Fourth of July bicep muscle and tendon torn from the bone! Great experience!

Posted by on Jul 13, 2011 in Advocare, Advocare 24 day challenge, Advocare Catalyst, Advocare Spark, Exercise, Lean | 4 comments

Two years ago I was on a mission to get in the best shape of my life by the time I was 40. I was progressing pretty well, but on the the Fourth of July, one month exactly before I turned 40, I tore my lower bicep tendon off the bone. 

Right Bicep after Distal Tendon Tear

Right Bicep after Distal Tendon Tear

Left Bicep Comparison

Left Bicep Comparison

It was a freak accident involving a boat and a soon to turn 40 year old who thought it would be a good idea to learn how to wakeboard!  The recent holiday weekend reminded me of this story so I thought I’d share it with you.  What does this have to do with AdvoLean?  Maybe nothing, but mostly everything!  Trust me. Read to the end.

The long story short is I thought I could just pull myself upright on the wakeboard by holding the boat back and popping up out of the water.  The boat had different ideas :)  

I can still remember weaving around behind the boat like a snow skier on moguls and then the super quick “snap” and burning in the bend of my elbow – incredibly painful for a few seconds and then eerily subsiding.  The driver asked if I wanted to try again and I said “No, I think I hurt my bicep” so I dragged myself onto the boat and sat and watched the family wakeboard and tube all weekend. 

I thought the muscle was just partially torn so I self medicated over the holiday weekend, but as the hours progressed I knew it was at best torn and probably worse.

I still hit the gym to work out on Tuesday morning because it was shoulder day, not biceps…  :)

Luckily for me some of the guys I work out with have some history with these types of injuries and they knew it wasn’t going to repair itself.  I got to work and called one of the best ortho facilities in the United States, Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center, which happens to be very near my day job. 

It took them about 8 seconds to know what had happened and they ran a few tests to confirm.  Yep, tore the bicep tendon off the bone at the connection close to your elbow (think baseball rolled up to the top of your arm and nothing below…well, maybe a golfball, but you get the point). 

On a side note, they said that was very lucky because the shoulder connections are MUCH tougher to fix correctly and require lots more rehab and pain from what I hear.

The surgeon I had is a team doctor for the University of Alabama football team and works on lots of “real” athletes from high schoolers to college to pros so he didn’t mind me asking the basics…

Not, will I be ok or is the surgery/anesthesia dangerous or anything practical like that, but more like “when can I start working out again” and “how much strength will I lose?” and “can I have a local and watch the surgery – I saw it on YouTube and I’d like to watch” (btw, the answers were a couple months, none if you work hard, and are you crazy…I’ve never had that asked, but no you will probably pass out or throw up and both would be bad!)

The surgeon’s first question was “what do you have planned this afternoon?”  I responded nothing, but I’m flying with my daughter to Virginia Beach tomorrow morning for a 5 day Elite Gymnastics Camp.  He said, “no, you’re not”, I said, yes I am… and after that went on for a minute or two he said he could do it the day I got back, but if I waited much longer than that he couldn’t guarantee the muscle could be pulled back out and stretched enough to reattach it to the bone. Ok, that sounds serious. 

He also said I didn’t have to have it reattached – apparently you only lose about 30-40% of your strength because there are multiple muscles in your bicep area and the one I’d torn off would mostly just limit rotating my forearm and reduce overall strength.  Pass. 

Oddly enough, since that time I’ve met half a dozen people who tore their biceps off and didn’t know how bad it was and didn’t get it fixed in time or just chose not to have the surgery. 

I’ll skip the pity party about the surgery and recovery, but in summary I was in a cast for several weeks, a range of motion brace for several more weeks and finally got that off and had the follow up visit with the ortho doctor… so, when can I start working out hard again… he surprised me with the same question from the inital evaluation – “what do you have planned this afternoon?”

Well, maybe those weren’t his exact words, but he effectively said that I could do as much as I could handle as the tendon was as strong as before the accident. WooHoo!

Back to working out and I was lifting a lot, but had lost the focus to be lean and was only working on being strong. Weight went up. A lot.

I’m bad about my weight cycling up and down pretty drastically, but this time it was only going up. A year and a half later I was up 20 pounds on the scale and probably more than that from a body fat percentage. I started the new year at 203. Ouch! I had finally had enough and I knew that I needed a quick start and a goal. Not a New Year’s resolution, but an honest to God goal.

I decided to follow the Advocare 24 Day Challenge and I couldn’t believe how well it worked. Both mentally and physically I could see the differences in just a couple weeks. I dropped 15 pounds in 24 days to end up at 188. Amazing weight loss by my standards. I immediately decided to start on the cardio side and continued to eat pretty well. That got me to 183 which is where I was prior to the accident!

Having achieved that goal I was pretty happy and I thought to myself… well, maybe now is the time to continue on and make that goal of getting in the best shape of my life.

Problem is I didn’t set it as a goal and I’ve been floundering around the last 6 months and focusing on lifting heavy weights again. My bench, shoulder press, curls, etc have seen real gains especially since I’ve started on the Advocare Mass Impact creatine supplement. I’m still close to the best shape overall that I’ve ever been, but now I’m up to 193 and have decided it is time to quit focusing on just lifting heavy and focus on getting lean and RIPPED!

So today, I’m setting a goal to lose 20 more pounds to put me at 173 by November 1st. An additional goal is I’ll still have a decent bench press(as close to 315 max as possible) and be able to run a decent 5k(sub 20) and half marathon(sub 2 hours)by the end of the year.

Early February next year we are going to run the Tough Mudder extreme race and I want to be shredded lean by that time. I’ve had a One-Pack for years now – need to get a Six-Pack!

Also, I haven’t seen 173 in 20 years. 12 years ago I was around 178 and doing triathlons which involved a lot of cardio and not much lifting.

Seriously, so how am I going to make this goal? Easy, follow the same thing that worked for me the first of the year and then keep a focused goal with incremental goals to keep me on track.

The Advocare products I’ve been using such as Mass Impact, Spark, Catalyst, Meal Replacement Shakes(MRS) and snack bars will continue to be on my menu and I’ll cut out all the junk that is causing me to gain weight.

You see, Advocare helped get me started at the first of the year and it is going to push me over the top for the rest of the year. First up is the 24 Day Challenge.

I’ll be posting every day about my progress toward getting lean, fit and ripped so give me some encouragement and even better, join me! Contact me and let me know your goals and maybe we can help keep each other motivated!

My next post on this will be my overall and incremental goals. Follow along and achieve your own weight loss and lean body goals!

Take the 24 Day Challenge!


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