Bodybuilder and YouTuber Matt Morsia, better known to his followers as MattDoesFitness, has been doing rather a lot less fitness of late, following an Achilles tendon rupture which has left him unable to train in squats or deadlifts while he heals. In a new video on his channel, Matt provides an update on his recovery, visiting with his physiotherapist and finding out just how much strength he has lost in the last 100 days.
“At this point, the benefit does not outweigh the risk,” his physio tells him about returning to his usual standard of training. “A heavier, slow contraction is relatively safe. It’s if something happens and you’re holding a heavy bar, and you’ve got to step forward or you lose balance… that’s the risk.”
Ultimately, Matt is advised that he still doesn’t have sufficient range of motion to be doing the kind of squats that he wants, and is recommended a Smith machine variation. But he is able to start deadlifting with a reasonable amount of weight again.
“It feels mad, to be honest,” he says once he is back in the gym. “I don’t want to jinx it and I want to be patient, but at the same time, literally cannot feel it at all.” He explains that he is adopting an even wider stance than usual for his deadlifts, to ensure that his knee travels less, minimizing dorsal flexion and reducing strain on his Achilles tendon.
He finishes off his deadlifting session with 3 sets of 10 at 100 kgs (220 pounds), which he would usually count as his warmup. “You’re talking 30 percent of my one rep max, so very, very, very light,” he says.
“The weight felt absolutely fine,” he adds. “The soreness is not as bad as I thought, back is feeling it a bit because I haven’t deadlifted in pretty much three months. I’m playing it mega safe. The plan from hereon in is just to increase the weight by very small increments, give the Achilles a chance to adapt, get strong, and be an absolute monster.”
This article was first published on Men’s Health US.