2016-11-11 training log

Today was about experimentation, and I learned a lot.

As I contend with my arm pain, the hypothesis of biceps tendonitis is weakening, or perhaps more accurately the hypothesis of this being a shoulder — rotator cuff — issue is gaining support. I read more, I study more, I am looking at my body, trying things, seeing how things fare. And while I still can’t say for certain what the issue is, it does seem more like a shoulder problem.

As a result, I’ve been trying things. I’m foam rolling my rotator cuff muscles (infraspinatus, supraspinatus, teres minor, etc.). I’m using a Thera-Cane on them while I’m in meeetings. It’s been hurting a lot, but it’s getting a little less painful. I’m checking my posture while I sit/work. It seems to be helping, but still too early to tell.

I also want to try some changes in my gym days, and today was a strong trial on some things.

First, no more supersetting pulling movements with pressing movements. Wendler recommends this, and with good reason, but I am wondering if it is contributing to my issues. Today I didn’t do it, and everything felt good. My hypothesis is they are small muscles, but important for stabilizing the pressing movements. The work is fatiguing them, and when I need to call on them for the pressing they just don’t have it. Probably not the case, but for sure NOT pulling between my pressing sets went nice today. But 1 day is not much data.

I’m going to try move dumbbell movements. That will generally mean lighter weights, but also more involvement of stabilizers. And then, when picking the movements to do, pick ones that help to work this aspect. So instead of close-grip bench, I did Arnold Press. That’s a DB movement, and the “Arnold” aspect puts in some shoulder external rotation. Instead of regular lateral raises, use the cable to add a little more constant tension and also the angle change to hit the infraspinatus a little more (thank you exrx.net).

I opted for chest-supported DB rows because again what it would hit. But with chest-supported I really have to use the back muscles to do the work — no chance of something else taking over and actually doing the work, thus I can ensure those upper back muscles actually get worked properly.

Interesting was the straight-arm lat pulldowns. I originally opted to do these when I was leaning towards arm issues — an exercise that doesn’t involve the biceps & forearms as much. But doing these now I realized — another shoulder rotation movement. I really felt it in the teres minor — basically right up where the “lat” comes into the arm pit. I consider this a good thing.

Tate Press was a desire to find something else triceps for variety. But I suspect I’ll be dumping this because I just didn’t get much out of it — my triceps didn’t feel much work, but my elbows did feel stress. I may give it another go just to see, but I’m not optimistic.

Anyways, bottom line: all the changes are done towards trying to continue to get the work I need, yet work within the bounds of the pain. And then, to try to overcome the pain and address the issues: if something is weak, if something needs better recovery work, whatever it may be, so long-term I don’t have these issues.

Other notes: a lot of the new movements I had no idea what weight to use, so I started low and worked up. Try to get the movement right, and find the groove. Better to start too light and all that.

5/3/1-based program

  • Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 70 x 5
    • 90 x 5
    • 110 x 3
    • 115 x 5
    • 135 x 5
    • 155 x 7
  • Arnold Press
    • 30e x 10
    • 30e x 10
    • 30e x 10
    • 30e x 10
    • 30e x 10
  • Chest Supported DB Row
    • 30e x 10
    • 30e x 10
    • 35e x 10
    • 35e x 10
    • 40e x 10
  • Straight-arm Lat Pulldowns
    • 40 x 12
    • 45 x 12
    • 50 x 12
    • 50 x 12
  • Cable Lateral Raises
    • 20 x 12e
    • 20 x 12e
    • 20 x 12e
  • Tate Press
    • 20 x 12
    • 30 x 12
    • 40 x 12
  • DB Curls (alternate, neutral-to-supinated hand while curling)
    • 35e x 12
    • 35e x 10
    • 35e x 7
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