Friday, March 25, 2011

People watching at the gym; greatest leg day in awhile... some technicalities.

I'd like to say that I focus solely on my workout and nothing else... but really, not true at all. There are days at the gym where I find myself wandering around and questioning things I see. For example, there were three young guys at the T-Bar row, taking turns. I swear, ever since I started having back pain, I keep thinking back to the glorious time when I didn't have it... and then I see the craptastic form of these people crazily rounding their low backs just trying to get a couple plates up. Maybe they don't know any better, maybe they don't care, it could be a lot of things. I really just had to look away before something happened... I think about that while I'm working at the gym as well.

The other wonderful pair of people I stalked between sets would be the buff guy with lifting straps and his lady... with lifting straps (at the Smith Machine, no less.) Really? I want to walk up to the girl and say, "Don't use those... You want to get stronger? Ditch them 'till you need them and just grip your weight in your hands. If you can't hold it, it's obviously too heavy for you." Way for that guy to instill bad habits early on. I DO have straps, but I can honestly say that they are seldom used. Maybe just for very maximal sets on deadlifts or for training myself to get used to holding 100lb. dumbbells, but that's about it. They have their place, as I now believe with most additional equipment, but I feel like it's important to have established grip strength in the first place.

Yesterday's (as in Wednesday's) workout: Legs
Squats... learning from my videos from last week, I tried to make my whole movement fluid instead of with an obvious "sticking point." Tried to place the bar slightly lower than I'm used to on my back - it's just below what I feel is my natural groove. However on one of the videos, the bar really looks too high! =/ Definitely trial and error here, but I need to not mess around with my maximal weights if I'm just adjusting form. The big Korean guy I saw squatting 455 all the way down last week was impressed at my squat, yay, haha! He offered a tip of his to widen my grip on the barbell. "More power," he says with a heavy accent. I tried that (ring finger at the edge of the knurling), but despite feeling somewhat more stable overall, it's very different from what I'm used to... combined with the fact that I'm also not used to keeping the bar as low as I did, I think I need to give it another go. Next time - try combo of normal resting place on the bar, "wide" grip.

-Squat (back squat) - 6 sets, up to 185x5 last two sets. Knee sleeves used.
-OHSQ Squat (barbell overhead) - 3 sets, up to 100x5. These are awesome for my middle back, woo hoo!
-Pull through with cable - 4 sets, up to 150x10. I think I need to add weight to the stack? Hmmm...
-Romanian DL (Deadlift) - 5 sets, up to 145x5 and 145x4.
-Hanging Leg Raises - 4 sets x10 reps
-Random pullups 3 sets x5 reps
-Jackknife V-Ups on the bench 1 set x30 reps

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