Paused squats, and a lost cake

So while I had a stressful week last week, today I have probably reached PEAK ANXIETY as I try to deal with a lost cake. In short, Sponge cakes are really nice, but DPD couriers are pretty much useless when it comes to delivering to gated properties, and right now my mum’s birthday cake is somewhere between their house and a depot in Reading, already a day late for delivery and probably rapidly going off. I am really quite, quite angry, not least because attempting to sort this out has meant I’ve had to talk on the phone a few times, and talking on the phone (even to my boyfriend) ranks up there as Top 5 in the list of Things I Hate To Do.

Have I mentioned that I’m anxious? Yeah, I’m pretty anxious right now.

But I’m not posting here to talk about cake – I’m going to try to get back into the swing of talking about my workouts, despite my utter apathy right now.

Last night I went to BGWLC as per usual, and I had paused squats. Paused squats are working really well for me right now, not sure what it is but I seem to get more out of them than any other squat variation. I worked up to 3 sets of 2 @ 80kg, with a two-second pause on each. I won’t deny, these were hard – mostly in terms of trying to hit depth – but I loved them. For some reason I keep my form much better when doing pause squats than when doing conventional ones.

I’m also quite pleased that despite my less-than-optimal nutrition recently (i.e. hardly any protein), I can go to the gym after a horrible, stressful day at work and do 80kg paused squats (at 71.9kg bodyweight!) without too many problems. I reckon my estimate of being able to do a 90kg single on even my worst gym days is fairly spot-on.

After that I had speed pulls off two mats (6 sets of 2 @ 80kg) and a bunch of accessory work. I think my grip has improved slightly, as I was OK doing sets of 7 barbell shrugs @ 60kg, with a double-overhand grip. Before, I’m not sure I’d even have attempted that.

Because I haven’t been writing about my workouts, I failed to mention that for the last two Thursdays I’ve been working on overloaded bench press, using boards to lessen the range of motion. Two weeks ago I did board presses with 4 boards, managing 3 x 3 @ 60kg. Last week I did 3 x 3 @ 60 to three boards. This Thursday the intention is to go for 3 x 3 @ 60kg on 2 boards (you get the idea). Not gonna lie, I’m quite nervous about this, as holding 60kg over my face is a bit scary. Here’s hoping I manage to get a few reps in, eh?

The other thing that happened at the gym last night – and which resulted in me getting home later than intended – was a bit of a conflab about how we can get more people (and, you know, their money!) into the gym. I think a “beginners’ taster session” type thing would be ideal, i.e. having a small-group session at a time when the gym would otherwise be closed, which you pay a one-off price for, where you can try out weightlifting or powerlifting under the eye of a coach. I reckon a lot of people would love to try lifting, but have no idea where to start. I don’t know if it’ll happen, but I’m very up for trying.

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One thought on “Paused squats, and a lost cake

  1. G

    I find that pausing my squats is really helpful too! Of course, I’m not lifting as much as you, but it helps me to take a second at the bottom, collect my nerve, and push back up; I’ve never gotten much from the ‘bounce’.

    Personally, I’d love the kind of taster session you describe– but the trick is getting the word out to people who are curious but not curious enough to go ahead and join the normal way. I wonder what venues you could approach to find people who were interested?

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