Eddie, I am much heartened to read your report and thankful for your recovery.
I do think athletes are more mindful of other athletes when helping them overcome such challenges. I think that's why I have a lot of athletes in my clientele.
70% of max is great, and more than might have been thought likely by now. If you are not in pain, then the body clearly WANTS the work. Perhaps you will find more of your maxes in future, but I would say you have the right to NEW personal records. ANY LIFT IS A VICTORY NOW.
My injury to the knee was much less of one than your back, but I found in it OPPORTUNITY to work the weak areas and improve my worst lift. It sounds to me like you are coming back in a way I could only have hoped for you from the original injury description. I would say don't hold your schedule strict, as your strength increases...
May you continue to recover and prosper, and see you on the platform...!
aka Linda Schaefer, CMT, CSCS, competing powerlifter
Denver, Colorado, USA
From: "Eddie White" <EWHITE@indepmo.
I was training for a World meet in late Sept. last year when I injured my back. As most of you know that is probably one of the hardest injuries to come back from for any athlete. I was doing some very heavy (for me) box squats with bands form a Westside routine and on the last rep of the last set as I came off the box my lower back popped and by the time I was fully standing terrific pain down my left leg into my foot. To make a long story short I had managed to incur two bulging disks at L-4 and L-5. I did the epidural injections and after three I could walk and begin some kind of rehab. For several months I did no lower body work and just walked and did basically bench presses. I finally got to where I could jog again and then progressively got stronger.
My doctor advised no heavy training for a year. I had lost 15 pounds of what appeared to be muscle since my waist size had expanded and my legs and feet hurt from the nerve damage. I searched for information and what I received from many professional friends and books I read I adapted and came up with a rehab program which has been working nicely for me. During the educational period I also came across a DVD called Magnificient Mobility which I really liked. The dynamic stretching exercises were more user friendly and seemed to work quite well. I also incorporated a lot of core exercises and ab stuff.
In late December I could stand it no longer and I began power lifting again. I used a basic Sheiko routine and simply reduced the max lifts from which the percentages are figured to those I figured I could do without ending up in the hospital again. I figure I am at only about 70% of my original strength at this time but I am improving nicely and the pain in my legs as well as the strength in them seems a lot better.
I decided to share this with you because I am a typical guy that most of you might encounter as a client or God forbid you might also be injured. You see us laymen don't really care about all that technical stuff especially we power lifters. All we want to do is get better and get back to lifting. We like things simple and to the point. I have found that physicians, chiropractors, etc. often do not really understand that athletes are different. We heal better and faster and we are more motivated to do so. Most of the advice I was given by my orthopedist was given on the assumption that I was lifting too much to begin with and that my lifting career was over. I have too many friends who have come back from very serious injures to buy into that.
So this is my story for what it is worth to anyone who has been injured severely the mental aspect is sometimes much worse than the injury. My 58th birthday is coming in the Spring and by then I hope to be back at to at least 90% of my strength. As an athlete I believe the best routine is the one you design for yourself and that requires knowing just how far to push and when to stop. For us type As knowing when to stop is the problem. As I age I most certainly have to adjust to my new circumstances but I refuse to accept giving up until that day when my body tells me it is time.
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