A Story About Overcoming Injury from #shadowarrior Dan Cristian

Our #shadowarrior Dan Cristian has been through a lot in the past 6 months. After traveling to Germany for the Shadow Line supplements global launch, as he was getting ready to impress yet another crowd at FIBO 2018 in Cologne, he tore his major pec tendon in a local gym. Here’s the story of how that happened and how he managed to overcome one of the most difficult challenges any athlete could face in his/her career: injury.


Part I – Plans before injury & how I got injured

Back in April, before my injury, my plan was to compete this year in November at Muscle Fest – Wings of Strength, in Bucharest. Going there, I surely was going to be bigger & better than last year, having Dorian Yates’ advice and training routines to make me stronger and more developed.

I was in full offseason when I tore my major pec tendon on April 11th, the day we arrived in Koln for FIBO. I had an early flight and I’ve woke up around 4 am, then I had a nap before training, at about 8pm.

It was chest day. I was writing down my workouts, tracking my progress, so it was time to up the weight to 175kg for decline bench press, for at least 8 reps.

I felt a bit stiff while warming up, so I did some extra warm up. I actually had a feeling something is not right, but I thought it’s a mind trick – I had to do what I had to do, so…

I followed the plan. The second negative (from about 2 inches before the bar touched the chest) the right major pec tendon tore. I felt a deep short pain, then it was all warm (from the blood overflowing all over the place).

That moment I thought it is the worst possible pec tear, and I really said it out loud that bodybuilding, for me, is over.

When I cooled down I started to shiver, my CNS was badly fucked up and I felt a pain like someone was pushing a finger deep into my chest.

When I arrived at the hotel room, I saw that it wasn’t actually a muscle tear because the chest didn’t get all bruised up. Dorian Yates said it was a minor bruise, so it must be a tendon tear.

He also gave me some CBD oil which helped A LOT. Before I went to bed, when I stood up from the chair, I started shivering again, but this time worse, with a cramp on the torn pec.

Can’t really explain the feeling. I was shivering so bad that I couldn’t speak, or open my mouth, I was all contracted, I could only grab the CBD oil and pour it on my skin. Started to calm down in seconds…

3 minutes later I was totally relaxed. To be honest, I didn’t believe this oil can be that potent, I said to myself “yeah, it’ll be as effective as a tea for the flu”.

Part 2 – Going into surgery

The next day, @tobias_hahne the guy who spotted me while training at the gym, told me about a renowned doctor in Germany who has experience with bodybuilding injuries and muscle tears.

So I definitely wanted to go to that doctor, no matter the costs. But I couldn’t get the appointment in time, so I had to look for alternatives.

Someone recommended me a doctor from Romania. I went for a visit, he looked to me like “I never saw someone like this before.” He took some time to look on the MRI and it was almost 2 weeks since I got the injury (the surgery must be done really soon after the injury), so he gave me 1 week of antibiotics…

I told myself “well… you definitely don’t have the experience so I am not gonna be a test subject and also I don’t trust this antibiotic shit.”

The first doctor hadn’t convinced me so the next day I met Dr. Adrian Frunza, who hospitalized me the same day. He looked at me, he looked at the MRI and I felt he knew exactly what the problem is and what he has to do to fix it.

When I woke up from the anesthesia, it was about 9 PM. Dry mouth & throat. Got some water, and a few minutes later I started to feel sick. I threw up because of all the drugs I had in my system.

I was told I’ve been given 3 times the normal dose of anesthesia because I kept waking up before the surgery, so afterward they had to give me an overdose of the drugs that wake you up after.

I was fully awake for about 36 hours (luckily I had Dorian’s autobiography From the Shadow with me) and I didn’t eat anything 24h before surgery and about 24h post-ops. Lots of thoughts passed through my mind that night…

I was mentally prepared for a much longer & harder recovery. That day I felt so weak I thought it’d take at least 3 months ’till I step in the gym again.

I couldn’t even get up from the bed or lay back down by myself (and here I want to thank my @oana.amalia.m for making me her priority for over 4 years now).

Before the injury, I didn’t realize the pecs contract in so many daily, common activities. The next day I went home… walking very slowly, believing that I do this on purpose, but then I arrived at the stairs and I realized I’m not in control 😂 trembling at every step down the stairs.

Part III – Back To Gym

2 days after the surgery, I started moving my arm like 1cm away from the body. I didn’t feel any pain or restriction because of that little movement.

So I kept doing it all through the day. The next day I pushed the limits a little more. By implementing this incremental approach every day, in 3 weeks I gained my full range movement.

3.5 weeks post-ops, I was in the gym willing to do whatever it takes. I was training chest with the smallest dumbbells and I was as happy as for a new personal record.

Of course, I was aided in my recovery by the DY Nutrition’s Blood and Guts pre-workout. Its powerful ingredients allowed me to concentrate on the job I had to do, instead of the pain.

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2nd day of training

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From there on, I started progressive overload in the comfort zone and still kept writing down all my workouts. This time I trust my feelings 150% – if it doesn’t feel right, DON’T DO IT!

I hope to end this story with a medal in the next competitional season 😎
P.S.: Some people asked me if I got depressed or if I have regrets if I’d train otherwise.

No, this is what I had to do, if it happened because of doing stupid shit which was not helping me in any way, if it doesn’t have the purpose to make me better, yes, I might have been depressed and regretted it but I must say I have learned many things from this injury.

It made me more aware of the pec movements so I adapted my bench press and pec flyes, putting more tension on the muscle than on the tendons and delts.


Posted by Dan Cristian