health

200 Days: Recovering from ACL Repair

The morning of my surgery was surprisingly calm. I slept soundly. The dogs went into their crates easily. Signing in was quick. Considering that my leg was being cut open and parts of my knee would be missing and/or replaced when I woke up, the whole energy of the waiting area was mellow. When it was my turn to head back for prep, I felt excitement. The thought of being able to move and play sports without fear of buckling my knee was the only thing on my mind. After changing into my surgical outfit everything really slowed down. It felt like every couple minutes someone new would ask me a few questions, always preceded with, “who are you and what are we doing today?” I actually really appreciate the attention to detail. After receiving two signatures on my knee, repeating the answer, “Josh Kober. Left ACL Reconstruction” about 25 times, and about 60 minutes later I was being walked to the operation room. Being greeted by 5 or 6 people, some washing hands, some sticking things on my body, and the anaesthesiologist letting me know he gave me “something to take the edge off.” The room is as white a room you’ll ever see. Everyone is moving and talking; I was very impressed by how much work was going into my well-being. It was impressive how deliberate every movement and word said accomplished a task. As I lay there looking up at bright round lamps, I can hear the slight sound of music coming out of a small speaker in the ceiling. I think to ask what would be on the sound track, but before I could utter a word, I’m waking up.


It truly did feel like I went to bed and awoke the next morning. I remember dreaming or at least felt as if I had been dreaming that I was late for work. Feeling my eyes opening wide then blinking and trying to organize my thoughts and senses all at the same time. My nurse was reassuring me that everything was fine and the operation was successful. I couldn’t believe it was over so quickly even though it took almost an hour longer than expected. As I became more aware, the nurse offered another dose of dilaudid and warned that the numbing would fade and pain would start to show itself. He wasn’t lying. The car ride home was comfortable and climbing two flights of stairs up to my bedroom proved easier than expected, probably because I couldn’t feel a thing. I made my way to bed assuming my position that I would be in for the next 4-6 days.

My first week of recovery was underway. Lots of Percocets, sleep, and ice would be the next week or so. Lucky for me the Masters was starting the next day so I would be thoroughly entertained watching Tiger win in what will be remembered as one of the best Masters of all time. This was the perfect distraction from the fact I wouldn’t be touching a golf club for at least another 3-4 months.

Preparation was crucial for week 1. Know that you will have trouble getting up and down. Have a clear path from the bed to the restroom. Stay ahead of the pain with your painkillers, and do yourself a favor and buy some still softeners!

200 Days: Recovering from ACL Repair

Being a personal trainer who specializes in sports performance and injury-prevention, it almost seems ironic that I would come away with an ACL Tear. The truth is, I tore my ACL, at least partially, 10 years ago. The summer before entering the Exercise Science program at CSU Long Beach I sprained my knee playing soccer, then 2 weeks later thinking I was okay, I played basketball and had an atrocious injury. At the time I was 20 years old, dumb, and broke, so I opted not to have an MRI. I knew had I torn anything that surgery would be necessary to continue my lifestyle, without risk of further injury. It was during this time that I began learning about injury prevention techniques. While in school I was able to use what I learned in the classroom on myself. I did well to strengthen the muscles that move and protect the joints of the lower body. These exercises paid off and allowed me to engage in many activities but not with the occasional buckling and movement in the knee joint. It was these incidents that would cause regression in my training and ultimately push me towards learning more about injury-prevention, and eventually becoming a professional in the field.

I often tell people that corrective exercises are as important as explosive exercises when training for sports-performance because if you are injured you can’t improve. Therefore, the healthier you can keep your body, the more your performance can improve.

I decided to journal my recovery from my day 1 of my surgery until I reach my full recovery. I will share experiences, emotions, and stories about my rehab. I’ll list tips for those who are looking to have ACL surgery. Hopefully my story of recovery will encourage any one who reads this to practice injury-prevention techniques so they don’t have to go through this long, arduous experience.

5 Reasons why couples who train together, stay together

It doesn’t take a doctor telling you how go exercise is for your health for you to realize the many benefits, but one that doesn’t show up on any medical exams is how exercise improves your life socially. This list will focus on the ways that exercise, specifically with your significant other, will improve your relationships with said loved one.

  1. Sex Drive

    Testosterone helps males both in the weight room and in the bed room. HIIT workouts and heavy weight lifting has been shown to increase testosterone levels in males. Increase in “T” means an increase in sex drive. Now introduce your wife or girlfriend into the gym where you can put your muscles on display while she strokes your ego with the occasional glance at your biceps. Sexual tension will be so high that the car ride home might be too much to handle.

  2. Confidence

    This is a benefit to anyone who practices regular exercise but couples who workout together are not only confident in themself but will walk confidently together knowing they are proud of themselves as a whole. We are arrogant creatures by nature, and while it may be annoying to have other guys look at your girl, there is always a bit of satisfaction knowing you have something they can’t have.

  3. Accountability

    The days when you don’t feel like doing anything, lethargic, tight and sluggish are the days you need to be sure together your workouts in. Even if you just stretch or perform corrective exercises, just doing something productive when you don’t feel like it will make the biggest difference in your training. Having a training partner like your significant other can be the motivator you need to get up off the couch and just do something. Sometimes just watching your partner get ready for the gym is enough to change your mind.

  4. Endorphins

    Exercise has been shown to help curb stress and increase the release of endorphins. Simply put, move around and you’ll be happy. Even if you and your boo just go on a walk around the neighborhood, the circulation of blood through your body and slight increase in heart rate will fire some endorphins and put you both into. a positive mood. Hell, you might even find this sparks good, constructive conversation. Instead of going to happy hour, try a new fitness class at a boutique training studio.

  5. Security

    No, not the strength to protect each other, which I guess could be benefit number 6. What I mean is learning to be secure with your strengths and weaknesses. You and your mate will most definitely have different strengths just as you do in personality, work ethic, etc. Training together can teach you to be secure with him or her being better than you at something. Being a highly competitive person myself, I actually love when Lisa is better than me at something. It motivates me to get better while being proud of her for being such a bad ass.

If you want to lift more weight, learn to use your glutes!

The biggest muscles in your body are the Gluteus Maximus and the Quadriceps Femoris. Most people have no problems using and developing their quads but struggle to increase maximal strength in both the squat and deadlift. A common reason for this plateau is both weakness and inability to engage the Gluteal muscles. For this reason, I recommend practicing neuromuscular exercises to learn how to engage your gluteals on demand.

Many people will use machines and bridges to target the butt and increase muscle cell size. While this is helpful in gaining muscle tissue in the butt, practices such as barre and Pilates are highly effective at learning control of the gluteal muscles.

The muscles of your butt don’t only perform extension of the thigh, which is the main function during a hip drive, or bridge. Your gluteals will also perform external rotation and abduction of the thigh. Learning to isolate these movements, which are commonly practiced in Pilates and Barre will help you to engage the muscles of your butt during many exercises.

Whether you are performing lunges, split squats, deadlifts or squats, your gluteal muscles should be pulling in your femur into extension, this driving your hips forward. To truly increase strength you mustn’t only build cell size, but also the ability to engage your butt muscles on command.

TRX exercises every golfer should be doing

Whether you’re a scratch or your just trying to get through a round without losing a ball, these 3 exercises will help create stability and consistency in your game.

  1. Russian Twist

    A combination of dynamic abdominal rotation and stabilization of the spine and hips is exactly what a golfer desires. This exercises accomplishes both. To increase difficulty, keeps your elbows locked and the hands as far away from your chest as possible. Add a squat and truly make this an explosive total body exercise.

  2. Pistol Squats

    While anyone can benefit from this well-known and well-hated exercise, golfers are especially the beneficiary of this single-leg exercise. Build stability in your hips by using your gluteus mediums tonmaintain square hips while balancing your bi-lateral leg strength. Increase difficulty by standing over your foot rather than leaning back, and use your handles for balance over leverage when possible.

    Add a stork-dive between repetitions to increase the need for stability

  3. Body Saw

    This is one of those exercises that looks so simple you know it’s gotta burn. Only a short range of motion is needed to feel the effectiveness of this plank variation. Be sure to keep your tail-bone tucked and pulling your belly button to your spine as you push and pull your body like a saw.

The Podium: My top 3 beers that won’t fizzle your training

For as long as I can remember, sports and beer have always been loyal friends. It seems as though every competition uses alcohol as a reward. Whether that be the champagne shower after team-sports championships or the “free” beer at the end of just about every endurance race. Heck, the beer mile doesn’t even make you wait to finish to chug down a beer (or 4). We all know beer isn’t “good” for you, but sometimes the frothy, slightly bitter bite of a tasty west coast IPA is exactly what the body needs. This isn’t to say a beer a day keeps the doctor away, but if you’re one of those who likes to wind-down at the end of a long work day or you busted out a 15 mile trail run with 1500 feet of climbing, then these 3 beers are what I suggest.

  1. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

    A classic and a staple in a independent beer lovers repertoire. Not only does this beer have a full bodied flavor you come to expect from a California-based craft brewery, this golden delicious has a relatively low calorie count (180). It is hard to beat the drinkability of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale because it has only 10g of carbs per 12 oz, half the amount of a comparable, and probably my favorite beer, the .394 by AleSmith Brewing. Still, keep your Sierra drinking to a minimum as it can be easy to rack up the calories consuming 3 or more at a time.

  2. Corona Premier

    What better way to cool off after a long day than to take a mental vacation with a corona. The Premier version allows you to do this without the guilt. I personally prefer this version to the classic Corona Extra. Corona Premier is far less filling which can be attributed to the fact it has 12 less carbs and 60 less calories than Corona Extra. This is my go to mid-week beer.

  3. Half-pour of something tasty

    This is a tough option but when I really want a juicy, hazy, New England style I.P.A. or a sticky and dank IIPA coming in at 8.0% or more, I’ll go to my local bar, Bottlecraft, where they rotate taps regularly. I’ll order a half-pour or if I see a couple options I want to try I’ll get two 4 oz pours. Using this strategy allows me to enjoy the type of beer I truly like while keeping my diet and hangover in check.

Cheers!