I wiggled while rolling up onto my elbow in a get-up one Friday three or four weeks ago. My back felt funny, so after completing that get-up, I got onto my hands and knees and practiced Original Strength rocking for a few minutes until my back felt right. Then I did 7 more get-ups to complete a total of 10. The rest of my workout was unremarkable, but a few hours later when I leaned over to put a leash on my dog, my lower back cramped fiercely and I thought I was going to have to call for help. I returned to feeling okay after a dose of Tylenol had some time to work. I took the weekend off from training and had no more problems.

On Monday morning, my workout was going along uneventfully until my lower back cramped fiercely at the 25-minute mark. Tylenol and my massage therapist got me to a better place later in the day, but I decided to devote Tuesday’s workout to Original Strength resets like rocking and rolling. I felt good after that, but when I began my warm-up on Wednesday, I only made it to the 6-minute mark before my back cramped up again. This kicked off more than two weeks of limiting the kettlebells I touched to one 12 kg bell to do halos and a pair of 20 kg bells to do farmer carries. Otherwise I spent my training time doing body weight exercises, walking, or Original Strength resets. The only exception was one day after not having a back incident for almost a week, I picked up a 20 kg bell to do goblet squats. My back cramped up just as I setup to do the first squat.

If I had been lifting heavy or hard before this back stuff started, I would have thought I was suffering from over-training. However, I had been taking it a lot easier for a few weeks. I was training consistently, but had dialed down volume and weight. I began to fear that I was suffering from old age. I thought about going to see an orthopedic surgeon for an evaluation, but such a step is easy to postpone in the absence of pain.

This past week has been pain free. I trained six days in a row in sessions lasting from 30 to 44 minutes. I played around with things I’ve never done before like the Sots press, the double kettlebell floor press, and Original Strength’s training with the gait pattern. I had fun and am feeling solid again. I plan to stay with more bodyweight work than I was doing before, but am now edging back into more weight.

Today’s workout (43 minutes)

Warm-up with alternating wall stick-ups, halos (12 kg bell), full bodyweight squats.

10 get-ups (20 kg bell).

10 dead bugs.

5 sets of one tactical pull-up and 5 slow push-ups.

5 sets of one tactical pull-up and 5 sandbag overhead presses.

2 sets of farmer carry (pair of 20 kg bells – 125 paces)