Workout Report: Bench Day 2/5/11

Posted: February 5, 2011 in Workout Reports

I may have over-cavemanned this week, as I was a little sore today.  This was probably not helped by the fact that I ripped and quartered two phone books last night for a laugh.  Oh, well.  It’s the danger of living life to its fullest, I suppose.  In any case, I was having some pain in my wrists and elbows today, as well as some lingering soreness in my thighs from all the squats and stone lifts.  I resolved to take it easy.  Let’s see how it went.

I spent more time warming up than I usually do, rolling around on the Swiss ball for a while to get my back loosened, doing the back extension machine for a set of 30 at 205, and so on.  I have been reading a lot about the old breathing squat, where you do a set of twenty, breathing about four times between each rep.  I’m told it works wonders.  I dialed in 305 on the leg press and tried the breathing method with that movement.  Boy, that shows your muscles the weight for a long old time.  My quads were flipping around like fish out of water by the end.  Just the one set works pretty well.  I did a set of 50 calf presses with the same weight.

On bench, I decided to do a lower volume, working up to a set of 3×3.  I did 50 reps with 135, then a few preliminary sets of three with 225, 275, and 295.  I did 3×3 with 315, and called that good.  I have been watching the “Starting Strength” video by Mark Rippetoe, as well as reading the book of the same name (second edition), and it appears that I have never done a few of the basic lifts the way he maintains they should be done.  Bench, of all of them, was probably closest to being right (I think), but I’ve been working on keeping my wrists straight, which I have been lax about in times past.  It’s feeling pretty good.  I have generally thought of myself as a pretty proficient bench presser, but there’s always more to learn.

By the way, I highly recommend both products mentioned above, as well as the book of essays “Strong Enough?”, also by Mark Rippetoe.  He’s got a lot of serious wisdom to drop on you, even if you’ve been doing this stuff for a long time.  He cuts through the meaningless chatter and gives you the straight truth.  Good stuff.

Okay, back to my workout.  I did bent dumbbell rows with the 80s for 3×10, just as I did last time.  Same with the “Irish Mike” curls–80s.  I finished up with some deliberate butterflies and reverse butterflies to keep my shoulder joints functioning properly.  I had enough time for a nice, hard ten minutes on the elliptical machine, then it was time to go home.  I should mention that I always-always do 20 minutes on the elliptical to warm up.  The days of shunning all methods of cardio training and being too impatient to warm up at all are in my past.

In any case, I’m not displeased with my progress so far.  My body is starting to remember about this “real” weight training stuff.

Happy Lifting!

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