Ben Nadel
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Project HUGE: 2009 Fitness In Review

By Ben Nadel on
Tags: Project HUGE

2009 has been an interesting year for Project HUGE. I have had some personal bests and some major set backs. The first half of the year was great - I discovered Chad Waterbury's Huge In A Hurry program, and enjoyed his diverse, full-body workouts. The second half of the year was rather disappointing as my workouts continued to become more and more impeded by my injuries. Now, at the end of December 2009, I have worked out only a handful of times in the last few months. This has had a negative affect, not only my physical health, but on my mental well being as well.

I really enjoyed long-time T-Nation and Men's Health contributor Chad Waterbury's Huge In A Hurry program. It was less volume than I was used to, but it rekindled my enthusiasm for working out. Keeping large, heavy, multi-joint movements as its bread and butter, it certainly helped me get stronger; towards the end of my "Get Bigger" phase, I was dipping with an additional 135lbs strapped to my waist, I was inclining with 100lbs dumbbells, I was deadlifting 375lbs with complete authority, and for the first time in a long time, I started to see some progress on my pull-ups. I was feeling so good, in fact, I even started to fantasize about getting my deadlift up over 400lbs by year's end - something I haven't been able to do since 2004!

Things were going well, and life was on the up and up; then, one day after a set of heavy incline dumbbell bench press, my left shoulder just started to feel funny. No acute pain - no snap or stinging - simply a feeling of unease. I didn't even give it much thought until my next workout when I found out that I couldn't do anything with my shoulder without pain. And, I'm not talking just about bench press - no dips, no tricep work, no push ups; heck, even pullups felt awkward at the bottom.

X-Rays and an MRI later and apparently I have a "SLAP" tear, or "Superior Labrum Anterior-Posterior" tear in my left shoulder. Of course, to make matters more confusing, the pain that I am presenting with is not typical of a labral tear. In fact, the labral tear might not be symptomatic at all and my pain might be caused by some other injury or muscular imbalance.

I started to go to physical therapy for my shoulder, but I quickly found out that my insurance doesn't cover physical therapy for non-surgery-related injuries. At $75-$150 per visit with a recommended 2-3 visits a week, this simply isn't a cost that I can prioritize at this point. The most frustrating thing about this, however, is that this isn't my only injury. For the last two years, I have had pain in my right palm; and for the last 8 years, I've had patellar tracking problems and pain in my knees. What this means, in layman's terms, is that all three major movements - push, pull, legs - are being hampered by some injury in my body.

But I certainly don't mean this as a plea for sympathy. Project HUGE is a project like any other; and, like all projects, it has periods of progress and periods of set back. With each set back, I need create a plan of attack and set it in motion. My personal failure over the last few months is that I have been throwing myself a little pity party and wallowing in my own sorrow rather than figuring out how to better my situation.

With 2010 just around the corner, I need to get my butt in gear and climb back up on the horse of hugeness. What I need to do is prioritize the pain in my hand and get that sorted out. My hand is how I attach myself to the weight; so, if it's not working well, my workouts aren't working well. Once that is healed, I can then work on my shoulder, and then subsequently on my knees. Bottom line, I have to embrace the fact that parts of me are not working well at the moment and continue to go to the gym regardless, doing what I can with what I got.

Here's to a new year, a new start, and another chance to get back on the right track! And, because you know I love women with curves, a little female muscle inspiration to usher in 2010.


Pauline Nordin Sexy Female Muscle Inspiration For 2010.  
Tweet This Groovy post by @BenNadel - Project HUGE: 2009 Fitness In Review Woot woot — you rock the party that rocks the body!

Reader Comments

Sorry to hear about your injuries :( but, I know you will get better and continue to do sucessfully acomplish your goal of hugeness :) Good luck in 2010 :)

ps. Can you please stop posting my pics on your blog ;)

You say thanks to JonHo but not to me :(

Did you just ignore me on purpose? well, that isn't a very nice thing to do Mr. Nadel :(

I apologize if any of my previous comments have offended you in any way, I was trying to be funny.

Why do I feel like in 2009 all I did was apologize to people, maybe I should turn over a new leaf in 2010 and start to ignore people instead.

Please DO NOT be offended with my comments I will no longer visit your site.

I started project "GET CUT" and in 3 months I hope to be starting up "PROJECT HUGE". Im loving my workouts and the changes I have seen already.

PS I prefer MORE curves than that girls has! ;)

Hey Ben,
sorry to hear about all the injuries. I can relate to the should issue, had my 2nd Labrum surgery in 5, oh how we love them, but oh how they can hurt. This time, I have actually paied attention to all the strength training tips from my physical therapy sessions. It has been about 4 months since surgery and things are better, not perfect, but better. I had to start out slow with movements without weights, then up to 2lb dumb bells, then over time I have slowly incresed weights. Now, I am no HUGE guy, but after 2 surgeries, I'd agree you need to put together a plan, one injury at a I'm sure you know, if you compensate for one injury, it could make another one worse.
Hope things work out, keep up the work, and the geat blogging.


PS -- I need to get more into the working out, the surgery and the little addition to the family this year have really caused me to get out of shape...ugh :)


I hope you make a speedy recovery. I know what you mean about compensating for one injury leading to another. At the end of the day, the human body just wants to perform its function; and, if it needs to start to cheat (around an injury) to do so, you better believe it will. Then, of course, that leads to more imbalances and eventually more injuries. Arggg :)


Hmm, those seem pretty cool. I have some Harbinger straps right now, which are basically the old-school straps with some additional padding. What seems nice about the Versa grips, though, is that the strap comes straight down.

I wonder if I would feel as connected to the bar without the full-bar wrapping.