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Ego trumps rational thought – hurt my back doing deads.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


Last week I violated one of my own “rules” by mentioning that I’d reached a strength-related goal for deadlifts, and how much I lifted. That was a bad idea, and it came back to bite me last night. Let me explain…

First, as you may already know, I’m a very competitive person by nature. I’m competitive with myself, and with others. I can’t help it. It’s part of how I’m wired, and something that will never change. I don’t see this as a negative trait, but it can be downright dangerous when it comes to stuff like weight training. That’s a big reason I choose to not talk about how much I lift. My body has a number of old, nagging injuries, such as a couple of bad shoulders and chronic lower back problems. For the most part I’ve been able to work around my body’s limitations and have had good success in adding muscle, which has always been my primary goal.

As you may recall, last January I hurt my back pretty bad doing heavy squats. That was the first back problem I’d ever had lifting weights, but many years prior to my transformation I saw a chiropractor for chronic lower back issues.

So, with all that in mind, I’ll return to last night’s back workout. As I was loading the barbell up, I was thinking about my new publicly stated goal of performing four working sets of 500 pound deads. I didn’t set a date to reach that goal, but the competitive side of me is always thinking about it. Here is where my stupid male competitive ego kicked in. Not content to merely add 10 pounds to last week’s all-time best deadlift working sets, I decided to bump the weight by 20 pounds, for a total of 450 pounds. Oh – I almost forgot: I’ve been feeling a little under the weather the past couple of days, so my strength and energy levels felt a little off last night.

The first set went fine, but I was only able to do five reps. The second set also went fine, but I could only complete 4 reps. At this point I was feeling totally exhausted, and my back didn’t feel quite right. Like an idiot, I ignored all that and went in for a third set. As I started the lift, my back protested and I had to drop the weight. Thankfully the pain was nothing like what happened last January, but it was in the exact same area. This morning I feel like I pulled a muscle, but it’s not too bad. I definitely won’t be missing any workouts because of it.

I guess what I’m getting at is this: I don’t think I would have attempted to add 20 pounds to an already extremely difficult weight (for me) if I’d not made my new deadlift goal public. Last night my body sternly reminded me of the fact that I have limitations and old injuries that can not be ignored. I dodged a bullet. I don’t know if I’ll be able to perform deads by next Tuesday, but if I can I’m going to back off the amount of weight I’m using for deadlifts to the mid 300s and increase the number of reps. I think this will be fine for my goal of hypertrophy, even if my ego takes a hit.

My long-awaited Titan T1 review was posted on Monday. I hope you enjoy it!

Registration for the November “100 Challenge” is now underway! Your Official Challenge post must be made by 7:00 AM (EDT) on November 1, 2006 if you plan to participate. To participate, you must be a member of the forum. If you are not a member, simply create a free account. For all the details, official rules and sample entry data, just head over to the November “100 Challenge” thread on the forum. If you are ready to work hard and want to challenge yourself in a fun and competitive environment, then please take part! If you decide to join the challenge, then you are expected to see it through to the end. No slackers!

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