I know that golf is supposed to be the sport most metaphorically applicable to life. But I’d like to mention this bit of insight that came from my coach of youth soccer: A ball rolling slowly towards the goal has a much greater chance of scoring than a fast wild shot that is off the mark. This wisdom is clearly applicable to something like financial planning, and also to the gym.
I used to deadlift extremely heavy – my best sets were 335 lbs for six reps, with no belt on. I’m also proud to say that my form was perfect. However, the only way I could get out of a car for one week following was to open the door and roll out onto the ground.
Today, as I watched an average-sized guy load up a barbell with four plates on a side, my amusement was tempered by empathy.
For a regular guy, a 405 lb deadlift is preposterous. To be sure, I’d never before seen a person deadlift with a spotter, getting pulled upright at the top of each rep. I did, however, recognize the noise this guy made bouncing his barbell as a grocery cart being pushed down the stairs. Regardless, when this fellow added another 25 lb plate between sets, I didn’t even bother to continue watching. I just turned away and waited for the sound of splintering low back ligaments.
Nowadays, I do my sets of deadlifts at about 225 lbs for eight or nine reps. I’m no longer the man to call to lift a car off some unfortunate soul, but I’m also not missing bunches of workouts due to a wrecked low back. I figure it’s better to be at the gym making slow but regular progress, than to engage in one fast wild workout and spend the next several days in bed.