So I've come to realize that blogging on SP is cathartic and is best done whether I'm feeling up or down, whether I have good news or bad news, yadda-yadda-yadda.
In my last blog ( bit.ly/1kZjKjb
) I talked about how I was on the verge of over-training to exhaustion. So I made a few adjustments (I ditched the extra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class at work), and, wouldn't you know, I got one hellacious cold and missed about 4 days in a row of my regular workouts.
Overall, I feel much better!
But there's a bit of a problem....actually this problem has been brewing for a while and I don't like it.....hence the blog.
About 5 or 6 weeks ago, as I was doing my last deadlift of the day (I think it was 325 lbs), I felt a little "Pop-Pop" in my lower back. It was very weird. It wasn't painful at all, it was almost like cracking a knuckle....but it was in my lower back so I became concerned.
With the wisdom of my 54 years, I knew better than to keep pushing and decided to call it quits for the day.
No pain at all, but I kept thinking about what the hell it could have been. I did some Google searches and read a few bodybuilding forums that talked about guys that experienced similar lower back pops.....but they all described them as debilitating and had them laid up for weeks!
I did not want to go there!
The next week was my designated de-load weak. So on deadlift day, I cut the weight back to 185 lbs....then felt the same "Pop-Pop". Now I was worried. No pain again, but two weeks in a row of strange popping sounds in my lower back, I decided something was up. I called it quits and began to fret.
I went back to the books, re-read everything I could devour on deadlift form (my favorite is still Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength.....excruciating detail on form and anatomy....and kinda funny too!) I focused on keeping my abs tight, my butt and hips way back, my back tightened to support my spine.
I eased up on deadlift days. I still pulled heavy weights, but once I made my designated number of reps for the day, I called it quits....I didn't go to failure and I always stopped while I still felt like I had some gas in the tank. I took it slow, thought about every move, every body part, went over and over in my mind how to position my body before committing to the lift.
Last week I pulled 335 lbs for 3 reps and felt real good, tight and strong throughout the whole session. That was a good sign, because next week, on 26 Feb, I have my next powerlifting meet!
Last October I lifted 915 lbs between deadlifts, squats, and bench press (see blog bit.ly/1dkQH6K
). I have been hoping to add 50-60 lbs to that next week. I think I can add 20-30 lbs each on squats and bench press, but the deadlifts have me worried.
Because you see today....I failed.
Today's goal was to lift 355 lbs....once. I did all the warmups, and on my penultimate set, I lifted 315 lbs for 3 reps. But I worked real hard for it.
For my last set, I got my hands around the bar with 355 lbs on it, pulled....got the bar 3 inches off the ground.....and down it went.
I walked around a bit, caught my breath, tried again....and failed.
I took 20 lbs off, tried to lift 335 lbs....and failed again.
I think the memory of those "Pop-Pops" are still in my head and have me being uber-cautious...which I suppose is a good thing (My motto for working out is, "First, do no harm")
But I have an ego.....yes, I know it's hard to believe, but I am plagued with a competitive streak and sometimes my ego just won't let go.....I want to do really well in next week's meet!
In October's meet, I pulled 355 lbs on the deadlift, a personal record for me and it felt great. My goal was to surpass that by at least 20 lbs this time.....but after today, I'm not even sure if I can pull 355 again.
Now, as with any competition, the adrenaline and the cheers of buds and the crowd helps you push past many barriers....but in this case, I'm not 100% convinced I should push it that hard.
So we'll see....there's no time-table pushing me to increase the weights, there's really no pressure, other than that of my own making, to keep going up....and I really don't want to be here in a week or 2 blogging about how I screwed up my back from working out too hard. Sometimes in war, it's best to retreat and live to fight another day.
Bottom line....it feels good to get it out and put it down on paper (or whatever we want to call blogging). Thanks for reading.
Have a great night Spark friends!