Downside

For four days after getting all 20 reps I had severe muscular soreness, almost crippling. On the fifth day, the worst of the muscular soreness was behind me and I started to feel a twinge going down into my left buttock and leg. I thought it would fix itself. I had decided that I was now going to drop the sets of high reps and go to sets of 5 reps. On 21 July I was back deadlifting. I did 5 reps with 400 pounds. ^ey felt very heavy and I knew that I was injured. When I did the 400 x 20 I had a feeling of indestructibility, but now I was beginning to feel like an invalid.

17.57 I cannot put my finger on the exact cause of the injury. ^ere was the rounding of my back on 9 July that may have done it, or at least contributed. ^ere was some asymmetrical pulling that cannot have helped. Perhaps neither did the damage but set me up for it from something else. Two days after the 400 x 20 I did my usual full-range bent-over barbell rows, while my back was still massively fatigued. Perhaps the too-vigorous bent-over rows with almost 200 pounds was the final straw that hurt my back. I will never know.

17.56

But no matter what was the single or multiple cause of the problem, I was in for a long period before I could return to regular progressive training.

17.58 I am sure that had I had my witnesses and photographer in attendance on 30 June, I could have made the full 20 reps, wrapped up that cycle without injury, and then started the next cycle. As it was I made my goal but got an injury in return. I had, and still have, no qualms about trading the temporary back problems for the 400 x 20. ^e satisfaction of the latter was, and remains, massive.

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