My name is Brad and I turn 35 this month so I thought this would be the appropriate place to start. I have decided to “get back into shape” and having been a T-Nation member for several years, decided that some accountability and advice was in order. This first post will probably be a little on the long side, but I appreciate your patience if you could read it through. If not, I understand - it is mainly for my accountability to myself and to put it out there publicly.
Up until a few years ago, I led a very active and exciting/adventurous lifestyle. I played football, wrestling and lacrosse in HS, didn’t go to college, but I started playing rugby in my early 20’s. I have practiced martial arts since I was a teenager as well. In my late 20’s, my rugby “career” was in full swing: I was on a Div 1 Men’s Club starting side. Having started off as a wing, I had moved up to blind side flanker and eventually to loose head prop. For those of you unfamiliar with rugby, it is the equivalent of going from wide receiver to tackle/guard in football. I trained my ass off and used AAS.
I am 5’ 11" and I went from weighing 165/170 lbs. when I started playing, to about 245 lbs. in about 7 years. I had a few knee surgeries along the way, but it didn’t take me out - it just slowed me down a little. I was that asshole in the off-season who would do plyometrics and sprints while dragging tires behind my back so I could get a jump start on the season. My wife gave me a sled to drag for my birthday. Yeah! I was that guy…
My best lifts were when I was 29 years old, weighing 245 and just moved up to the front row (my new position was loose head prop) and was in the middle of my 5th cycle of juice (test enth, EQ and deca) They are not even close to some of the athletes on this site, but I was proud of them at the time. My numbers were:
Dead Lift (sumo style): 560
Clean from the ground: 335
Flat Bench: 345
Push Press: 285
Body Weight Pull ups: 22
I don’t know what my body fat was, but my top two abs were visible. I was an arrogant SOB too.
When I was 30 I sustained a “career ending injury” playing against Charlotte. Torn pec, completely torn rotator cuff, concussion. Not a good day. Two screws and a half inch of bone off the clavicle later, I was told I couldn’t play rugby any more. Had to stop lifting too. (you would be surprised how one’s shoulder is involved with EVERY free weight lift). I don’t use machines. I did the therapy for six months and got the mobility back. I was smart enough to cut back on my diet so I didn’t turn into a fat piece of shit completely. I lost 40 lbs of muscle that year. Hubris is a bitch!
Now for the sob story (I’ll keep it brief): Got divorced, lost my house, lost my kids, I’m a mortgage broker so I don’t need to tell you all what my income looked like in '07… Blah blah blah. Life kicked me in the nuts pretty hard, but I got back up, dusted off and promptly became a workaholic for the past two years
Which is where I am today: working 12 to 16 hours a day, weekends, behind a desk and hunched over two computers, eating Chipotle, Wendy’s, Burger King or a high dollar high fat meal at some fancy place if I’m entertaining a client. It’s ten at night as I write this and I’m still at my office. I’m tired of being out of shape, my back hurts and I don’t feel very healthy.
SO I’M GONNA GET BACK IN SHAPE! I would appreciate any help the members of this forum can offer. I am not bothered by criticism, so long as it is constructive. I have no illusions of getting back to the numbers I was lifting before. My ego is on the shelf. I realize that I am essentially starting at square one.
MY BEGINNING (for the next two months) GOALS ARE:
To develop core strength and hip flexibility.
To avoid re-injuring my self by starting with pre-hab work and light unilateral lifts.
To eat healthier and take control of my diet.
To work out in the gym a minimum of three times per week.
To get two hours of energy systems work a week (even if it’s just walking in my neighborhood)
To sleep 7 hours a night.
ACTION TO DATE:
Bought enough supplements to follow the Velocity Diet Lite for two months. (started today)
Got a gym membership at Fitness First less than a mile from my office.
Bought shoes, socks and shorts today.
INJURIES I’M WORKING AROUND:
Right shoulder and pec: torn pec and rotator cuff and two screws in shoulder, half inch of bone off clavicle.
Lower back: Got an X-ray taken last year when I was in some serious pain - turns out it is a muscle imbalance from being on the left side of the scrum all the time. I have a slight curve in my spine, but the Chiropractor said it was easily corrected by strengthening the other side.
Knees: Had two knee surgeries on my left knee and one on my right, but they don’t bother me hardly at all (just in the cold) - I don’t anticipate any problems as long as I warm up properly.
Right hand: Three surgeries on the tendon’s in two of my fingers. (had to take a knife away from somebody once when I was young) It affects my grip when I pull anything over 250 or so. I have to use straps above that weight. I won’t have to worry about that for a while!
That’s it for injuries.
Duration: 2-4 weeks
Emphasis: Flexibility and core strength
Frequency: Three times a week alternating A B A, B A B
Foam roller work and dynamic stretching - 10 min
Plank - held as long as I can hold it. Add a set every week.
Dead bug / single leg lift series - 12 reps each side, approx 5 sets
Single leg squat - 2 x 12 add a set every week
Scap push ups - total of 50 as many sets as it takes
pull ups - total of 50 as many sets as it takes
Foam roller work and dynamic stretching - 10 min
Hanging alt leg lift 3 x 12
ab wheel roll-out 2 x 10
Step ups 2 x 12 add a set every week
dips - total of 50 as many sets as it takes
Modified renegade rows 3 x 10
Any suggestions or advice would be helpful. Keep in mind, I have not lifted in several years so I want to prevent injury.
I will see what starts to hurt and modify things if necessary, but I know the difference between soreness/working the kinks out vs. hurting myself.
Here are my photos: