My bench is back, hope it stays for a while

Yesterday Vivian and I played 18 holes of golf.  As usual I walked and carried my bag.  Out of curiousity, I decided to weigh it to see how heavy it was.  Turns out it's 30 lbs on the dot.  Part of that is due to my putter, a putter by a company called "Heavy Putter".  By itself it weighs almost 4 lbs, over double the weight of a 'normal' putter.  I guess that's why walking 18 holes right now leaves me with sore back and legs the next day.  Still, it was better today than after the first round of the year a couple weeks ago.  I think I'll have to start taking some walks with my weighted vest during the week to build some conditioning.  My body can tolerate static loading as in a squat or deadlift but long-duration, low-intensity work while moving is still more difficult than it should be.

Since my back and legs were not as fresh as they should be, I decided that my front squat workout would be 5 sets of 5 reps with 74% of my 1 RM.  I chose 74% only because I planned on using 225 lbs and that's what the intensity turned out to be.  These went pretty well, in fact I did a sixth set since the first five felt pretty good. I have finally figured out how to lock my shoulders in position so I don't feel like I'm going to dump the bar when I get tired.  I realized I was pulling my shoulders back under strain and basically pulling the rug out from under the bar.  Fixing this made the tougher reps alot easier.

Front Squats:  135x10, 185x5, 225x5x6 sets

After last week's bench session, I was eager to find out if my shoulders still felt good.  From my first warm-up set with just the bar, I could tell things were good.  For the first time in a long, long time, I could actually pump out reps with 135, 185, and 225.  I didn't feel like I needed to baby my shoulders at all, there was zero pain, zero stress, and the bar felt explosive.  It's been so long since I felt this that I almost couldn't remember.  My normal progression went very easily and I ended up doing a top single with 315 lbs.  This is the first time I've handled that much weight in the gym in over 20 months of recorded workouts.

Bench Press:  45x10, 135x10, 185x5, 225x5, 255x3, 275x2, 285x2, 295x1, 305x1, 315x1, 255x4, 255x4, 255x3

I am elated that my bench press has come back these past two weeks, I'm going to keep the high rep overhead presses on my deadlift day as that's pretty much the only thing I've changed.  Maybe the high reps at a relatively low intensity pumps extra blood into the areas that needed to heal.  I have no idea but I'm not going to change anything until or if my shoulders start to hurt again.

*disclaimer:  this workout (but not last week's bench press workout) was performed under the influence of 600 mg of Ibuprofen.  I'm going to have to make notations in my training log when I do this, similar to how on the racing programs they list which horses are running on lasix.

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