In May I was certain that I got injured during a High Intensity Workout, but it turned out to be nothing. However, there is no mistake that I messed up my back yesterday. When I get back pain, I now immediately think about stress levels first and any physical reasons second. Sometimes stress can trigger the pain. Other times, it really is an injury.
How do you tell the two apart? For me a stress related pain doesn’t show a healing progression. Assuming proper rest and nutrition, an injury should get better over time. Stress related pain tends to vary with intensity and shows a non-predictable pain pattern.
When I went to the gym, I had just spent the past few days working on my 2011 Health Goals. My mind was occupied with challenges of stress reduction, headaches and posture. I may have primed my mind for an injury. During a set of static hold leg presses, I thought my feet could have benefited from a slightly wider stance, so I adjusted my stance and wiggled in my seat while under load. Not a good idea. As soon I stood up from the set, I felt something was off. My back was tightening up. Within an hour, I was in total pain.
Today my back still hurts. Not as bad as the fall from last year, but pretty intense. It is better than yesterday and I expect tomorrow will be better than today.
I think foot placement is a common problem with the leg press. My solution is a simple one. Instead of a solid black background, I would like to see a multiple color grid like design. Then I’m not guessing that each foot is on the same exact X/Y coordinate.
In fact, I’d love to see better user interface designs on all the handles of gym equipment. Barbells have a single smoothed out area for the ring finger, which is something, but not enough if you ask me. You could even use colors or coordinates to create industry standards for designing workouts or physical therapy plans.
UPDATE: Much to my shock, I fully recovered in just 4 days. How did I accelerate the healing? Read My Miraculous Back Injury Recovery.