Friday’s are always full of surprises. Friday lets you know if Monday’s session is feasible. Again, I’m exhausted here, so this will be a short one.

Though I’ve been consistently tired this week, I’m not concerned I’m over-training. I’ve been sleeping more, eating more and drinking often – I’m just a little bit ill. I’ve gone home for the weekend and will receive some motherly TLC – I’m expecting full recovery in a few moments.

Today was the usual week finale – 5×4, 3×1,8×1.

For myself, today’s session was a standard Friday. I worked through the reps, stood under a weight I was unsure of for the three rep set and enjoyed an 8 rep set focusing on technique but still being physically challenged. This seems to be the usual for Fridays in this intermediate 5×5 program, but today was a little different. With squats for the last two Fridays I’ve stood under the bar and thought it unlikely I’d make it through the three rep set, yet making it through on both occasions, I now stood under the bar pretty sure I would succeed. This acceptance proved beneficial – I hammered the set out quite contently, but a little off balance in the last rep, so I did a fourth. It wasn’t even really necessary, it wasn’t a huge technical problem, really just a byproduct of my own excitement.

Today’s interesting points from squatting came from Ross’ experience, which I’ll detail below.

Bench press – had to shoot above my planned weight today as it’s just how the numbers work with the weights available in the gym. So, 1.5kg above the planned weight, there was still no problem. Good news, but not a reason to rush ahead – I’m content making gradual gains at the moment and seeing this through for the next six weeks.

Bent-over rows – Ross’ technique is now excellent. No hoisting, only solid, well targeted repetitions. We both pulled our weights with solid form and no lapse in concentration or effort. So really, seeing as this went so well, there’s not a lot to comment on.


Today’s interesting observation came from Ross’ squats. Tonight, quite inexplicably (at the time), he wasn’t able to perform as he usually does. After years of martial arts, he’s a flexible guy. His hips are very mobile which made his squat drop below parallel without much flexibility work at all. However, today, he squatted lower than I’ve ever seen him squat before…and he failed to complete the three-rep set. This showed that though he is flexible, he hasn’t been using that flexibility to move against resistance from the furthest range of motion he had possible. This meant that actually going that low and trying to shift the weight wasn’t actually possible – his body wasn’t prepared to contract effectively in that stretched position.

We’re going to remedy this by doing some extra work at the full range of motion. Basically, when all of the work of the day is done, we’ll be returning to squats, working at a lower weight (around 70-80% of the original 1RM) and generating power from that deep stretched position. We’ll also be upping the ante with the PNF stretching, as it has been shown to increase strength at the increased ranges of movement, it should help in getting Ross to shift weight where the strength is currently lacking.


Today highlighted some interesting point, for everyone:

– Confidence (when earned, or perhaps not in some peoples’ cases) brings performance
–  Training in the full range of motion is important for performing in…well, full ranges of motion. (Having strength in a deeply stretched position will allow you to get out of some sticky situations, especially in grappling sports)
– Fridays are essential to human enjoyment of life




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