In case you missed the first two installments:
- The Complete Bodybuilder's Guide To Health And Injury, From A 20 Year Gym Veteran
- The Complete Bodybuilder's Guide To Health And Injury Part 2: The Most Common Gym Injuries, Tears, Aches and Pains
PRODUCTS THAT WILL HELP JOINTS AND INJURY HEALING
As you've probably heard, the steroid Deca-durabolin has joint lubricating properties to it and can help heal an existing injury. As little as only 100 mg/week can be beneficial for joint problems but it's most commonly used at 200 mg/week. You can get by with injecting deca just once a week. Deca is most commonly prepared at 200 mg/ml concentrations.
The steroid Equipoise is also known to have joint properties to it, however not as strong as Deca-durabolin. A dosage of 300-400 mg/wk of equipoise is usually sufficient enough to help joints. With equipoise (or commonly known as “EQ”) you'll want to inject at least twice a week, spaced out evenly (ie; Mon/Thurs) EQ is most commonly prepared in 200 mg/ml concentrations
Taking a joint supplement is as common to me as taking a vitamin. I take a joint formula as a staple 24/7/365 days a year.
THOMPSON FATBELLS BY ROGUE
Thompson fatbells are a kettlebell looking dumbbell that my hands actually fit inside and what they do is take the weight and put it evenly around your hands. They're a totally different feel than a regular dumbbell or kettlebell! When you use these fatbells you'll find that your hands go where the muscles want them to go.
These fatbells also alleviate pain that can come from normal dumbbells and barbells and are an excellent rehabilitation device! If you're experiencing joint pain and trying to work through it then I would highly suggest getting a pair of these. Even if you just get one light set you'll see the benefits of these over traditional dumbbells, and if you happen to own a gym then incorporating these fatbells will definitely set your gym apart from others.
You'll be quick to understand why people love them so much!
Body tempering is a love/hate relationship but can accelerate results in the gym like you wouldn't believe!
Basically you have a partner roll these big, steel rods over your muscles. Some of them are heavy too. The “X-wife” is about 165 lbs and when someone rolls you out with it it's like a steam roller for your back. You can hear all kinds of popping and cracking going on! When you stand back up you'll feel high from the toxin release of the muscles.
Body tempering will also increase muscle separation! I've experienced this first hand. The first time I went through body tempering I was rolled out over my back, hamstrings, calves, and biceps. I was then told to stand up, take my shirt off and look in the mirror. The muscle separation was incredible! I'll tell you what, if there was a way to get these heavy rods backstage to a bodybuilding competition I would! The increase in muscle separation is incredible, and the therapeutic benefits are second to none!
Foam rolling has jack-shit on body tempering! Body tempering is becoming extremely popular in the NFL, where guys are punishing their bodies on the regular and need something to accelerate recovery. Body tempering will also help your lifts go through the roof! You'd be awfully surprised at the increases in your squat or deadlift when you have a partner roll you out before a workout!
DOING A SLOWER REP COUNT, RECOVERY, AND EXERCISES THAT BENEFIT YOU AS YOU AGE
If there is one big misconception about bodybuilding it's that free weights always prevail over machines. While I agree that in the beginning free weights are a better approach they do not become superior to machines for the aging gym veteran. If you're challenging yourself and pushing a muscle to exertion point, then you're challenging yourself and pushing the muscle to exertion, there's no gray area here!
Machines can help you isolate a muscle more and muscle isolation becomes more important as we get older because it allows us to target specific muscles without risking injury. For example, it's safer to do a slow negative on a chest press machine because when you fail you do not risk the weight crashing onto your chest. A spotter is nice on free weights but let's face it, you probably won't always have a spotter nearby.
Slowing down your rep speed becomes a very vital part of lifting weights as you age. It allows you to put more intensity into a set without the added risk of injury. When I train my goal isn't to make an exercise easier, it's to make it harder. This is when I noticed my body really start to take off and progress. Forget about how much weight you're pushing, heavy weights have their time and place but most of the time you will benefit from a nice and slow rep tempo and ultimate focus and squeeze during your sets.
I have found that recovery also becomes a more critical factor throughout the aging process. Where I could once work out 6 days a week and go balls to the wall on every workout, I can no longer do that and benefit from it.
There are plenty of times where I'll back off a muscle group to really hone in on another muscle group, and then back off that one to focus more on the one I haven't hit as hard in the past couple weeks.
For example, if I'm training my chest extremely hard and heavy then I may lighten the workload on my back or biceps. Then a week later I'll increase reps and/or volume on chest but lighten the work weight, but increase the weight and intensity on back or biceps. This is where “taking 2 steps backwards to take a giant leap forward” comes into play. This is more important as you become more developed from the gym and also as we age.
So there you have it guys, my take on health and injury prevention/healing. While I wish there was more I could add here, fortunately my injuries haven't been any worse in my bodybuilding journey!
I also haven't had any significant injuries in the past 4 years since slowing my rep speed down and listening to my body more. And my physique has only improved!
Hopefully by following some of the information provided in this article yours can too!
Over and out!- JD