New Deadlift PR And Then I Got Sick

Not that it went from one to the other so quickly, but ultimately, that’s how it ended up.


My son has Thursdays and Fridays off, but on Saturdays and Sundays, when he works, my wife and I watch his kids on the week he has them. For Saturday, the missus and I agreed we’d “split” the kids. I’d take our seven-year-old grandson and she’d take our ten-month-old granddaughter.

I scheduled an “action packed” day for him. First, we headed over to the Idaho Expo for Discover the Dinosaurs. We saw animatronic dinos, sampled a lot of inflatable kiddie stuff, such as slides and mazes, and finally did Gem and Fossil Panning.

He had a blast.

After lunch, we went to a local public library branch for a Star Wars event. I thought it would be people in costumes and more exciting stuff, but it turned out to be an arts and crafts event. The saving grace was that they had free pizza. Anyway, we made R2D2 and BB8 and a bunch of other stuff using construction paper, paper plates, glue, and crayons, and left after an hour and a quarter.

When we got back to my place, that’s when my grandson complained he had a headache. His Dad was off work by then and at our place, and we thought it was just dehydration.

Not so.

My son and grandson ended up “worshiping the porcelain god,” so to speak, all that night.

Naturally, my son didn’t go to work on Sunday, so my wife didn’t have to go over and take over. We thought things would settle down after the sun rose.

We were wrong.

But since I didn’t have any kids to watch and my wife, who was also not feeling well, was in bed, I decided to head on over to the gym. If anyone needed me, I was a cell phone call or text away.

I pulled in to the gym parking lot at 5 til 8 and amazingly, Bryce pulled in a minute later. He usually is barely on time if a minute late, but he was actually 4 minutes early.

I resisted the urge to tease him.

This resulted in me getting into the gym 2 minutes before the official opening time, which was OK with me.

Here’s how Sunday morning began.

Cycle Six, Week Two, Day One 3/3/3+

Main Lifts

Bench Press
Bench Press

Barbell Bench Press

10x 45lbs/45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 65lbs/29.4835kg (warm up)
10x 95lbs/43.0913kg (warm up)
3x 110lbs/49.8952kg
3x 120lbs/54.4311kg
5x 135lbs/61.235kg
3x 145lbs/65.7709kg (joker)
1x 150lbs/68.0389kg (joker)
1x 155lbs/70.3068kg (joker)

Bent Leg Deadlift

10x 135lbs/61.235kg (warm up)
3x 195lbs/88.4505kg
3x 205lbs/92.9864kg
5x 235lbs/106.594kg
3x 260lbs/117.934kg (joker)
2x 275lbs/124.738kg (joker)
1x 290lbs/131.542kg (joker) PR

Assistance Lift

Bodyweight Bench Dips w/Legs Extended
x10, x10, x10, x10, x10

Mobility Work

Hamstring and Quad Stretches

I decided to do 3 bench press warm ups instead of 2 just in case being insufficiently warmed up was the problem with this lift.

I had increased my working weights for the bench press by 5 pounds set over set, which I guess doesn’t mean much since I haven’t been able to achieve a new PR in months. But they went pretty well, including the 3+ set.

For the first joker, I increased the weight to 145 pounds. Rep 1 and rep 2 went fine, with just a minor hesitation halfway up the lift, but rep 3 was a real struggle. For a second or two, I thought I’d have to dump the rep. Fortunately, I muscled my way through.

For the next 2 jokers, I only managed 1 rep per, although for 150, I was tempted to try for a second rep.

triceps extensions
Photo credit:

Until I strengthen my lagging triceps, that’ll have to wait, though.

While I knew my bench press wasn’t going to be anything near spectacular, deadlifts were another story.

Breezed through my warm up set and things didn’t start to feel heavy until my second working set. I pulled 5 reps for the 3+ set and went into the jokers. The first and second joker were pretty normal. The hardest part was getting the barbell off the floor for the initial rep. After that, I managed 3 and 2 reps respectively.

Last week, I set a new PR for deadlifts at 285 pounds. Did I have it in me to go to 290?

Only one way to find out.

I set the weight to 290 on the barbell and waited.

By now, I was waiting about 3 minutes between sets in order to recover. Liz was in the weight room as usual, along with another guy I don’t think I’ve seen before. He was kind of round in the middle and looked like a stereotypic accountant or something. None of the “big bruisers” had shown up yet.

I took my stance, bent down, took my grip, tightened my lats and everything else. Pulled just enough to get my body taut…and then really pulled.

Usually, there’s some point in a heavy deadlift rep when I realize I’m going to make it. Not for this one.

I felt like a gear ratcheting up one gear tooth at a time, click, click, click, from dead zero on the floor to up one click, up another, up another.

The weight felt brutally heavy the entire way up. I felt like at any time I was going to dump the barbell, but Liz and accountant guy were there and I wanted to succeed, not that I guess it would matter to them.

Halfway up and I was still going click, click, click, an inch at a time, forcing myself to stand. I was almost completely erect, but still hunched over at the shoulders. I couldn’t move. I needed to complete the lockout, or it wasn’t a full rep.

I thrust my hips forward which barely did the trick and saw myself standing straight up in the mirror, the look on my face being more like terror than effort.

Photo credit:

I did it, but only just. I think I held the weight up for a second or two, started reversing the rep, and then BAM!, I dropped it.

I looked around, but no one was looking back.

Oh well.

At least I have the personal satisfaction of making a new PR.

As I was deloading the bar, some guy I occasionally see in the gym walked in. Salt and pepper hair, terrific build, he’d just missed my deadlift.

Oh well.

I finally got the barbell and the bench press station all squared away.

Did some “boring but big” bench dips. They felt easier this time around, even with legs extended, at least until the final set.

I thought about doing another assistance lift afterward, but something told me I should be getting back home.

I did some mobility stretches, skipped the Kasey core work, and headed back to my place.

I was sucking down a protein shake and adding my workout info to the online exercise log, when my wife came out of our bedroom and showed me a one-word text from our son: “Help”.

I quickly finished breakfast (protein shake and a banana), changed clothes (no shower for me) and drove over. Fortunately, they’re only 5 minutes away.

My grandson was still in his bedroom. My son could barely stand but had made a bottle for my granddaughter, who was crying in her crib. I sent my son back to bed and told him I had it covered.

Took care of my granddaughter, who blessedly wasn’t vomiting, and eventually my grandson when he came out and laid on the sofa. He was slowly getting better but was still wiped out.

I had my other son, “Uncle Mikey” came over at bit later, since he’s my grandson’s favorite and my grandson had been asking for him.

mother's day mash up
Image: Brian Kesinger’s Tea Girls

Since it was Mother’s Day (and the kids’ parents are separated and getting a divorce), their Mom was coming over to pick them up at noon (normally the “kid transfer” happens in the evening). We kept them taken care of until she arrived. Their Dad was still totally out.

Not the most ideal Mother’s Day, but we have to play the cards we’re dealt.

With the kids gone and after my son Michael left, I stayed to straighten the place up and do laundry.

I figured I got this bug either when I hugged my grandson goodbye or when I handled his germ-infested sheets and comforter.

Anyway, that afternoon, I’d met a friend for coffee. That’s when my stomach started feeling acidy. Figured it was cheap coffee and dinner would fix that.


After dinner, I was still dealing with heartburn and my energy levels were plummeting. Figured I had the bug, but hoped I’d get off as easy as my wife, who had just slept for a while and was fine when I got back home.

Had a lousy night. No puking, but it almost happened a couple of times. Four-alarm nausea throughout the night, so no sleep, and although I tried to get up and stay up a few times this morning, I didn’t have the energy until after 2 p.m. Still feel wasted, but have managed to keep down a glass of water and piece of dry toast.

Food doesn’t appeal to me at all right now.

Just hope my strength comes back by Wednesday (actually by tomorrow since I need to go to work).

I haven’t had the flu in years. Immune system, don’t fail me now. I need to get better.

Challenges are what make life interesting, and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.

Joshua J. Marine


2 thoughts on “New Deadlift PR And Then I Got Sick

  1. I sure know the deal with kids getting sick. My 10 yo granddaughter had a talent show Fri evening. She was not feeling well when I picked her up from school but went to her show and performed fine. We went out to dinner but she didn’t really eat and was sick all weekend and missed school. I also know the deal.with divorce,my daughter has been dealing with hers for 4 years and it still not settled. Lifting helps keep me sane.


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