The chain deadlift: How badass is that for Crossfitters-of-a-Certain-Age?

Posted: July 9, 2013 in Aging
Tags: , , , ,

I am feeling like quite the badass today. Chain deadlifts will do that to a girl.

I had no idea what a chain deadlift was when my coach, Matt, emailed me my workouts. He was on vacation and I didn’t want to bother him, so I went on YouTube and found a video of some guy doing chain deadlifts.

Chain deadlifts, as demonstrated by someone who knows what he is doing

Chain deadlifts, as demonstrated by someone who knows what he is doing

Basically, it’s a deadlift with big, heavy chains dangling 0ff the barbell. It’s the kind of lift you should do while wearing one of those black leather face masks. It’s that badass. Unfortunately, I don’t have a black leather face mask. Still, I’m quite sure I looked like a badass anyway.

At the bottom of the deadlift, the chains are coiled up on the floor and the weight is the lightest. As you lift the bar and the chains begin to come off the floor, the weight increases and more resistance is created. Without resistance, lifters tend to decelerate toward the top of the lift.

The theory is that adding resistance challenges your strength levels at the top of the range of motion. At the bottom of the deadlift, the chains are coiled up on the floor and the weight is the lightest. As you lift the bar and the chains begin to come off the floor, the weight increases and more resistance is created. Without resistance, lifters tend to decelerate toward the top of the lift.

Chains requires you to exert more upper body force and power as you stand upright. Weight lifters quickly learn to develop a more explosive power at the beginning of the movement and to maintain the momentum to the final phase of the lift.

Will is work for me? I don’t know yet. Certainly can’t hurt and it also increases my badass factor – which, at my age, is as important as it is amusing.

I am starting my second full week of training for the 2014 games so I’m not doing the daily WOD anymore. I do double workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays. Tuesday is a skill workout. Thursday is a rest day. Haven’t figured out what Saturday is yet.  Sunday is an “active” rest day and I teach a spin class.

Matt also wants me to write down what and when I eat. Apparently, sugar is the enemy. Funny, I thought the AirDyne was the enemy. (I hate that f^cker!)

Matt wants to know what time I get up, how many hours of sleep I’ve had and how I feel when I get up. He wants to know how much water I drink, how much protein I consume, supplements I take and an email everyday describing how I felt about, during and after the workouts.

Matt asks a lot of questions. With all his questions and having watched me for a couple of years, Matt knows my weak points and he is targeting them. This sucks, because it hurts. But I am already seeing results – 2 PRs in two weeks.

This is a long road we are on. It is going to take time – lots of time and effort. It’s also taking  up a lot of space in my head. I used to have work dreams. Now I have Crossfit dreams. In my dreams I do butterfly pull-ups effortlessly and then bang out a couple of muscle ups.

Kool-Aid Man

Kool-Aid Man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But besides Matt, my buddies at the box, my boyfriend and you guys, I don’t talk Crossfit – especially the training I am doing now. I don’t want to sound like I’ve swallowed the Kool-aid. But I have.

When I first got into triathlon back in the 90’s, we called people who had chugged the Kool-Aid Tri-Geeks. They would drive you up the freaking wall talking about aero-bars and drafting and heart-rate monitors and shoes and googles and blah, blah, barf…

It’s not that I worry that they will think I’m a Crossfit Junkie, it’s that I know they don’t get it – and that is fine. I have no problem with that. Not everyone is cut-out for Crossfit – especially when you are over 50.

It’s kind of like the way I feel about golf. I don’t get golf. Golfers seem really excited about golf and spend a lot of time and money on it. I just don’t get it. But that’s okay. Some of my best friends are golfers.

I’m going to keep answering Matt’s questions and doing what he tells me to do. I’m just not going to talk much about it – except with you!

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Comments
  1. Great post! I had no idea what chain deadlifts were till reading this post. Something I think I will have to try out! Good luck on your journey to the 2014 Games! 🙂

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