So, I can’t bench. But I can lift arms. Last night I did close-grip bench, lying barbell triceps extensions to my head, triceps cable push-downs and biceps barbell curls. I was particularly interested in how close-grip bench would affect my newly acquired shoulder injury. According to what I understand about my shoulder, that anterior and medial deltoid and pectoral exercises caused the damage, I thought maybe I could get away with benching with a shoulder-width grip (or slightly wider), bringing most of the work to my triceps. And after 2 sets of 12 at 135 lbs, going real slow and pausing at the top and bottom, my shoulder feels fine. There was a moment during my first warm-up set at 135 lbs that I felt a discomfort at the area of my infury but I kept stretching and warming up and later sets felt fine. I concentrated on retracting my scapulas, pulling my shoulder blades together, during all exercises yesterday, especially on close-grip bench – so much that my upper back feels worked today. I believe protecting my shoulder in this way is a technique I will need to integrate into my chest and shoulder lifts permanently. This injury tends to be painful only the day after work-outs that aggrevate it. It is now 2:00 PM the day following this workout and my shoulder still feels fine.
So, I thought I would get in to GVAC (Goleta Valley Athletic Club) last Wednesday, do some light bench then go climbing. Bad idea. I stretched my shoulder for about 20 minutes, did some overhead squats on the Smith Machine with no weight then got on the flat bench. At this point my shoulder felt great – no pain and all mobility was there. Even after some light bench, 2 sets at 175 lbs, things felt great. But the next day was a different story. My shoulder felt worse than it ever has. Since this day I have bouldered fairly hard and done my stretches and overhead squats without incident. I am convinced my delayed pain is caused solely by the bench press. No more bench for a while.
Saturday I went spearfishing with Hawk at Hendry’s Beach then met Paul and Kip at Skofield Park for some extra rad bouldering. Skofield was frickin great. I put a link to a map of it on the right. And Sunday I climbed for about 30 minutes at the shed.
My new tactic of climbing with dudes I normally don’t climb with at places I normally don’t climb at has been good for me I think. Saturday at Skofield I sent a steep, reachy V6 in about 30 minutes and flashed a slopey, slabby V4. During this past month I have gotten more comfortable on a greater variety of climbs and improved my weakest areas, such as slab technique (why people still climb slabs is baffling) and maybe even a little endurance (maybe).
Today is Monday and my shoulder had not hurt either of last weekend’s two climbing days nor does it bother me today. This injury seems to present pain not during the activities that aggravate it but the following couple days. And bouldering hard does not seem to aggravate it.
Climbed yesterday at the shed – it felt hard. I have not gotten stronger and the shed has not gotten easier. Although, my shoulder felt good.