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Hamstring Pulls, Back Strains and My Growing Family

  Oct 18th, 2012

Me at the Hospital for Birth of My SonIt’s been a couple eventful weeks since my last post, but it’s with good reason. Two weeks ago yesterday my wife gave birth to our third child, a son named Camden Jacob Leonard.


I already had two wonderful daughters and now have a son to carry on my name. I couldn’t feel more blessed!


That’s me in hospital just hours before he was born.


With all the excitement and adjusting to life at home with another child it’s been hard to make time for me. My training has been sporadic and there’s been more slices of pizza devoured than I care to admit. 🙂


I also planned to take a short break from writing to give my wife and children some extra attention as we all deal with this welcome change in our lives.


This isn’t my first rodeo, however, and I expected some inconsistency from my usual routine for a little while. Fortunately, things are starting to settle in and it’s time to get back to doing the things I love…


Training hard, eating for success and writing articles to help others live strong, ripped and healthy.


Other Disguised Blessings

There was a silver lining to my taking a break from training regularly. I pulled my upper left hamstring playing baseball in June and it’s been a nuisance since that time.


I’ve continuously aggravated it through various sports, plyometrics, heavy squats and the likes. I also experienced a slight strain in my lower back after making the neophyte mistake of not keeping my chin up while dead lifting a new personal best for my 3 rep max weight a few weeks ago.


The past two weeks have given my battered hamstring and extensor muscles in my back time to recover.


I still won’t be trying my luck by dead lifting with my 3RM weight just yet, but some moderately intense 8-10 rep sets not taken to failure once a week are back in the program and will have to do for a few more weeks when I can ratchet it up another notch.


Like most men are, I’m stubborn in the weight room. To make matters worse, I only have one gear: high intensity.


If I hadn’t been “forced” to take a break from lifting I’m sure I wouldn’t have given my back the break it needed and wouldn’t have allowed it to heal sufficiently. Even worse, I may have further escalated the injury.


I’d have gotten to the point in my workout where I typically dead lift and thought to myself, “I got this!”


I can see it now…


I finish my final set of bench presses, Disciple is blaring in my headphones, my energy is high and I feel like I could tackle an elephant. I load the bar for a light warmup set.


My back feels tight, but good. The music is thumping and convincing me I can do my usual weight. I decide to stack a couple more plates on the bar and give it a go.


I lower my glutes, grip the bar until my knuckles are white, tighten my core and press my heels in. I attempt to raise the bar with all the intensity I can muster and before I get the bar a foot off the ground a sharp pain shoots up my back and forces me to drop the bar uncontrollably.


Alright, I’m smart enough to know that the lower back isn’t a set of muscles to be messed with. I’ve heard too many horror stories of serious lower back injuries keeping people out of the gym for a long time.


If you’ve ever known someone in their fifties with back issues, that should be enough to scare you into taking care of it.

 Ripped Kid

While it would’ve been tempting, I would’ve known better. It wouldn’t have been easy, but dead lifting wouldn’t have been an option, regardless of how jacked I felt after getting halfway through a round of training with some hard hitting tunes blasting my ear drums.


Life is Good

Admittedly, life just doesn’t feel the same when intense training and clean eating aren’t a part of it. It just feels like something’s missing.


But I now have a hamstring that feels better than it has in months, an improved lower back and a wonderful new son!


For those of you that worry Camden is going to be put on a training plan at the age of 3, don’t worry. I promised my wife I’d give him at least 5 years before encouraging him to hit the weights and get ripped. 🙂


Although, he just may wind up being one of the most jacked ten year old kids you’ve ever seen.



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