T Nation

Rebuilding Myself

Hey. In this topic I will write about my journey to fitness. I used to be a pretty strong, well conditioned kid. Now, I am 26 and have back and hips pains that seriously limit my possibilities. These problems last for few years and I am sick of them. So here I am, back to rehab and some serious training.

My situation:
15% BF
191 cm height.

Health goals:
increase flexibility and posture
increase lower back endurance
increase core strength

Bodybuilding goals:

Short term: 85kg, 10% BF.
Long term: 90kg, 7%BF.
(I am a tennis player and a coach, so higher numers here are not an option)

Hit all the muscle groups without putting to much stress on my lower back and hips (kinda hard to do in my situ). I might have to use some pink dumbells at the beginning, but if it is what it takes… I think of doing splits. I didn’t use that type of training for ages because I “trained for sports”. I will go back to such training, later…

edit: I can already see that I am too much of a sports guy to do traditional split at the moment. So, I guess I will try to take the best of both worlds…


1,5h yoga class

Narrow grip, push ups on the bars: 5x5 BW+10kg. After last set 4 more BW push ups.
Supine overhead pull overs: 3x10 10 kg (felt some tension in the left arm)
Band tractions (for the arms, hips and lower back)
Some mobility drills.

As you can see I am slowly putting some stuff together. I have many ideas and need to create a routine based on my specific needs. I should know exactly what I will be doing before next monday. But it looks like I will be doing tons of corrective stuff + some core strenght lifts + bodybuilding finishers.


Inverted rows - BW 3x8
Pull ups - BW 3x5
Face pulls - Band 3x25

1,5h yoga session


Today I only had 1,5h yoga session (+ some band tractions). Later, I coached tennis for 6h. Now, I am really tired. My lower back and hips feel just fine, but could be better. Tomorrow I am planning to have a rest (besides tennis) and hit it hard on Thursday.

I welcome any advice!

Rest day


Hip extention exercises
Reverse Hyper: 3x10 BW
Supported one leg squat: 3x10 BW
A. push up on bars 3x5 BW + 12,5kg
B. inverted rows 3x8
Reverse crunches: 3x10

Feeling a little bit tight in the evening. I don’t know if I shouldn’t take it even easier, considering history of my injuries. I have never pussied out of training, but this is not the firstb time I am coming back after (this) injury, and I always pushed to hard (for my ligaments)

Partial Push ups (1 and a half reps): 3x8 BW
Push ups: 1x10 BW
Inverted rows with peak contraction: 3x6 BW
Inverted rows: 2x8 BW
Static holds on gymnastic rings (knees high, arms by the side): 3x10sec
Reverse Hypers: 1x10 BW, 3x10 BW + 5kg
Foot to sky (Lying face down on the mat, bend one leg and push it to the sky. The tricky part is that you musn’t rotate your working leg which is not that easy for someone with inhibited glutes) 2x20 each leg no load(left side- harder)

Yoga/mobility work


Today I had 8 hours of tennis. I feel so sore… I did some relaxation exercises and band tractions for the hips. That’s it for today…

24.12.2008 Not much time for exercising. Should do a bigger session tomorrow

8 hours of tennis??? WOW

I am a coach and sometimes have to do this. It doesn’t mean intensive playing all the time. I would be dead by now. Sometimes I play, sometimes I just say what others have to do. It’s a moderate to intensive activity.

Back to present day. For last few days I didn’t do much. Little break, but I am not feeling much better - to much sitting. Tomorrow gonna have some longer workout.


Narrow push ups on the bars (harder than regular push ups):
2x12 BW,
3x7 BW

Hip extentions: 3x20 BW (good exercises, tired after that!)

Mixed grip pull ups: 2x5
Pull ups:: 3x5

  • some mobility work/stretching


Mobility work
Pull throughs 3x12 (moderate weight)
a. Shoulder press: 5x5 15kg
b. Concentration culrs 3x5 12,5kg
Face pulls

OK. My last few workouts didn’t look spectacular. But I feel pretty good, much better than month ago. This weekend I will construct routine for the next few weeks. I will do lots of corrective exercises and train yoga. I already see some results, I just need to stay calm and focuses. I have to keep those low load and work more on stabilizers. But heavy (relativly to my possibilities) weights are tempting…

4.01.2009 Yoga session.

Tomorrow I am entering massive training mode. My hips and spine are not yet at the level I need them to be to lift heavy, so at least I’ll be lifting a lot, doing lots of isolation exercises.

OK, considering problems I nedd to fix, simple specialization problem should be applied. I will focus mostly on: glutes, upper back and core. I will add mobility and posture work. For other body parts I will add few sets at the end of each workout.

I am not sure yet what training formula should I choose. 3 TBT sessions with similar exercises? Or maybe upper/lower split done 2 times a week each?
I think will start with 2 upper/lower body sessions and see how des it feel. Then I will add one TBT or 2 split sessions.

5.01.2009 Legs + core

Glute activation
Natural glute ham raises (with assistation bands) 3x10 BW
Pull throughs: few sets of 10/12 reps up to 80kg
Hip extentions: 3x20 BW

Core: 2 circuits of:
10 x ass to the sky on the dipping bars
15 x reverse crunches
30 sec plank


Jacobson relaxation: 20/3- minutes
Band tractions for the hips.

I have finished tennis at 23.00. When I got home I was getting in pain.


Didn’t want to get up. I fas afraid of the upcoming pain (what the fuck?!) But I got up, and once again it’s not that bad. I could feel my glutes more and my lower back and hips less, but still, not that bad.

I realy liked exercises from yesterday…

Today I have yoga class and I will hit upper back (probably.)

6.01.2009 Upper back

Inverted rows with peak contraction: 5x5 BW
Bent over rear delt flys: 3x12 2,5kg each hand
Face pulls with bands: 2x30
Standing overhead pull with bands: 2x30
Scap push ups: 3x30 BW
Push ups: 4x11 BW

Evening: yoga class: 1h


Felt quite sore in the morning, but no joint pain. Nice!

Yoga class: 1,5h

Reverse Hypers: 5x12 BW
Reverse lunges: 2x10 BW
Bulgarian squat: 3x10 Bw -> those realy hit my leg nicely
Single leg hip thrusts: 3x10
(just like here but with opposit leg drive: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mfvZb2MCMs&feature=channel )

Wheel roll outs 1x10 -> felt uncomfortable, so I decided to put it un hold…
Plank: 2x40 sec -> here, I can feel how alinement of my spine is fucked!
Plank with 1o hand slaps (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKh6yrmOLKw) -> 2x40 sec


Yesterday, after my trining sessions I coached tennis for 5 hours. Since then I feel some uncomfortable pain in my left hip join/ butt cheek. Gonna do some band tractions and stretching for this…

Evening: 7 km snow run