How Many More Injuries Have I Got?

November 27, 2011

So updates have been non-existent. What’s my excuse? There isn’t one that’s good enough!

Training had been going well. In October, I began following Jason Ferruggia’s Minimalist Training program. It’s a great program. It cuts away a lot of the stuff that’s non-essential and allows beginners like me to focus on lifting without overcomplicating things.

Basically, my weeks looked like this…

I’d train in the gym three days a week on non-consecutive days and I’d focus on three exercises.

  1. The Squat
  2. The Overhead Press
  3. Pull Ups

I started out pretty quickly and through October made some impressive gains. I was eating well and getting plenty of sleep which helped. For conditioning I’d be at a boxing gym on Friday nights, jumping rope, running sprints and also some bag work. My form was OK for a beginner and the regular gym sessions allowed me to focus on improving every other day.

This is continued into November and I was putting up numbers which I didn’t really think I’d achieve so quickly. I took my squat up to 240lbs for 5×5, got up to 90lbs on the overhead press (which helped with my scrawny shoulders) and put up PR numbers on pull ups too.

Then I decided to test my max pull ups.

This wasn’t a bad decision in itself. I rarely take myself to failure when I train and always aim for about 80% max. I just don’t see the point of going any further on a regular basis. Using pull ups as an example, I’ll do 6×5 three or four times a week but I’ll rarely go past 8 in a single set. I knew my max number would be going up so figured it’d be a good night to test it.

I wanted to be fresh so I tried it first thing in the gym. It was pretty empty so I found a free set of bars and got going. I flew past my last PR of 12 and stopped at 17. As I lowered myself, I felt a twinge in my right lat but didn’t think anything more of it and finished the session with push ups, pistols and jump rope.

I woke up the following morning in pretty bad pain and knew straight away I’d made the stoopid mistake of not warming up properly before I attempted my max. Schoolboy error.

That was just under a week ago and I’ve done little else in terms of training since. My back is only now beginning to recover and full range of movement is returning.

What’s the lesson? Well, I think when we train that we always have another injury in us but if we’re not careful we’ll run out of recoveries. I’m lucky that time is on my side but niggling injuries add up and if we don’t take care of them they can put us out of the game before we know it.

This has been a pretty humbling lesson to not let me ego get the better of me. I’ll be 27 soon and I’m learning that it’s time to start taking proper care of myself if I’m going to be able to keep going well into old age!

Healthy joints, mobility and flexibility are just as important to me as strength and speed (if not more so) yet 95% of the time is spent on the latter. It’s time to re-address that balance! The work of Steve Maxwell & Pavel Tsatsouline is essential reading!

That’s all for now. I hope to get back into the gym later this week.

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