Mike's Log - The Road to Recovery

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by mikeynov, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    First off, a little cliched inspiration:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GBLv9UvOgE&feature=plcp

    I really like that video, honestly.

    I recently found my last log on HST:

    http://thinkmuscle.com/forum/showth...-500-A-quest-for-greatness&highlight=mikeynov

    And had fun reading through it a few years after the fact. Since that time, I've had a variety of setbacks and changes in life (change of major in school, the start and end of a long term relationship, and some injuries). I figured I'd start a log on this board, perhaps just to listen to myself speak, as I always liked "talking out loud" about the training thoughts I've had.

    The main injuries I've been juggling with the past couple of years have been persistent hamstring/sciatic pain (which I will hopefully get more definitively diagnosed in the near future) that reoccurs unpredictably, and is actually made WORSE by time off, a shoulder injury that now seems mostly healed, and a recent back spasm that had me crippled for the better part of 2 weeks.

    Despite these setbacks, I am reasonably confident I can get my strength back to and beyond previous PR levels. My technique in all my major lifts has never been better and I feel wiser in my advancing years (32 years young, about to be 33 in a little over a week). Failing this positive outlook on life, I will harness my anger and smash weights.

    As such, to old friends (lol, tim, everyone else who contributed to my previous log), I'd like to say hello. It's possible I'll be talking to empty space at this point as this board probably hasn't been super active in years. I suppose we'll see. In the next post, I'll go over my training plan to get things moving again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013
  2. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    I recently took two weeks completely off after suffering a pretty bad back spasm doing high bar squats. Weirdly, I think the source of both my recent shoulder injury and recent back spasms were a result of me attempting to "level out" my squat by keeping the bar level. I was doing so, probably, by slightly twisting. Even if this position resulted in increased bar symmetry (which it did), I probably have 10+ years of accumulated adaptation to slightly asymmetric loading. As you might recall, my right hip is retroverted (projects out of the acetabulum at a pre-externally rotated position), so I will never be quite even. I'm going to embrace my asymmetry.

    I have experimented with all sorts of stuff the past couple of years and often found myself back on the high frequency bandwagon. The problem, however, is that too high of frequency with too heavy of weights seemed to have a tendency to explode me a bit, perhaps due to my pre-existing hip weirdness. As such, my approach this time will be a more straightforward linear progression.

    However, I will be borrowing the overall template from my old HST log, which was a split like this:

    Full Body
    off
    Upper Body Push/Pull
    Lower Body
    Upper Body Push/Pull

    This design allows a lot of fun things to happen, namely the inclusion of assistance work that is more directly hypertrophy-related. As per my previous experiment in which I think I achieved my all time highest, muscular bodyweight, higher rep sets (e.g. sets of 10) do seem to do good things for hypertrophy, particularly when paired with heavier sets of 5.

    Diet started at an average of ~3000 kcals daily but I am quickly bumping that up to ~3200. Diet is sort of paleo-ish but with a stronger focus on healthy carb intake. I am using a sort of poor man's IF in which I tend to fast for ~13-16 hours daily, as it seems to help offset some of the fat gain that I usually got from overfeeding.

    I actually have notes on my first week of training, and I'll paste those here:

    Thursday, October 25th, 2012
    Low Bar Squat (belt, Vibrams)
    Warmup
    185 x 5,5,5

    Pause Bench (slightest incline)
    Warmup
    185 x 5,5,5

    Chins
    Warmup
    Me + 75 x 5,5,5

    Deadlifts
    Warmup
    275 x 5 (hook, heels, light pain), 5 (alternate, heels, light pain), 5 (hook, midfoot, maybe slightly less pain)

    RDL Prehab
    Bar x 20 (no sciatic pain)

    Notes:

    Day 1 of a cold reboot after hurting my back. Squats are still tender on my midback but doable. Shoulder feels better, which is good.

    Deadlifts were odd. Warmups felt easy and pain free, and at no point did it bother my back, which is both cool and slightly surprising. However, the old hamstring/sciatic pain was back, lightly. Maybe a 1-2 on a pain scale, far under the threshold for being intolerable. This confirms my observation that the pain is actually worse after layoffs (in this case I haven't deadlifted in ~3 weeks) rather than better, as a rule.

    Saturday, October 27th, 2012
    Press
    Warmup
    105 x 5,5,5

    Pendlay Row
    Warmup
    160 x 5,5,5

    Seated DB Press
    35s x 10,10,10

    V-Cable Row
    120 x 10,10

    Gymnastic Ring Rows
    BW x 10

    Lying Triceps Extensions
    60 x 10 (slightly too heavy)
    55 x 10,10 (better)

    Notes:
    Solid session, no shoulder pain. Left hamstring felt a tiny bit funny during the Pendlays at first but relaxed after the first set.

    Sunday, October 28th, 2012
    Low Bar Squat (Vibrams, belt)
    Warmup
    205 x 5,5,5

    Leg Rapers (high bar, straps, Vibrams, no belt)
    115 x 10,10,10

    Leg Curls
    70 x 10,10,10

    1-Leg Calf Raises
    BW x 10,10,10 per side

    RDL Prehab (no belt, Vibrams)
    95 x 15

    Notes:

    Decent session, pain in back associated with squatting is basically gone at this point, leaving me merely detrained. The slightest bit of hamstring something in my left leg when squatting but that side is more DOMS-y after Thursday's deadlifts. I will have to play this coming Thursday's deadlifts by ear.

    Monday, October 29th, 2012
    Pause Bench
    Warmup
    190 x 5,5,5

    Chins
    Warmup
    Me + 80 x 5,5,5

    Pause Dips
    Me + 35 x 10,10,10

    T-Bar Rows (experimenting with appropriate weight)
    75 + bar x 10
    85 + bar x 10,10 (borderline too heavy?)

    EZ Bar Curls
    70 x 10,10,10 (hard)

    Notes:

    Reasonable session though I feel the accumulated fatigue already, with bench and chins not feeling as light as they probably should have. However, this was anticipated and is the reason I am only doing submaximal sets versus + sets at the end. I am probably going to bump calories a little already with a daily average a bit over 3000 out of the gates.
     
  3. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    Rebirthing since (at least) 2005 :)
     
  4. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Great to see you posting again, Mikey! 'Hello' from across the pond. :)

    I hope all your present injuries heal well and your hip issue doesn't prove to be something that holds back your progress in the squat.

    I think I asked you about front squats a couple of years ago. Don't think you liked them much back then. Any change since? I'm hoping to work back up to a 300lb front squat and I'm shifting more to high-bar back squats than low-bar in my quest to improve my pathetic O-lifting. I'd like to hit a 400lb high-bar at some point. Watching some of the vids of the guys squatting over at MDUSA and Cal Strength made me realise what is possible for (young) drug-free lifters. They are darn strong. They usually squat three times a week in one form or another, in addition to all the O-lifting they do. They have great form and go really deep in the hole, which is something else I'm training for now.

    Anyway, all the best. I really want to see you reach your lifting goals. Hope you get time to take a vid now and again.

    I see your chins haven't dropped off much. Nice job. What's your current bw?
     
  5. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    Howdy Lol, long time no talk :) I hope you are doing well.

    Still haven't given front squats a go in a very long time, but it is a thought. I actually was high bar squatting right before exploding, I had gotten up to 230 x 7 recently before my back decided "LOL FU." I started squats back really, really light to avoid exploding but my back appears to be about 100% now so I should be able to crank up the weights pretty quickly.

    I actually switched back to low bar as, weirdly, I find it a little easier on my back to recover from (shorter lever arm, probably). I suppose I do have competition aspirations at some point, so there's that, too.

    Chin strength was also pretty well preserved, I chinned 95 for 7 recently before this reset so I am hoping to be setting some PR's within a month or so if all goes as planned.

    Oh yah, and bodyweight a measly ~160 at the moment.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  6. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    I'm still living, breathing and lifting, which is a bit of a bonus. :)

    These days my diet is clean as a whistle and I'm on hardly any red meat so gaining weight is not where I'm at. I'm hovering around 180-185 and hoping I can push my strength levels back up to (and possibly beyond) where they were a few years ago.

    I'm also going to focus more on mobility and flexibility than I did in the past which is why I'm having a crack at some O-lifting. I have much more scope for steady improvements there as I hone my technique.

    I broke my left clavicle back at the end of March which stuffed up my training for about 6 months afterwards. Bit of a shame as it was always my good side, but now it's not. I've only recently begun squatting and deadlifting any amount of weight. After my 180kg pull last night, my left shoulder is a little out of sorts again today. I still have to regain shoulder flexibility on that side. It's a work in progress—like the rest of me!

    Although I don't have your hip issue, I have a fair amount of tightness in my hips so I'm working on abduction and external rotation as I need a better position in the hole to enable me to keep a more upright torso and to get deeper. My hips hate to externally rotate, compared to most people's, so driving my knees out far enough for a deep squat is really unpleasant. My right side is worse plus my right ankle dorsiflexion is worse than my left.

    On the plus side, I have all but cured my right knee issues through knee flexion/stretching (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLh0jF5M_gY).

    Which bit of your back got screwed up? It seems odd that that happened during high-bar—less shear stress etc. Saying that, I've had various back issues from squatting once the loads get up there. One of the most annoying pains is from some sort of intercostal injury. It even hurts to breathe when you strain one of those beggars! :)

    Hope you can stay injury free and get those goals in the bag. You might need to hit 165 though. ;)
     
  7. _tim

    _tim Well-Known Member

    Mikey. Nov.

    Welcome back! I cannot wait to see what PR disappears next.
     
  8. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

  9. Jester

    Jester Well-Known Member

    BW there = ~ ?

    Great stuff btw
     
  10. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    Bodyweight at the time was probably in the 160-165 range I think.
     
  11. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    Full Body Day

    Low Bar Squat (Adidas Sambas, belt on work sets)
    Warmup
    215 x 5,5,5

    Press (Adidas Sambas, belt on work sets)
    110 x 5,5,5

    Conventional Deadlift (Adidas Sambas, belt on work sets)
    Warmup
    285 x 5,5

    Pendlay Row
    Warmup
    165 x 5,5,5

    RDL Prehab
    95 x 15

    Notes:

    On the plus side, I got to indulge in candy for my annual Halloween chocolate binge. Good stuff.

    On the downside, my left hip/hamstring/sciatic whatever the hell is kind of hurting again. I felt it initially during squats, particularly the first belted set, and a touch of it during deadlifts. The pain isn't excruciating at this point, but I hate that it's there at all. I have been dealing with this for over 2 years and it's been the largest obstacle in keeping me from making long-term, forward progress on all my lower body lifts. It's absolutely infuriating.

    I suppose I'll have to play it by ear. Right now, the weights are still reasonably light, so I'm hoping the pain will go away over time as the loading increases over the next few weeks. I suppose we'll see.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  12. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    Good to see you on the forum. Good luck on reaching your goals
     
  13. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    I decided after looking over my plan (on page one) that I'm overcomplicating ****. My strength levels are down from their usual levels. As such, why include speculative hypertrophy work? That might be a reasonable idea if I feel like I'm not growing when my strength is "normal," but when I'm detrained, it seems that it will only delay getting back to baseline. As such, I'm just sticking to a simpler linear progression.

    Saturday, November 3rd, 2012
    Low Bar Squat (Sambas, belt on work sets)
    Warmup
    225 x 5,5,5

    Pause Bench
    Warmup
    195 x 5,5,5

    Chins
    Warmup
    Me + 85 x 5,5,5

    Leg Curls
    80 x 8,8

    Notes:

    Because my hip/hamstring sciatic whatever is so weird, I felt literally zero discomfort today. I also discovered something interesting in playing with my grip - using a full grip on low bar squats, contrary to Rippetoe's teachings, seems to result in 2 things: 1) Less shoulder discomfort and 2) a slightly higher/more stable bar position. The only downside is that it's not super comfortable on my wrists, but looking at video, my wrist position is fine, I think my wrist flexors are just stupid tight. I don't appear to be weaker like this so I'm going to stick with it for now.
     
  14. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member


    Sci as in sci_muscle? If so, long time no talk, bro. If not, hello anyways :)
     
  15. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

    Yeah sci muscle.
    good to see old lab coat lifters here on the board.
     
  16. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    How is life going, man? I haven't talked to you in a good ~3 years, at a guess.
     
  17. Sci

    Sci Well-Known Member

  18. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    Monday, November 5th, 2012
    Low Bar Squat (Sambas, belt on work sets)
    Warmup
    227.5 x 5,5,5

    Press (Sambas, belt on work sets)
    Warmup
    115 x 5,5,5

    Conventional Deadlift (Sambas, belt on work set)
    Warmup
    295 x 5

    V-Cable Row
    Warmup
    150 x 5,5,5

    Notes:

    A workout in which my hip/hamstring/whatever hurt zero % on either squats or deadlifts. This is good. The squats were only 227.5 because I accidentally put a 2.5 on my left side but not my right. Oops.

    My left shoulder is just a touch something something but I'm hoping this will go away over time as I continue to roll the hell out of it with a lacrosse ball.
     
  19. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, I know that feeling! Lacrosse ball rolling is not exactly joyful, but what a relief when you've crushed the heck out of any trigger points you come across. The rhomboids on my left side get all knotted up and mess with my left shoulder. I get transferred neck pain from them too.
     
  20. mikeynov

    mikeynov Super Moderator Staff Member

    33 years young today... 8)
     

Share This Page