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Friday, June 15, 2018

International Bench Day

On Monday the gym was packed, but all three benches were unoccupied. There was a waiting line for the two lifting platforms, where an assortment of gym rats was performing deadlifts and pseudo-Olympic lifts. The infernal din of 95-lb. barbells being elevated overhead with terrible form and allowed to crash down without control brought to mind the Dark Tower from the writings of Stephen King. The visuals only affirmed this initial impression. Weak, undeveloped bodies twisted by miserable toil, straining toward some unfathomable purpose. The Crossfit slogan of "forging elite fitness" should be replaced by "abandon all hope, ye who enter here".

I had to do my pulls in the power rack, which is unethical but I get a pass since no one was waiting to do squats.

We are indeed living in interesting times. When I started lifting, no one in their right mind would do anything but bench press on Mondays, and few people even contemplated squatting or deadlifting. Most gyms didn't even have power racks, let alone lifting platforms. Fast forward two decades, and the International Bench Day has been officially replaced by the International Fake Olympic Lifting Day. Chiropractors around the world are rejoicing and rubbing their hands.

Bench presses started off nice and easy with 325 lbs. for 3x3, then a slightly tougher 330 lbs. for 3x3 next time. In both sessions I did a few light singles afterwards. I managed 195 lbs. x 3 on seated behind-the-neck presses (twice) and failed with 205 lbs. (twice). Also did 175x5 and 180x4 in the standing behind-the-neck press, breaking a plateau.

Inclines are progressing slowly but steadily. After inclines, I now do one or two max rep sets on the bench press. No particular goal in mind, just accumulating volume. So far I've done 15 rest-pause reps with 280 lbs. (single RP set) and 17 reps with 285 lbs. (two sets with ca. 30 seconds rest, 10+7). Don't know if this does anything, but the pump is nice. I'd like to build up to 315x10 eventually.

I squatted 380x3 paused and 470x3 unpaused. Depth was fine this time round and overall squats are going well. I thought I would lose some strength from squatting heavy once every two weeks, but the light squats keep the muscles in decent shape, I guess.

Deadlifts feel harder than ever, but the new routine has yielded singles of 465-475-495-505 recently. I failed with 445x3 in the same session (only managed 2 reps), so I don't know what to make of that. Part of it may be just me chickening out of reps once I feel strain on my lower back, because I'm paranoid about injury these days. But the singles feel stronger than ever.


huikat said...

Hahahaha. How are ya doing Fatman. Happy to see you've kept up your blog!

Fatman said...

I still post from time to time. Everyone else seems to have bailed. Is your blog still going?

huikat said...

Just started back again