Saturday morning is my big day at the gym. I go there at 8 in the morning. At that hour in the town in Holland where I live, nobody is moving around if they can help it. The gym is nearly always empty which is why I am there at that hour. I need to get in the zone.

I can’t get completely in the zone on Monday and Wednesday afternoons, my other gym days. I’m tired from a full day at work, both physically and mentally, and there are a lot more people at the gym which makes it hard for me to concentrate. Mondays and Wednesdays are the days that I grind it out. I use them to set me up for Saturday. On Saturday I want to hit it out of the park. And the only way that I can do that is by being in the zone.

On Monday this week I failed at all three exercises – squats, shoulder press and deadlifts. This is how it went:

Squats at 80kg: 5 reps, 4 reps, 4 reps, 3 reps, 3 reps.

45kg press: 5 reps, 5 reps, 4 reps, 4 reps, 3 reps.

125kg deadlift: 2 reps, waited for 1 minute, 2 reps.

So this morning was my chance to knock these on the head. There was one other guy in the gym when I got there. We ignored each other; both of us had work to do. I warmed up for squats and then I smashed them out. No problems at all. Monday afternoon will now be 85kg. I know how that is going to go.

The shoulder presses were going well until the very last set where I missed the very last rep; it just failed out of the block. But I regrouped, took in a big breath, and drove up the last one with a huge effort.

A guy next to me had arrived half way through my presses and had started doing highbar squats with the bar in a lowbar position. He wasn’t coming close to parallel either. I ignored him. Next Wednesday the presses will be at 47.5kg.

I set up for my deadlifts with a brief warmup set and then tore through them, the effort almost wiping me out. I could tell by his body language that shitty squat guy was now desperate to interact with me but I continued to ignore him. I was still in the zone and on Saturdays I like to finish with bicep curl destruction.

I go to the dumbbell rack and pick up the 24kg set. Then I drive out 2 reps of bicep curls. The I set them down and pick up the 22s and I do the same thing. Repeat all the way down to the 10kg dumbbells, 2 reps every time. Then turn it around and charge back up all the way through to the 24kg monsters. All of this without stopping. It’s a total killer and just brilliant for the vanity muscles.

At the end of that I was reduced to sitting on a bench with my head down for a couple of minutes. Total success with every exercise. Deadlifts will be 130kg on Wednesday. I know it will probably go bad because I won’t be 100% in the zone. No matter. That’s what Saturdays are for.