My Weight Training Journey So Far, by Ramsey Farraj
17th November 2018
Today as part of my on-going “work out” plan, I deadlifted 120kg: 3 sets of 5 reps. That’s twice my bodyweight. One year ago I could never have imagined that I could do that!
In August 2017, I injured my upper back (just under my left shoulder blade) – I had seemingly trapped a nerve and no amount of stretching could relieve the pain! The GP prescribed some quite serious painkillers, which due to the nature of my job meant that I couldn’t go to work. Even going to the gym was a risk as any pain-free progress could be undone with one bad workout! It was so bad that I had to literally roll out of bed in the morning having not slept due to the pain.
As part of the treatment I was able to get some regular physiotherapy at the Scorpio Clinic with Carl. Carl managed to work some magic and had me essentially pain-free after a few months. Pain-free but not totally without “twinges” under my shoulder blade. As part of his treatment I was also working on my core and posture, as they were contributory factors. During one of the sessions, Carl and I discussed “strength training” and I asked if he’d recommend anyone – Marta’s name was mentioned! Coincidently, a friend had recently signed up to Marta’s PT sessions and he also suggested that I consider the same.
I had been “gym training” for years and I assumed, like most people, that I had a fairly good grasp of what I needed to do. I had a regular, varied routine and I felt fit-ish, but generally prone to a sore back on top of the injury. I took a chance and booked my first session with Marta in May 2018.
From the outset it was apparent that I was woefully uneducated in the skill required or nutrition/food needed. My past weight-lifting PBs were laid to rest in a heap as it became clear that I had neither the technique nor strength to do ANY of the exercises effectively. I had also convinced myself that a “low-carb” diet suited me – to lose the “extra” unwanted weight.
Since May I have been making considerable progress with the training plan. My main objective was to protect my back and to never feel the pain that I had recently experienced. Doing the PT sessions with Marta has been an education. I’ve learnt a lot in my 7 months training. Most importantly, my back is better than ever – pain-free! I have muscles that have developed over the months that are supporting my “core” strength and back. Also, at a recent medical check up for work, it was noted that my resting heart rate was now 58 beats per minute! Not only am I getting stronger, I’m getting aerobically fitter as well! A final bonus is I get to eat – almost as much as I want (healthy of course but with “frequent” treats”).
All in all, weight training has been a very positive experience and one that I hope to continue for many years to come.
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