2015 Starting Strength Pro Raw Challenge Week 9 – Out of the Groove and the Pre-Meet Weird

2015 Starting Strength Pro Raw Challenge Week 9 – Out of the Groove and the Pre-Meet Weird

Feb 24, 2015

For me at least, there seem to be a couple universal truths when it comes to training.  Two of those truths are:

1) It’s nearly impossible to get all your lifts to improve at the same rate at the same time.  Especially within an individual training cycle.  They may all go up, but there’s going to be one (or two if you’re especially unlucky) that will lag, be inconsistent, feel wonky, or just generally frustrate the crap out of you.


2) Stuff gets weird at the end.  What “weird” is exactly varies but there’s always something.  A little bit of tendonitis.  Some clumsiness.  Freaky dreams.  The universe conspiring against me………  You get the general idea.

So this time around, I haven’t had dreams of homicidal cats (yet?), which is good.  But I have had a mess of miss lifts that I totally should have made in the last couple of weeks and it seems like even Mother Nature isn’t willing to work with me.


Tuesday morning it snowed.  So I spent most of the day hoping I would be able to get out of the house to go to the gym at all.  As luck would have it, someone actually came and plowed out street.  That literally never happens so there was much rejoicing.  Seriously, I ran to the front door and waved at the dude as he went by.  If he’s stopped, I would have offered him hot chocolate or something.

Then I went to leave, and realized that I couldn’t.

Nope, my car isn't going to fit through there.

Nope, my car isn’t going to fit through there.

The driver hadn’t wandered too far though, so I managed to get him to move his truck and I was only a little late getting on the road.

That late combined with the fact that other people were early because they  escaped work early (or just skipped it) meant that by the time I got there, my partner in crime for bench was done squatting already.  So once again, we started the day with bench.

The goal for the day was to bench up to a heavy triple working up in sets of 3-5.  Something got out of the groove on the 4th rep at 215 and I missed it even though I should have had that weight for 4 or 5 pretty easily.  We went ahead to 220 anyway and I hit it for a solid, non-dramatic triple.

Squat for the day was to work up to a heavy double.  Even with all the stuff going on with my squat, I went into this pretty optimistic.  It would seem that optimism wasn’t really warranted though.

405 felt fine so I went ahead and made the jump to 425 which was what I planned to end at for the day and…….Nope.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t getting a little sick of this nonsense.  It wasn’t too heavy.  I didn’t actually fail the rep.  I just got weird coming out of the hole and suddenly wasn’t in a good position to finish the lift.  For about half a second, I thought about trying to gut it out.  Then I decided it wasn’t worth it.



Deadlift day is the best day.  Or at least it is right now.  Through my inconsistent squats and me slightly off bench, this cycle deadlift has run nearly perfect.  I haven’t failed a single deadlift workout all cycle and that’s pretty much unheard of.  So here we are, 3 x 1 at 423 with as much rest as necessary.  Kind of like last week, I took about 5 minutes so I didn’t think too hard about it and then knocked these out.  This was easily the best these have felt in the last couple of weeks and I’m pretty damn excited about it.  I feel like I keep saying that but it’s weird for me to feel this way about deadlifting.  Pretty sure it’s never happened before.

The rest of my accessory stuff also moved along nicely and I was feeling pretty good when I went home.  And then this happened as I was getting out of my car at home…….



Worse even then the spilled shake though was the fact that I broke my shaker bottle.  Now I’m going to have to pick up a couple new ones at the Arnolds (Oh darn).


Saturday did not start well.  At some point, early, early in the morning (like so early it shouldn’t even be called morning), I got up to let the puppy out.  As I rolled out of bed, I discovered that my right hip/glute were pretty much completely locked up.  Like it hurt to walk down the stairs.  It hurt more to walk back up them.  At that point, all I could do was hope it wouldn’t last.  I was wrong.  It was still locked up when I got up to go to the gym.  This seriously pissed me off.  It’s bad enough to have something get weird because a lift took a bad bounce.  But to have something like this happen for no apparent reason, right before a meet……  Especially on a day I’m supposed to work up to a heavy single on squat is enough to drive me completely crazy.  It’s just not fair.

I wasn’t sure I would be able to squat at all but I went to the gym anyway figuring I could at least bench and that maybe I would get lucky and everything would loosen up as I warmed up.  So I took some extra time to stretch and foam roll and then decided to bench first to buy myself a little time.

Getting into position to bench was a bit awkward but with every set it got a little more comfortable.  It did still cause some minor issues with my leg drive though that caused a couple reps to get away from me.  Things went well enough that I took a shot at 225.  I got 2 and then the third rep got out of the groove.  So we racked the bar and then took another single since it wasn’t a strength problem and got it.

By this time, stuff was starting to look a little grim outside.


Because Mother Nature hates us.

We knew it was going to storm.  But it started earlier than it it was supposed to and started sticking almost immediately.  And that meant I was a little rushed going into my squats.

They didn’t go as bad as I feared.  Most of the nonsense had worked itself out.  The most uncomfortable part of the whole process was unracking the bar.  Once I had it up on my back, my squats actually felt fine. So I cruised right along and got a single at 425 to make up for Tuesday on my way, hopefully, to a 450.  Except that I missed 440.


Profanity ensued

I wasn’t even really mad.  Just annoyed. As bad as everything felt when I got to the gym, I’m not sure I can legitimately complain about still making it up to an easy feeling 425 and hitting a rep PR on my bench.

So I went home and spent the rest of the weekend trying to fix my stuff.



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