2015 Starting Strength Pro Raw Challenge Week 7 – The Good, the Bad and the Clumsy

2015 Starting Strength Pro Raw Challenge Week 7 – The Good, the Bad and the Clumsy

Feb 10, 2015

The universe has weird timing.  Or it’s out to get me.  I’m not sure which.  I will never understand why as soon as I start my actual meet prep everything else in my life goes crazy.  The one time during the training cycle that I should be really recovering, eating well and getting enough sleep is when I end up with a bunch of early mornings at work and meetings that run through lunch.  And just to make it all extra special this time, as soon as I came off the antibiotics for the crud from a couple of weeks ago, it started coming back.  Apparently, we didn’t make it sufficiently dead so we’re trying again with yet another, stronger round of antibiotics.   Because it wouldn’t be any fun if we made this stuff easy.

Also fun is that this time, the crazy busy seems to happening at the same time all  the clumsy sets in.  I can’t explain why this happens either but it does.  Suddenly, I can’t walk without stubbing toes and walking into walls.  I actually walked into a doorway at work hard enough that two people asked me if I was OK.  I’m fine by the way.  Nothing hurt here but my pride.

But since I haven’t succumbed to whatever plague is trying to kill me, broken my neck falling down the stairs or been chained to my desk at work, there’s still training to get done.


Work got me and I was nearly an hour late getting to the gym and that threw off my routine a bit.  Instead of squatting first (you know, because that’s the natural order of things) I ended up benching first while I still had someone around to spot me.

The goal was to work to a heavy 4-6.  I only got to 200 and the last rep there was nasty.  Like I would have been red lit all over the place.  So we moved on to squats.

Note to self…..  Make sure the safety rails are set to the same height.  Because warm-ups get weird when some idiot (me) sets one higher than the other and then bounces one side of the barbell off of the safety rail.  Luckily, is was light enough that being thrown off balance was annoying and not actually dangerous.

Once that was over with…..  The goal for the night was to work up to a heavy triple and then do back off sets at 90% of that.  Stuff felt really good.  Since this is the first week of the peaking, I’m still being pretty conservative with these.  I managed to get up to 405 and it may be the strongest 405 has felt for reps in a very long time.  Bonus, when we went back and looked at the video, there’s almost no twisting in my hips either.  I can’t even tell you how happy and relieved that makes me.  Even the backoff sets at 365 for 3 x 3 felt pretty good.  For back off sets, at least.


The deadlifts finally caught up to me.  Sort of.  Thursday was an amazingly long day that started at 5am and caused me to miss lunch except for an amazingly disappointing salad (that had so much potential on the menu.)  So by the time I got to the gym, I’d already been running around for 12 hours that day.  Add to that the fact that I some how managed to forget my pre-workout and it’s not really a surprise that drama ensued.  The plan was to hit 417 for 5 singles with no more than 2 minutes of rest.  The first one was ugly.  Like really ugly.  And slow.  I tried not to let that bother me since my first rep at my working weight generally feels crappy.  My second and third were a little better.  My fourth was a grinder.  And the fifth……  Well, I managed to get it to my knees at least.  Just as it passed my knees, I felt my whole upper back lose tension and just give up.  I thought about trying to finish it for like half a second and then decided just to let it go.  If it had been a meet, I might have kept going  but even if I’d some how managed to reel it back in and get it up, it probably wouldn’t have been worth it.

I’d like to be mad about this but I really can’t be.  I know we’re getting in the good work and we’re getting reps in heavier than we ever have.  This is also the first time I’ve failed a deadlift all cycle so I was probably due.  So I moved on to my assistance stuff and then packed it in for the day.


Wait……  Friday?  Yeah…..  This is what happens when the gym is closed on Saturday and I have stuff to do.  I even managed to get there a little early.  Crazy, right?

The plan was to squat up to a heavy double.  I walked in thinking I’d get 410 or 415-ish.  Just a nice little jump from the 405 on Tuesday and a good jumping off point for the rest of the heavy doubles in the next couple of weeks.  Seems it wasn’t meant to be.  I got out of the groove on my first rep at 415 and just missed it.  I thought about trying it again but I’m pretty sure most of the issue is that I just wasn’t really recovered.  Going heavy-ish 3 times in 4 days (especially missing some sleep and technically still being sick) is just a lot.  The double at 400 was pretty clean though so at least the ones I got were nice.  Based my backoff sets on the 400lbs so that also got me a little bit of a break since that put those at 340.

Bench went a good bit better.  The goal was to work up to another heavy 4-6 but to either get more weight or more reps.  I did both and managed a very solid feeling 205 for 5.

So I finished up the week with some assistance then then went home a slept most of the weekend.

Oh, and yoga.  Because of course there was yoga.



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