“Things are going to get interesting.”
That was the message my coach, Greg Robins, relayed to me two weeks ago after our weekly program check in. I had just hit a new squat PR that week and he proceeded to congratulate me on a job well done and then followed suite with his “things are going to get interesting” comment.
My mind swirled.
Like, did “interesting” mean we were going to switch gears and maybe emphasize muscle building over max weight? Did “interesting” mean something sphincter clenching like 5/3/1 or German Volume Training. No, wait, shit, Smolov? Please god, no, not that.
“Interesting” post workout kitty cuddles?
What, Greg, WHAT?!?!
Interesting = An Unexpected Week
As it turns out, I found out exactly what he meant by interesting when I opened up my Google sheet this past Monday to see what was in store for me this week:
I couldn’t help but do a double, nay, triple take when I saw what was on the agenda. I was slated to come close to if not surpass PR’s in the “big 3.”
- Bench Press
I wasn’t expecting that.
I was both excited and defeated.
Excited in that I’m always down to lift heavy things. However, I’d be lying if I said I felt ready. Not to make excuses (even though that’s exactly what I’m going to do), but the weekend prior I was in Philadelphia presenting the (Even More) Complete Shoulder & Hip Blueprint with Dean Somerset.
I always feel like a bag of dicks after presenting for 14 hours between Saturday & Sunday, but that feeling was exponentially compounded due to some hefty travel woes both Dean and I had to deal with making our way to Philly.
My flight was delayed seven hours from Boston on Friday and Dean ended up stranded in Toronto when his flight was cancelled due to inclement weather
Moreover, Dean texted me Saturday morning 90 minutes before our workshop was to begin to say he wasn’t going to be able to get on a flight until the following day which meant it was going to be the Tony Show all day Saturday into Sunday afternoon.
To make a long story short: The workshop went splendidly. By the time I got back to Boston Sunday night, however, I was exhausted.
I didn’t even stay up to watch that epic “The Long Night” episode on Game of Thrones. Although, my wife and I ended up watching it Monday afternoon.
The Anti-Highlight Reel
I had a shitty week of training.
On Tuesday I missed my goal weight of 305 lbs. on the bench press. Actually, I didn’t even attempt 305 because I missed 290 lbs.
My best bench ever is 315 lbs and it’s been a while since I attempted 300. I was disappointed I missed 290, and felt it prudent to share because, well, you know, everyone uses social media to highlight their wins.
I figured I’d keep it real and showcase a “fail.”
Although my buddy, John Rusin, did a wonderful job at making lemonade out of lemons with this comment:
“This is great for people to see. Not the miss (c’mon mayne!!) but a proper setup utilizing pins the way they were designed for. No horrific bailing, no jeopardized positions, just bar on safeties safely. Nicely done.”
And then today (Thursday) I missed my 605 lb attempt on the deadlift. I hit 585 (kinda-sorta easily) and was supposed to go for 615.
My training partner, Justin, kept it real though. He saw my 585 attempt and when I looked at him and said “what do you think? Should I go for it?”
He said, “you’re not going to hit 615.”1
He encouraged me instead to go for 605 since that would still be a 5 lb PR.
Two BIG misses in a week.
A few things to note from this video, though:
1. 0:24s = amazing post-DL fail ups.
2. 0:29s = Tony’s tantrum belt toss.
3. Because I want this to be a somewhat educational post, Justin did point out a great piece of constructive criticism on that particular pull.
If you look real close you’ll notice the bar get away from me a bit; you’ll see the plates roll forward juuuust a smidge as I initiate my pull.
Here, I slowed it down for you:
Full Disclosure: I think I would have missed the lift either way, but it does go to show how meticulous you have with regards to your set-up and execution to hit a big lift.
Nevertheless, I’d like to sit here and chalk up this entire fail of a week to stress, travel, and lack of sleep of late.
If I’m going to be honest with myself, though, I have to call bull to the shit on all that.
You see, I’m just like you dear reader.
There are times where I’m dialed in with my training, sure. But there are also times where I can get a bit complacent and lackadaisical and start to cut corners. I’ll skip my warm-up and there are even times where I don’t work as hard as I know I should be on my accessory work.
Hell, there are even times where I won’t complete all my accessory work.
I’m not perfect nor infallible; and this past week was a stark reminder I need to cut the shit. I need to hold myself more accountable and to DO…THE…WORK.
I want this to be a reminder to some of you reading too, because I know some of you can commiserate. Are you in a bit of a slump or not getting the results you want?
- Go to bed. Hydrate. Eat to support you goals. Understand you’re not going to feel like Voltron every day. You’re bound to miss a lift here and there (it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence).
But too, be honest with yourself:
- Are you really working as hard as you can in the gym?
- Are you really hitting all your sets/reps?
- Are you really doing the work?
I’m willing to admit when I’m slacking.