week 3, day 1, back in the gym

Week 2 ended up being an 'unload' week since I didn't get into the gym at all.  I guess I needed the break since I had zero desire to lift anything.  After 9 days off, I was kinda looking forward to the gym tonight.  The weather was finally nice so before I made it to the gym, I stopped at the driving range to hit a bucket of balls.  This time of the year is always tough on my gym plans since I'd rather be golfing.

I was pretty happy to find out that 9 days off didn't result in any significant de-training effect.  Everything I did today felt like it picked up where I last left it so I guess the break was a good thing.

I did see this at the gym tonight:

Yes, someone actually put spring collars on the smith machine.  I can only guess that with such a poor display of critical thinking skills that whatever they were doing on the smith machine was horribly ill-prescribed.  I, on the other hand, did not use the spring collars when I did my close-stance smith machine squats.

Tonight I also experimented with a different warm-up progression on my squats and bench presses.  I figured that since I routinely start with approx 50% of my 1 RM when I deadlift, why shouldn't I do the same when i squat and bench press.  I never quite understood the logic behind starting with the bar or 135.  To me, if things were creaky enough that one needed to 'prime the pump' by working in the joints with very light weights, that it was a sign that perhaps one needed to work on tissue quality, mobility, or just needed to recover more fully between workouts.  I mean, what does squatting or bench pressing 135 achieve that bodyweight squats or push ups doesn't?

So, for squats and bench presses, I started with either 5 bodyweight squats or 5 push ups before starting my squats with 225 and my bench presses with 185.  Everything went fine and lo and behold, nothing snapped up or felt the slightest bit unusual.  The only thing I might change is to stretch out my shoulders with just the bar in the squat since my shoulder mobility isn't 'game ready' right from the start.  That's something to work on.  In a perfect world, my physical readiness would be such that I could just jump in at 70 or 75% instead of 50% but I'm not there yet.

Squats:  225x5, 275x5, low bar, add belt, 315x5, 365x5, 365x5

Bench Press:  all reps paused, 185x5, 225x5, 245x5, 265x5

Dumbbell flyes:  52.5x10, 60x8, 60x8, 60x8

Leg Extensions:  130x10, 130x10, 130x10

Close stance smith machine squats:  180x10, 180x10  just counted the weight on the bar

Rope Pushdowns:  150x10, 150x8

Pushdowns, straight handle:  150x12, 150x8

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