Got’cher Back

I have known a few people in life who have had catastrophic back injuries. Construction workers mostly. Men who lived for over 40 years in constant pain. In sleep and awake, they were never away from it. It terrified me as a youngster. Life’s lesson? Take care of your back.

Last week I tweaked my back enough to make me nervous. After the initial strain, I was able to gingerly walk to the gym locker room where I laid down on the floor and stretched for about a half hour. I was able to make it out by then, come home to ice and sit up in my favorite chair. But I was freaked. I’ve been making excellent progress the last two months and as much as I didn’t want to see that derailed, I really didn’t want to have a bad back for an extended period of time.

I rested Friday and started Saturday with some empty bar RDL’s and light deadlifts. Same goes for Sunday. By Monday I was feeling up enough to stick to my program; however; I radically decreased the weights and up’d the volume. Think 95# bench can’t cause soreness? Do enough and they will. That was after what seemed like 4000 light presses.

But I felt good and I was training.  I’ve also learned my lesson. The current program has me training M-TH with Friday off and the olympic lifts on Saturday. I’ve been going hard enough to be sufficiently exhausted and fatigued by Thursday’s and I’m done with that. I’m not recovering enough to stay healthy and most importantly, my back has gone from the “good tired” to the “bad sore” and leaving me open for injury.

I’m thankful to be smart enough to adjust and I’m incredibly thankful for a good back and the continued ability to train.

Take care of your backs and for those of you who have no idea how to coach the deadlift and allow novices to yank a bar off the floor without keeping the back locked in extension? You suck. Truth.

When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.

Abraham Lincoln

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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