The Ascended Deadlift; How to Deal With Lifting Injuries (200kgx8, 2018)

mindset, training -

The Ascended Deadlift; How to Deal With Lifting Injuries (200kgx8, 2018)

Lets flash back 2 years prior to this lift; I had a deadlift one rep max of 240kg. Soon after I tweaked my lower back during every day activity, it was so bad that I spent days bed ridden.

But slowly over years, I added weight and reps to the bar. I checked my ego at the door and slowly recovered the ability to deadlift again. And with 192.5kg for 7, this puts me close enough to my old numbers again:

This entire experience taught me a world of patience and the fundamental truth that muscle gain and strength isn’t always linear. But here I am, as strong as ever.

And now training for the next challenge: 200kg for 8.

After two years of dealing with injuries on this road to becoming a Super Saiyan, I set myself a challenge that, if successful, will elevate me beyond my all time bests. A rep max to end all my previous rep maxes, can I do a 200kg deadlift for reps in the hypertrophy range? Am I any closer to calling myself the real life Son Goku? 

If you would rather watch than read:

Firstly, why do I even care than I’m deadlifting 200kg for reps? Well, because it’s breaking into the 200s of course! Most lifters can do 6-8 reps with a deadlift in the hundreds but it’s not that common at all in the 200s. It’s a nice boost to the ego as well as being a good milestone. It’s hard to explain without coming off like an egotistical prick but to know I’m entering a phase most lifters don’t excites me.

More than that however, the thing that really excites me is that I’ve never been this strong before. After being injured and having to cope with sub-optimal PRs up until this point this is a major victory for me.

Though I’m not going to downplay the importance of those sub-optimal PRs. They were fundamental to me rehabbing my back and without them it’s likely I would of lost a great deal of motivation. To explain myself a bit more clearly: when you get injured you shouldn’t compare yourself to the you that wasn’t injured, you need to set new targets for yourself that I call ‘injury PRs’

Way back when I tore my rotator cuff, my post-injury PR was 5 push ups instead of a 100x5 bench. Then the next target was 6 push ups, then 7, and so on. In this case, my biggest post-injury PR before moving back to Squats and Deadlifts was a 500lb leg press for 8. Then after that, a 160kg Deadlift for 4, then 6, then 180kg for 4, then 6 etc. In both cases I set different PRs based on the stage of my injury: at first I changed the exercise selection to do what I was capable of and when incorporating the lift back into my program I started small and slowly built up.

Another important thing to note: eliminate behaviours which may of got you injured in the first place. Don’t allow for form break down, don’t over-do the volume and intensity, make sure you’re actually recovering, and work on your every day posture. Ask yourself if you could rewind time so you never got injured, what would you do differently? Then do it.

And that’s how I got my 200kg for 8 deadlift.

Bodybuilder cosplaying Son Goku from DragonBall Z
My best physique and my best deadlift. Here's to the future 💪 Cosplay: Son Goku (Dragon Ball Z)

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