Evidently the secret to nailing more bench press reps than I could do a week ago is being called stud. Maybe because I never played sports I never really had nicknames growing up. So I’ve gotten a little thrill out of the casual nicknames I get at the gym — ‘killer’ and ‘big guns’ among my favorites.
Today I was meant to do three sets of 12 reps at 70% of 1-rep max on bench. Last week doing three sets of 10 I failed on #10 on the last set. So I was apprehensive about making 12 reps today. Visiting coach Max was there to spot though, and he stood ready, prepared to grab the bar if needed.
A word about Max. Within five minutes of meeting for the first time he’d asked what I can bench, squat and deadlift, how much I weigh, and what the exact color of my urine is. Not exactly cocktail party conversation, perhaps, but I didn’t find it odd in the slightest to have this conversation after completing one of his workouts. Now that he knew my vitals he could help me achieve my goals. And one of them is to get to triple digits on my bench.
So though he was there for my safety, he was also there for inspiration, reminding me to keep my form correct, telling me when to speed up, and in general, rooting for me. Getting wavery towards the end of each set, I slowed down and began to doubt I could keep getting that weight up. But there’s no room for doubt with a booming “You got it, stud!” coming from above your head. You’re calling me a stud, well, I just have no choice but to lift that weight, and do it again, and again. So I nailed all 12 reps on all three sets, getting 7 more reps than I was able to last week. Maybe I am a stud, after all!