Well, that was an exciting 45 minutes! Squat/Bench/Row today, 145/110/75. I’m debating if I’m capped out on squats; I know I’m capped out on bench. I know I’m capped out on bench because I missed the last rep of the last set (thank goodness J was there spotting me– I’m glad I had the good sense to ask him for help). Squats were very hard too; I was doing a lot of grunting, even in the first set. I’m not self-conscious about making noise, but I usually don’t, so that gives me an idea of how hard I had to work. I think I’ll do 145 again on Thursday, and maybe add 5lb next week if it feels doable.
I’ve been thinking about the goal of lifting my body weight. I think for deadlift it’s absolutely an achievable goal– I’m not too far from it now, and I’m still progressing smoothly. Squats will take longer, but I might be able to get there. Bench… that’s definitely a stretch goal. Somewhere back in my brain, something is saying "if you weighed less, this would be easier". But that voice is full of shit. If I weighed less, I wouldn’t be as strong! Some of this glorious muscle would go away too. (Of course some people of all weights lift their body weight. But if I weighed say 145 at the same relative strength as I have now, I obviously wouldn’t be squatting 145lb.)
I made a bad mistake loading up the bar for bench today. I lay down for the first rep, lifted the bar, and it felt weird. Unbalanced. I wrestled it back onto the stand, then looked: The right side was loaded 25lb, 5lb, 2.5lb, and the left was loaded 35lb, 5lb, 2.5lb. Oops. I pulled the 35lb plate off and fixed it and continued. That was a scary moment though, and my first impulse was to tell myself, "No you’re being crazy, there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just a tough lift, stop stalling". I’m glad I trusted myself to double-check it.
Ha ha I’ve done the same thing with the bar loaded unevenly. Scary.
I don’t know if you’re capped. Technique matters too, not just strength or your own bodyweight. So maybe you’re capped for NOW…
Oh yeah– I’m certain I’m not permanently capped, just that it might take me a couple weeks before I can add more weight again. It would be sad to give up already! :)
That’s why I was very pleased to get those teeny little 2.5lb weights for my birthday. Sometimes that’s as much increase as I can do…
I just loaded the bar unevenly on Monday during a bench press, so I totally understand the emotions and thoughts that went through your head. I just found your blog and haven’t read if your had plateaued on anything before, but if you completed all your sets, move up 5 pounds. You will surprise yourself. Grunting through sets as you get up in the weights you are lifting is normal and may increase over time. Heavy weights are tough after all!