And this people, is why I write what I do. Why I put so much into this, and why I love it so much. I've had many months of stress in my life, and I wear that shit on my sleeve, so it's no secret. I share it because, I feel like we all have battles, struggles, and valleys we walk through. That we dread.
But when I get e-mails like this, it really makes my day. No, I didn't cure cancer, or save a dog trapped in an icy river, but I'm not a doctor or a guy near an icy river that a dog just fell in.
Either way, it made my morning, and I hope YOU grok the lesson he learned in proper programming and get better from it as well.
I found your site through Jamie's blog about 8 months ago. I'd been lifting for about six years, but never deadlifted, using the excuse that I didn't want to hurt my back, especially after a pretty serious back injury on the ranch when I was twelve.
After reading your articles, I decided that I needed to man up and start working on it. I began deadlifting on November 14, 2012. I worked up to 2x 225. I suddenly realized that I wasn't nearly as strong as I thought I was. I re-read Strength Life and Legacy, failed to 'grok' what you were saying, and then lifted heavy (90% of my max) constantly. I slowly clawed my way to a single of 315 by the end of January. Then, while deploying to Afghanistan, I caught the virus from hell, and was sick for three weeks straight, and lost 10 lbs.
During that time, I decided to actually try the programming that I'd been reading from you. Upon getting here to Afghanistan, I started running a slight variation of the Strong-15, and hit 385 in late March. I reset, and hoped to be repping 405 by the end of the deployment. About a week ago, I was feeling pretty good and went for 405, a little prematurely for what at was programmed, but nailed three reps. I was pumped, and decided to rest for a week, and see what my 1RM was, with a goal of 410.
June 1st I hit the bar, and even though 365 felt heavy initially, I threw my faith in the fact that I'd pulled more previously, and that I should be able to make 410 for at least one. I hammered my way through, and ended up pulling 425! it was rough, but at that point I was fired up, and feeling good about my ability to pull it. Did I mention the temperature was 104 degrees?
This thing got long, but I wanted to say thank you for your blog and hard work writing. In the course of 8 months, I've gone from a 225 deadlift to 425, and just overall feel stronger in everything. Not to mention that I've been doing combat patrols for three months of that.
Thanks for all your hard work, and your strength of character as well. You've helped me make some awesome strides, and truly 'grok' strength development.