The lifting, as expected, is going wonderfully.
My best numbers currently are:
Squat: #245 lbs x 2
Bench: #175 lbs x 3
Deadlift: #305 lbs x 1
Overhead Press: #100 lbs x 3
(They're all shown in the videos below.)
Some days I feel stronger than others, but the general trend is that strength is increasing. On the days when I feel 'weaker' or like I've programmed too ambitiously, I've been able to make appropriate adjustments, so that things are back on track by the time that specific training day comes around again.
I'm following a program that includes powerlifting 3x/week at varying intensities with the goal being to set new rep PRs at the end of each week.
- TUES - volume day (squats and bench press); lower weight, higher reps -- usually a total of 20-25 reps at the working weight over 3-6 sets
- THUR - recovery day (light squats and OHP); keeping with the neural adaptation and continuing to "grease the groove" of the movements, but lower weights and reps so as to allow the muscle groups to recover before intensity day
- SAT - intensity day (squats, bench press, and deadlift); higher weights than Tues but with lower reps -- usually no more than 5 total reps at the working weight over 1-3 sets
I've added in some additional exercises to aid the growth of the big 3 (chin ups, pull ups, dips, front squats, etc.) as well as some cardio to hopefully help with my weight cut. Which brings me to my next point...
THE WEIGHT CUT (and diet in general)
I'll be the first person to tell you without hesitation that I'm absolutely awful at dieting, but that doesn't come without a bit of explanation, of course...
I remember having a completely benign relationship with food up until my freshman year of college when I had my first experiences with binge eating. I won't say I had a necessarily HEALTHY relationship with food until then, but it was benign in the sense that it didn't cause me any anxiety or otherwise negative emotions. I didn't put much thought into it or really even notice what I was eating prior to that first year of college. Only once I started going to the gym did I find myself hyper-focused on my appearance, my weight, and my eating habits. ((Bit of a side-tangent here: part of the reason I love powerlifting so much is because it took the focus away from just aesthetics for me and placed it more heavily on STRENGTH, which wound up being a much healthier psychological approach to fitness for me. I'd go so far as to say that finding powerlifting saved my fitness.))
Back to diet: early on I was unable to make the connection between my mindset and my behaviors, but over the years I've developed an understanding of the way my perspective shapes the way that I treat my food. What I've realized is that whenever I create any kind of pressure to lose weight, and therefore to change what I eat or to eat less, I find myself completely out of control of my intakes. It doesn't always happen immediately, but eventually over the course of any stint of 'watching what I eat' I will lose control and wind up in varying severities of a binge.
What I haven't quite developed yet, though, is the understanding of how to overcome this issue. The longest I've stuck with a proper diet (and by that I mean eating to maintain my current weight and aiming to hit my macros -- cals, carbs, fats, proteins -- every day) was a solid month. And then things went awry.
Now, I'm not denying that my own faults are at play here; laziness, lack of willpower, whatever it may be. But what I *AM* doing is noting that there is a definite behavioral patter.
> accept in my mind that I need to lose weight
> implement strategies to reach that goal
> wind up in a state of lost control
So, with all that being said, I made it a total of ONE day so far feeling in control of my weight-loss mindset. Luckily, I have 5 months to lose the ~12-15 pounds to reach my competition weight of 132. By no means am I just going to throw in the towel because two days have passed and only one of them reflected positive behaviors. However, I'm essentially walking on eggshells with the way I approach this situation in my own mind, because 5 months isn't nearly as long as it seems when you have trouble with consistency and self-control. And, furthermore, because I know that if I don't manage to make it back down to my competition weight I'll be extremely disappointed in myself, and that will only serve to create even WORSE behaviors.
So the plan for now is to just keep on trucking. (Just keep swimming, just keep swimming.) One bad day doesn't have to ruin the rest of them.
And, hey, at least my training is going well. ^_^