Overcoming Injuries | Bryan Dermody
It’s been a while since I updated everyone on my training and competition schedule. The reason for this is that for some time earlier this year I seriously considered retiring from competitive strength sports. I tore two ligaments in my lower back just before the Arnold Classic Pro Deadlift competition this past March. After the Arnold these ligaments were healed nearly 100%, but a ton of scar tissue from a previous injury and an entrapped nerve in my lower back made it nearly impossible to walk and I subsequently withdrew from the Empire Classic Pro Deadlift competition in early May.
In fact, in May of this year I literally had to go back to squatting and deadlifting an empty bar and build my strength from the ground up. My training progression, in general was as follows for my rehab:
Phase I (3, 3-week blocks)
- No barbell movements for lower body
- High volume posterior chain accessory movements (i.e. GHR, reverse hyperextensions, SL DB RDL’s, pull-through’s, 45 degree back extension, back extension, banded good mornings, banded leg curls)
- High volume belt squats for lower body push
- Heavy emphasis on unilateral movements for lower body push (DB Bulgarian squats, SL squats, DB split squats) and lower body hip extension (SL DB RDL’s, SL back extension, SL reverse hyperextensions)
- 30-40 sets of ground-based core stabilization per week (look for an article and YouTube series on this progression in the coming weeks here)
Phase II (3, 3-weeks blocks)
- 5x5 raw back squats
- High volume/lower intensity deadlifts using a modified version of Prilipen’s chart (singles on every set)
- Keep core stabilization and posterior chain movements from Phase I
- Introduce plyometrics
* Also included in this rehab protocol was very aggressive PNF stretch, deep soft tissue work, and contrast baths.
Here are a few general principles I learned through the rehab process and applied to my current training:
- Perform no more than one barbell movement for each squat and deadlift per week
- Do as little volume on barbell movements as possible in order to get stronger
- Great ground-based powerlifting core program (I will share this later)
- Extended warm-up – I perform 135 rep of posterior chain work after my regular warm-up and before my first movement on squat and deadlift training days
My current training program is preparing me for USAPL Deadlift National Championships in Killeen, TX on September 5th of this year. I am back to heavy lifting and my strength is returning. I will start posting training videos again on my YouTube page very soon! Big thanks to TEAM PEAK ATP, TEAM HMB and Team BetaTOR for sticking with me through all of the injuries and down time. Train hard and take advantage of Clear Muscle liquid HMB from Muscletech and also PEAK ATP to help you out train your competition!