Back to the gym: Alive and kicking after 80kg deadlift

Back to the gym - A healthy start to 2019
Back to the gym - A healthy start to 2019

By Maria Howard

Previously, I wasn’t even sure what a deadlift was but I’m happy to report I can do them, and I’m still alive to tell the tale.

Basically, the bar is on the floor in front and you bend your knees and reach down to grip. You keep it close to your body on the way up and exhale as you straighten your legs until you are in an upright position. It’s a great exercise as it works your legs, thighs, back, butt and abs.

Once I’d demonstrated I could maintain the correct technique, I did a few sets at a lower weight. Coach Scott Halliday then popped on a few more kilos and asked for just one rep. At first he didn’t tell me how heavy it was. I’m the type of person that likes to know these details. “Just lift it,” Scott said. “I know you can do it. You don’t need to over think it.” I focussed on what I had been taught, and before I knew it, I was standing upright with this bar.

Turns out, it was an 80kg lift and once I got my breath back, I felt pretty chuffed with myself. What also became quickly apparent is that it’s not all about brute strength. The majority of it comes down to technique. It’s also slightly addictive as well. It has you thinking, ‘what could I do next time?’ It was then I realised why I’d never previously been able to stick to the gym for any length of time.

I used to head along, go through some stretches and then dabble with a few weights. I’d jump on and off a machine here and there but I never really knew how to exercise correctly.

I have been attending PFG Gym since the start of January in order to feel stronger and healthier for 2019.

I was determined not to be a one-month-wonder and as I push on into February, I am beginning to see and feel progress.

Coach Halliday, who has trained many male and female powerlifters/strongmen to British, European and World success, devised a programme of three one-hour sessions each week for two months.

Each session at PFG, I’m learning new techniques as well as feeling stronger and more confident and that’s what keeps me coming back for more.

Around a busy home and work life, spare time is rare and you want to get the most out of any fitness time.

Often when things get hectic, time for health and fitness can be the first thing to fall by the wayside. But as I’m starting to find out – these are times when it’s even more important.

Away from the gym, I’m often Googling all things weight training to see if I can pick up any extra tips or motivation.

I was ill for two sessions last week thanks to a heavy cold and I was surprised how much I missed it. The gym has quickly become part of my weekly routine and I was pleased to get back.

As I go into my second month my motivation remains high. I’m pleased with the progress made so far and keen to see what I can achieve in February.

Before these sessions I felt closer to a Stannah Stairlift, I’m now aiming for 100kg deadlift.

Performance Fitness Gym, contact: 01323 412498 or visit