I can’t do this…
I’m sure we’ve all had this feeling in the gym. It’s deadlift day – but the weight can’t be grasped. It’s not your strength, so it must the grip, maybe a bad bar… However, the fact is your hands probably aren’t that sweaty, at least not more than normal. You have what I call “Lifter’s Block”. It’s early in the session, and this appears be a less than epic workout.
Note– this isn’t an article on why you can’t get it up. We all have bad days, and over analyzing it won’t fix your current situation.
While the above is satirical, the fact is once you’re at the gym it doesn’t matter what you did before. Are you perfectly hydrated and stress-free? Probably not. Should you simply go through your workout and not worry about it? No. You may have heard a bad workout is better than no workout, while it is important to remain consistent in your routine you can still have a great workout. For one, you can work on your mechanics. Drop the weight and perfect your form. Get in a few extra sets of a lower weight movement and focus on the muscles at work. Or you can focus specifically on a muscle(s) involved that you’d like to further develop. This is how you take a “bad” back day and turn it into the Ultimate Back and Traps day.
Face Pull – Position cable slightly higher than eye level, pull towards your head and hold peak contraction for 5 seconds. Starting with these early can help initiate the traps – 2×8
Meadow Rows– Perform your heavy rows before your spinal erector exercises. You’ll want to push your hips back with these and if the spinal erectors are tired you may lose valuable strength or injure yourself. Hold contraction for count of 1 at the top – 4×10
V-Bar Cable Row– Focus on controlled reps, and squeeze yours lats for about a second midpoint in the movement. Stretch for 2-3 seconds at full extension.
1×6 at 60% of max
1×8 at 80% of max
1xfailure (rest pause set) at 80% of max
Perform lat stretch between set
Snatch Grip Deadlift – from John Davies, founder of Renegade Training, to measure your grip, raise arms parallel to the ground, lifting hands such that they form a 90° angle at the elbows. The distance from elbow to elbow is your Snatch grip. With bar over the middle section of the foot and bar near shins push the hips back and down. Squeeze the shoulder blades tight and drive up upwards through the heels and hammering the hips forward – 4×12 @ 60% of max.
Chin Ups – Stretch at the bottom of movement for 3-5 seconds. If you cannot perform 10 reps, use negatives – 3 x failure.
Perform lat stretch between set
Finish your workout with 1-2 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream ModernPROTEIN with your beverage of choice.
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Prepared by Nik Ohanian
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