Just checking in briefly. Today was supposed to have been workout day, except that it wasn't. I am sitting in Germany, in my mother-in-law's empty house. She is in hospice, and not at all well. We have flown out at very short notice. I hope to get some lifting done, but don't have my training book with me.
I am so sorry about your mother-in-law! It is good that you could be there. Some things are more important than weights. Your muscles will be ready and willing when you get back. :-)
And I managed to train. This felt so good, took all worries off my mind. I bought cheap leggings (for dead lifting), socks, found some old sports shoes, and put on a T shirt - ready to go! I just focused on the bar, and it was wonderful.
I trained for free (trial session) in a German gym chain called McFit. I was the only woman in the free weights area, and the only person (!) squatting, dead lifting, and pressing, as far as I could see. The bars were interesting - 13.5, 15.4 and 20 kg. The weights went up to 15kg, and I managed to find some 1.25kg weights as well. they had benches, Smith machines, and a massive dumbbell area, but no space to press, dead lift, or power clean. So I requisitioned some of that dumbbell space.
Warm up: 5 mins on the rower, level 6, 986m
Squat: warm up 20 x 2x 5, 25 x 5, 30 x 3, 35 x 2, 40 x 2.
Work sets: 42.5 x 5 x 3
What a beastly grind these were. I had to focus on chin up, knees out, Valsalva, straight spine, and then I went fishing for depth. I think part of the barrier was psychological - I know what heavy benches feel like, I know heavy dead lifts, and now, squats are getting hard, and I could do with a pair of eyes to reassure me I'm hitting depth. Next session, this baby will get micro loaded.
The presses on the other hand ... I did these with the 15 kg bar, and they went beautifully.
15 x 5 x 2, 17.5 x 5, 20 x 2, 22.5 x 5 x 3 - oh yes. Slamming myself under the bar after extending backwards. Each set was lovingly power cleaned up.
Dead lifts - stayed with the 15 kg bar
25 x 5 x 2, 35 x 5, 45 x 3, 55x2, 65 x 5. Bodyweight for reps across! I had to pays briefly between sets though because my palms were getting sweaty, I had no chalk, and I needed to rub them dry again. Technically, I failed rep 5, but that was because of sweating, so I cranked out a final single. That definitely felt heavy.
I don't know when my next workout will be, but hopefully soon. This was so wonderfully restorative ...
Yep, I think lifting keeps me sane. And there's all those endorphins and stuff.
Sounds like things are coming together form-wise. Once the squat depth gets familiar it gets easier, since the whole movement is aiming for the bounce at the bottom. And congrats on the DL. Bodyweight squat is next up, huh?
Great job, Maria! Glad you could find a place and make it happen.
Keep up the good work!
Great work - way to make the best out of an unfortunate situation!
The second and last time at McFit. We're still at my mother-in-law's place in Germany. Training keeps me calm. Thank you hrat, neilfamily, and Staci for your kind words - this means more than I can say.
5 minutes on the elliptical (warm up)
Squat: 20kg x 5 x 2, 25kg x 5, 30kg x 3, 35kg x 2, 40kg x 2
45kg x 4, 45kg x 3, 42.5kg + 2 extra collars each side x 5 (mumble)
Bench: 20kg x 5 x 2, 22.5 x 5, 25 x 3, 30 x 2, 32.5 x 2
35kg x 5 x 3 (YUP!)
Power Clean: 20kg x 5 x 2, 22.5 x 5, 25 x 3, 27.5 x 2
30kg x 5 x 2, x 2, x 2, x 1 (that's a third set with failure on the third and fifth rep)
Form notes on the squat: I am duck-footed and long-legged, which means wide stance and turning my toes out so much that I can get proper depth when pushing my knees out. I will definitely need to microload.
Form notes on the power clean: I focused on catching the weight in a quarter squat. I managed on the smaller weights, but from 27.5kg onwards, this got tricky. I also need to watch my elbows (internal rotation). The form on the 30kg reps was ugly, too much muscling up the weight. I'm wondering about a reset to focus on form.
From notes on the bench: BOOYAH! The second set was relatively easy, I didn't have to work very hard to get the fifth rep. On the first set, I had a spotter who kept his hands on the bar, on the third set, I had one who had to be gently discouraged from performing a four-armed row.
Oh, and a wee anecdote. When I came to the squat rack, two guys were using it for Romanian deadlifts. The second guy used 70kg as his work set. I asked them to leave the weight on the bar when they left. Then I cheekily picked up the bar, put it on the ground, lifted it back up, and put it back on the rack for unloading. And this is how I found out that it will be 2.5kg jumps on the deadlift for me from now on. And that my deadlift PR may well be 70kg - bodyweight plus.
Last edited by mariawolters; 03-13-2012 at 04:53 AM.
Reason: deadlift anecdote
I am sure it is, and then some!
I've found a new place to train. I contacted the local powerlifters, AC Siegen, and asked them for gym recommendations. Their president, a former German bench press champion, mailed me back. They train Monday, Wednesday, Friday, sharing rooms with the local Judo club and told me to come along to one of their sessions, because the local gyms aren't very good for proper lifting. She (yes, ladies, you read that right) was lovely, very friendly and welcoming. The description of where to go was comedy gold. "You will see two doors, one leading to the Judo dojo, and one leading to a commercial gym. Do NOT enter the gym."
I just had the most awesome training session ever. When I pitched up at AC Siegen, there were only two people in the room, the club's trainer and the president, the aforementioned champion German bench presser. She is tapering down to a meet.
I explained to them what I had planned and at what weights, then I started on the squat. After my first set of five, they just looked at me and said: "Can we say something?" Me: "oh yes, please!" So I found out that my good mornings are still alive and well, and I'm not getting proper depth either. They coached me until I got depth and had me do reps with the empty bar until my good mornings weren't as awful anymore. I then did 22.5 x 5, tried 25 x 3, and we decided that 22.5 would be my work weight. For every single rep, the president coached me to proper depth and back up. Deloading has never been so awesome. They recommended more abs work to strengthen the lower back. On top of everything, I got my stance fixed - wide long femur style.
Then, the press - 20 x 5 x 3, followed by 22.5 x 5, 5, 6.
Finally, the dead lift. After warming up with the empty bar, they coached me in properly getting the bar off the floor. I did 30 x 5, 40 x 3, and then 50 x 5 x 3, deloading by 15 kg to learn the proper form pulling off the floor.
I was floating on air after the session - getting all this in-depth coaching was just incredible. I hope to train with them again on Friday.