Being successful in the gym requires a combination of several things. It’s about finding that specific combination that works for you. That combination should insure that your muscles grow, that you foster strength and that it helps you avoid injury. Once you have your combination set, you just know what works for you and when you need to tweak it.
Today I went heavy on the deads and I shouldn’t have. I pulled a muscle because my perfect combination includes two very important things… listening to my body and mental preparation. Anyone who deadlifts will tell you that this lift takes significant mental preparation. This morning I woke up and knew I shouldn’t deadlift.
It is a big mistake to let your ego take over when it shouldn’t. So why did I deadlift and why shouldn’t I have done it? Well… even though he tells me not to blame him, this morning on the way to the gym, Mike turned to me like he always does and said “what are you working today?” I said “bi and tri,” he sounded surprised when he quickly responded, “oh… an easy day.”
Yup~ that’s all it took. Before we started working out, I traveled all the way across the gym just to tell him, “I’m deadlifting just because you told me that.” I guess part of me felt sort of guilty because I always deadlift on Sundays. Deep down I figured maybe I needed that push? I shouldn’t have done that. Oh well.
Now here I am in bed… slathered in Tiger Balm. heating pad blasting… 800mg ibuprofen’ed up… and foam rolled out. I finally broke down and bought a roller. I had to. I have to work through it because I will surely be in a casket before I quit the gym, plus I have a super busy work week ahead. I guess laying here gave me a chance to slow down and think about my combination. So what have my thoughts been? What did I do wrong? How do I fix it?
1) LISTENING TO MY BODY• above all… listening to my body is number 1. I should have done what I knew I needed to do, even if that meant it was “an easy day.” It should have been a bi/tri day because: my legs are still sore from last week; I was kind of sick all day Friday; and I had pushed it super hard in the gym yesterday. I did break a long standing PR on chest.
2) MENTAL PREPARATION• if I wasn’t mentally prepared for the lift, I never should have attempted it. Usually I spend time getting my mind right and ready for a particular lift. My nephew slept over last night and he was going riding with my brother today. They really wanted all of us to go, but they were leaving at the same time we were headed to the gym. My son is 10 and I’ve never let him go riding without me. They begged for him to go alone and I gave in. Because I wasn’t with them and I was worried, that’s where my mind was.
3) GRIP STRENGTH• I guess I can partially blame my lame ass fuckin’ grip. Now that I’m going up in weight, it fails after a few heavy reps. I’m trying to stay completely raw (I’ve even ditched gloves) and avoid straps, but if I want to keep growing and going up in strength, it’s time for straps. I pulled a muscle on the left side of my lower back because my left hand grip gave ass causing my torso to slightly tweak.
Even though I have a long list of finger pointing, really there is nobody to blame but myself. How do I fix it? I need to always listen to my body and that inner voice that tells me yes or no. Listening is really the first step which is followed by mental preparation. My mind is always ready when I listen to myself. The two things within myself I can blame for being laid up right now are my ego and my lack of focus. I also need to work more on grip strength. Mike told me they can’t all be good days in the gym and he’s right.
Someone once told me “something will always hurt. Work around it.” Resilience… tomorrow is another day.