MDLP: Deadlift and the Furious

You know those sounds your car starts to make after a few years? The little clicks and clangs that we eventually drown out with loud music to prevent unwanted attacks on our wallet during mechanic visits. I wish I could tell you my body feels like a corvette right out of the factory but I would be fibbing. My years of high speed chases and fine tuned motors might be a little out of reach on a weekly basis and that’s always a hard pill to swallow. This isn’t a sob story or a “Cars 3” movie, on the contrary, it’s the realization that my body is that classic in the garage slowly being rebuilt. You guys ever seen the first Fast and the Furious? (arguable the best one and the only one I’ve ever seen in its entirety). I’d like to consider myself Toretto’s 1970 Dodge Charger that was hidden away the whole movie. That covered up, greased up beautiful piece of machinery waiting to be unleashed at the end of the movie. I don’t have extensive knowledge on cars but I do know what it feels like to be rebuilt. To have to sit around waiting for “parts”, “pieces” and for the end of the movie to come while everyone around you is running full speed. So as I begin to train again at moderate speeds I am hearing and feeling those clicks and clangs. I am reminded on a daily basis that I am not fresh off the factory line but that I ain’t dead yet mother fuckers. It’s going to take time. I’m feeling some aches in me knees, my elbows and my hips. I feel like my first years of true training, my first weeks of Rugby matches, or even after my first fight. I’m waking up with those sobering aches that as much as it can ruin our lunch, it absolutely is a reminder that we are still in the battle. I am not condoning working through pain, nor am I saying that I am in some serious pain. I’m just telling you there is some very real rust on this 1970’s machine but plenty of fuel left in the tank.

Front Squat:

I tweeked my knee a couple of weeks ago doing a GHR. Go figure, 500 pound yokes and 400 pound squats don’t ruin me but a simple GHR is enough to piss my knee of for real. Due to this, my current squat cycle has been judicious and although I had full intentions of front squatting 405, I might have to put that idea on the back burner for now. I was able to win the day with some solid singles at 315 with no knee issues. My focus was to keep my form intact while trying not to baby my left knee. All in all I left the squat portion of my workout in decent spirits and it aloud me to let a little loose on my deads.

Deadlift for fuel:

My deadlift has been rebuilding ever so slowly. My back and my trunk strength remain in tact and are no longer an issue or a speed bump on this lift but due to that sassy bicep, I don’t want to rush. Ive been incorporating double over hand hook grip to save my biceps and to get much better back mechanics into my pull (not because its the cool Instagram thing to do). Due to this thumb destroying grip by deadlift as been moving a little slower than I was previously accustomed to. I see it as a blessing in disguise because instead of being focused on needless speed off the floor and overall numbers, it really forces me to lock in on my technique and patience. I was feeling good this day and after an easy squat session, I felt an opportunity to climb on the deadlift. The plan was to hit a top single in the mid 400’s and remain intact. Perfect form, perfect movement, perfect redemption. I worked up to a 455# single which I was very happy with but I knew 465# would be the number that would satisfy the days plan and absolutely keep my momentum going. If I could I write a separate log on just how much detail I was paying attention to during this lift I could fill pages. The gnarling, the sting of the hook grip, the chalk dancing off the bar and on my fist seemed absolutely picturesque. You cant see all this things in the video. You cant see the 20 months of not deadlifting heavy, the 20 months of not letting anything heavy, the rust, the pieces and parts waiting to be fixed. I know you can’t see them and maybe reading this gives you a little insight into the insanity and dramatic portrayal of my mind set, but I’ve said it many times before, sometimes insanity is what you need. The 2.5 seconds it took to lift the weight seemed meaningless compared to the time and stories that came before it. The struggle of my new bicep, my aching body, and my rusty joints pail in comparison to the stories I will tell one day of everything leading up to my dreams. Call it over the top, call it exaggeration or taking things too serious. You can call it anything you want but this is my fucking journey and I will do whatever it takes to push forward. I never got in this rat race to be normal and I’m sure as hell not going to start now.

Warm Up:

  • Big 3
  • Band Flies 2×30
  • Band pull aparts 2×30
  • TKE 3×30/30
  • Banded Goblet Squats 5×5
  • Single Leg RDL 2×5/5

Work Load:

  • Front Squat 10×1 (last five singles at 315#)
  • Deadlift 6×1 (worked up to heavy single at 465#)
  • Single Leg RDL 4×1010
  • Banded Pistol (on to bench for knee rehab) 5×5
  • Banded Monster Walks 4x100ft
  • Suit Case Carry 3×150/150ft
  • D Bell head holds (grip work) 3 sets of max hold each hand

Never Stray from The Way

MDLP

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Mike De La Pava
Michael “MDLP” De La Pava is currently a competitive Strongman and owner of The Battle Axe Gym. Born in Miami, Florida into a Colombian household, Michael finished his schooling by attending Penn State University where he graduated with a Degree in Psychology. Having his roots in martial arts, he would go on to compete in various sports as a Muay Thai fighter, Powerlifter, and rugby player before committing himself fully to Strongman. During this time, he opened Miami’s first Strongman gym, The Battle Axe, where he currently coaches athletes from various disciplines including powerlifting, MMA fighters, Strongman, officers of multiple authorities and enlisted and active military operators. Competing in Strongman for over 6 years has given Michael the opportunity to rank as high as 15th in the nation (105kg), won Florida’s Strongest man (1st in 2014 and 2nd in 2015 in the 105kg class), lift and load a 420 pound Atlas stone, log press 335, pull 700, and most importantly, share the competitive battlefield with some of the best in the game. During this journey, Michael suffered what some would consider a potentially career-ending spine injury. It was at this time that Brian and Michael would begin working together to not only rehab his spine, allowing him to return to Strongman but also develop a new Strongman training program revolving around the 10/20 philosophy. Strongman and coaching have given Michael the opportunity to travel around the nation and the world to train, coach and be coached, as well as share ideas with various leaders in the strength community. Michael’s experience and network in strongman brings a welcome connection with the ever-growing sport of Strongman to the 10/20 team and PRS family.
Mike De La Pava

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