Deadlift Max Follow-up

A couple of weeks ago on Max Effort day at the gym, I deadlifted 110 kilos but failed on 120. Someone asked about quarter-deadlifts as a way of increasing your lift. Dave told us you can do that by putting the weight on a low rack. That way you can lift it off the rack and get accustomed to the heavier load, even if you can’t yet pick it up off the ground. I guess the legs are stronger at that point of extension.
So last night Nancy and I tried that, and I lifted 120 kilos (twice my body weight) off of the rack three times. The first time, I tried to set it right back down into the hooks after I stood up with it, and I missed on one end, which crashed to the ground. We picked them up. On my second lift, I stepped back and dropped the weight intentionally. It was hard to step back while holding the weight. On my third lift, I set the weight back down into the hooks.
We did this after the main workout, which was an unusually mild strength workout that included L-sits, front squats, military press, and two or three max sets of chin-ups (palms in). On the front squats, I worked up to 60 kilos, not a new max but kind of heavy. On the military press, I only managed 35 kilos. Max sets of chin-ups were 7 and 5. Out of all that, what I feel today is the distinct memory of the 120-kilo deadlift in my legs and rear.
I hope I can remember to do those partial deadlifts every so often until I can lift it off of the floor. Nick told us to create pressure in the abs when starting a deadlift, as hard as we can, and focus on that exclusively. Dave says to focus on crushing the bar in your grip.

Madeleine Albright’s Heavy Leg Press Deconstructed

Boy, did I feel silly the other day typing “madeleine albright leg press” into Google. But since then, one of my fitness-maniac friends and I have wondered what is really involved in leg-pressing 400 pounds? When we find place with one of those machines–a place that will let us in, that is–will we too be able to press 400? We don’t want to be crushed by an older lady.
No doubt Madeleine is strong. But our gym coach, who actually earns his living as an engineer, explained the heavy leg press in about five seconds with a drawing like this–this is my version from memory, with added cartoon details:

The weight is 400 pounds because of the force of gravity, which pulls it straight down. Lifting it across 45 degrees, while it’s prevented by the machine from falling straight down, halves the weight.

Will Do Push-ups for Money

There’s a beefy, shirtless young man out on Seventh and Pike right now holding a sign saying he’ll do push-ups for money: 20 for one dollar. My immediate reactions: (1) What a great idea! (2) I must challenge him! (3) I would be a total idiot to challenge him!
Too bad I only had a ten that I didn’t want to give away. Of course I had to say something anyway. I said, “I’m tempted to challenge you to a contest since I’m pretty good at push-ups, but I think I’d lose!” He said, “Oh really? How about giving me a dollar and I’ll do 20?” (Way to stay on message, huh?)
I told him if I got change while I was out walking I’d stop back by. But I had already had lunch, so although I walked around for a while, I didn’t buy anything. Also it occurred to me that I would feel weird standing around watching someone do push-ups, and I’d end up doing them too, down on the ground in my flowered skirt making a spectacle. Then I felt like I had to avoid him on the way back. Either the free market is not ready for paid push-ups because of the strange nature of the transaction, or else I wasn’t part of the target demographic for that marketing campaign. Anyway, I think he should charge twice as much.

Maximum Effort Day

Today was “Maximum Effort Day,” and we all worked up to a max deadlift and did a max set of dips. I lifted 110 kilos and did 14 reasonably deep dips. We’ll do it again in about three months to see how much we’ve improved.
I liked seeing this one guy doing dips because he does them faster than anyone else, goes lower so that his shoulders are next to his hands, and pitches his head and shoulders forward as he hits the bottom. If I can learn to do dips that way I’ll be able to do a muscle-up. That was the best example of dips I’ve seen.
On the deadlifts we had some conflicting advice from two or three people on how best to lift a new max. I followed one set of advice and tried to lift 120 after lifting 110, when my own plan had been to try 115. I think I should have stuck to my plan. Plus they instructed us on a new way of starting the lift, with shins more vertical and hips higher, and I might have been better off sticking to the form I’d been using when coached by Dave. Still, I was happy to get a new max. It’s not twice my bodyweight, but that may be within reach in the coming months. I lifted 242 pounds and twice my weight would be 262.
Updated to say I know my lift does not measure up to the feats of Madeleine Albright and the 400-pound leg press! Gotta find one of those machines and see what I can do.