100-kg deadlifts, kettlebell swings and toes to bar

About a week ago I decided to try working my deadlift back up. It had fallen off since I’d focused on other things (like O-lifts) in the spring, then developed elbow tendonitis and thought DLs were not good for it. So for my deadlifting workout of about a week ago, I worked up to 75 kg and did about five sets of five. I knew I could have lifted more but was testing the elbow. It was okay, though other things later that evening made it sore. (The worst thing for it is moving anything that is at all heavy with one hand, such as putting on the small “change plates” onto a barbell.)

Today I wanted to do a harder workout while still keeping the elbows straight, so I wanted to work up to 3 x 5 deadlifts at 100 kg. I warmed up by lifting 10 reps at 40 kg, 5 at 50, and 3 at 60, 70, 80, and 90. On 100 kg, I did two and failed on the third rep. I rested, then did singles. I managed 6 singles at 100 kg and failed on 7. I took 5 kg off and promptly failed at 95.

Each lift after the first three singles at 100 made me so lightheaded that I was literally seeing black spots after setting the bar down. I hold a huge breath on lifting, which you have to to keep the back stable; let a little air out through pinched lips at the top; stay pressurized on starting down; let a tiny bit more air out when the bar reaches my knees; and exhale as soon as the bar is on the ground. That’s when the lightheadedness hits! Training heavy lifts also trains the ability to pressurize so I’m not worried that I’ll always be THIS lightheaded. A little, yes.

Still, I’m happy to have re-broken the ice on 3-digit lifts, and six singles at 100 is not bad. Next week I’ll try to do some sets of two at 100.

I finished with 100 toes-to-bar and 100 kettlebell swings–two more straight-elbow exercises. Only 16 kg on the swings; I would have had to go back upstairs to get the heavier one and I would have ended up checking email and sitting at the computer and not going back down.

The elbow feels pretty normal.

More Squats

Yesterday: after warming up, 10 sets of 2 back squats at 95 kg.

I’m kind of hooked on the sets of 2. Next time I’ll do 95 again but do sets of 3 or 4.

I’ve also been doing sets of 5 kettlebell pistols per side with 12 kg once a week. It’s not that heavy but pistols go so low and require so much balancing that it’s rewarding to be able to do them with weight at all. What I need to do with pistols is get better at doing them without shoes (they’re easiest in weightlifting shoes!) and then start doing them with 16’s.

Friday and Saturday

Erika and I were partners for Friday’s CrossFit workout in Dave’s class. Six exercises were done for a minute per partner; partners took turns keeping score for each other before moving on to the next exercise:

Dips (jumping – for me anyway)
One-hand KB highpulls
Box jumps (I used the 19-inch box)
Pushpress (I used two 16-kg KBs)
Wallball (12 pounds, 10-foot target)
Knees to elbows on the bar (I did toes to bar)

We went through these twice. My total score for all reps was 286 and Erika’s was 322(!).

My current wrist pain (no doubt related to the elbow tendonitis I’m trying to get over) caused me to do jumping dips and to use kettlebells instead of a barbell for the push-press–but by choosing 16 kg kettlebells, this was probably just as hard or harder than the 65-lb barbell. The wallball shots all went into the 10-foot mark and the box jumps were higher than required. So, thanks to my strength workouts and thanks to the minute rest that was built in as we took turns, this was a great workout for me.

Saturday, although my legs were tired, I decided to do heavy squats anyway. I worked up to six sets of 2 at 93 kg, added one and did four more sets of 2 at 94 kg. This is up from my last squat workout, 10 x 2 at 92 kg, so I was happy.

After the New Year is my arbitrary date of hoping my elbow will be well enough to do heavy deadlifting again so I can work that back up to my old max of 115 and try to get beyond it fairly soon. Lately the elbow is good most of the time if I take the time to ice it at night.