I have always wanted to do Linda

This is correct posture - do NOT crane your neck and look "up" while deadlifting.

This is correct posture – do NOT crane your neck and look “up” while deadlifting.

Have you seen Linda? She is one intriguing woman!

I would like to think I am strong. I know I am not. Doing the heavy girl WODs always intrigue me. Linda is 10-1 of deadlifts at 1.5 times your body weight, bench press at your body weight and cleans at .75 of your body weight. Bench press is no problem for me. As a member of 24 Hour Fitness and former fat ass I have spent many days on bench press and it is a sad state because I can max bench press more than I can max back squat. I mean, back squat was always sooo hard at 24 Hour Fitness. Now I am kicking myself for years of avoiding difficult exercises…

(I benched 290 a few months ago and my recent back squat test topped out at 260.)

The movement that has prevented me from doing Linda for the past few years was the deadlift. Along with back squats I avoided deadlifts, especially heavy ones, like I avoided running on the treadmill for years and years at 24 Hour Fitness. Along with being well over 300 pounds for a period of time and having a bad back (probably a result of my weight) I never did deadlifts. The very few times I did I would go light and still tweak my back. Now I am down closer to 200 pounds (I fluctuate between 207 and 212) and I have added well over 100 pounds to my max deadlift in the past year. I maxed out at 325 a week or two ago. Now I can do Linda!

For the sake of easy math I rounded my weight down to 200 pounds and started with 300 pound deadlift, 200 pound bench and 150 pound clean.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get through all 55 reps at 300 pounds for the deadlift and wasn’t even sure I could get through the set of 10 to begin, but I did…and it took me a bit. Each deadlift I dropped once I got to full extension at the top. After each rep I would step back a few steps, take a few deep breaths and go again. I focused on a using the top down deadlift setup that Kelly Starrett recommends, keeping my back flat and head neutral and really driving with my legs. I think the first nine reps were pretty good with solid form, but the 10th rep was definitely a guide in what not to do. Even though the form went to crap I still walked away alive and with my back feeling OK.

As expected the bench press was not a problem as I did all 10 reps unbroken and with relative ease. I would perform all of the bench press sets unbroken. I could have put 225 on the bar for bench press and done them all unbroken.

For the cleans I broke the set of 10 into two sets of five. I continued to break up the cleans into two sets until I got to the round of five. This was mainly due to grip strength. I had enough juice to clean 150 (not a heavy weight for me), but my grip was giving out due to the heavy deadlifts.

When I got back to the deadlift bar for the set of nine I gathered myself, caught my breath and attempted to pull 300. It didn’t happen. I sort of chuckled, took a step back and tried again, no go. I didn’t want to risk anything so I took the 10 pound and 2.5 pound plate off of each side of the bar leaving 275 on the bar and finished Linda with 275. Considering about a year ago my max deadlift was 185 knocking out 45 reps at 275 feels pretty damn good. I linked a few of those reps, but for the most part they were pull, drop, take a step or two back, take a few breaths and go again. Once I got down to the sets of four and less I didn’t walk away from the bar and tried to push through them.

While I never felt like I was getting a “cardio workout” I surely worked up a real good sweat (shirt was completely soaked when I finished) and I was out of breath. It took me 34 minutes to complete the workout and I am OK with that time. Now I have a gauge for a WOD with a heavy deadlift that I can try to improve on. I will do Linda again sometime after the New Year most likely and see if there is any improvement.

Linda is one tough broad and I am happy that I finally did her.

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