14 weeks out, Day 3, high bar wide stance squats, bench press, and stuff

Boulder, Colorado is a very unusual place but in a good way.  I love it here, always have, but it really is a shock to the system if you ever travel here from just about anywhere else in North America.  Almost everyone you see is in what appears to be in excellent physical condition and people are always out doing exercise-y things.  It's really hard to settle down for a day of couch potato duty when you're always seeing people running, biking, driving Subarus with roof racks for bikes/snowboards/paddleboards/kayaks, etc.

So, on that note, I decided to head to the local YMCA to get in more exercise so as to not feel like a complete stranger.  On the way to the Y, I probably saw about a hundred people riding bikes on the 5 miles of country road between my parent's house and the Lafayette YMCA.  All kinds of bikes, full aero bar types with fancy aero helmets and all the tight clothing to older folks riding upright hybrid bikes.  Seeing all these people getting their VO2 max on made me decide that I would start my workout with 2000 meters on the Concept 2 rower.

The last time I spent any time on a Concept 2 rower was October 21, 2012.  I know this because it was the last entry in my logbook at the Concept 2 website. At that time, my best time for 2000m was 7:50.2.  That was also at sea level and after I had been rowing about once a week for about a month.  Boulder is about a mile above sea level, one of the reasons why many elite athletes live and train in Boulder. I should've realized that doing some endurance work, even just 8 minutes worth, was probably a poor idea for this poorly adapted sea level dwelling wannabe powerlifter.  Anyways, rather than give up halfway through, I managed to finish but in a very slow time of 8:49.5.  I know from playing golf here that the ball flies almost 10% further due to the thinner air.  I guess the thinner air also takes at least 10% from my aerobic capacity.

2000m at about 5400 ft above sea level means a minute slower than my best sea level time
After I recovered from my more strenous than expected warm-up, I did some wide stance high bar squats.  I didn't bring my squat shoes on the trip so I had to squat in flat shoes.  My back was a bit sore from yesterday's deadlifts so I kept the squat work pretty light.  It feels like the wide stance squats are a pretty good assistance movement for my sumo deadlifts.  When I was done and unloading the bar, an older guy with a bodybuilder's physique asked me for the plates.  He was working the leg press and was in the process of accumulating the weights he would need.  He invited me to leg press with him and his training partner.

Unlike the Oakville YMCA, the Lafayette YMCA was filled with people that looked like they worked out.  Many looked like endurance athletes, some like crossfitters, and some were just plain jacked.  Hardly anyone looked like a beginner.  Like I said, Boulder is a strange place.  Not wanting to miss a chance to train with someone that knows what they are doing, I decided to work in with them.  He looked to be older than I, so in his early 50's I would guess and was probably 190lbs at about 5'6" and 10% bodyfat.  I asked him if he competed and he said he didn't, he just liked to work out.  Anyways, he did his leg presses bodybuilder style, continuous tension and in the sweet spot of the ROM, just pumping out reps.  I tend to do my leg presses like I try to squat, that is, exploding out of the bottom position to a near lockout.  Trying to work with a bodybuilding tempo was a challenge and the searing, burning pain in my quads was something that I don't normally experience.  I ended up tapping out after three sets but it was good fun.

I bench pressed again but with lighter weights and finished up with face pulls.  It felt good to get in another day of exercise but Boulder just puts you in that mood.  It's really amazing what a great environment can do.  This is the kind of place where it's just really hard to come up with reasons to skip a training session.

Concept 2 Rower:  2000m 8:49.5

Wide Stance high bar squats:  135x5, 225x5, 275x5x5 sets

Leg Press:  630x10, 630x20, 720x10

Leg Curls:  90x12, 130x10, 130x8

Bench Press:  all reps touch and go, 135x8, 185x10, 225x10, 225x10, 225x8

Face Pulls:  50x12, 60x12, 60x12

After my workout, my brother Michael and his wife Kristen came by and we went out to lunch at Smash Burger.  I hadn't had one before and wanted to try it out so I could compare it to In N Out and Five Guys.  I think I'd rank the burger as #3 out fthe three but I liked that I could get a craft beer there.

a nice dark lager from New Belgium Brewery in Ft. Collins

our Smash Burger meals


Comments

  1. Great post Craig. Those Smash Burgers look really good. You appear to be more comfortable with sumo deadlifts. Do you prefer them over "regular" or other types of deadlifts now?

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    Replies
    1. hi Wes, thanks for the note! I'm getting the hang of the sumo deadlifts but I haven't had to strain with a heavy single yet so I'm not sure what will happen. I might work up to a hard single today. I prefer them for now because they allow me to train my squat without any lower back recovery time needed. I've always been much much better at conventional pulls but my back was starting to recover slower and slower from meets and workouts so I thought it was a good time to see if I can convert to sumo. Even if I take a little step back on the deadlift, I'm hoping I can make it back in the squat--at least in the near term. Eventually, I'd like to think I can get my sumo deadlift equal to what I've pulled conventional.

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