29/11/14 – PR’s and Mocking Jays
So first off, this is gonna be a short one as I have a date with Jennifer Lawrence reprising her role as Katniss Everdeen in the latest instalment of the Hunger Games Trilogy. Mmm… bows and catsuits.
Any ways – the second thing is that I just PR’d my deadlift by a whole 5kg! This takes my lifetime PR to a mere 205kg and I could not be happier. I have talked before about how in this day and age of leviathan like feats of strength how defunct the colloquial understanding of what it means to be ‘Strong’ has become and yet, despite all of that, man – I felt strong as hell!
The deadlift has always been a lift that has had an emotional connection with me. As many of you know, and as many more of you dont know. I was a horrendously fat, unconfident and socially awkward child. I remember being given packed lunches on school outings to share and eating them all to myself because I had no friends to share them with which, with hindsight being 20/20 and all, probably didn’t help my cause much. Any who, when I decided that I was going to really start hitting the gym and getting in shape so that the ladies and my peers would finally start taking notice of who I was, or at least the person I was trying to project to them, I remember seeing a PE teacher at my school doing a deadlift and thinking, “Wow!”.
There was just something so primal about the deadlift, something just so basic and raw that it spoke to me. I believed that if you could pick up enough weight off the floor, then you could pick yourself up after anything. In many ways I still do believe that. Though the body may have changed, I guess deep down I am still that fat child looking to be strong enough to have the courage to be himself, but also be more than the person that I was at the time. So I asked this teacher to teach me the deadlift. Now, at 17 I thought that having a 1RM deadlift of 100kg was pretty damn amazing – I wasnt aware of the Russians or the Chinese at this point – and I considered myself to be one of the strongest kids in my school year and, funnily enough, that didn’t make me feel any better. I had this image of my life improving if I just could get people to see a cooler, stronger, more athletic side of me and, shockingly, when it didn’t I was crushed.
I flitted in and out of the gym over the next few years, not really getting back into lifting until I was 19 when I ‘found myself’ in the iron. Amidst the clanging of plates and the rattling of barbells I found myself born anew. I no longer cared what the world thought, what my friends though, only what I thought. For the first time I felt strong enough to be the person I knew I could be and picked myself up and got back to work, and it all started at Daves Gym in Cardiff, the one place that I truly considered home during my time as a student, and what was the first lift I performed at Daves? The deadlift.
I cried the day that I first ripped 200kg off the floor. I was 22 and cried alone in my room, not because I was sad, but because I finally felt like I was a man, and that I had got there. I had done it. I was never alone in this endeavour and I thank all my friends and team mates for inspiring me and making me stronger, but I moved that weight, and a man who can move himself can move the world. That was the day I realised that strength was my true calling, so here today I bring to you my workout from today. I hope it brings you as much luck as it did me.
– 8 x 1 (I took small jumps and peaked out for the last set)
- Sumo Deadlift
– 15 x 3 on the minute @50
- Bent Over Row
– 4 x 13 + 1 burn-out set of TRX Rows
- Pull ups
– 5 x max reps
- Long arm cable pull downs
– 4 x 20 + 1 strip set down to the bar
So I wish you all the best of luck. Get after your workout and rip that bar off the floor like someone is trying to steal it from you.
May the odds be ever in your favour!