If you didn’t catch my last blog post, Stew and I have been having some fun with safety squats on Saturday mornings. It feels like we’ve been running these sets of 10 for 3 months or so, but in actuality, it’s only been 5 weeks. I guess that’s what happens when you are in pain. Time moves slowly.
Two weeks ago (the week after my abysmal performance), Stew said he was going to deload that week and invited me to join him, to which I replied, “Cody doesn’t deload.” I have a strong aversion to deloads. It’s not that they don’t have merit, it’s more that I’m too stubborn and foolish to voluntarily take them. I usually just keep training hard until I’m so destroyed that I can’t move or I get injured. That’s when I take a deload. You know…like a smart person.
That Saturday, Stew did some easy sets of 10 with 335, and I chose to push the weight if it was there. I was fortunate enough to hit a top set of 395 for 10. I felt as though I had redeemed myself. I did some more sets of 10 with 345 and called it a day.
That set the stage nicely for last week. Stew was coming off his deload, and I was still under the childish delusion that I can keep getting stronger every week without end. Stew had a great performance with 405 for 10. I also had a good performance with 425 for 8 (I missed the 9th rep). After my top set, I dropped down and hit 365 for 3 sets of 10. All 30 reps felt like max effort, and like every Saturday, I walked out of the gym feeling broken.
After Stew’s top set, something interesting happened. He was feeling nauseous (Stew routinely dry heaves after hard sets of 10), and he wasn’t able to drop down and do work with the safety squat. After the frustration of not being able to perform wore off, Stew declared, “I’m going to do sets of 20 on the belt squat.” I replied, “Good. Go punish yourself.” He did.
On his last set of belt squat, he decided that 20 reps wasn’t enough for redemption. A set of 40 reps, however, might do the trick. I imagine they had similar thought processes in the Soviet gulags. As the amazing training partner that I am, I would hobble over in between my sets of squats to shower Stew with support, encouragement, and affirmation. This was communicated with loving phrases such as “make friends with the pain”, “it’s not that hard, just stand up”, and “no one at the gym will like you if you don’t get 40 reps.”
10 minutes later, when Stew was coherent and could form intelligible words again, we joked and laughed about how deranged we both were, and about how excited we were for next week.
This is how Stew and I have fun.