Thursday, January 27, 2011

This new THT 2.0 article needs its own post

No, really. It does. I've said this time and again, speaking not only from handed-down knowledge, or thoughts inferred on related matter. No, I"m speaking from direct experience. YOU NEED TO TRAIN YOUR BACK. Upper, mid and lower.

I'm talking about Mark's latest chapter for THT 2.0 (re-fix).

Years ago, I injured my back somehow - likely playing ball hockey with the boys at work, perhaps doing something else. The only thing that's really relevant to this story is that days later after the initial injury (and subsequent ignorance of the severity of the situation), I managed to turn it into something almost infinitely worse.

I awoke just after Christmas to searing, blinding, fireworks-behind-the-eyes pain. If you've ever heard the term "pain on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being overload and you pass out", I was about a 9.75. I was sweating from the effort of my lower back and mid back muscles clenching and spasming. Every conceivable position I could bend my back into, from ramrod straight to fetal, was agony. I couldn't lie on any side - front, back, left or right. Sitting in a chair was marginally better than anything else, but to reach that chair, I had to crawl/slither off of the bed - that took no less than 15 minutes. People genuinely wanting to help me tried tugging me. That made stars shoot in front of my eyes. It took two days from that point to get my back to where I wasn't walking like I was 90+ years old.

The point of the whole story is this: I neglected my back. Even when I got into various phases of working out, pre-MuscleHack, I hardly did any lower back exercises. At first it was pure ignorance - no apparatus I recognized to do lower back, no knowledge (sadly) of doing deadlifts to strengthen myself. Then, just after my "accident", I tried a little exercise and found it did nothing. Even three and some years ago, right before I started MuscleHacking, I did almost no lower back work. Lots of abs work, but that's all for my core.

Driving sucked now (post-injury). Anyone who knows me knows that I live to be behind the wheel. I love to drive. I'll drive almost anywhere just beceause. Now, however, was different. It didn't matter what I drove, anything more than an hour for a car trip sucked. My lower back would ache badly by the end of the trip on the same side that I had injured.

After I started MuscleHacking, a curious thing occured. I noticed that I could drive my truck (with awful American-styled seat cushions - no lumbar support, nothing. Awful.) for well over an hour with minimal pain at best. Even my first-generation Ford Focus seats, which are known for a bar that runs at the bottom of the back cushion, are comfy after 3 hours and then some now. A recent 4 hour trip in the truck left me with just the need to stretch.

The vast majority of my morning back pain is gone. My post-ice hockey back pain the next morning is gone.

I'll say it again: train your back. We tend to neglect these things called our backs, and we shouldn't.

Don't neglect your back. Start training it - slowly and with light weight at first because you've likely never really trained it before. Then, after a few weeks you can start picking up the weight until you're in MuscleHack territory for weight moved.

Good luck and happy lifting!


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