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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Save the Last Vertebra For Me

Close-grip bench presses are progressing better than expected, for no rational reason. I got 290x6 after three weeks of no pressing, then 295x5 and 300x4 the two weeks after that. All three are close-grip PRs for those rep ranges. Maybe doing pushups to failure is the key to stronger triceps? None of this lifting business makes sense anymore.

Bench pressed 310x10 and 340x3 last workout. I'm following the Cast Iron Pressing Template by a guy named Marc Keys as a last-ditch assault on 405 lbs. It's going well so far and the progression seems reasonable. Kind of like 5/3/1 except with more challenging weights. Also includes lots of overhead and close-grip benching, which is all good.

Overhead pressing is still not great but getting better. Recent achievements include 170x8, 190x4 and a ton of machine presses. Once my shoulders feel a bit better, I'll reintroduce Smith machine behind-the-neck presses for high reps.

Squats are really hurting my shoulders and I'm starting to suspect they are also holding back my bench press. I've been experimenting with remedial exercises and moving the bar around, but it hurts in every position. As I get tired or the weights get challenging, the bar sinks to one side and distributes the load unevenly across my hips and legs, which is an injury just waiting to happen. I'll have to work on this. I have yet to put up a decent squat weight in 2019.

Deadlifts are neither progressing nor regressing. I keep the weights slightly lighter and the volume higher these days. E.g. getting 20-25 reps per workout in the 385-455 lb. range, rather than doing heavy singles above 500. It doesn't look like a 600 lb. pull is in the cards for me, so I might as well lighten the load and do some productive strength training and save a vertebra or two.

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