The third session of the week wasn’t really anything new in terms of movements, I only learned that my wrist mobility sucks (see previous entry). Oh, and shoulder blasts are savage; one rep was actually a combination of 24 different movements but at least my shoulders will look really nice come summer time.
The fourth session was a combination of two new movements: the Front Squat and Romanian Deadlift.
I surprisingly did not struggle much with the front squat, I’m unsure if I built up all the muscles required to do a front squat due to all the regular squats I had done for the previous 6 weeks, or if I am just better balanced for a front squat. I’m not complaining though! I just have really bad wrist mobility for holding the bar up, but it was easily solved by relaxing my fingers and using just two fingers from each hand to balance the bar with weight on my delts and neck; very uncomfortable on the neck because I’ve never had anything pressed up against it before but hopefully it’s because I’m not used to it rather than me doing the movement incorrectly.
I have done Romanian Deadlifts before the session at some point in time, months ago, but for some reason I couldn’t feel anything in my hamstrings, just my lowerback, and I couldn’t figure out how to correct it and load the muscles correctly; I’ll have to mess around with it with just a PVC pole some time this week before my next RDL session.
My hamstrings are weak that I couldn’t pull myself up on the Glute-Ham raise (BodyBuilding.com Link) so I had have my exercise modified to do banded hamstring curls, or something like that.
I learned lots of new exercises for my third session of the sixth week of my powerlifting class. I believe now is when we’re moving into isolated type exercises. Now is the time that ALL of my past injuries, lack of mobility, and weak muscles are now showing and affecting my gains.
I fell on my wrist and suffer (or is it suffering?) from Colles’ Fracture, which is a wrist injury when falling on the palm and over-extending the wrist [don’t quote me on that]. This was over two decades ago but when I did fall, I never did seek the medical help that I should have, which meant no cast and no physical therapy; which really means that my body found loop-holes around my problems, and rewired itself on how to continue to do daily functions but not use the correct muscles or tendons or bones that should be used for said function. Needless to say that this is very painful in that it causes tendonitis, aka Tennis Elbow; include that with my current shoulder issue with the humerus popping in/out of the socket on it’s own, and I’m surprised I can even lift my mug of coffee to drink out of it.
I’ve had a brief conversation with my chiropractor who realigns my shoulder every week, sometimes twice a week, and on top of my programming for my powerlifting class, I’m now doing other exercises like the bent-over rear deltoid dumbbell raise (BodyBuilding.com Link), and a static wrist rotation with dumbbells that my chiropractor has shown me. Combined with a bunch of shoulder exercises that The Babe has shown me to do to strengthen my shoulders and add mobility, I’m clocking close to 3 hours of weight / physical therapy time a day. Just thinking about all of the work makes me tired and sleepy.
I learned how to power clean last night! I stopped at 70 lbs. because I wasn’t confident enough to catch anything heavier with the lack of wrist mobility since my fall, which is also known as Colles’ Fracture. I struggled with the technical part of the exercise from the knee and up. I have a hard time translating “explode at the hips” into a body movement to propell the barbell upwards. I have a lot of technical aspects to learn from the movement and most definitely a lot to perfect before I can say that I am able to “clean.”
Below is a video of Lydia Valentin from Spain performing a Clean at a competition. She is always impressive to me because she keeps the bar so close to her body and her elbows jut out so very far forward, both things that I struggle with at the moment. I think she’s my gold standard for performing the Clean, but if there are any other female lifters that can perform this lift beautifully, please let me know! I’m interested to seeing more beautiful lifts!
For fun’sies, here is a picture of my legs the day after learning how to do cleans.
As for the other exercises like the variations of squats, I am happy to report that like magic, my hips stopped hurting when going below parallel! Okay, maybe it wasn’t so much magic as I have been working on releasing tension on my hips, and also working on mobility for weeks, but it seems to have finally paid off.
Now, since mobility has been fixed (for the most part), time to work on stability!
I have been clicking every link that Google tells me to when I am researching “Squat Mobility” and this gem came up. The video is super interesting, so if you have an hour and a half and feel like reading English subtitles if you aren’t fluent in German, have a watch! It opened my mind up just a little bit more about how important mobility really is for lifting.
A non fitness post (surprise!).
I had to clean up my blog a lot since it’s getting more traffic than I’m used to, which meant I have moved older posts into private archives; if you’re trying to find something that I have randomly posted from ~5 years ago, sorryyyy!
Feel free to contact me about it by commenting somewhere on my blog and I’ll see if I can find the post you’re trying to find.
I went from not knowing a damn thing about lifting weights to somehow surviving to Week 6 of my Powerlifting class and the first session of this week was an insane way to kick it off.
Today was a lot of bench pressing exercises that seemed excruciating: the pause bench press, which consists of a 2 second pause at the bottom of the movement; and what my coach called an ‘eccentric bench press’ which is a reallyyyyyyy slow movement down (5 seconds from top-to-chest), and then explode up.
Surprisingly, the exercise that kicked my ass the most was the barbell curls. I had to do 3×12 @ 25 lbs. and I failed my third set. I’m a little upset but at the same time, I know that I pushed myself as hard as I could and there is still room for improvement; I don’t think that I’ll be able to raise my arms to wash my hair tomorrow.
A quickie update from my iPhone app!
I managed a 145 lbs. 5-rep-max lift!
My booty be sore!