Cara here, Eric's sister! Eric trains me and provides me with different exercise routines based on what I am wanting to achieve. I enjoy changing up my workouts as I work towards various challenges. Eric and I spoke at length regarding what I deadlift and squat. He felt that I should be lifting far more. He wanted me to have the capability to lift 1.25 times my body weight. Thus began the challenge of increasing my strength for the next 4 months, my end goal being to lift 150lbs on deadlifts as well as squats, and 105lbs on bench.
I began my journey in May. I looked at my routine consisting of 6 exercises, 3 days a week. The routine called for increasing weight quite rapidly at 5 pound increments each week. I started at 90 lbs on deadlift and squat. It was easier at first with lower weight, but there were times I could tell I was deadlifting and squatting incorrectly. I would explain to Eric what I was doing and show him videos. He tweaked my technique slightly with different hand placement then voila! Like magic everything was much better! My hip no longer hurt and I could lift better. I am glad that I learned that on the lower weights as it would have been most unfortunate, if not dangerous, on the heavier lifts.
Given that the routine called for progression of 5 pounds each week, I felt slightly intimidated yet thrilled to see myself kill the weights each week. I could feel myself getting stronger and noticed the reps were even easier than they had been the previous week.
The deadlifts were my most challenging exercise - to get the form correct each time as well as the lifting of so much weight relative to my body. I had this mindset I had to overcome to be able to continue lifting heavier. For some reason putting a 45 pound plate on each side seemed rather heavy. Well for me, it was! 135lbs and well into my third month at this point, this was my first struggle to fully overcome. I remember when I placed those plates on each side. First, I was excited to finally be getting those plates on the bar, but second, was concerned I wouldn't be able to lift it. Boy, was I wrong! I killed those sets and was quite proud of myself. Those small feats helped along the way to achieving my ultimate goal.
At this point, I told myself, “Ok, it is only 15 more pounds now until I achieve my goal, no big deal whatsoever. Well, unfortunately, it was not as smooth a ride to increase those 15 pounds as I had hoped. I couldn't increase in weight as quickly anymore. There were days when I could only get a few reps in at 140 or 145lbs. Fatigue and frustration were setting in from working so much, wanting to hit that last goal, and accomplishing it. As the final week approached, I had already accomplished my squat and bench press goals, and had just one last goal to accomplish, deadlifts. I remember telling Eric, “This is the last week, Saturday is my last day. I'm going to deadlift that 150lbs whether it is all sets, 1 set or 1 rep. But I'm done. Hah.” I was a bit tired of this routine by now. Eric said, “You'll hit more than 1 rep.”
That last day I went in to the gym. Made sure it was a Saturday so that I could be rested longer than waking up at 4:30am (my normal gym time before work). Stacked the weight to 150 on the bar and BAM! Got 3 reps in before my mind said, “You're done.” Probably could have gotten in 1 more rep but mentally I was done and had achieved the goal! It was an amazing feeling, proving to myself that I could do it. Now for a little rest in between the next goals then on to the next challenge!
Check out our Instagram feed @10xcircuit for pictures/videos of progression.