As many of you have heard I’ve been seeing a chiropractor twice a week for the past month plus due to all the severe pain I’ve been feeling in my back. I usually leave the office feeling slightly better than the norm but usually about the following day I feel the full effects aka relief. Enough to where it takes the edge off (much like switching from a sharp knife to a butter knife LOL). One thing I noticed for the past few sessions is that the pain has been lessened and my back really doesn’t crack at all compared to when I train. The 4 mm protrusion I have right now is there to stay and it will never get better.. It can only get worse. My dilemma is that I’m a very active person that loves to stay in shape so I’ve had to do some serious thinking and come up with a plan that doesn’t make things worse, yet still gets me in the gym.
Since squats and deadlifting are out, I really don’t want to solely focus on being a bench press specialist trying to best my 410 raw max mainly because IMHO you DO indeed need to hit those lifts hard in some form or fashion to aid you with the bench. I also made the decision not to follow through with standing overhead pressing with a barbell either because once again I just don’t see the risk to benefit ratio in pressing 225+ over my head as that’s a lot of compression on my spine. Many people offer a myriad of opinions with regards to strict OHP’s. In my experience, if you’re looking to drive up your bench press max, it’s 100% going to help you compared to if you’re a bodybuilder where I’m more in the DeFranco camp where you don’t need it if you’re doing your heavy chest pressing variations followed by a lot of different isolation work for the delts. I’ve personally seen a lot of results sticking to heavy lateral raises ss w/ yoke work than doing something like seated BTN pressing. Different strokes for different folks and regardless of which side of the fence you’re standing on, the fact remains that I’m going to elicit maximal hypertrophy without any spinal compression.
Serious back pain 24/7 combined with coming to terms with the fact that you simply cannot do a lot of things you used to take for granted in the gym any longer without risking a full spinal fusion surgery will lead even the strongest of us towards depression. Depression in turn leads towards the unwanted weight gain where you stop giving a shit about what you eat and that’s where I was as of last week. What I’ve always found to be the case is that the more muscle mass you carry makes it easier to shred down. So for now my routine will be fairly condensed focusing on one main exercise using a reverse pyramid for 3 sets (eccentric based) followed by compound exercises with very short rest periods. This AM I did my first chest/shoulder/tri workout and was pretty wiped out. I also noticed that the weights were drastically cut in half which I’m more than fine with. It’s a maximal effort, just a different kind of effort where I’m going from max strain with big weights to now trying to go all out for max reps while sticking to true 3-4 sec eccentrics. Once I pack some muscle back on, I’ll start reducing my caloric intakes and start focusing on fat loss. The key for me at this point is to set a baseline to build off of and reclaim my body, mind, and especially spirit back from the abyss.