This week has been about attempting new 1RMS following the original plan of: Monday (Squat), Wednesday (Bench), Friday (Deadlift), with light conditioning work on Tuesday and Thursday, though this needed to be modified as explained below. It's also starting to get a bit chilly at 7am so the hoody is back in action to make sure I keep warm enough.
Squat (previous 1RM 130kg, new 1RM 140kg): Following several warm up sets, the last being 120kg for 1 rep, I went for the first increase on my 1RM, 132.5kg, then upped the weights by 1.25kg each side until I got to 140kg. I felt slightly wobbly on my first attempt so abandoned that one. On the second attempt I smashed it! I reckon I could have gone heavier and indeed, the 1RM calculator estimated a range of 137-145kg, with an average of 141kg. Nonetheless, I am happy with an increase of 10kg on my previous 1RM, and the fact I feel I still have more left in me right now means I can expect to drive for the same increase of 10kg next time around, which will be in 10 weeks from now ... slowly, slowly catchy monkey!
Bench (previous 1RM 100kg, new 1RM - no progress): Initially attempted on Wednesday, I failed twice at pressing 102.5kg, the minimum increase available given the smallest discs in our gym (1.25kg). However, seeing this coming in the not so distant future I had the foresight to order some 0.5kg discs on the Tuesday, so in the hope that they would arrive before Friday (when I could attempt the lift again at 101kg), I shifted my attention to the deadlift instead (see below). Unfortunately, the discs did not arrive in time for my Friday attempt, so I tried 102.5 again, but didn't manage it. The 1RM calculator estimated a range of 101-107kg, with an average of 103kg, so both these attempts were already pushing close to the upper limit of the average. Not to worry ... if these things were easy then they would soon become boring. My bench is clearly presenting me with a challenge and it is something I will work on during the coming weeks. I am now outside of my comfort zone with this lift, so this is a good thing because this is where the real progress is made! Thanks to Sean Carr for spotting me on both attempts! Also, after watching the video of this attempt it is clear that my balance of the bar is uneven under this heavy load, something else I need to rectify. I will also experiment with a slightly wider grip on the bar as I expect I am overloading my triceps with my current technique.
Deadlift (previous 1RM 160kg, new 1RM 170kg): Initially planned for Friday, this lift was done on Wednesday instead (see reason above under bench press). I managed a new 1RM of 165 followed by 170kg, representing 1.93 times my body weight. I am happy with this progression, but am looking forwards to taking it past the 2x my body weight mark.
Based on the program I was following initially, I was due to start a new second cycle next week. However, having read a new book that I consider more authoritative (Starting Strength), I consider it more prudent to maintain my current linear progression cycle until I plateau out on all lifts. I may add in elements of a new cycle for my bench press during this period.