I’ve gone through phases in my workouts where I haven’t pushed myself as hard as I should, where I haven’t added more weight to the bar when I suspected that I could, where I have underestimated my strength, endurance, or even my cardiovascular capabilities.
However, a few weeks ago after questioning myself a bit, I resolved that I would finish this lean out with everything I had. If I was going to keep it going, I was going to give it my full attention.
(I find, by the way, that once I set a goal, there’s no more going half-assed. Ever.)
That resolve includes pushing myself on every workout in whatever way I could.
After my shoulder surgery, I found myself weaker than I thought I would be in most areas — not just shoulders, but chest, biceps, and even hamstring work requiring upper body activation (i.e. any sort of deadlift).
Some of that weakness persists today.
However, as part of the final part of this lean out, I am trying, on all levels, to push myself past those limitations whenever possible. I may not hit any PRs while continuing to diet, but in the last two weeks, I’ve been consistently adding weight to as many exercises as I can. I’ve added weight to everything from biceps curls to Smith squats, always trying to push myself one level past what I *think* I can do.
And for the last two weeks, I have felt really good about my workouts, despite the fact that I know I am still weaker (mostly on upper body) than I was in June.
It may be trivial, but my favorite bit of progress was yesterday:
I didn’t have to have my trainer hand me the barbell for close grip bench press.
(I wasn’t using an oly bar.)
Sounds ridiculous, but after the shoulder surgery, one of the areas still causing me problems was getting into position for anything seated or lying on a bench with weights overhead — dumbbell bench press (both flat and incline), seated shoulder press, skull crushers, etc.
My left shoulder could press & perform once I was in position, but getting those weights above my head to start with was problematic.
So when I was able to not only go heavier on close grip bench press yesterday but was also able to do so without assistance, a little part of me smiled.