Training is over ( by Dana)

"The board"

Today was the last workout before the power lifting meet Saturday. Many of us are following the same program, so today was one single rep of 80% of our one rep max on each of the lifts. It took more time getting the plates on and off than the actual workout took! Knowing this was the last time I’d be lifting until I’m there in front of the crowd Saturday was a little nerve-wracking, .

I felt good on my squat and good on my deadlift, especially with the tip Ryan gave me Monday of picturing that I’m pulling the slack out of the bar before I really give it full power (don’t tell Ben, who’s out this week, but I did the deadlift twice because I didn’t get that form perfect the first time).

Something went wrong with my bench though — I did 80 pounds twice on Monday but couldn’t do it once today. I enlisted Ryan’s help again after I tried it twice, and he noticed right away when I did 65 for him that I wasn’t using my legs. I’ve been learning to bench press for only about a month now (I didn’t have the upper body strength to start at the same time I started everything else), and though Ben has drilled into me what I need to do, without having him there coaching me I clearly don’t have it all memorized yet. I still struggle more with remembering all the physical components of each lift than I do anything else. Maybe some day I’ll be confident and comfortable enough with my technique to excel on my own, but for now, I will be glad to have Ben back coaching me. He’d not have let me even start the lift without tightening my legs.

Out of the three lifts, the bench is by far the one I’m least comfortable with. I asked Ryan if I should lower my starting weight for Saturday — I declared 80. But based on knowing what I’d done wrong, he saw no reason to change it.

So that’s it. My numbers for Saturday are decided, my workouts are over for the week — and for the meet — and all I can do now is rest the muscles I’ve pushed so hard for the last six weeks. I’m already satisfied when I look at my workout log and see I’m now warming up with my high end six weeks ago. I’ll find out Saturday what I can do for real. I’m already nervous, but when I think of what I could (or rather couldn’t do) when I walked into the gym in September, I know that whatever ends up on the board by my name, I can be proud.

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