Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tuesday 11/16: Bench night

Following my normal day of rest on Monday, Tuesday night was, as usual, time for working on the bench.  I've been having some pain and tightness in my right shoulder which I've self-diagnosed as a rotator cuff issue.  I had a similar problem on my left side during the spring and early summer and it kept me from benching for about two months.  The odd thing was that while I couldn't do the typical flat bench work with a barbell, incline wasn't painful and dumbbells work was fine.  So I took about two months and focused on incline and then slowly worked back into flats.  It set me back on one hand but my incline strength really improved.

So I find myself in the same situation but the pain is not as severe.  I think I recognized it much earlier and have taken the last several weeks off from the flat bench and have moved back to focusing on incline.

Although I am in no way qualified to offer advice to anyone, I'm fairly comfortable assessing the causes of my current problems.  I see two causes.  First, because I'm always pressed for time I tend to blow off rotator cuff work.  It's just boring and I don't care for it.  But I used to do it and never had these problems so I'll take my lumps now and try not to make the same mistake going forward.  Second, I was overtraining.  I was trying to get in two bench days a week - one a very heavy day and one a speed and conditioning day.  The problems are that 1) I'm older and need more time to heal; 2) I really ended up going heavier than I should on the supposed light days; and 3) I'm still not in top shape so my body just can't take the abuse it could when I was younger and in good shape.  Back then it was no problem to lift 5 days out of 7 with a couple of two-a-days mixed in for fun. 

Anyway, here's how tonight went.  Much like last Sunday, I just didn't have the top end and I think I need to do some heavier tricep work over the next few months because they were failing during the heavier sets.

Started on incline (skipped the Precor warm-up because of time), stretched, few warm-up sets and then into the work sets.  Went as follows:  8x205, 6x225, 5x255, 3x275, 2x295.  Then two max rep sets at 225 (8 & 6).

Powertec flat bench:  8x270, 6x310, 6x340, 4x380, 3x410.  Two max sets at 270 (6 & 5).

Incline dumbbell presses:  4x8x70s.  Flat dumbbell flys:  4x10x40s.

Not a terrible night but not great.  Had a light snack of oatmeal before I lifted and then ate steak and homemade mac & cheese (best ever by the way) for dinner.  That will probably push me over my starting weight so I'm going to have to hit the Precor before bed in hopes of mitigating the damages. 


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