Bench Press PR and some pulling

On Feb 13th, I hit an all-time touch and go bench press PR of 350 lbs.  Since that time I've had some very good bench press sessions, hitting new highs in work repetitions and total poundage lifted.  I hadn't originally planned on hitting heavy singles tonight but I thought we would be short for time since we had to run some errands prior to getting to the gym.  In lieu of volume, I would increase the average intensity.

I've been feeling pretty good in the upper body lately so I thought I'd be able to get in some good work.  I used an abbreviated warm-up schedule, one that is similar to what I'd use at a meet.  All my reps with weights above 225 were paused since today was really a hybrid between getting in work repetitions and doing a little testing.  In a meet I'd normally never do more than 1 rep with weights 275 or above but since I wanted to work a little, I doubled 275 and 315.  To be honest, I'd never doubled 315 with a pause before so I knew things were good.

I hit an easy 335 single and loaded 345.  I paused that for a smooth single for my first all-time paused bench press PR of the night.  I then loaded 350 to see if I had converted that touch and go PR of three weeks ago into a paused rep PR today.  Even though I slightly mis-grooved it on the way down and my back slipped ever so slightly, I paused it and pressed it, actually pressing it easier than my touch and go PR three weeks ago.  Since competitions are in pounds and the kilogram equivalent is 352 lbs, I still have some work to do to feel confident that I'll hit a 160 kg press in competition.  But I'm close, closer than I thought I'd be this far out from November's meet.  I finished up with 3 work sets with 285.  Total volume for the session was down about 30% from my last volume session but the average intensity was much higher.

At the moment, I think there are two factors contributing to my recent personal successes in the bench press, kirk shrugs and paused reps.  I started pausing all my work reps after my last meet in mid-December and I added in the kirk shrugs about 7 weeks ago.  The kirk shrugs hit the shoulder action that is similar to both the  start of the bench press and the start of the overhead press.  I don't think it's a coincidence that I've hit PR's in both lifts in the 7 weeks since I started doing them.

After bench presses, I finally set about to do some decent deadlifting.  I've been sidelining my deadlifting in order to emphasize my squat sessions but it's time to get it back in shape.  I actually planned to start deadlifting with intent last week but my irritable SI joints put that plan on hold for a week.  I worked up to three singles with 545.  They felt slow at first but by the third single, it started to feel familiar again.  My back held up pretty well although it's a little tender when I sneeze right now.

Bench Press:  135x10, all reps paused from here, 225x3, add wrist wraps, 275x2, 315x3, 335x1, add belt, 345x1 all time paused PR, 350x1 new all time paused PR, no belt, 285x5, 285x5, 285x4

Deadlift:  315x5, 405x5, add belt, 495x3, 545x1, 545x1, 545x1

Barbell Shrug:  405x10, 405x10

Kirk Shrug:  225x8, 225x8, 225x6

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