August 3rd Update: Benching Again

So today was day three, and after starting a little late — I either completely blacked out and forgot that I turned off my alarm, or simply didn’t hear it — I had to push my training around a little to accommodate work and food (wouldn’t want to puke all those expensive nutrients right back out!) I ended up doing a calisthenics program at around 14:15, and got started at the gym about 17:30.

Which brings me today’s “big thing” — my first bench press. And overhead press. The bench press is probably one of my favorite compound lifts because it’s one I don’t do often enough. That might sound like an oxymoron, but the great thing about it is that I typically grow in strength very, very quickly when properly benching. The OHP, on the other hand, is my most hated compound lift. I can take barbell rows as well as the next guy, and I love deadlifts and squats — but that OHP is tough. I still do it, because my shoulders need as much training as they can get, but the juxtaposition was pleasant. Get the OHP out of the way, then settle in for some bench pressing.

Which got a little disappointing. With two days spent training chest this week with a pushup routine, I wasn’t expecting to haul huge weights around on the bench — but failing to hit 4 reps of an over 3-digit number meant that I really, really have my work cut out for me.

Another thing I noticed is that I can truly cut my program down into something more efficient in the afternoon. I don’t need to do both pulldowns and seated rows when I’m already doing pull-ups several times in the week and have got both deadlifts and barbell rows in my program. I’m strength training, not bodybuilding — that requires a different approach, with fewer (and harder) exercises, and more (short and explosive) sets.

I’m not entirely sure how I’ll edit my program, but I’ll have an overhaul ready for next Monday. I’ve already made some small modifications for Friday afternoon, where I’ll be hitting the legs and back once again.

Speaking of legs, mine are doing surprisingly fine. I suspected that, after a day of squats and running, I’d feel really stiff today — but that half hour of yoga really makes the difference. The first week after starting a new program is always the toughest since your body has to figure out what to do with the new arrangement of stimuli, but it’s really not been that bad. Which isn’t an indication that I’m not doing enough — it just dispels my fears that I was biting too much to chew.

Tomorrow is a repeat of yesterday (that sounds more philosophical than I meant for it to sound), and then I’ve got a day left in the week. Once the week is over, it’s time for adjustments — making little adjustments to increase efficiency, and make my training mesh in better with my actual working hours. Not to mention that all-important ingredient to a quality athlete: sleep. Sure, “ain’t no rest for the wicked” — but just like “no pain no gain”, that philosophy is, well, unwise.

Currently listening to: This is Gonna Hurt — Sixx:A.M.