I went to bed last night after re-reading my goals, aiming, no, expecting to bust my plateau today on the barbell overhead press on the StrongLifts 5X5 program that I am following. Imagine my concern when I went into the office and started feeling a little fever coming on. My eyes were a bit redder and my body a bit warmer than usual. It may have been the stress from the previous day still having some lingering effects. However, I was determined to get over it and drank more water than usual within the day. It seems to have helped keep the fever at bay.
As it’s a Friday, I got back from the office a bit earlier than usual, and knowing that I had a mission today, I decided to have a 15-minute power nap to recharge my batteries. Once I woke up, I was feeling refreshed and more ready for the day’s workout. So after eating a light meal and writing down my training plan in my notebook, I drove off to they gym expecting big things.
I started the workout by doing hurdle stretches for hip mobility, then proceeded to do 5X5 squats at 92.5 kg, which was another 2.5kg more than the previous. It challenged me a lot, especially the first set (when my body was still getting used to the weight) and the last set (when my body is already fatiguing). I was however, able to complete all the reps properly! On a side note, since I started StrongLifts 5×5, I haven’t been using any padding on the bar before placing it on my shoulders, as I usually did before. I think I’ve finally found the proper place on my traps/shoulders where the bar rests perfectly as long as I keep my shoulders back and chest high.
While I was doing squats, there was another guy on the other rack besides mine who started doing overhead barbell squats, and then hang cleans, with what I thought was good form. Of course this attracted my attention and I watched him perform those exercises while I was in between sets, in order to learn how I could do the overhead barbell squat and improve my hang clean. What’s more, another person in the gym (probably a visitor from overseas like me) started giving pointers to the guy doing hang cleans. This other guy seemed to be a powerlifter himself, so I had one ear out listening to the pointers being dished out.
After squats, it was on to barbell overhead presses, my third try at 5X5 using 45kg. Before doing them I performed some shoulder dislocations (stretches, not injuries). Each of the first four sets went as before, requiring more and more effort. I have to admit there was a niggling doubt that this workout would end the same way. However, I was feeling pumped up knowing that there were some serious lifters around me, and finally, I was able to complete 5 reps on the fifth set! This really made my day!
After those two exercises, I did 1X5 deadlifts at 105kg, and then 3 sets of pullups to failure, completing a total of 29 reps, one more than before. Finally, I did my core workout using Flatten Your Abs Level 5.
Eat clean, train hard, and expect success!
P.S. Let us all support Dougal through prayers and well-wishes as he faces another operation in the near future. Expect him to be back soon in the gym and in the ‘Sphere inspiring other people to achieve their dreams.