As Written

     A few weeks ago, I started another twelve week program focused on putting on muscle mass.  The primary focus of the program is lifting heavier weights and using free weights primarily.  The well-respected personal trainer, who designed the program, insists that you follow it “as written”, a common ask from program designers.

     I trained legs on the first day.  When it came to hamstrings, the program called for heavy Barbell Romanian Deadlifts followed by Leg Curls.  My gym only has a Lying Leg Curl machine.  I was apprehensive about doing the exercises in this order.  I normally perform Leg Curls first to warm-up the hamstrings before stretching them back out with Romanian Deadlifts.

me-breaking-1996

Me Breaking Boards around age 26

     However, I pressed forward with the program as written.  I felt really good doing the Romanian Deadlifts, which hit the lower back as well as the hamstrings.  I noticed my lower back and hamstrings were both pumped as I went on to Lying Leg Curls.

     As I began performing the Lying Leg Curls, I felt some pressure in my lower back but it wasn’t too bad.  I chaulked it up to my hips being slightly elevated due to the angle of the machine, which helps to stretch the hamstring.

     Later in the afternoon, I felt some discomfort in my lower back but wasn’t too concerned.  The next morning, I had to roll out of bed to get up.  Walking a few steps was very painful.  I had to take it easy for the next couple of days.  Luckily, I was back to normal in 4 or 5 days.

     So whose fault is it that my back was strained from performing the program “as written”.  That is an easy one.  It was my fault.  If I was a beginner, following the program “as written” would be the reasonable course to follow.  I wasn’t a beginner.

     I’ve been training for 32 years.  No one knows how my body reacts to training and nutrition like I do.  I also know that as a soon-to-be 48 year old, I often have to modify training and exercise to avoid injury or strain.

     This same principle applies to all areas of life.  If you are new to something, perform the activity “as written” by an expert.  Once you are no longer a novice, you often no longer have to perform it “as written”.  You have the knowledge to adjust the program to you.

     Have a happy and prosperous 2017!  You can leave a comment or ask a question about this or any post on my Facebook pageTwitter profile and Google+ page.

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