Wednesday, week 2

I rested Wednesday and lifted the following day. This was due to a problem I noticed in my right shoulder when I woke up Wednesday. There is a sharp pain between and below my anterior and medial deltoid when I raise my arm above shoulder level. So, I went to see Kevin Brown at Elite Performance & Rehabilitation Center. As usual, Kevin worked his magic. He described my condition as impingement due to a disproportianately strong chest and deltoids. I am to start a pain management regimine, involving rest, ice and stretching. Before leaving his office, Kevin had me go through some stretches, pulled my shoulders back with McConnel tape and iced my shoulder.

Today I took things real easy – 2×10 at 60% max on the flat bench, and that’s it. My shoulder felt OK during my lifts and about the same the following morning. I’m not supposed to lift at all according to Kevin but if I can go through the motions at a light weight such as this, without aggravating my shoulder worse, I believe I will save myself volumes of work later on. The key here being “withouth aggravating my shoulder worse”, and I feel my injury is mild enough that I can do this.

shoulder pain

Last night was my third consecutive day climbing. So, to take it easy I went to the shed, which is most definately not easy. Probably the shed is the worst place in the world to climb on my third day in a row. Its steep and mean. Everything shut me down. The skin on my fingertips felt so bad I could have sworn Phil replaced his climbing holds with acid-soaked sand paper.

And I woke up this morning with shoulder pain. There is a sharp pain between and below my anterior and medial deltoid when I raise my arm above shoulder level. While working out yesterday I did not notice injuring myself.

This is just about worst case scenario. I loathe shoulder injuries. Shoulders are hard to heal and the pain is omnipresent. No other joint condition affects my weight lifting and climbing more than shoulder health. When my shoulders are injured I feel like I can’t do any of the things I want to do. Hopefully this does not develop into a serious problem.

Saturday’s arm routine

This should have been Saturday but actually happened Monday. Felt OK. Benched real easy – 2×10 at 175 lbs. As usual, my second bench day of the week is a lightweight “muscle flushing” routine at about 60% maximum. During these light sets I put my feet up on the bench to protect my back. Next was a couple light sets of dumbbell flys, then on to arms. I did skull-crushers, starting light for 2 sets and finishing with a third set of 8 with 35 lbs on each side of the EZ curl bar (whatever that weights). Then I did 2 sets of 20 dips and went climbing for 45 minutes.

This whole 12 week bench cycle is borrowed from Ed Coan, here:
A lot of dudes have a lot of bench press advice. Since my bench isn’t shattering any world records most could probably teach me something. But I believe this cycle from Ed Coan is unique. The 3 times I’ve gone through this cycle I’ve increased my maximum lift nearly 10%. There is no doubt in my mind – if I concentrate on being explosive early in the cycle, take care of my shoulders and motivate for big, clean lifts toward the end, I can add 20 to 30 lbs to my bench. My last big lift was about 3 months ago with 295 lbs., but I feel my best day was 5 weeks ago with a set of 3 at 275.

the playground

I went to ‘the playground’ with Paul – it was rad. This was my first time at this crag, Paul’s too. We wanted to get on a rope so we did a bunch of laps on easy stuff. This kind of climbing is a little new to me so I’m sure it’s good for me. The routes were slightly past vertical, to vertical, to slab. In about three hours we did a 5.8, 5.8, 5.6, 5.10a, 5.10c, and top-roped an 11d. The 11d shredded my fingertips. This frickin route was born to shut me down – near vertical, thin crimps. I weigh 197 lbs. I’ve been living at the Owl Tor for six years. This hellish slab crimpathon made me want to cry. I thought I might cry. I might have cried. If Paul says I cried he’s a liar. Anyways, Paul has technique, and he’s strong, so he did much better.

I posted directions to the playground on the right.

Thursday’s shoulder routine

I should have done this on Thursday but actually lifted shoulders on Friday. My behind-the-neck press work sets were 2×10 at 120lbs – felt good. The rest of my routine I switched things up a bit, trying 2 new execercies – front raises with the EZ curl bar and standing shoulder rows. The raises I will probably keep doing, the rows I will probably not. My last 2 excercises I did fairly easy sets of 10 or 12. This entire workout took about 45 minutes, then I went out to the climbing wall for about an hour.

During the last half of my shoulder routine, while doing front raises I believe, the middle of my back cramped up. It was one of those huge cramps right in the meat of my lats and I knew right away it would be with me for some time. That was Friday. Today is Monday and my back is still cramped.

My shoulders feel great lately. Most likely this is due to the 3 weeks I took off. But I need to keep up with my rotator cuff excercises, which I have done only once this past week. I believe concentrating on pulling my shoulder blades together during the bench also helps protect the front of my shoulders.

Wednesday, day one

This is the first day of my 12 week cycle following 3 weeks off. Today I concentrated on going real slow and exploding up. I was pausing at the top and bottom and it completely tired me out, so much that I could not be explosive toward the end of sets. Next week I want to concentrate on finding a more comfortable pace, probably faster. A rate similar to the pace at which I comfortably breathe seems more appropriate.

And, there’s links to my 12 week bench press routine on the right.