Benching, Beltless and Belly Breating

The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.-Henry Thoreau 

Physically and mentally a lot has gone into my focus on healing….the knowledge I’ve gained and ways I’ve been tested I’ll grow from regardless of where my numbers end up being. 
Week 7-I was able to add to my variation arsenal of the big lifts and get multiple steps closer and actually benchpress. My strength levels did not feel as if they declined too bad. The last time I was able to bench was the week of cscca. After 3 wks straight of floorpress i felt I could handle it. 

Got up to 185×4, 180×5 

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A few tips to take stress of the lower spine and why I felt comfortable to add this in 

1. Loosen up your hip flexors! Tight hips means a pull on the pelvis to where your low back feels strained. 

2. Set your lats by squeezing your shoulder blades together and down.

3. Drive your knees out and squeeze your cheeks. This will brace your spine and driving the knees out will keep your feet planted and back from going into hypertension 
Other additions:

Weighted carry variation. 

Tsunami walk-This was rough and I like that my grip was not a limiting factor to work on my core. 
Midline split press- fun variation to typical split stance movements is to literally have your feet on the same line. The smaller base forces your hips to work harder to stabilize. 

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Lower body 
Trap bar deadlift of blocks up to 238 around 60% of deadlift. This variation is much easier with your shoulders being pulled back from the neutral grip your spine has less room for error. The riskiest portion of the deadlift is floor positioning and I will transition into that while gaining strength and neural patterns from slowly working down the range.

From here I will

Remove the blocks, trap bar from the floor

Block sumo stance and conventional

Working into removing the blocks and back to the floor. 

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​Also note I am doing a great deal of single leg work to fix imbalances with minimal compressive loading. Rack pulls and partial rdls. 
Front squat- knees swimming a little but overall pretty good 135 50% off front squat max for 5s. 
Another highlight was day 3 lower body worked up to 5×5 @ 185 Ssb 

Beltless which I hate to admit how dependent really since last summer I have become on wearing a belt. As a strength coach I feel obligated to be all about core recruitment and functionality….but the more things flared in my back this past year the more I clung to my belt to get through. It was so bad I had lost confidence to go beltless in my warmup sets. I still have a long way to go on my squat but I am feeling good about how second nature the bracing and belly breathing is becoming. 


Hmmmm around 56% Ssb and now. End of week 2 

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