Personal Training… Pressing.
I recently hit a rough patch with work where I was pretty swamped. Between travelling and preparing for a big customer meeting, I’ve been stressing out, losing sleep, and working on stuff I don’t usually have my hands in. I haven’t been slacking on my lifting though (maybe on my nutrition a bit, but it happens). How have things been going? Let’s see…
Tonight was only my second pressing session with my trainer, Sam. We decided we’d get set up to bench tonight in one of the squat racks. Before you freak out about the waste of the perfectly good squat rack, you need to understand that I have funny proportions. I’m a pretty short dude, so on the standard benches, I actually have to round my shoulders forward (breaking my form) in order to unrack the bar, and then I need to try and reset while I have the bar unracked. For pressing tonight, we focuses on sets of four for bench and tried to ramp up to a maximum using that.
I was initially a bit nervous… I mean, I usually only ramp with sets of three (oh no! one rep different!) and if I’m getting really heavy, I taper it down to two and one rep. Tonight we got up near the 225 mark within a couple of sets, and then I was expected to hit four. Talk about a mind fuck… I just recently broke my 225 plateau, so hitting it for three additional reps was going to be ridiculous. Or not, since I did it. Shocker. Next step? Sam tacked 10 more pounds on the bar. I hit that for three reps on my own and got a spot on the fourth rep. If you’re paying attention, that’s two bench press PRs in a row. So I didn’t hit my fourth rep, but Sam figured I had a little bit left. So five pounds more on the bar. Two reps on my own at 240 and 2 reps spotted by Sam. That’s three bench press PRs in a row, and now I don’t even know what my one rep max is.
The rest of the pressing session was some lighter dumbbell work focuses on pressing movements for chest and shoulders and really targeting some flexibility issues. My shoulders don’t have a great range of motion (as I’m learning) so that’s something I’m going to try and focus on outside of the training sessions. After a pile of volume work, it was time to tackle some core.
The DOMS will be strong with this one tomorrow.