T Nation

Fat And Injured!!

I was looking for Eric Cressey’s locker room to post this there, but didn’t know which thread to pick, so I’ll make this here in hopes that he might see it and chime in. If not, I’ll take whatever advice I can get from anyone else.

So I’m now fat and injured. I got lazy and fat from canceling my gym membership, and my training with CT to save up money for my big move from NY to NM. I was planning on trying the V-Diet while not lifting just to keep fat off, but then decided it might be easier to over-eat and lose fat later in hopes of saving more muscle. Either way, bad ideas.

So after about 2 months of not training, and eating like shit, I load up my Uhaul with everything from my storage and my house. I drive for 3 days, about 10-12 hours per day, and durring my last day of driving, I get a pain in my middle/lower back, on the right side.

It was like someone pulled the muscle to the right of my spine, and stretched it until it tore…at least that’s what it felt like.

My first night in the new house, it’s late so we decide to keep the stuff in the truck, and sleep on the floor. Just laying on the floor, with my knees up was fine, until I tried to lift my butt up to turn on my side. I could barely roll over because the pain was too bad in my lower back.

It seemed to get better with 2 days of rest, and I was able to lay on my back and lift my butt up at will with no pain.

So thinking everything was fine, I put together my new power rack, and decide to lift.

I get under the bar to bench with only 135lbs, and warm up a little. I feel a little tension in my back, but nothing painful…UNTIL I decide to try pull-ups.

As soon as I started to pull my self up, I get an excruciating pain in the right side of my lower/middle back. It felt like someone took a burning knife to my back.

So I stopped and waited for today to try just benching and maybe 1 arm rows if I could take it.

I was able to do 1 arm db rows without a problem, but then I got under only 205lbs on the bench, and could only lower it before I got that pain in my back again. I had to set it on the safety pins and crawl out from under it.

I have built my bench up to 365 with CT’s help, only about 2 - 2.5 months ago, and now I can’t touch 205 because of my back.

I didn’t even try deadlifts or squats yet for fear of injuring myself even more, although lifting 2 80lb dumbbells to get ready for rows seemed fine.

Any ideas on how to train to recover, without being able to press, or do any vertical pulling movements?

I have an adjustable bench, 390lbs of weights, a power rach, and a Walmart ez curl bar, and dumbbells with about 200lbs of weights for them.

I also have many different sizes of bands from elitefts. And 2, 6" foam rollers (3 feet long) that I’ve never used.

THIS SUCKS! I finaly get motivated to lift again, and this shit happens, ALL JUST FROM DRIVING A FREAKING UHAUL TRUCK!

Any help appreciated.

As frustrating as this will be, I would start very slowly and with light weights to get your body adjusted to lifting again.

Don’t push yourself too hard, only do 1-3 sets per exercise with lighter weights and 8-12 reps just to get back in the groove.

If you can, see a chiropractor or massage therapist and continue to work on some prehab/rehab exercises.

Try to get back to eating clean and drinking a lot of water too.

Your body should adjust quickly, and then you’ll be back to lifting big weights again. I know that it’s hard to back off and start light, but it’s a really good way to get back in the groove. I’ve had to do this in the past when dealing with shoulder and knee issues.

jumping jacks, walk, jog, sprint, pushups

if you can’t do the above you should see a doctor.

If you can, then you might want to try and figure out what the pain is. Is it a lat muscle strain, or a lower back pain? I don’t have a lot of low back pain so I can’t give any recommendations on how to help that, but if its a muscle pull. Ice it for a day, then start doing very light weight exercises for the lats. With that you can do it every day increasing the range of motion. Stick with the pushups and jumping jacks for a week, then you should be fine with bench pressing, and squatting. Then work you way back.

Jumping jacks are fine. Sprints, no way. I was playing with my daughter, chasing her around the house, and when I pushed off to run after her, it tweaked my back. Not nearly as bad as when I attempted the pull ups though.

Push ups are okay, but if I try to do them fast, it starts to hurt.

I can twist my back, and I can feel where it hurt, but there’s no pain when I twist. If I try to twist while holding something (adding a little resistance) it starts to hurt.

I just can’t imagine how it started to hurt just from sitting in the truck. Maybe it got weakened from lack of use, but I was moving heavy stuff from my house with no problems, and there wasn’t any soreness from the move for the 2 first days of driving.

It also seems like every time I keep testing to see if the pain is still going to be there, I end up hurting it worse.

I tried doing pull-ups with a band tied around the bar, and putting my feet in the band to give assistance, but it still hurt like crazy.

My wife and I did a brisk walk outside and it felt pretty good. I kind of wish I had a hip belt to do squats with. I don’t even want to try to hold a bar on my shoulders right now.

Just about any compound movement would hurt. Maybe I’ll try a month of isolation stuff, and see what I can get away with. I’m starting the Velocity Diet too, to try and get rid of some of the excess fat, and wanted to be able to lift heavy to preserve muscle.

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
As frustrating as this will be, I would start very slowly and with light weights to get your body adjusted to lifting again.

Don’t push yourself too hard, only do 1-3 sets per exercise with lighter weights and 8-12 reps just to get back in the groove.

If you can, see a chiropractor or massage therapist and continue to work on some prehab/rehab exercises.

Try to get back to eating clean and drinking a lot of water too.

Your body should adjust quickly, and then you’ll be back to lifting big weights again. I know that it’s hard to back off and start light, but it’s a really good way to get back in the groove. I’ve had to do this in the past when dealing with shoulder and knee issues.[/quote]

I was thinking about going back to something like the ABBH program with the V-Diet, before I knew how bad my back was. I might be able to handle lighter weights on the bench if I keep my back flat (I’m used to arching as much as possible), and maybe switch the 10x3 to something like 3x10 or 3x12.

The one arm rows were fine, but I’m worried about trying bb rows. I don’t know if it’s going to hurt until I try it, then I end up hurting it worse. I was really surprised that the one arm rows didn’t hurt. It’s like I can tense my lower back muscles without a problem, just can’t make them move any significant weight.

Hey, man. I’ll chime in cause I have to be careful with my back due to sitting at a desk all day.

I lift in the morning before work. When I deadlift, then sit in my chair, my back gets aggravated. I have injured it in the past and that is where I feel it.

I don’t think it was just the drive that did it. Your back was in a weakend state and then you sat in a UHAUL seat for God knows how long. Sometimes it takes a while for something like that to rear its ugly head.

When I hurt mine, back in college, I had been squating with horrible form. It wasn’t till I bent over to pick something up 3 or 4 hours later that it hit me, and I couldn’t stand up.

I think it will just take some time. Bust out our foam rollers (if it’s actually muscle and not your spine) and do as others have suggested:take it real easy.

[quote]cueball wrote:
Hey, man. I’ll chime in cause I have to be careful with my back due to sitting at a desk all day.

I lift in the morning before work. When I deadlift, then sit in my chair, my back gets aggravated. I have injured it in the past and that is where I feel it.

I don’t think it was just the drive that did it. Your back was in a weakend state and then you sat in a UHAUL seat for God knows how long. Sometimes it takes a while for something like that to rear its ugly head.

When I hurt mine, back in college, I had been squating with horrible form. It wasn’t till I bent over to pick something up 3 or 4 hours later that it hit me, and I couldn’t stand up.

I think it will just take some time. Bust out our foam rollers (if it’s actually muscle and not your spine) and do as others have suggested:take it real easy.[/quote]

Thanks, good point. My back might have been used to the 2 months of laziness, then got aggravated from moving the washer, dryer, beds etc with no “warm up”.

Plus, the extra fat I’m carrying around in front of my body probably didn’t help.

I would catch myself getting up from a chair, or from bed and walking kind of hunched forward, and would have to conscientiously try to correct it.

Just stick with activation/rom stuff for a while.

It sounds like you got tight in all the wrong places,loose in all of the coresponding wrong places, and your coordination is a.f.u.

Get ART done. Period.

I fucked around with “small” injuries like yours and was finally unable to train for years. Don’t be a dumb ass like I was. The only question you should be asking is: Anyone got a referral for a guy in my area?

If you can’t afford the session, save for it. Really, ART should be the end of this discussion.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
Just stick with activation/rom stuff for a while.[/quote]

I realize the urge to give advice is powerful. But the advice should be somewhat informed. Telling the OP to do anything other than find an ART practitioner is utter nonsense.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
SkyzykS wrote:
Just stick with activation/rom stuff for a while.

I realize the urge to give advice is powerful. But the advice should be somewhat informed. Telling the OP to do anything other than find an ART practitioner is utter nonsense.[/quote]

Fuck You, you arrogant asshole.

How in the bloody hell would you know any more than anybody else?

And since you seem to think you know shit about shinola, What do you think an ART practitioner will recomend?

How is that advice not informed or good, and why is yours better?

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
SkyzykS wrote:
Just stick with activation/rom stuff for a while.

I realize the urge to give advice is powerful. But the advice should be somewhat informed. Telling the OP to do anything other than find an ART practitioner is utter nonsense.[/quote]

Try ART or some other deep tissue massage. Dry needling is great also.

Foam rolling may also help.

I looked up an ART guy who’s less than a half hour from me, but to be honest, I don’t know if I’ll go to him, mostly due to cost (and lack of medical insurance).

Couldn’t deep tissue massage make it worse if it’s a pulled or torn muscle?

Also, I’ve also always been confused about when to use hot or cold. It’s already been a while, and I thought cold is for right when it happens, and heat is for a while after.

I did take a warm bath last night, and if felt good, but just because something feels good doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for it I guess.

[quote]SkyzykS wrote:
Just stick with activation/rom stuff for a while.

It sounds like you got tight in all the wrong places,loose in all of the coresponding wrong places, and your coordination is a.f.u.

[/quote]

Thanks. I just wish there was an opposite position from sitting I could sit in to reverse it. lol

It does seem that way, since I was sitting for such a long period of time, along with relatively long periods of time sitting at my computer the week before moving (since I quit my job a week before the move).

I do have the Magnificent Mobility DVD, so I might try some of that.

I don’t know how to use the foam rollers though. I just heard that it’s supposed to hurt, but wouldn’t know if it’s a good or bad pain if I used it.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
SkyzykS wrote:
Just stick with activation/rom stuff for a while.

I realize the urge to give advice is powerful. But the advice should be somewhat informed. Telling the OP to do anything other than find an ART practitioner is utter nonsense.[/quote]

Get a fucking clue. Your advice is no more valid than anyone elses.

Rest may be a better alternative than having someone dig their fingers in his back at this point.

[quote]SWR wrote:
I looked up an ART guy who’s less than a half hour from me, but to be honest, I don’t know if I’ll go to him, mostly due to cost (and lack of medical insurance).

Couldn’t deep tissue massage make it worse if it’s a pulled or torn muscle?

Also, I’ve also always been confused about when to use hot or cold. It’s already been a while, and I thought cold is for right when it happens, and heat is for a while after.

I did take a warm bath last night, and if felt good, but just because something feels good doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for it I guess.[/quote]

Thats why you didn’t go to the doctor, the old medical insurance thing. I know alot about that, made me a good self healer.

As everybody has stated here back pain can be a bitch and lead to other pain. Fortunately for you theres a gazillion things out there to help you, use all of them(learn how to sleep correctly, fix posture, light back stretches, exercises …).

But get that back fixed before you worry about getting your stength back. You already took 2 months off, spending a few weeks(maybe only 1 or 2) to get your back healthy then using heavy weight is a million times better than working out with light weights as a work around. It actually hampers you.

i’m not doctor but it sounds like a muscle strain. Workout syndrome will only hamper it, lightly twist and stretch every day, remember how long it takes for the pain to go away, then double that for your rest. Concentrate on fixing your diet fix up your new house then come back strong. Good luck

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
CaliforniaLaw wrote:
SkyzykS wrote:
Just stick with activation/rom stuff for a while.

I realize the urge to give advice is powerful. But the advice should be somewhat informed. Telling the OP to do anything other than find an ART practitioner is utter nonsense.

Get a fucking clue. Your advice is no more valid than anyone elses.

Rest may be a better alternative than having someone dig their fingers in his back at this point.[/quote]

Do they give standing ovations on this site?

[quote]Airtruth wrote:

Thats why you didn’t go to the doctor, the old medical insurance thing. I know alot about that, made me a good self healer.

As everybody has stated here back pain can be a bitch and lead to other pain. Fortunately for you theres a gazillion things out there to help you, use all of them(learn how to sleep correctly, fix posture, light back stretches, exercises …).

But get that back fixed before you worry about getting your stength back. You already took 2 months off, spending a few weeks(maybe only 1 or 2) to get your back healthy then using heavy weight is a million times better than working out with light weights as a work around. It actually hampers you.[/quote]

Yea, I guess I’ll become a cardio guy for a while then. A little extra endurance could do me some good anyway.

Thanks for all the responses.

I noticed, even trying triceps push downs with bands (hanging on my power rack) hurt my back.

I had the exact same symptoms and all the exercises you are describing irritated my back. I actually did it the same way, moving to a new house and being Mr. Macho and doing all the moving by myself. I have incredible health insurance and got an MRI, saw a neurosurgeon and I had a classic herniated disc L4-L5.

If I were you, I would bite the bullet and get an evaluation from doctors. It may not be what you want to hear today, but in 10 years you will probably say that it was the best money you ever spent. Good luck and I hope you feel better.

[quote]SWR wrote:
I looked up an ART guy who’s less than a half hour from me, but to be honest, I don’t know if I’ll go to him, mostly due to cost (and lack of medical insurance).

Couldn’t deep tissue massage make it worse if it’s a pulled or torn muscle?

Also, I’ve also always been confused about when to use hot or cold. It’s already been a while, and I thought cold is for right when it happens, and heat is for a while after.

I did take a warm bath last night, and if felt good, but just because something feels good doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for it I guess.[/quote]

Massages and hot tubs are the ticket. Strangely enough, so would be riding a bicycle. It gets the blood pumping and your body loose. I say this from real life experience for lower back pain. Make sure you stretch after any of these suggestions. You’ll be sound as a pound in no time. Cheers.