In the recent past, I've been lax on being consistent with my supplementation. I could make excuses: Work, vacation, kids, etc. Those all come into play, but it's really just laziness. And my back paid for it. I have been experiencing some pretty severe discomfort in my lower back (from numerous injuries, poor posture at work, sitting at the computer for 12-15 hours per day sometimes).
So I got consistent for a week. And my back pain vanished. The back pain resurfaced (because that's just what my back does — it's a real bitch sometimes), but it never got to the point of bothering me. That discomfort comes and goes, and I'm okay with that. I've lived with pain for many years; hours or even minutes without pain are incredible.
In all honesty, my back feels better now at 43 than it has for the last 30 years. My first memory of really bad back pain was at the age of 12. Then it got worse at 14. So, I've dealt with it for over 30 years. Trust me when I say that any amount of time that passes without pain or even discomfort is simply AWESOME. So you might be wondering what I am taking.
Zero medication. All supplements. Here's the list, all bought at Costco, Prograde, or Life Extension. Each dose is per MAJOR meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
NOTE: These are 2-3 times the recommended dosages per the manufacturer's recommendations, and about 50x the RDA. Please don't construe this as medical advice and certainly don't try this without your doctor's approval. I am not a doctor, just a guy who's experimented a LOT with supplements over the past 20-25 years and knows what works for him. I could die tomorrow, too, so what the heck do I know?
You may want to give this book a read if you suffer from chronic low back pain.
In my last post, I talked about my new favorite chest exercise, the incline bench press. I am now following that chest work with a deadlift program.
It's really quite simple, but super-effective.
(I never knew how hard I could breathe until I started doing heavy deadlifts. Very similar effect to squats.)
I start out usually on the floor with a light weight, mixed grip (alternate your grip, though, so you get even development). Get down low by bending at the knees and hips, keeping the back flat. Then simultaneously push with the thighs, glutes, and hips, while lifting with the lower back, too.
Typically, I only do a few sets:
One warmup, minimal rest (30 seconds tops)
One with a midrange weight for 5-8 reps (60 to 90 seconds rest)
2 sets of 3-5 with increasing weight (120-180 seconds rest)
Deadlifts are funny (not “Ha-ha” funny) in that you're better off doing fewer reps with heavier weight, using super-strict form, rather than doing higher-rep, lower-weight sets.
It is so critical that you do these with the strictest form possible that getting carried away with too many reps will literally get you carried away!
The more reps you focus on, the less you focus on your form; so, do fewer reps but in strict form!
No back injuries.
Deads are so great for your core strength that they ought to be a staple in your weight-training programs.
They stimulate muscle growth and Growth Hormone production in a way similar to a squat program, but they really blast the upper body (all areas of the back and traps), including the biceps and forearms.
They may be a better exercise than the bench press!
I'm a slow learner. It took me a really long time to figure this out. This fact, coupled with my lower back issues over the past 10 or so years, has really kept the blinders on. But now that I can see clearly again, I'll never turn my back on the deadlift!
MOVE every. damned. day. Do something active and physical for 60 minutes. I may split this into 2 sessions of 30 minutes each due to time constraints.
Meditate. I need to calm the hell down. Relax. Chill.
Lift weights 3-4 times a week. I still haven't decided if I want to do my trusted 3x a week split or a M-Tu-Th-Fr split. I've had my best results on the 3x split but 4 days a week may prove more beneficial at this point in time. Hell, I should just try both.
Cardio 5x a week, in the gym. At least 30 minutes every day at a fairly high intensity.
Go back to small, frequent meals. I've experimented with intermittent fasting (don't eat from 8pm until 12pm the following day). It's easy, but totally ineffective for me.
I need to drop 40 pounds. I know. How the fuck did I get this out of shape? Shit, I could see myself getting fatter. Why didn't I just turn this fatass around before it got out of hand? Reasons, that's why 🙂
Use supplements wisely. Below I will post my “supplement stack.” I've always been a huge believer in supplementing for specific effects. Now is the time.
Mindset matters: That's where the meditation comes in. Plus, I'm going to try the wishy washy “affirmations” and “gratitude.” Yes, I said it. It's feel-good shit but man, in the past, when I did it, I'll be damned if it didn't work! Visualization will play a role here, too.
I'm going to write more. Writing is my heaven, my safe place, my mental yoga.
Dang, I didn't mean to lay it all out on you.But I bet at some point, you've faced similar challenges. And I bet you overcame them, just like I will.
A supplement I've used in the past that made me feel great – Longevity
A supplement I've researched that can naturally help T levels (and I know it works in the libido area, because I've tried it – it works super fast and doesn't have any noticeable side effects like I've heard Viagra and its cousins have) – K20
To help metabolize fat and keep my insulin and glucose levels where they should be – Gluco Guardian
I have used, and will use now and in the future, MexRx – I love this stuff!
If the above doesn't produce results (mostly in higher T levels, losing body fat, and feeling better), I will pursue the HRT path – yes, sticking myself with freaking needles full of testosterone.
I'm reading up on all of that now. I've been in consultation with a doctor who is open-minded about this sort of thing, which I've found is pretty darn rare.
After years of frustration, I took a different approach.
I cut out cardio.
I lifted 3x a week.
Low reps (3-6) for upper body.
High reps and HEAVY weights for legs (15-25), like Tom Platz.
That year I did that, I gained 60 pounds and was still under 6 percent body fat.
Don't ever let anybody tell you that's impossible. I did it. I know you can, too.
No steroids, either.
If you want to – but you must think out of the box.
Like I did.
If it ain't working, stop doing it. Try something else.
After all, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
Ain't. Gonna. Happen.
Want Faster Results?
Look, I know how hard it is to build muscle. Trust me when I tell you it took me 20+ years to figure it out. But once I did--BAM!--muscle appeared almost overnight. Give me your email address and I'll send you the keys.