Wednesday, April 6, 2011

New Barbells and Nagging Injuries

4/6 lift power clean 1x230 deadlift 1x405 plus curls, dips and rotator cuff band work

Of all the days to make a change in equipment, we pick the day I have to pull 405lbs, which is my first attempt at this weight since I injured my back a year ago.  We've been using an old chrome finished barbell I got off Craigslist since we started for floor exercises.  It's not even close to straight and the bolt through ends have to be tightened after each set.  We should probably just be glad it's held up as well as it has for the amount of weight we've been using.  After using the CAP, I might even blame the old bar for when I re-injured my back.  So today, we switched it for the CAP 1200lb barbell we got with the bumper plates, and we used the 45lb bumper plates in combination with my other 45lb steel plates, as I only have six 45lb plates, so, in the past, we would use a combination of 35lb and 10lb plates to make 405lbs.

The higher quality CAP barbell doesn't have nearly as much flex as the cheap unit we were using.  This is something most people don't notice, as it doesn't make a huge difference unless you are doing some type of dead pull from the floor...like..say a deadlift or a power clean.  That little bit of flex you get from a barbell when you go to pull it from the floor can make a big difference.  This is why you see the guys who set records using things like the Texas Deadlift Bar or the Okie bar, as they have more flex, which allows you to load up and get several inches into your pull before you are fully loaded.  The CAP barbell was definitely a wake-up call for both of us.  This was the first time I could land both ends of the barbell at the same time, every time.  With the old barbell, when I would lower the weight one side would always hit the ground first, as the barbell had a serious bend in it.  It got me second guessing my form and turning more than I should.

Now, the bad part about all this is the extra effort it required.  My back was already mad at me from the intervals on Tuesday and 5 sets of power cleans followed by 5 sets of deadlifts have left me feeling like I have a pair angry serpents going through their death spasms locked onto either side of my spine.  Hopefully some rest and an easy run tomorrow will loosen things up before Saturday.

Speaking of trail runs,  I got the word from Bull City Running Company that they had received a shipment of the new Altra Running shoes.  I went by to check them out, hoping to snag a pair of Lone Peaks (trail shoe), but all they had were Instincts (road shoe).  I brought my Superfeet Green to try, as I'm looking for a zero drop, low profile shoe I can wear with my Superfeet until my foot heals up.  I've been managing in my MT101's but they don't really have enough room to accommodate a standard insole and my feet are getting a bit mangled in the process.  The good news is, even though it's kind of a weird looking shoe, the Instinct felt great and it's designed for use with an insole (comes with two from the factory).  Jason is going to see about getting a pair of Lone Peaks for me.  I'll let you know what I think when I get my hands on them.

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