He lies under the bar, breathes deeply, repeats his little ritual exactly as before, positioning his feet and shoulders correctly, and pushes the bar up from the forks. It moves quicker than he anticipated, almost too quickly and he steadies his arms as they sway slightly.
He begins the decline, expecting a struggle, but finds that he is progressing smoothly through the movement again with no sticking points or muscle failure. Placing the bar back on the rack he stands and looks at it. His previous best was one rep, and now he’d completed ten reps again - and easily too. Something was different.
He counts the weight on the bar again to make sure it’s right, then counts it again. He’s confused, not only