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How To Effectively Handle Back Pain From A (Un)Usual Suspect

The Date….Last Tuesday

The Time…7:00

The Place…. The Moore’s Family Room.

<Plaintiff aka Mike>:  It was on this date, that the most horrific thing that I could imagine happened.  It started out like any other evening.  My wife and I sat at the kitchen table eating dinner.  We were having good conversation while eating.  The glorious meal consisted of spaghetti made with turkey and spaghetti squash.  Once done eating, we decided to partake in The Daily Show and Nightly Show for amusement.

I walked over towards the suspect in a friendly matter.  If I was to know how this night would change my life for the worse, I would have went over towards the suspect’s brother instead.

Everything seemed normal while my wife, the suspect and I watched TV.  The suspect behaved like he normally does.  About one hour later as I got ready for bed, that’s when I realized the suspect had silently attacked me!

Over the past two months, my wife and I started to realize that the suspect was getting pushy.  I could never get comfortable around him anymore.  It was like he was purposely trying to keep me from hanging out with him.  I helped clean him up one day, and thought we were on good terms again.  But after this particular night, I’m sure the suspect was plotting against me this entire time!

HOW DARE YOU!!!!

<Judge>: Sir, lower your voice!!!  There will be no disrespect in this court of law! Is that all you have to say

<Plantiff>: No your honor.  The next day I woke up remembering how the suspect looked at me with grin as I walked away from the family room that night.  I just knew he was up to something.   I proceeded to do my normal morning ritual of going to the gym.  Once at the gym I performed my first workout of the day, the squat.  After completing three sets of ten reps, I attempted a fourth and stalled at four reps. I ensued to un-rack the squat bar, and upon bending over…

THAT’S WHEN I REALIZED WHAT THE SUSPECT WAS PLOTTING THE NIGHT BEFORE!!!  HE PURPOSELY HURT MY LOWER BACK!

It was so sore, that I had to cut my workout short. So bad, that I even had to skip two workout days to make sure it would not get worse. He is to blame! He’s just jealous of me!

<Suspect>: HAHAHA whatever chump!

<Judge>:   QUIET! We have heard enough from the Plaintiff, I will now hear from the Defendant

<Suspect>: Yo, I don’t know what that dude’s problem is.  Man, I see it like this.  I’ve been hanging out with that family for three years.  Not once did I every get a “how was your day” or “thank you”.  It was a one sided friendship.  Now as the years have went on, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not as strong as I use to be.  I have been getting a lil bit lumpy these past few months.

On that particular night, the Plaintiff just randomly jumped on me!  How disrespectful!  No gentle handshake, or hug.  Nope, just straight up jumped on me.  So what would you do if someone jumped on you?

You gonna squirm a lil bit man!  So the plaintiff and me did go back and forth for awhile, I did see him squirm.  Finally, I decided to chill and just let him be.

He was the one that decided to be in a awkward angle while he watched TV.  As he left the room, I did smile…..smiling that he left me alone with his wife!!!

<Plaintiff>: You summa of a……

<Suspect>: HAHAHAH

<Judge>: ENOUGH!!!! {bang bang bang}……I have heard enough. I will let the jury of your peers decide who is to blame for the Plaintiff’s back injury.   Is it the Plaintiff or the Defendant???

—————————————————————————————————————————————-

The above was just a funny way of explaining what happened to me.  In case you haven’t figured it out, the suspect was a couch!

<insert dramatic music>

We all have done that one stupid thing that gets us hurt.  I had been on a 2015 hot streak of having absolutely no injuries. With all the running, deadlifting, squatting, etc.  I had been injury free!

All of a sudden, a old beat up couch decided to end my streak.  I am convinced that the couch is the reason for my back pain. Prior to that workout day, their had been days when I had walked away from that couch sore, but not too bad.  It was just something special about last Tuesday night that made the couch get it’s revenge!

So what should we do when we get injured?  Here are some tips:

 REST AND LET IT HEAL

The smartest thing to do is to let it heal.  A few days off from the gym won’t kill you.  Some times, injuries can be our body’s way of saying “You’re doing too much girlfriend!”.

If you are just starting off, you might have pushed yourself too hard.  If you’re 7+ years experienced, that injury may be the result of years of improper technique.

Relax, getting hurt is going to happen! We just do our best to not let it happen.  If you choose to live a healthy lifestyle, it’s just one of the breaks.  Even in your outside the gym life, you get injured every now and than.  We’re all human.

KNOW THE CAUSE

Did you squat too much weight?  Did you land awkwardly while jump roping?  Did you pick your daughter up to fast?

Figure out the root cause of that pain. Knowing the cause leads to you properly finding a solution for it.  If it was related towards weightlifting, maybe you need to take a few pounds off.  Be smart and know that cause.

WORK AROUND IT

In my case I hurt my back.  After a couple days of rest, I decided to give it a test run.  Given I knew it was in my lower back, I first decided to attempt squats but with half the weight.  If it had been unbearable, I would know to skip it for this day.  In my case, I was able to squat effectively, but I still wanted to be safe.  So I did my normal number of sets/reps.  I just intelligently used less weight for safety.  I had the same great sweat producing squat session, but without the extra back pain.

 

FIND AN ALTERNATIVE

Sometimes that injury may just be in a place that it’s best to avoid altogether. No worry, you still have your other body parts to work out. Too often we have this All or None mentality.

One of the main focal points of my workout is the squat.   If my lower back were bad enough where I could not have squatted down properly, I would have just swapped the movement.  That one movement does not make or break my workout.

It’s ok! I would just find another leg movement that I could do safely and continue with the rest of my workout.  No need to skip an entire day if all my other body parts can do isolation workouts just fine.

If I could not lift weights all together, what would stop me from using this week to just go on walks?   My back feels fine walking.  Just find that alternative solution that’s going to help you move forward not backward!

LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY

Sometimes we just got to put our ego to the side.  When it comes towards weightlifting, weight loss or just being healthy in general, think about the bigger picture.   There’s no shame in taking one gym session off to properly heal.

Remember that you’re in this for the LONG HAUL. We’re talking a awesome body for months/years/decades!!! Just one workout missed due to injury is not going to hurt you.

But you know what will hurt you? Attempting to go all out in a workout when you have a legit injury. That “man up” mentality could result you in not being able to work out for months!

So think about that. Skipping one session vs. Two+ months of non-activity! Who’s going to get that dream body faster!

CONCLUSION

Let’s all be safe on our own journey’s. If an injury happens, just follow my advice. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Now I’m on my way back to court…..I got some beef to settle with that couch!!!

The Crusher of Dreams…Tales from The Locker Room!

Remember your first years in middle school, when you had to change your clothes in public.  Walking into that locker room.  You saw those locker rooms in numerous movies, but it’s nothing like stopping by for the first time in real life.  Watching this on TV was not nearly as nerve-wracking as this solo adventure.  Remember your first time?

You walk in with your brand new gym clothes neatly folder.  You were assigned a locker combination so you go searching for your locker number.  As you look around the room you notice that this place has sinks, toilets and…..showers?!  Hold on……Is it mandotary that we take showers?  All of a sudden you feel your heart pounding.  Showers!…..what’s the point of washing up in class.  We didn’t have to do that in elementary school.  What makes this place so different?

You start to notice other individuals progressing towards lockers near you.  You’re no longer the only kid in your row!  Your heart starts to pound just a little bit faster.  All of a sudden you hear the gym teacher yell out “You have five minutes to get dressed and be out ready for class!!  Hurry it up!!!”.   Why is that teacher telling me to hurry up?  Are they watching me!?

You start to undress and stare straight ahead.  You don’t want anybody to think you are staring at them because YOU don’t want people staring at you!  You’re so use to getting dressed by your self in privacy.  Well maybe in front of your brother or sister, but not this many strangers.  Not in front of Joey or Joanna who you’ve had classes with every since you were six.  This definitely wasn’t the same thing as nap time together!

Looking back at that scenario, could you envision the stress and panic?  Could you remember your own “first time” in a gym.  No matter your age, it always seems that we all have had some sort of nervousness about being in a locker room.  It’s just something about it that scares the bejesus out of the majority of folks.  It all comes down to being insecure with our bodies.  When you’re a young teenager going through puberty there’s nothing worse then your peers knowing about the changes to your body.  We are terrified about being judged for being fat, skinny, hairy, short, tall, etc.

That fear doesn’t stop in that middle school locker room.  It carries over to us as we become grown adults.  When you go to the locker room at your local gym, how many folks still have flashbacks to that middle school mentality?  How many still try to go to the back of the locker room to hide from being seen?

Don’t be ashamed, the majority of all us still do that!  Even the person with that perfect chiseled body, still thinks badly about their own bodies and is scared of others opinions.  YES, that person that you envy!  That person that seems to be straight out of the latest Dwayne Johnson action movie.   He/She thinks exactly like you.

I wrote this so that next time you enter that locker room, I want you to remember that you’re not alone.  Most of us had a bad initial locker room experience.  Without even knowing it, it affects how most of us view working out or just going to the gym in general.  We shouldn’t let something so trivial in our past dictate how we feel now.

Next time you enter your gym and you see a 80+ year old man/lady proudly walking around buck naked, give them a silent MicVinny salute of approval.  If they’re not afraid of judgement why should YOU!

 

 

Intro to MicVinny

“Why should I take advice from you, you’re not that muscular”

“I never have the time to workout.  I’m just different than you”

“Wow, how did you get in good shape?  What diet did you follow”

“I’m a full time mom.  You don’t know what’s it like to be busy”

“I eat right all the time.  I don’t know why I’m fat”

“The only reason that guy is so strong is because all he does is go to the gym seven days a week!  If I had that much time, I would look just like him!”

“You need to be certified to teach people how to train.  That’s the only way they’ll listen”

“I’m starting this new juice only diet.  Man, I tell you I’m going to look ripped in two weeks”

“I eat enough vegetables.  I should be losing weight”

“I run five miles everyday and eat just a salad a day.”

“You eat too much protein.  You’re going to hurt your kidneys”

“You eat too little protein.  You need to eat over 400 grams a day if you want to be strong bro!”

“Paleo diet is the best diet.”

“Eating a vegan diet is the only good diet.”

“Don’t eat carbs!”

“Don’t eat Fat!!”

“Don’t eat meat!”

“You don’t do CrossFit.  What’s your problem?”

“My genetics are awful, so why should I bother to work out?”

“You don’t cook vegetables with butter and salt?  How can you eat them?  Do you deep fry them?”

 

 

Man with a microphone yelling enough!!!

………And that folks is why I have decided to start this blog.

 

My name is Michael and I’ve had enough.  I’m the type of person that prefers to listen before talking.

In my youth I was viewed as “that quiet guy”.

Over time, I’ve come to realized that I’m just a very good listener.  For some reason when you are a listener instead of a talker people assume you are shy.

Well folks, let me go on the record and say that I am definitely not shy!

Over the past years I have researched various techniques on how to become fit.  It became my favorite hobby.

Majority of the time I spent online, I was peeking at weightlifting websites.  Learning new methods of how lifting weights could make you lose weight.  I found out how bodybuilder’s achieved lean bodies just be eating a certain way.

I experimented with extreme diets to cut corners in the war on fat.

I lifted to get strong.

I lifted to lose fat.

I learned the difference between powerlifting vs. weightlifting.

I did sprint intervals.

I walked on treadmills.

I jumped rope.

I tried yoga.

As the years have went by, many friends and family have asked questions about fitness.  They would tell me how I always seem to know the answer.

In my mind, I didn’t know that much.  As those years have turned in to over a decade of me experimenting on my own body, I realized

“Why not me?”

I have so many years wrapped up in this fitness world that I should be informing people about living a healthy life.   I use to think that only the people with the perfect six packs could give out advice.

Only the guys with 30 inch biceps truly knew what it took to reach the top of that mountain!

I finally sat back and thought, “How many…..”:

  • People have lost 85 lbs despite traveling all around the world working 60+ hours a week?
  •  Struggle with their own body image?
  • Front page models in bodybuilding magazines actually like their bodies?
  • People have had to learn how to eat right when they’re in a country where they cannot drink the tap water or eat the vegetables?
  • Still believe the lies that are being told?”

After all these years, I started to realize that this listener needed to step up and start talking!

I have decided to create this blog to inform the public and share my story.

I’m definitely not Mr. Perfect.

What I am is human.  I plan on providing the reader with the reality of living a healthy lifestyle. I’m willing to share my successes and failures in my quest for my “perfect” body.

You can laugh.  You can poke fun.  You can be encouraged.  You can be inspired.  All I plan on providing to you is the truth.

I don’t care who you are, but with a healthy mental attitude, you can accomplish anything! 

Maybe, Just maybe it’ll help change your life (or someone you love) for the better.

Visit my About Page for more info.