Week 17 Training – Anatomy, Adversity and Slaying the Boogeyman

Week 17 Training – Anatomy, Adversity and Slaying the Boogeyman

Jul 9, 2013


This week started with my last massage therapy and chiro appointments before Nats.  The chiro appointment went fine.  My SI joints are now back where they belong for at least the next couple of weeks.  My massage therapy appointment was a bit more dramatic.

“Mother of GAWD!!  What the hell is that?”

“It’s your sciatic notch.”

“Why does it hurt so much? What did I do?”

“I don’t know but you should stop doing whatever it is that caused this.”

“……….”  Thank you, Captain Obvious.  I almost didn’t recognize you without the cape.

There were tears.  There was some (a lot of) profanity.  I left bruised but I now feel pretty good.  I also had to go home and google “sciatic notch” to make sure that I had:   A) heard her right through the pain and B) had some kind of perspective on what was going on.  Looking at it and all the stuff that runs through there, I now totally understand why it was so assed up.  Who knew so much of my problematic stuff could all run through the same spot?


Tuesday morning was my last acupuncture appointment.  Nothing exciting here aside from the couple of points that made me feel like I’d been shocked for a second which is an interesting sensation when you aren’t expecting it.

Squat today was 5 x 2 starting at 275 and going up every set with no more than 1 minute rest between sets.  Sets were 275, 295, 310……..

” Dude!  Did you just steal my 45?

“Yeah.  You have another one.”

“Yeah but that’s the big one and it doesn’t match…….”  My name is Melissa and I have plate OCD.  They don’t all have to match but each pair has to be the same.  Yes, I know I have a problem.

“I know it isn’t ideal but I’m trying to help you.  If you can lift with this kind of adversity, you’ll destroy things at Nats.  I’m making you a better lifter.”

“I……..  Thank you, for adding adversity to my life.”

“You’re welcome!”

…………..320 and 330.  Aside from testing the limits of my mental health, nothing really exciting here.  My hips got a little tight so I took some time before my paused squats to work on them a bit.  Paused squats were 3 x 5 at 200, 215 and 230.  These seem to be getting easier in general but the best thing I can say about them is at least they aren’t bottom up squats.

Conditioning was 3 x 10 Good Mornings (135, 185, 205) and 3 x 12 knees to elbows.  And last but not least 50 back extensions in as few sets as possible.  These sucked.


Thursday’s regularly scheduled workout got moved to Wednesday this week so we could all go eat BBQ and watch fireworks.

Bench was a single set at 170 for at least 2 reps.  I got 7.  I thought about trying for 8.  Realized that I could feel my arms shaking and that nothing really felt tight and stable any more and decided 7 was enough.  Press was 4 x 6 at 90lbs.  These felt harder than they should have but I’m going to tell myself it was because I did them after bench.  Incline bench was 3 x 10 going up in weight every set.  I got a little over zealous with these, especially considering I was on the crappy, wobbly incline bench that I never use.  The first set at 95 felt OK.  The next set at 115 didn’t.  I had to rack the bar after 9 (which only happened because I lifted my butt off the seat) and shake my arms out to get 10.  I was too contrary to go all the way back down to 95 so I did the last set at 100.  Next there was seated dumbbell press for 2 x 20 and I’d like to say that I’m pretty sure these were thrown in there just to annoy me.  I could only use 15s and even those sucked.

METCON:  3 Rounds of 10 push-ups, 25 sit-ups and 10 ring rows.


After two days of rest and some pre-birthday, fourth of July triple chocolate rum cake, I was more than ready for my last heavy dead lift day.

Yes....  This cake.  It has so much rum in it you can get drunk just smelling it.  It's awesome.

Yes…. This cake. It has so much rum in it you can get drunk just smelling it. It’s awesome.

So if you’ve read some of my other posts (of course you have…..), you know that I’ve had problems with my dead lift.  For some reason, I’ve never been able to break 400 in the gym.  I know absolutely that I can do it (more absolutely now than at the beginning of this cycle), but thinking about it makes me all weird.  I had a similar problem with my squats around 400.  So I decided that this was the day.  Today, as my birthday present to myself, I was going to pull 405.  The 3 singles started at 360 and were supposed to go up in 10lb increments.  There was some negotiating and I got that changed to 15 and even though that still didn’t get me to 405, we decided I should try it if everything else felt good.  360 felt good. 375 hurt my pinky so we decided to use straps for everything after that.  395 felt a little weird being the first one with the straps and it ended up being farther out in front of me than I would have liked.  But it was still fast, so I went for the 405.

And here it is (skip to about 25 seconds if you don’t want to watch me fight with the straps) ……..

405 dead lift

It’s a little ugly but I can’t even tell you how good it feels to just have it done.  It’s a huge boost to my confidence.  It also meant I got to ring the bell which is always nice and doesn’t happen as often for me as it did when I first started out (obviously.)

Deloaded my front squat this week so did an easy 3 x 5 at 100, 115 and 135. This is the last time I’ll front squat before Nats.  Also did 3 x 5 deficit dead lifts for 135, 225 and 275.

METCON:  3 rounds of 12 glute ham raises (BW, 10 and 25lbs), 15 GHD sit-ups and 10 barbell rows at 135lbs.

One more week of training and we’re done.


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  1. Jack DiBenedetto /

    Awesome job Melissa! Congrats on that 405. … remember one thing, whether you think you can or you can’t you’re probably right.

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