I had a thought yesterday as I arrived at the gym - what if I wasn't totally up to spec last week for chest day? What if I really was a bit off, my positioning on the bench was a bit off and this would have kept me from lifting as much as I could have any other day.
So, I decided there was only one way to find out definitively - load 180lbs on the bar and go again. So I did.
This just in - yes, I really can bench 180lbs for reps. True enough, it was for 8 reps, but I hit it! Then, I managed to hit 160lbs for 10 reps. That alone told me that when I can rep higher on the second set (as has been my custom), I can normally hit my progression the next week fairly easily.
The rest of the day was just as rewarding. I've been subbing in overhead dumbell tricep extensions for decline tricep extensions (skullcrushers) due to the fact it's been getting pretty busy at the gym. Still progressing there. Tricep pushdowns "stalled" this week, but seeing as they're at the tail end of the workout, I'm not too worried about not progressing there. That just means that I REALLY hit everything prior to them hard yesterday. They'll come up in time.
A side note - my quads are SUPER trashed today - the old "you'll feel it two days later" syndrome. Bar squatting is quite different than the muscle action for decline leg press. That and the fact that I hadn't squatted for weeks combined to really kick my ass - and quads. They feel like bricks today! On a happy aside, the hack squat machine is back! I'm not sure I'm going to go back to it right away - I think I might give Smith machine barbell squatting a few weeks to see how it does for me.
Just remember - that weight won't move by itself! MucleHack it!
Biceps and abs are tonight. Lift safe folks!