For the first time in years, I have been working out with a partner and I can't tell you how much of a difference it makes. The requirement to be a the gym at a given time; the requirement of sticking to a schedule; the understanding that if you don't put in the effort, someone else is going to call you out on it. It's been pretty awesome. It took a little while to get back into the swing of things, and at first, I was pretty exhausted. But, my body has really caught up with the regular activity.
I've certainly been feeling a little beasty lately. Getting some good, tight feelings in my chest, back, and arms. But today, I hit a real milestone - I put 315 lbs on my back for the first time in a long, long time. I got to the gym a little before my workout buddy, so I thought I'd put up some nice back squat action while waiting. I started out with 225 lbs. Then, worked up to 245, 275, 295, and finally, finished off with 315. Sure, I only got one rep at 315 lbs, but it was a solid rep. I tried to get a second rep, but failed to get out of the bucket at the bottom and ended up having to unload the weight onto the racks.
It was more weight than I should have attempted, but I'll tell you, it felt really nice to have the weight of that cold, harsh iron digging into my traps and shoulders. It left a white line on my back which has since turned red. There's nothing like some sweet-ass axial loading - the blood rushing to your head, the transverse abdominus giving your internal organs a bear hug, your jugular vein threatening to burst.
It's time to get big, baby.
I'd like to leave you with a quote one of my favorite authors: "I no longer had questions, only answers, and they all point to the weight room."