First of all, that number is important because it's the first time I've lifted over 400 lbs. But that takes math to realize. 405, on the other hand, is a 45 lb Olympic barbell with 4 45 lb plates on each side. Each 90 lb increment has visual impact. At least, if I performed it in a gym instead of at home, where I don't own 8 45 lb plates, so it looks like this instead:
|Look at that bar bow!|
That's 4 45s, 4 35s and 4 10s. That's also about a decade of work represented right there.
Every lifter who does more than dabble has a lift. It's more often squat or benchpress than deadlift, but those are the big 3, because those are the powerlifting competition lifts. Shoulder press would be one of mine if I didn't have to perform them standing due to shoulder inflexibility and pain, and I never have a home gym with a ceiling high enough to do so. Anyway, everyone who's kind of serious about lifting has one lift that they stick with, and that they use as their strength gauge.
Mine is deadlift. I don't know exactly what it is about the lift. It has obvious advantages. It uses more muscles than any other single-movement lift. It is definite; either you can pick the weight up or you can't. If I hadn't been able to pick up that 405 lbs, it wouldn't be sitting there on that rack. But for me, there are disadvantages too. I have really long legs, but short arms. I'm not built to deadlift.
But I've stuck with it. I have a day every week dedicated to only deadlift. Push muscles get mashed together. So do pull muscles. But deadlifts get their own day. In fact, I've had more than a few hectic or lazy weeks in the past year where deadlifts were the only exercise I managed in an entire week.
The only other productive thing I've ever been as consistent at is writing. That's 10 years. 20 years if you talk "artistic endeavors" instead of "writing," because I switched from drawing to music to writing. But the weird thing about weight lifting is that it's often not that fun, and at a certain point, it's not that productive. Basic lifting is healthy, but I'm more likely to injure myself at this point than get any benefits. And I lift alone. When you move more than 315 lbs at a gym, you'll get some people watching. Lift 405, and you can really get some attention. I've never been a member at a serious lifting gym, so I've never even seen anyone but myself lift a bar with 8 plates. But I lift at home now, so I don't get to show off. My dog doesn't even watch me lift.
It's a weird thing. I can't really explain it. Picking heavy weight up. Setting it down. Stubbornly. Relentlessly.
495 lbs is the next milestone of this sort. The air gets real rarefied around there, but I don't know if I'll ever make it. I'm closing in on age 32. In a few years I'm going to hit the age where my strength will plateau, then head downhill. I recently spent a year nursing a torn hamstring (I had to choose deadlifting or jogging. I've obviously made my choice). I think I can make 10 plates, but it'll require no more serious injuries.
Regardless, I'm going to try for it.