So Saturday morning I headed to the gym to wrap up my week 16 workouts. 210 lb squats, 120 lb bench press, and 135 lb barbell rows.
All of the lifts were challenging, but not as much as they were the last time I was at these weights. The squats were difficult, but I was able to complete all 5 sets. I was never in danger of not completing them, though I was delayed coming back up on a couple of the reps. I really had to push through to complete those reps. This means I am a little skeptical regarding the 215 lb level, which is where I plateau'd previously.
120 lb bench press went better than I expected. I had stalled once at this weight, but then completed it on the next attempt. I then plateau'd at 125 lbs and had to deload. I think I will probably be successful this week at 125 lbs, and will probably struggle at 130 lbs the following week. Just a hunch, we'll see.
135 lb barbell rows. These seemed more difficult than last time I was at this weight. Which is probably because I have been forgetting to put the weight back down quickly. I concentrated on that, pulling the weight up quickly, then letting it drop, while keeping my form.
A couple of notes. I had one guy using a machine next to the power-rack try to pump me up as I prepared to start squatting by saying something like "Let's get ready! No pain like squat pain!" LOL It was funny, and I agreed with him.
I struck up a conversation with another guy that came in as I was finishing my row sets. He started squatting. He was squatting 325 lbs, with impeccable form. So I asked him how long he had been squatting. Turns out he used to compete and is just getting back after recovering from an accident. When I complimented him on the weight he was squatting he told me he set a world record by squatting 783 lbs! As easy as he was squatting 325 lbs I believe it.
He also gave me some good advice regarding squatting, on how to work on my form. He said he does most of his squatting with a broomstick. And that he'll squat facing a wall to make sure he is staying back.
One other note, I started doing walk-outs after squatting. After my work sets I add 50 lbs to the bar and just unrack it, step back, hold for a few seconds, then rerack the bar. Mehdi recommends this for strengthening your ligaments and joints for squatting heavier weights later on.
Nutritionally I continue to eat high, clean calories, with as much protein as possible. My official weigh in for week 16 was 186.8 lbs, and 16.4% body fat. Again, the body fat is an estimate, using a body fat measuring scale, which is probably lower than reality. In September, at the 6 month mark, I will have a trainer at the gym give me another assessment and I'll get a true body fat measure then.