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Direrael's Knightfall Challenge


direrael

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Been gone for the past few challenges, but feel like this is the perfect time to come back. This is also my first time as a Warrior - spent all my previous challenges as a Ranger, but since I love picking up heavy things above all else, this is where I belong for now.

 

Anyway, I'm starting off this challenge angry - mostly at myself. When I was first getting into weightlifting, about a year and a half ago, I attempted a front squat without utilizing proper form, and strained something in my back. It was painful for a couple of weeks but I've had it under control for the most part since then - trying to use good form, warming up/stretching, and so on. 

 

Well, stupidly, over the past few weeks I've been getting lazy about warming up/stretching, and let my form get a little more sloppy than it should. This past Saturday, at the end of a 135 Romanian Deadlift - the heaviest I've ever gone - I felt a huge twinge in my lower back, and for the past couple of days it's definitely been uncomfortable. Bending over, for example, is painful.

 

So, all my previous thoughts for goals have gone out the window. Instead I'll try to take some inspiration from Batman - even he had his back broken and had to recover.

 

Ultimate goal - get down to 22% bodyfat (currently at around 28%)

 

1st goal - Do all the stretches

 

Got an appointment with the chiropractor today, and whatever the diagnosis is, I'll apply her advice religiously. I've also got Al Kavadlo's stretching book, and am ordering Supple Leopard today, and will focus on reading those and applying the stretching and recovery exercises they recommend. These are things that will probably need to be done everyday.

 

2nd goal - It's all about the diet

 

Since I probably won't be able to do as many of the traditional exercises I was planning (heavy squats, deadlifts, etc.), and my ultimate goal revolves around leaning out, this means I need to zero in on my diet even more. The goal here is to eat paleo 90% of the time, with room for one cheat meal per week.

 

3rd goal - Incorporate more bodyweight movements

 

When Bruce Wayne had to recover, he didn't have access to his traditional training methods, and he had to think about his back problems. So he used bodyweight exercises! I've been getting closer and closer to being able to do chin-ups, so I'll continue to concentrate on those, along with pushups, planks, and so on. If I'm told by the doctor that weighted squats and deadlifts are out, I'll focus my work on pistol squats.

 

Life goal - Don't stress

 

That's pretty much it. I'm bummed about the fact that I probably won't get to move heavy weights, but this whole challenge is focused on keeping recovery first. Someday I'll be able to go back to heavier weights, and being healthy is most important, so why stress about everything else? On any journey to better health I'm bound to hit a few bumps in the road, and the key here is to not let myself get completely derailed. The Bane of my back problems will get conquered as long as I work consistently at it.

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Welcome back! That is a super bummer about your back, but your workaround goals look solid. 

 

On the recovery front, acupuncture might be a good thing to check into as well. I have back issues (lightly herniated lower lumbar discs) and acupuncture worked for me waaaayyy better than the chiropractor. Like a - chiropractor put me in a back brace & 2 sessions at the acupuncturist had me out of it - kind of difference. 

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Druid: || 59 | 60 | 61 | 61.5 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 ||

Ranger: || 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 ||

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Welcome back! No pun intended...

 

haha, thanks!

 

Welcome back! That is a super bummer about your back, but your workaround goals look solid. 

 

On the recovery front, acupuncture might be a good thing to check into as well. I have back issues (lightly herniated lower lumbar discs) and acupuncture worked for me waaaayyy better than the chiropractor. Like a - chiropractor put me in a back brace & 2 sessions at the acupuncturist had me out of it - kind of difference. 

 

I'll keep that in mind if things get worse!

 

However, after being really tight and in some pain yesterday, the chiropractor got me in right away in the afternoon. Luckily, she thinks it's just a case of a basic alignment issue, and did this 10 minute readjustment session, which mostly consisted of pulling on my arms and legs in weird ways. We talked about the best postured to take while sitting, standing, and laying in bed, and she gave me a couple basic stretching recommendations.

 

The only bad news is that I have to cut my weight load down by at least 50% for what will mostly be the duration of this challenge. However, she also emphasized that it would be just as bad to cease exercising entirely. So, I've decided to focus only on bodyweight exercises until at least the end of the challenge, so that any extra stress from added weight won't be an issue. Guess maybe I should have joined the Assassins, if I'd known then what I know now. :P

 

Today's workout was the first since messing up my back on Saturday. Took it real easy.

 

Started with slow warmup movements - slow jumping jacks, shoulder dislocations, bird/dog and cat/camel movements, etc.

 

Main set:

 

Full chest-to-ground pushups:

2x2

 

Assisted chinups with red 1-inch band

3,5,4

 

Negative chinup, 20 seconds down

 

Supinated flexed-arm hang, 20 secs

 

Chest-to-bar incline pushups (bar was at about knee height)

10,8,8 

 

Definitely concentrated on breathing and keeping my core nice and tight throughout both exercises

 

Pistol Squat work - Basically 1-leg box squats where I lower myself down to a bench until thighs are parallel to the floor, then come back up

4x5, each leg

 

Beginner's Back bridge

3x60 secs - Not too hard, but starting off real slow with these. Goal right now is to go to 2 minutes.

 

Finished off with some grip work - hanging from a thick bar, three times, for 40 secs.

 

Did a lot of slow, deep stretching afterwards. First time in a long time I can remember leaving the gym more energized and relaxed than when I came in.

 

 

Not a bad first recovery session. :)

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Woah, a week already. My bad.

 

Anyway, not doing too bad workout-wise. Been sticking with bodyweight movements only, focusing on band chinups, pushups, pistol squat progressions, and getting in about 5 minutes of practice on handstand and frog holds. One thing I've noticed is that bodyweight definitely keeps you humble - having worked with barbell movements for so long, it's a little frustrating to realize how bad I am at basic balancing.

 

However, since this is a warriors challenge, I may bring back barbell squats, deadlifts and bench press, going super light and easy, one day per week, and keep working on bodyweight stuff the other two days. My back is definitely feeling much better, but I don't want to jump in too fast just yet.

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Your first bodyweight routine looks solid. Pistol squats are definitely hard on the balancing front. Good luck with them!

 

Good luck keep up your stretching routine, stretching is the best even if it's a bit annoying to take time to do right when you're excited about your awesome workout.

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