Rick Bradley

Getting Stronger After Injuries

Rick BradleyBy Rick Bradley

I am currently 47 years old, and had 3 surgeries before the age of 40. I have torn my meniscus, left and right knee. Instead of accepting the limited range of motion my injuries caused me, I was determined to get my knees stronger.

Waking up in pain and limping for the first three hours of the day was terrible. For the beginning stages of my fitness lifestyle, I started doing body weight squats, then slowly added one light kettlebell to my routine. For this exercise, one kettlebell is needed for the right side which will then be switched to the left side. The kettlebell should be in the rack position, hold the kettlebell up to the side of your elbows (next to your ribs).  I’ll do 3 sets of body weight squats, rest for 2 minutes, then continue to the next. Afterwards, I will do one leg dead lifts with a kettlebell. You bend down with your left hand, grab the kettlebell while lifting your right leg up all in one motion. The weight of the bell should not be too light but not too heavy either.

My third surgery was when I tore my bicep tendon, this surgery required a lot of small steps to help me fully recover. I was a grown man doing two-pound dumbbell curls. Being in this predicament allowed me to understand that everything takes time. Now, I can squat with two 24kg kettlebells, dead lift 300 pounds, and lift 120-pound atlas stones.

I still have to take it easy some days as my body will remind me to slow down since I have only been training for a couple of years. I even tore my disk in my back, when this happened, I asked how to strengthen my back and I was told to do dead lifts. I started light with just the bar, I felt silly adding ten pound plates, but I knew that I would get stronger and nobody was judging me. Now I dead lift 300 pounds.

My word of advice would be to practice proper form when you begin training in a gym. Remember; one rep at a time, one day at a time.

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