Previous years, I have primarily had a focus on Deadlifts and Squats. They are my personal favorites. I feel like I get a lot of mileage out of them.
After a few years of slow by steady progress with my deadlift and squat progress, I had noticed that my bench press and overhead press had become stagnant. Max bench press from 2016 - 2021 was 255. No more, no less.
So, I switched programming and put a focus on chest and shoulders for 2022. This particular program has me benching at various weights and volume 3 times a week.
I had not really looked at the data, but my recollection and feelings about it were positive. I felt 2022 was a good year for progress on those specific lifts (as well as secondary like incline bench press)
So, lets take a look at the data. Not ALL of my lifts were tracked with fitnotes, but I have been using it since 2014 so I have a lot of historical data.
Was it a better year? Did I make progress?
Well, a little. I was following a program closely in the beginning of the year. I peaked with 285lbs early on, and then sort of sustained a higher volume >225 on a regular basis.
Overhead Press and Incline Press went up, and that was a nice surprise since I was not specifically training for that.
So what happened? Well, I had a thing with my knee. Nothing major, it turned out it was mostly a hip mobility issue that I did physical therapy for. So, I reset all of my lifts and didn’t follow the program.
Let that be a lesson. If you lift and don’t have a plan or a form of accountability, your progress may be stunted.
I have a habit of “eating through my lifts” as in, I just eat more until I make progress. I have no idea if this is inefficient or not, but I can control what foods I eat (mostly). So, with this progress, there was a cost. My pants size. And shirts. XXL shirts are starting to stretch.
So I should probably follow up celebrating my increased bench press with 2023 being a cut back year.