Back in the gym but still beat-up

Today was the first training session since last Saturday's meet.  I had actually wanted to get back in the gym earlier but in hindsight it's probably good that I didn't.  All week my body actually felt pretty good but mentally I was enjoying the break.  Today's workout was pretty blatant evidence that my body was still recovering.

My initial squat warm up sets, high bar squats with 135 and 225, went well.   My third warm up set with 315 lbs is when I usually start my low-bar sets.  This was the first warning things weren't completely right.  My shoulders didn't like getting into position for the low-bar hold at all.  The weight didn't feel heavy but I could tell my core was working too hard.

Next set was with 365 lbs and usually it would be my last warm-up before work sets with 405.  Today 365 was all I could handle.  I did an ugly triple and after I racked the bar, my midsection cramped up partly like I was going to vomit and partly like that feeling the day after a tackle football game.  I ended up doing two more sets of three with 365 but that was plenty.  My core was protesting wildly and I could feel my back straining.  Apparently the stress from my third attempt deadlift was still healing up.

I changed plans for my overhead press workload and just did 6 sets of 5 with 135 lbs.  Basically it was speed work but my midsection still felt stressed from such a light load.  I finished up with three sets of dumbbell rows and was pretty gassed.

To be honest, I was surprised at how beat up I still felt given that I didn't miss any attempts at the meet and only my third attempt deadlift was a true limit attempt that drew on psyche reserves.  I think a week of speed work will get things humming along.

For the first time in about a year, I feel like everything is primed for a jump in strength levels.  While my overall total has only improved 5 kgs since last June, I've made big improvements in my squat and my shoulders feel better than they have in months.  In addition, I'm now very comfortable both with the hook grip and my deadlift form.  Looking very forward to trying to put 10 kgs on both my squat and deadlift before my next competition in June and hopefully another 5 kgs or more on my bench press.  My long-term goal is to hit a 400 wilks in raw competition and at my current bodyweight, that will require a 660-670 kg total.  Hitting a 650 in June will be a nice step towards that goal.


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