Thursday, May 29, 2008

Strong all the way through

I've come a long way over the past two years in my strength on the bench press. Not so much in regards to how much I can lift, although that has gone up, but in my strength all the way through the lift.
For about the first year, I would often times fail in one of my two "sticking points:" as the weight came right off my chest or when I got it about 3/4 of the way up. So, we focused on those two areas of weakness. I did some reps of light weight, holding the bar on my chest for a one count and then exploading (or so I tried) upwards, which strengthened my first sticking point. We'd also place more weight on the bar than I could actually bench and then set the bar on the side bars at a height equal to my 3/4 of the way up sticking point. So, I'd focus on that last part of the movement.

All that work has paid off. Last night I was finishing my workout with a pretty heavy amount for just 3 reps. The first rep was a shock to my system, so I wasn't very smooth but I was able to get it. On the 2nd rep, I was able to use perfect form and move the weight smoothly. But I knew that the 3rd rep was going to be difficult and it was. I was nearing exhaustion and it felt a lot heavier than on the previous rep, but I was able to slowly lift up the weight. I was able to push through the first sticking point right off my chest and then power it through the second sticking point at the 3/4 height. The amount of weight caused me to go slowly and repping the movement took everything I had, but I was able to slowly and steadily move the bar through the entire lift. Not at one point, even with the bar moving so slowly, did I wonder whether I'd be able to finish the movement. After I racked the bar, Jason told me, "You've come a long ways; you're now strong all the way through the lift."

Where are your weak areas? Where are the places you continue to fail over and over? If you continue in the same pattern you're on right now, you'll continue to fail in those same areas of weakness. What changes can you make so you can follow the instruction of the author of Hebrews to "throw off every sin that drags us down so we can run the race with endurance"? What new disciplines do you need to bring into your life? What old patterns do you need to eliminate? And most importantly, what form of accountability do you need to make those changes.

A sign that someone is maturing in their walk with Christ is the realization that we're eliminating our "sticking points." Can you see indications that what was once an area of continual weakness is now turning into a steady strength?


Dale said...

Great post! God's really been working on me on this one over the last year...thanks for sharing!

Emily said...

"Things that make ya go Hmmmmmm?!?!"

Great post!!! And what do ya know...perfect timing...but that shouldn't surprise you...AT ALL!