After the weekend, I was beat, but I knew that today (Tuesday) was going to be a rest day, so I needed a good workout yesterday. But, my legs were tired a bit from the race and my arms were tired from stacking firewood. So, I just made up my own workout - something with a minimal number of repeats that would focus on strength:
5x5 of each with 3:00 rest between each set.
This was a good workout for me, and as I loosened up, I was able to add weight to each lift as I progressed through the sets. I ended up at 210 for squats, 135 for bench presses, and 245 for deads. Those numbers are pretty pathetic, but they will change over the next few months.
A week ago, I did a single dead rep at 305. A few weeks ago, I hit 165 on the bench and then failed at 170. I've been doing high rep squats, but no heavy squats for a while.
My current single-rep bests are 265 for the squat, 165 for the bench press and 325 for the deadlift. By the end of the calendar year, I'm confident that I'll exceed all of those numbers. The squat will be the toughest to beat, most likely.
My current program ends this weekend, and after this weekend, I move into a couple months of pure strength work - work designed to push up my PRs in all three of the powerlifts.
Lately, I've been "playing around" with creatine monohydrate, and I see some good and bad effects from it. First of all, it's tough on my stomach and I have to make sure I take it right before I eat dinner. And, it has caused me to have some muscle cramping, mostly when I stretch out in bed at night.
At the same time, I've found that it seems to help me with heavier lifts or high reps in the gym. I didn't do any loading protocol (20g/day is recommended) so that I could avoid the water bloat that often goes with that. I've simply been taking 5g per day to see what would happen. I think I'm going to stick with this through at least my next four weeks of lifting and see what happens with my powerlifts. It's a cheap supplement and by most indications, very safe, and effective for most people, so I'm going to keep taking it for a few more weeks. If it negatively affects my skiing or running, I'll stop, but for right now, while trying to get stronger, I'm going to give it a chance.