Coming off of last week’s 515lb miss on block pulls, I needed to carefully weigh my decision-making about my deadlifts this week. Given that I’m only a month away from competition, this would be my last opportunity for a big pull.

 

I needed to hit something at least reasonably big for confidence-building purposes, but I couldn’t afford another miss so close to the meet. I had several possible options to choose from. A big set of five reps, three reps, or even one rep was near the top of the list, but no particular choice really stood out as a clearly superior option.

 

What I was looking for was the easiest way to pull off a win of some type. As it turned out, a dumb mistake on my part led me to something I wouldn’t have otherwise considered - I forgot my gym bag, which contained my belt. Sure, I could have gone back home to get it, but I had a busy day planned and didn’t want to take the time.

 

Suddenly, a thought occurred to me: why not attempt a new beltless personal record (PR) for the deadlift? I happened to know my current best (455lb), and having had recently listened to an inspiring podcast featuring Joe DeCena (creator of the popular Spartan races), I was in the mood to get out of my comfort zone anyway. Cutting to the chase, I managed to pull a new beltless PR of 460lb, which did exactly what I needed it to do for me - improved my confidence for the 100% Raw! American Challenge next month.

 

 

Every workout, look for a chance to come out on top, even if things aren’t exactly going your way. If it’s looking like you’re not going to hit a planned goal for that day, find another target to shoot for. If it looks like nothing is going to go your way at all, find some way to make the best of the situation anyway. After all, this is training we’re talking about, right? It’s not supposed to be easy!

 

In addition to the beltless pull I just discussed, I was particularly happy with my bench press this week, on two fronts. First, despite benching heavy twice a week for a while now, my shoulder has been feeling pretty good. Not completely perfect, but much better. Secondly, I managed to hit 225lbsx5 this week, which isn’t a PR per se (I think I’ve done six), but it’s a record for this year. Another recent trend is that I’m finding myself doing a lot of uncharacteristic back work lately - chest-supported rows in particular, which feel really safe and productive.

 

That’s all for this week. As always, I welcome your comments and questions!

 

Weekly Volume And Noteworthy Lifts:

  • Volume: 43,380 lbs (Last Week: 33,985 lbs)
  • Bench Press 225x5
  • Beltless Deadlift: 460x1
  • High Bar Box Squats

 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 7:35 PM

Bodyweight: 203.8 lbs

 

Volume: 14,610 lbs

 

CAMBERED BAR SQUAT

 

Set 1: 65 lbs × 5

Set 2: 115 lbs × 5

Set 3: 155 lbs × 5

Set 4: 205 lbs × 3

Set 5: 245 lbs × 2

Set 6: 295 lbs × 1

Set 7: 305 lbs × 1

Set 8: 305 lbs × 1

Set 9: 275 lbs × 3

 

BACK EXTENSION

 

Set 1: 145 lbs × 10

Set 2: 145 lbs × 10

Set 3: 145 lbs × 10

 

LEG EXTENSION

 

Set 1: 150 lbs × 10

Set 2: 150 lbs × 10

Set 3: 150 lbs × 10

 

DEADLIFT

 

Set 1: 135 lbs × 10

 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014, 8:23 AM

Bodyweight: 201.4 lbs

 

Volume: 12,225 lbs

 

BENCH PRESS

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 45 lbs × 5

Set 3: 95 lbs × 5

Set 4: 115 lbs × 5

Set 5: 135 lbs × 5

Set 6: 185 lbs × 3

Set 7: 205 lbs × 1

Set 8: 225 lbs × 5 (Video Below)

Set 9: 245 lbs × 1

 

 

NEUTRAL-GRIP PULLDOWN

 

Set 1: 115 lbs × 10

Set 2: 115 lbs × 10

Set 3: 115 lbs × 10

 

ELASTIC SEATED ROW

 

Set 1: 120 lbs × 10

Set 2: 120 lbs × 10

Set 3: 120 lbs × 10

 

BICEP CURL (DUMBBELL)

 

Set 1: 90 lbs × 5

Set 2: 90 lbs × 5

 

Friday, May 9, 2014, 9:00 AM

Bodyweight: 201.6 lbs

 

Volume: 7,170 lbs

 

BELTLESS DEADLIFT

 

Set 1: 135 lbs × 3

Set 2: 135 lbs × 3

Set 3: 135 lbs × 3

Set 4: 225 lbs × 3

Set 5: 315 lbs × 1

Set 6: 385 lbs × 1

Set 7: 435 lbs × 1

Set 8: 460 lbs × 1 (Video Below)

 

 

14.5" HIGH BAR BOX SQUAT

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 3 (Video Below)

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 225 lbs × 3

Set 6: 225 lbs × 3

Set 7: 225 lbs × 3

 

 

 

Saturday, May 10, 2014, 5:10 PM

Bodyweight: 202 lbs

 

Volume: 9,375 lbs

 

BENCH PRESS

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 1

Set 5: 205 lbs × 1

Set 6: 215 lbs × 1

Set 7: 225 lbs × 1

Set 8: 230 lbs × 1

Set 9: 230 lbs × 1

Set 10: 230 lbs × 1

 

CHEST-SUPPORTED ROW

 

Set 1: 70 lbs × 8

Set 2: 80 lbs × 8

Set 3: 80 lbs × 8

Set 4: 80 lbs × 8

 

BICEP CURL

 

Set 1: 65 lbs × 10

Set 2: 75 lbs × 10

Set 3: 85 lbs × 8

Set 4: 95 lbs × 6

 

TRICEP PUSHDOWN

 

Set 1: 45 lbs × 10

Set 2: 45 lbs × 10

Set 3: 45 lbs × 10

 

A big believer in practicing what he preaches, Charles Staley trains and competes just like his clients. Every Friday you can read what Charles has done this week in his workout sessions.

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