Today was a bittersweet day of lifting for sure. As soon as I got off of work I knew that I was going to really have to clear my mind before I could focus on training and have a successful day. This was worsened by the fact that today was the final heavy day for rack (or block) pulls which have hurt my back previously during this cycle. I decided going in to the session today that I was going to really focus on technique today and also switch to sumo stance which takes some of the pressure of the lower back region. I warmed up thoroughly, worked through my warm up sets and training went as follows.
- Stretch and Warm-Up
- Sumo Block Pulls (4″-5″ Blocks)
- Bar x5, 135×5, 225×3, 275×3, 315×3, 365×3, 405×3, 455×3, 495×3, 515×1, 535×1 (fell backward after lockout)
- 405×5, 455×3, 505×1
- Sumo Deadlift (3 count pause at knee)
- 315×3, 335×3, 365×3
- Paused Front Squat
- 225×10, 245×8, 245×10
- Pull Throughs
- 120×20, 140×20, 160×15, 180×10
- T-Spine Extension (on Glute-Ham Raise Machine) – 4×20
- Hanging Leg Raises – 4×12
I say that today was a bittersweet day of training because I accomplished my two major goals for the day, I avoided injuring my back and beat my previous gym PR on rack pulls by 20lbs. On the downside, I had to call it quits sooner than I wanted to because on my final two sets I began to fall backwards. I had the strength to pull another 20-30lbs at least but after my form started to break down in that way I decided it would be best to stop moving up, take the injury free reps, and move on to the backdown sets. Looking back on the session, I am glad I went about it the way I did but I still have that guilty feeling about leaving reps/weight on the table.
In other news, after speaking with my coach, I have decided to forego my deload week next week and instead move straight into the beta test 2.0 program which Brandon just released to the team. This program will be very similar to the one I have been using except it is designed for me to use the big three lifts themselves instead of variations like floor press and rack pulls. At the end of the program I will be test my maxes so that I can see my progress. I have a vacation planned in 7 weeks so setting my schedule up this way will allow me to deload while I am on vacation. I am looking forward to seeing my progress and feel strong.