Matching But Not Surpassing Current PRs

baby barbell

Yesterday I felt lousy all day long. I hadn’t had enough sleep, something had been bothering my gut, and all I wanted to do is rest. I ended up going to bed at 7:30 p.m. in the hopes of getting enough sleep and feeling better.

I had planned on lifting on Thursday morning. That’s Thanksgiving Day and the gym doesn’t open until 8 a.m., so I thought I’d do bench presses and deadlifts being really rested.

But this morning I couldn’t make myself stay in bed after 3:15 a.m. I’d been tossing and turning for a while, and I’m sure I didn’t get anywhere near eight hours sleep, but I felt okay. In fact, I felt really good.

It was a feeling I knew I shouldn’t waste and I decided to lift this morning instead. I can do cardio Thursday and Friday since I’ll have both days off and my son David will be home to watch his kids (my grandkids). This morning I’d dedicate to lifting.

I had plenty of time to drink coffee, water, and have a little yogurt. Read the online comic strips and checked on my blogs and Facebook to kill time. Then finally, I got ready and drove to the gym.

Pulled into the parking lot about five minutes early, but then it opened two minutes later, so I was out of my car like a shot and through the gym doors.

I put my workout log, sweat rag, and water bottle on my favorite bench press station before I even got out of my hoodie.

As usual, the rack was kind of a mess, so I had to spend several minutes fixing it up.

Strong, bent over guy came in and surprised me by saying “hi”.

I wasn’t sure what would happen this morning, but I was anxious to find out, especially relative to deadlifts. Did I have another single rep DL at 300 pounds (or more) in me?

Second day of 3/3/3+ week, cycle 13. Here we go.

3/3/3+ Main Lifts

Arnold's bench press
Photo credit: – Arnold’s bench press

Barbell Bench Press

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 65lbs/29.4835kg (warm up)
3x 125lbs/56.699kg
3x 130lbs/58.967kg
4x 135lbs/61.235kg
3x 145lbs/65.7709kg (joker)
2x 155lbs/70.3068kg (joker)
1x 165lbs/74.8427kg (joker)
1x 170lbs/77.1107kg (joker)

Barbell Bent Leg Deadlift

10x 135lbs/61.235kg (warm up)
10x 165lbs/74.8427kg (warm up)
3x 225lbs/102.058kg
3x 240lbs/108.862kg
4x 260lbs/117.934kg
3x 275lbs/124.738kg (joker)
1x 290lbs/131.542kg (joker)
1x 300lbs/136.078kg (joker)

The bad news is, no new PRs. The good news is I matched my current PRs for both the bench press and deadlift.

In addition to bent over guy, there were a gaggle of other regulars streaming in and out of the weight room, including bike guy and big, strong, formerly broken foot guy.

The first working set for my bench press felt heavy and I was a tad worried that it meant I wasn’t going to perform this lift well today. However, the second and third set felt okay, although that fourth rep in my 3+ set had me a little worried.

The first three jokers felt hard but fine and I decided to take a chance on the final joker set and increase the weight to 170, the PR I made last 3/3/3+ week.

It was a little dicey toward the top but I completed the rep and wondered afterward if I should have gone for 175 and a new PR.

That’ll have to be for another day, I guess.

On to the deadlifts.

Photo credit:

I saw a bald guy come in and do some dumbbell work, new guy, haven’t seen him around.

Also four women, well, one looked like a young teen, came in and did a bunch of jumping around like hyperactive jack rabbits. It was pretty distracting. The place was getting downright crowded.

Anyway, deadlift warm ups went fine, as did the working sets, but that fourth rep on the 3+ set was a bit of a struggle.

Managed the first joker alright, but the second at 290 was tough. Last Friday, I pulled 290 pounds off the floor twice and this morning, I barely made once.

Not to be discouraged, I increased the weight to 300 even and waited.

I wasn’t sure I’d be able to lift it, given that 290 felt so heavy, and especially with those four ladies hopping around talking and laughing just a few feet away.

Bike guy and big, tall guy were doing their routines. Bent over guy had finished his squats and was doing more leg work on the machines.

I must have waited four minutes before attempting my last joker set. Got set up, took deep breaths, tightened everything up, and pulled.

It felt the same kind of heavy as 290 pounds and I managed to power it up to the top of the rep. I said something like “Far out” and if those women hadn’t been so close by, I might have cursed at the barbell using another “F-word”.

Did it. Three days rest since my last lift day and five days rest since my last deadlift and I can still move 300 pounds. I’m really encouraged. 305 next week? It’s possible.

I did my usual mobility work after that. My lower back felt sore during the heavier deadlifts and when bending over for stretches, but right now, I feel it more in my legs. I’m generally tired but in a good way, like after you’ve had a good workout. Not sleepy, but I’m chugging down black coffee right now.

Photo credit:

Been a good week lifting, but I really need to do more cardio. I did a 30-minute power walk yesterday over lunch just because I hadn’t done anything else. Especially with the feasting fat season upon me, I need to be losing belly, not gaining.

No lifting until next Sunday. My body will appreciate that.

We can complain that rose bushes have thorns or we can rejoice that thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln


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