Front squats and bench presses

Wednesday's deadlift, shrug and overhead press workout wrecked me in a good way.  I was comfortably sore just about everywhere I expected to be.  On Thursday I realized I had a couple big onions that needed to be cooked since they were on the verge of going bad.  I decided I'd caramelize them and them mix them with some chopped chicken breasts, rice and a bag of chopped kale/spinach/collard greens  (Cookin Greens brand frozen veggies, if you can get them, they're awesome).   What I forgot to do was take some shortcuts to make the caramelization process go faster.

So, as I stood there, stirring my onions waiting for them to start caramelizing, my right trapezius started getting tight.  By the time I had finally finished caramelizing my onions 45 minutes later, I had a full blown muscle spasm in my right trap.  Despite high dosing ibuprofen on Friday, it was very difficult to turn my head and driving was definitely a challenge.  I guess cooking the day after deadlifts, shrugs and overhead presses was just a little too much for me.

Well, I had to workout today no matter what as I had to do my squat assistance work (front squats), bench presses, and dumbbell rows.  When I used to work as a Personal Trainer, many times, our clients would be people who had never exercised on a regular basis.  Often the uninitiated will think any ache and pain is a reason to skip a workout and take it easy.  In most cases, movement begets more movement and the real answer is to keep moving.  With experience comes the ability to determine when one is injured and shouldn't move as much and when one isn't injured and would benefit from more movement.  Knowing there's no way I injured myself from stirring onions, I had faith that some iron therapy would loosen things up.

I started with Front Squats and decided I would progress from the "zombie carry" to using wrist straps as depicted this article,  I had tried the wrist strap carry many months before but with my upper back not properly trained to stay tight, I had trouble keeping my elbows high.  Now, after weeks of "zombie carry" front squats, I felt like I had developed enough upper back stability to hold the bar.  After my first warmup set, I could tell there was a huge difference.  Not only could I keep my elbows up, having a hold on the bar via the straps really increased stability. I was able to work up to a good double with 275 and then some solid back-off sets with 245.   In addition to handling more weight, my right trapezius, as expected, loosened up.

Front Squats: 135x5, 185x5, 225x3, 255x3, 275x3, 245x3, 245x5

Bench presses were next and this was only my second bench press workout since my competition on February 11.  The last bench press workout two Saturdays ago was cut short at 225 lbs because my shoulders were still a bit tender.  I was hoping I'd be able to push things a bit more today as my goal for June's competition is to add 7.5-10 kgs to my bench press.

Bench Press:  45x10, 95x10, 135x5, 185x5, 225x3, 255x2, 275x2, 255x3, 255x3, 255x3

Finished up with dumbbell rows for my grip.  Very productive workout and my cooking injury was gone.

Dumbbell rows:  100x12, 100x12, 100x10

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