Thursday, May 29

Max Effort Bench

The big movement on Thursday was two board press vs doubled light bands for max one. I worked up to 355 for a single. I don’t know how much the bands added at the top, but I do know that I first used 50 lb dumbbells to anchor the bands, and they picked up a little and bounced on my first rep, which I immediately racked. I can say that 355 with the bands felt heavier than 405 at the top. It was heavy. I felt really good about that lift.

After that I did singles of 315 for a long pause. It’s not what Jesse had programmed for me, but I felt like I really needed to work on some pauses for the meet I’m doing on June 7.

See-saw presses followed, and that went well. In fact, all of my accessory work went well. It was just a really good day. I want to remember that feeling when things don’t go well.


Friday, May 23

Max Effort Bench Day

This thing will kill you if you let itI’m still trying to shake off this deep and abiding exhaustion I’ve had since I got sick. The cold has passed, and most of my congestion has disappeared, but, damn, I am just beat. Still, nothing to do but push through it and grind it out.

The main movement today was floor presses against bands for a three max. I set up my Monster Mini short bands so that they had right at 80 lbs of tension at the top. I actually took the trouble to get a scale and find out how much tension they added. I worked up to 325 for three. I barely got up the third rep. Honestly, I was a little worried at the very top. I didn’t have a spotter, and the pins were set below chest level, so it would have sucked pretty hard to get stuck like that with bands pulling the bar down. But I powered through the last rep. so all was well. After that I took off the bands to do as many reps as possible with 325. I got six reps. 325 + 80 from the bands for three reps: I’m pretty happy with that.

The accessory work wasn’t so bad except for the three hundred reps of pulldowns. Dude, Jesse loves that volume work. At 250 reps of 180 I was blown. I went ahead and moved on to the straight bar curls. Now I feel stupid and weak for not grinding out the last 50, but I know at the time I was just tired and hurting. I can’t do that crap again, though. No one gets better without doing the work, and I have age and genetics working against me. All I have is my willingness to work harder than the guys competing against me. If I don’t do the work I don’t have anything.

Oh, in other news I ripped another pair of shorts today. Powerlifter problems.

Thursday, May 15

Max Effort Bench

The source of my defeatI’m suffering from a pretty bad cold, so I was worried that today was going to suck before I even went to the gym. Nailed it.

Today was pin presses for max three. When I did 315 I knew I was in trouble. It was heavy, and it shouldn’t have been. In February, before I got hurt, I was doing this same exercise for 385. I didn’t expect to hit that since I’m still working back up, but I did expect to get to 345 at the very least. That didn’t happen. I hit the wall at 325. I got the third rep up to lockout, but barely. I tried 330, but all I got up was two. The entire time my head was screaming. It was hurting from congestion already, but all the pushing just elevated the headache to a new level.

Disappointed, I moved on to my other exercises. See-saw presses went ok with 50s, but that’s still lame. I was supposed to do pulldowns, but two kids were alternating between sorta using the pulldown machine and just sitting there talking. I didn’t feel like messing with them, so I went to the assisted pullup machine and offset my weight by 100 lbs. I did not get my specified 300 reps. I churned out 100. By then my head just wouldn’t let up even when I finished a set. I called it a day after that and came home.

This is the first time since I’ve started working with Jesse Burdick that I just quit in the middle of my training session. I feel pretty crappy about it. At the same time, just sitting here looking at this screen makes my head hurt, so I guess it makes sense. It still sucks, though.

Man, what a shitty day.