (ideally) tomorrow and the next day.

Speaking of which, I’ve had to go down one level and go a little slower to maintain an ideal heart rate, something in the 140 to 150 bpm range. I’ve found that my stamina and oxygen uptake is really difficult to get back. I’ll have to be patient.

I decided to lift today on the fly, so after I got up and got awake, I jotted down my planned numbers in my workout log and got things set up. No bananas and I couldn’t think of anything else to eat pre-lifting, so I just had coffee and water.

My son was up. He gets up at four, same as me, but almost immediately goes to the playground at the school behind where we live and does his bodyweight thing. His arms are getting big fast, a fact that he rubs my nose in all the time.

I got out of the house at ten til the hour, so I had plenty of time to get to the gym. The receptionist gal was just getting there herself when I pulled into the parking lot. There were a lot of cars, trucks, and vans there this morning, so I knew I’d have some competition for equipment. Fortunately, all I need is one bench press station for today’s main lifts, so I’m good.

Joe was the only person standing at the door when I walked up, and the lights flipped on just as I was saying “hi.” The gal opened up for us, and I was off like a shot to the weight room.

Bench press station needed a bit of work, but after that, I started lifting. Here’s what the last day of the last week of weight training in my recovery cycle looked like.

Adjusted Cycle 5/3/1+ Week Day Two

Main Lifts

bench press anatomyBarbell Bench Press

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 65lbs/29.4835kg (warm up)
5x 90lbs/40.8233kg
3x 100lbs/45.3592kg
3x 115lbs/52.1631kg
3x 120lbs/54.4311kg (joker)
2x 130lbs/58.967kg (joker)
2x 135lbs/61.235kg (joker)
1x 140lbs/63.5029kg (joker)

Barbell Bent Over Deadlift

10x 135lbs/61.235kg (warm up)
5x 155lbs/70.3068kg
3x 175lbs/79.3787kg
5x 195lbs/88.4505kg
5x 215lbs/97.5224kg (joker)
5x 235lbs/106.594kg (joker)
3x 255lbs/115.666kg (joker)

My left front delt was still bothering me, even doing bench press warm up sets. I don’t know what to do about it except to power through. It’s the weakest part of my bench press. My triceps weren’t even challenged until I hit 120 pounds.

That said, I managed 2 reps at 135 pounds instead of just one, and got the barbell up to 140 pounds for a single in my final joker set. I must be doing something right since I seem to be getting stronger, albeit really slowly.

As I was lifting, I noticed the weight room was filling fast. Strong, bent over guy came in right after me, did shrugs in the squat rack, and then switched to the Smith machine for his freakishly heavy back squats.

I saw a guy who I’ve noticed in the gym a couple of times, He was wearing a red hoodie and playing with his mp3 player for about five minutes after stepping into the weight room. He left, was gone a few minutes, and then he came back, messed around with a notebook, and eventually got to work with some light dumbbells.

don't curl in the squat rack

The thing is, he was doing light dumbbell shoulder presses seated on the other bench press bench. All four of the regular benches were available. What was this guy thinking?

After my bench presses were done, I put 135 pounds on the bar and took it down to the floor to set up for deadlifts.

I snapped off 10 reps for my warm up set just fine, and I probably could have done more than 5 reps on my 1+ set, but I noticed yesterday while doing Roman Chair back extensions, my lumbar region isn’t as strong as it was before I got sick. I figured I’d take it easy…well, relatively easy.

I was able to do 5 reps at 215 and then 235 pounds respectively, and considered doing 265 or even 270 for my final joker, but remembering my back, I decided to ease off and only tackle 255.

I had only intended to do a single rep for the last joker set, but I had more in me, so I did 3 reps. They were slower, but not too slow, and I felt pretty good about it.

By this time, red hoodie guy had taken off the hoodie. He was doing some sort of dumbbell work, though at a more appropriate bench, then I saw him go into the squat rack and do some lightweight curls. Curling in the squat rack is a big no-no, and I was tempted to tell him so, politely, of course.

Bent over guy was in the Smith machine still, and tall, formerly broken foot guy was doing heavy dumbbell work. Also, Big Daddy is back, but without Hit Girl, and Firefighter guy was in and out of the weight room.

None of them, as far as I could tell, was paying any attention to the guy curling in the squat rack, so I figured I’d let it go too.

After I was done lifting and cleaning up the bench press station, I did some ab work and then my usual stretches.

I looked into the weight room while I was finishing my mobility work, and saw the receptionist gal talking to red hoodie guy (though he’d stashed the hoodie elsewhere).

I’ve never seen any receptionist go into the weight room except to clean mirrors and that sort of thing, and never to talk to a patron. After their chat, she walked him to the front desk and he made a quick exit. I wonder if someone complained about his gym etiquette? Guess someone besides me must have noticed after all.

Hoodie guy looks to be someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing, but everyone has to start somewhere. I really didn’t know what I was doing in a lot of areas until I hired a personal trainer to straighten me out, and I still have plenty to learn.

Truth be told, I’ve curled in the squat rack before, but then I read about the etiquette thing and stopped.

Photo credit:

When I got back home, I even told my son about the incident, and he said he’d never heard about not curling in the squat rack. Guess it’s not universal knowledge.

Maybe the gym should put up a sign or something. On the other hand, they have plenty of signs posted saying to rack your weights after you’re done, and still a lot of blockheads leave dumbbells and weight plates on the floor.

Now that a few hours have passed, I’m experiencing some mild to moderate DOMS, but nothing that will slow me down.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m generally pleased with the progress I’ve made during this recovery cycle, but I really want to open it up starting next week and see how much I can get back and, dare I say it, see if I can exceed my previous limits.

Wish me luck.

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

Steve Prefontaine


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