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It is that time again to update my progress since re-injuring my back, and starting the slow road to recovery. I felt like physical therapy went well. Functionally, I feel much better than I did. I can pick up my kids Phoebe & Everett with no issues, and can work around the farm relatively pain free.
Training wise though, it has been a slow process. I have been able to move from light bodybuilding movements to heavier ones and started to reintroduce more compound movements. My bench is moving back up, and I have recently started strict overhead pressing again.
In January, I went and competed in the Dino Gym Challenge. I took token lifts in a couple lifts, but felt safe getting after it on the crucifix. I was able to tie my second best ever competition lift, and set the national record for the 120 kg class, as well as the best ever crucifix by a master lifter. While competing in the first quarter postal, I was able to break the all-time masters record in the holdout raised lift. I narrowly missed breaking my all-time overall record in that discipline.
While this all sounds like sunshine and rainbows, I still have to be exceptionally cautious with deadlifting and squatting. While at the Dino challenge, I did a trap bar deadlift. Though it was heavier than what I had worked up to in training since the New Year, it was still quite light. But it felt good, so I pulled repetitions on it that next week. The next day, my low back seized up and it was a chore to walk. Unfortunately it was bad enough that I had to take a day off work. In hopes of not having another setback, I have proceeded quite cautiously with deadlifting. I have not even attempted to squat yet.
I have amped up my cardio so far this year. I ride the stationary bike or do circuits when I have to stay inside, but when I can, I have taken to running through our farmland and woods. I am always amazed at how quickly I can acclimate to additional cardio workload since adding HMB to my regiment. Staying off the roads and running the countryside has been good for the soul, and is making me feel great. Feels like I am running further and, even though I am setting no speed records, it is going faster each time. Luckily, so far, the impact of running is not causing me any additional back issues.
So that is where I am. I am cautiously optimistic going forward. I have no set competition plans in the near future. While I would like to defend my Heavy Lift Championship title, it is two months away, and I do not feel I will be ready to do that kind of training prior to it. I will continue to utilize HMB and PEAK ATP in the fight for recovery and getting back to where I was. This back injury has been a pretty big roadblock, but I trust it is not an insurmountable one.