Some days it’s just training. You do your work and it’s good but it’s just your work. Other days go down in your training history as just being freaking awesome. Today when I saw the board and it said 5×5 back squat @ 160 lbs I knew it was going to be an awesome day.
“Welcome to the hardest workout of your life,” Ben said when I finished my first set.
Susan and I have talked about the mental intimidation of 5x5s. We’re powerlifters. We don’t do a lot of reps. 25 reps — plus the reps it takes to get to your weight — feels like a lot. It takes a while to get through. And a 5×5 at 160 — at over 80% of my max — was downright terrifying to contemplate. I’d wanted and hoped I would lift heavy today, after going an interminable two days without training, and I got my wish in spades.
I would do this. I would prove to myself I’m strong enough, no matter that I was shaking after the first set. And you know what? I did it. All five sets, all 25 reps, I stood up with every single one, and it felt amazing. I could conquer the world after a workout like that.
But wait, there’s more! We benched 5×3 at 88, and just for kicks, Ben made the plates spin for one of the sets. I thought he was kidding that he wanted me to press it with them still whirring around, but he wasn’t so I suppressed my giggles and did it. And it was just luck that ACDC’s Big Balls was playing as I lifted, with the timing perfect that after I nailed my reps I got to sit up just in time to say, “I’ve got big balls!” You had to be there, I’m sure, to get it, but that’s ok, because I was there and that will always be one of my favorite workout memories.
I struggle with lifting sometimes — I whine about slow progress, I get impatient, I don’t like all my workouts — but a day like this that’s just so fun, that shows me that I truly am getting stronger, just makes my heart pitter patter with my big fat love for powerlifting.