Thursday, March 21, 2024

Geriatric CrossFit: why you should both love and respect the deadlift

Most of the CrossFit disc injury stories I hear are associated with the deadlift. Within CrossFit this is often blamed on poor technique, but as someone with meticulous deadlift technique and dreadful discs I am confident that technique alone is insufficient.

The problem, my friend, is in us. Specifically, for some of us, in those discs. Some people have good ones, some get the second rate versions. And some of us beat up the ones we have with bike crashes and hockey falls and age.

So is the deadlift bad? Should we avoid it? 

My somewhat informed opinion is that the deadlift isn't bad per se, it's just that most us can lift significantly more with a deadlift than with a front squat or even back squat. More weight, more disc pressure, more risk of stress rupture. Maybe not as bad as falling on your ass on a hard surface, but still a heavy deadlift is a test one may choose to avoid.

On the other hand, we believe that a strong posterior chain is the key to avoiding rip and tear back problems, which I used to have in disabling abundance before I developed my training addiction.

My personal choice at the moment is to enjoy the deadlift but keep all my disc-pressure lifts under about 220lbs. That's not a lot for 1-3 reps but it's a good weight for 5-10 reps. I miss doing a 1 rep max, but age has its price.

I'll reevaluate this plan the next time I squish a disc. That would be squish number 5 if one is keeping count.

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