Andrew Serrano – Close Call

I’m 4 weeks out from my meet today. Paul Oneid is handling my programming, and it’s working very well. This week was very interesting. Last week I strained my quad on front squats which you can read about here. I was a little worried at first, it swelled and was pretty painful but didn’t have any heat so I was optimistic. Paul told me to keep moving so for the next 48 hours I either walked or used a cybex trainer for 15-25 minutes every few hours. I threw a ton of passive modalities at it; acupuncture, ems, ice, compression and my nutrition and sleep has been the most on point it’s probably ever been. It didn’t affect my bench session at all and by the time I got to deadlifts on Wednesday the pain was a 1 out of 10. I still hit all my prescribed numbers.

The pain was mainly in deep hip flexion so I kept working on it to make sure I’d be able to do the planned work out for squats. Everything was going well on Sunday. I had a full morning of clients, I got a substantial breakfast in and after work I got home and started eating my pre training meal. After a few bites, I got a call and had to get someone to the hospital. I stuffed as much chicken and rice as I could fit in my mouth and grabbed a gallon of water and an orange because I didn’t know how long this would take. 6 hours later I got home gain feeling drained, that post anxiety attack fatigue. My legs felt shaky and I contemplated texting Paul to ask him what he thought about skipping the session, and after about fifteen minutes I decided I’d go. I ate again, waited an hour and headed to the gym.

I took extra time warming up, and really focused on core activation as I had been for the week. On my deadlift day, I was doing RDLs shirtless in front of a mirror after drenching my shirt on deads, and I noticed that when I took in air for my brace my left oblique wasn’t moving at all, this is the same side where I strained the upper part of my quad. This was a lightbulb moment. I hammered my left obliques for the rest of the week, and today my squats felt great even after all the craziness. I really think that my former self would have skipped the session, and this entire meet prep has really redefined what hard work is, and that I was really nowhere near it before. I honestly think up to this point I was really just riding talent and got whatever numbers I did by just lifting – it wasn’t truly hard work though. This week really did show that sometimes injury can be a gift.

Gift of Injury available here


  • Deadlifts 5×5 up to 85% (3rd set shown)
  • RDLs 3sec Pause 4×8
  • BB Row 4×5
  • Chin Up 4×10
  • GHD 3×12
  • Suitcase Carry 250ft/arm


  • High Bar Squat vs Chains(80lbs) 1×15 90sec rest (1st and last shown)
  • Cambered Bar Squat 5×5 (2 top sets shown)
  • Banded Leg Press 3×20
  • Bulgarians 3×12
  • SL RDL 3×10
  • Goblet Carry 500ft
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Andrew Serrano

Andrew Serrano is a full time trainer, holds a B.S. in exercise science and has worked in almost every facet of the training industry. He is currently competing as a 198lb raw lifter, his meet PRs are 589/391/601. His training is guided by the 10/20/Life philosophy with a focus on sustainable injury free progression.

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