I'm In A Holding Pattern

Look, all workouts matter.  However, I am not going to be "that" guy who inadvertently has something happen in the gym the week before stepping on the gas for another badass 24-week off season blast. 

I'm not taking it easy, but I am damn sure being careful and I am not pushing as heavy as I can go right now.  I figure within a few weeks of the blast, my strength is going to take off and the weights are going to feel light again.  I have held a lot of my strength but there is a difference between blasting and cruising.  Though I am moving the same weights, I now start off the set and by the 3rd rep I am wondering if I am going to get 6 of them but end up getting 8 or 10.  When I'm blasting, I get to the third rep and feel like I am going to get 30 — big difference.

So, to be smart about it, I have backed off a bit and have been going for more TUT and going with higher rep ranges (12-15 or 12-20 sometimes) and then every few weeks will push the heavy, lower rep stuff just to be sure my strength is being maintained.  Mrs. Skip enjoys her poundages getting that much closer to mine right now.  :)

Condition has slipped a little bit — not a lot but certainly some.  I am a little softer and have lost some veins.  I consider this a fair trade because I have held strength.  I was struggling to gain more scale weight for the last 5-6 weeks of the last blast so I was throwing around the idea of not being as lean for this upcoming blast as I was for the first one.  Mind you, I am still going to keep scale weight under control (along with body fat) but I am not going to push for having veins everywhere and looking 8-10 weeks out, either.  I think if I were to do that, I would limit my progress quite a bit and that would be counterintuitive considering the entire point of the off season is to gain muscle mass before I go in strictly dieting mode early in 2020.

I am a creature of habit/routine and I am quite obsessive with my nutrition.  However, I know I am looking forward to blasting again because I find myself substituting some healthy restaurant food for a meal here or there on a non-training day.  That is not something I do while blasting.  It isn't "bad" food as much as it isn't my typical, planned, prepared meals, either.  I might have a triple-chicken Panera salad for a meal or a chicken breast, rice and broccoli bowl from Spatch, etc. This may not seem like a big deal to you but to me, it is a clear sign that I know what is coming for the next 24 weeks and that I will be pedantic with my approach so I am allowing myself some room right now to have these meals.

My left supinator is in pretty good shape but this is another reason I don't want to risk anything happening this week or next, before I leave for Chicago (Jr Nationals).  If I am going to injure myself, it will be moving bigger weights and going balls out, not while trying to hold strength 2 weeks before I step back on the gas peddle.

I did venture out of my comfort zone with some light rack deads, though.  For those who know my history of lower back injuries, this might be quite a surprise.  I just felt that while I was keeping weights lower right now, I would see how the lighter pulls felt and they felt great.  I do not have much in the way of stamina so fatigue set in pretty quickly.  Still, I am going to see how they feel again next week and see if there is any lingering stiffness or tightness for the couple of days after pulling and if everything feels pretty good, I am considering keeping lighter, higher rep rack pulls in the plan for the blast.  The idea is to have them in there to help stabilization and to reinforce my torso for things like squats, bent rows, etc.  I would really like to go heavier with rows but right now, my back can pull heavier but my lower back is the weak link.  This could change that and that is what I am hoping for.

I am looking forward to getting out of town for Jrs with my wife next week and I hope you all have a great time this weekend!


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