That Time I Deadlifted 205 Pounds 205 Times

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A Bad Idea Masquerading as a Good Idea

Yesterday, I had what I considered to be a very good idea.

Let me set the scene for you. I walked into the gym bright and early, at around 8:00 AM. I deposited my belongings in my cubby like a good little boy, and started my daily paper work. At 8:15 I started my first client.

During the course of this 30 minute training session, I came across a loaded barbell, sort of rolled against one wall. Obviously, someone was using it for some exercise or another and was too lazy to unload and put it back. If you are at all familiar with gyms, you know this is not an uncommon thing to happen upon. No big deal, only 205 pounds on the bar. Just kind of in the way.

As my client was enjoying his one and only 90 second rest period, I decided to take care of it and put it away. So I wrapped my hands around it, bent over, and pulled. After all, the best way to get a loaded barbell off the floor is to deadlift it. So that’s what I did. Just doin’ my job. But then I deadlifted it 9 more times. What the hell, the kid was resting, may as well get some work in, right?

That’s when I had my idea. I was going to leave that barbell loaded… and deadlift it all day long.

Or at least until I hit 205 reps. Why 205 reps? Because that’s how much weight was on the bar.

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

So I put the bar down and ran my athlete through the last 10 minutes of his workout (which all of a sudden, now included a set of deadlifts at 205).

Since I had a long day (roughly 12 hours) scheduled, and I had a planned day off from training, I thought this would be a great way to get in some extra pulls.

I mean, why not? It isn’t really challenging weight, and what better way to take advantage of the fact that I have the kind of job where I’m actually allowed to work out? If nothing else, it would be a fun way to add a little challenge to the day.


Photo: Tracy Apps

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Yea. Well, it wasn’t.

I mean, things didn’t go too badly, but damn, am I in pain. Here’s a look at the workout itself.

  • 8:36am reps 1-10
  • 8:56am reps11-23
  • 9:04am reps 24-31

This isn’t so bad. It’s actually kind of fun. It’s going pretty well so far. I wonder why more people don’t do this?

  • 9:23am reps 32-40
  • 9:28am reps 40-50
  • 9:36am reps 50-61

I probably should have used more weight. Maaaaaaybe I’ll do this next week. I’ll try 250 for 250 reps.

  • 9:52am reps 62-70

Actually, that one was kinda rough. Maybe I’ll take a little break. Still, I think I could go heavier.

  • 10:59am reps 71-85

Crap, client starting now. I’ll do more right after.

  • 11:55am reps 86-95

Ugh. This is kinda tiring. I think this’ll be my last set before lunch. After I refuel, I’ll be ready to rock.

  • 1:04pm reps 96-110

Too many reps, too soon after lunch. My tummy hurts. Glad I didn’t go heavier.

  • 1:37pm reps 111-121

Going to vomit. As in, seriously, vomit coming out of my mouth. Pushed too hard. I shouldn’t have had that tuna sandwich. God, that’s gonna be gross coming up.

  • 3:58pm reps 122-140

Ah, that went much better. Next time I do this, protein shakes only. No solid food.

  • 4:06pm reps 141-152

Feelin’ strong. Just 50 more to go. I think I can finish before 6pm.

  • 5:28pm reps 153-160
  • 5:37pm reps 161-177

Efff this, I should have started lighter. Seriously, my ass is killing me. If feels like I got stung by a bee who had recently been stung by a hornet who had recently injected himself with radioactive steroids. No way am I finishing before 6.

  • 5:59pm reps 178-185

Yea, not happening.

  • 6:11pm reps 185-190

Okay, just 15 to go. I think I can get them in one set. Make it happen, Roman.

  • 6:30pm reps 191-197

Wow. It seems I grossly overestimated myself there. How disappointing. I mean, that was really bad. I got less than half of what I thought I would. I suck.

  • 6:43pm reps 198-205

Like I said, done before 7. Piece of cake. Damn, I’m awesome. I should totally have used more weight.

The next day:

Seriously? Who let me do this? Why didn’t anyone talk me out of it?”

Okay, okay. It wasn’t THAT bad. And it was a little fun, at least in retrospect.

Thing is, this information is kinda useless. For one thing, I’m not really sure if there is any merit here. It’s not really intense enough to make a good fat loss workout, or dense enough for a good muscle building workout.

I think the only real saving grace here is the “grease the groove” aspect. That is, the consistent movement within a given range of motion/movement pattern increases efficiency. Theoretically, deadlifting in this way could make your body better at deadlifting, which may translate into higher poundages down the road. Then again, if you’re not already good at deadlifting, and you try this, you’re probably asking for trouble.

Plus, ultimately, this is really impractical. Afterall, not many people have jobs that allow them to train this way. And even then, who wants to train for like 11 hours?

So, yeah, I guess this was pretty pointless. So why’d I do it?

Well… seemed like a good idea at the time.

About the Author

John Romaniello is a level 70 orc wizard who spends his days lifting heavy shit and his nights fighting crime. When not doing that, he serves as the Chief Bro King of the Roman Empire and Executive Editor here on RFS. You can read his articles here, and rants on Facebook.

Comments for This Entry

  • Century Sets: - Roman Fitness Systems

    [...] a dumb idea that you’re crazy enough to true. Examples include the time I randomly decided to do 205 deadlifts with 205 pounds, and roughly 63.8% of the decisions I made regarding women between 2002 and 2011. [...]

    April 25, 2013 at 7:53 pm

  • Zac

    That does raise a question I have been pondering for a while now. Periodically I throw into an otherwise standard training schedule, an overload week where I simply perform 4 different exercises consisting of 100 reps per muscle group, starting at a pre-determined weight (10 rep max of week before) before dropping the weight as needed to get to 100 without stopping. It adds interest and my god do I feel it the next 2-3 days, but here is my question. If you were to do this sort of overload schedule on a weekly basis, would it not end in much the same gains as a standard 4x10 (4) training day? I ask because it would seem different muscle groups (for me) respond better to this sort of training.

    December 7, 2011 at 12:20 am

  • Jonesy

    Good job thats something I would never think of doin since im in a gym also most of the day. Ill let u know YESSSSSSSSSS

    January 6, 2010 at 6:44 pm

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