Chased Two New PRs And Only Got One

southwest airlinesThe missus is out of town so I have a lot more control of my schedule, well sort of. We may not be sharing a continent at the moment, but she did leave a “honey do” list. Yesterday I worked on the outside of the house. Today, it’s the inside.

But before all that, it’s lift day. Specifically the last week in my twelfth cycle of 5/3/1 training. Time (hopefully) for some new PRs.

It’s a Sunday, so the gym doesn’t open until eight. I got out of bed a little after 6:30 this morning and did my usual routine to wake up.

I got to the gym at about five til but Bryce didn’t get there to open up until five after. He’s usually a minute late, but I started getting worried at five. Said he had some minor car trouble which happens to people all the time.

There were others waiting in the parking lot when Bryce opened up, but I was the only one standing at the door, and was the first one into the weight room.

As usual, the squat rack needed some minor adjustments, but once they were done, I was ready.

5/3/1+ Main Lifts

Back Squat in Squat Rack (raw)

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 65lbs/29.4835kg (warm up)
5x 140lbs/63.5029kg
3x 150lbs/68.0389kg
3x 165lbs/74.8427kg
3x 185lbs/83.9146kg (joker)
2x 205lbs/92.9864kg (joker)
1x 220lbs/99.7903kg (joker) PR!

overhead press

Overhead Press in Squat Rack

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
5x 65lbs/29.4835kg (warm up)
5x 85lbs/38.5554kg
3x 95lbs/43.0913kg
3x 100lbs/45.3592kg
2x 105lbs/47.6272kg (joker)
0x 110lbs/49.8952kg (joker) -failed rep-

Assistance Lift

Bodyweight Bench Dips w/legs ext
x10, x10, x10, x10, x10 = 50

Ab Work

Bodyweight Mat Leg Lifts
x15, x15, x12, x10 = 52

Squat warm ups went fine and the light weight lets me practice getting down to parallel or below.

During my working sets, I feel the heaviness during the lift out. Balancing the barbell on my back is the initial challenge before the walk back and actual rep.

I found myself waiting roughly three minutes between sets because even at moderate weights, squats take a lot out of me.

Finally, I got into the jokers and decided to get a little aggressive in increasing the weight on the bar. I managed a triple at 185, but still can’t get past two reps at 205. My PR up to this point is 215 so naturally, I tried 220. It was hard getting down to parallel and even harder getting up, but at no time did I feel like I’d dump the rep.

New PR for the back squat. Ha!

squat rack
Photo credit:

I was getting pretty tired by this point. Noticed one regular, a middle-aged guy, doing triceps work, and some young guy doing chest and triceps. Everyone was in the main part of the gym.

I set up for the overhead press and intended setting a new PR. Best laid plans, right?

This was the first time 100 pounds was included in my working sets. I figured I could handle it, but was surprised at how difficult my three working sets turned out. I made three reps in the 1+ set, but I struggled with that last rep.

My big plan was to do three jokers at 105, 110, and 115 respectively.

Well, I made the first joker and I did two reps. I only got the barbell up a little over halfway on the second (actually, my final) joker set. I could tell by how it felt that I didn’t have 110 in me, let alone 115 and called it quits.

I had the time and decided to do an assistance lift, since it’s typically my lagging triceps that inhibit my overhead press.

I was doing some bench dips when what looked like a Dad and his daughter came in. I’d seen them doing cardio earlier. They briefly looked over the squat rack and then took a pair of 5 pound plates from the rack to stretch with. Didn’t see if they put them back or not. No wonder the racks get so messed up.

Dips were harder than I expected, and that last set murdered me.

Not really being dead, I did some gut work, my usual stretches, and finally dragged my sorry butt out of the gym just a little over an hour after I walked in. The workout was really tiring.

I suppose I should be happy about the new PR in squats, but it’s counterbalanced by my not being able to even meet my PR in the overhead press. What happened?

I'll be back
Image: gymaholic

Who knows?

It could have been anything, but as I’ve said before, progress isn’t linear. Some days are better than others. Some lifts are better than others.

There’s always next week.

The future belongs to the few of us still willing to get our hands dirty.

Roland Tiangco


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