Injury Update, First Track Run in the GT500, Other Random Stuff

Well, this week was the first week I was allowed to do ‘limited training’, which basically means nothing that loads my cervical spine. Since I am really concerned about breaking the instrumentation (screws and the titanium plate) loose, I stuck with benching alone this week.

On that front, things felt mostly good. I had some pain in my back and traps after Tuesday’s session, and kind of a weird grinding noise (which may have come from the cervical collar) on my heaviest set, but that was the worst of it. Thursday was better, and I had no grinding sounds and minimal pain.
Now, on the down side, my weights are way down. Tuesday, I was only able to get 185 for a single, and 155 for 5. This is pretty awful, considering that the week before the injury, I benched 295 for five reps.

However, on the plus side, I’ve got a lot of soreness in the ‘hole’ in my left pec where I’ve got major atrophy, and this is the first time since the injury that I’ve felt anything there. So despite the fact that soreness is not an indicator of growth, I think the soreness is a positive sign. Even more positive, however, is the fact that there was none of the weird twisting/torqueing on the left side that my body has been involuntarily doing when the weight gets heavy. Also, the weird ‘cant push’ feeling on the left is gone, and replaced with the much more welcome ‘this shit is too heavy’ feeling.

While this is really bad, considering how light the weight is, it’s really good because this is a problem I know how to fix. Muscle atrophy I can solve, it just takes time and hard work. Neuropathy, on the other hand, I have absolutely zero capacity to change.

Anyhow, since I’ve got to lift without loading my cervical spine for a while, squats, deads, and rows are out. That means that to train, I have to use machines, and to do that, I’ve got to join a gym. So, after checking out all of the local gyms, I’m torn between Gold’s Gym in Gilroy and Muscle House Gym (also in Gilroy). There are advantages to both places, so I’m going to spend a week lifting in each of them before I make my decision.

I’m going to start next week with a major bastardization of the Starr/Madcow 5×5 that is based on leg presses, machine (supported) rows, and a bunch of straight up curl-bro bullshit to try and fill out the gaps. This is pretty much diametrically opposed to what I believe is the most effective way to lift, but it’s either this or nothing, so this is what I’m doing. On the bright side, I can see if there’s any merit to all of this pump-and-tone stuff that I keep hearing so much about from Matt Perryman and Roger Lawson.

Now, to completely switch gears (pun intended), I also got to take the GT500 out to the track for the first time since buying it this week. Obligatory pic is below, check out my wife Beth’s flickr page to see more.

Bonus points to anyone who can tell me what my personalized tag means

We went to Infineon, and I have to tell you, that’s an awesome facility. Compared to the other two tracks I am really familiar with, Rockingham and Bradenton, Infineon is really nice. They even have their own race shop on site, where you can buy everything from GoPro cameras to helmets and other safety gear. Good thing too, because Infineon is strict on the rules, and I had to buy a helmet for my big noggin.

Anyhow, I only got three runs in, largely because I A) Had to go buy a helmet and B) had no freaking idea how things were laid out and couldn’t figure out which lane to get in.

On the runs themselves, I have to say I’m hugely disappointed in myself. My best of the 3 runs was a 13.0 at 115 MPH. Which is just horrible in a car that has the power to run 11’s at 120. By the third run, I was beginning to think I should have just bought a Supra, as at least then I’d have an excuse to run 13’s in a 600 HP car.

Anyhow, my biggest hurdle was, of course, traction. Off the line, the car hooked, but as soon as I rolled into the gas it broke loose, and stayed that way until 3rd gear. I tried a couple of different things to alleviate this, but I really didn’t have a lot of time to experiment.

This is really weird, considering the car hooks great on the street, and track prep was generally good (I could feel the VHT on my tires in the pits after the run). But after thinking about it, I think the culprit is simply heat. On the street, my tires don’t hook great either until they get good and warm. The difference is, I’m never laying into it on the street right out of my driveway. There’s always at least a few miles of driving to warm them up. So, I think next time, I’m going to give some different burnout strategies a try and see how it pans out.

And yes, I expect someone’s going to troll me about racing when I just had spinal surgery two weeks ago, but honestly, drag racing is demonstrably safer than my 40 mile commute each day, and I’m still going to work.

Anyhow, that’s enough randomness for one day. The next few posts will probably be reviews of the two gyms I’m checking out and some more detail on my bro-tastic new training program. See you then. 

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