New Training Journal!

This is a new training journal which I have started to give the readers an insight of mine and Dave's progress as we prepare for the Mr. GA 2002. Some of it may be crude because I'm telling it like it is and read at your own risk.

8/12/02 Monday - Injured lower back

This is the first day after my injury and it's really hurting. I'm having trouble bending over to even tie my shoe. I thought I could bounce back from this injury quickly as I always have in the past but I'm afraid that this is going to take awhile to heal. I'm not sure if it's my lower back muscles or my lower spine but whatever it is, it hurts like a bitch!

I'm also trying to sleep on my back because my chiropractor once told me that it's bad for your back to sleep on your stomach. Even sleeping on my back has become slightly painful with my injury. Hopefully, it'll improve in the days to come.

8/13/02 Tuesday - Injured lower back

It's been two days and still no improvement. I'm beginning to accept the idea that I'm going to be sitting out of the gym for awhile. The only thing that keeps me positive is the fact that I have been hitting it pretty hard all summer and that my body truly does need a break. After all, when you train, you break your body down only to let it build back up, right?

8/14/02 Wednesday - Injured lower back

The third day and my lower back is starting to feel a bit better. I'm still not going to chance it by doing anything strenuous. It's lazy time for me and I'm going to enjoy it.

8/15/02 Thursday - Injured lower back

Taking all of this time off is helping me immensely. My lower back is feeling pretty good now and I'm itching to get back in the gym. However, I need to allow it to fully recover and with the magnitude of my injury, a mere four days is not enough.

8/16/02 Friday - Injured lower back

It's been nearly a week now and my lower back feels normal again. No pains at all but just to be safe I'm going to wait until Sunday to train again.

8/17/02 Saturday - Injured lower back

This will be my last day of being lazy and it's back to the office tomorrow to train some legs. I figured what better way to test my lower back strength than by squatting? I'll be extra careful this time, however.

8/18/02 Sunday - Quads/hamstrings

Today would be my first day of training since injuring my lower back in that unfortunate incident last Sunday doing deadlifts. I guess you can never be too careful. At any rate, I was glad to be back and I wanted to be a little more cautious this time. After all, you can't train if you're injured. I decided to train with my roommate Nick today because he's wanting a good ass kicking in the gym and he knows I'm more than happy to dish out some pain.

I began with leg extensions to warm up the quads and knees a bit. Using 60, 100 and 150 pounds, I performed 15, 15 and 10 reps, respectively. Now it was time to get serious. After a long hiatus from the gym, I wasn't sure how heavy I should squat especially since squats do involve your lower back to some degree. I loaded the bar with 225 and cranked out 15 reps.

After some stretching, I loaded the bar with 315 and cranked out 10 more reps. I rested a bit and let Nick do his set and used 315 for five more reps. I then loaded the bar with 365 and cranked out seven reps to positive failure just to test the waters. It felt pretty good and my back was doing fine so far.

I then dropped the weight back down to 315 and cranked out 10 more reps just for old time's sake. By this point, my legs were already hurting like hell and I just wanted to leave but I didn't. I then went to the leg extension machine and performed two sets of 15 reps each using 100 lbs. Now it was time to do some lying leg curls with my feet together on the padding.

Using 100 lbs for my first set, I cranked out 15 reps. I then increased the weight to 150 lbs and cranked out another 15 reps. One more increase would be all I could handle for that day. I jumped to 180 lbs and cranked out 10 reps to positive failure. I then dropped the weight down to 150 lbs and cranked out two last sets of 15 reps each. What an amazing pump! That was it for me but for Nick, it was a different story. I stayed after my short workout and thoroughly kicked his ass. He after a couple of sets of hack squats, he made his way to the bathroom to puke up everything he had eaten a couple of hours before. He said it was a ton of food but it was worth it. If you want to make gains, you can't be afraid of some pain. Nuff said!

As you may have read, I injured my lower back doing deadlifts exactly a week ago. I have never injured myself doing deadlifts before and I didn't feel any different when I performed them. I guess you can never tell when something's going to give. I know that in my case, I probably bit off more than I could chew, which is like me sometimes and I paid the price. If you're training with incorrect form and you're being honest with yourself, you need to rectify this problem immediately.

Why? Well, if you don't, you'll end up seriously hurting yourself. I'm telling you this so you can avoid a ton of hassle in the future. I mean, what good would it do you to not be able to work out at all? NONE! So for your own sake start training with good form or don't train at all. If you don't know how to train with good form, ask someone who knows. If you don't know anyone that knows, then I suggest you get a book and follow the directions accordingly.

Flex Readers

Also, be sure to take safety precautions when training with heavy poundages that could prove dangerous. If you've been following FLEX magazines lately, then you will have noticed that Jean-Pierre Fux, a seasoned professional bodybuilder, was doing a photo shoot while squatting 675 pounds for reps. He was in the power rack and didn't have the safety bars set.

While squatting, his knees gave out on him and the bar came crashing down. The picture was horrible! I couldn't begin to imagine 315 pounds, much less 675 pounds come crashing down on me. The moral of the story here is to take safety measures when training. Don't perform heavy lifts without a good spotter. If you do, you're playing with fire and fire does eventually burn.

"Without struggle, there can be no progress."