After nearly 4 years I still haven’t adjusted to the Scottish weather. This morning on leaving the house I debated whether or not a t-shirt and jeans would be enough. 10 minutes later it was snowing.
By mid-afternoon the snow had all but disappeared, the sun was back out in force and I was on my way to the garage for another squat/dead session. There was one small (but significant) difference between this and last Saturday’s session – the accompanying music. Having read Matt Furey’s blog this morning (can’t stand his methods, but some of the information’s great), I decided to try working out to soothing, rather than stimulating music. The general idea being to relax, reduce your heartrate, breathe deeper and generally perform better.
The music of choice was a collection of Bach cello suites played by Yo-Yo Ma. Relaxing it certainly was – and yes it did change things. A few observations :
- I quickly lost track of time. The feeling was one of methodically working through pre-planned sets/reps, rather than thinking in short bursts between sets.
- I didn’t feel at all distracted by the music – it was all instrumental so there was no tendency to want to sing along to it (always a frightening experience for the neighbours), and I was able to focus completely on the exercises themselves.
- There were no highs and lows throughout the workout – attempting a PR was no different to warming up.
Overall, being somewhat more relaxed from the beginning of the session seemed to have a positive affect on endurance. Very positive, as there were several new PRs – despite only repeating a workout pattern from less than a week ago.
2×30@20/44 (was considering ultra-high reps here, but my fingers went numb from just 30)
Rack pull (6 holes showing, just above knees)
To put the above rack pulls into perspective, last Saturday I was repping at 160/352. Last April I managed a single at 180/396 from slightly lower pins (hence the set at 182.5). Finally holding 200 felt great.