Archive for March, 2008

Ok, I’m screwed… or maybe not. I dunno. I came back from my chiro, and after looking at my x-rays, I have to say my spine looks all f* up. Let’s just say that my spine, starting from the pelvis, is tilted to the left, my right shoulder is over an inch below my left one, and there are herniations in my L1, L2 and L3.

Yay me!! Oh wait… crap!


I started feeling something weird on my lower back, around my L3 on March, 15th while doing squats. I scratched that one out thinking that it was due to regained mobility on my hips. I had re-started BJJ training a week and a half before that, and the training had been stretching my hip flexors like silly putty.

Same pain was experienced on the 22nd, and again I scratched that one out. Then came jits class on Monday night (the 24th.)  During training I got stacked, and for a moment, I felt a slight pull on my sacral region. I, like a tard, scratched that one out again.

Then, the pain manifested itself on Tuesday, the 23rd. The pain was bad enough that I couldn’t train, had a hard time getting out of bed or standing off a chair. Finally, I got a chance to see my chiro last Friday. And here I am, on Monday, wondering what my next move is.

Apparently my back was all banged up for a very long time – I did injure myself many times at work and doing sports for the last 20 years. And working in the IT sector, sitting on my ass all day didn’t help much either. Working out has been an important part of my life, and thanks to it, it has kept my back problems at bay.

But the same forces were the one that were banging the living shit out of my spine, which bring us to where we are today. My right shoulder was always a bit low, but now the deviation is really bad.

Also, there are herniation (Schmorl’s nodes) between my L1, L2 and L3 vertebra. In the X-rays, they look like little gel pads pouring into the vertebrae, causing all kind of pinch nerving shit.

It was just muscle keeping things in place, but it’s now that finally symptoms are beginning to creep in. I’ll have to take it easy for the time being while I see my chiro – I’ll be seeing him for 14 sessions within this month.

I guess it was just a matter of time until the spine would start to bitch and the last couple of weeks with lifting and jits were the proverbial needle that broke the camel’s back. My chiro reassured me that I should be able to continue training, but I have to take it easy.

I was planning to aim for a new deadlift PR (410lbs), no straps, on the 13th. I guess those plans are out. I’m not sure I’ll be able to spar at the BJJ school for at least a month. Plus, my insurance doesn’t cover chiro work, so that’s going to come out of my pocket.  That’s fine with me, but I, like a tard, wasn’t planning for that expense.

People have come out of worse back problems than that,  and I know I can do it. The problem now will be the mental one, the fact that I have to suck it up, be patient, and wait.


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In three weeks, my LA Fitness membership is about to expire. So far I’ve been going there only to squat as I do most of my pressing, dead lifting and other stuff at home. Heck, not that I’m back into jiu jitsu, it is more difficult to make time to drive back and forth from the gym, from any gym.

So here I am, actually my g/f and I, contemplating a life without a squat rack. How crap, reality hits home. We need a squat rack. Trouble is that there is a distinct possibility of moving to another location, most likely to a small apartment. Having a power cage is not an option, not until we finally settle down at a condo or home with a garage or something.

As I’m looking for squat stands (the obvious choice for us), I’m completely dissatisfied by most of the choices available out there. Most of these crappy stands don’t recommend to use beyond 200lbs. What sort of a joke is this???

Anyways, looking on the crossfit forums, I think I’ve found the choice for us. Behold, the C-93132W Squat Rack by New York Barbells, which runs for $149 as of today.

This puppy can take up to 1,000lbs, not that I’m going to squat that. But if I’m going to squat at home, I’d better use something that can take a pounding way above what I will ever be able to use. Another good option is the Vulcan by Iron Mind, but that puppy costs almost $429.00, so no.

Speaking of safety, I will need a pair of safety/catch/spotter bars for squatting. Iron Mind sells a set called ‘Pillars of Power’ that can take about half a ton, but, again, they are freaking expensive. Thank the Gods of the interweebz that people have rolled their sleeves and have come up with solutions.

Behold, the Pillars of Poverty!!

The picture above is the older design. For an updated design you can visit the original page where I’m stealing this idea from (www.geocities.com/fighttraining).

Next thing I will need (and which I need to get ASAP) is an Airdyne. I need this for my tabatas as I’m tired of burpees and bw mountain climbers.

These puppies are over $500 brand new, but I’ve seen them for as low as a hundred bucks in ebay and craigslist. I hope I can find one in good shape for that price.

The funny thing about this is that a lot of people have been a bit skeptical about the idea of squat stands. With a pair of solid safety bars and a squat stand that can take a thousand pounds (when I don’t think I’ll ever squat 400lbs), I don’t see why it’s a problem. Heck, I think it’s a good idea. The crossfit people are using them ad nauseam – I think they are onto something, something really good.

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjuULPqI-WY

I hope I can have the gear in place soon so that I can write a review… assuming I don’t get crushed to death 😛

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In the name of ${DEITY:=Salma Hayek}, training sucks more than a vacuum cleaner.

I’ve been training jits for two weeks already at a local SBGi gym (finally after almost a year-long hiatus). The staph crap is completely gone, and my neck is good to go. Been squatting and deadlifting heavy shit and doing my due diligence in the metabolic pathway department, crossfit’ting my way to increase my internal gas tank.

But no matter how hard you go by yourself, it is never the same when you are being pushed. This is specially true when doing combat conditioning in a group directed by a guy who can run loops around you with ease.

Crap, each class is one hour long (which by itself includes about 15 minutes of sparring). And it is followed by 30 minutes of open mat. All that is fine and dandy, except that the class is preceded by a 30-minute long class called ‘Combat Conditioning’.

By the balls of Odin, holy crap on a plate, this sucks balls. It drains you dry. Burpees, more burpees, side runs, squats, lunges, jumping squats, more burpees, each exercise done with 10-second active recovery followed by going balls out for 20-30 seconds. And each exercise is done back to back without break for 9 minutes with 1-minute break. Three of those to make 30 minutes.

You see God as you try not to puke. By the end of the 2nd round, I’m having a hard time hanging up with the rest of the class. And by the 3rd, my effort is in not stop moving even though I can’t perform the reps as fast as I can (which is the main idea). The only thing that gets me going is that I know I will eventually adapt, physically, to these imposed demands, and that this is a fundamental part of the freaking game.

You really need to want this shit badly to keep going. That very same thought keeps popping on my mind whenever the inevitable thought comes as I’m holding my gag reflexes – “Oh God, this sucks, I don’t need this shit”. Either that thought or if you stop, you are a pussy. Whichever works at the heat of the moment, I’ll take it.

The 2nd hardest part of all is scheduling recovery time. You know you need the rest, you know your CNS and your gas tank need the rest, and that the free time can be used for stretching, active recovery, going over your class notes. And still, it feels like wasted time.

A retarded mental dichotomy this is – training vs recovery. It is a falsehood, a fallacy, one which I must keep in mind at all times if I’m not to burn out again.

Tomorrow I’m seeing my chiro, for the first time in almost two months. And Saturday will be my next grappling and conditioning class. Until then, get some active rest, do additional strength training, go over your notes and sleep cuz Saturday is going to suck.

And as much as it sucks, it makes me happy. Finally, after so many setbacks, I feel I’m finally back on track in my life. I’ve said the same statement several times in the last year. So long as Murphy doesn’t decide to fuck things up, that’s how it will be. As much as this training sucks the living life out of me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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