A WORD ON CHIROPRACTIC DURING CRUISE/SOLIDIFICATION OR DURING OTHER TIMES
I’d like to speak to something I feel has been overlooked: Chiropractic care.
Now, I’ve been lucky. In 25 years of lifting I’ve suffered few injuries. I have had some minor lower back issues that quickly corrected themselves but by and large, very fortunate.
However, I’d recommend that even if NOT in any pain a visit to the chiro for a reality check is a good idea. The following two step approach can reveal a LOT and the first test won’t cost you a dime.
First, do a weight distribution check. This is a neat home diagnostic I use to self- assess how out of whack I am.
To perform this test, simply stand on two scales, placing one foot on each. Observe how much weight you carry on each leg. Very revealing and should give you a good indication of how well aligned you are. If you’re carrying 5% or more of your bodyweight on one leg, see a chiro.
While you’re there, request a thermoscan. A thermoscan reveals what vertabrae may have nerve blockages. Why is this important? Because the message to contract muscle starts in the brain, travels down the spine and is transmitted to the muscle via the nerves. In simple terms… the more efficient this message the more muscle you can contract the heavier you can lift! Many chiro’s will do this for you for FREE as part of an initial consultation. And know this; most chiro’s will work with you even if you DON’T have insurance. They interact well with lifters because they too, have something to prove to the mainstream medical community. I think you’ll find them invaluable insofar as keeping your CNS in good working order, never mind all the other benefits (and there are many, IMO).
My first thermoscan revealed 8 vertabrae with issues, 4 in the neck and 4 in the middle back. Nerve blockages appear color coded as red on the thermoscan printout. These were complete nerve blockages yet, I didn’t really have any pain. I did know something was wrong after a tailor noted my drooping shoulder and I consistently gripped the bar during bench presses about 1″ further out with my right arm. If you’re stuck at a computer all day take note; the hand you use to manipulate the mouse will cause that shoulder to droop. I caught myself doing this after it was called to my attention.
I then initiated a once a week chiro treatment protocol for 12 weeks. Upon re- testing, they were all green, no more blockages!
I had suspected as much, given I was standing straighter, had better posture when sitting and was no long leaning as much to one side. I was also stronger.
In addition, my weight distribution improved greatly. Previously, I weighed in at 228lbs…. carrying 99lbs on my left leg and 129lbs on my right. Not good.
That improved to carrying 112lbs on my left leg and 128 on my right. I only had a 16lb imbalance vs. 30lbs before! Still some ways to go but I’m telling you, please look into this stuff. It could very well benefit your training in the form of greater strength levels. Further reading from my chiro’s website. He understands the athlete:
At the tender age of 21, I blew my back out doing back to back squats and deadlifts (dumb!). For the next 20+ years, I had a “glass back”. I saw chiropractors three times a week, tried accupressure/accupuncture, weird herbs etc. Then one day I read about the benefits of bridging (simply bending backwards) and its supposed ability to fix a bad back. With nothing to lose, I tried it…
Folks, provided I perform just ONE SET of wall walks (a form of bridging) , I haven’t needed to see a chiropractor in almost 10 months! More than that, my back feels like I was 20 again! I am NOT kidding. This won’t cost you a dime, and holds the promise of rejuvenating your lifting career (I’m back box squatting 500+lbs!). I give to you the book Convict Conditioning, and specifically the bridging series of exercises (I’ve linked you to wall walks below. This book goes WAY beyond bridging, and details the merits of an entire bodyweight training system. It’s not my book, but it’s probably the best book on strength training I’ve read in 30 years.
Injuries or not, this book belongs on your bookshelf!