Thursday, April 14, 2011

Where did that come from?

I was happy when I got to the gym last night, because the scheduled workout was more strength based than endurance based. I was afraid that a long main workout would leave me coughing and struggling. After our warm-up, the workout was pretty simple:

5x5 Deadlifts (heavy)

30 Snatches
30 Clean and Jerks

Those last 60 reps were done for time. The Rx'd weight was 135, level 1 was 95, and level 2 was 65.

My plan for yesterday was to ease back into things, as my cold is still working its way out of my system. I hadn't done any workouts since last Thursday's run.

I was going to lift by myself, but Ken asked if we could partner up. Ken and Del and I are three of the stronger guys in our 5:45 class, so it makes sense for us to work together. And, because they are both stronger than I am, they push me, which is good for me.

We warmed up at 135 and 225. It's funny that I still remember the day I first did a 135 pound deadlift, and how excited I was. That's now a trivial warm-up weight. We did our first working set at 275 and then one at 295. After that, Ken wanted to go to 315, but the 295 set had felt tough, so I went to 305. This was my first ever set of 5 reps at 300 pounds or higher. And, it didn't feel so bad. After Ken did his 315s, I decided to give that a try - three big wheels per side for five reps. It went better than I expected. Ken then went to 365, a PR for him at 5 reps. He struggled on the last two, but made it. Despite being less than 100% (maybe I was just rested rather than sick), I decided to go to 335 for my last set.

That weight has been a barrier for me this winter. About 16 months ago, I pulled a 355, and I repeated that a couple times in the following months. But this winter, when my strength usually peaks for the year because I'm in the gym a lot, I had been stuck at 335. I'd had some workouts where I'd failed at 315, 325, and 335. So, for me to attempt five reps at 335 was a major challenge. And yet, I got through them just fine. Every rep of 335 this winter has been a slow grind, slowly pulling the bar from the floor and doing just one rep. Something was way different last night, and I was amazed to get through the five reps as easily as I did. Clearly, I have to pick a day to try to beat my one rep PR of 355 pretty soon. I think I'm ready.

For the main workout, as I said I would do, I stayed at level 2 - only 65 pounds. That would allow me to not over-stress my shoulder, and also allow me to move at a reasonable pace and get through the lifts without going over the edge. Ken did the Rx'd workout and he looked like he was working really hard. I don't think I could have done 135s last night.

The snatches were harder than the clean and jerks, but I moved through them fairly quickly. For each lift, I did about 15 reps, took a short break, did 7-8 more, a short break, and then finished. I pretty much did muscle snatches, which require less form and more strength compared to hang snatches or squat snatches. If I'd done 135, I wouldn't have been able to do muscle snatches.

I'm a bit sore today from the deadlifts, but fine otherwise. I'm still not 100% recovered from being sick, but I'm better each day.

This weekend, my wife and daughter are going out of town for my daughter's birthday, so my son and I will be at home. I am hoping to go skiing, but the forecast is looking pretty dismal - rain and wind most of the weekend.

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