Mentally I had a very rough week when I tried to implement a "peak" week plan to practice prior to a photoshoot. This happened in conjunction with PMS and my brain went nuckin futs, almost literally. And then I had the regular occurrence of dealing with my adrenal fatigue, which always happens during PMS week, although usually it's only 1-2 days, this time it was 3, maybe 4. The fatigue on top of trying to follow a strict plan just made me crazy. I ended up having a crappy carb nite that followed up with a second carb nite. I did feel better after the second one, and back to the gym I went.
Friday, back in the gym, and I was in a hurry. My coach, Tanji Johnson, was competing at the Arnold later that afternoon and I did not want to miss the broadcast. Skipping my usual back workout I picked compound moves to target a few key spots. I should mention that earlier in the week I had seen a MT to have my psoas muscles released, something that I need as mine are tight and were preventing me from being loose enough in the hip flexors to pose the way I need to. What I didn't know at the time was that she was only able to release my left side. This is important and will come in to play further on in this story.
Ok so during my workout I did push ups and pull ups for warm ups, some bent over rows, and single arm rows and then I went to the rack to do rack pulls. Rack pulls are probably one of my most favorite back exercises. I feel like Major Badass when doing them. I've been lowering my weights on most pulls just due to being in a deficit and thereby weaker, even though some lifts (or rather pushes) I have managed to increase weights on, the heavier lifts I have consistently decreased on. My normal rack pulls are usually in the 175-185 range, maybe more. Friday, I was pulling 155. 3 sets of 6-8 reps. I knew on the last set I was only getting 6 reps, mostly due to grip. I don't wear gloves and I won't use straps so that I can increase my grip, and the gym was out of chalk, again. On that very last pull, I am not sure if I didn't reset correctly, I twisted somehow or what, but as soon as I lifted up I felt the right lower back muscle pull and I nearly dropped the bar. In fact I would have dropped the bar had I been doing regular deadlifts or trusted that the pins would hold the weight if I just released the bar.
When I got home I immediately started icing and taking anti-inflammatorys. I had to be well enough at least to walk around Comic Con the next day! I wasn't really but I did it anyways, and the next day too. And both of these days were off plan eating. I did feel that imbibing in the carbs was fine since my body needed to heal and recover from my tweaked back. My coach won the Fitness Int'l at the Arnold, I walked around comic con and I took time off from the gym.
7 days later I've been to the gym once since I hurt my back. I've had a lot of time to ponder things and really hyper focus on myself. During this time I received an email that Precision Nutrition was opening up their certification course again. They only do this twice a year and only let in a limited number of people. ARG! I want to take this nutrition course SO bad. But $900 is a lot, and we just don't have it. Then, I got another email saying that for the first time ever they were taking payment plans, with a down payment of $399. The exact amount set aside to compete at the end of this month at the Vancouver.
Here is where the big decision comes in. Do I back out of a competition I have been prepping for to take a course I have been dying to get into for a year now, or wait until the next time they open up and still compete. I honestly haven't been feeling ready to compete this month. Maybe physique wise I am almost there but mentally I am not there yet. I was pushing myself regardless over a sense of obligation and feeling pressure, mostly from myself. I had to think hard about this decision. On the one hand I have been prepping for weeks for this show but I had not yet monetarily (or I guess really, mentally) committed to competing this month, on the other I have been getting myself ready, suits and jewelry and hair and posing and all that jazz. But competing, what does it offer me? It's a hobby, an accomplishment, but really it doesn't offer me much once I am off that stage. Taking this nutrition course offers me a lot. I am always in pursuit of more information to better serve my clients as well as myself. I know that this course is thorough, something my NASM course wasn't. Taking this course would give me more knowledge, more accreditation. Getting this certification will help my business, my business will help my family. These are things competing won't do, so in the end that big decision wasn't so big after all. It's really a no brainer.
Here I am then, no longer competing at the Vancouver Natural and I am now officially enrolled in the precision Nutrition course. And I was accepted into the ISSA CES program, which I won't be able to start until the summer quarter since I have all this GI Bill nonsense to go through.
Oh wait I said that the whole having my psoas released was important, I forgot to say WHY! I saw my regular MT today and she told me that she had spoken to the other MT and was told she was only able to release my left psoas so my right was still tight and I have been walking around out of balance, one released loose psoas and one unreleased tight psoas. It makes perfect sense why/how I tweaked my back and on the right side since that is the side that is still tight. I do wish the MT had told me she was only able to release one side as I would have avoiding doing any big compound moves such as squats, deads, and rack pulls. Now though I need to go back to see her so she can get the right side to release so I am not walking around with this muscle imbalance. FRAK! Next visit I will be sure to ask at the end of the session if both were released so I will know how to proceed with my training. Big lesson learned. Speed bumps man, they can really throw you off.