Shoulder/Arm Pain Update
Had my first session yesterday with Howard Nemerov. The easiest way to describe it was that it was massage but more than massage. What I can say is it hurt. 🙂 But it was good hurt, and it really showed where I have some problems. A big one? Pectoralis minor is hugely tight. Oh lawdy lawdy that hurt to be treated, but that’s pretty indicative of problems. But after the treatment and even this morning (18-ish hours removed from the treatment) I feel much better. Range of motion is noticeably improved. Pain isn’t present, but too soon to tell as the pain can come and go.
Seriously. Even right now as I write this, making the “air squat” position with my hands, like where my hands and arms would be holding the bar on my back for squatting? I feel no pain, no stretching, no tightness. Very telling where the tension was, and how severe it was.
What will be interesting will be Monday when I squat and Tuesday when I bench. We’ll see what happens.
Howard is away next week, so I go to see him again in essentially 2 weeks. Meantime I will just continue to exercise and stretch. Given what came out of the session, I’m going to work to find stretches to target my pectoralis minor, upper traps (just a lot of head circles and deeper “rotations” and range of motion stuff can help me there), and such. I’ll also see about doing some direct work in those areas, like with a lacrosse ball.
To be totally honest, it makes me think about making massage a normal part of my routine. I know people do this, but I just hadn’t thought about how impactful it would be on my specific situation. But it sure gives me something to think about.
Next weekend, Citizens Defense Research will be in town teaching their Armed Parent class. Looking forward to it.
I was actually concerned if I could perform given all the pain I was in. But feeling how I feel now? I expect I’ll be alright. TBD.
Lifting – PR
Looking at how the calendar falls, my current thinking:
Let the 5-week and 3-week be as normal. Push myself as normal, get the rep PRs, but if I have to, err on being conservative. I want to save for the last week. And so the 1+ week will not be a traditional 1+ week. I will warm up, then take some larger singles, working up to a 1RM and what I hope will be a PR. It won’t be all in one day, like a mock meet. It will just be the normal days, working to 1RM, then doing some light assistance work afterwards and calling it a day.
Months ago when I started to work on rebuilding my strength, I told myself to stick with the program and just keep working, no testing. I allowed myself to test at the end of the year, which is now.
On squat, my best is 325#, which was some time ago. The Defattening Project gave my squat a big hit and has been the hardest thing to rebuild. Last cycle did 310 for 4. I expect matching 325 is do-able. I don’t need the PR to be massive, just breaking, so right now my goal is 330. If I can nail that, awesome. I may go for 335 because “plate math”, if things are feeling awesome as I work up. But really, a 5# PR is still a PR. And to be totally honest? so long as I squat 315 (3 plates), I’m happy.
On bench my best is 255#, which was also some time ago (tho squat was even further back). While I lost some upper body strength in The Defattening, it seems I didn’t lose as much as lower body (relatively speaking). Last cycle I did 245, but only for 2 reps because of the pain; but on the 3-week I did 235 for 8 reps. So I expect as long as pain isn’t in the equation, 260-265 is achievable. Part of me would love to see about 275 because “2.5 plates” would be cool. But I’m going to bench what I can bench and get a solid PR – not “plate coolness”.
On deadlift, my best is 445#. Not only does this go back to the lower-body losses during Defattening, but I have also been working to improve my deadlift technique so it does have more leg/hip drive and less back — i.e. it’s not one big stiff-leg. I actually wonder if I could meet/break my PR if I just threw all into the wind, but I’m not going to go there. That said, I’m not expecting to PR here. I just want to work up and hit whatever I can hit, breaking at least 405.
And press. Heck, I’ve already PR’d there last week with a lifetime best of 170×3. Wouldn’t 185 be cool here? But at this point I really don’t care as every lift is just gravy. 🙂
So there we go.
Lifting – Beyond
I let myself get a little too fluffy. The weight I had gained wasn’t too out of line all things considered, but since before Halloween (read: candy in the house), I’ve indulged a little too much. To combat it, right now I’m keeping the proteins and fats as usual, but restricting carbs to morning. So breakfast, lunch, etc. I eat as I have been, but after lunch I try to avoid extra carbs. I mean, if Wife makes something for supper and it’s going to be a little carby (e.g. stew) I don’t sweat it. I’m just talking extras like I don’t need to put rice on my plate, nor do I need to have ice cream afterwards.
It’s a reasonable protocol to make it easy for me to keep things in check, and I hope that by the end of the year gets me back to a more reasonable starting point.
Because yes, the plan is to have the PR-week, then take a week completely off and enjoy the holidays. After that, it’s change-up to the lifting and getting a new set of Renaissance Periodization cutting diet templates. I want to spend about 12-ish weeks on a cut and shed all that I can, 10-20#, hopefully closer to that 20.
Lifting will support that protocol. I still want to stay on the general track tho towards my goal of 3/4/5. What I am going to consider doing tho is allowing myself a longer road towards that goal. I don’t mind if I put on a little fat, but getting fluffy and flat out fat again is out of the question. What I think could work, especially as long as I’m doing 5/3/1, is have my weight reset, then spend 2-4 months with the lighter weights and cutting. Then as the weights get heavier, 2-4 months with the heavier weights and massing. Which then ought to take me right up to another reset; lather, rinse, repeat. I don’t know if this will work, or if it does what sorts of results I’ll get. My hope is that I can continue to make some level of progress in the gym, but also work to keep my weight in check because both matter to me.
Time will tell.
So damn good.