“We are Forerunners. Guardians of all that exists. The roots of the Galaxy have grown deep under our careful tending. Where there is life, the wisdom of our countless generations has saturated the soil. Our strength is a luminous sun, towards which all intelligence blossoms… And the impervious shelter, beneath which it has prospered.”

Phoning it in

by | Aug 28, 2019 | gym idiots, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Unfortunately my motivation and ability to write anything much of consequence have both been quite poor over the last couple of days, so I’m going to have to dig up an old favourite of mine:

As I’ve said before, every single word is literal truth. It is an extremely funny sketch, especially if you are a lifter, but beneath the comedy lie some rather uncomfortable truths about lifters. The fact is that we are a very weird bunch – as Dom points out, we’re the weird metalhead kids from high school, the ones who like hurting ourselves for fun. For us, pain and suffering are accepted as badges of honour, and respect is given only in terms of whether you can lift the weights, and nothing else.

This mindset drives us to do some decidedly strange and sometimes stupid things.

A couple of weeks back, I was squatting 255lbs for my last set of 3, when my spine went ping. (There was no popping sound or anything – if that had been the case, I probably would be recovering from serious surgery right now – but I knew full well what had happened.) I was doing squats in a very crowded gym, when my body wasn’t really feeling up to the challenge, on a raised platform with a squat rack – which is generally not where I like to do squats, especially when re-racking the weight is made more difficult by the weird height settings on the pins.

I’ve had a few lower back injuries in the past, so I know how to recover from them, but the process is deeply unpleasant even so. The first 3 days are very painful and you are always extremely limited in terms of mobility. After that, as long as you take it easy and do plenty of stretches that extend out your spine without lateral rotation, you can take a lot of the pressure off the nerves being pushed by your herniated disc. Eventually the disc will more or less settle down and you can get back into the gym.

But when you do this, you have to be ultra careful. The probability of forcing your disc to herniate again is very, very high. And unless you’ve spent literally months out of the gym, your lower back will begin to shoot out warning signs at you the moment that you start adding weight for your work sets.

Nonetheless, I was able to get a solid 5×5 workout at 225lbs. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t really much fun, and I did have to use a belt, which I normally would not bother with for what I consider to be relatively light weights. But it had to be done.

Deadlifts, though, went much better. I was able to pull my usual sets without problems. I promised myself that I would stop at 3 reps of 315lbs, but once I got those reps and nothing went wrong, I figured, “what the hell, why not”, and did another two.

And then, because I’m a lifter and we’re stupid, I went and did my usual set of 3 x 365, followed by 1 x 405.

Let’s be clear about something: this wasn’t clever and it probably wasn’t wise. But that is the reality of being a lifter. You feel a deep-seated need to push yourself beyond what most people would consider safe, sensible, or sane.

My back is actually doing all right this morning – a bit sore, but that’s to be expected. I imagine that the Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) will really set in tomorrow, as that is usually how it goes, and I will have a tough time even so much as walking, but that is just the price that you have to pay.

In the meantime… as Coach Ramsey would say: “Get out there and train”.

Oh, and speaking of Coach Ramsey and his martial arts badassery:

Yeah, I laughed.

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