2014-03-17 training log

Had to get back to it.

Based upon Paul Carter’s LRB-365 and Base Building – dealing with ankle injury

  • Incline Press
    • 45 x 10
    • 45 x 10
    • 105 x 5
    • 125 x 4
    • 145 x 3
    • 175 x 2
    • 195 x 1
    • 155 x 10
    • 155 x 5
  • DB Bench Press
    • 50 x 8
    • 50 x 10
    • 50 x 10
    • 50 x 10
    • 50 x 10
  • Behind the Neck Press
    • 85 x 8
    • 85 x 8
    • 85 x 8
  • Upright Row
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 12
  • Punchdowns
    • 50 x 20
    • 50 x 20
    • 50 x 20
    • 50 x 20
    • 50 x 20
  • Foam Rolling

My shoulder still hurts, but it’s much better. I can move through a full range of motion again. Depending what I do, still a little pain, but damnit I want back in the gym. I figured I can take it easy, if I feel pain, stop, and don’t do anything that makes it worse. I need to get back in the saddle, but also things like a lot of blood flow to the area would be good.

If nothing else, consider last week like a deload. 🙂

I opted to stick with weights from last time. I had planned on upping things more, but in light of the shoulder, just stick with it. I did make some changes.

First, all during last week I was doing rehab type movements with my arms/shoulders. I found that I am not getting and STAYING as tight I can, especially in terms of scapular retraction. I think the incline kinda lends to that slacking, so I kept working that feeling myself “in the air” to try to keep that sensation and remember it. So I really focused on that today. Also, found it meant a slightly lesser range of motion, especially on the incline — like I might stop just shy of touching my chest. Fine. I know Paul Carter does this, and I know a lot of guys actually use “1” off the chest pauses” as a legit technique… so hey, fine if that’s how it has to go. I also found that as I worked the retraction stuff in the air, my hands wanted to be closer together. Normally I bench with my ring-finger on the rings. I read about a lot of guys that bring their grip in and it’s better on their shoulders — yeah, you lose some leverages and weights go down, but better that than lose your shoulders and never press again. So I went with what felt natural, which put my pinkies just inside the rings (i.e. outer edge of my pinky was just touching the inner edge of the rings… maybe a hair more “in” that that). Not enough to be a close-grip bench press, but certainly a little closer than I normally bench. From that, I can see my weights went down slightly — I couldn’t rep as many as I did the week prior, but meh. The 195 felt really good, shoulder and all. So whatever. I’d rather press differently than not press at all.

When I started the DB presses, the first set peeded out early because every rep was an experiment — try this angle, turn the hands parallel, turn the hands perpendicular, now 45º or whatever. I kept trying to find what felt more natural and brought less issue to the shoulder. In the end, something “natural” that was about 45º-ish was fine. But more important? With DB’s I have more range of motion and conseqeuently I move my shoulders a lot — at the top I’ll want to squeeze, which means the shoulders “roll forward” (protraction?) and that sort of thing wasn’t feeling good. So I really worked to keep my shoulders locked on the last 4 sets and that sure was a different sensation in terms of the muscles worked. In some ways, it felt like more pec work because now they’re really having to hold things stable in a sort of “fly-like” situatoin instead of just rolling up. Hard to describe, but again, something I have to watch.

BHP was fine.

I opted against the DB overhead pressing. Last week I hated it and couldn’t do any. And while I’ve been doing rehab movements at home, going overhead still bugs things a bit. So, I opted to skip it for now. Instead, upright rows.

The thing about upright rows? They used to be horrible for me… I’d do them for a bit, then my shoulders would scream at me. But some months ago I saw a video from JL Holdsworth about the upright row and it changed my thinking. I did them like he first suggests, where you go to about the bottom of your pec, upper arms go to parallel (no more, no less). I played with grip width some and found that starting at shoulder-width was good. I had no idea of the weight to use so I picked something and went with it. I’ll up it more later, but for now this actually felt good. Am I worried about this being bad again for my shoulders? Well, I always used to do them with my thumbs almost touching, rowing up to my chin sort of thing… too much. Ever since seeing JL’s video, I’ve wanted to try the alternative movement. I did that sort of movement empty-handed during rehabbing last week and it felt alright, so well… why not try it now and see? So far, so good.

Here’s one interesting side note.

As I did it, I just put the bar down on the ground. When I did, it pulled “forward” on my shoulder. I will say this has caused me still some pain — and for the past some days I’ve felt like the shoulder needs to “pop”. I’ve described it to Wife saying that geez… if someone could just pull on my arm, pop my shoulder, because that’s what it feels like needs to be done, this pain would go away. Well, with 50# bar hanging from my arms (imagine being in a bent-over row position), it was just enough that my shoulder was pulled forward and popped. It hurt to pop, but oh it felt right and good afterwards. So, that’s telling something about what I did to it… but I’m not sure how to read it.

Consequently, doing deadlifts on Wednesday? I dunno. I might try it, but if there’s any bit of problem I will stop and do something else instead. And back work on Friday? Well, just have to wait and see. Certainly no chin-ups. 😉

And finally on the last work… triceps punchdowns? It’s something I saw from Clint Darden. It makes a lot of sense, and I think is still somewhat an isolation exercise, but yet there is more. I used the cable crossover, which means more pullies, so the amount of weight is deceiving, but it did allow me to adjust a handle right where I needed it (didn’t use bands, as Clint suggests). My shoulder was OK with the movement, and I dig it. I’ll probably keep with this for a while.

Anyways, I’ll see how things go with the shoulder and ankle. I just have to go slow and smart here, and if it means improving technique (and sacrificing weight) so be it.

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