I would’ve been nasty indeed if you’d told me a year ago my bench press goal for my birthday in 2012 would be my bodyweight. That was my goal last year (and I didn’t make it by my birthday — it took another month and a half).
But if you’d told me in February I’d be close enough to benching my bodyweight again in May to reach out and touch it, I just wouldn’t have believed you. (I’d have thought you were being cruel, too.) Everything seemed over in February. And there are plenty of days still when everything seems over; when I think about all the things I *can’t* do.
But one thing I can still do — albeit with the handicap of putting my feet up on the bench to keep my spine flat and protected — is bench press. Two months of muscles weakening while I was hurt, having surgery, and recovering, took a toll, as did losing weight in that process.
But I regained the weight, have been back to working out with increasing intensity for two months-plus now, and decided to restart my bench goals. And I’m starting with bodyweight by my birthday — 105 on August 29. And by the end of the year, I’m determined to hit 115. (side rant: I hate that I have to justify this, but that’s HYOOGE for me. Wanna have some fun? Go plug your numbers into this website. I love watching the little blue bar roll on up toward ‘elite’ when I plug in my goals)
I started the 5/3/1 program last week and had my second workout last night. And it feels amazing. Foremost, it doesn’t hurt my back. But that last set, the all-out for max reps — that just leaves me exhilarated, feeling like myself again. So much so that I’ve even come to peace with this reset that seems to be costing me about a year of progress. I guess the good thing about déjà vu is that I know if I did it before, I can do it again. (And this time I’ll get past that 105.)