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The Long Road to Recovery

3 minutes read  

by Harry
on 19 Oct, 20223 minutes read

I mentioned in my last blog about how rest and recovery was becoming a priority, but only this week have I begun taking real steps towards recovering from pulling my trap twice around a month ago.

It's been a long 4 weeks of 3-day splits, that have become completely boring and limited my time in the gym overall.

I was stuck to a regime of Arms, Delts and Legs, meaning I wasn't able to do too many sessions each week due to DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) and general rest days needed for growth. Don't get me wrong, I've seen some big steps forward in my lifts for all three, but not training my chest or back for so long was beginning to raise concerns about muscular atrophy and losing strength.

More importantly, I was starting to feel pain elsewhere in my back, and upon talking to a friend that also suffered a back injury, they mentioned that their physical therapist said that abruptly stopping training for a long period can in fact worsen the injury.

Now, of course rest is crucial to recovery, but if you want to avoid scar tissue build up and stiffness, there's much more to it than sitting around for a month and doing nothing. You have to keep the muscle moving to keep it healthy.

I had been so worried about injuring myself again if I returned to the gym too soon, but as the pain from the strain itself subsided, I began experiencing aches all over my back instead. It seems that the lack of activity resulted in a lot of stiffness that wasn't going anywhere so long as I sat around doing nothing.

This is why I have started easing back in both Chest and Back workouts. This means limited movements, lighter weights and higher reps, focusing as much as possible on keeping my core still and my back straight.

Something else that's new to me but is proving vital to recovery and smart workouts too, is A LOT of stretching, not just before workouts but throughout the day.

I'll stretch when I wake up, stretch at the gym before lifting and stretch regularly at my desk while working. Although it may be a bit strange for the rest of my office, it's really helping reduce the stiffness and aches in my back.

I can't tell you how nice it is to have a full workout schedule running again. It was starting to get a bit weird only having growth in my arms and legs.

So, if there's anything I've learned - adding 10 minutes of stretching before your workouts is more important than you may think (or at least than I thought) and you should know there's more to rest and recovery, than just rest (who'd have thought?).

I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things, and hopefully seeing similar progress with my chest & back.

It's all on the up. I just need to be smart and careful.