So I’ve disappeared for quite a while, and that’s my bad.
I hit this kind of mental rut about powerlifting and it carried into a physical rut. I wasn’t making gains, I was struggling on weights that were below my 5-rep max; I’m not sure if it is because my gym doesn’t have any kind of central air and it’s been in the 90 degree temps for’ever, or other chaotic events happening in my life.
I have noticed some small changes in my body form. I’m not getting smaller (sadly), my clothes are fitting funny (also very sad); but my back fat is slowly going away, my legs are looking better than ever, and my arms are showing some sort of definition now. Perhaps all this heavy weight lifting is paying off.
Also, Pokemon Go is all the rage at the moment. It’s making me actively go outside into the heat and search for virtual animals, lol. My Bae is also very into it, and we’re on competing teams, it’s starting to get crazy with how competitive we are against each other. She is always be one or two levels ahead of me. *angrily shakes fists in the air*
I forgot to mention it but I am deadlifting in the 140lb. range, and instead of using the combo under/over hand-grip, I decided to chalk up my hands and try it. And while it’s so basic sounding, I was really hyped about using the chalk.
AND the chalk helped out a lot. A little bit goes a long way.
I went on a 5-day long trip to New York City, and took a break from 3-workout sessions. Last night was my first night back at the gym since my trip and it was brutal, I can’t even. I’m not sure if I can survive taking such a long time off from the weights again. I was so close to triple digits in weights for bench press but I failed my sets. Hopefully, I can regain my muscles after a week, but we’ll see.
But I will say that my trip was fun!
I helped The Babe move from the old location to the new location last weekend and it totally wiped me out. My deadlifting skill and form were very useful for picking up boxes and putting them down.
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 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!