Ouch! I was hoping this sort of thing was behind me, but I guess it isn’t.
My lower back is often a tiny bit sore, typically from squats and deadlifts, but it’s not debilitating sore. Just the typical DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) you’d expect from working out with weights. Nothing out of the ordinary. I don’t even ice or heat my back or take any sort of pain relief.
This morning at the gym, I felt pretty confident with my squats. There’s always that moment when I start lifting my working weight off the pegs when I’m testing my balance, but once I start the squat, I’m fine. A little soreness in the lower back, but again, nothing out of the ordinary.
Then came the deadlifts, but I’ll get to that in a minute.
Here’s what I did today. No bonus sets or increasing the weights beyond the plan. Roughly 120 second rest periods between sets.
Barbell Back Squats in Squat Rack
Barbell Close Grip Bench Press
Barbell Bent Leg Deadlift
Overhead Barbell Press
Standing Barbell Curl
Body Weight Upon Awakening:
190.1 lbs/ ~86.22 kg/ ~13.57 stone
Height (for reference):
6′ 2 3/4″ or 74.75 inches/1.89865 meters or 189.865 cm
Like I said, the squats went OK. This being the start of week 3, the weights go up to more challenging levels as the number of reps decrease. Although the really “big guys” at any gym would think what I do is pretty pathetic, I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got…
…and as I’m about to relate, sometimes that’s not good enough.
Close grip presses went pretty well. The 100 pound warm up was a snap and 135 pounds for my working set may have been about 5 pounds too light. I felt like I could have done a bit more.
But I was still feeling a little groggy from getting up early so I figured I wouldn’t push it.
I didn’t think I was pushing it. Not until the deadlifts.
The 2 warm up sets went OK, but I think it was pulling 220 pounds off of the floor that tweaked the lower right area of my back. I knew something happened, but powered through the first set anyway. I even made it through the second set and completed all 5 reps, but it may have been too much.
I decided to do my overhead presses at the weight bench rather than going over to the squat rack, which meant loading up the barbell and setting it on the floor. Bending over to pick it up was definitely an “ouch” moment. A 70 pound working weight was “doable” but for that last rep for each working set, I had to kick into overdrive.
For my curls, I could have used the fixed weight barbells, but there was a fellow doing crossover cable flies and he was leaning so far into the pull, that he was hovering right over the rack where those barbells are kept.
I decided to stay where I was and keep using the variable weight barbell. To save myself from bending over, after each set, I put the barbell back on the rack, even when I didn’t need to add weight plates.
Just as for the overhead presses, the working weight for my curls seemed set about right, since that last rep of the last set was a real “groaner.”
And that was it. No bonus sets. No extras. No hanging exercises. It was just a minute before 6 a.m. when I finished and with my back feeling none too well, I called it a day. My victory was hitting my goals and the fact that my waking bodyweight didn’t go up overnight (didn’t go down, either).
Naturally, bending is a problem, such as getting into and out of my car.
I didn’t want to reveal my “tweak” to my long-suffering wife, since she’s been periodically pestering me about overdoing it. She did notice that I was moving more slowly, but I told her I was just tired. I don’t think she entirely bought it, but she had to go to work while I hit the shower.
Little things like putting on socks and shoes are a struggle and I hope this resolves quickly.
I took a hot water bottle to work so I could use it to ice my back (oddly named thing given that I put cold stuff in it instead of hot). I just discovered that the lid wasn’t on tight and when the ice melted, it poured water on the floor under my desk. Good thing it all landed on the plastic mat instead of the carpet. All I needed was a bunch of paper towels to wipe it up.
But getting on the floor and getting up again wasn’t comfortable. Neither is sitting down and standing up, and I have to walk more slowly to baby my back.
I even broke down and took a couple of ibuprofen in the hopes that it would dull the pain and make me more maneuverable.
Just for fun, let’s take a look at week 3 for the previous circuit:
Barbell Back Squat in Squat Rack 4×5
Barbell Close Grip Bench Press 4×5
Barbell Bent Leg Deadlift 4×5
Barbell Overhead Press in Squat Rack 4×5
Barbell Standing Curls 4×5 plus 2 bonus sets
6x 75lbs/34.01kg (bonus)
6x 75lbs/34.01kg (bonus)
Barbell Back Squat in Squat Rack (bonus sets for practicing form)
6x 135lbs/61.23kg (parallel)
6x 135lbs/61.23kg (parallel)
6x 135lbs/61.23kg (parallel or below parallel)
Overhand Grip Body Hang w/Shoulders Engaged (bodyweight)
Dead Hang (bodyweight)
That’s a 10 pound increase in back squats for 5 reps, 15 pound increase for close grip presses, 15 pound increase for deadlifts, and 5 pound increases for both my overhead press and for curls.
Not bad. Of course, I tossed in a bunch of bonus sets and it was a Wednesday, so I only did Workout B one time that week. This time around, I’ll face deadlifts again on Friday.
Now I have to rehabilitate my back and see how I’m going to pull off Workout A for Wednesday.
But before that, my next challenge comes tonight when I start evening one of my sleep hack plan. Wish me luck. I could use the “Zzzzzzs”.
Live your life and forget your age.
―Norman Vincent Peale