After two nights of better sleep (at least 7 hours), I was eager to get back to the gym. I did feel better and had more energy throughout the day. Turns out I needed the energy big time today!
I started my workout with, as usual, squats. Before going to the gym I had already filled out my training logbook with “Squats, 5X5, 90kg”. I only ventured to this weight on my old workouts very rarely, and never with deep squats. I put down my stuff beside one of the squat racks, opened my logbook to today’s page, and then I did some hurdle stretches in between setting up the bar with the weights. I placed myself under the bar, and pumped out 5 nice, deep reps. I noted the set in my log, rested about 105 s, then did the next 3 sets in similar fashion. I felt good; I was expending effort but my form was very good, and I was telling myself that the weight actually felt a bit light!
As I was preparing for the fifth set and mentally planning which rack to put the weights back on, I suddenly realized that I was actually squatting 80kg instead of 90kg! I had the bar (20kg), then a 20kg and 10kg plate on each side (2X30kg), when I should have put a 15kg plates instead of the 10kg plates. How did it end up this way? Was I too enthusiastic about this doing the squats coming in? Or was I distracted by the lady doing deadlifts on the rack beside mine while I was setting up my bar? 😀 (On a side note, it’s pretty rare to see a girl doing proper deadlifts in a commercial gym. I’ve seen some guys do it, but they usually don’t do heavy sets and use a support belt even at low weights! This is reflected in the imbalance between their nicely developed upper bodies compared to their lower bodies.)
I think I was mentally prepared, but mathematically unprepared :D. Hard to admit for a self-confessed nerd. I guess I’ll never know what caused this blooper, but now I had a dilemma. Do I:
- continue with 80kg for my fifth set and call it quits?
- switch to 90kg for the fifth set and call it quits?
- or switch to 90kg and do five more sets of five?
I decided to go for option C! So on went and put on another pair of 5kg plates, and then I cranked out another 5 sets! In the last three sets, I was really feeling the ache throughout my thighs, glutes, and back (the posterior chain), and there was little of the pain I felt when I was doing heavy squats before with lousy form. There were points when I almost started to “stick” at some points in the lift, but I was able to push through. After the last set (which became my 9th), I got that slightly woozy feeling, which tells me I made a pretty good effort!
The next exercise was barbell bench press, 5X5 at 62.5kg. I have been re-reading about the proper form for this exercise (shoulders pulled back and down), and decided to focus on this today. I did the five reps with no problem! I am now quite near to my old maximum workout weight on the bench press which was 70kg (and that was for just the last of three sets). Then it was on to hang cleans, 5X5 at 47.5 kg. Again, no problem with the weight, although my catch can still bear a bit of improvement with some of the reps.
Today, instead of going for 3XF for pushups, I added weight and did 3X5. After re-reading the StrongLifts program I found that I should add weight once I can do 15 reps with good form. I did this by bringing my laptop backpack with me to the gym (sans laptop of course) and putting in three 5kg plates into it. I did my pushups with no problem. On a side note, now I know what a 15kg laptop would feel like behind my back!
Finally, I did my core workout following the Flatten Your Abs program, level 5, followed by a bit of foam rolling for my weary hamstrings, glutes, and quads.
It was good nutition for me throughout the day. Tonight I cooked up another batch of smoked cod for protein over the next few days.
Eat clean, train hard, double-check your weights, and expect success!