No six-workout week this week, only four. I could have made it a 5-workout week, but yesterday I just couldn’t be bothered to go to Pilates. I’m strongly aware of the irony – last week I thought I was going to miss Pilates because of a meeting, and I was furious, this week I had the opportunity to go and was *meh*.

Tomorrow the gym is closed for training because we’re hosting a GBPF London divisional. I’m refereeing, and I’m really excited. It’s going to be hard work, and a long day (I have to be ready to go by 7am tomorrow, and I’ll probably be home by 10pm if I’m lucky) but I can’t wait. It’s going to be the first time I’ve refereed at a competition at my home gym which I’m not actually lifting at. Gonna wear my full uniform and look sharp.

Anyway, I’ve finished up my 3 weeks of volume squats & bench. Last night I squatted 5 sets of 8 @ 60kg, which was pretty killer. My legs don’t really hurt today, but I was very out of breath after each set last night. I find it really hard to regulate my breathing on such long sets.

I also benched 4 sets of 8 @ 42.5kg, then dropped the weight down to 40kg because I was bouncing a lot of the reps off my chest. I suspect this bouncing is part of the reason I’m better at sets than singles – obviously you can’t bounce or heave the weight off your chest on a paused single (if you heave it, that’s a red-light offence anyway). So for the last set, I did 8 reps @ 40kg and paused each one. And god it was awful.

So now I’m wondering what to do after volume. More volume, with more weight? (Sets of 8 squats with 65kg maybe). Or, more paused squats? I did 5 sets of 3 @ 70kg with 2-second pauses on Monday, and they were great – I’ve been doing a few paused squats alongside the volume because I love them. I also think I ought to do more paused bench in sets, as I did last night, because I can’t keep bouncing the bar off my chest! I know some powerlifters only ever bench paused.

I guess the world is my lobster at the moment, since I’m not competing for ages.

I do think that the volume work has affected my conditioning, though. I’ve not been performing well in conditioning class at all; for example today we had to do sandbag clean & press, and a few months ago I could handle the 20kg sandbag for at least half the reps, today I could only manage the 15kg one. Hmm.