Back to training after a full month’s rest

As of this last Saturday, it has been four weeks since my ego got the best of me in trying to get one more rep. As you may or may not recall, I had finished my work sets and decided to do just one more rep. That rep proved to be my undoing, good form on the way up, slop sandwich form on the way down…and there went a painful sensation in my lower left side of my back.

So after four weeks of rest, taking only Ibuprofen and Tylenol, using an icy-hot patch on occasion and going to see a chiropractor… I’m back.

This morning was my third visit to the Chiropractor, I have a handful more scheduled. I must be honest, the progress to recovery is slow and frustrating. Silly me, I was hoping that it would be a small adjustment and then the pinched nerve would come loose and voila!


Depending on the position of my leg, there is still pain shooting down through the back of my leg. It is manageable, but oh so frustrating. Even stretching is limited. Four weeks ago I could touch my toes, that is, up until I hurt myself and now I barely go past my knees.

I go back to the Chiropractor again tonight to see a massage therapist.

Why am I writing all of this? Well, it certainly isn’t to throw a pity party. No, I am moving forward, as my “mantra” here dictates. I am pushing through. I am utilizing other ways to get strong and stay healthy.

Over the last week and a half, I made the decision to switch to body-weight exercises and progressive calisthenics. Body-weight exercises done in a circuit is what got me down to my lowest weight and it is also what got me going on this path to fitness, so back to the original path I go, paying homage to where I have come from, where I have been and where I plan to go. It also brings back to the forefront a goal that I have kept in my mind and heart: to be strong and fit enough to compete on American Ninja Warrior. I figure a 36+yr old father of four with Meniere’s Disease could be an awesome back story if I get selected to compete.

This time, I am following a more dedicated route and leaning heavily on progressive calisthenics. Working from the most basic and progressively making the moves harder.

Ever since I started on this path to fitness, health and overall well-being I have heard of this guy, Al Kavadlo, I’ve read many articles by him and have used some of his tips here and there to improve upon the few calisthenic movements I’ve done. He comes highly recommended (along with his brother, Danny) by many notable calisthenics leaders in their field, including “Convict Conditioning”  author Paul “Coach” Wade.

Since I follow Al on ze Fezbooook, I reached out to him and asked him about two of his books “Raising the Bar” and “Pushing the Limits” and which formats would be most beneficial to working out both at home and on the go, especially since I am an avid fan of the Kindle. In awesome Kavadlo fashion, and to my surprise, he responded within a few hours and answered my questions. That done, I went forward with getting both books on Kindle and began doing, what my wife lovingly calls, my “nerd thing” and began reading and absorbing what Al had to say in those two books.

I’m through Chapter 7 in each of them.

So, here I am, finished with my first workout in a month. I’m glad I decided to take it slow and steady, because I am beat!

I did my normal dynamic warmup, which definitely did the trick to get me all warmed up, my heart rate up and me breathing a little harder. The most painful part was actually doing the leg raises…there was some pain there but I watched myself and pushed forward, safely, with teeth gritted.

With a 1min rest in between each set and exercise, here is what I did:

Squat x10 x2

Pushups x10 x2

Walking Lunges x10 x2

Pushups x10 x1 & x8 x1 (muscle failure at #9)

Flex Hangs x3 x15sec (chin up into position and hold)

Planks x3 x20sec

Dead Hangs x3 x15sec

I did my cool down stretches as .usual, leg stretches on the left side sucked hard and was a little painful, but again, I was careful and pushed myself safely.

Keep moving forward. No matter what.

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