Saturday, February 6, 2016

Another Long Overdue Recap - Special Bench Bro Edition

Well, with the low-back/sciatica/herniated disc/whatevertheheckitmightbe pain still persisting, I have taken Squats, Deadlifts, and Power Cleans out of my program completely - for now, at least.  I will never abandon them completely.

I was using them as an excuse to not work out at all for too long, losing lots of hard gained strength (again), and it just wasn't okay.  I tried working through it, and finally just gave up.  Now, I am hitting upper-body six days a week (pushing movements three days a week, alternating between Bench and Dumbbell Bench one day, and Press, Dips and Shrugs [not technically a pushing movement, I know] the other; and pulling movements three days a week, alternating between chins and curls, and chins and rows), resting on Sundays.

As a result, my strength in all of these movements (except for rows, which I am taking easy and slowly due to its reliance on low back muscles being recruited to maintain a neutral spine) are getting strong very quickly.  In a fairly short period of time, I was able to reacquire all the strength I lost from my most recent hiatus.

I have now surpassed those previous strength gains and set some pretty satisfying PRs - the biggest of which is one of the Big Four 1RMs I have been chasing for almost a decade: Bench Press 300# 1RM!!!  (The other three being Squat 400, DL 500, and a Bodyweight Press.)  I can't put into words how stoked I am to finally knock that off the list!

I got two PRs on Press as well: 190x5 and 215x1.  190x5 was pretty difficult, but 215x1 felt a little easy.  I don't know what my current bodyweight is, but I imagine it is between 240 and 250, so it will still be a while before I hit that one.  Who knows how long it will take for Squat and DL to even be tolerable, much less ready to hit PRs.

Enough rambling - here are some videos:

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