Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stronger than I thought...

Yesterday at the gym I was ready to deadlift. My back had been bothering me for weeks since I landed flat on it snowboarding, but I was finally feeling pretty normal.

I've been deadlifting about 110lbs, 5x and the past couple of times and it was pretty hard. I would then then decrease the weight for a couple more sets. I am keeping a pretty meticulous training journal of my weights and reps and sets, etc., and thought I could start a little heavier...

This time I started at 125 and did 5 with very little effort. Damn. So I blew my initial strength on too low of a weight. So I waited a few minutes and did one more set at that same weight. Still too easy. Hmmmm...Could I be getting that much stronger this quickly? So I waited a few more minutes, threw on two more 5 lb plates and did 5 at 135 lbs. Still too easy. I did one more drop set of 8 and then decided to just stop and start much heavier next week.

After about 5-10 minutes of rest, I did weighted close-grip chinups (my fave). I started with 12 extra lbs and cranked out 5. Excellent progress. Dropped to 10 lbs and did 6. Dropped to 7 lbs and did 6. Dropped to 5 lbs and did 6 and, finally, did 8 just body weight chins.

I'm thinking I may have to go to BW+15 lbs for first set next time. Wow, it feels great. I can finally see why so many people say they feel their abs when doing chin-ups. I felt mine working yesterday! (note: I rested about 3 mins between each set. The longer I rest, the more I can do on the consecutive sets. duh, I know.)

All in all, a decent workout, but I need to tweak the weights. Do heavier weights and fewer sets and see what happens. In the meantime, I'd be lying if I said I didn't LOVE being able to do chins when so many guys can't.

I can't wait until I can do 5-6 chins with the big plate hanging from the belt.
I will definitely get some video to post when I get up to 35+ extra lbs! Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...


Just a thought on lifting heavier weights. In my case, when I go for max lifts Deadlifting or Squatting I tend to tighten up my supporting muscles and often lift far more than what I've been doing while working out. Knowing I have a heavy lift coming up gets the adrenaline pumping and gives me a goal and motivation to get there.

Your max lifts might be quite a bit more than what you expect. Just have a spotter while benching or use a cage if you're squatting.

Jane said...

Hey Jenn! I don't do weighted chins (nice job!!) but I can crank out some pull-ups, push-ups and can lift pretty heavy weights. I agree with you... It IS very satisfying to demonstrate these things to a new guy or girl in the gym (I coach) and feel like a stud! ;) Keep up the good work!

Jenn said...

@Shawn - yeah, I do the same thing. I tense up and get psyched up for every lift. I never lift "max" though. I stay around 85% for 5 and drop the weights as I do 2-3 more sets.

When I can do more than 5 reps at the heaviest weight, I add more.

Jenn said...

@Jane - once you can do 6 pullups or chins, add a little weight. That's what I do.