Deadlift, Operation 700

Operation 700 – Blog update 4 – Maintaining Momentum and Listening to your own advice

It is the end of week 11 of operation 700 and I have made a power of progress that much is undeniable however it never ceases to amaze me how little you realise how things are going well in the moment when they are going well.  The way I wrote that opening sentence you might think that I had suffered an injury or huge set back when in truth I have only managed to equal a personal best after setting something like 6-7 in a row week on week.


The Wheels have got to come off at some stage.

We have all done it things are going awesome week to week you start to feel confident confidence is running high and there is no chance your gonna fail anything.  Then boom reality check you get hurt or fail a rep and all of a sudden your little workout world is falling apart.  It’s kind of hard not to be overly melodramatic in these situations when you have become habituated to success in any environment.

However failure isn’t a prospect it is inevitable when you are trying to push yourself on to new and better things in exercise, life or business.  I have been listening to the back log of podcasts i have developed on the Radical personal finance podcast hosted and created by a financial advisor Joshua Sheets and in one of his episodes he was doing a retrospective of setting up his new business and I really liked his quote he used “failure isn’t a person it is an event” he was saying it doesn’t define a person or make you it is just what happens when you are trying to push forward and do something.  His resultant advice was also very useful his advice was to keep pushing forward.

The reason I am writing this is because I only managed to equal my personal best double with 280 kg in this afternoon’s workout however things have been going so well this lift pissed me off and was making me question how things where progressing which is absolutely ridiculous.  Before I started this programme my personal best 4 rep was 260 kg.  Since the first training block I have pulled 275 kg x 4 and 270 kg x 4 x 4.


Where did I go wrong.

When I look back at the process I got greedy the week before with both squat and bench I set pretty huge PBs in either the lift or variations of the lift and as a result my body has been struggling this week my knees have been aching and I have been tired.  Yet I didn’t take any of that into account and my ego decided that this week was going to be another big volume week when what I need to do was take my foot off the pedal and slow down a bit.

I modified every session this week as a consequence I took 20-30 kg off every squat and bench press workout this week with the exception of workout 3.  I removed a workout from the week because I was so beat up so when I rocked up to the gym today and the programme asked for 280 kg x 3 x 3 (one set would have been a new 3 RM which in the context of my training from the last 8-10 weeks I was totally backing myself to make)…. after 5 sets of deficit deadlift and 6 sets of bench press.

There was a lingering doubt in my mind but I told myself to shut the fuck up and get on with it.  Which I did after I pulled my last warmup rep of 260 kg I knew this was going to be an ordeal.  I rocked up to the bar for the first triple pulled 2 hard reps and went for the third, just wasn’t there.  I then went on to pull 4 sets of 3 rep at 210 kg to get some volume from the workout an adjustment I probably should have made from the start.  If only some had written an article on this very same topic maybe in the very same week of the workout…


Lessons to learn

If I look at the workouts and training that brought me to the place where I was in the position to make so many personal best lifts in the one week it was the 3-4 weeks of lighters weights, higher frequencies and exercise variations that all built the momentum I needed to get some really good progress on my nemesis lift.

I let my favourite two lifts (squat and bench press) take a back seat deliberately to allow myself to progress on the one discipline of the three that I am worst at the idea of block 2 was to let these exercises tick along in the background not to allow them to take enough training volume, recovery and intensity that they should be pealing and be ready for personal best shape!

I failed to adapt a programme or workout that on paper looked purpostorious given the week’s training due to my ego and confidence two things that have taken a knock and two things that are central to a lifter’s pergotmance and ability.  In single person physiology based sports your psychology is almost more important than your genetics and at the top level it is almost always the determining factor.  If I had gimped the workout and done some volume (the focus of the week according to the programme!) I would have done just that and would still be thinking like a cocky arrogant so and so which is a terrific head space to be in as a lifter .

Lessons learned and to be reiterated


  • Focus on the focus of the programme don’t get caught up in cool sideshows
  • Do everything in your power to never miss a lift confidence is everything in this sport.
  • Don’t get greedy take personal bests when your certain they are going and make them look easy.  Momentum is hard to build in this sport and easy to stop by not stepping off the gas.
  • Everything that goes up must come down so when your on a high consciously let some air out of the balloon yourself to stop if popping!
  • When you look at an attempt or a workout with doubt in your mind be proactive and modify it.


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