My journey to getting my bodybuilding life back!!!
- 03-27-2009, 08:06 PM
My journey to getting my bodybuilding life back!!!
Hey guys, my right elbow had been hurting for a couple of weeks then on the 6th of this month, my training went to a screeching halt. I was doing pullovers and during my last few reps my right elbow started to "pull" a little. It was like something was tearing in my elbow. Ignoring the odd feeling, I continued over to the pushdown station. When I attempted to do my first rep, I got halfway down with the weight then "pop"!!! The weight stack came crashing down and my elbow felt like it was on fire. Over the last 3 days it had swelled up and bruised from the top of my bicep to my knuckles. My arm looked very similar to the infamous Dorian Yates pic of his bruised arm when he tore his bicep tendon.
After getting an x-ray and an MRI scan plus an eval from an orthopedic surgeon, it was confirmed that I had partially torn my tricep tendon. This may be what has happened to you guys. It really sucks cause my training has come to a screeching halt. My goal of hitting 200 lbs at 5'5 and a half is over for this year anyway and the only thing I have to look forward to is surgery to reattach my tricep tendon.
I'm going to start a journal of my road to recovery in this forum. If anyone reads this then be prepared to be not only educated but, possiblly either be bored, entertained, depressed, or fortunate. On Wednesday, I go in for my re-evaluation and hopefully schedule a surgery date.
I am very determined to make a comeback as soon as the physical rehab is over and a year from today, I'll be back to my goal weight of 200 lbs of solid muscle and not let anything hold me back or stand in my way. On the Muscular Development issue that has Victor Martinez on the cover (March issue), he talks about his tendon tear. He inspires me that I can recover too because something he said in that issue. He said that "now that its fixed, I don't have to worry about it tearing again and continue with my training". Okay, it wasn't exactly like that but, you get the point. His words inspire me to do what he did and get this done, heal, and get back to one of the things I love doing in this world. Wish me luck, guys. I'll keep you all posted.
- 03-28-2009, 11:53 AM
- 04-01-2009, 03:42 PM
Today is April 1, 2009 and I went to see my new orthopedic surgeon this morning. Well, it's been confirmed by him that on April 8th, my right right tricep tendon will be reattached. Hopefully, everything will go well and he expects a 6 week recovery period plus a few months of rehab. The surgery date couldn't be any sooner but, the part that worries me is the recovery time.
04-06-2009, 01:00 PM
04-07-2009, 10:05 PM
So far, I'm going to go the natural route by using Powerfull as a way to speed recovery. But, as far as the latest update is concerned, my surgery is tomorrow morning. Am I scared? You bet your ass I am! But, at the same time, my elbow will finally get fixed which definitely pleases me.
When they sent me to get checked out to see if my overall health was good enough for surgery, they found out that one of my valves is mildly defective. That's why I'm a little freaked out right now. So, this may/may not be my last entry period. There may be a possibility my heart could give out during surgery. Just pray for me guys
04-09-2009, 04:09 PM
I just had my surgery for my torn tricep tendon yesterday. My neuro-blocking agent wore off this morning so, vicodin has become my best friend. I haven't been lifting since march 9 and have only lost 6-7 lbs.. The doc said i'd be in a splint for only 2 weeks then a cast for 4 weeks. Right now it kinda sucks doing everything left handed. Hell, I'm typng this right now with my left hand. Normally, this would take no time at all. But, this entry is taking forever. Hopefully, this will be worth the pain and I'll be back crankin out the reps on some weights!!
04-09-2009, 04:23 PM
04-14-2009, 01:49 PM
04-15-2009, 01:32 AM
April 14, 2009
Tomorrow will be a week since
my surgery. The pain that use to be so unbearable that I would ingest large amounts of
Vicodin to just keep me from passing out. Today will be the first
day I haven't taken any hard core pain meds.
I`ve had a few occasions where i`ve aggravated my elbow abit with hint of transient pain but
Nothing to get heavily worried about. I just hope my wound isn`t messed up under all these bandages and my splint. As far
As far as my activity level is concerned, the most I can do is body weight squats and ab crunches. Hell, can't
Bodyweight squats and crunches. I'm trying not to work up a sweat
Doing cardio cause the bandages could come off and the wound would be subjected
To infection. But, my arm feels much better. I'll let everyone know how my follow-up doc appointment goes. Oh, and i'm not allowed to drive a car. i've been home bound for a week and i'm losin my mind!
04-17-2009, 01:50 PM
Just work as hard at your recovery as you do in the gym.. I hurt my shoulder almost a year ago and I was very proactive in my recovery at first which got me quickly back into the gym. Since then I had not really been doing enough stretches and rehab exercises. I am adamant now to do so as I want to get back to my old form. It's coming around now but I'm still not as strong.
04-17-2009, 08:08 PM
Thanks dreamweaver and everyone else out there who has been giving me support through this difficult time in my life. As you get older, it seems like more and more drama enters your lfe. But, knowing that "nothing lasts forever" does help me develop a more positive attitude. Your support means alot to me and I just want to tell everyone thanks for the kind words.
The next post will probably be on Wednesday or Thursday. So, all my p eeps out there come back next time on this same channel for another depressing episode of "My journey to getting my bodybuilding life back!!!". God bless everybody.
04-18-2009, 11:12 AM
04-23-2009, 01:22 AM
April 21, 2009
I went to my ortho doc today to be refitted for a new cast. It seems that mysplint was only suppose to be on my arm for 2 weeks. After that time period, my arm is covered in an actual plastered cast which is another two week period. My doc still doesn't want me to do crap with this busted arm. No training until I get the cast off. Right now, I've been doing alot of self reflection and asking myself "why"?
Anyway, I'm very happy to say that its healing fast and that it won't be long until I'll be able to get back to the gym. It's driving me nuts. Oh well, this time period will allow me to keep going even when mishaps occur.
05-07-2009, 05:43 PM
May 7 2009
Yesterday I finally got this stupid cast off my arm. My elbow joint had been immobilized for the last four weeks and today will be the first day going back into the gym. I'm still not allowed to do any weight training with my right arm until completing 4 weeks of physical therapy. But, they've given me the okay to do some cardio and since the cast is no longer an issue, sweating up a storm won't be an issue. My arm feels alot better than it did prior to the surgery. The only problems that are prevalent to me is the stiffness and some bicep and wrist pain. It must be from my arm being immobilized for so many weeks that led to this. I know its not bent-rows but, at least its doing something to physically exert myself. But, we'll see what happens.
05-11-2009, 06:07 AM
You will make it, no worries. I understand that you have some hard times right now,
but try to put your thoughs on other things. Life has much to offer besides training.
I am in the middle of a comeback myself, and i think i will come trough.
Maybe you loose a little, but i am pretty sure that it will not take long before your are up at your prior level. I lost every pound of muscle that i had, through long time of sickness. And im aiming high.
Keep up the good spirit
05-12-2009, 12:23 PM
April 12, 2009
First, I'd like to say thanks to Houston1 for the encouraging words. It is pretty surprising to get some replys back as my weekly excerpts are added to this thread. I hope everything is progressing well for you Houston1. It is a very hard and difficult time for me right now especially when I have two kids to raise pretty much on my own. One of my kids is two years old by the way.
For the last couple of days, I've been doing pretty much nothing but, cardio. Jogging and riding the stationary bike is pretty much all I can do right now. Technically, I could do leg work but, I'd still have to lift up 45 lbs. plates to put on the bars and weight stations. Right now my confidence in lifting anything past my two year old boy kinda scares me seeing that it hasn't even been a week since I've gotten my cast off. As a result of the time off, I've gone from a solid 196 lbs to 181 lbs. My wife thinks that's good but, to me, I feel small, weak, mad, and depressed.
My first physical therapy session was yesterday. The only thing that was done was his patient assessment and some tests to see my level of strength in my right arm. It was pretty sad. I've lost nearly half my flexibility, wrist strength, forearm strength, and, of course, tricep strength. But, the good news is that my physical therapist feels he can get me back in the gym doing light weight in 4-6 weeks. With the amount of cash he's gonna be bleeding out of me, he better! He also gave me some exercises to do at home in between sessions.
Anyway, that's it for now. If there are people out there reading all my whining and bitching, then understand that this is in a way a form of therapy for me write all this stuff then look back a couple of months down the road to remind me that I'm not immortal. Also, if it seems like all I've been doing is complaining about how ****ty my life is right now then, your right. I am complaining just like everyone in this forum has the right to do. It's the American way. Take care you all and I'll see you again on the same bat channel.
05-22-2009, 08:02 PM
April 22, 2009
Hi everyone and Happy Memorial Day weekend. Hopefully, everyone out there will have a safe and enjoyable weekend. I don't know my plans for the holiday but, it won't be anything physically demanding.
It will be about 6 weeks since my surgery day and so far, my recovery is going pretty good so far. The funny thing about physical therapy is these clinicians sure know how to make a guy feel like a complete wuss. I mean, there was a time when I could easily do tricep kickbacks with 30 lbs. and now my ass is struggling with 5 lbs.. And the thing that frustrates me is that it seems like the therapist who's working with me kind of gives this patronizing smerk as I'm struggling with this baby weight. It's like he is nonverbally telling me " look at the big, bad, bodybuilder now-not so tough lifting that paperweight, are you?"
The only thing I've done in the gym in cardio. I put in four days of week of 30 mins of cardio session consisting of the treadmill one workout then the bike the next. It pisses me off to look across the gym and see all those big guys and even not-so-big guys lifting and grunting away. But, I got no one else to blame but me. I just try to tell myself not to believe its over and just praying to god that I'll be able to make a comeback. That's the only thing I can ask for now.
Anyway, I gotta go. I will update this thread again next week. Again, to all my supporters out there who have been reading my blogs, thank you for putting up with me. Take care and have a happy Memorial Day weekend.
06-02-2009, 03:24 PM
April 29, 2009
Another day of rehab shot down. Man, I love how these therapists make you feel like you have the strength of a 5 year old girl. Anyway, the situation is not all that bad cause I increased my weights anywhere from 3-5 lbs. Woo-hoo, 315 bench look out! That means that instead of working with a 1 lbs weight for tricep overhead extensions, I'm using a 3 lbs. weight. Olympia 2009 is lookin really good! Watch it Dexter!
All kidding aside, Things have been progressing but, not the way I'd like. In the recent issue of MD, Lee Priest is pictured in his forum training doing one-armed incline dumbell presses only weeks after his bicep surgery. If my very finanacial income depended solely on my physique and training, I'd probably be lifting too (just not as heavy). But since I don't make a living as a professional bodybuilder, my health insurance and short term disability covered me during my time off of work. Anyway, it kills me still to look across the way from the cardio area of my gym and seeing these big dudes just killin themselves on the weight. I tell myself either "just wait...next year I'll be back."
06-02-2009, 05:17 PM
Time will fly for you. When I first started on my 'fitness kick' I was constantly looking to see results and I always thought it was never enough and it would never come fast enough. I have learned to have patience. The next thing you know you will be lifting like never before and will reap the rewards of all your hard work in rehab. Just be thankful that you can actually fix what was broken!!
06-05-2009, 12:56 PM
May 5, 2009
I've been going to rehab for a month and after my appointment this past wednesday with my orthopedic surgeon, he extended my rehab to another month. Another freakin' month! The x-ray showed that it is not solid or healed up enough for me to go back to the gym. They're hoping that it will be better in a month. Oh well, I guess I'll just keep sweatin' my ass off in the cardio area of my gym. Oh, and thanks protempsfish for the kind words. It's cool to know that there are people out there who gives a crap about us guys who go through this hell. So many people don't realize how fortunate they are to keep lifting day in and day out and they're only complaint is that "I can't get 315 on my bench. This sucks". Well, all I gotta say to those guys is that you ought to be happy that you can lift period. So, that's the latest so far. My lower tricep near my elbow insertion feels like its going to rip apart when the therapist is working with me and he still makes me feel like I have the strength of a 5 year old gir. But, at least I got the aerobic capacity of a marathon runner. Whatever.
06-15-2009, 04:23 PM
June 15, 2009
Sorry to everyone who has been following this thread but, couldn't really do too much typing cause my computer decided to die on me a few weeks ago. So, now that my computer is all patched up, I can continue giving weekly updates of what's going on with my arm.
Physical therapy has been working with me incorporating machines to strengthen my tricep. The movements are common weight training movements you'd do on a cybex or nautilus machine. Lat pulldowns, chest press, and seated preacher curls as well as a few other weight training movements were part of my training. It is nice to be able to perform real weight training movements but, nothing beats squatting, chest pressing, or deadlifting with free free weights. But, it is still very embarrassing when you're shaking just lifting two plates from the stack and shaking while doing it. I feel so embarrassed.
One good thing about all this is that my therapist said I've made big impovements on my ROM, strength, flexibility and pain level. In fact, I can almost fully extend my right arm with onlyl a 2 degree diffence in comparison. So, I'm happy overall with the way I'm progressing.
06-24-2009, 10:53 AM
June 24, 2009
My rehab stint is almost done. Next week will be my last week there. I can't wait to get back into the gym and starting doing bodybuilding movements again. Things seem to be going well cause my therapist yesterday asked me if I was back in the gym again. When she said that, I couldn't help to think that maybe I could ready sooner than expected. But, for my own safety, my return date will be after July 8th. It will be slow going at first but, at least I will be going back to the thing that drives my very existance on a daily basis. Sure, I do experience a little tweek when doing extending my tricep and yes, some I do have some numbness there but, the pain is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. Also, flexing and extending has become much, much easier than it was 2 months ago.
Again, people like victor martinez, lee priest, batista, and triple H all motivate me to continue to train to build the best body possible. They've either are going or have gone through countless tendon and joint surgeries and still kept coming back to the gym looking just as good as they did prior to their injuries. I know I'm no where near in their league but, men like them give me inspiration to be as driven as them regardless of the situation.
07-02-2009, 04:09 PM
July 2, 2009
I didn't go to rehab this week cause my attention has been focused elsewhere in my life. Y'know some of us who are in here have parents that have either passed away or are very sick to a point they need medical attention. My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer a couple of days ago. My ma told me this terrible news and the only thing I cuold do since Tuesday was cancel all my appointments (including rehab) and go see my father. He has a long list of other conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, CHF, etc.. Unfortunately, the main concern is that the cancer may exaggerate the other conditions and lead to him dying from something else other than the cancer. So, yeah, my mind or heart isn't in my usual "bodybuilding zone" right now. But, when my mind begins to clear and my heart starts to mend, I will get back on that bodybuilding horse.
07-10-2009, 07:43 PM
July 10, 2009
I can't believe that its been three months since my tricep surgery. This has been a very trying experience for me seeing that my recovery centered around taking care of my kids and running a household all on my own. My wife has been away for months because of her schooling. Anyway, two days ago, the doctor released me from rehab and giving me the red light to start weight training again. I'm so happy to have the "seal of approval" to move forward again with my training. I'll miss those guys out there at rehab. \
My regiman won't consist of alot of barbell or dumbell work. Most of my compound movements will involve machines for now (Hammer strength to be exact) until my arm feels more "solid". You see, my arm feels alot stronger and more durable than it was before surgery. But, my arm was so jacked up prior to surgery that pulling my arm behind my head to dry my back with a towel was almost an impossible task. The doc said that the collagen fibers will not be 100% meshed together for at least a couple of more months. Honestly, I can wait that long if it means making the tissue in my elbow stronger than it use to be.
One more thing. Being off of any serious weight training led me to refocus my health and conditioning to a more "aerobic" perspective. All the cardio I did while injured and up to now has led me to drop a ton of bodyfat and look really cut for the summer. Actually, I really wasn't planning on being cut up lean, and muscular for the summer. So, I guess not doing alot of heavy lifting was a good thing after all. My wife is definitely pleased with my "new look". Other than that, that's all for now. Take care everyone.
07-17-2009, 01:18 PM
July 17, 2009
It's been two weeks since getting back into the gym and it feels great. Right now my goal isn't really to pack on a bunch of mass and strength. If I tried to shoot for that right now, the possibilty of re-injuring my elbow could actually occur. So, my current goal for the next 6-8 months is to just train my muscles for strength but with extremely good form and aim toward high a rep of range of 10-15 and not feel like I'm gonna pass out on my last rep. I've mainly been using hammer strength machines and the smith machine for my weight training. However, the only movement I do that involves a barbell is romanian deadlifts.
Since I had been doing alot of cardio for the last few months, it has been hard to give that up because I'm in much better condition now than I was weeks prior to injuring myself. I mean it is really nice to see 4 out of the 6 ab muscles poking out of my stomach and it is nice to be able to take a couple of flights of stairs at work without being winded. Since I've been training for years, I've kept a good amount of muscle to where I don't look like a cross-country distance runner( nothing against those guys but, I want muscle and leanness). So, I'm happy with how things are going. Yeah, I'd like to be alot stronger than I am now but, that can't be forced cause I could easily end up jacking myself up again. The docs say that I'm still in the healing phase of my recovery and it will be at least 6 months before the collagen could build around the metal and tissue of my elbow to form a more solid connection. Well, that's it for now. You'll hear for me next week. Later
07-19-2009, 08:41 AM
Great to see you are able to start getting back into it and get the feel for it again. The added cardio benefits will come in handy in many ways as well.
07-30-2009, 03:53 PM
July 30, 2009
Sorry I haven't been able to put in an excerpt cause I've been busy, well, training. I've decided not to give up on doing the cardio I have been doing since being injured. Since doing my four day a week cardio sessions, my physique has taken a more cut and muscular look. Sure, I'm nowhere near as big and massive as I use to be prior to being injured but, most people who see me say I've lost weight but, not in such a fashion where I look like I need a steak. My weight training is progressing quite well too. Although it will be a while before I'll be doing 300 lbs. on a bench, I'm still happy that I can still move weight without any serious pain. So, basically, I won't push myself super hard until the end of October cause that when I've had at least 6 months for the cartilage and collagen to reinforce and harden so I can handle heavier loads. For now, I'm in no hurry. Well, that is it so far. I think I'll write on a monthly basis. This will allow me to give you guys alot more info. and updates about how I'm doing. Till then, thanks everyone for the support.
07-30-2009, 08:25 PM
you are really making some sound decisions in terms of longevity. it's easy to get carried away and trying to do too much too fast.. and really, who cares how much you are benching anyways? stay positive, before you know it, you'll be 100%. enjoy reading your updates.. keep us updated.
08-30-2009, 05:27 PM
Aug 30 2009
Whoa, I almost missed my monthly update. First of all thank you all very much for the support and compassion all of you have shown me since starting this thread. I'm glad that for those of you who have been following this thread have enjoyed my excerpts. It's good to know that there are people still out there in this dog-eat-dog world who care about people who are in need or are in pain. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
Anyway, I'm typing this from work. To the right of me is the cardinals game and to the left of me is an ICU bed (I'm a respiratory therapist by trade). Since last month, my training has slowly been getting better. If anything, my cardiovascular conditioning has reached levels that I thought I would never achieve at my age. As a result, I've been able to stay a lean 175 lbs with a decent set of abs and alot of energy to show for it. As far as my weight training is concerned, I've incorporated another barbell movement in my regiman which doesn't heavily stress my right tricep. So, now I'm now concentrating on not only alot of hammer strength machines for my upper body but, also 3 barbell movements that train my core-deadlift, squat, and shrugs. Of course, my top weights would probably be nothing more than warm up sets to alot of you guys but, I feel I'm still doing something to help me put some muscle, size, and strength on my frame.
The sad thing about all this is that I use to have this smug attitude about people in the gym. I mean I would feel like these people who were just lifting these small dumbbells and barbell poundages shouldn't be be breathing the same gym air as me. So, I would be really anti-social and scowl alot when I'd train or even between sets. But, I was also 20 lbs heavier and really deep into building nothing but size and strength. All that a bad attitude gave me was an injury that has put me back for several months. Even though I'm happy with my overall physique now, I still look back and tell myself "why didn't you just go home after the first rep and take a whole week off of training". Why did I have to be the hero and feel like I needed to be there training when in fact I should have been home resting.
I'd like to write more but, I gotta go. The ICU needs my full attention now. Until next time, see ya guys next month.
08-31-2009, 02:39 PM
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