Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dead Lifting in Pennsylvania

After the Delaware Kettlebell Workshop, I added dead lifting to my work routine. Dr. Mark Cheng, RKC TL spent so much time on this primal movement at our seminar and I felt that I benefited so much from that investment that I went back and scoured Power To The People for every tidbit I could about "Hard Style" training in general and dead lifting in particular.

I felt very strongly that I needed to add these pulls to my program so I decided to consult with Marty Gallagher, author of The Purposeful Primitive, and my strength coach. Please keep in mind that the last time I did dead lifts would have been about 1986. Quite awhile ago and even though I trust what I learned with Doc Cheng I wanted to have a power lifting guy look at it too.

I talked to Marty about it and he said why don't you come up so I can take a look? I was a bit concerned when he casually mentioned that Mark Chaillet may be around to take a peek as well. I knew Chaillet's reputation as a dead lifter extraordinaire but until I went back and looked at Purposeful Primitive I had forgotten just how amazing his performance. Mark is the only person to conventionally dead lift over 800 pounds post-age 40. Uh oh I thought. (Actually I said this out loud) This is gonna suck to pull in front of these two. Marty assured me that all Chaillet would be looking at was my form. As a technician, Marty said, "Mark won't notice what's on the bar. Good I said because there won't be much to see:)

So I warm up a bit with some joint work and am feeling pretty self conscious. The analogy would be Tiger Woods helping me with golf. That's the quality of this pair. Marty puts a plate on each side and says "OK let's see." Right away there are corrections. Minor ones so I feel pretty good. A lot of it was being nervous. I made some quick adjustments and then added more poundage. Feeling better and they are liking my dead lifts. A few more adjustment. Ultimately they send me on my way with a narrower stance, slower hips, a more upright back and that was about it. These three corrections made a world of difference and will help me make Marty's secret predication come true about my ultimate dead lift max.

Sandy Sommer, RKC, Towson MD

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At July 7, 2009 at 7:26 PM , Blogger Dr. Mark Cheng said...

Sounds awesome, Sandy! I look forward to seeing these corrections in person! You're an excellent example of an RKC who's hungry to learn and who's man enough to leave his ego at the door. Bravo!

At July 7, 2009 at 7:32 PM , Blogger Laura said...

Wow wow wow! How amazing to work with people of that caliber!

I'm really excited to follow along and read about your deadlift progress. I would think that with all the posterior-chain strenthening and joint mobility work you've done, you have the potential to have a very strong deadlift

At July 8, 2009 at 11:25 AM , Blogger Stephen Gurtowski said...

Yup. Ya gotta deadlift. It was once called the "health" lift. I don't care what variation you do, but you gotta do it.
...and I'm so jealous you got to hang with Gallagher and Chaillet. How cool is that?

At July 8, 2009 at 12:34 PM , Blogger Sean Schniederjan RKC said...

Incredible...I was looking at PP after talking to you and noted MC's conventional stance. Can't wait to talk shop with you in OCt. I'm gonna ask Pavel if we could have a DL seshy on Friday.


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