I have spent the last 45 plus years afraid of doing certain exercises.  After all, I have a bad back and bad knees and now – I am way past my prime.  Over the last 4 1/2 years I have changed my thinking and changed my exercise programs.  The tale of this change and the step by step movement through different exercise programs is detailed ad nauseam in the various postings and pages of this blog.

One of my rather insane goals has been to conquer the Dead Lift.  No – I do not expect to ever get to the 300 pound level – nor do I even fantasize about that.  I have wanted to just not look like a weakling  when I did the Dead Lift.  I want my form to be decent and the weight to be at a respectable level.  To that end, you can see the development of my DIY program.  I try to focus on not merely the dead lift but on those exercises which would support the dead lift.  I had achieved 205 pounds (inclusive of the bar) and although I was happy with that accomplishment, a 45 and a 35 pound plate just did not have the same symmetry as 2 – 45s on each end..  Yeah I know – that just sounds silly.  But – at a gym – the look and feel is almost as important as the actual weight.  Also, several of the individuals on the 52DC have cheered me on – especially SixGz and SWF, both of whom have previously and still do lift heavy.

Today’s workout had a different feel to it.  A week of living without power was over.  I felt both physically and psychologically pumped.  In the back of my mind was the Dead Lift – was this the day?

I started my warm up with 50 Swiss Ball crunches.  I increased the difficulty of the decline push-ups by using the Bosu platform – did 25-15-10.  Interesting – doable – a nice addition to the exercise.  Did 2 sets un-weighted back extensions and finished with 3 30 second planks. 

Finally the Dead Lift.  There was a guy doing curls in the Squat Rack – the one I use for the Dead lift.  Its value – it raises the bar just enough off the floor to be able to slide a plate on with relative ease.  Instead – used the floor.  First I located the heavy bar.  If I am going to do this – let’s do it right.  Took a bit of effort to slide one 45 on each side of the bar.  Did 8 or so for a warm up.  Added a 35 to each side and did a set of 6.  Started to think about doing a 2nd set – and decided to change course.  Took off the 35s and replaced them with 45s.  This was it.  All I wanted was to do one – then I could say I did it.

I really had to psych myself up to do this.  Concentrated – paced – grabbed the bar and squeezed – moved my body into a squat and stood up several times.  Finally – blocked out the chatter, tightened my core, curved my back, squatted down and grabbed the bar, bounced a bit in preparation – then dropped down into a full squat and stood up.  Did it.  Lowered it in a controlled manner – still made a bit of noise as it hit the floor.  Stood up and went for a walk.  I expected applause – none – I was just another guy who did what he came to do.  I did two more lifts with one minute between each and called it a day.

As I said – I was pumped today.  Did the next exercise – seated cable pull and added another 10 pounds to the weight stack to bring it to 170. 

I felt like I could conquer the world.  It was a good morning.