In January 2018, Chris suffered a horrific injury. He was left with 2 herniated discs in my back: L4-L5 and L5-S1.
The latter of these 2 discs ended up being ruptured (torn) which leaked fluid out and against his right sciatic nerve. For a few months, his side effects included muscle spasms (down my right leg- once triggered by a simple sneeze which sent him to the ER), constant nerve pain, muscle atrophy, weight gain, and permanent numbness and nerve damage down parts of my right leg and foot.
After 4 trips to the ER, maxed out insurance visits to Physical Therapy, doctors appointments, and Injections, Chris no longer had pain in his leg on a day to day basis sometime around July/August.
At this point, he felt his injury shouldn't hold him back and that he needed to build up muscle and get back in shape. He tried getting back into the gym 3 times a week on his own, but eventually gave up due to related issues in his back and leg where the nerve symptoms would flare up for a few days or more.
He continued his own program for a couple more months not making much of any progress and at the very end of December he decided he needed a professional to make sure he was lifting properly, pacing himself, and help shed some of the weight he had gained.
At this point he acted with urgency. He knew that one of the best things for compromised spinal discs (per my Neuro surgeon, ruptured discs don't ever fully heal, its all about preventing spillage going forward) is to build up the supporting muscles- back and core.
He found McCohn Muscle online by simply doing a Google map search of trainers near his residence. The numerous online reviews seemed legit and the facility was clean and complete. When he came in for his assessment, he ended up almost passing out and even threw up. He was ready to sign up and leave 2018 in the past where it belongs.
During the four months he’s been training at McCohn Muscle, Chris says “Hands down, the number one thing that training here provided me in terms of improvement has got to be the technique. I come in and leave with the peace of mind that I am doing exercises properly- with correct form. For me this was crucial because simply bending over or twisting my back incorrectly or lifting even a light dumbbell improperly could have shot my progress back 10 months.”
We took the time to understand his injury from the start, and we made sure that we build his core stability and strength before getting to the fun stuff. He also told us, “you gave me more effective exercises and means to strengthen and relieve my back/nerve issues than my physical therapists did, which I was shocked by. Without you guys there, I would have been going straight for the heavy weights and for sure getting into some trouble. Aside from that, having that extra push for accountability as well as energy which you get from the trainers as well as the other trainee's is priceless.”
So far he’s lost 30lbs and 8% body fat, but more importantly he’s had absolutely no back issues since the first week of training, where as prior to signing up he could have slept funny and woke up needing to lay down for 3 days.
Chris isn’t planning on stopping his training any time soon, and we asked him if he has any advice for someone that has been contemplating starting a training program.
He said, “if you're at the point where you are contemplating whether to start a training program or not, then your wasting your time until you actually do it. You have probably realized the benefits of accountability and professional, certified guidance. Your health is not a joke and you owe it to yourself (and your family if applicable) to do everything you can to improve it. Plus you'll have a damn good time (after the first couple days of soreness)!”