For no apparent reason I woke up with chronic back pain again on Sunday. What started out as irritable stiffness soon turned in to all out back spasms by Wednesday morning.
This isn’t the first time I have had this and as some of you may well know the first thing that people like to point the finger at is the type of exercise I do.
This time it was nothing more than sleeping in a funny position.
I went to see a movement specialist on Tuesday who was horrified at my lack of hip mobility and said that he is sure that 98% of my back issues come from this problem. So I’m having my first session with him today.
I also went to see a Chiropractor yesterday who basically couldn’t do anything for me - so he referred me a specialist who practices Trigger Point Injection therapy. Basically this involves injecting the site of the muscle in spasm with injections of saline and Novocaine.
I had approximately 50-60 injections into my lower back and butt. I was going to count but I gave up after the second injection. This process basically induces a relaxation of the muscle which feels like when you get a twitchy eye (but in your bum and legs).
The relief was almost immediate and it felt like I was melting into the table I was laying on. I have woken up with more soreness and this is most likely due to bruising around the spine from the muscle contractions during the spasm - almost like the feeling you get after a heavy cramp. Sometimes it takes a few days to get the full feeling back.
Tonight I am seeing the movement specialist again tonight followed by the Chiropractor again on Friday along with more Chiropractor and Injections next Wednesday.
My main goal of this is to become more flexible in my hips and to relieve the pressure that this tightness puts on my back. The other things I need to look into are Yoga (I did it once before and quite enjoyed it) and stretching both in the morning and in the evening. I now need to learn what type of stretches I need to do, how long for and then I can start thinking about working out again.
Since I threw my back out last year, the day after doing a heavy deadlift WOD, I have been very wary of doing any sort of heavy deadlift. Spending the last 12 months concentrating on the ‘first pull’ in other lifts to practice my technique, starting position and making sure I don’t arch my back.
I can safely say that I think this type training has paid off. Last year I managed a 1 rep max of 160KG (352lbs) and it was an effort and made me feel very faint afterwards.
Last night my box posted a strength session of 5x3 deadlift increasing in weight we paired up and the guy I was working with, Chad, said he was going to start at 225lb (102kg). which for me was fine and I thought I would take it easy and see what happened.
- 3 - 225lb (102kg)
- 3 - 275lb (124kg)
- 3 - 305lb (138kg)
- 3 - 305lb (138kg)
- 3 - 335lb (151kg)
and all 3 of that last set went up easily. While concentrating on keeping my back straight by rotating my shoulders and loading my hamstrings by externally rotating my feet. A new 3 rep max without any defined deadlift programming.
We then moved on to the WOD which was..
8 Minute AMRAP
- 2 Rope Climbs
- 4 Deadlifts (95lb)
- 6 Push Press (95lb)
I managed 7 full rounds and got to 2 Push presses on my 8th.
this is what I have been missing in a long time, actual progress in both strength and METCON workouts. I don’t know if its the sudden appearance of Spring in NYC but I’m suddenly feeling a lot more motivated.
Weighted pull ups
Max time L-Sit x3
WOD - teams of 3
300 wall balls - 30lb med ball
200 kettlebell swings 70lb
My team were the only ones to go Rx in my class and we were the last to finish in 28:17
Wow that was intense.
I have been a member of Crossfit 5th Avenue in NYC since Thursday and I have been twice since then. After Thursday’s session I found it very difficult to move for 3 days - I guess that’s what happens after 4 months away from Crossfit.
I have been creeping the daily workouts that are posted on their blog each morning and I have come to the conclusion that whoever is doing the programming is a sadist!
- 100 Burpees - 3 Minute Rest
- 80 Kettlebell Swings @ 53lbs (24kg)
- 60 Box Jumps (24”)
- 40 Ball Slams (40lbs)
- 20 Pistols
Maybe it’s my 4 months off talking but suddenly I find myself going from ‘As Prescribed’ workouts to scaling everything. I’m struggling to put more then 5 Pull ups together and my hands have obviously turned into Princess Palms in my time off, because they hurt constantly. I need to build up some hard skin again soon!!
Lat night we did a great little AMRAP
- 5 Handstand Pushups (I scaled to inverted box pushups)
- 7 Power Cleans @ 145lbs (I scaled to 115lbs)
- 12 Toes to Bar (I didn’t scale these but I ripped my hands to shreds)
Before that we did 8X3 Box squats (on the minute every minute per set) and a 10,10,8,6 Good Mornings.
How my Hamstrings aren’t tight I don’t know but I’m feeling really good today. (scale is down from 219lbs - 209lbs since last Wednesday) and my eating has been spot on. I even managed to make my Paleo Porridge this morning because my whey powder came in.
- Mash a banana
- 15g non salted Cashews (chopped)
- 14g of non salted Almonds (chopped)
- a large spoon of flax seed
- 1 or 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder to taste
Its pretty amazing.
Tonight I run - 6 miles around Central Park
I have been avoiding writing this post for a long time, maybe 5-6 months as I felt it would symbolise defeat and no one likes to admit they have failed.
This might get long so bare with me.
I am falling back into a lifestyle that I vowed never to return. My pre Tumblr days which involved lots of sitting and not much exercise. Since I moved to New York I have only been out for 2 runs. The first run was out with my roommate and after the first 2 mile I had to stop every mile just to catch my breath and stretch.
I feel unfit, fat and useless and I have been hiding in baggy clothes.
I went out for drinks on Saturday night, to celebrate Jenn moving to New York 3 years ago and one of her friends birthdays. As we were going to a fancy rooftop bar I was rightly told to get dressed up so I pulled out a pair of Jeans that I haven’t worn in about 8 months and one of my work shirts.
Lets just say I felt out of place all night and was constantly thinking that I looked awful. Not only that but I felt awful too.
So yesterday I hatched a plan to get back to where I was last November when I was at my fittest and most importantly, my healthiest.
So lets get this over with, shall we?
The Nitty Gritty
This is me now, as of 7:30 EST this evening.
I think, if you have been following me for a while, you can agree I am a long way from where I was.
So where do I go from here?
I need to find a CrossFit gym here in New York, I know there are lots to choose from but as I haven’t been paid for a full month I’m not sure how much I will have left over to drop $200 a month (plus Tax). In the mean time I will need to make do with what I have available to me.
- Central Park. This most famous piece of public space is right on my door step, so there is no excuse not to get into a running plan and stick with it.
- Work Gym. Not a gym as such more like a 12’x12’ room with a treadmill and some dumbbells. This will give me some basic equipment to write some very basic CrossFit exercises.
Tonight I started. I got home from work at just after 6pm and put on my new running shoes that I bought at the NYC Marathon expo and went for it.
1 Loop of Central Park
I had one goal….
Not to stop.
I didn’t stop (apart from the stop lights as I made my way to the park)
So I think I can class this as a small victory, even if it was one of my slowest runs in a year.
Tonight Stef is cooking a wonderful home cooked meal for me, as she still cannot move back in to her apartment due to storm damage.
Tomorrow, I have plans to do a makeshift CrossFit workout in the work gym.
This is 45pounds, 2.0
It needs to happen again.