I did it. I stayed out of the gym until my knee felt like it had been progressing well enough to go back in without having a set back.  I just couldn't put it off any longer.

Just like the rest of you, I struggle to stay out of the gym whether it is supposed to be for the best or not. It's only a knee issue, but if you haven't had a knee problem, you might be surprised to know how limiting it is. 

Obviously, walking heavy dumbbells from the rack to a bench to do presses is not a good idea. However, even sitting down with them is a no-go unless they are under 50-60 pounds. You just can't support a set of heavy dumbbells with your strong leg. Sitting them back down on the quad that is attached to your bad knee is also a no-go. Drop the weights when you are done? Sure. But then you have to pick each one of them up from the floor and get them reracked.

Why not just use Hammer Strength and other machines, right? Nope. Even bracing my right food agains the floor to stabilize my upper body was not just painful but it would inflame the knee, as well, as the workout progressed. Hold my legs up off the floor while using a machine? In theory this sounds logical. However, holding your legs up off of the floor means that your quads are tensed. Any flexion of the quad irritates the knee. Irritation that is repetitive bothers the knee. Another no-go. I'm sure you can see that the no-gos are piling up, quickly.

Standing triceps pressdowns? Try doing a triceps pressdown with your legs completely straight. It doesn't work very well. Same thing goes for side laterals, curls, etc. Any rowing is difficult to do with straight legs, as well. Long pulley rowing? Try getting into position without bending at the knee, let alone doing the exercise without bending the knee. More no-gos. 

It became obvious that I had no choice other than to not train if I wanted my knee to have enough time not being irritated and inflamed. The nice thing is that it did work. My knee feels better the last 5 days than it has felt the entire time since the injury. It still isn't very close to 100% but at least I can admit that it is definitely progressing and progressing well.

I went back into the gym today after over 2 weeks of not training, at all. I was anxious because I didn't know if I was going to irritate it again or not. It felt great to get a workout in but it sucks having to constantly be aware to not do anything stupid and re-injure the knee. At least when it hurts all of the time it is a reminder that you have to be careful. When it doesn't hurt, that's when it's hard to not turn quickly or do something that the knee isn't going to like or benefit from.

I don't know how the rest of you deal with setbacks like this but I am an all or none, kind of guy. I'm either all in or I'm zero. This means that I am not going to be on my diet when I am not training. It's just the way I'm wired. And it isn't because I wan to eat shitty food as much as it is that I don't want to eat, period. Prepping numerous meals and making sure that I eat them on a schedule is not something I am motivated to do when I am not training. I tend to eat only once or maybe twice per day and have to force myself to drink water because I am not even thinking about it while sitting on the couch with my leg elevated. The last thing I want to do is have to get up to pee every 45 minutes or to get up and grab my bottle of water. Grabbing a bag of Doritos, though? I can do that--no problem.

Between my knee feeling better this last weekend and my being disgusted with myself for not doing much of anything for over 2 weeks, I decided to get back in the gym today and see what I could do. Everything went well and felt great. The workout was great and I'm back to being locked into my diet--thankfully.  I am quite certain that I will feel even better after I get this first week under my belt.


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