“It’s like moving a pile of dirt. Some days you shovel and some days you spoon.
The important thing to remember is that you are moving the pile.’
– John Welbourn
I’m currently following Brandon Lilly’s Cube Predator program. It's got me doing a lot of accessory work and as a result, my back is getting massive and I can feel that translating to much better stability on the bench. So, I was looking forward to last week, which was week 6 of the program, where we get to test our max on bench.
I went for a 1 kg increase and failed 5 times.
Its not the first time I've failed to complete the work set out in this program..I failed to break the floor with my deadlifts in week 4. That too was shitsville.
After the bench cluster fail, I felt really dispirited though. I’ve been breaking apart my technique, thinking a lot about mindset and spending the weekend generally trying to figure out the meaning of life. I finally decided that what I needed to do was to re synch the program to be more in line with when I know I'm strong (in terms of my menstrual cycle and hormonal fluctuations). No arguments, this is a good plan...but somehow, this decision morphed into a decision to take a week off the program, muck around and take it easy (my name is Anna, I am the anti-logic).
So Monday comes and according to the program, it should have been deadlift day but I mucked around half arsedly with a barbell complex and followed that up with a thing called Coach Pete’s Prowler March…which was far less satisfying than you would imagine (or maybe not).
Tuesday, I went in to the gym thinking don’t be a dick. Stick with the program. Regardless of whether I drop back to week 4 or move on to week 7, the first day is still deadlift day. Deadlifts I will do. I decided to just get moving, warm up and see how I felt.
I proceeded to get all of my reps done with good form. I actually felt great. After my working set I mucked around with a lighter weight and had moments where cues I’ve been working for a while actually clicked. I remembered Brandon Lilly saying “imagine you have a barbell across your back and you don’t want it to fall off”. “Don’t rush that set up, wait till your head finds the point at the back of the room”. I even had a few reps where the leg drive was really coming together.
It was a good day. In a couple of weeks, when I get a nice solid PR on my deadlift, I want to remember this training day. I want to remember that I should always be open to things going well.
Just because one lift, one day, didn’t go magically, don’t jump ship. The world is not ending and you don’t need to figure out the meaning of life. You don't need to engage with the negative thoughts, no new plans need to be drawn up, no excel spreadsheets created... Stay the course. Enjoy the process. Move the fucking dirt by spoon or by shovel.
Anna Brown is an average though super keen