The battle of the viking press, and other non scale victories

Just before lockdown I started to win the battle of the viking press...

It was an epic battle started many moons ago when I first started training with Matt. My first encounter with this infernal contraption made me realise I was extremely uneven when it came to strength and that I had *really* been neglecting my shoulder / general upper body training! At this point, I struggled to lift the handles off the machine without any extra weight added.

In my defence (sort of) it is a pretty heavy device in its own right, and, like most things at my gym, it is built for giants!

Vinking press… built for actual viking giants

It has taken me a long time to even begin to get my upper body strength close to where I would like it, and I still have a long way to go however, I am super please with my recent progress! So pleased, in fact that I made mark take a picture of me holding the thing up in the air!

Viking press – as used by a genuine warrior goddess… they are shorter than vikings!

It is probably relatively obvious from that picture up there that there is a 10 kg weight on that viking press… what is less obvious, is that there is another one on the other side! That is 20 kg on top of whatever that viking lifting contraption weighs, which I think is at least 25 kg! That takes the amount i hoisted above my head to 45 kg…that is more than anything I have ever hoisted before! It is, in case you are wondering, is the same weight as a Sumatran Orangutan

Bench press paddington!!

so that was the viking press…now for the Bench Press. along with overhead training, upper body training such as bench pressing has been something of a nemisis to me. It didn’t come naturally and I wasn’t good at it. However, it would seem that the key to getting better at this sort of thing, is by training consistently…

As if to prove this, we did 1RM testing last night, just for fun, and I got a 1RM of 55kg! This is more than I ever actually thought I would bench press…I somehow believed that bench pressing was something that happened to other people! I am extremely happy with 55kg it is the weight of a small adult jaguar, which, although I could bench press one, I probably shouldn’t!

I know I look dubious… but it worked!

That dubious looking face up there was the face of someone attempting to do front squats and figuring out that I don’t have the correct hand / arm / shoulder geometry / flexibility to do them comfortably… but…I can manage them if I use my figure 8 lifting straps as sort of hand extensions! Front squats were things I also used to believe only happened to other people… Now I can do them, I don’t like them, but I can do them!

Steel mace!

Getting and using a steel mace totally counts as a victory…

Yes it does because they are awesome!

This page of new Paddingtons and stuff I am pleased with wouldn’t be complete without a deadlift now would it! Well…almost a deadlift, a rack pull, ok a block pull. In case you didn’t know this is like the top half of a deadlift, the bar and weights are out on blocks so that the whole thing it at a higher position to start with. In this case they are just below my knees. That bar up there, represents the most weight I have ever picked up in any direction ever at all!


Yes that’s right, 120kg!

I tried it on the off change, and miraculously it worked! I picked it up, 3 times in a row!

It has just occurred to me that I have designated these non scale victories, and a lot of them are about weight, which is traditionally measured on a scale… but the important thing here is they are about weight I can lift and not my weight!

Totally celebrating the things I can do from now on!! 😀

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