For real. I’m getting mad strong. It’s kind of scary. Scary awesome!
Ok, not really… but I am getting stronger and it feels so good! Sing it with me… get-ting-strong-er and it feels so good.
Yes, that was a super lame intro. I apologize. What I won’t apologize for is how dang excited I am to tell you that with still under 2 months of focused strength training to supplement my CrossFit WODs, I’m making some pretty awesome strength gains! Gainzzzz!!!
531, the program I’m using, is a linear progression where you add weight and volume in small doses to maintain consistent strength gains over a long period. With it, there is a calculation (hooray calcs, says the engineer!) that you can estimate your 1RM based on reps and weight. This way, you can track progress from week to week and month to month.
I’m posting my monthly tracking sheets on this 531 page. See all those pretty colors and numbers? You can see where I started with my 1RMs on the Weeks 1-4 sheet. On the Weeks 5-8 sheet, you can see where I am destroying those previous 1RM.
I must’ve been tired on the day I took my bench max for this program. I’ve consistently had my calculated max at around 225 pounds. 225 pound bench press!! There was a time when this was my life long goal to get ONE rep at this weight! I’m almost there and I’m sure I’ll get multiple reps at that weight soon! That seriously blows my mind. True, it was the bench press that kicked my butt when I did Linda the other day, but I definitely can feel improvement in strength… and I know my chest is growing because my shirts are tighter! Now if that isn’t a win-win, I don’t know what is! =)
This is still the lift I struggle the most with. I think a lot of it has to do with my form. I’m pretty sure I don’t have a straight up and down bar path. I think I push out away from my face and then arc up to overhead. I need to video this and confirm. Once I get my head out of the way and the bar traveling correctly, I think that’ll really boost my press. As it stands right now, I’ve added a calculated 10 pounds to that lift, representing a little less than a 10% increase. I’ll take that!
Today (yesterday when you read this) was the best squatting day I’ve ever had. Ever. It wasn’t the most weight I’ve ever squatted, but it was the best I’ve ever felt squatting. Again, no video, but I think I had my best squatting form. I felt my chest stay up and my weight back on my heels. I could feel my head stay up as I pushed out of the bottom.
I have been working on stretching and mobility, so maybe that’s finally paying off? Maybe taking those lacrosse balls to my rear hasn’t been totally unnecessary?
It’s 5/3/1 week, which is the heaviest week of the month. I had 195 on the bar and a goal of 6 reps. Holy hell, I crushed those squats! I ended up with 8 reps and maybe could’ve gotten a 9th. Maybe. Even at 8 reps, that calculates to a 245 1RM… a 30 lb PR!
Whoa!!! All the gains! Can’t wait to actually test this calculated max. And I did this without a lifting belt, no lifter shoes… all natural. I’m proud of that.
I saved the best for last. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen this last night. (If you don’t follow me on IG, remedy that now!)
That bar has 4 plates on it. On each side. Plus the bar. Which adds up to four freaking hundred (and 5) pounds!
Yup. I’m in the #400club. Wooooooooooooooo!!!
This was my birthday goal (January 22, yes I expect presents, just saying). It’s now my past goal.
Testing my max deadlift was not part of 531. It happened amongst the right people with the right setting and the right hype music playing.
Before I lifted 405, I wanted to go for an even 400. Something about lifting 400 pounds… that seems like such a huge number. I remember the first time I tested my max deadlift and got 315. That was only 8.5 months ago. And at the time, 400 seemed forever away.
Anyways, it’s one of my OCD tendencies to have even numbers of things, so I had to hit 400 before I could go over. I got it on my first attempt, plus a victory yell.
Oh yeah, there’s 400 pounds on there! Look at that bar bend!
So of course, after 400, I could take all those little plates off and slide one more big plate on. And that’s exactly what I did.
My 405 lb deadlift was heavy. It took a few seconds to get it up and locked out. But, I knew as soon as I got it an inch off the ground, that I was going to complete the lift. It felt awesome.
There’s a little lifting update for you. 531 works for some strength gains!! At least 2 months in it does. Sorry this post was all about me and my status but… hey, it’s my blog. =)
Your turn -> Set any PRs lately? Have you had a day recently were your lifts/runs/gyrations to zumba felt on point?