One Rep At A Time

One rep at a time. Since the day Coach took over my training, getting me to focus on one rep at a time has been his greatest mission. A mission we were failing at. I have officially made it a week one rep at a time.

Thursday was a great day. I begin with overhead squats. The squat variations up until this point were going well in regards to keeping my upper body back. I lost it with OHs and I didn’t even realize it until hours later. Today I asked Coach if he observed this. He did, of course, but he also said that he was focused on making sure my legs were tracking properly and my glutes were activating. They were. So I accomplished what he wanted – one rep at a time – and I can sum up my return to OHs as seriously challenging.

I then go to a lunge progression. I did not progress beyond the first part. Keeping the back leg off the ground for as long as I can, I lunge down. Back toe touches down, pause at the bottom, squeeze the glutes (specifically the one of the front leg) and push up while the back leg/foot comes off the ground. These exhaust my hip, the injured side is definitely registering discomfort. I get through all the sets but am screaming through the last reps. A newbie comes over and says “that was terrifying and impressive”. I apologize for disrupting his workout. I say to Coach that I never understand why the first thing people ask is “how much do you lift” when the real test is how hard was it to finish? This was zero weight and yet it was death one rep at a time. I am afraid to find out what the next step in the progression is.

The workout portion included TRX pushups, dips, pull-ups, plank push-ups, and side plank hip raises. Still trying to kip in those pull-ups but I was better about it. By the last round he pinned my feet to my butt so I couldn’t but my hip was already throbbing. Somewhere in the plank push-ups and hip raises (I rotate between the two) I have so much hurt all over my body all I can do is breath and grunt. I am sweating buckets, there are tears on my cheeks. I will finish this. While I am making my switch during round 2, Coach says “this is what I mean by it comes back faster”. I did twice as many in half the time as last year and next week I will go faster. Half way through the third round of plank push-ups I gasp “I have to rest, no I don’t” and I finish without breaking. I am kind of proud of that. My hip was not in pain but I couldn’t walk for a while because it couldn’t support weight.

That night my glutes are sore (he wanted this) and my hip is achy. During the night I have the sharp pain shooting through the hip. Today I mention this and say it isn’t bad, I suspect this is the low-grade discomfort the doctor says I will need to get used to. I hope it is because it is livable. Coach says it will come and go, it is to be expected that at the end of 5 days it will be in rough shape.

Friday: Somewhere between work and session, something went horribly wrong and I explain it to Coach, my head is off and he’s not been sleeping, our classic recipe for disaster, maybe we should take the day apart. He replies “my head would be f*cked for a while if that happened to me. Get on the bench.” I have one of my best days ever…one rep at a time.

Coach gets me to adjust early on in the sets and I have some great lifts. More often than not these days he doesn’t tell me what to adjust but asks questions that force me to find the answer. I asked him if he encouraged me to become a trainer thinking it would be easier to coach me. He says he encouraged me because he knew it would be good for my spirit (indeed I love it only second to lifting) but being easier to coach is a nice if unexpected benefit. This past week is what I knew we were both capable of but always just missing by a hair.

This is my second day of plate depth push-ups. I used to, pre-injury, bang these out at an obnoxious tempo. Last week I ended them by walking my hands up and down. Today I was able to pop them all out but not quite up to tempo. It is coming back faster…one rep at a time.

I thank him for not sending me home or having me go solo and he says what I know all too well: this is where I have to be in a moment like this. Another one of his missions: to stop me using lifting as an escape and rather channel my energy into my lifting, to make lifting the “pure brutal focus point of your will”. I have been failing at this regularly. He has never given up on my ability to do it. I have been doing it all week, one rep at a time.

The leg portion of today was the adjusted leg press and working the bottom half of the squat. Tonight the hip has a constant throb. I have iced and taken my Tylenol. My hope is to do my hip-specific rehab Saturday so that Sunday can be a total rest before I begin again. But we shall see. Above all else, I will be sensible. I have learned my lesson. I want to keep moving forward one rep at a time.


Published by


Lifting is my love. I think it is safe to say it is the only thing I have ever loved in this life. After 20 years of battling anorexia, this Warrior Girl started winning that battle the first time I touched a barbell. Loving something is a powerful thing.

3 thoughts on “One Rep At A Time”

  1. I kind of want to sing “just keep swimming, just keep swimming” to you.

    And on a somewhat unrelated note- we did “Sally” at my box on Saturday. The coaches lined up on the platform and took a video. “Coach” is the one who doesn’t miss a single rep. And that freak SCREAMING in the background? Yeah, that’s me. So you’re not the only one who hollers while in pain.

    1. Nice! This is by far my favorite Sally vid of the last few days – so much fun to know another screamer 🙂 I am left with a mixture of relief that my hip kept me out of it but even more: so so so disappointed and sad to have missed it

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s