Tucker: Turning point

Well, I think my time being a passive healer is now over. It’s went hard on my core work and didn’t touch a weight for almost two months, I got a handful of deep tissue massages in and took last week off completely to see if there would be any change with more rest.

By the end of the week everything that was bugging me was either the same or worse – my knee which has improved a lot didn’t get any better, my back which has been back and forth between being very stiff and having some pinched nerves in my upper back didn’t change and actually felt tighter, and my elbow was about the same.

A quick chat with Paul and we decided I’ve gotten as much as I can out of this routine of core and stability work only, and it’s time to start working out again.

Paul’s hypothesis, which seems to be confirmed from the couple workouts that I’ve done, is that my body has become used to a certain level of stimulation over time, and by stopping all that, the muscles have had a chance to soften up and relax, but they may have gotten too lax. The cracking and popping could be from a lack of stability due to lack of stimulation, and it’s time to move back into movements that will improve that without putting too much weight on me. Bodyweight and light dumbbell work, and staying away from bars and my beloved machines was his suggestion…. And so far it’s been a success. I’ve done some cable work for my overhead pulling stuff to hit my lats, but other than that no machine work.

Here’s one of the workouts I did –


McGill Big 3 – Bird dogs, rolling planks, McGill Crunches

From Craig’s list – Dead bugs, Shin Box get up, Copenhagen Plank

Combat ropes (30-45 seconds) SS w/ pushups

Incline DB press SS w/ Bent over DB rows (both hands)

One arm neutral grip cable lat pulldown SS w/ Standing one arm DB shoulder press

Single leg DB deadlift SS w/ Split squats with back foot on a bench


Everything was done very light, with DB press and DB rows only using 40-50 lb dumbbells, and I only used 25 lbs on the standing shoulder presses.

The biggest difference maker was at the end, when I tried to do some pushups again, and was delighted to find that I didn’t have nearly as much cracking and popping as I had in the beginning of the workout, and that if I gripped the ground hard and really focused on not letting it pop, I was able to get a couple sound-free pushups in, which was really encouraging.

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Tucker Loken is a Bodybuilder turned Powerlifter turned Powerbuilder from Eugene, Oregon. He did his first bodybuilding show when he was still in high school, and has been training male and female competitors for shows since 2011. Several years ago he decided to take a step away from his normal routine and learn how to get strong. He worked with Brian for 9 months, added 200 pounds to his raw total and qualified as an Elite lifter in the 220 pound weight class. He returned back to bodybuilding much stronger and now incorporates the 10/20/Life philosophy into his training to keep himself healthy and making continual progress in the Big 3 as well as adding size and shaping his physique. Now part of Team PRS, he brings his unique expertise of nutritional knowledge and how to balance Bodybuilding with Powerlifting to help athletes achieve their best potential.

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