Wednesday, August 2, 2017

PRESS+ Wednesday: Wet Wreckage

PRIOR TO taking in the scene of violent wreckage that was once our strongman shed, I was chatting with Shane about the state of play regarding injuries and such. He is planning a year off competing to heal up and slim down. Obviously, I am doing the exact opposite; competing next month, and currently the heaviest I've been since 2010, before I had muscles. At some point I might even take some pics.
RIP PTC SM shed v1

Joint pain on my left side made everything heavier tonight. Left wrist and elbow were complaining the most from the overhead press, which I quit after two sets. Ordinarily this would mean the session was a failure and, while I am pretty disappointed about the bench work, that's still a new all time personal record on axle overhead press for me. I checked my records and could find only one set of five or three triples at that weight were done previously.

The pain assisted in helping me focus on a much slower French press tonight. Everything was slower, in fact. I am trying to pause my bench press properly from here on out, which made completing the reps as programmed pretty much impossible. As a point of reference, here's what I was benching in March of 2015 (my strongest year of competition in both PL and SM), in my first week of prep for the CAPO state championships:

Bench press:
20 kgs x 5
70 kgs x 5
100 kgs x 3
125 kgs x 1
145 kgs x 5 x 4 PR

Now... if that's touch and go, then my bench is not far from this level right now. But if those reps were paused - and I have a strong suspicion they were - then this is not the case. Not at all.

To compare my overhead press, then to now, brings a slightly more positive outcome. In late July of that year, when my primary focus had returned to strongman and the WASM qualifier a month away, this is what my overhead axle press looked like:

OHP w/Axle (strict):
20 kgs x 8
65 kgs x 5
95 kgs x 1
110 kgs x 5 PR

And that was literally my peak pressing strength before the SM comp; a victory which also marked the beginning of a long bout of injuries that have kept me sidelined for much of the last two years.
From here on out, I think it's going to be wise to separate my overhead and bench press; keep OHP for weekends and bench through the week. I also think some heavy paused double and triples should be my strategy for the next five weeks. And it's time to return to clean-pressing too.

PRESS+ Wednesday August 2nd
Bench press (paused):
bar x 10
60 kgs x 4
90 kgs x 3
115 kgs x 2
137.5 kgs x 2 x 4
127.5 kgs x 4
117.5 kgs x 5
Axle OHP (strict):
50 kgs x 5
80 kgs x 3
100 kgs x 6, 5 PR
Incline BB bench press:
62.5 kgs x 4 x 8
DB front raises (p/h):
7.5 kgs x 10
12.5 kgs x 3 x 10
seated French press:
20 kgs x 4 x 10
super-set w/Triceps pushdowns:
full stack x 20
full stack x 3 x 15
HS chest press (p/h):
42.5 kgs x 4 x 7
super-set w/HS bicep curls (l&r):
17.5 kgs x 3 x 10
- stopped at 7 reps of the final set on my left side due to some straining. Let's not detach it again huh.

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