As it turned out, last Wednesday was a light workout by Kloie Doublin’s normal training standards.
So while my latest stab at self-immolation — Hey, let’s go pump some iron with a world powerlifting champion! — was probably not a particularly bright one, at least I timed it well.
The Franklin Community High School senior and her coach, Jeremy Hartman, were nice enough to let me show up at Warehouse Gym and pretend I could hang with the elite during an upper-body workout that lasted a little more than two hours.
For them, it was a relatively easy week as Doublin recovered from another championship showing at the USA Raw National Powerlifting Championships. So I avoided having to bust out any huge squats or deadlifts, which I obviously would have had to do at a significantly lighter weight than she could throw up.
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While I can’t claim that I did this particular workout as well as Doublin did (she and Hartman were kind enough to pretend I held my own), I actually somehow managed to do the same sets she was doing at the same weights.
Some of those were far less manageable than others.
The bench presses weren’t too bad — and I actually learned a few things about form that I can incorporate into my own, more sane, workouts going forward. On the flip side, I don’t know that I’ve ever lived through a more excruciating gym moment than the shoulder segment.
Apparently, Doublin and Hartman’s idea of a good time is to grab a pair of 15-pound dumbbells and bang out 20 front raises, 20 V-raises and 20 lateral raises uninterrupted — then go up to 22 reps per move on the second set.
I could lie and say that I got through without pausing — but by the end of each round I was unable to go more than three or four reps at a time before I had to take a brief pause. (The only thing that gave me any comfort was that even Doublin had to throw in an occasional pause on those, too. Just not as many.)
After pummeling my chest, back (five sets of pull-ups), shoulders and biceps, I was treated to a quick abdominal workout for dessert. Strapping my feet to a wheel, I got to do three sets of pike-ups out of a plank, the last one with Doublin holding a weight plate on my hind parts. Again, I can’t claim to have done it particularly well, but I lived.
Doublin has a way of unintentionally making people feel highly inadequate. In addition to dominating her peers in lifting competitions around the world, she also was the top scorer for the Grizzly Cubs in girls track last spring — and equipped with a 4.2 grade-point average, she’s applying to Harvard.
Meanwhile, I’m getting excited about beating my kids in a car race on the Xbox. Not quite the same thing.
On this particular day, though, with Doublin taking it a little bit easy on me, I was able to sort of, kind of, mayyyybe keep pace. (Hopefully, Doublin and Hartman will lie for me if pressed on the subject.)
Not going to lie — it was difficult to raise my arms for a few days afterward. But hey, I can still claim with at least some small degree of truthfulness that I lifted with a world champion for a couple of hours.
Sure, Doublin has an extra gear that I’ve never possessed, and I’m sure not going to find at my age. So if you want to put a big, fat asterisk on all of this, go right ahead.
I’m still claiming it. Just let me have my moment.