Hook grip speed singles

Two deadlift workouts before the next competition--not enough time to get the deadlift up to previous standards but still a chance to get the hook grip dialed in enough to at least hit a 550-575 lb deadlift.

The workout yesterday was scheduled to be a 'light' day, perfect for trying some speed singles in an effort to gain more confidence in the security of my newly adopted hook grip.  The plan was to do singles with 485 lbs (80% of my 1 rep max) with 1 minute rest.  Each repetition would use the hook grip and my goal was to try to rip them off the floor.  I hoped that I'd be able to gain confidence in the hook grip so I wouldn't waste a second thought on it.

I ended up doing 5 singles and with the relatively short rest period between reps, still ended up feeling fairly tired. I stopped after 5 singles because my thumbs started feeling really beat up.  I actually have a small blister on my right thumb from the abuse.  On the positive side, the grip was secure and I didn't tear any calluses.

Not being able to deadlift much has definitely had an effect on my lower back strength and recovery ability but the priority has been to learn the grip so I never considered strapping up.  If I can't hold on to it, no point on lifting anything heavier for the time being.

Next week's deadlift workout will be a work up to a heavy single that will likely end up projecting as my second attempt on the 18th.

Bench presses were painful.  For whatever reason, my shoulder didn't want to loosen up so virtually every repetition felt strained.  I ended up working up to one easy single with 275 and then finished up the workout with close grip bench presses.

The gym I use, the Oakville YMCA, is undergoing a renovation next week and they're apparently replacing the current bench presses with new ones.  I'm looking forward to this as the current bench presses are terrible.  They have fixed barbell hooks and the upper hook is too high and the lower one is too low.  Because of this, I can't train my bench press with the same set-up as I'd use in competition.  I don't think this has an effect on my shoulder pain but it does greatly reduce the poundages I can use.  They're also getting a new squat/power rack--I hope they actually get more than one because the current single squat rack they have gets plenty of use.

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