No shoulder pain today!

Normally I wouldn't plan my light squat and bench press workout the day immediately after heavy deadlifts and light overhead presses but it's Vivian's birthday weekend and we've got a bunch of stuff planned.
my much better half
Vivian is super awesome and I'm very lucky to share my life with her.  She's been a great supporter of my mid-life crisis powerlifting exploits and has even gotten into deadlifting and bench pressing.  We met via an online dating website so if you don't already know a couple that met that way, now you do.

She's glad I'm not competing with all of the gear because she thinks it looks foolish.  I try to explain the extreme challenge presented by using the squat suits, bench shirts and deadlift suits but it's really something you gotta try yourself in order to gain the proper appreciation and respect for the discipline.

All that being said, I'm glad I'm now training and competing raw too.  It's simpler, less expensive, and for me, a much lower risk of injury.  All of the recent aches and pains I have are from handling the heavier weights required when you're wearing equipment.   I rushed into using the gear because at the time there were no separate "raw" or "classic" categories in the meets I entered.  Being competitive and wanting to compare my lifting to my peers, I jumped into the gear without really re-building the strength foundation needed to withstand the much more intense training required.   I'm thankful I went through the experience--I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd bench press 435 lbs but wearing a bench shirt it happened.  Despite the assistance provided by the shirt, it was still far more difficult and demanding than any raw max bench press attempt I had ever taken.  I still have scars on my arms from the shirt--along with persistent pain in my shoulders.

Or at least I did?  Today's workout was light squats--front squats and bench presses with dumbbell rows and face pulls as assistance work.  The front squats went well, the weight wasn't heavy but my form still needs polishing.  I'm still doing these no hands style and I'm still struggling with keeping my torso upright at full squat depth.

Front squats:  135x5x2 sets, 185x5, 225x3x5 sets

Bench presses felt surprisingly good from the start.  I thought my shoulders might be balky since I overhead pressed yesterday.  Instead, they felt virtually pain free.  My plan was to work up to at least one single with 285 lbs and then back down with more singles and then three sets of three reps with 245 lbs.  I was very happy to find that my shoulders felt as good as they've felt in months and I was able to follow my prescribed plan to the letter.  I'm very optimistic that I'll be able to ramp up my bench press volume and intensity to get my bench back up to the 305 lbs that I lifted last September.

Bench Press:  45x10, 95x10, 135x5, 185x5, 225x3, 255x2, 275x1, 285x1, 275x1x3 sets, 245x3x3 sets

I finished up with three sets of dumbbell rows and three sets of face pulls.  Now I've got three days off until Tuesday's squat workout and hopefully another overhead press PR.  In the meantime, it's birthday weekend for Vivian!

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