I lift heavy one day

Was it ten years ago that I startet excercising? Around my 30th birthday I gave up smoking (for the first time) and began following the C25K jogging program. After a couple of months I could run five kilometres without dying completely, but some years later my knees were giving me jib and I started in on strength training based on my doctors recommendation – reading up on Starting Strength and joining Göteborgs Kraftsportsklubb where I pushed some plates around next to some very strong people.

Fast forwards another couple of years and I’ve given up on powerlifting as well as jogging – it got boring once I plateaued and couldn’t motivate myself to shift the training around, and my knees where as annoying as ever. Biking became the only excercise I did, and once we got a car even that was relegated to short excursions, where before I used any excuse to bike for an hour.

Last summer I had an ambition to use my 10 week vacation to get into powerlifting again. I’d just set a personal best deadlift of 150kg, and had a long term goal of at some point pulling 200kg. For some reason the summer turned out to consist mostly of beer though, and I didn’t visit the gym once in that whole time, so spent fall 2019 trying to catch up to where I’d been.

Spring 2020 has been a mixed bag – mostly because of real life and sickness in the immediate family which has taken time and a mental toll – but the last two months or so I’m back on track, hitting the gym at least three times a week with some running and/or squash in between. So far I’m free of injuries, and am seeing some progress – although I’m not following a powerlifting program this time around, but a hypertrophic upper/lower split setup from Styrkelabbet. If I keep this up I might shift the training more towards a deadlift focus in fall – but let’s see if I can keep this up.

Going through a bunch of “read later” tabs I’ve had open for a while, I finally started reading the exrx.net texts on training, and the no-bro information is a great resource:

It is plausible that overall progress may be greater on a generally lower volume training regimen by keeping training more consistent over many years through greater long term program adherence and lower incidents of layoffs due to overuse injury. Any small increases that might be gained with continuous high volume training are potentially lost, soon after the first incidence of an overuse injury, if not the attrition due to burnout.

ExRx.net: Most common weight training mistakes

I would like to find an app (or printed training diary) which allows for randomized volumes & intensities – trying to keep the body confused and avoid the Repeated Bout Effect. Althought it might be bro science, it seems a good idea to vary the volume/intervals/tempo for exercises, as well as including variations on the themes every once in a while. (Not doing silly crossfit wearing-oneself-out stuff, but measured changes building on previous skills). Even if I try to change the volume & intensities up a bit, as long as I’m not following a program I know I’m liable to cheat – picking exercises which I like rather than those I ought to force myself to improve in.

And as for my goal of deadlifting 200kg – I’m the first to acknowledge that it’s a completely arbitrary number to aspire towards. I might as well have lift 50kg 100 times in ten minutes or do 10 x 2 x bodyweight pullups. But deadlifts have two things going for them:

  1. You can’t really cheat to get gains
  2. It’s the exercise which allows for the absolute heaviest weights

So let’s see where I am next spring. Hopefully I’m able to run 10k non-stop without dying as well as be above 150kg deadlift again, closing in on that 200kg goal.