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Monday, February 12, 2018

Get a Grip

In highlights this week:

Bench press - 315x5 followed by 325x5, then 330x4

Deadlift - 455x3

Standing BTN press - 165x5, followed by 155x5

SlingShot bench press - 340x6

Squat - 445x3 and 455x3

Moving my grip closer doesn't seem to have affected my bench press much. I guess I'll see a difference if I work up to decently heavy weights. Shoulders feel better, but recovery is slow.

Deadlifts were flying up this week - I didn't use a belt on any of the sets. 455x3 might be a beltless PR. That probably doesn't count for anything since I can't remember ever trying 455 without a belt before. Wanted to try 465x3, but I also want to leave some room for progression next week.

Had a decent SlingShot workout. 340x6 is a goal I've probably hit before, but this time I pre-exhausted with incline bench presses. I hate inclines with a passion and suck at them. The plus side is that I can increase the weight or reps every time I do them, so I can trick myself into believing it's progress. I moved my grip in on all pressing exercises and it feels fine, although sometimes I don't feel as solid under the weight as I used to be.

I should probably also move the bar a bit higher on squats to spare the shoulders.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Don't Stop Believing

Yet another lifting restart. The plan right now is to make some time for regular training from May to maybe September. The rest of the year is 100% up in the air - literally.

Bench press 325x5, 340x2 - wanted a triple there, but this is okay

BTN press, seated - 185x5, followed by 175x2sx5

Deadlift - 455x2 - could have done a third rep, but my hip was twinging and I decided to cut it short.

Squat - 445x2, preceded by 420x5

A while ago I swore a pact with myself not to deadlift from the floor ever again. That lasted about a month, after which I went right back to full-range pulls, which have led to injuries countless times before. Because, you know, full-range movements are important, brah. Never mind that "full range" for this particular lift was determined by plate manufacturer's convention, not one's own leverages (like in the bench press and squat). So I guess I'll keep pulling from the floor until injured again.

After years of wide grip benching, the weights are starting to stall. Part of it is due to a lack of regular training, which is to be expected - no one sets PRs by lifting 3 weeks on - 2 weeks off. Part of it is due to shoulder pain (AC joint), which I've read about often but never experienced before. I think switching to a closer grip for a while (middle finger on ring, so not really close) will help me get rid of the pain and strengthen my triceps, so when I'm able to train regularly and widen my grip again I will see some gainz. Sets of five only until I can get some continuous training in.

Another thing I'll do is SlingShot press every other week instead of every week. SlingShot reps aren't "raw", but they still add up to a considerable amount of very heavy volume on a weekly basis. Also done with a wide grip, which equals more stretching of the shoulders with weights over my max. The SlingShot is a great tool and has done good things for my bench press, but it is possible to overdo it, especially when training irregularly.

Or maybe I'm just old and run down and my bench press is doomed no matter what. But I still haven't raw benched four plates, so I have to keep believing.