Day 72 – Knowing When To Back Off

Today, I completed Session B of the Beginner Program from Jason Ferruggia’s “Muscle Gaining Secrets 2.0″ program.  This session was a Lower Body dominant routine.

For some reason, I just didn’t have it today in the weight room.  Not much after I completed my general warm-up, I could tell that something was off.  After my first warm-up set of Barbell Back Squats, I definitely knew something wasn’t quite right.

My inner thighs/groin area felt really, really tight.  I did some stretching which seemed to help.  Until I did my second warm-up set.  Tight, tight, tight!!  A little more stretching should do the trick.

After a few minutes worth of stretching, I moved on to the first working set of squats.  They were better than the warm up sets.  Maybe I’ll be ok?

After a little more stretching & another working set of squats, it was apparent that my legs were going to be stubborn today.  My inner thigh was starting to get tight again.

I decided at that point to forgo the remaining 3 sets of squats.  At one point in time, I would have continued on with squats.  But not today.  I learned a valuable lesson last fall when it comes to “toughing it out”.

It was the last Saturday of September 2012 when I learned my lesson.  I was completing the last few sets of Dumbbell Shoulder Presses when I felt a little pinch on the left side of my mid/lower back.

It hurt but not enough that I felt the need to stop lifting.  I finished up the set & racked the dumbbells.  After my rest period, I picked the dumbbells up & got into starting position.

Uh-oh, something’s not right.  I feel a tightness in the left lat area that wasn’t there before.  But I complete the set anyway.  I racked the weights, rested & then got into position for my last set of presses for the day.

Now my left lat was REALLY barking.  It was as if someone was jamming something between my ribs.  Did I stop?  Of course not!  I pushed through the pain & completed the session.

I did my post exercise stretching, showered & everything felt fine.  Until the next day.  That’s when I discovered I had torn a bit of cartilage between my ribs.  It’s what happens when you lift a little heavier than you should & you use bad form as a result.  The problem was made worse when I didn’t stop after the first sign of real trouble.

It cost me the first full 2 weeks of October in the weight room.  Actually closer to 4 weeks when you consider that the last 2 weeks of October I was still nursing the injury.  My lifting sessions over that 2 week span were noting short of blah.

The timing couldn’t have been worse.  October was the last month I spent with my former trainer.  I basically cost myself that last month because I was too stubborn to have backed off when I knew I should have.

There’s a difference between pain & injury.  The pain I experienced today was quickly moving into the injury department if I wasn’t careful.  So today when things didn’t feel right, I moved on to the Deadlift portion of the session.

Deadlifts went better than squats.  Thankfully I was able to complete all 4 sets with no leg issues.

I wrapped up the lifting portion of the session with Barbell Curls:

After the last set of curls, I completed two, four-minute “Tabata” style jump rope segments.  20 seconds of fast-paced jumping followed by 10 seconds of rest.  By fast-paced, I mean I was jumping as fast as I possibly could.

In 4 minutes, I was able to complete 8 of these 20 second work/10 second rest cycles.  I rested for minute & then did another 4 minute circuit.  Over the coming weeks, I will most likely stack another 2 or 3 cycles in during each Tabata session.

Even though the beginning of the session started off poorly, I was able to finish up strong.  By listening to my body, I was able to avoid injury.  Sure, I left a little bit on the table but I was able to walk away from the session in tact.  More importantly, I will be able to complete my next scheduled lifting session as a result.

2 thoughts on “Day 72 – Knowing When To Back Off

    • Thanks! I’m so close to the end of this 90 day transformation contest that I didn’t want to jeopardize the last few weeks…. Thanks again for the Tabata tip. I will be utilizing this training method over the next few weeks.

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