Powerlifting in Pearls: The Down Low

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I realize that things have sort of been on the down low in regards to my training lately but here we are now and I’m about to give you the scoop.  I have recently had a set back with training due to an injury. I was deadlifting and pulled some muscles in my lower back, which has forced me to stop deadlifting for about a month and stop meet prep.  Although, things seems to be starting to heal up I am still about two more weeks away from full recovery. Thankfully, the injury has not hindered me from being able to bench normally and squat at least with light weight. I have taken full advantage of what I am still able to do and have been focusing on my bench, which really needed the focus anyway.  On lower body days, I’ve only been doing accessory movements that does not aggravate my lower back which include: leg press, hack squats, weighted lunges, leg curls, leg extensions, and split squats. I sometimes do front squats and light back squats for high volume because that seems to be painless and strain free to me.  I’m hoping that because I am still lifting and working the muscles I normally work during deadlift, minus the injured area, I will come back without missing a beat, or maybe stronger (fingers crossed) . I am currently on vacation right now, so I decided to take this week to fully deload and help the healing process along with complete rest this week.  I am feeling confident about the whole situation and know that this is only a minor set back.  It sounds crazy but I honestly believe that I will be better in the long run from what I have learned from this experience.

So I guess you’re wondering how in the hell could I be better off having this experience?  Well it’s taught me a lot and it has also given me an opportunity that I will get to here in just a little bit.  First, I want to explain what my mindset is about the situation and what it has taught me.  The way I see it, powerlifting is not a 100% injury free sport, and it’s risky. It’s not IF you get injured, it’s WHEN and HOW. Lets face it, when you are working with heavy weight sometimes freakish things can happen not matter how awesome your mobility is or how experienced and knowledgeable you are. To put it plainly, accidents happen and sometimes your mind may be ready but your body just says “F* you buddy!” .  So all you can do is take your preventative measures like stretching and doing mobility drills, and just pay attention to form and how your body is reacting that day.  I injured myself because I didn’t listen to my body. I pushed past what I should have even though my lower back felt tight and shitty that day.  It happens and you learn from it. I was just lucky that I didn’t do anything incredibly serious that would knock me out of the game for several months.  Now I’m doing everything I can to get better and I wont be taking training for granted anymore. You don’t realize what something means to you until you can’t do it anymore, or at least for a while. I realized just how much I love having the ability to compete when I want to and that I absolutely freaking love deadlifts. Whenever I get 100% again I will be smarter about what I am doing but you better believe that I will be training the heck out of some deadlifts!

What am I doing to get better? Well I’ve been doing just about everything possible that is affordable. I’ve been going to the chiropractor regularly to get physical therapy and normal adjustments. Even though the damage is muscular, being out of alignment can have a detrimental effect to the muscles around the vertebrae that are misaligned. I have also been getting deep tissue massages to help with blood circulation and release tension in the injured area. I ice my lower back for about 15 min and then do 20 min of heat and repeat that a few times a day.  I take hot Epsom salt baths and soak for about 20 minutes to help with pain and discomfort. Lastly, whenever I feel like it is safe I will start stretching more. I didn’t want to too soon because with micro tears, stretching would actually make things worse (more tearing) , massage and rumble rolling is more beneficial until that is healed up some.  With all of that combined along with sleep, this weeks complete relaxation, and good diet, I hope to be back on my feet in the next few weeks to a regular training regimen.

Lastly, what will I be doing next?  So I obviously will not be ready to compete in the SPF nationals meet in July since my meet prep was shot to hell from the injury.  The plan now is to compete around October or November and for the next few months I will be doing a bodybuilding training cycle along with a diet set up for me by my boyfriend IFBB Pro Justin Compton.  What’s the purpose? I want to lean out some through the diet but build more muscle mass in my upper body so that I can stay in my weight class, become more symmetrical with my lower body, and help my bench go up by adding muscle to the weaker areas of my upper body.  After that I will focus solely on strength with a powerlifting training cycle and prep for competition. I think that this way I can also ease my way back to deadlifting heavy in a safe way without having to worry about meet prep for a while.

Of course I will be writing about what I am doing during this BB style training and diet as far experiences go so be sure to check out my future blogs! This will be a new style of training for me so I’ll be sure to make comparisons between that and powerlifting and the benefits of mixing the two!

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