Anatomy lessons

My right quad (the injured side) has been twitching incessantly yesterday and this morning. It’s driving me nuts.

I forgot to blog my workout yesterday (busy day). I started off with bench: 5×115, 2x5x135, (4,3)x140lb, followed by accessory biceps, triceps, OHP and upright row, then 30 minutes on the hamster wheel (elliptical).

Today was more lower body rehab again. Hamstring curls/quad extensions, wood chops, plank, one-leg RDL, dumbbell front squat, and a new addition of back extensions (unweighted). Unsurprisingly, my lower back was yelling at me when I finished all this up– I had to lie down with knees bent and feet tucked in for a few minutes to get it to calm down. Squats just wreck my back, even with barely any weight. Needs work.

After that, 20 minutes on the elliptical just to move and some quality time with the foam roller, which was very effective– forward bends felt GREAT when I was all done. I’m sure it’ll get tight again soon enough. I found a new sore spot– that twitchy quad! Vastus lateralis part would be my best guess, towards the outside of the leg– reading about all the ways it gets jacked up it is like ticking off a checklist. Nothing teaches me anatomy as well as getting injured and trying to figure out what hurts and how to fix it…

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Rehab suuuuuucks

Day 1 in Angry Backparts Rehab. Everything is a hot mess so I tried to stick to light isolation exercises and core work that should gently hit the surrounding muscles. Bonus: it fit well into my Wednesday morning rush.

4×10, hamstring curls and quad extensions
4×10 each side, cable woodchops
2×1 minute, plank
2×10 each side, dumbbell one leg RDL (wins prize for most suckiest)
2×20, dumbbell front squat

After the fact now I see that some lunges might have fit in there too, but I’m wary of how my hip flexors will react. Maybe I can try some experimental ones another time.

This all was followed by 15 minutes of running on the treadmill (hooray, at least Angry Calf is no longer angry) and some of the nicest stretching I’ve had in a while– I spent some time in reclined Big Toe and it felt amazing, I could literally feel the blood getting to places that had been blocked off. I should do that like 3 times a day. I didn’t have time for the foam roller, so that’s on my list of Things To Do Tonight.

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Chronic frowny face

Well, this morning I’m in a 3 hour online training. Could be worse, at least I can multitask. But I had to get my workout in beforehand, so I came in early.

I did lift a little, but only upper: bench, bicep, tricep, OHP. Even setting up for bench was not so nice for my back, as I like to use back arch to ground the shoulders. It went fine though, I started with 5x115lb for warmup, then 2x5x125, then 2x5x135lb, followed by accessory-style everything else (I’m struggling through bumping biceps to 25lb dumbbells again, my left shoulder complains, I wish I could do 22.5lb ones).

After that, I hopped onto the elliptical for a straightforward 30 minutes on low resistance, just to get some cardio in. My back/hip/everything doesn’t seem to be too happy about that now. I’m so tired of hurting all the time. I just want to move around without gritting my teeth.

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Low-key mode

The weather’s nice, my back still hurts, and my mom wanted me to call her– so I put on my headphones with the mic and walked around the ponds while chatting with her for 40 minutes. My talking scared all the turtles away though. Last night I spent some time stretching and doing back-oriented yoga and I’ll probably do that again later. I’m not waking up in the middle of the night with spasms, and I can get around fine, but it’s still a persistent pain.

I did some googling around and, indeed, most people doing lifting for progression recommend training squat and DL on different days to properly max DL and avoid injury (one said 72 hours between, which might be kind of extreme). It makes sense to me, since both hit the lower back hard– I just wish I’d known sooner.

We’re going to my father-in-law’s family gathering for Easter, next weekend– it’ll be like 60 people, a big Catholic family with lots of grandkids and great-grandkids. I’m taking two pies– a Shaker lemon pie and a rhubarb custard pie. The rhubarb one will probably get made in a not-pie format though– I only have one pie plate. I need to do the volume math to convert a 9″ pie plate recipe to a taller 8″ square pan, or I could use the 11″ tart pan…

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Recovery work

I slept like a rock last night, but once I woke up and started to move around this morning my back pain was pretty intense. I was not a happy camper, but I soldiered on and managed to get to work.

Today’s gym session was focused on rehab. After 15 minutes’ easy elliptical warmup, I grabbed a yoga mat and a foam roller and got to work on Angry QL and all its friends.

I thought about trying to draw a diagram of where I hurt, but I don’t draw very well. The pain on the backside goes from my midback through my glutes and deeper down to the top of my thigh, and wraps around through my obliques, psoas and quad on the front side.

That’s a lot to think about, and only so much I could try to foam roll. I spent plenty of time working on my glute/side area, which is usually a tender spot anyway. After that, I tried some good stretches for my lower back/hips/buns/etc, and then tied it together with a little yoga. Hopefully the good stretchy feelings last.

And some meta, because it’s been on my mind: I usually get a number of drive-by likers/commenters on posts on certain topics. WordPress is a weird platform that encourages that and they’re not really any measure of the impact of a post. (Running, food and travel guarantee random likes.) I’ve always wondered why there are 3-5 of the same blogs that click "like" on all my posts about running (with no other interaction). For my lifting posts, though, this doesn’t happen. Deep down, I suspect that’s because some people feel like a fat lady running is something that needs encouragement (cause you gotta run and get skinny damnit) while a fat lady lifting rather heavy objects doesn’t engender the same feelings of support (what, are you trying to get bigger or something? cut it out weirdo).

But all this is kind of moot anyway because I haven’t been engaging much with my blog lately, just writing up my workouts and moving on…

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Not again…

I had planned for today to be a good lower body lifting day. It didn’t exactly go as planned.

I started off with squats, which actually did go pretty well. My tired lower back was much less tired, and I made my way through 5 sets without much trouble.

Then I loaded up the bar for deadlifts, starting with 205lb because why not, I was lifting 245lb last week. It went up easy enough, then when I set rep 2 down I felt a twinge in my QL, and when I lifted rep 3 up, another… There were no more reps after that. This time I asked a guy in the weight room to unload and put away the bar for me, rather than strugglebugging it myself.

And that was the end of the workout. And the end of deadlifts for a few weeks. Damn it. I hope at least I didn’t pull it as badly as last time; at least I didn’t unload by myself.

I’ve always stacked squats and deadlifts on the same day, but maybe it would be better if I separated them. Along with fixing whatever’s causing my back to freak out on me periodically. The interwebs have a lot of information on hip alignment problems… I wonder if I can get a gym staff to do an alignment test on me and see what the deal is.

Squat – 5x135lb, 2x5x155lb, 2x5x165lb
DL – 2x205lb

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Good morning sunshine

J came into my office to summon me to the gym, and the first thing he said was, "I did not want to get out of bed this morning." Neither did I, buddy. I’m still dragging.

Last week I was crowing about how I wasn’t sore despite lifting for days. This week I start out sore, mostly in my hips, low back, and hands (hands??) I did one squat at warmup load and decided to wait another day– my low back is always the weak point and it didn’t feel good. Hopefully tomorrow it’s back to good.

However, bench continued to go well. I did 2 sets at 135lb, then added 5lb and called J over for a spot. 140lb felt barely heavier; I ground out 4 reps and joked, "huh, I thought I added weight to that!" Next week, 145?

Bench – 5x115lb, 2x5x135lb, 4x140lb
Squat – 1x135lb (sigh)
Accessory – bicep, tricep, OHP, leg press, bent-over row, 2×10 each
Weighted ball crunches, leg lifts, fire hydrants, angry hamstring exercises, 2×20 each

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