Down But Not Out

by 1st Phorm Athlete Brett Becker October 12, 2009 3 min read

As a competitive bodybuilder I believe the offseason is where you make your most gains. It is a time to put on some extra body weight and with this comes increased strength and added size. Up until a couple weeks ago my offseason was in full swing. I was sitting around 265lbs and life was good, until I heard that fateful snap every bodybuilder worries about. Yes, after all these years of training and competing I had my first major injury to date, a pec tear. I was on my fifth set of smith machine incline press, with a weight of 405lbs. This is a weight I’ve grown comfortable with through the years, but this day would be different. I was on my seventh rep; I came down slowly, tapped my chest, and exploded up. Soon followed a sound and feeling I will never forget, fortunately my training partner was close by to rerack the weight to prevent further damage. I immediately grabbed my gym bag and son, Brady from the gym day care and headed home. I applied ice to my left pec and called my family doctor, who was able to make a few calls and get me in to see an orthopedic surgeon the next day. I kept looking in the mirror to see if any bruising had started or worse yet any deformity, but nothing. Many thoughts ran through my head, such as, will I need surgery and most importantly will I be able to compete again.

I took some ibuprofen and laid down to rest just hoping that when I awoke things would be better, man was I wrong. I took off my shirt and there it was, the bruising of a tear I had only read about and seen pictures of on the internet. This bruise encompassed my left bicep, shoulder, and pec from sternum to ribs. Holy crap, now I was concerned.

The next day I got into see the orthopod and a MRI soon followed. Let me tell you, I do not fit in a closed MRI and for forty minutes it felt like I was being buried alive, a horrible experience. I could have requested a open MRI, but I knew they do take longer and the resonance imaging is of poorer quality. I endured, and received the results immediately and much to my relief all tendons were attached. I had a large muscle tear in the belly of the left pectoral, along with a small tear in the lower medial bicep region. I was very relieved, this was the best news possible after what I was seeing and feeling.

Closing on three weeks post injury, I have started massage therapy with fascia stretching. The swelling is much improved and the bruising has almost completely subsided. I can’t wait to start training again, I was completely out of the gym for two weeks. I was able to train quads and hams at the two week mark, and will continue to hit legs twice a week. I probably won’t begin any upper body for another 3-4 weeks.

My competition plans for 2010 are now contingent upon my recovery, but I do have 2010 Nationals on the map next November. I am thankful for all the support from the 1st Phorm team. I’m down but not out. I will keep you informed of my recovery and as the attached picture indicates, it will be a slow process. I am looking very forward to this blog as it will provide a great platform for me to give back to the reader in the many facets of what we call bodybuilding. Until next time, be consistent, and stay balanced!

1st Phorm Athlete Brett Becker
1st Phorm Athlete Brett Becker