Lousy workout today. I had a feeling it would be even before I left for the gym this morning. Maybe my attitude is what resulted in my poor performance, or maybe my mind/body was telling me something.
These long, dark, cold mornings are getting to me, plus I got to sleep in four days in a row last Friday through Monday. It’s tough to get up early enough to get to the gym.
Actually, I woke up at about a quarter after three. Couldn’t sleep and maybe that contributed to all this.
Anyway, I had coffee, water, and a little yogurt since I was feeling a little “peckish.” Got my gym togs on and found myself in the gym parking lot about five until six. The lights were already on and it looked like everyone had filed in.
I got inside and saw Liz on one of the two bench press stations. I took the other, stashed my hoodie, straightened out the weight plates and hoped for the best. This is how cycle 14 and 5/3/1+ week ended. I didn’t exactly cover myself with glory.
Main Lifts 5/3/1+
Barbell Bench Press
10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 65lbs/29.4835kg (warm up)
1x 165lbs/74.8427kg (joker)
0x 170lbs/77.1107kg (joker) -failed rep-
Barbell Bent Leg Deadlift
10x 135lbs/61.235kg (warm up)
10x 165lbs/74.8427kg (warm up)
0x 290lbs/131.542kg (joker) -failed rep-
Rack Pulls in Squat Rack
I swear I’m getting weaker.
Last week, I managed a single rep bench press at 175 pounds, and this week I failed at 170. Not only that, but I couldn’t get the barbell off my chest, and for the first time ever, I had to dump the weights.
Boy, that’s a loud noise, especially with bare metal plates.
In humiliation. I put the empty bar on its pins and picked up the plates. Then I loaded the bar and set it on the floor to get ready for deadlift warm ups.
Warm ups were good but the working weights felt heavy. Oh, I could do 5 reps with a 225 pound barbell, but I barely managed 2 reps at 285.
What really surprised me though it that I couldn’t even do a single at 290. I got it off the floor, and for a second, I thought I was going to pull it up, but gravity reached out and yanked it back down.
I didn’t have the heart for another try.
Since a had a little extra time, I thought maybe I’d do some Rack Pulls for assistance work. Because I can lift heavier on rack pulls than deadlifts, and since I was already warmed up, I started at 225 pounds. I hoped I’d be able to redeem myself.
No, I didn’t tweak my back, but it felt, really, really tired. I did 3 reps and called it quits. My body was done lifting for the day.
As I was pondering all this while licking my wounds, I recalled something that Mark Rippetoe wrote once, either on his website or in one of his books. In fact I think it was here.
He said that the beginner strength trainer will make all sorts of PRs pretty consistently at first because they’re not anywhere close to their limits. They just keep going up and up and up.
However, once they become more experienced and approach their functional limits, those new PRs become really hard to achieve.
I wonder if this means I’m past the beginner’s stage and I’ve hit my current functional limitations?
I’m trying to figure out where to go from here. Today was a huge disappointment. I could only bench 10 pounds under my current PR, and only deadlift 20 pounds under my current PR. Yikes.
The irony in all this is my muscles still feel tired, like I worked out really hard.
Of course if you look at the main lifts, I made my goals, so technically I didn’t fail.
It just feels like I did.
I looked back in my log to 5/3/1+ week of the previous cycle and I managed a single rep bench press at 170 pounds and a single rep deadlift at 300.
I’ll probably deload next week, but I’m not sure exactly how I’ll set up the program yet.
Guess I’ll take it one day at a time and keep plugging away. It’s all I know how to do.
Life is not easy for any of us. But what of it? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves.