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Ken Marsley 08-07-2006 05:37 AM

Hi all,

Before y'all start groaning, I realize that there probably isn't a substitution for deadlifts.

But I need your help/suggestions anyways: I'm stuck in rural GA for a few months with no gym in sight. What I do have at my disposal is rocks, fence posts, logs, scrap metal, sand, and some nice railroad ties.

I'm recovering from a dislocated shoulder, so I'm taking things nice and slow (especially since I'm new to xfit also).

My thought is that, without the benefit of a barbell, I'll probably be grappling something thick, and it will have to be between my legs (yeah yeah, bring out the jokes). E.G. sumo lifting stacked concrete blocks, or lifting one end of a railroad tie.

I've also been racking my mind for ways to put "handles" on a railroad tie, since that's the closest thing to a barbell I can think of. Thinking about drilling down through the tie, wrapping nylon tie-downs through, and using PVC cuttings to ease the grip.

ANYWAY, the point is, I won't be able to get close to a max RM using this mountain-man stuff, taking safety and form into account, so can anybody suggest a weight/rep scheme to substitute for 1RM deadlifts? (e.g. bodywt BP = 3 pushups...)

And please don't say to hacksquat a car...

James Napier 08-07-2006 10:34 AM

If you have access to many railroad ties or concrete blocks, you could stack some to stand above the one you were lifting with some rope tied aroud it.

Jeremy Jones 08-07-2006 02:10 PM

Couldn't find the pic from the mainpage, but a while ago coach had pictures from a guy up in Alaska doing deadlifts with a bar and 5 gallon buckets full of rocks (or something) on it. (he also stood on a raised platform so that the bar wasn't so high when starting).

Get a 7 to 10' long bar/pipe and 2 or 4 buckets. Duct tape will help keep the buckets from sliding off.

Kevin McKay 08-07-2006 02:12 PM

inverted pullup?

Steve Shafley 08-07-2006 03:33 PM

Your solution is simple, and is one of the reasons the Finns are very good deadlifts.

You need to drag a bunch of heavy stuff around. Loop a rope or something around something heavy and drag it.

Gorm Laursen 08-08-2006 02:44 AM

Steve's got a point there. I just had 2 weeks vacation and no access to weight. Instead I chopped down a large elm tree with an axe and a non-motorized saw. This has got to be the best workout I've EVER done. It took 4 days including clean up (which is the dragging-away-part).

Yesterday I checked at the gym: I had an increase in military press of 15 kilos! An increase in air squats of extra 60! An increase in pull ups of 3. Today I'm going to check my deadlift. I'm guessing an increase in 20 kilos, but that's remains a guess until later today ... so go find a tree

Ken Marsley 08-08-2006 07:07 PM

Jeremy - Thanks. Yeah, I have a pipe and all those materials. I was hoping there was a more "elegant" solution, but I think that's what I'll end up doing.

Kevin - that's just an inverted high-pull, I think. no activation of the post-chain, below the upper back

Steve/Gorm - Yes, I totally agree. Part of my recovery has been working around the yard. Cutting down trees, logging them, splitting the logs (Ok, with a log-splitter, it doensn't count) and shovelling the infernal clay of Georgia. Reclaiming land from the forest is a truly amazing workout. Plus, I think it gets some serious testosterone flowing. It kills every fiber in my body, for certain. While I was ripping roots and especially vines out of the ground, I realized it's a fantastic deadlift workout. Except when the vines snap. And working with a chainsaw for half a day had me absolutely hobbling by lunch, though it doesn't have quite the same ring as "by hand."

I saved a giantic chunk of wood from an old oak, and was using that as a push/flip workout for a few weeks, but then twisted my ankle on the uneven terrain. Not fun to sit out for a silly mistake like that. I've had some great days on the land, but never again will I take the nice flat floor of a gym for granted. That's why I'm searching for a more controlled activity.

Question: if I took my car up to a nice flat parking lot, and pushed it - would that be satisfactory? (pulling would be better oriented for squats?) I found discovered some old rusty sheet metal, as well - perhaps a sled is worth making also?

Thanks again.


Chris Forbis 08-09-2006 07:43 AM

You are right on. Sled pulling and car pushing are super functional. And deadlifting (or cleaning) oddly shaped objects is great as well.

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