Ending Cycle Eleven Deload Week

cold dark morning
Image: bottomland.typepad.com

I’ve been having a lazy week. No cardio. I’ve been staying in bed until about 5 a.m., which is when I should be hitting the gym. Cold, dark mornings. They just beg you to stay in your nice, warm bed an hour longer than you should.

But today was lift day and I couldn’t postpone it because tomorrow morning my wife and I are driving to Utah to visit my folks.

Actually, it wasn’t that hard to get out of bed. I got up about a quarter til four and did my morning thing. In addition to coffee and water, I had a bit of yogurt to get something on my stomach.

I was out the door a little late but figured it would be okay. Even if both bench press stations were occupied, it’s deload week, so I can substitute other forms of lifting.

As it so happened, I pulled into the gym’s parking lot about a minute after five and the lights were still out. By 5:04, someone had called the manager to say the place wasn’t open yet, and at 5:05, the receptionist gal pulled into the parking lot and let us know she was late because she was pulled over by the cops.


Anyway, she unlocked the doors and popped on the lights. I was the first one in the weight room and I had it to myself for a while. Later on, some of the “usual suspects” wandered in, but no one got in my way.

As usual, I had to fix the configuration of weight plates at the bench, but with that done. I got to work.

Remember, this is deload week and I’m exchanging intensity for volume.

Deload Week

Barbell Bench Press

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg
10x 65lbs/29.4835kg
10x 75lbs/34.0194kg
10x 85lbs/38.5554kg
10x 95lbs/43.0913kg
10x 95lbs/43.0913kg

sumo deadlift
Photo credit: bodybuilding.com

Barbell Bent Leg Deadlift

10x 135lbs/61.235kg
10x 155lbs/70.3068kg
10x 175lbs/79.3787kg
10x 185lbs/83.9146kg
10x 185lbs/83.9146kg
10x 185lbs/83.9146kg

The first two sets of bench presses were basically what I do for a warm up, but instead of going much heavier, I just increased the weight in small increments until I figured I got to the point of really having to work to make a full 10 reps per set. As you can see, that’s not even 100 pounds, but I’m not trying to beat myself to death this week.

60 reps is a lot and I was huffing and puffing after I finished off my bench presses.

I started deadlifts at the warm up weights for the first two sets and then followed the same pattern I did with bench presses; slowing and gradually adding weight.

I settled on a max weight of 185 pounds not because it felt too heavy, but because after each set, I was dripping with sweat and severely out of breath. It took me three to four minutes between sets to recover, and I was worried about that last set.

Even at a moderate weight, ten reps of deadlifts just suck the oxygen out of your blood. Heart rate and blood pressure go through the roof, and I’m not as young as I used to be, not that I ever did deadlifts when I was young.

By the time I was done, I was done in. Since I got into the gym late, I didn’t have quite as much time to workout as I usually do, so I finished up with my usual mobility work and called it a day.

Right now, I can feel the workout mainly in my lower back. Nothing tweaked, just sore. I’m sure more muscles will complain as the day wears on and especially when I get up tomorrow morning.

Photo: menshealth.com

That’s deload week. I won’t be home on Sunday, so the next opportunity I’ll have to lift and start cycle twelve will be on Monday. Not sure what I’m going to do with the weights yet. I’ll have to ponder whether or not I want to increase them, especially on the overhead press and deadlift.

I’ll let you know later.

Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.

Sophia Loren


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