One of my true beliefs is that the worst things in your life are actually the best things in your life, you just don’t know it yet.
Many years ago I injured my back very badly doing a heavy 1 rep max sumo deadlift.
I was strong at the time but I didn’t really know how to deadlift, my ego one day got the best of me and I got hurt, bad.
I was in a dark and depressed state, in a lot of pain, I couldn’t squat, deadlift, or do any free weights, I was forced to use machines which only seemed to make things worse.
It was a constant struggle of endless ups and downs, of getting hurt, of getting depressed and being in pain all the time.
I finally got an MRI done and my chiro informed me that I had one of the worst backs she has ever seen. 3 bulging discs, 1 herniated disc and severe disc degeneration. Having the back of a 80 year old at 30 was not a nice feeling, I had pushed my body hard with PowerLifting & Martial Arts & BodyBuilding in my 20’s and I guess I was paying the price for it.
I cried all the drive home from my chiro office, came home and told Danielle about how bad my back was.
I was done, game over, lifting done, training done, I just have to accept that I was done.
It was one of the worst days of my life.
Like every bad day always know that tomorrow is a new day.
I made a decisions that I was NOT done, that I would get uncomfortable and learn from the best and SEEK HELP from the best.
I went to google, I started searching for information on lower back pain and low back injuries and one of the first guys I found was Bret Contreras (and another was my friend Dean Somerset and Dr. Stu McGill).
I e-mailed Brett and asked him for help.
I started to read his blog, his articles on T-Nation.com and started watching his videos.
It became a mission of mine to learn and meet one of the best in the world and to overcome my injury.
Then last night I read this blog post which is a guest blog post from Bret on his site and things hit home for me.
“When I was 16 years old, I got in a very bad car accident. It caused my low back to hurt for a solid year. Not only could I no longer play sports, I couldn’t even walk properly. My friends would make fun of my gait, comparing me to Al Bundy from Married With Children. An MRI showed signs of severe disc degeneration, and the doctor informed me that I had the worst spine he’d ever seen for such a young man. These were pretty scary words to hear back then.
At the time, I didn’t think I’d ever be normal again, and I especially didn’t think I’d ever be strong or athletic. Fast-forward 21 years later. Three weekends ago, I deadlifted 601 lbs at the 100% Raw Powerlifting Southwest Regional Meet. I’d been working at a 600-pound deadlift for six years (it took me two years to move from 585 lbs to 600 lbs). Perhaps of greater importance than the mammoth pull, however, is the fact that these days I rarely ever experience low back (or knee or shoulder for that matter) issues despite squatting and deadlifting heavy weights several days per week, 52-weeks out of the year, year in and year out. “
This hit home for me because it was very similar to what I went through, a lower back injury, a bad MRI and all the things that come with it.
Knowing others had gone though this, and OVERCOME similar things made me realize just what is possible and if it wasn’t for guys like Bret & Dean I think right now I would still be struggling daily to overcome normal pain let alone training heavy.
I made it a point to meet Bret, learn as much as I could to help my own training and that of my clients to help them get stronger, pain free and look better.
In the last year I have competed in 2 Provincial PowerLifting Meets, 1 provincial weightlifting meet and also competing and Winning a Canadian PowerLifting Championship just a few weeks back in St. Catherine’s Ontario.
I have coached over 100 competitive athletes, over 30 for Provincial PowerLifting, 15 for Provincial WeightLifiting, a Provincial Record Holder in the Snatch, a Pro Bikini and Pro Fitness Model, 1 PowerLifting National Champion, 9 Bikini Competitors and helped numerous clients overcome back injuries and even had two of them compete in PowerlIfting after severe back injuries..
Without the help of amazing passionate smart people like Bret I don’t know if that would have been possible.
From old and busted to back on the platform lifting HeavyWeights.
IT IS POSSIBLE to overcome serious injuries, IT IS POSSIBLE to come back stronger and better no matter what.
So I just want to say THANK YOU to a guy that has helped me overcome, that has helped me get out of pain, that has helped me LIFT HeavyWeights and without him I doubt I would have won my 1st place at Nationals and I am damn sure a LOT of my clients results both in strength and body composition wouldn’t be there they are.
Along with lower back strength and injures I have also learned a thing or two from “The Glute Guy” about building some nice glutes as well :). For some Glute Building Tips check out my Top 10 Hip Thurster Variations on Bret’s Blog here.
So a BIG THANK YOU to Bret for all your information, your hard work and dedication to making people stronger, healthier and happier.
As well if you are like me and you like learning from the BEST people in the world check out Bret’s new 2×4 Strength Program it is fantastic.