Week 4, Day 4, foundation phase

I was still a little sore from the previous sessions this week but I was looking forward to this training session to see how some higher intensity efforts would feel.  I planned to work up to a beltless squat triple with 405 and then work up to a gym max in the bench.

As I arrived at the gym, I noticed a van in the parking lot wrapped with the KBell Academy logo.  When I got back into personal training in late 2008, one of the first certifications I got after my personal trainer certification was a kettlebell trainer class.  The certification was through the KBell Academy via a company discount for Goodlife Fitness employees.  Ajamu Bernard was the trainer and I was curious if he was at the Oakville YMCA to train some of their employees.

Although I haven't been involved in the fitness industry for a couple of years now, I consider the kettlebell certification the most useful training class I took while I was there.  Not only was it very useful with my personal training clients, but I found the kettlebell work useful for my own training.  Get ups, windmills and kettlebell snatch intervals have all served me well over the years.

a pic from December 2008, kettlebell certified! Ajamu is the one in the "L" position.
Anyways, it was good to say hello to Ajamu and thank him for the training.  It was so long ago that he didn't remember me (not that I expected him to) but I wanted to let him know I valued the course very much.

After thanking Ajamu, it was on to some squatting.  Despite some soreness in my hamstrings from Wednesday's deadlift session, squats went very well.  I worked up to my planned triple with 405 and could definitely tell that my stability is improving.  I'm looking forward to adding back the belt in 4 weeks, by then I should be handling my previous belted rep PR's so adding the belt back in should be a nice boost.  I did one back off set with 365 and moved on to bench presses.

I worked up to paused singles with 315, 325, and 330.  The 330 moved slowly but it never felt like the repetition was in doubt.  I would've liked to have handled it with more speed but for an 'everyday max', it's a big improvement.

I finished up with some kirk shrugs and some direct arm work.  Beefing up the yoke and the pipes should help with my bench press, yo.

Squats:  beltless, 135x10, 225x5, 275x5, 315x5, 365x3, 405x3 (beltless 3RM PR), 365x4

Bench Press:  all reps paused, 135x10, 185x5, 225x5, 275x2, add wrist wraps, 315x1, 325x1, 330x1, 285x3

Kirk Shrugs:  225x8, 275x4, 275x4 (grip gave out due to no chalk and too much sweat)

Hammer Curls:  45x10, 45x8, 45x7

Overhead DB tricep extensions:  45x9, 45x7, 45x6

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