Me performing a big deadlift.

I followed a deadlift program in order to improve my personal best and failed!


A little background to my deadlift journey…

Around three or four years ago, I entered my first competition at my local CrossFit box. It was a full day of individual workouts, and it was full of high energy and cheer. Everyone rooted for each other throughout the day, and the atmosphere was electrifying.

Now. I can’t remember all the workouts since it was all a massive blur of adrenaline. However, I remember one workout which was attempting a one rep max of the deadlift movement. We all lined up and took it in turns to perform a deadlift movement at a higher weight than before. I remember being impressed with each life over 100kg and we were edging up more slowly to the heavier weights.

If you couldn’t make the weight, or you felt like that was it, then you had to leave the line. I distinctly remember thinking “this is probably it for me, I’m out”. But then the guys in the line were like “we think you can lift more, give this a go”. I was persuaded into attempting my heaviest ever lift and probably 20 – 30 more kilograms more than I have ever managed in the past.

As I got back in line, I kept telling myself “you’ve got this”. It then came back to me to attempt the lift and I remember everyone giving me tips on how to improve. I listened to everything they said and place my legs behind the bar. I then set myself up before grabbing the bar. One deep breath and I embraced my legs to pull the bar off the ground.

It was probably the slowest deadlift I have ever attempted, but I gave it everything I could. That is until I reached the top and had completed the full deadlift. Everyone cheered and was excited for my new personal best. I was over the fucking moon and couldn’t hold my excitement in.

Me performing a big deadlift.

Me performing a big deadlift.

What was the weight? You may ask.

It was 155kg which is almost two times my own weight (around 78kg, and I’m sure, back then, I weighed more).

But that was four years ago, what happened since then?

I hit a stalemate and never tried to re-attempt a new heavy lift. That is until last year. I decided enough was enough, and I want to eventually reach a 200kg max lift. I spoke with a few CrossFitters and they suggested I follow a program, but they couldn’t recommend one. I looked online and found The simple deadlift program which looked decent enough.

It took me a few re-attempts due to training for a competition which meant it took me longer than normal to complete it. However, I restarted the program with my 1RM recorded as 155kg. Which I did test before starting the program to make sure my weight had stayed the same which it did (amazingly enough).

It was a cycle of 1 day a week for 3 weeks of work, and then 1 day a week of active recovery. For the first half, I managed to fit it in after doing a normal class workout. That is until the weight got too heavy and I needed to stop attending classes and just focus on deadlifting. As I got to the end of the program, I became more and more excited. I’m going to hit a new pr of 160kg and it will be amazing! I thought.

That is until the day of my retest. I woke up and felt lethargic. I didn’t feel ready at all, and I was very unconfident. This is probably what set me up to fail in the first place. Then, I went in and felt a little more positive, but it wasn’t enough.

I warmed up with a 60kg bar, then added weight until eventually, I reached 140kg and performed a few deadlift movements. Looking back, I probably shouldn’t have done this, but I went from 140kg straight to 160kg. I think a little part of me wanted it to be over so I can be put out of my misery while the other part wanted me to just lift the damn weight already.

This is when I film myself because have you even pr’d if it’s not caught on camera? I don’t think so. I give myself the old talking to… “you can do this, you’re going to lift this”. And then I walk up to the bar and place my legs behind. Set myself up before reaching down to lift. It slowly comes of the ground. Have I got this? I think.

My body is screaming! My brain is screaming! The bar reaches a foot off the ground until my body says nope, no more. I couldn’t make the lift, and I didn’t reach a new pr. It sucks, but there was a lot to learn within this cycle, and my coach gave me more lessons to keep in mind. He has also given me a new program to follow. I will be giving it a go, and hopefully this will be the one.

Will I make it next time? Find out on my next post in around 6 months time!

For your viewing pleasure, you can see my attempt. You can also see in my face that I wasn’t feeling ready and probably in my body posture as well. What are your thoughts? Have you got a tips and tricks you could pass onto me or someone else looking to pr their deadlift?

Please check out my fundraiser which I’m doing in memory of my brother, Sam.

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