I am currently facing my first huge setback in training for this competition, and it remains to be seen how quickly I will recover and move beyond it. On Thursday last week I injured my mid-back on the lat pulldown machine. I only noticed the injury two hours after I had completed the exercise, so I had no indication that I needed to stop or drop my weights. In fact, I was doing the same weights as the week prior with less reps, so I really had no indication that this was going to become such a large issue. I had stupidly destroyed my lower left back months ago doing squats on the smith machine, the only option my last atrocious but cheap gym offered for weighted squats. I stopped doing squats until about two weeks ago, and it became painful and inflamed again. I have also had an awful knot in my mid back/shoulder that I have had for three years that I only notice when I run. I recently received benefits at work, and was able to make a RMT appointment just in time.
The RMT couldn’t find any large issues with my mid-back aside from the shoulder knot, so she focused on that. When I went back to the gym on Monday I decided to tack on a shoulder workout to my regular chest/tri workout. This seriously injured my shoulder, and so I had to get her to take a look at it as well. I just assumed it was because of my mid-back injury from last Thursday. I noticed I was much weaker in my right side even before I added shoulders, to substantially mess things up even more. Idiot me.
My RMT told me that I had a large amount of scar tissue in my shoulder, probably from a rotator cuff tear from months ago. I noticed that I severely injured my shoulder during my last transformation program, but it went away so I didn’t pay much attention to it. I kept training as usual, which was obviously a mistake. Now I have scar tissue in part of my shoulder, and the top of my shoulder is injured from trying to compensate. Needless to say, I have booked two massage appointments per week and am trying ART massage therapy to see if I can do anything to speed up the healing and breakdown of the scar tissue. Apparently shoulder injuries are the most common for bodybuilders, and the most difficult to work around.
My back is still an issue as well, so I will have to now avoid all exercises that will further damage my back and shoulder- meaning no more back, bicep, tricep, or shoulder exercises for awhile. I am now stuck doing legs (no squats), cardio, and abs for quite awhile. This will drastically change my training, since I have always been arm based, with a single leg day and very light cardio.
At first I just thought I would do light weights and high reps, but I really have to take this seriously if I want to fix the issue. I will be finding a new workout program to use for the next few months, and I will share it as soon as I have decided on one. Check out the following links if you are trying to decide how to train around an injury: