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Á Skaganum

If you want to improve your bench you should consult with the best.
Acting accordingly María and I went to Akranes to visit Jakob Baldursson.
Klaus came along to perfect his squeezing-Maria-very-fast-into-her-horribly-horribly-tight-bench press shirt-routine.
When I publish my book “interesting training facilities I have come to know” be sure to remind me to devote a whole chapter to the bench press room in Akranes.

Well hidden behind the facilities rooms and electrical apparatus in the basement is a large-ish, warm room. The centerpiece is an ipf approved bench
with all the trimmings.
You will find all the equipment you´ll need. (The prize podium is stored in the same room, so you can also practice stepping up into first place position.
You never know when you are going to need that skill …)

I took one long look at the bench and tore up my program. I was not going to tell anyone that I was only supposed to do two sets of 2×72,5 kg. I intended to
take full advantage of the bench and the present company.
Kobbi arrived bringing his youngest son along. The boy with the unusual name Daríus, turned out to be a handy helper for Klaus in loading the bar.
We warmed up, and then Kobbi expertly helped me into my shirt. This rather intimate and close encounter always makes me feel kind of awkward, but it helps when the dresser is such a sweet guy. I started in 70 which was almost too easy. I went straight to 80 without problems. The others looked at me and asked for the tenth time why my grip was so narrow. Without further ado I agreed to try a wider grip in 85. It worked very well. With at wider and tighter grip my control of the bar improved noticeably. My third attempt ever on 85 kg went very well.

My elbow then started acting up like crazy. I had treated it really well and gone easy on it for several days, but now the pain was back with a vengeance. I was pleased to find that Kobbi not only offers assistance and free advice on bench pressing, but also includes massage in his services. It helped, and
the bar was loaded for my first ever attempt on 90 kg. Everybody in the room seemed confident that I would make it. Except perhaps me ..
It did not feel as heavy as I had expected. I was concentrating so hard on my grip and position on the bench that I forgot to be intimidated by the weight.
I managed to lift it with Kobbi´s finger steadying it on the way up. It felt good!!
Now you are never going to be satisfied until you do that in a meet, he said. And I know that he is right.

Happy with the day´s work I put a brave face on the elbow pains and watched Maria do her thing. Watch my ass, watch my ass, she was calling out to
all and sundry. We gladly complied. Her behind stayed firmly on the bench while she lifted under our watchful eyes. Klaus got the hang of putting
on her shirt, now he only needs to improve his timing.
Considering my damned elbow I decided to postpone the triceps and shoulder exercises. Doing abs and stretching I waited for the others to finish.

It was dark and raining when we drove home. Long drive, but worth it.
I don´t think it is a good idea for me to train so late in the evening, though. The lifting tends to follow me into my dreams.
After this session I had a very weird dream. I dreamt I was participating in a dead lift meet. It took place outdoors, in the middle of a street. When I entered the platform for my first lift, I realized that the bar was empty. I was supposed to load it myself! So I timed out just standing there looking at
the empty bar.

I got some strong looking guys to help me load for my second attempt. When I was going to tighten my belt I realized that it was not my belt. It was red,
the buckle was all different and it did not fit me at all. So I timed out in my second attempt as well.
I started running around looking for my own belt. As is always the case in dreams, it felt like I was running slow motion in molasses. At long last I
found my belt in my bag, put it on and entered the platform for my third and last attempt. When I tightened my belt I discovered that I was dressed in
one of those big, black plastic garbage bags. I have no idea why. But I did not have time to worry about that. I could feel the time running out, even though there was no clock. The referees were counting the time on their fingers. I fastened my belt and bent down for my lift – and then I woke up.

I wonder what Dr. Freud would make of that.

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