I finally got a 90kg (200lb) squat! My workouts were kind of all over the place last week, so the PR came out of nowhere. It’s funny how one great workout can now make me so excited to train!
Monday – A bit of everything
Squats: 20kg x 8, 8, 40kg x 5, 50kg x 5, 60kg x 3, 70kg x 3, 3, 2
Static barbell lunge: 40kg x 6, 6, 6
Bent over barbell row: 40kg x 12, 12, 15
Cable row: 100lbs x 12, 1120lbs x 12, 12
Cable pull-throughs: 40kg x 15, 45kg x 12, 50kg x 12
Straight legged DB deadlifts: 25kg x 15, 15, 15
This was my first workout in 10 days and it was pretty rough. The squats felt heavy, I kept losing my balance during lunges (which never happens) and my hammies were constantly cramping. I was still aching on Saturday, even after I gave in and got a pressure point massage on my legs on Friday night. Based on this workout, I never expected to PR on squats just a few days later.
Wednesday – Pressing with trainer
Narrow log: 30kg x 5, 35kg x 5, 40kg x 3
Wide log: 40kg x F, 1, 42.5kg x F, 1, 45kg x F, F, 40kg x 3, 3
Barbell push press (elbows completely parallel): 30kg x 5, 35kg x 5, 30kg x 10
Static dumbbell holds for time (per hand): 35kg x 60 secs, 40kg x 30 secs
Blue band chin ups: 3 x 6
Face pulls: 40kg x 12, 45kg x 12, 50kg x 12
This workout was brutal. I mentioned how much I struggled in my last post, but now you can see for yourself – look at all those puny weights and failed lifts! You can see that I have a terrible habit of failing a lift on the first attempt, and then succeeding on the second. This is exactly what I was talking about when I said my brain often gets in the way of what my body can easily do.
I’m used to (badly) push pressing with my elbows pointing down. Keeping them up similar to a clean and jerk is SO much harder – I almost threw a tantrum. Mike said the most important thing for me to do now is to get some Olympic lifting coaching, where someone can be strict with me about technique.
I absolutely hate changing technique, but I know I will get used to it eventually and it will pay off (like with my squats!). I’m training with Mike again tomorrow night, and I’m hoping to feel stronger. We’re also doing deadlifts so I’ve got to get my 120 up again!
Friday – Upper Body
Bench press: 20kg x 10, 30kg x 5, 35kg x 5, 40kg x 3, 42.5kg x 1, 45kg x 1
Push press: 20kg x 10, 30kg x 5, 35kg x 5, 40kg x F, F
Single arm DB row (per side): 17.5kg x 12, 22.5kg x 8, 8, 8
Single arm DB overhead press (per side): 15kg x 5, 5, 5, 17.5kg x 5
Straight arm pulldown: 15kg x 12, 12, 12
EZ bar skull crushers: 17.5kg x 10, 10, 10
Superset with hammer curls: 7.5kg 15, 10kg x 8, 8
Tricep pushdown: 30kg x 12, 12, 12
Superset with cable bar curls: 30kg x 10, 10, 10
How much of a bodybuilder am I?! I wasn’t feeling well, so I didn’t push it too heavy. Mike told me I need to bring up my tricep strength (when I originally started strongman training my triceps were stronger than my shoulders, but now it’s reversed) but I also threw in some curls for the girls – don’t want to create any muscle imbalances 😉
My bench felt better than it probably ever has. I had a full range of motion and even a slight pause at the bottom, with no spotter and no fear of getting stuck at the bottom.
It’s funny how that workout looks long written down but I raced through it in about 50 minutes, and yet a three exercise, 15 set workout can take me 90 minutes…
Sunday – Squat day!
Back squats: 20kg x 8, 40kg x 5, 50kg x 5, 60kg x 3, 70kg x 3, 80kg x 1, 90kg x 1
Straight leg barbell deadlifts: 50kg x 12, 60kg x 8, 70kg x 8, 8
Barbell hip thrust: 45kg x 15, 65kg x 10, 75kg x 8
Box jumps: 5 x 5
When I turned up to the gym on Sunday morning, I felt off. I ate a lot of simple carbs the day before and I had a carb hangover (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, go eat a whole pizza and follow it up with some ice cream!), not to mention that I struggle working out in the mornings nowadays.
I matched Rob’s weights for the entire workout. He was working on his form, so kept his squats lighter than usual. After I did my set at 70kg, Rob told me I could put the weight up and didn’t have to stay light with him. Unbeknown to him that was my usual workout but I’m thrilled to hear it looked easy! When 80kg also went up easy, I uncharacteristically told Rob to chuck on 5kg plates for the next set (normally I would attempt a modest PR like 82.5kg or at the very most 85kg).
90kg was a struggle but it went up. I was on such a high afterwards! My squats have been SO frustrating for me. When I first started lifting, they were my favourite exercise because I was good at them but then I somehow developed all kinds of mobility issues in my hips and ankles. I started working on improving my form about a year ago – no quarter squats over here! I cut the weight way back to my dismay and then of course injured my knee when I had my accident.
Post-accident, it took me six months of lifting and weekly physiotherapy to hit my previous squat 1RM. My squat has been frustrating me so much because it’s so imbalanced next to my deadlift, but it looks like things are finally on the up!
Have you ever unexpectedly achieved a PR after months of trying?
PS. I don’t have a video as Rob was spotting me, but next time I promise!