9/7/15 – 2 Weeks Out – Max Effort Bench (Plus: What this meet prep has taught me.)

Today was my final heavy bench day with near maximal weights on the bar until I get on the platform. I was pleasantly surprised by how natural my setup and execution felt today and the reps seemed to come and go very well. I am happy that I am comfortable with my bench so I can focus on making the final necessary preparations to feel good on the squat and deadlift. Today’s training went as follows…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • Bench Press
    • Bar x5, 135×5, 185×5, 225×3, 275×3, 295×1, 315×1, 335×1, 350×1 (3 board)
  • Dips – 3 Sets (15, 12, 12)
  • Lat Pulldown – 2×15
  • Cable Ab Pulldowns – 2×20
  • Hammer Curls – 2×10

Aside from a minor slip up with 335, my reps were smooth and felt easy. At 335 I finally hit my sticking spot and was beginning to fight through it when I let myself get out of the groove and the bar slipped up above my shoulders and head. With my spotters help I fought through the spot but know it wouldn’t have gone up without help. I’m not discouraged by this though and just reinforces the importance of the technique improvements I have made since my last meet. While resting and rolling out after my session, I had some time to ponder my current injury situation and think of things I have changed and improved on since gaining my nagging injuries during this prep cycle and beyond. I thought I would put together a little list to kind of spell out what I have learned. (Disclaimer: I in no way claim to be an expert. I speak from my personal experience and what I have observed about myself and my body. I welcome constructive criticism and comments about anything I post.)

Things I learned from my first nagging injuries in meet prep.

  1. Shortening your warm up or skipping it entirely will set you up for failure. Whatever time you save by jumping into a workout will end up being doubled by the time you spend rehabbing the injury you WILL end up getting.
  2. Your muscles might be stronger but your joints still take the same beating. Learning proper technique and moving the weight the right way will save you down the road. I used to be able to shoulder press 90lb dumbbells for reps on OHP during high school. I can get 75lbs up there on a good day now. Years of just throwing the weight up really tore up my shoulders. I almost guarantee you this is why I’m having issues with my pinched nerves in my rear delts during low bar squats now as well.
  3. Don’t get discouraged. Powerlifting, Strongman, Weightlifting, Bodybuilding, etc… are all mental sports just as much as they are strength sports. I have to say, these last six weeks have been some of the least encouraging weeks I have had in my young powerlifting career. That being said, I understand that there will be bad times. If I could go back to the beginning of prep and say something to myself it would probable be to relax and not forget the work I have already put in. I have hit the numbers, I have foam rolled, stretched, researched, learned, and experienced way more than six weeks can take away from me. No matter what I do in two weeks when I step on the platform I will guarantee you it is my very best.

In the end, I can only control that which within my control. There is no point in micro-managing my own body and training in the hopes of a miraculous transformation which clears up all the little things that haven’t gone my way.  I will do what is necessary to give me the best opportunity to succeed and continue that until I weigh in a week from this Friday morning. It is all too simple to look at your current situation and feel disappointed in yourself, wanting to go through a massive clearing house and changing everything you do. Here is a tip, most of what you are doing probably isn’t wrong. You’re not as screwed up as you think. Take a second to look back at what got you here, take a deep breath, and figure out where you went wrong. Fix those little things, recover, and carry on. Until next time!


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