Mental game

Today I stared down deadlifts for the first time since hurting myself.

First, though, I worked on bench, getting up to a 155lb single (just barely!) It gave me a good chance to work on something: breathing. For a less-challenging lift, I can breathe in when lowering the weight, and push it back up in a single exhale. For a tough lift that I’m grinding out, I’m going to need more breaths! For bench, at least this is straightforward– there isn’t as much structure needed in the abdomen as in the other two lifts.

After that, it was time to load up the bar for deadlifts. I decided the best way to build my confidence and not risk re-injury would be just to do a few progressive singles. So I went from 185lb to a moderately heavy 225lb in steps of 20, and did a couple more at 225lb. Singles seem to work better; maybe I’m less likely to get tired/lose my form/mess up my back that way.

Each rep at 225lb took me longer and longer to talk myself into. I’m really afraid of hurting my back again. Usually I’d get over that by just saying to myself "Oh just hurry up and get it done already" but I’m worried that my form is poor and rushing myself will only make it more likely that I’ll mess up. So there was a lot of standing around agonizing about being "ready" but standing around wasn’t making me any more ready.

Bench – 2x5x135lb, 2x5x140lb, 3x145lb, 1x150lb, 1x155lb
DL – 1x185lb, 1x205lb, (1,1,1)x225lb
Accessory/rehab – 2×10 biceps, triceps, OHP, weighted back extension, wood chop, lat pulldown, hip extension machine, hip adduct/abduct machine, weighted glute bridge, weighted side bend

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