Nice timing for back spasms and sciatic pain

Today was my last workout before Saturday's meet.  Today's challenge was training through back spasms and sciatic pain that's been in place since I got back from Newfoundland.  I'm gonna blame it on sitting still for three hours there and back on the plane since nothing prior or during the trip (including the workout with Team Newfoundland) caused any acute twinges.  All I know is I woke up Friday with a bit of a spasm that was causing sciatic pain down my left glute and it's steadily gotten more irritating since.

Strangely, it doesn't hurt during an actual squat so I was able to squat as long as I ignored the distraction during the unrack and walkout.  It really hurt trying to set up with an arch on the bench press so I had to do my sets with zero leg drive and almost no arch.  I did two light sets of deadlifts just to see if it would rear its ugly head but there was no protest on the pull, just when bending over to get to the bar.

I think I'll just have to hit the anti-inflammatories hard till Saturday along with as much stretching and whirlpool/steam room as possible to get it to loosen up.

Squat:  135x10, 225x5, 315x5, 385x1, 425x1, 445x1, 445x1, 385x1

Worked up to two singles with my opening attempt, everything felt pretty good.  Will probably open at 200 kgs (440 lbs) just to be conservative.

Bench Press:  135x10, 185x5, 225x3, 275x1, 295x1, 305x1

(sarcasm) Pressing with no leg drive and almost no arch along with some pretty good pain in my left glute and leg was fun (/sarcasm).  At least I was able to press my opener under duress and without a lift off.  If the back spasms are gone on Saturday, I'll stay with my plan to open at 140 kgs (308 lbs), otherwise, I'll open at 137.5 kgs (303 lbs).

Deadlift:  315x5x2 sets.

Just did these to test my back.  It passed.

Vivian's parents recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  That takes real devotion and more than a little endurance and determination.  Congratulations Singe and Marilyn!


  1. Hi Craig, Good luck for the lift this weekend. Hope you get what you are looking for weights wise. Be good to see how you went. Go smash some PB's for your followers.

    1. thanks Keith! looking forward to seeing what happens tomorrow. So far, feel good tonight before weigh ins tomorrow.

  2. Hi Craig,

    I hope your meet went well and the sciatic pain has improved. If you are still dealing with it, here is an article with some self massage exercises and descriptions that may help.

    Good luck.

    Jesse James Retherford

  3. thanks for the suggestions Jesse! The meet went well and any issues I had were luckily not due to any sciatic pain. Based on the article you linked, I'm pretty sure it's piriformis syndrome not anything structural (disks, SI joint, etc) so I'm hoping it'l improve with some mobility, massage, and a temporary reduction in training intensity.


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