Pinoy Powerhouse

I’ve always logged training in a journal. I started off wandering into a gym, not knowing shit,doing all the things my trainer told me, not knowing why. My dad pretty much forced me. Perhaps it was because I was 135 lb tapeworm in High school, with the ability of rounding all the bases on a baseball diamond in under 15 seconds yet too weak to suit as a decent spotter to my father in his bench press sets.

So I “worked out”. The trainer of course prescribed the usual 25 rep x 3 cable press…then we move to the next machine here and do the same with cable curls, etc,etc. It was easy just move to one station to the next and your muscles get pumped!! Gee Golly it really worked for a while! Thanks trainer!

Fast forward a decade…And here I am, light years away from then, but now I train,I don’t workout.

The past year was rough. My dad passed, I tore a pec tendon, and the girl of my dreams left town for good. Fast forward through the funerals, family gatherings, surgery, change in professions, new endeavors, 10000’s of post rehab pushups and relearning to walk into the weight room again sum up the passing of time.

Now I train to powerlift. Building muscle was a lot of fun…it still is, but only if it helps me move weight. See, getting destroyed by a weight, to the point of an ER visit followed by surgery and months of waiting to move your arm again gives you time to think. How did I get conquered by that weight? Can I come back and conquer it?

The injury occurred benching, naturally. it looked like this.

(see pic)

I worked out at a CalFit, a family gym, with 2 squat racks and many machines. I had just finished my hypertrophy workout and was pretty pumped. I did full body work, like always, added in gymnastics (planche practice, weighted dips) then stretched out. While this was happening, I was talking to a gym buddy of mine when a little guy ran up and said "Hey we’re testing our maxes, can we get a spot!“sure I said, how much is on the bar?” 200 lbs…

“Ha!” I thought in my ego inflated gymbo head. I’ve trained for almost ten years, building muscle, even with powerlifters once, where I hit 245 for a raw single and 275 off the boards! I can do this with no warmup!!! I jumped on, lowered it down. EXPLODED!..and the weight never came off…till the ringing stopped.

The was a silence when it happened. The weight came down, went up slightly then…GRAVITY IN FULL UNSTOPPABLE FORCE! I was pulled out of my body…no control. Stapled like a loser and worse…hurt. 200 lbs crippled me. The lil guy said in a shocked voice “Did you hear that snap???” and looked fearfully at my arm…shaking his head in terror. I slowly sank up, grasping my shoulder in agony.i looked at it only to find it had appeared like my bicep had split in half like a melon.

MRI, reattachment,and months immobilized in a sling followed. I knew training was now a distant memory. Why train when my strong arm is broken? The doctor said I’d never lift heavy again. I couldn’t accept that. I drilled it in my heart that I’d come back and be stronger then ever.

The sling came off. Motion was slow to return. Brushing my teeth was manual labor. Soon I found i could actually hug family members again, after not having seen them for years. Of course they asked about my arm. I told them,sparing details.

Months passed and I gained enough strength to carry my own luggage. Sadly on the trip to Canada to bury my father, we went kayaking, and I couldn’t row. Afterwards, I started PT and found I could do more then I thought. Back strengthening became a priority. I could even toss a medicine ball across the room…albeit, my shoulder hurt like hell with any exertion of force. I knew I was weak and had to get strong but using my again for anything useful was like being reincarnated as a new born lifter. It was at this pointed I realized all I wanted was to go back and conquer this lift. I wanted to learn strength. If 200 lbs crippled me, in a year I wanted to bench 225. While I’m at it, I want to squat over 300 lbs and deadlift over 400… this year. This was the beginning of my training rebirth.