Back to training (kind of)

Back to training (kind of)

I hurt my back 2.5 weeks ago. Well, I say my back, but it’s really my upper left glute. Any time I try to squat or pick something heavy up from the floor, it feels awful – kind of like the muscle is really tight and I have overstretched it.

Once I feel that pain, I am wiped out for the rest of the day. Sitting down for more than 20 minutes at a time becomes painful. I think my right glute has started compensating as it’s also hurting when I sit and walk.

I took the whole of last week off training, and the week before that I only did mobility and light upper body training. When I headed to the gym this past Saturday, I felt 100% better… or so I thought.

I’m training at Muscle Pit while I am in Perth. It’s a strongman/powerlifting gym five minutes from my mum’s house. They are charging me less than half as much as the crappy leisure centre (which doesn’t even have a squat rack) down the road.

Perth’s strongest man, Daniel Macri, and woman, Asha Tracey, train there, which is how I found out about it. Unfortunately Asha has flown to the US to compete in the Arnold so I won’t get to meet her, but I had the pleasure of training with Dan on Saturday.

I did some log and dumbbell pressing on my own, and I felt completely fine. We then went outside where Dan and some other guys did frame carries. The frame weighed 290kg without any added weight, so I did farmers walks instead.

Dan in action!

Dan in action!


The gym has two sets of farmers. I warmed up with the 40kg set for a couple of runs and then I stupidly picked up the 70kg farmers, thinking that they weighed 50kg. My back/glute was not having it! I had a little rest before doing two runs with the 50kg handles. It didn’t feel awful, but I was certainly aggravating it on the pick up and drop, so I stopped before I did any further damage and instead did backwards sled drags with 100kg added weight.


I’m not going to lie, I felt like a massive pussy next to these guys. Dan is absolutely huge at 160kg, and the three other guys training weren’t much smaller. It was really cool to be part of a proper strongman training session though, watching them jump into huge weights as their ‘warm up’. When they switched to axle deadlifts I left them to it – deadlifts are probably the worst thing I could do right now!

As much as it bruised my ego to have to bow out of an events session, I had to think of my competition in April. I will not be able to deadlift 110kg for reps and do 60kg farmers walks if my back isn’t 100 per cent recovered. I’m planning to see a physio and take some more time off lower body training and then ease myself in a little slower next time.

I trained again yesterday, and I’m resting again today. Yesterday, I did some push pressing, bench pressing, tricep extensions, lat raises and crucifix holds – with proper crucifix equipment!


We have a set of these at my gym in London, but I think they’re about 15kg. These ones were 6kg, and I managed to last 30-40 seconds. They are much harder to hold than regular dumbbells, as all the weight is concentrated at the end and they wobble all over the place. The second your elbow drops, the weight falls. It’s a great core workout!

I also attempted some very light goblet squats and straight-legged dumbbell deadlifts, with no pain. I barely hit parallel on squats, as my glute seems to flare up when I go deep. Luckily there was only one other person in the gym – I don’t need anyone watching me quarter squat.

They have a rope there which I attempted to climb. I got about a third of the way up before I whimped out – I was wearing shorts and that rope chafes!

The gym itself is really cool. It has two monolifts (which I’ve never even seen before!), three power racks and three Olympic platforms plus all the strongman equipment like tyres, stones, farmers, frames, kegs, prowlers, sleds, etc. Most importantly, it has a tonne of room to actually practice these events!

The only downside about the gym is that it’s so unbelievably hot, but that’s not really their fault. It’s been at least 35 degrees (95F) every day since I’ve been here, which is not ideal to train in. I went through four bottles of water both days I trained, and also killed my phone by throwing a half-open bottle in my bag. WAH.

I'm pretty sure I'm the only douche who has taken a selfie in this gym's bathroom...

I’m pretty sure I’m the only douche who has taken a selfie in this gym’s bathroom…

I don’t know if it’s water weight or just the fact that my pasty ass is actually getting a tan, but I feel leaner since I’ve been here… despite eating dessert every day. Oops. Maybe being injured works for me!

How do you survive training in the heat? Have you ever been injured at an inopportune time?

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