This post was inspired by Deadlift Essentials, a great program by my friend Isaac Payne. The deadlift is my favorite exercise (as you’ll soon find out), but it must be done properly. Isaac provides immensely helpful tips on perfecting your deadlift form. Check it out HERE. And in case you’re wondering, I have no monetary involvement with the product. I just like to support good people and good information.
Once upon a time (at the gym)…
The straight silver bar stared back at me. Its machine-grooved, stainless steel body beckoned my hands as it floated through the center of two vertical stacks of formidable black plates.
There is a feeling like none other when you really that know you’re pushing your boundaries. Fear lies inside of the walls of comfort zones. And outside, is the world of unbridled exhilaration. I knew it was time for me to break on through.
This physical embodiment of resistance lay poised before me, challenging me, while I shook the last shreds of doubt out of my body.
I leaned down and gave a comforting rub to my right knee. It acts up occasionally. Never pain, but just a slight sensation of feeling “off.” I gave my knee the tender encouragement it needed to be up to the task.
I then stepped to my 325 pound opponent; my 147.418 kilogram friend; my iron-constructed learning experience.
With my feet directly below my hips, I carefully wiggled them into position. The bar became a cross-section, cutting the view of my shoes in half as I glanced down. The superimposition looked like a neutral smile, almost as if saying “Let’s see what you got.”
Now focusing on my ankles, I subtly bounced on them, gauging their readiness. They eagerly awaited the challenge.
Keeping my spine as straight and taut as the bar beneath me, I hinged at my hips and bent my knees. My robust hands confidently slid against the bumpy pattern. Clenching the iron, my fingers slowly closed into a vice-grip.
The word “power” rang in my mind, as if it came from some primal part of me.
Another subtle bounce, this time probing my entire lower body. My feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs and hips all felt like a loaded spring. A small smirk emerged from my face.
I tightened my grip, flexing my fully extended arms and tucked my shoulders down my posterior chain. My entire back contracted like a suit of armor.
Inhaling deeply, I drew strength into every cell of my body.
I braced my abdomen with tremendous force, like I was about to get shot with a cannon ball at point-blank range.
My grip climaxed, irradiating strength through my entire body. My glutes fired, like the thrusters of a rocket ship. Blast off.
I exhaled every ounce of fear left in my being. The bar levitated slowly off the ground. As it passed my knees, my stalwart hip-hinge exploded the weight upwards, ending with the bar kissing my upper thighs as I stood up straight.
Every muscle in my body was contracted as I stood in mighty satisfaction, holding 325 pounds in my hands.
“Power.” That unyielding mantra again rose to prominence in my consciousness. Energy animated my body, enlivening the totality of my existence.
I paused, savoring the moment; admiring the magnificent strength capacity of the human body. (And to think, I would be doing this with 10 more pounds next week.)
Then I hinged at the hip again, lowering the weight and letting the plates gently smack the hard rubber floor.
I released my right foot from its suction-like grip and pivoted to grab my water bottle.
As I sauntered past the plates, I lightly tapped the congregation to whisper a heart-pounding “Thank you.”
PS – That’s an excerpt from my book Momentous: A Compilation of Micro Stories Acting as Glimpses of the Eternal Magic of Life’s Moments. Check that out too if you enjoyed reading this.