T Nation

Summer Rehab Log from a F**ked Up Lower Back

Basically i have a herniated disc at l5-s1 since last November/December. Didn’t address the problem till Mid-February (continued to do heavy squats/deads till Feb). Have been seeing the chiro for the past 3 and a 1/2 months. Pain has eased off and ROM has increased (nearly able to touch toes against whilst b4 I couldn’t even run my hands down my leg without pain).

Just putting this log up so a few of my mates can track my progress (or lack of) this summer whilst I travel abroad (Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Singapore, Osaka, Melbourne and perhaps Thailand)

As usual, any comments are welcome…

I had summer goals (which were written up in January b4 I knew about the injury) but these have been shifted to well after I have got back into 5/3/1. Only real summer goal now is to have my back fully healed so I can start the new uni year with a bang and can play some aussie football and get back into training with strongman shit and maybe the ocasional rugby game. Other goals are increase grip strength, improve bench/rowing ability, gain some more size overall (especially lats/shoulders as I am lacking there).

Other random stats, around 5’6 (1/2) (lol), weight: 80kg, body fat: unsure… just below 15% perhaps?

Diet: Clean atm probably will be pretty random and dirty throughout summer due to travelling and inconvenience.

Measurements: too piss poor to put on the nation. nothing acceptable yet, legs probably stronger than upper body (b4 injury)

1RM’s (pre injury)
Squat: 160kg
Deadlift: 182kg
Bench: 110kg (paused rep)

Wednesday 12/5/10
Close Grip Bench: worked up to 75kg 4x5, last set x8. Then drop sets at 65kg (3x10)
Preacher Curlz: 10kg on each side. Went for reps up to 15 for 2 sets. Then kept dropping the weight and tried to go for 10-15 reps each set. Did 8 sets in all
Dips (+12kg) (no chain in upstairs room, had to stick the heaviest dumbell inbetween my crotch)
15, 15, 10, 10, 10, 8, 8, 8
DB Bench (28kg) 5,4,3 (had to leave early, my presence was needed at home)

Hopefully will hit the gym before my flight (next Friday). Got exams and a fucked up right hand. Will take it easy if I do train late next week, don’t want to be in constant agony whilst travelling for 20 odd hours in a small ass seat next to random french people (air france). Hope this fucking ash goes away as well!



1600-1800 pm

Tennoji Miyako Hotel “Fiternesh Cwub” Japanese accent

So first time gym in 3 fucking weeks. Terrible excuse I know I should really clean my ears with a gun! Unfortunately been quite damn busy for the past 3 weeks for a change. Exams, meeting ‘ppl’, going out, packing, flying around the world and further travelling/meeting relatives. Doesn’t help that I absolutely FUCKED UP my right hand as well (being a twat and hurting it myself lol). Grip was a huge issue yesterday in almost all exercises. Recovering well though don’t think anything is broken. Back has been in FUCKING agony due to all the walking, not really helping recovery at all. Seriously thinking about alternative methods to chiro for fixing the back, been a long time and pain is still terrible (although rom has increased in hamstring, pain is still VERY bad if I walk any kind of distance). Not good at all.

My random holiday training day diet
AM: spanish omlette (4 medium eggs), thick JAPANESE bread toast, mini yoghurt, small glass milk, yakult
PM: Pork Cutlet (tonkatsu) sandwiches, apple, mini cake.
Random Vitamin C Water Drink x2


5 mins post gym: random japanese sandwiches at 7/11 and PROTEIN WATER*
Proper dinner: shitloads of many small dishes at grandparents house. fried squid, fish, squid sashimi, vegetables, seaweed, gyoza, beef burgers, edamame, ebi tempura (fried prawns)
Ice cream w/kiwi fruit

Not exactly healthiest athletic diet but when in rome. The protein water was hilarious. Will upload pic later. I bought it after the gym thinking that it would have similar amounts of protein to a normal protein shake (in the UK around 20-30g). After getting my mum to translate the macros, I found out the 300ml bottle had a whopping 1.3g of protein! HOW THE HELL can you call it protein water if it has 1.3 FUCKING grams of protein?! Not exactly surprised, Japanese ppl on the whole are pretty damn skinny and the guys in the gym weren’t exactly the smartest or the most built/strongest either. Saw ridiculous form benching 80-90kg on the smith machine (an arched back that a jamacian limboer would be proud of) and bar speed that u can find in new york rush hour traffic.

Nevertheless, here are my very shitty numbers.

Bench: 3x10 (65kg) (right hand caused major problems with speed/grip). 3x5 (60kg). Tried to focus more on speed for the latter 3.
Inverted Rows: 5x10
Pullups: 30 (9, 5, 4, 4, 4, 4)
Cable Curlz: sets of 10-20 drop sets
DB Lunges (20kg): 5x5 (each leg)

FIrst time ever doing DB lunges. Surprisingly fucking killed and felt light headed/weak as hell afterwards. Did feel lot in the glutes/hams. By the time of the 5th set I was absolutely fooked. Did a 6th set just walking around the gym with them.

Back to the same time today to do some random shit!


Inverted rows are a good exercise back-wise for you in terms of minimising strain I would have said. Do a shitload of tricep isolations too, will give you sleeve-shredding pipes and improves your bench.

Look forward to your next update!


Tennoji Miyako Hotel “Fiternesh Cwub” Osaka, Japan

IAN, did u not appreciate the updates on my diet/japanese gym lifestyle lol?! Saw some characters today. not HUGE guns but prob like 16’’. A few of these guys literally NO DOT BACK/SHOULDERS/FOREARMS and DON’T GET ME STARTED ON THE LEGS. Literally did not see one guy at the gym with wheels. my crappy 58-59cm legs are better than all of theirs! WTF! SUCH BAD squatting shape as well!

Saw some guy trying to bench BIG on the smith machine. counted something like 115kg on smith machine (including the 7kg bar, Ian pretty sure most smith machine bars are 7kg, looks like u didn’t bench 100kg as a 16yo haha). Smith machine was next to the wall so the guy had his feet up against the wall to use as a huge leverage, arched back like the harbour bridge and terrible rom lol. Was in pretty damn bad shape as well, quite low LBM.

Exercises were in a random order as well as had to wait for ppl to finish their random exercises. saw one semi well proportioned guy today, lot of older type of ppl haven’t seen any big young gunz. Certainly won’t have to worry about seeing any Japanese people (or Asians for that matter) on the World Strongest Man Final lol.

Pullups 50 (10, 8, 5, 5, etc)
Inverted Rows 3x10
DB Seated Military 20kg (5x10)
Lat Pulldown 50kg (5x10)
DB Bench 24kg (3x10)
DB Curls 12kg (20 reps each hand x 1 (cheating curls by end lol)
Cable Curls drop set from 25kg - 10kg. Sets of mainly 10-20, last set was 30 lol)

Pretty random exercise choice on the whole, right hand still pretty bad so couldn’t really handle anything heavy (DB wise). Just doing 5x10s for a while to get back into the groove of the training since I haven’t properly trained in close to 2 months. Want to be able to hit the gym at least 2x per week for the rest of my asia trip then 4x a week upon return in Edinburgh.

As far as interesting workout drinks, chose this random small ‘energy’ drink at the vending machine. thought i might buy it cos it said ENERGY DRINK SUPER. But it hardly tasted of anything and did fuck all. unlike western countries, energy drinks here seem to consist of fuck all sugar and caffiene. just random vitamins. should have got a pic.

Felt like saying this to the man squatting like 80kg today with PISS POOR DEPTH
“I’ve seen bigger wheels on a toy car!”

Don’t remember ever claiming to bench 100kg @16 smith or no smith. Got that wrong I’m afraid boyo!

I’ve actually been doing the lat pulldown thing for the last couple of weeks, it’s really good. For the first time I actually felt like my back was doing the work.

Sorry it took so long for me to post! I actually had no idea you had a new log up, now I have three different logs to keep up to date with! FML!

Ian, when you say tricep isolation work, do you mean pressing movements or extension stuff. I don’t think extensional work translates remotely to benching ability, at least not in my EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE (roflcopter).

Agree with Qwark. I will do what works for me as per usual. Dips/Close Grip/Normal Bench. That’s all I really need for tricep work. DB Bench as well but that’s really all the exercises I do for chest/tris. Seems to work well.

I agree with the lat activation thing by nate green. 2 months ago I did lat pulldowns (for about 3-4 weeks only for the first time EVER) and when I went back to the gym after 3 weeks off and feeling weak as hell I managed to punch out 15 full rom pullups where my previous best was 13. Granted I dropped a fair bit of weight but EVERY OTHER exercise that day was seriously down. Will continue the lat pulldown least for the next while.
Rob don’t forget Mike’s Summer Training log!

Don’t worry pics will be on facebook soon dudes! Ian I’m pretty sure it was 16/17 and definitely close to 100kg. We discussed it only a few months ago!

Yusef I am half Japanese myself so I can make fun of the Japanese any way I please lol. Very strange country, still nice and everything to visit but a right pain in the ass if you can’t speak the language or read. Gym instructors couldn’t speak English so I STRUGGLED to fill in the form. Then needed to take separate ‘gym’ shoes with me and had to constantly take my shoes off before entering/leaving the changing rooms. Pain in the ass!

Haha I won’t argue about this but as I remember it was 95kg aged 17 on a smith with piss poor ROM! (like 4ins above chest!) How did I live with myself?! Its irrelevant regardless, I really don’t care how weak or in bad shape I was 3 years ago!

Re the tricep stuff, I can’t categorically say that tricep pushdowns have helped my bench but since I started doing them my bench has improved more than it did when I wasn’t doing any other tricep stuff bar occasional dips. As far as I see it if something works your triceps hard they will get bigger and hence stronger, maybe a very simplistic approach but what I’m doing seems to be working fine for me just now.

keep it up sounds good. swear i replied but T-Nation didn’t count! I am a dipping man and probably always will be!

oh well least you’re in better shape now. make sure hamish doesn’t make the same mistakes!


1445 - 1615


Finally went to a gym in Singapore. Was going to go the day before but was too pressed for time with chiro and meeting ppl. Was able to go to the AMC due to my 47 year old cross fit buddy Trip (who is a member). I used to be a member back in the day when my parents lived in Singapore (the first time). Great place to go, usually quite a few cute American schoolgirls around but this time the only ones I saw were 15-16 year old girls with quads that Ronnie Coleman would be proud of!

Lot of older guys today at the gym with massive gunz but big pot bellies to go with! The gym instructor was absolutely insane. probably 6’ - 6’2 and around 110-115kg (i’m guessing), VERY LEAN. Used to be a bodybuilder back in the UK I was told!

Onto the gym shit:
Bench: (in pounds due to being at the american club)
1 plate (45 pounds) Mini Plate (10 pounds). 3x8
Drop-Set: 1 plate: 12 reps

Chinups: 40 (10 first set, 4-6 each set after)

Kroc Rows: 32kg (20), 40kg (15)

These have REALLY gone downhill due to the first time doing them since February. Really goes to show that Kroc Rows work and your grip gets so much stronger in the process. Managed to do like 44kg for 20 b4 (much easier than the 40kg set for 15)

Dips: 100 (20 first set, 10 after)

KB Lunges (each hand): 20kg (10 lunges each leg), 24kg (5 lunges each), 32kg (4 lunges each), 32kg (3 lunges each), 24kg (5 lunges each).

First time ever doing these with a KB and first time doing them over 20kg. 32kg was the highest so decided to give it a bash. Fucking difficult and looked like I was about to pop a vein in my face. Probably too high a weight felt a bit imbalanced doing the 32’s but wanted to try it out. Will continue doing these, I really feel them and there is minimal stress in my lower back. Desperately need to do some challenging leg work so looks like these are the way forward in the meantime.

Also funnily enough there was a young guy in there trying to do some kind of upright rows with the KB’s. After failing with the 20’s he (and I swear this is true) got the PINK uber light 6kg KB’s and did them. Don’t think I could ever face myself to hold a pink KB in my hand lol.

Hoping to go tomorrow, if not will be gyming in Melbourne.

Sounds good, just write your bench in terms of pounds not plates next time, annoys me! So you did 155 3x8? Never integrated lunges into my KB work but daresay I only really use them for cardio anyway. Keep truckin’ brah!

well is 155 (3x8)? think so. so damn skinny I know. especially when my 8RM WAS 90kg! didn’t want to go too heavy on the bench, right hand still isn’t feeling right so pressing didn’t feel that strong

I will keep plugging away! Injuries are the worst thing ever! So are exams/bird problems/travelling which go with my severe lack of training!

Only reason I used KB’s was because they were in a different area to the DB area and more space to do lunges. felt exactly same as DB’s pretty much!

I hope the CSE get’s new DB’s. The DB’s in the CSE HURT LIKE FUCK (SHARP ASS HANDLES). Responsible for more than a few DEEP CUTS.

I can’t believe you are on your 1st block of chalk still. I finished the 4 u bought me and I’ve finished another small block!

i meant to say is 155 (around 70kg?)

Yeah 155 is nearly exactly 70kg. 1kg = 2.205lbs

Training Day (VERY SHORT, intensity was there but unfortunately lack of equipment and lack of good diet meant routine was pretty shit)

Lat Pulldown:
Started heavy (for me). did around 10-20 reps per set (drop sets short rest period)

Cable Curls:

The weights were FUCKING heavy on this machine for some reason. Same as lat pulldown, starting heavy, going for reps, rest period short-ish

Seated Row:

the same as b4

that is it.

post workout meal at fancy french restaurant.



California Fitness, Orchard Road, Singapore

Shoulders/Calf Day

Got into CF for a 1 week trial run for free thanks to Singapore’s Strongman Sam ‘‘The Hulk’’ Lim. First shoulder session in a few weeks so was kind of worried. Overall best workout I have had (numbers wise) in a while. Intensity felt fairly good. Pic of body composition to follow. Feel a lot bigger/fatter after being on holidays for a few weeks.

Dynamic Warm Up, Stretching, Core Stability stuff

DB Seated OH Press
30lbs x 8
45lbs x 5
60lbs (4x8)
60lbs x 13 (was going to be 8 but decided to go all out)

DB Rear/Front Raises
6 sets, 15-30 pounds, 6-10 reps

DB Shrugs
60lbs x 30
70lbs x25
70lbs x 30

Standing Calf Raise Machine (looks like power squat machine)
Maxed out 300 lbs x 10

Seated Calf Raise Machine
ramp to 3 plates (60kg) 3x10 (struggle at end)

Starting to finally get back into training. Hope to start going 3-4 x a week. Strongman training will start again (probably just grip work) and will be training with the hulk for the rest of my time in Singapore.

Lots of ‘funboys’ in the gym today. Hopefully can gain some strength and size for the rest of summer.

For your viewing pleasure. Some are a bit inaccurate I believe. Part where it says lower body is not up to scratch. Machine said man with biggest squat in Singapore had similar out of proportion lower body (so not true) and I think the diet measurement is fucked up.

Anyone know what the numbers are in the bottom right? Personal trainer had no idea… Numbers differed to my mate who also took the test.

Think BF is a % or so too high. But could well be because of my piss poor diet the past week

Gym Time

Monday Night ‘‘Gay Central Time’’ California Fitness Gym

CHEST and Triceps

Dynamic Warm Up, Stretching

High Incline Bench (due to normal bench being busy)
50x5, 60x5, 70kg (5x5)

First time ever doing these, quite pleased felt quite challenging towards end. Little to no strain on lower back which was good. May keep doing these due to my lack of any upper chest work.

Normal Bench
70kg (4x5) then 1x10

Dips 100 (unweighted)

DB Bench

60 pounds (5x5)

END. Short, sweaty and quite good. Strongman day tomorrow no idea what I can do considering back is still bad-ish.

We’d: Afternoon. Back bis day.

Variety of chins/pullups: 35
Lat pulldown: 5x10
Kroc Rows: lighter warm up. 80 lbs x 30, 80lbs x 25

managed to break my chalk container by dropping db on it. Felt so damn tired after these.

Preachers: 5x8 (light challenging weight lol)

Iso hold DB each hand (90 lbs) 60 seconds x 2

Chins: 15

Goblet style Squats with 1 plate: 10, 20 reps.

PWO shake then massive painful deep tissue massage then nearly around 1kg of lasagne followed by shisha and a few drinks and watching Australia beat some Serbian ass in the World Cup!

Savage doms today, may have to cancel strongman yet again. Shoulders day next up. Will see if I can keep up the goblet squats if there is no pain in back/legs.