Picking up heavy shit. Really, it's kind of the essence of "weight lifting" or "power lifting" is it not?
I think it was Kaz who said, something to the effect of, being able to pick up a weight, get to overhead and press it was kind of the be all-end all of what being strong is.
But it still comes back to picking shit up doesn't it?
I mean, that pussified Planet Fitness made a whole commercial with some jacked dude who could only mutter...."I pick things up and put them down."
Because that's what cavemen do, right?
Picking up heavy shit goes all the way back to from the time the barbell was invented. Look at the raw deadlift records and how they have stood the test of time. While modern day advances have set new marks all over the place in the "squat" and "bench press", only Konstantinov's and Benni are present day competitors that have set new marks in the deadlift. Otherwise, every deadlift record in every weight class precedes 1999.
Class Lift Lifter Country Year Fed
123 633 Lamar Gant USA 1980 AAU*
132 628 Lamar Gant USA 1981 IPF
148 690 Dan Austin USA 1987 IPF
165 714 Rick Gaugler USA 1981 USPF
181 791 Ed Coan USA 1984 USPF
198 859 Ed Coan USA 1985 USPF
220 901 Ed Coan USA 1991 USPF
242 887 Ed Coan USA 1998 USPF
275 881 K Konstantinovs Latvia 2009 AWPC
308 939 K Konstantinovs Lativa 2009 AWPC
SHW 1015 Benedikt Magnusson ISL 04/02/11 HARDCORE
No one knows the struggle of picking up heavy shit more than I do. That's not a "look how great I am" statement in any way, shape, or form. Quite the opposite. I have struggled for years to be an even respectable deadlifter. I have struggled as much as any person could over a long period to build that single lift. Try more than 12 years to go from 500 to the 700 range. It has never come easy for me, and to this day it is the bane of my lifting existence. It's also the most rewarding for those reasons as well.
I have such a love-hate relationship with the deadlift because I do believe that a good deadlift is a primal demonstration of brute strength.
Putting your hands on the bar and telling the weight it will defy gravity is, at the very core, what lifting is. Deadlifting is the most basic movements in all of that. You simply bend down, and pick the weight up. It doesn't get any more primal or basic than that.
But picking up heavy shit isn't just about deadlifting. Picking up heavy shit is rowing, cleans, stones, farmers walks, and basically anything you have to move to get it off the floor. Just like squatting builds a great lower body, picking up heavy shit year after year after year, builds a thickness and density in the upperback, lats, erectors, and glutes that cannot be denied.
When I walk into a gym, even the "big guys" there hardly ever have that density in the back I speak of. They don't have middle back thickness that comes from year and years of picking up heavy shit. Because most of those guys live on lat pulldowns and some light dumbbell rows. If they do t-bar rows heavy, they do them either light, or shit style, where they practically stand straight up and kind of crotch ride the bar. Technically speaking, I suppose that is picking shit up, but it's not the right kind of picking shit up.
Ever notice that when you even do shit like yard work, the back is what takes the brunt of the work. Think about the fact that when someone uses the word "hard labor" it almost always involves doing work a strong back is needed for.
laboringpresent participle of la·bor (Verb)
"Work hard -- make great effort.....an unskilled manual occupation"
It's like fucking Websters knows that deadlifting and cleans and rows are all cavemen style shit too.
As a lifer, you will need to spend years and years and years doing back work to get both the show with the go. Unless you're some monkey armed mutant, but that's an entirely different discussion.
All forms of picking shit up test you, just like the squat tests you, but in a different way. Picking shit up seems like it stares you more directly in the face. It's right there, in front of you, taunting you to "try it".
"Pick me up, asshole."
Anyone who has went for a new PR and had the bar be stapled to the floor knows what I am talking about. It deflates you unlike anything else. It cuts at a lifters soul. To train for months and months and months, to finally give that personal best a go........and that fucking piece of shit just sits on the floor. You hate it more than any other kind of failure. With a bench attempt, even a miss almost feels like you gave something because the bar probably moved a bit. With a deadlift attempt that just sticks, it's incredibly disheartening, and will test who you are as a lifter. Your resolve and your will to get better. Some do, and some don't.
Those who don't, were never lifters. Those who do, will just keep picking shit up, and putting it down.
Fuck you Planet Fitness.