I'm not kidding; TOUCH THEM.

I had forgotten what a glute pump felt like, and I couldn't be happier to be able to be breaking back into regular training now. As my last coach log stated, I was cleared by Dr. Fragiskakis who, after a full assessment, said that I was 100% and could start training legs with compound movements again. 

Admittedly, it is difficult to not just jump in with both feet, but I have become wiser over time -- primarily within the last few years. I figure the time that was wasted was enough that I don't want to waste more time by coming back too soon. Normally, I'm the guy who says I will take it easy coming back and then jumps back in figuring that I'll just deal with the muscle soreness and everything will be fine. Not this time.

In hindsight, I strongly believe that had I stopped trying to train legs sooner, I would have been healed much sooner.  Of course, I was still trying to keep my prep going so the motivation of finishing prep was my top priority. It was only when I realized that I wasn't going to be 100% that I decided it wasn't going to be worth it to show up on stage not being my best. 

You would think that after accepting that I wasn't going to be 100% at my shows and letting my hip rest and recover, I would be good with at least getting back to training upper body and doing the limited movements that I could with my legs. Hell no. I am an all or none person. I want to to 100% or not go, at all. I honestly contemplated not training, at all, until my hip was healed. The only thing that kept me on track with my training is that I now train clients one-on-one at TITAN GYM in FTL, and I was not about to show up to the gym to train clients looking like an untrained, fat slug after being in such great shape for my prep phase. It not for training clients one-on-one, I would likely have sat on my fat ass at home until I was fully recovered.

Though I'm not in the condition that I was during prep (duh), my progress over the last few months has been pretty good, and even better than I expected considering I had transitioned to TRT. My thoughts were that it would be a good time to let my body rest, my blood markers to recover, and then when I was 100% again with my hip, I could then step on the gas again and start building these legs. 

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I did not come back to a ton of squats and leg presses, though. I had developed a limited training plan for my legs while recovering that allowed me two exercises from the start:

leg extensions

seated leg curls (couldn't do lying leg curls because of the injury)

As my hip recovered more, I was able to add sissy squats after the other two exercises as this movement isn't very hip dominant. I noted in past coach logs that this trio of leg exercises worked quite well to maintain some leg size while the hip recovered. In fact, I was shockingly sore as hell in my quads and hams after every single leg session, and I hadn't been very sore after big leg sessions during my prep. It was a nice change of pace. It also backed up how effective sissy squats can be for the quads, so I will definitely be keeping sissy squats in the plan even as I add in more compound movements.

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After being cleared by Dr. Fragiskakis, I have added squats after the other 3 exercises for legs. The idea is to do them at the end when my quads are shot, so that I don't have to use much weight, and I can build the stabilizer muscles without either reinjuring my gluteus medius or creating a new injury in other stabilizer muscles due to weakness and/or tightness after not training stabilizer muscles in my hips and lower back for the last 3 months. Keep in mind that I also did not do any of my hip and lower back stretches while my injury was healing, either. I didn't want to risk irritating the gluteus medius and setting myself back, at all, during recovery. Surprisingly, my flexibility isn't very bad and after adding my stretching protocol back in (immediately prior to training legs), I have found that I am still almost 100% as far as range of motion in my hips after I am done stretching.

The plan moving forward is simple:

For the next 5 weeks I will keep the same 3 leg exercises to start my leg training (which is preceded by a normal calf workout), and then add one extra movement at the end. Those movements will either be squats, leg presses or lunges. I feel that 5 weeks should be a sufficient amount of time to build the strength of my stabilizer muscles to the point where I can then rearrange my leg training to open with a compound movement and then start to build strength and poundages from that point on.

In the meantime, if you see me at TITAN GYM training legs, feel free to touch my glutes. Just be sure to introduce yourself, first. Just Sayin'.


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