It's funny that even when things are going well and I am progressing that, after you train long enough, it seems we always are battling with SOMETHING. I used to get upset about it and it would bother me. Hell, I used to blame it on age but it isn't age. This game can sometimes be a crapshoot.

Sometimes, the obstacle is small; I have a sprained left thumb pad. I laugh but I'm serious. I have never had it before and I don't know how I did it, but I have it. It doesn't keep me from doing anything in the gym so that's a huge bonus. It just hurts once or twice a day if I move it the wrong way. That's about the only way I can explain it. 

Sometimes the obstacle is bigger; I am still struggling with my right knee. This one is my own doing and would bother me on and off while prepping last year. It's more of an "itis" issue (overuse) and after not being able to train legs heavy for 4 months after my partial rupture of my glute last year, I figured it had plenty of time to recover. I actually think it DID recover. Then, I came back into the gym --  as careful as I was with building up poundages slowly -- it started to come back. It was very subtle. It would start out as just a minor ache but then would sometimes hurt a little more and it was building for about 3 weeks where it got a little worse each leg session.

Here is where hindsight is 20/20. I have done what I do long enough to know that as something like this progresses, you have to step back and allow the inflammation to go down. I mean, I guess you don't HAVE to but if you don't, it will inevitably get worse over time. 

I knew that time was coming, but I figured I would be good for another couple leg sessions before giving it a rest. Let's be honest, we all do it. We tend to think that we can get another week or two, or another workout or two and THEN slow down. The signs were there for the last heavy leg session I had about 3 weeks ago. What I should have done was called it and left the gym. What did I do? You're fucking right I did; I wrapped my knees nice and tight and hit a couple PRs on hacks. I considered it a success during and after the session because it felt fine and I put up great numbers. Then, I went home and went to sleep. The next day when I woke up, I was very clear that I had overshot this last session.

I then decided that not training legs for a couple of weeks would help, and it did. I still trained hams and calves but no quads. It has gotten progressively better but is still about 15% to 20% from being ready to go. I am GUESSING this might still be another couple of weeks. However, as the pain has subsided in the one area that was bothering me the most (where the vastus lateralis attaches to the patella), I now have some minor pain below and to the outside of the patella, as well. This was not noticed prior to taking time off from training legs, so I have to figure out exactly what this is all about. If I were to guess, it is likely due to the weakness and inflammation that I started with on the top of my knee that caused more stress on the knee joint, itself. However, this is just a guess as I have not seen a doctor to get a diagnosis. I am waiting until early next week to see if it gets any better as I have to wait for the top part of my knee to feel better, anyway. I mean, I can't train quads, anyway, so waiting a little longer is not affecting my quad training any worse than it is now.

I did decide to use a peptide to help the healing process and it has been one week, so far. Though it is touted as being able to wipe out inflammation in tendons, I have not noticed much this first week. It may be helping, but I have noticed nothing dramatic that makes me think, "this shit works!" I will let it play out, though, and keep using it.

If we shift to upper body work and progress, things are going great. All of my joints feel great and my right triceps tendon has zero irritation in it right now. That's a bonus. I am able to train upper body with zero limitations right now. In fact, I am able to train everything at 100% with the exception of quads. And guess where my biggest weakness is? Yup. Quads. 

I am dying because I want to bomb the shit out of quads, but I know I have to let this knee settle down or I won't get another 6 weeks of bombing quads and I will have the same irritation in my knee that I have now. I am working hard to be patient but it's tough.

I said earlier that age doesn't play into this but indirectly it does. It does in that the more years you have pounded your body, the more likely it is that these things will manifest. So, when I say it isn't related to age, I mean it isn't related to the fact that I am 51. It is related more to the fact that I have trained for 37 years. It is related to the fact that the longer we train, the less likely we are to want to pull back. Instead, we push for "just one more session" before taking a rest or break.  It could be said that this is stupid, but I would like to think that it isn't that it is stupid, but that we are trying to balance how much we can do or get done before we have to be smart and pull back. If we pulled back every time there was a sign that something aches, those of us who have trained for decades wouldn't get much done in the gym. 

After all, I strained my THUMB PAD.


Yes, really.


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