War and Bitchface: The Deadlift Chronicles

Yesterday was a rougher day in training. I believe “bushed” is a UK term for being tired out; I was definitely bushed in the hours following yesterday’s lift. I did five sets of squats at five repetitions each; the weight for these was a very doable weight for me but doing multiple sets of greater repetitions than I’ve done for several weeks sapped some energy. It was good to be pushing myself through those final reps with sapped energy; it’s a good experience, it teaches you where to reach when you start to tire or are struggling under higher weight. So the squatting was good.

Then I deadlifted five sets of five repetitions each. I have a unique relationship with each of the three major lifts–squat is one in which I feel like I’m doing some sort of diplomatic tango with the weight, bench, because the specific form I’ve been learning for it remains new to me, is more of an issuing of a proclamation and hoping it goes over well with the weight/populace. Deadlifting is closer, for me, to war. Hyperbolic as this sounds, deadlifting is one of the more violent sensations I’ve experienced, and somehow one of the most barbaric. So yesterday I’ve already negotiated my way through a fair amount of squatting and now I’ve got to go into battle mode for pulling (pulling is another way powerlifters refer to deadlifting, ie “so what did you pull today?” “oh, I pulled 250 for five. It was pretty good”). Here’s a video of me doing the second set:

I can’t believe I’m about to draw attention to this, because it’s kind of embarrassing, but if you full-screen this and watch me when I reset the bar (in other words, watch me when I put the bar back down/it slams into the ground and I recollect myself to pull it up again), I make some pretty mean faces. Like I said, deadlifting feels violent to me, and I know I’m making these faces as I go through its motion. I can’t help it. And yes, I know most of the weird facial expressions one does as one lifts are due to exertion, but I swear that some of the bitchface is going on between serious points of exertion during the lift. This is war, damnit.

I thought I’d throw in what attempts I’m planning to make at the July 14th meet. Boyfriend and fellow (read: waaaaaaaaaaay more experienced) powerlifter Kyle came up with these, so thanks is due to him.

Squat: 149, 171, 182
Bench Press: 99, 116, 121
Deadlift: 220, 243, 254

So for those of you who are not powerlifters, what the above 9 numbers signify are the attempts I will make for each of three “rounds” of each of the three lifts. For example, when I squat (the first lift of the day) I will make a first attempt at squatting 149 lb and all other competitors in that flight will also make their first attempts. Then I’ll try 171 for my second attempt and everyone in my flight will go for their second attempt too. Same with the third attempt. This is how each of the three lifts is run–everyone gets three attempts. Technically all of the second attempts listed above will be PR’s if I make them, by one to three pounds each. The third attempts would be PRs by rough 5-10 pounds.

As an aside, I am currently running 110.4-111.2 lb in the morning, and gain 2 or three pounds as the day progresses. I will make weight easily on the 14th. I get to have a cheat meal with Kyle in a few days, yesssssssss.

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4 thoughts on “War and Bitchface: The Deadlift Chronicles

  1. I have now caught up with reading and viewing the last so many posts. I’m gaining ground understanding what you are trying to accomplish. Gee, you are getting into serious weight zones dear. The people at my weight lifting clinic don’t come close to lifting your stuff or looking like you for that matter! Well, they are mainly over 50, or 60, or beyond. I’m laughing. Looks like your form is definitely coming along. I would have an angry, if not super contorted face too! Good luck.

  2. Lots of luck and confidence in your upcoming meet! You’ll kick butt.

    I find with deadlifts I’m still going easy as I’m learning form, but I know that during most shoulder work I inadvertently wear a Billy Idol sneer. I’m not sure if it’s funny or embarrassing.

    1. Hahaha, yes! Awesome! Billy Idol! You should try to get some imagery of this (video, pics, whathaveyou). It’s entirely embarrassing. I just put up a still from one of my videos of me squatting on the “about page” and I’m absolutely grimacing.

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