PRs make for a perfect send off

PRs make for a perfect send off

The past week passed by in a hectic blur as I rushed about trying to get everything done before the big move! I knew I would run out of time to blog before I left, but at least now I can say I officially live in Rome!

Between packing, working and saying goodbye to my friends, I have been lucky to sleep five hours each night over the past week. Yesterday was one of the most stressful days of my life as I ran around like a madwoman trying to tie up all the final loose ends, but I managed to reach the airport safe and sound.

My bag was only one kilo overweight, so I just dumped some stuff in the nearest bin. I can tell you that lugging my suitcases around along with my laptop and winter coat in the stifling heat was not enjoyable at all!

suitcases

My entire life packed into 23kg!

It didn’t really hit me that I was leaving until Monday night, when I’d said all my final goodbyes. And when I drove past Big Ben for the last time yesterday, I may have had a little cry.

Despite everything else going on, I still managed to hit PRs in almost all of my lifts before I left. I deadlifted 140kg and the biggest shock of the week was a 120kg squat.

Last Monday, my working sets of squats were 95kg for two sets of two. It felt relatively easy, but I suddenly felt shooting pains down my arms while holding the bar from my very first set. Getting out of the hole wasn’t a problem, but holding on to the bar was sheer agony.

95kg (209lb) squat

Tuesday – Bench
Bench press: 20kg x 10, 40kg x 5, 47.5kg x 3, 52.5kg x 1, 57.5kg x 1 (PR!), 60kg x F, F, 58.5kg x 1 (PR!)
Pin press: 40kg x 5, 47.5kg x 2, 45kg x 3 x 2
Dumbbell overhead extension: 14kg x 8, 16.5kg x 8 x 3
DB curls: 11.5kg x 5 x 4

My previous PR was 55kg, so I can’t be too mad about getting 58.5kg, but I really, really wanted 60kg just so I could say I benched the big plates at least once.

I did try 60kg twice but, as you can see from my little tantrum in the video, it just wasn’t happening. It’s amazing how much difference just 1.5kg makes.

57.5kg (126lbs) bench

60kg (132lbs) bench fail

58.5kg bench

On Wednesday, my flatmate and I had an amazing day of eating. First off, we went to Borough Market, where I finally got my hands on some of Bread Ahead’s famous donuts. They were amazing, but a little too sweet even for me!

bread ahead

I had lunch and two donuts, and then we headed to Hawksmoor for dinner where I had one of the best meals of my life. Steak, bone marrow, mac and cheese, bacon bits, triple-cooked chips and some vegetables because micros.

hawksmoor

 

We also had starters, puddings and many cocktails, because I hadn’t had enough sugar that day.

Thursday – Deadlifts
Deadlifts: 60kg x 8, 80kg x 5, 100kg x 3, 115kg x 2, 130kg x 1, 140kg x 1 (PR!)
Lat pulldown: approx. 50kg x 12-15 x 4
Cable rows: approx. 50kg x 12 x 4
DB pullover: 14kg x 12 x 3

I have been dreaming about deadlifting three plates a side for about a year. It’s crazy to think that just two years ago my max was 100kg, and then I spent an entire year failing to get 130kg off the floor.

I told myself that I wasn’t leaving the gym until I pulled 140kg, and to my surprise it flew up on the first go. I hitched it slightly as my grip was giving out – if you look carefully, you can see it is just my left fingertips holding on to the bar! I made a second attempt but couldn’t lock it out, so will have to take it as is.

140kg (308lbs) deadlift

Monday – Squats
Squat: 20kg x 10, 40kg x 5, 60kg x 2, 80kg x 2, 90kg x 1, 100kg x 1, 105kg x 1 (PR!), 110kg x 1 (PR!), 115kg x 1 (PR!), 120kg x 1 (PR!)
Log press: 30kg x 5, 35kg x 3, 40kg x 2, 45kg x 1, 50kg x 1, 52.5kg x F, F, F

My best squat 1RM to date was 107.5kg, which I achieved in wraps at my meet in February. The best I’ve hit in sleeves only is 100kg, and that was two months ago in Australia. I went into the gym only hoping to get 105kg, so I was blown away by what I subsequently did. Maybe it was the sheer magic of it being my final workout in London, but I just kept adding weight to the bar and standing back up.

105kg (231lb) squat

110kg (242lb) squat

The first two PRs felt so easy – I was somewhat in shock. Haha.

115kg (253lb) squat

I was worried about my depth on this one, but the video looks fine.

120kg (264lb) squat

This is ugly but I got it up! I stopped there, as my shoulders were absolutely killing me by this point and I really doubt I could have done much more.

52.5kg (115lb) log press fail

Unfortunately, I ended on a low as I failed to hit a log PR. I know I can get 52,5kg (I was actually hoping to get 55kg!) given what I have been repping recently, but destroying my shoulder during squats immediately beforehand didn’t help. I didn’t have time to lift on the weekend, so I knew I was being somewhat risky by testing both on the same day.

What is damn annoying is that my log 1RM has been stuck at 50kg for over a year now, and I won’t be able to log press again for a very long time. Oh well. One day I will break you, log!

You’ve got to watch the video just for Em’s commentary. Haha! I’m going to miss her so very much. We went for burgers afterwards – what else?!

final gbk

If you have emailed me in the past few days, I will be tackling my inbox tonight and tomorrow, so please be patient!

I will hopefully be able to blog a bit more regularly now that my life is less stressful. I will save my thoughts about Rome for a different post, but I’m in love with this city!

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