I am to the point where I am just flat out tired of discussing injuries, aches, and pains. I'm glad I held off about saying anything about this one, though, because it appears I may have gotten lucky.
Some people say that my main injuries over the last couple of years are age-related, but I don't believe that. I don't believe that because the circumstances surrounding the injurires, has ZERO to do with age. They could have happened at any point over my 38 years of training. I won't explain in detail why this is because as I stated earlier, I am done discussing them, have put them behind me, and I have moved forward. They occupied too much head-space for almost 2 years and I'm exhausted from it. I have detailed these injuries and explained in depth how you I worked through them in coach logs over the last 2 years. If you are interested, feel free to dig into all of the past coach logs.
This dodged bullet was also not age-related. It was a simple mistake that I should have noticed and known better. I was doing a 4X drop set for what I call hip hack squats. It is the machine that sits on your ass and lower back, and you hold the handles while doing a leg press. If you have a cooler name for it, let me know.
Somewhere around the halfway mark of the 4X drop set, I feel my right biceps pop. Because I was in the middle of the set, I very quickly had to decide whether to attempt to continue the set or immediately rack the weight. I think we all know what my decision was. I kept going. I didn't feel any sharp pain, so I was able to strip another plate (twice) for the last 2 drop sets.
After the drop set was finished, I assessed my situation thoroughly. I had no sharp pain, I had no loss of range of motion, I no limitations with supination or pronation, and I had no bruising or discoloration in the area. I could, however, feel the irritation when I palpated the lower biceps with a lot of pressure. It felt like it was coming from somewhere below the biceps tendon, deep in the wagina of my elbow. I decided to continue training legs and that I would be careful with it to not put too much pressure on it.
In simple terms, I was pulling the handles of the carriage too forcefully into my lower back and glutes. I didn't realize I was doing this until afterward. My subconcious thought was likely that because of my past lower-body injuries, I think I was making damn sure that during such an intense set—of which I finished with 47 reps for the 4X drop set—I didn't want any shift of the carriage against my lower back and glutes, due to fatigue. Obviously, any shift in the carriage could have been something that could have irritated my knee again. After working through this last injury for over a year, that was the last thing I wanted to happen.
The biceps didn't hurt, at all, the rest of the night. It was mildly irritated the following day and was slightly tight when I fully extended the arm. When I say "fully extended" I mean that there was no sign of irritation when my arms were in the normal, slightly-bent position that most any human stands in. It was only when I forced full lock-out of the arm at the elbow did I feel some tightness.
The following few days, I decided not to train so that it could rest. I felt it was a minor issue but I also didn't want to turn it into a major issue, either. After battling injuries for almost 2 years, I figured a few workouts were a fair tradeoff vs risking a major injury. After a few days of resting it, it felt good and there was no longer an tightness when I extended the arm fully. However, because I was going on out of town the following week, I did decide to take the entire next week off, as well, opting for more rest. That would give me almost 2 full weeks of rest to start training it lightly when I returned home.
I don't know how your brain processes things like this, but I do not do well with them. Even though I knew taking time off was the right move, I hated to do it. I just cannot stand not training and not being on a highly structured routine. I should also make clear that training other body parts was an option that I considered, briefly. I realized right away that it would be incredibly limiting if I were to attempt this and it could also put me in a position to still irritate it or injure it. Think about it: I certainly didn't want to hang onto handles while training legs because that is how I injured it. Any biceps training would have been a horrible idea. Back training? Clearly, not a great idea, either. Chest training? Any type of flye movement or even getting dumbbells into position for dumbbell presses would have been an issue. That left calves, abs, and maybe delts. I'm an all or none kind of guy, so I opted for total rest.
Anxiety was high when I came back to training. I planned to train very light that week to both assess the biceps and also to break my body back into training after being out of the gym for 2 weeks. As I started to train, I felt great and decided to push a bit harder. Even on back day and leg day, my biceps felt great. It should be noted that I kept what can best be described as "cruise" weights, though. I was only using about 70% of what I would usually use for weight. This ended up being a good thing because after not training for 2 weeks, I was retardedly sore in every muscle group that I trained.
My last workout of the week is arms and abs. After being so sore from returning to training, I planned to train arms even lighter so that they weren't too badly beaten up for the following week. This was a good move because while training biceps directly, I could feel a small amount of irritation. I kept the weights even lower (around 50% of what I would normally do), increased the reps per set (20-25), and slowed the reps down to focus more on time-under-tension (TUT). I had relatively even contractions from the left biceps to the right, and I also had a great pump. Still, I felt that doing any more work with the biceps would have been a gamble. I left well-enough alone and was happy that I had a pretty good "break-in" workout for the biceps.
The plan is to continue these types of biceps workouts for the next 2-3 weeks and adjust based on how I feel. I would much rather take more time and train them light vs trying to push too soon and injuring myself yet again. If I have clear signs that I can increase intensity and strength, I will. Otherwise, I am taking my time.
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