14 weeks out, Day 1, double pause deadlifts and pressing

Missed my normal training session yesterday because the gym was closed on account of the ice storm that savaged most of southern Ontario.  We were lucky in that we never lost power nor suffered any damage at the hands of ice-laden trees falling.  Neighborhoods just a few blocks south of us in older parts of the city were not so lucky.  Old trees fell left and right causing power outages and blocked roads.  So, no gym yesterday and an extra day of rest.

neighbor across the street wasn't as lucky but at least it missed their cars

Luckily for us, all we got were photo opportunities
The other day, an article by Greg Nuckols ran on the T-Nation website.  The article was about a deadlift variation called double paused deadlifts.  Since Greg is a lifter and a coach whose recommendations I trust, I decided to implement them for my warm up sets.  My deadlift has historically been my best lift but I still feel like it could use a boost since it's been feeling heavier and heavier lately.

Because I was doing deficit deadlifts with about a 2" deficit, I tried to make the first pause right about 2" off the ground.  The second pause was at the knees.  While I didn't notice any immediate optimization of my positioning, the extra time under tension was very noticeable.  When I stepped up to my top work sets, 505x2, I immediately realized that I was lifting in 'positions' rather than more organically just pulling hard and fast.  When I trusted the pull, the weights moved much easier.  For next session, I'm going to make sure I'm double pausing my warm up sets but also making sure I'm pulling weight, not trying to "form lift" it.  Hard to describe since it was more a feel than something that would show up on video but instead of trusting my body to assume the best pulling position, I had been trying to deadlift with conscious awareness of being 'tight' and in position--basically forcing my body into positions it would intuitively have assumed anyways if I hadn't cluttered my mind with too much thinking.  I give the double paused deadlifts credit for making it so apparent that I was complicating the pull.

Since it's December, it's appropriate that on the 24th anniversary of this video of me lifting in my younger days, it shows me lifting without pre-occupation for positions, just pulling till something breaks (it never did).  I'll never be able to camel-back a deadlift like that, I'm just not that bendy anymore but the single-minded commitment to the pull is what I need to do.

I also did some overhead presses and bench presses but we were pressed for time and I just did enough to tide my over until we can get back into the gym after Christmas.

Overhead Press:  45x10, 95x5, 135x5, 165x5, add wrist wraps, 185x3, add belt, 205x2, 225x0, 185x4, 185x3

Deficit deadlifts: 2" deficit,  double paused, 315x3, 405x3, 455x3, add belt, no double pause, 505x2, 505x2, 505x2

Bench Press:  all reps paused, 135x10, 185x5, 225x5, 255x3, add wrist wraps, 275x3

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