Thursday, November 1, 2012

Missing: 1 Deadlift

What do you do when your strength becomes a deficit???
Ever since I started CrossFitting I had one movement, one lift, which was mine. I was stronger than everybody in my peer group, it was easy and I loved it. It was my ‘go to’ lift. When I saw it in the WOD my heart would be happy because I knew that I could Rx the weight & do that component of the workout relatively efficiently. What was my lift? It was the deadlift.
Note I used the word WAS. For the last few months it has not been ‘my lift’.  Earlier this year I set a PR of 120kg and on that night had I not run out of time reckon I could have easily hit 125 or more.  The lifts felt light and it was easy. But since then I can’t even get close to that number. 105kg has been my best since and that was a struggle.  To be perfectly honest it’s frustrating & depressing.
Don’t get me wrong, 105kg is still an impressive lift. Anything over 100kg is great, but it’s not where I want to be. 
I feel like I have achieved so much this year, everything has improved massively, particularly in the last few months.  I have worked hard to address deficiencies in strength & technique for overhead lifts and the results are coming thick and fast. I worked on technique for all my Oly Lifts and they are improving. My other movements and skills are also getting better every single week. Last weekend I walked with 150kg on my shoulders for goodness sakes. Physically I know I am improving.
But still the deadlift is eating at me. I can’t explain why I am struggling with it, and now it’s becoming a mental battle. Which is not helpful, when you approach a bar you need to go in fully confident and rip that sucker up. Not walk up thinking that you don’t know if you can pick it up. That’s the path I am heading down and I really want to stop that.  I used to be fearless when it came to deadlift, load the bar up, walk up & lift. I didn’t know any different. Other lifts I approached with doubt and trepidation about getting the weight up & airborne.
So now it feels like my strength has become a deficit. And I have to address it. I spoke to my coach last night about my frustration and telling him we should do more deadlifts in our 1:1’s. Obviously he had a much calmer response and suggested maybe my hamstrings need work. So I am guessing his solution doesn’t involve doing dozens of deadlifts and instead other work that will strengthen the muscles involved in the movement. I sense GHD work in my future.
After carrying 60kg in each hand on the weekend I felt certain I would crush my deadlift PB last night. Not so much. 105kg was it. Barely got 110kg a couple of inches off the ground.  I could list a dozen valid reasons why I wasn’t in prime deadlifting condition last night..........the heavy back squats from the previous night, my body is no doubt a bit tired and sore from the strongwoman event.....blah blah blah.  It is what it is and it’s just something I need to work on.
As I said I have come so far this year and have so many wins, I have a lot to be proud of. But it’s not in my nature to sit back and accept something as simply good enough. I always want to do more, to be better.  My mantra over recent weeks has been ‘building a better me’ and that covers all aspects of my life. Not relative to anyone else but against myself.  If I don’t keep pushing to be better and improve then I will simply stagnate. That wasn’t all too successful for the first 35 years of my life.  I have worked hard this year to address things I struggle with and do what I can to improve, no matter how hard it is.  I’ve taken on the challenge of working on my running and I was improving. Over coming weeks I will refocus on that and really get my confidence back. I’ve worked hard on my lifts to get confidence and strength overhead. It’s not always perfect but I continue to work on it.
I have embarked on some very challenging events this year, time and again taking myself outside my comfort zone and each time beyond what I thought were the limits of my abilities.  These are all positive wins. I am going to spend some time over the next few weeks talking with my CrossFit & run coach to come up with goals and plans that will help me improve for next year’s list of events.  To develop plans to address my weaknesses. Also plans that will get me physically in the shape and condition I want and need to be.  I need purpose & direction and all of these steps will give me that.
So yes, I’ll admit the loss of my deadlift mojo is pissing me off. I don’t understand it  and I don’t know why it gone on holiday, there may have been a bit of foot stomping and bottom lip dropping last night when I got home. Today however is a new day, time to harden up & get on with fixing it. Life is not always going to be full of PR’s and amazing feats of achievement. These are the times when my true character is tested and revealed. My instinct these days is not to sit & wallow but to get back in there and keep working.
It’s time to turn the deficit into a strength.

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