T Nation

Grinding the First Rep But Then Hitting a Groove


I spent the last few months working on my DB press and recently decide to move back to BB bench. anyways, on my heaviest set (225) i've been finding that my first rep feels like im grinding it out and im going to miss the lift but then i hit a groove and can hit it for my prescribed reps (5).

i was wondering what the deal was? anyone have any clue? maybe I just need to get back into it? am i the only one that has this happen or has anyone else seen this? it messes with my zen.


its just your body readjusting to the barbell again. The same thing happens to me. I just went back to barbell as well.


I have this happen all the time on a few exercises. I don't really think much of it cause I don't actually crash or anything. I figure it's just my body adjusting to the stress I've the movement.


Maybe your form is a bit different on the reps after the first, or like CT says in his articles your nervous system becomes more efficient at the movement after the first rep.


Yeah, I've had this before with pressing and squatting after injuries. Go through the rehab, get everything working again properly and then get to a heavy set and the same thing you're having happens. Went away fairly quickly. Part of it was getting the motor patterns back and the other part was just not being under the bar with significant weight on it for a while. Being under heavy DBs and being under a heavy BB are a little different. Give it a little time.

The other thing to try is right before your lift to visualize yourself going through the movement with the same speed and power you did in your earlier sets. Even move through without a bar in your hands. Then go for it. Sometimes all you need is a little Jedi mind trick to make it fly.


It might be a different problem. Your body stores the energy of a "negative" in the ligaments.
This is for example, why a dead stop Squat out of the bottom is harder than one where you begin with the eccentric movement and directly start the concentric one.

There is an easy way to test it with the press:
Start with an overhead squat and then begin with the eccentric movement - it should be easier if what i've written makes any sense.