PB’s. PB’s Everywhere.

For the next week I’ll be away on camp, so this week seemed like a good week to make a bunch of PB’s happen. I’ll share here the success of two clients and one Ryan.

Client 1: Cara

Cara’s been training with me for 1x30min session per week for the last 6 months. Had she been training more frequently and for longer sessions, she would have progressed even further than she has. She has wrist and shoulder issues, so for her the first time she bench pressed the empty barbell was a big deal.

This week she squatted 72.5kg, which is more than her bodyweight, bench pressed 35kg and deadlifted 85kg. I’m most impressed with her deadlift, because we haven’t trained it directly in months — she had a lot of form issues, and it seemed best to train her with variations that help her to get around those issues. Consequently, she spent a while building up technique on RDL’s, and has more recently been practicing hex bar deadlifts. The most she had lifted to date on the hex bar deadlift was 55kg.

Client 2: Helen

Helen has been training with me for a year and is also a personal trainer. She came to me with significant back issues which had made productive training on her own nigh on impossible. Her squat and deadlift numbers were looking pretty good late last year, but right at the start of the year Helen got overzealous and tried deadlifting more than she could handle. We had to start over from scratch.

This week she squatted 75kg and attempted 80kg but didn’t achieve proper depth. No pain, though. She then deadlifted a whopping 105kg and push pressed 40kg. Her bench press is sitting at 50kg and she can currently do 3 chin ups.

Myself

For much of the first half of this year, I hadn’t lifted more than 80kg, and it showed when I tested my maxes a couple months ago. Squats and deadlifts were down 20kg, bench press was down 10kg. Curiously, my non-competition lifts had stayed about the same or had actually improved, which did give a clue about what was working in my lightweight programming.

Then I decided to start training for max strength once again. I registered as a member with GPC and will also be returning to competition in September, so long as nothing goes wrong to prevent me from competing.

In this last week before going on camp, I made PB’s 3 days straight. First PB was OHP, locking out 62.5kg overhead. This is a neat little 2.5kg PB, and is only 7.8kg below my current bodyweight of 70.3kg.

The following day I went to the uni gym where I had a bit of an audience and squatted 5x150kg, which is the most I’ve squatted in competition. I used to compete through IPF where the equipment rules are a little different, so part of this PB is simply the fact that I’m using knee wraps instead of knee sleeves. But the very first time I wore knee wraps (a little over a month ago) I was barely able to do 1x150kg in them, so I know that the improvement has more to it than just putting the wraps on.

Finally, today, I improved the lift that I’ve always struggled with the most because my brain gets in the way: the bench press. My bench press has never been high up there, and normally I’m lucky if I can add 2.5-5kg to it in a year of serious strength training. Well, today I took my old PB of 95kg and did it for 3×2. This isn’t just a good achievement for me physically, but a major achievement mentally. It means I’ve overcome some fear of the bar.

It’s been a good week!

Now time to pack my bags.

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