No? I'll give you a hint; it's about my benchpress.
Still no? Well, maybe because if there IS a pattern... it's way underneath.
These are the days between my benchpress PRs.
Sept 12, 2017 130.0 Oct 10, 2017 132.5
Dec 6, 2017 135.0 June 28, 2018 137.5
Aug 3, 2018 140.0
They are all the same icrements - 2.5#. But some came as quickly as 28 days after the previous best, and some took over 200!
If there is a a pattern... it's made of 2 things. The usual 2 things.
Deadlifts and I struggle to get along. Always.
I did have a 13# PR in July...at 198#...and was overjoyed. Hugs were even squished out to Jerimiah. But it was months before I got even close again. Partly it was just the way the programming block was built. But then even at the end...it was still basically the ceiling. Squeezing out 200# 5 months later gave me mixed feelings. Yeah, it was more. But the smallest amount. And that was really all I had in me. Was it that going to be it? And if it was, then what!?
And then at the beginning of February I threw my back out...doing deadlifts, of course. We were doing reps (and reps, and reps) and the fatigue was building and I lost form. It was pretty bad. Tears. Doctor. Meds. Physio.
So I didn't train for a bit, and then did but ensured NO stress to back. I missed squats but didn't miss deadlifts one bit. I felt like they had met me down. Or I had let me down.
Well, we started up again, and I screwed up my optimism and told myself to just do the work and trust the process. It was hard. It was a few sessions of back to basics and changing things up. I was all awkward AND had low numbers and didn't have the excuse that I was a #newb. But I kept at it ....with a slightly wavering faith that it would build up to...something different.
And it did. A 5# PR at 205#....With maybe a bit left in the tank. Evidence! Finally a little translation into the actual lift.
Let's be honest: even at twice the increase in the previous 5 months, its a tiny increase. But it's the encouragement I needed to remind me that trusting the process is not about blind faith, but rather about relying on what you know and who you trust ...and sticking it out.
I'm elated about the result, but even more so by this little gift of the encouraging reminder that progress comes ....as long as you keep at it.
I watched a new buddy hit PRs at the gym today. Well, I watched the video. Nowadays I think that's nearly the same, right?
Anyway, it's pretty amazing. It's a bunch of stuff. It's all of the work and commitment it takes to get the groove. It's the headspace you have to find to even try those big numbers....
And yet despite the obstacles ....the numbers are there for the record. Not an opinion, or a "like" or a pat on the back. Which I am sure will also be offered in spades. But something even better. Even if there weren't the video evidence, this moment is another reminder....proof, even, the body is an amazing machine and it can accomplish magic when given a chance.
See last post. Repeat. Crapped out on 205# deadlift making this officially NOT better than anything I have ever done before.
Ruminated a bit. It's weird, because I have spent quite a bit of the last few months wanting to try for best single... to see what was really possible (vs theorhitcally RPE Xreps blah blah blah) and looking forward to test week. And now that it's here I hatee that it guarantees failure. That's the whole point, after all.
And I am not that good at dealing, it turns out. I am not entirely sure if I'd feel the same if I squeezed out more, or it's just hitting a limit that's a bummer. ie:
Now I have a new reason to want to hit good numbers on the real testing day tomorrow. I want a good.... everything. Something worth celebrating. And then to see how I feel. Just so I know which of the 2 above it is . Oh, who am I kidding? I just want better numbers. Period. It's not a social experiment. It's not noble. Just gimme a fucking material PR already!!!
In July I had my first Powerlifting meet: and had a 90Kg Deadlift, which was by far a personal best. 198#, plus a bit. And since then, I've been sticking with the programming, and have not been up to even 185# (my previous gym PR) until just a few weeks ago. It felt good to hit that 185#, but it was not exactly *new*.
Today I pulled 200#. And I am thrilled about it. Its only marginally more than my previous best, and that took 5 months to gain. And I am not known for my patience. There is just something magic about this sport.
I have my whole life to create progress. Bees make only 45 grams (based on my calculations and some wiki-work) in their life. A lifes work, and it's over in a slice of bread. But they make alot of other things too, while they make that honey. Honey is just the most apparent evidence: The in-your-face proof.
1.6# is my 45bee-grams. And I'll take every sweet drop.
I'm no social scientist. So if you want to read about Maslow's hierarchy of needs try Wikipedia. But there was an interesting reference to it in a book I am reading for work. I'll spare the back reference (but the book is called "Beyond Engagement" - Brady G. Wilson, if you are interested...)... but it quotes someone who ran the Boston Marathon as saying;
"After I ran the Boston Marathon, I had no motivation whatsoever. My diet and my training schedule went to pot. I need to set another goal for myself before I fall apart."
....And I do kinda remember that feeling after the London meet in July. I have continued training, but I know for sure that it's a slightly different feeling than training towards prep for a meet. Which is OK. I think actually that may be one of the things that makes Powerlifting the sport for me. There is ALWAYS a goal. Because it's not a specific event at which you measure your progress.... well, of course it IS, if you go to a meet, but also... it's not. Every few months you cycle through the program and BOOM! PR baby!
I found my magic. My girlfriends is yoga. I can imagine that it might be much the same.
My goal tomorrow: Just one squat at a time. Just one more. My goal for January - test and new PRs for all 3 (Squat, Benchpress and Deadlift). And then we'll set them again, AND schedule a meet!
I know it's called a "Meet" because people... well, they MEET. But I am going to think of it as just the place you meet your goals.
I was talking to the Mavens last week about long term goals with powerlifting. And I told them what I am about to tell you. I want to qualify for nationals in 2021. It's a long way away, I know. But I will be in the next age group up, and I figure I can improve at least for 2 more years... (I don't really improve in any great leaps, but I think it's reasonable to make some small gains for at least that long). and then even maintaining, for the year I would be Master Level II, the standards should be do-able.
I think it would be an amazing experience, and if I can't do it by then, well, it's unlikely I'd ever be able to do it. So I am setting the bar (pun intended) for a meet around my 50th birthday with PR #s.
Now I just have to do the work, which I enjoy anyway!