These are the two camps that pre-Hab/re-hab followers seem to belong to. I was the former, for years was battering my body and only if something began to bug me would I do anything about it and even then would rarely venture any further than a quick search on YouTube for what I thought was needed, do it for a few days and forget about it.
Then came my wake up call, after an hours driving and two hours sat waiting in a gym I jumped into my squat suit and after a few warm up sets attempted a pb squat, to say it went badly would be an understatement. Fully ruptured acl, shattered meniscus cartilage, level 2 mcl strain, detached quadricep, and a tibia break all to my right leg.
After the shock and upset of what had happened had calmed down I promised myself nothing like that would ever happen again. 8 hour surgery was the easy bit, taking a bit from this a bit from that and a load of metal work and I had a new knee. Now to begin rehab, I was already under the arm of the awesome chiro Hassan Zaid who was keeping me mechanically able to get better and ready to guide my comeback to powerlifting, I now needed to find a Physio to do the nitty gritty with me, luckily a new Physio had started working in my hometown who’s resume included more acl rehabs than could be counted on both hands and feet.
And there began my 6 months of hell, learning to walk, run, jump, step and more importantly how to squat again. Hard is an understatement both physically and mentally, being told to step off a box on a leg you know is stuck together with pins and a harvested hamstring tendon was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, I stood on that box for ten minutes in tears trying to convince myself the leg wouldn’t fold in half.
I learnt so much in those 6 months, the importance of being physically ready for what you are wanting to do and doing it in a way that your going to be confident that your body is going to do what you tell it.
I became a faithful follower of Donnie Thompson, his YouTube/Facebook/Instagram pages are an absolute god send for any lifter or athlete looking to improve there readiness for putting there bodies under strain. He does it all in his distinctive super d style and doesn’t try to rag your head with terminology that you don’t need. In 6 months I learned the intricacies of body tempering, flossing, stretching, grastonning, iastm techniques and ems machines. On top of regular massages and the odd trip to a chiro and was somehow in the best shape I’d ever been.
6 months post op I competed again and squat 430kg like a speed rep. 2 years later, I’m still following all my pre-Hab techniques and lifting better and better, but more importantly pain free.
I’ve got my stretching routine down to 15 mins a day which no matter how busy anyone is can find time for whilst watching tv at the end of the day, it’s all a case of how much do you want it, if you want that massive squat/bench/deadlift why would you limit your chances of getting by not taking a bit of time to find what exercises help to maintain your body in its peak condition and doing them, you probably spend 15 minutes checking Facebook between sets so why not spend that time a bit more productively than looking at people making you feel guilty for wanting a kebab on your way home with there perfect diet.
So to sum all that up, watch super d’s videos, buy a flossing band, do some stretches and see what good comes from it, please don’t do it the hard way like I did.