SF Iron, and the Deadlift.

Just over a month ago, we stopped by in San Francisco to hook up with Natasha Barnes. During our brief stay, we had the sweet opportunity to get an introduction into deadlifting and how to properly do it. So first off, many thanks to Josh, the co-owner of SF Iron and one of their certified instructors for taking the time to go through the details of getting us up and going on deadlift workouts.

SF Iron, an awesome training facility with awesome instructors

SF Iron, an awesome training facility with awesome instructors. We highly recommend checking it out!

The truth is this is primarily for myself as I’ve had a series of setbacks and lost a ton of leg and hip strength, and the deadlift is for now the ideal strength training my weakness needs. For the record, in late 2011, I tweaked my right knee slightly causing mainly only slight swelling that prevented me from compressing the knee to its fullest, meaning I couldn’t sit on my heels. When we went to Font in early 2012, I walked into a low street sign in Bourron-Marlotte, on a rainy night with limited street lighting. It was my fault, of course, as these old towns have standard things like road signs. The accident was more ego than anything except for one thing, I fell back onto my right heel with full body weight! It felt like I exploded the knee joint. I remember sitting in the street holding my knee thinking this sucks so bad!!!

Fast forward to 2014, and on the first day in Madrid, I somehow strained that area at the base of the left big toe and into the arch. I began to walk on the outside of my foot. Fast forward to November, and that side edged walking ended up causing me to tear my meniscus in the left knee. One year later, I was functional again. But my lower posterior chain strength was pathetic. Hiking was great for it, but it tended to increase the tightness of the hamstring and required lots of attention to keep it and other muscles from getting too tight… as my hamstring was already “too” tight.

The deadlift was a perfect exercise except my hammies were still too tight to functionally do the initial lift from the ground. After tons of rolling, I was able to begin deadlifting on my own about a month before we visited Natasha and Josh.

Rob learning to deadlift correctly under Josh's instruction and watchful eye

Rob learning to deadlift correctly under Josh’s instruction and watchful eye

The top of the deadlift

The top of the deadlift. Josh is a very good teacher, explaining each component of the deadlift clearly and even sketching out the mechanical positions on the whiteboard

Josh took what we were doing and refined it to be more technically correct and gave us a solid working program to start with. After our first 4 week session (we’re doing 4 week training sessions x 3 towards another Font trip in February) of doing deadlifts twice per week, I actually was able to lift my own body weight!!! That’s sad, but better than pathetic. So, after each 4 week session we either continue straight through or do one lift for week 5 then start again into the next 4 week session.

Rob working the deadlift program back at Rockreation. Since we don't have SF Iron's nice equipment, we have to be creative during our warm-ups to get the proper height with the small plates

Rob working the deadlift program back at Rockreation. Since we don’t have SF Iron’s nice equipment, we have to be creative during our warm-ups to get the proper height with the small plates

Starting Strength, which was highly recommended by Josh and Natasha, really breaks down the movements and biomechanical analyses of all of the basic barbell exercises.

Starting Strength, which was highly recommended by Josh and Natasha, really breaks down the movements and biomechanical analyses of all of the basic barbell exercises.

As I said, this is primarily for myself, but Jill is also doing them with me, pound for pound even though she’s 0ver 30 lbs lighter. I suck. Her weakness, though not that weak is more in the shoulders, but again, she’s lifting well past her weight, so my shoulders should be equivalent at about 180 lbs. I still have 20 lbs to go. This is still benefiting her as she’s working that weight through her core and shoulders. A good thing. Her main weakness is to have similar leg and posterior hinge power in turnout. This is where I’m much more comfortable mainly due to by dance background. I’m currently looking into the sumo deadlift because the legs have a bit more turnout (45 degrees) so it might help in transitioning to turned-out movement.

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~ by r. mulligan on 2016/10/31.

2 Responses to “SF Iron, and the Deadlift.”

  1. Can’t tell you how much it warms my heart to see you on the dark side at last.

  2. Yay! So happy to hear about your progress! Next time we need to teach you squats!

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