Deadlift grooving and an Overhead Press PR

For the past two days, we've actually gotten some snow up here in Canada, Oakville, Ontario to be specific.  Despite being late for Christmas, the snow is a welcome if inconvenient confirmation that winter is upon us.  Once it's impossible to see the grass, I start mentally counting down days until golf season opens again.  If we're lucky, we'll have to suffer through about 100 days of winter before diehards start braving the mushy early spring conditions on the links.

In the meantime, I've got some strengthening to do and today's snowfall meant most of the normal gym population at the Oakville YMCA would have an excuse not to show up.  Since this particular gym isn't stocked with competitive lifters, I actually prefer if it's mostly empty.  If you want to get stronger and you can't find a gym where there are other competitive lifters, it's better to be the only fish in the pond rather than a competitive fish in a non-competitive pond.  At least that's my perspective on it.  Less distractions that way.

Today was heavy deadlift singles and overhead presses. My plan for deadlifts was to do 5 singles with 545.  My goal for each repetition was to try to find the speed off the floor that has been eluding me since I started this powerlifting middle-age crisis four years ago.  Each repetition was a chance to tweak my set up position and start fine-tuning my competition deadlift.  By the fifth single, it felt like I was starting to find it.  I lowered the weight to 405 lbs and did sets of 3 off of a 2" deficit.  I continued to work on my starting position until it finally seemed to click.

Deadlifts:  315x3, 405x3, 495x1, 545x1x5 sets, 405x3x3 sets off 2" deficit

The position I'm searching for is an evolution from my younger days as a full-on round-backed deadlifting humpasaurus.  In the picture below that compares deadlifts from 1989 and 2011, what I'm looking for is something in between the two.  The small picture is me deadlifting as if I'm trying to satisfy the form police rather than lift something heavy.  A higher starting hip  position with more rounding in the upper back will put me in a position to get more speed off the floor.  A key distinction between the two pictures is the picture from 1989 is me at 198 lbs lifting 622 lbs.  The pic from 2011 is me at 250 lbs lifting 606lbs.   While I probably can't ever regain the full hump-backed position of my youth (nor would I want to), there is still room to get my hips higher if I can extend the upper body a bit.
the form police might like the smaller pic but the old me was lifting alot more
 Anyways, after the extra deadlift work, my lower back was suitably wrecked (in a good way).  Despite the fatigue, I felt pretty good going into standing overhead barbell presses.  I decided I'd work up to a single with 210 lbs for a small PR.  Unlike last week where I failed with 205 lbs, today the 210 lbs went up fairly smoothly.  After that, I finished up with a small pyramid of 145-165 lbs.

Standing Overhead Barbell Press:  45x10, 95x10, 135x5, 165x2, 195x1, 210x1, 145x10, 155x7, 165x4

Finished up with face pulls and then to my post-workout meal of plain greek yogurt with organic peanut butter and splenda.  This was referred to me by a fellow lifter and I can't believe how good it tastes.  Seriously, it makes me want to workout just so I can eat it again.

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