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Well, it appears my bodybuilding days are over...

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  • Well, it appears my bodybuilding days are over...

    Ok, this might get long, but man this just kinda sucks. I didn't know if this was apporpraite to post on the main section, as I haven't told anyone yet, and I don't really know if too many people give a damn about my personal situation, but oh well, if it needs to be moved I will...

    ...bear with me, this might get lengthy, but for the people who I know, and who give a shit about what happens with me, well this is for you guys And before any older guys start rolling their eyes reading the following, please give me a chance with this rant.

    Gonna make a long story short. I had a scheduled check in with my back specialist (for those who are unaware, I herniated 2 discs, tore a paraspinal ligament, tor a floating rib, and cracked my sternum last year, and have been back training hard since September 2011). I went in knowing that I was not gonna like what he had to say.

    Basically, we had a sit down after he evaluated me.

    "Are you in pain right now?" he says.

    "Nothing more than the usual. Aches, soreness, my back feels tight all the time. I can tell some stuff is flaring up again." I reply.

    "Marc, you back is in complete spasm right now. Can you not feel that?"

    "What? No."

    "Here, do you feel this" As he prods at my back.

    "No"...was my verbatum reply.

    He goes on to tell me that my what basically has happened, which is what he feared would happen when I went back to attempting to laod my spine heavily again, is that I have narrowing in my spinal collumn.. causing nerve impingement.

    He went into asking me all these diagnostic questions. It came up about "do you ever find your extrmemities falling asleep, when there is no reason for them to do so?"...

    ...my hands fall asleep whenever I lay on my side for more than 30 seconds or so. My feet go numb all the damn time. I will be squatting sometimes, and at the end of the set I have no feeling in my feet at all.

    I knew right there, I was fucked, and I had to come clean and admit to myself that I have really fucked my body up. I (stupidly) have been brushing it off. MAINLY because I didn't want to think for a second that I couldn't lift heavy anymore, that I couldn't proceed to do what I do.

    As we got deeper into discussion, I was diagnosed with arthritis in BOTH of my hands. I am 23 years old...this shit isn't supposed to be happening. I sought out a gastrointerologist a long while ago, because of some digestive issues I have been having for what seems like years now....well, my specialist thinks my nerves are so messed up that it's actually causing stomach issues....that's yet to be determined though.


    Basically, what it comes down to is, my body is falling apart, I am waking up every day in real pain. Not soreness, but pain. But hey, I am young, strong, and healthy...I can't be broken. Must be sore. WRONG. I am WAY more messed up that I ever dreamed.

    My doc tells me "You HAVE to stop doing this to yourself. If you continue, major back surgery is gonna be your only option, and I can guarantee you 2-3 full disc replacements before your 30.

    What does this all mean to me in bodybuilding terms? Well, I am done. Simple. Where I am at right now, I am trying to take the next step and be competitive on a bigger stage..which means I HAVE to get bigger. To put on the weight I need to put on, I HAVE TO LIFT HEAVY. I have never grown "pumping". I need to be doing squats with 5 plates, deads with 600, inclines with 300-400 lbs. I need to be doing all this to put the size on I need...I am already 225 lbs on stage, and I CAN ALREADY put up some good weight...but I need to be bigger....so what do I do? Do I start taking massive amounts of anabolics, and train like a pussy for the sake of getting bigger, and further put my heallth at real risk by pumping myself full of hormones? NO. Fuck that, I have said from day one I never want to be one of those guys who walks around looking huge and jacked, lifts a shit ton, but is a ticking time bomb when it comes to their health. It's just not me. I have said time and time before I NEVER WANT to ever turn pro or anything even close. I just wanna take it as far as I could at the highest state of health I could. Just not cut out for it.

    Me and my fiance want kids...soon actually. Well, speaking relativly. I don't wanna have a 10 year old who I can't even roll around on the ground with because my back is fucked because I stupidly was pursuing something that in the end, most don't understand, appriciate, or even care about. I have simply come to terms with the fact that's it's not worth it anymore to ME.

    Beyond all that though, these past few months, as I have been gearing up for an "offseason"...I have really found myself falling out of love with the "Sport". I find myself literally HATING 95% of the community within the sport. I don't want to be associatedd with so many of the people I know in it, that it really saddens me, because I spent the better part of my life now pursuing this, day in and day out...

    ..alot of people don't realize I have 10 years of hard training under my belt already at 23 years old. I started lifting under the guidance of a few powerlifters, who had me programming workouts and eating to grow from day one. I have been as heavy as 270lbs, starting at 160lbs...I have paid my dues....and my body has suffered as a result. I think if I were to have gone about this endeavor in a more casual fashion, rather than striving to be the biggest motherfucker at the gym, and always striving to be stronger and stronger and stronger, I wouldn't have had these problems...

    ...my problem arose from basically progressing too quickly. Along with having an ego at times I am sure, and pushing for more PR'S than I SHOULD HAVE. Training hurt ALL THE FUCKING TIME. Pushing the envelope.

    BOTTOM LINE: My body, my genetics, were never meant to walk around as a bodybuilder or powerlfiter...I have scrapped and clawed for everything...nothing ever came easy. My genetic blueprint for this stuff is mediocre at best...I always thought effort and doing shit the way it needed to be done day in and day out was enough to compensate...I was wrong. My body is simply not meant to throw around these kinda weights. If it were, I wouldn't have arthritis in my early 20's, and I wouldn't have the spine of a 50 year old ex-wrestler.

    Here's something I wanna say to the guys who KNOW in their hearts the don't have what it takes genetically to make themselves into a elite level strength athlete:

    ...is it all, REALLY worth it to you? I know it used to be for me. If you noticed I haven't been around much here latley...been staying away from bodybuilding related things...I have been reflecting a lot. It sounds cheesy, but this is/was my life. I woke up thinking about my lift that day, I went to bed going over if I ate the way I needed to. All my extra money that I wasn't using for rent/school? Bodybuilding food and supps. I have sacrificed so much for so little...when I think back on it, I say "WHAT THE FUCK HAVE YOU BEEN DOING TO YOURSELF?" and a little of that is bitterness towards my own situation. But a lot of that is the truth...

    I am just being honest with myself here, because I have put so much of myself into this sport and lifestyle, but the reality is: Not many people have any kind of future in bodybuilding. The rewards are next to nothing, and most people think your a bonafide weirdo for doing it. Well fuck them right? Who cares what they think? Ya, I used to sya that to...but now I have begun to see the same things. I have never been one to show myself off, I have never been vain, really. I have always been appalled by that side of the game...because let's face it, if you bodybuilding, you love looking at yourself.

    I now look back and think that I, had/have maybe some kind of body image disorder. And looking back on it further, I think the only reason I fell in love with BB'ing in the first place was because it was the first thing I really found (age 13-14 here) that total, absolute physical exertion, total discipline and dedication, and constant improvement were all not only needed, but are the core of it all....I like that. That's just me. I enjoy challenge. I enjoy art as well. I enjoy creating things. That's what drew me to it...it was never to "get girls" "get bigger to beat people up" or "be better at sports" or whatever else. It was simply the sheer difficulty of the task that drew me to bodybuilding...the fact that not a lot of people do it, or even understand it, is probably what made me so in love with it for so long.

    As I have said, the past few months, I have basically hated going to the gym. I hated everything about it. Probably because I am in pain for days after a workout that never used to cause me trouble. But is was more likely due to me feeling frustration....

    ...or fuck it, maybe I just am growing up some and priorities are changing a bit? Who cares, the fact is I am done. Not taking a break, but done.

    I went to a friends bodybuilding show today...I put together his diet and training scheme for him, and basically was his prep coach (I AM NOT ADVERTISING, PLEASE NO ONE THINK I AM. I AM NOT A PREP COACH!!! I WAS HELPING A FRIEND FOR FREE. THAT'S WHERE IT ENDS!) and seeing him do his first show, I remembered why I started bodybuilding...it really is a unique experience. He did well by the way, took 3rd in the open heavies, and was the biggest guy in the show....he's 18 years old, and he was IN DAMN GOOD SHAPE.

    ...anyway, being at the show as a spectator who was backstage the whole time, I talked to a lot of people and it just furthered my growing hate for this community/sport/lifestlye. I just had to shake my head at so many things today it was unreal. I don't think I ever want to go to a show again.

    So what is next for me? Well, training is, and always will be, a part of who I am...but now the game has changed...I am getting myself back into martial arts, which is something I did from the age of 4 up until around 12 or 13 or so, (I was one degree from a testing to get my blackbelt in Shotokan karate, and had been doing Judo for a few years at the time...I really loved it). Now, I have started a new journey. I have already enrolled myself in a GREAT Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu academy. And will be pursuing it as religiously as I have bodybuiling, with the ultimate goal of becoming a competitive grappler. I have to back down off of the weights for a bit, to let my back try to normalize. But my training now is gonna be exclusively for BJJ.

    So, lot's of carido. Lot's of specialized lifting. Doing things I have never trained, or done. Stuff, that will allow me to push myself to my ends, but not compromise my health anymore....

    And there you have it. So, for those of you who read, thank you. I appreciate you caring about me I am still gonna be around IM as much as ever, I just am not bodybuilding any more.

    If the interest is there, I will start a new training journal, dedicated to BJJ, and eventually MMA, as I know at some point I am gonna wanna get back to striking So, does anyone on IM want to see a MMA journal? lol

    I will be happy to answer any questions if I had't expanded enough (lol) already...I know I know, I tend to rant and ramble...sorry . I just feel like IM is a home to me, and I want the community that I love to know what's going on with me when they see me much lighter then ever before. Don't want anyone thinking I was sick or something.

    Again, sorry for the long writeup, but I kinda figured I owed some people here this....I have only told this to my immediate family, and 2 or 3 other close friends.

    Thanks for reading
    Last edited by Lock it Up; 03-25-2012, 11:42 PM.

    2012 EUP's Mission Submission II
    -1st SuperHeavy Gi
    2012 Hayastan Grappling Challenge New York
    -1st Heavyweight Gi
    2011 Slippery Rock Open Collegiate Championships, 4th-Open Heavyweight, 220lbs
    2008 NGA Pittsburgh Bodybuilding Championships, 2nd-Open Juniors, 175lbs




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    New pursuit: competitive grappling, and enjoying my life

  • #2
    I'm 23, and have recently realized a lot of the same things you did.

    Good luck in anything you decide to do.

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    • #3
      Well, that is both sad AND refreshing. Sad that your dreams for bb'ing have come to an end, but refreshing that you chose against destroying your body and health for something that you simply aren't built for, genetically speaking, like you said. Us tall guys are all in the same boat...lol. Good luck in whatever you choose to do Lock. If you pursue it with half the passion you put into your training for bb'ing, I know you will be a success.....
      STEEL




      "SIMPLICITY, CONSISTENCY, INTENSITY"

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      • #4
        It sucks in a way, because I do think you were pretty passionate about getting bigger and being competitive.

        BUT like you have already said there is other stuff to life. Sounds like you can still be healthy and fit so you have somethings to be thankful for.

        I wish you all the best with BJJ. Its been something I've been wanting to get into for a while. Not to compete or whatever just to train.

        Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk
        Heavy squats fix everything.

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        • #5
          I'm sorry sir. When I was a sophomore in highschool I had two rumors removed from my right arm, now I basically have a Frankenstein arm with fat and stretch marks. It was real hard to look at myself and know I could never compete and never look "right". I think the body image issue is extremely common on this community. I still think I look small and fat. Switching to another sport is a GREAT idea, keep your passion for competition just switch gears. I you don't mind, did he speak about treatments for the nerve impingements or alternative treatments for your back.

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          • #6
            Best of luck.

            Did the doctor say the spine will heal?
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            • #7
              Very sorry to hear that you have to give up a passion which you love, but I am glad that they caught this before it go worse. At least you will still have the martial arts bro.

              Ben Bruno has some great articles about training with back issues that you may find very helpful.

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              • #8
                Best of luck to your future endeavors, potna. To new beginnings! :drunk:

                An MMA journal would be pretty cool, DO IT.
                Max Muscle
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                • #9
                  I'm sorry to hear that you'll have to give this all up. It makes sense though and I think you're making the right decision for yourself and your family. It's good that you've already started looking into another direction that is still physically demanding. That hunger never goes away and you'll still be able to push yourself. Good luck on your new direction.
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                  • #10
                    I am surely gonna ruffle some feathers but having been in the game for 25+ years and having been around some of the biggest names in the game (from SoCal circa 1985-present), I will say you have made a wise decision. And it is good you recognized this early on. The sport of "competitive bodybuilding" GENERALLY speaking is very unhealthy. Most of the guys I know got huge while eating massive amounts of food and ingesting tens of thousands of dollars in anabolics. Of the thousands of guys I knew from say...1985-1995...I would say only 2-3 are still in the mix. Many are obese, strung out on pain meds, dead or in prison. You would be surprised how many are in prison because supporting the anabolics is expensive and requires selling drugs, ripping people off, or sex to support the lifestyle. A few are reformed and have become tri-athletes. Some are just smaller, healthier versions of what they were (example Dan Clark aka Nitro from Gladiators). All that being said, if you choose you don't have to give it all up. No you won't be a competitive bodybuilder (but honestly what does that really get you?). You can still be big, strong and lean. At 43 I am in the best shape of my life and I certainly don't impress most gym people...but I am in way better shape than 99% of my peers in my same age group. And yes I still train hard/heavy and love that DC. Good luck to you and thank you for your contributions on the website (I read more than I post).
                    Family Guy but also; Old School SoCal, punk rock loving, powerlifting, hardcore gym rat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtLQ73EutoY

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                    • #11
                      Very to sorry to hear about this. I'm just happy that you're doing what's best for you and your family.

                      Very interested in an MMA journal. I like hearing about how you "choke the life outta people."
                      Last edited by Arkbuilder; 03-26-2012, 12:31 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Lock, it is a shame that you can no longer pursue bodybuilding in the way you have to date. You may not enjoy the company of others in those circles, but you seemed to have certainly enjoyed the process and journey.

                        Good luck in BJJ or whatever else you look to do. However, I would learn the lesson you have spelled out above should you ever be in the same or similar situation with BJJ or any other sporting endeavour. This popped up in my mind when I read the word "grappling".

                        Onwards mate.
                        My Log: Back to Basics

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                        • #13
                          Lock, I'm sorry and saddened to hear about the damage that lifting heavy has done to you, especially because there were times when, without really knowing that this was going on, I checked out your journals and thought to myself "dang, I wish I can push some heavy weights like that one day", even though I have no interest whatsoever in competing. At the same time, I'd like to wish you the best of luck on your new journey.

                          On having kids and possibly not being able to play with them because your back is messed up, about 5 weeks ago I lightly sprained my lower back while warming up for some deadlifts (though I'd been using similar warm-up sets for months, Sammich's recent thread on warm-ups just confirmed, after all was said and done, that I should have been doing at least 3 lighter sets before getting to the one I usually started out with.) And, while I think I can say I've put that strain behind me now (first with rest, then with lots of stretching, more warm-up sets for all my lifts), the first few days that followed that were horrible not only because I couldn't really move my torso that much without feeling a lot of pain, but also because my two-year-old got sick and wanted nothing besides being in my arms like from Friday afternoon (a little after the straining) until Sunday morning. And, if bending over to tie my shoes was hard, just imagine what it was like to pick up all of Josh's 25 lbs...

                          In any case, I hope the new journey you've chosen will bring you a lot of good health and happiness. You sure deserve it.

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                          • #14
                            Lock,
                            I know that reaching the point of your current decision definately wasn't easy, but you are on the right path to become your own best friend. As soon as you embrace your decision fully and feel peaceful with it, you're gonna be going uphill, and I mean not only physiologically, but emotionally as well.

                            Take care of your health, and all the rest will fall in place...

                            I wish you all the best !

                            Be wise !

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                            • #15
                              Lock-


                              Never say never. Sometimes there is a happy medium. as for the douchey side of the sport...it is what it is. Best of luck my friend...no "hobby" is worth sacrificing you health over...
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