Fitness Magazine

Break Through!

By Gjosefsberg @gjosefsberg
A111028_jb_weights 013

No, this isn't me (yet!)

295lbs pressed. That’s right, I managed to do a full set of bench presses with 295lbs on the bar last week. I was really pleased because I had no idea I could do this. The closest I’ve come before is 285lbs and that was a few weeks ago. Last Wednesday though, I just said “screw it”, stacked those plates on either side, found my spotter and got to work.

Anyone who’s ever pushed that much weight knows the first time you lower that bar is the hardest. It feels impossible, like your arms are going to give way at any second. Your hands are in pain, your palms feel like they’re being crushed and your whole arm is shaking. But you lower the weight until it’s just above your chest and then you push up and guess what? That bar starts going up so much easier than you thought it would. It’s so easy that when you get to the top you realize you can do another press and then another and another.

It’s not until the 7th or 8th press that I started having a lot of difficulty. I could see my spotter getting nervous, his hands were hovering right below that bar, ready to help if I got stuck. I just held that bar up in the air, my arms extended, caught my breath and lowered the bar one more time and did it again the next time. The 10th rep almost killed me and my whole body strained trying to lift that weight up. In fact, I think that’s the only rep where my form was really poor and my back actually arched over the bench as I struggled to lift. But that bar went up and it stayed up.

I got to tell you, finishing that 10th rep on my own felt incredible. My spotter congratulated me before walking away and all I could do is lie there on the bench, trying to regain feeling in my shoulders. I thought back to 2003, when I first started working out, and the fact that back then I couldn’t do more than 5 reps of the bar itself and it felt great. For all my struggles with weight and for all my issues with eating, sometimes it’s nice to remember just how much progress I’ve made.

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I hope everyone here has a wonderful week and keep plugging away at their health goals.


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