Back in the Saddle

After all of the training programs I have written for others it is time to bore you dear reader with my training. This is going to entail what I am currently doing for my training and how I’m modifying it both from recovering from the concussion and something else that happened recently (I‘ll get to that in a minute). So I hope that this is useful for you and take some time to read through it.

Once my head started to get better I started with light loads and lots of volume. The basic program was as follows:

Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Main Exercise High bar back squats Military press and pull ups Deficit deadlifts Dips and chest supported rows Safety bar back squats Upper body assistance day (arms) Rest
Sets x reps 5×10 10×10 Top set of 5 then RDLs 5×10 5×10 10×10 5×10
Accessory Lunges Curls BSS Curls Lunges Curls
Accessory Abs Triceps abs Triceps Abs Triceps

Other than this lifting I was taking at least one walk each day of about half an hour rotating in when I would do it with a weight vest that weighed about 40 lbs. Some days I would go do some legitimate cardio on a bike or other type of machine to minimize the impact. Once I was starting to feel more like myself (and not afraid of getting aggressive) I then switched over to a variation on the 5/3/1 by Jim Wendler following the same programming (exercise choice) only now ramping up and down accordingly.

Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Main Exercise High bar back squats Military press and pull ups Deficit deadlifts Dips and chest supported rows Safety bar back squats Upper body assistance day (arms) Rest
Sets x reps 5/3/1 programing with FSL 5×8 5/3/1 programing with FSL 5×8 5/3/1 programing with FSL 5×8 5/3/1 programing with FSL 5×8 5/3/1 programing with FSL 5×8 5×10
Accessory Lunges Curls BSS Curls Lunges Curls
Accessory Abs Triceps Abs Triceps Abs Triceps

 

Enter Snap City

This style of training worked well for me until the second to last week on September where I rushed my weighted dips warm ups and partially tore my right pec. On rep 7 with 115 lbs. strapped to me I felt a pop and sensation much like tearing paper inside my arm followed by a solid amount of pain. Luckily it didn’t completely roll up (that would suggest a full tear) and my ability to lift my arm while laying down was too much of an effort for me to accomplish immediately afterwards.

Well this hurt a lot (obviously) and required me to take quite the deload for a week and then after meeting with some health professionals about recommendations for what should be done, we decided on holding off on surgery at least for a month or two to see what my scar tissue would then build up to. There is a chance that I will recover within 90% of my previous strength levels without surgery. Currently I am at about 50% but climbing a little each week. My current training program is actually more elaborate, since I am just doing a bodybuilding style of training.

Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Main Exercise High bar back squats Military press and pull ups Deficit deadlifts Neutral grip military press and chest supported rows Safety bar back squats DB military press and chin ups Rest
Sets x reps 5/3/1 programing with FSL 5×8 5×10 5/3/1 programing with FSL 5×8 5×10 5/3/1 programing with FSL 4×10 5×10
Accessory Lunges Upright rows GHR Db inclines Reeves deadlifts Curls
Sets x reps 4×10 4×10 4×10 5×10 4×10 4-8×10-20
Accessory Reverse hypers Db laterals Abs More rows but a different exercise Abs Triceps
Sets x reps 4×10+ 4×10 5+x10-20 5×10 5+x10-20 4-8×10-20
Accessory Sled drags Arm work Light carries Arm work Leg press Upper back
Sets x reps 4+x 4×10 3x 4×10 4×10-20 5×10-20
Accessory Abs Front raises Calf Raises
Sets x reps 5+x10-20 3×10 5×10-20

 

So now I am making progress getting stronger and focusing on that which I can do well. We will let the pec run its course and then reassess in another month or two and see if surgery is right option. In the mean time I have hit some decent numbers on all of my non pressing movements, but I did military press 155×10 this week along with high bar back squatting 350×10 with no belt and doing 10 pull ups with 60lbs. of chain on me. So I’m decently strong, but definitely not a bench presser. I’ve done dumbbell inclines with 95×10 on the left and just hit a PR by doing 55×10 with my right arm. Also doing other exercises that are really just fun and hitting random PRs there. So progress is coming along, just not as fast as I would prefer.

Aside from the weight lifting the other thing I have been doing is lots of long walks, light cardio (elliptical once a week), and weight vest walks (aim for at least twice per week with a 40lbs. vest or more). This type of cardio I find to be relaxing and helps with the whole brain recovery thing that I’m constantly working towards. I just pick a location and walk to it and then walk back. The goal is for the duration to be from half an hour to two hours of moving. I’m also trying to get back in the water with one day of swimming each week (we will see how that goes).

Right now I’m still training with the goal to put on a little muscle mass and just move around and feel good. Maximal strength is still close enough to pre concussion levels and I can live with that. For now, I’m working towards smaller PRs in higher rep movements, but it is still fun. This overall is the workout plan that I am currently following and should keep me in striking distance of being in shape to do any type of competition I want to once I am fully cleared to do so (powerlifting, strongman,  or highland games). If you have any questions about why I do certain things just let me know and as always thanks for reading.

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