The weather’s been lousy lately, but that’s winter in Southwestern Idaho. It snowed all day yesterday, but this morning, things warmed up just enough (36 degrees F) that the snow and ice started to melt. We’re expecting rain later today.
What’s left on the roads is a bunch of slippery slush.
I’ve only gotten in one cardio session this week. I meant to go again yesterday, but my almost 18-month-old granddaughter kept waking up and crying through the night, so when 4 a.m. rolled around, I was bushed (no, we didn’t ignore her, her Dad took care of her).
Today, I determined there would be no excuses, including the condition of the roads. I set my alarm for the appropriate time but got out of bed before it went off.
I got water and coffee but I didn’t feel much like eating so decided to lift fasted.
I was determined to make new PRs this morning. I was actually pretty confident I could deadlift 305 pounds for a single rep, but was unsure how heavy I could go on the bench press.
Only one way to find out.
I pulled into the gym’s parking lot at 5 until 5, but the lights were already on and people were walking in including Bicycle Guy who I know bench presses. I needed just one bench press station (the weight room only has two if you don’t count the incline bench press station) for my lifts today.
Fortunately, I got one. Liz actually took the other, and Bicycle Guy started out doing chest work with dumbbells.
On Sunday, it looked like almost all of the 35 pound plates had gone missing except for those at the flat and incline bench press benches. I think they’ve returned but it’s a mystery where they would have gone.
Anyway, I got my bench straightened up with the correct combination of weight plates. Here’s how 5/5/5+ week of cycle 14 ended.
Main Lifts 5/5/5+ week
Barbell Bench Press
10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 65lbs/29.4835kg (warm up)
2x 145lbs/65.7709kg (joker)
2x 155lbs/70.3068kg (joker)
1x 165lbs/74.8427kg (joker)
1x 175lbs/79.3787kg (joker) PR!
Barbell Bent Leg Deadlift
10x 135lbs/61.235kg (warm up)
10x 165lbs/74.8427kg (warm up)
3x 280lbs/127.006kg (joker)
2x 295lbs/133.81kg (joker)
1x 305lbs/138.346kg (joker) PR!
Yes, two new PRs but the final joker set for my bench press is iffy.
The working weights felt heavy, including the first set of 5 reps at 110 pounds. I’m always sort of “psyched out” by bench presses, mainly because it’s my weakest lift, and because I’ve been trapped under the bar more than once. I don’t put the locking clamps on the bar anymore in case I have to dump the load, but I still don’t like to fail a rep.
I only did 2 reps at 145 for my first joker. Normally, I can do 3. Not a good sign.
Did 2 at 155 and a single at 165, and then I increased the weight to 175 to attempt a new PR.
It worked, well, sort of.
I got the bar down to my chest and pushed up. Really difficult. I managed to get the bar above the top pins and thought I’d have to settle for a partial. Then I pressed the bar against the bench’s two vertical supports to keep it from weaving around, and then managed to push the barbell all the way to the top to complete the rep.
Is that cheating? Probably, but it’s not like the effort was worthless, so I’ll call it a new PR and work on benching 175 pounds without the weave.
Meanwhile, Bicycle Guy got on the other bench (Liz had finished) and was pressing 185 for 8 to 10 reps per set. I admire his strength.
Later on, Big Daddy came in and was benching between 185 and 205. At least he didn’t rip off any of my weight plates this time.
On to deadlifts.
The warm ups went as usual, leaving me out of breath. You might remember from my last blog post that I readjusted my working weights based on my current one rep maximums. I discovered that I’d gone a bit too heavy on my back squat weights and had to make an adjustment downward. I thought I’d made the same mistake on my deadlift weights.
Turns out that’s not the case. When I checked, weights were pretty comparable to the increases I’d been programming in all along, so I changed nothing.
I will admit that the sixth rep in my 5+ set at 255 pounds was challenging. Doable, but challenging.
I wanted that new PR so I increased the weight drastically set over set for the jokers.
I was really proud of doing 2 reps at 295 pounds, although that second rep was rough and even getting the barbell off the floor for the first rep was hard.
I’d been resting 3 to 3 1/2 minutes between sets but ended up waiting a full 4 minutes or more before attempting the final joker.
305 pounds. I looked at the weight plates on the bar after I’d loaded it to make sure it was the right weight.
Big Daddy, Firefighter Guy, and some other regular guy with a beard and glasses were around. Time was running out as I rested, but I wanted to make sure I could deliver up the maximum effort.
My face was dripping with sweat and my arms were trembling as I sat on the bench.
Finally, it was time. I assumed my stance, took several deep breaths, bent down, gripped the barbell, tightened up, and pulled.
It was about as hard at lifting 300 pounds two weeks ago. I lifted and lifted and I’m pretty sure I called the barbell a F—er under my breath on the way up. I was almost but not quite standing and I kept pulling.
Finally, I was standing upright with 305 pounds in my hands. I waited several seconds savoring the victory, and then I set the barbell back down with a loud BAM!
I unloaded the bar and tried to catch my breath. 305 pound deadlift. I did it. My goal of 315 is only 10 pounds more.
I put all my toys away back where they belonged, and then did my usual mobility work.
My neck is sore. My shoulders are sore. My arms are sore. My legs are sore. It feels so good.
Satisfaction’s a sweet meal but it’s short-lived. 3/3/3+ week starts on Sunday. Let’s go.
Becoming is better than being.
–Dr. Carol S. Dweck
from her book Mindset