Nov 152015

So I completed the first full week of my new training program. I updated the first week with the weight and reps I completed and it’s certainly humbling compared to what I was able to lift less than a year ago. It shows how quickly one can lose strength especially if one sits at a computer all day. My first day was upper strength and I walked out of the gym feeling like someone had hit me in the stomach as hard as they could, this in spite of me not doing any direct ab work. I don’t ever remember anything like this previously and again shows how weak my core has become sitting at a desk all day and then coming home and sitting on the couch watching TV or sitting at my computer.

Next was lower hypertrophy and again slowly making progress on my squat and feeling some tightness and soreness in my lower back, especially my right upper glute. This was an issue the last time I started training and it looks to be back again. Upper hypertrophy felt good, tiring but good with no punched in the stomach feeling afterwards. I did not train on Friday as I wanted to attend my daughter’s volleyball game. Her team was playing in the city’s division three championships. One of the reason I like a 4 day split is it gives me bit more flexibility so when something does come up I can work around it and still get my training in. To accomplish this I went and trained lower strength on Saturday.

I had my mind set on 225 lbs for at least 4 reps and I was happy I was able to do it however that lower back pain I had experienced earlier in the week was back with a vengeance. I pushed for another set of 4 and my back growled a little more. Undeterred because sometimes I am a pig headed barbarian warrior, I went for my third and final set but had to stop after two reps as I knew I was going to seriously hurt something if I continued. With my back howling I continued with deadlifts which forced me to go with lighter weight. I had been hoping to deadlifting 315 lbs but settled for 225 lbs. If I was smart I should have probably skipped deadlifts all together but it seems I always have to push and I was determined to complete this first week of training.

I feel I often get results because I do know how to push myself more than others but it’s a double edge sword that can easily get you injured and set you back in your training had you just been a bit smarter about things. Where that line is for you is for you to decide and only you. I just hate seeing people stop at the first sign of struggle or discomfort and never make any progress because they can’t mentally push through a bit of discomfort.

In any event the reason I am having this pain is due to a combination of:

  • Insufficient hip mobility
  • Weak posterior chain (think glute and hamstrings)
  • Weak abdominals
  • Tight hip flexors
  • Tight lower back

This is from an article from Syatt Fitness which you can read more about here. I also think this is a good article that explains….

“Most people live sedentary lives – drive to work in the morning, sit at a desk for 8 hours, drive home, flop on the couch for 5 hours (usually eating hot garbage for dinner), take a dump, then go to bed. Rinse and repeat. The end result is a stiff, immobile, tight body. The main areas affected are usually the hip flexors and lower back (lumbar spine).”

It then goes on to give some suggestions on how to fix this.

So that is how my first week went, humbling how little I can now lift and even with that I am struggling with issues. I will be working on my mobility by doing some of the prescribed exercise at home over the coming weeks.

  3 Responses to “Week One Recap”

  1. Hey VG,
    Don’t beat yourself up about where you are at the moment.
    You are extremely lucky to have been there before, you know what it’s like to go from zero to hero! The newbies don’t have that luxury. So use your experience to get you back there and beyond and don’t injure yourself on the way, however tempting it may be to put that extra weight on the bar.
    Did you ever hear the one about ‘the straw that broke the Camels back!’ Or did you Mum never tell you ‘that your eyes are bigger than your belly?’ When you took too much to eat and couldn’t finish it!

    Lift Strong!


    • Thanks Graham but don’t worry, while I do push hard I know when to back off, hence stopping on the 2 rep of the third set. The base weight is now in the books and will go up slowly over time now. Tonight’s upper strength workout is proof positive as reps and or weights went up across the board. The body is remembering and adapting quickly and while it does creak and groan at times it’s holding up. I have found something else that I feel is going to help me a lot and I will share it once I have this next weeks training completed.

      As always I appreciate your advice, wisdom and friendship! 🙂 Oh and have you ever hear of this famous quote? “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

  2. Yes, very true!

    Especially when there’s a large dose of iron involved!

    You must have that newbie feeling mixed with a fair amount of frustration at having to bide your time all over again.
    Any way, welcome back, another one keeping it real for the ‘old boys’.


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