Hey guys, can you give me some insight on how you psychologically got over your fears of squatting after your back injury? It’s been two years since my car accident, which herniated five discs and fractured a vertebrae…and I’m still scared when I’m under just 400-500lbs. My bench and deadlift have gone up substantially, over 75lbs and 130 lbs respectively, but I get so scared under heavier squats. What helped you get your mind right?
In all reality, you should be a little scared. A healthy fear means that you’ll always treat with respect. That will insure that you’re technique stays on point. This will mean that you can continue to progress with little to no fear of getting hurt. Now, how do you push yourself? That’s another matter. If you’re being honest with your RPEs then it shouldn’t be an issue. You should be going by feel.
I realize hernia surgery isn’t major back surgery but when I was coming back, I just didn’t rush it. Pushing into the belt and bracing always gave me pause. Still does to be honest. I’m consistent with the program and am consistently making progress. Confidence takes time and persistence to build back up. I know we all wanted it yesterday but have some patience. Stick to the program, don’t push past your RPEs and it’ll come quick enough. With your deadlift moving up like it is, your squat might not directly correlate. Nothing is linear, so it could just be your deadlift’s time to grow. The squat won’t be too far behind it.
Again, while a knee is not the same thing as the spine, I have had both knees operated on and have squatted over 800 raw about 15+ times since. The fear is GOOD. The fear keeps you honest. The fear drives me to try to be perfect.
I am scared that if I don’t do my rehab/mobility work that I will re-injure myself, so I do it religiously. I am scared that if my technique isn’t spot on that I will re-injure myself, so every rep is taking with extreme attention to detail. I am afraid that if I don’t maintain structural balance and integrity I will re-injure myself, so I never skip accessory.
See where I am going with this?
If you’re doing everything right, you must trust in the process and trust in the fact that you have done everything you can. Follow the plan and load appropriately. Trust that you’ll never get under a weight you aren’t prepared for because you’ve done everything in your power to get ready for it.
It’s a mentality that nobody can really explain other than just doing it but doing so with a great plan, with good people in your corner.
They key to confidence is little steps at a time and not being in a hurry.