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 Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log

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Chris Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:55 pm

So do they have a prosthesis?

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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:41 pm

Just keep thinking about the lonnnnnnng term. Getting taken out sucks. I basically had a three-week psychotic break with this rib thing. One of the few things that helped me not systematically take out other patrons at the grocery store/pharmacy/airport was to focus on what my lifting would be like in five years. You will be back, and you will be better a better lifter in five years.Think about how much progress you've made--five years will mean lots more progress. I hope you're doing okay today, check in with status if you feel up to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:10 pm

Ghost Dawg, what is your status?

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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:25 pm

Thanks for the words of encouragement, Janis. Today marks two weeks since surgery, and as promised by the surgeon, the recovery has really sucked. Of course it's particularly sucked because my lifting was improving and it was the one thing that was sort of keeping the rest of my very fragile psyche glued together. For those of you who don't know, I might as well say that I the procedure I had done was the removal of internal and external hemorrhoids. No, I'm not joking. lol! It's something I've had pop up (huhuh) now and then since my sophomore year at Iowa, before I was really lifting seriously, so I'm hoping that it wasn't my lifting which caused things to get so painful and out of control, although I'm sure valsalvaing like crazy contributed a lot to it. Once before I did a NASA meet during a hemorrhoid flare-up, which was uncomfortable to say the least, but nothing like the degree of pain I had during this round, which was unbearable, and why I elected to have surgery without hesitation.

The post-op material I was provided with has some conflicting recommendations about lifting... one place it says no more than 10 pounds for 2 weeks post-op, another says 4, another says 6. Anyway, I don't imagine I'll be lifting until at the very least after my follow-up appointment with the surgeon, which is another couple of weeks away. Honestly right now I don't even feel well enough to anyway. I still can't really sit in a chair or drive or anything like that. I've finally gotten to the point where I don't need the narcotics for pain anymore, so I guess I'm healing. Maybe in another few days or a week I could consider going in and doing some light single joint type stuff just to try to get some maintenance in before I get the clearance to actually lift again, which as I mentioned, probably won't be until the beginning of February.

The last several days I have been forcing myself to walk a couple of miles every day in the hopes that some exercise will help my recovery and stave off atrophy. I'm gradually getting to the point where I can eat more protein and more in general, so hopefully I can stem the weight /muscle loss that I've experienced as much as possible for the next couple weeks. I've actually read that sedentary post-op patients who take creatine lose less muscle mass than those who don't, so I was thinking of reintroducing a small amount of whey and creatine into my diet and see how I tolerate that, again, just in the hopes of staving off some of the losses that I'm incurring.

I'm guessing I'll be back to feeling like myself and able to train withing 2 or 3 weeks. The questions are, is that enough time to prepare for April, what the hell should my programming look like, and how do I adjust my program to make sure I'm doing as little seated stuff as possible, since I'm not sure how well I'll tolerate that, and I'm suspicious that all the seated hamstring/abductor/adductor work may have contributed to this.


So, that's my status.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:49 pm

Message me on facebook when you think the pain is tolerable enough for you to physically drive to the gym and walk through the door. Then, we'll start putting together a plan. It might be very limited at first, but we'll do what we can, when we can.

As far as April goes, if your health allows you to do an entire meet without hurting yourself, then I personally say go for it. Use it as a way to remind yourself that you've got something here that you care about, even if you're not setting PRs or posting a big total.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:00 pm

Wow, honestly, this is probably going to sound really weird, but I'm so impressed with what you've written and the attitude you're expressing here. You're not pretending everything's fine, you're not giving up hope, you're trying to progress as responsibly as possible. It's inspiring to see that from someone whose psyche is as tied to his/her lifting as I know mine is, and it gives me even more perspective on how I need to view setbacks in my training and my life, particularly when it comes to ones surrounding health. Whatever you do in the coming months leading up to April, you've already achieved a lot, in my mind. I have learned, and must re-learn over and over, that this pursuit is one that should be measured in years, not months, or weeks. The approach you have to this surgery and its ramifications is exactly the one you need to have in order to honor that reality. You will do what you can when you can in order to get back to making progress on a yearly scale.

This requires a settled mindset that I like to joke around as "enlightened" and/or "zen." The thing is, I'm not really joking. You sometimes have to divorce yourself from the things that drive you to want lifting and want lifting progress RIGHT NOW in order to get through a recovery period. Re-phrasing that, sometimes you end up excavating the things that drive this desire and having to judge whether or not they're healthy motivations. Me? Fear of mediocrity sourced in self-loathing is part of the root of my desperate drive to get better as a lifter. I'm not proud of it, but it's true. When something goes to shit, that motivation becomes a monster. I really only realized this with the recent issue I had with my rib, the emotional climax of that experience being a breakdown in my car in a parking lot as Kyle forced me (well, asked, and then I had to force the honest responses out of myself) to examine things I was afraid of that surfaced because of that injury and temporary loss of the thing I am devoted to.

If you can walk away from this having learned something about yourself, you've achieved more than if you had never had the issue and had posted a solid total in April. I believe this wholeheartedly. I know it sounds trite/overly-motivational-jpeg-posted-on-pinterest perky, but I don't give a shit. I believe it. I admire those who are willing to embrace setbacks, because it's one of the hardest things I've ever attempted to do.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:09 pm

Also, groupies.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:25 pm

I'm with Janis, the attitude you already have will help your recovery and eventually training so much. If your body lets you I think you should definitely try to do the meet in April. Like Kyle mentioned even if you don't post an outstanding total or set PRs, the fact that you would able to get on the platform having learned so much about yourself and your training would be a bigger accomplishment than anything else. Best of luck on your recovery man.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Fri Jan 18, 2013 7:16 pm

Thank you for the encouraging words guys. Kyle helped me put together a little rehab routine that I am going to follow until the doctor clears me for real lifting (hopefully Jan 30th, could be a couple weeks after that, though.)

First workout since surgery: (15 days removed)

Overhead Press Bar x 20 x 3
Face Pulls 40x20x3
Tricep pushdowns 40x20, 50x20, 70x20x3
Cable External Rotations 10lb x 10 (per side) x 3
Bodyweight Leg curls 50 reps x 4 sets
Kneeling Squat Bar x 20 x 3
Saxon Side Bends w/ 5lb plate 20 reps x 3
Step ups onto bench 20 reps per side x 3 sets (no breaks)

For all of this stuff I tried to be conservative, stress technique, and avoid valsalva. The most challenging stuff was definitely the kneeling squats, since it's hard to drive your hips through without also clenching your butt, and the step ups, since they were kind of strenuous for someone who's been so sedentary for a couple weeks. Overall, everything felt fine and I had no extra pain. Supplemented with ~15g whey and 5g creatine before and after... hoping to preserve dat muscle mass. We'll see how my digestive system handles that crap.

Also planning on starting the preparatory phase of CBL in a couple days on the 21st so that I can be ready for a hypothetical backload on the 30th if I get the all clear. If not, that sucks, since I'll be starving myself of carbs for 9 days for no reason. It will also be considerably tougher on my digestive system eating more meat and less roughage in the form of whole grains and fruits, but I will try to supplement with more leafy greens and a Metamucil (as before). Sorry for the TMI.

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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:20 pm

1/19 (S + 16)

Same as yesterday, except an extra set of everything. Also, tricep pushdowns with a rope instead. Really kept the rest intervals as short as possible and cycled between the exercises as quickly as possible.

Overhead Press Bar x 20 x 4
Kneeling Squat Bar x 20 x 4
Face Pulls 40x20x4
Tricep rope pushdowns 40x20x2, 35x20x2
Cable External Rotations 10lb x 10 (per side) x 4
Bodyweight Leg curls 50 reps x 5 sets
Saxon Side Bends w/ 5lb plate 20 reps x 4
Step ups onto bench 20 reps per side x 4 sets (no breaks)
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:44 pm

A few more days of this and we'll give you something a bit more challenging.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:27 pm

SET THE DAWG LOOSE bom bom
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:09 pm

1/21 (S+18)

Had to skip yesterday's workout for reasons that are too gross to say. bloody stool

Same as before, except 5 sets and a little more weight here or there (mostly)

Overhead Press Bar x 20 x 5
Kneeling Squat Bar x 20 x 5
Face Pulls 50x20x5
Tricep rope pushdowns 40x20x5
Cable External Rotations 10lb x 10 (per side) x5
Bodyweight Leg curls 75 x 4 sets
Saxon Side Bends w/10lb plate 20 reps x 3 alternating with dumbbell windmills 10lbx10x3
Step ups onto bench 20 reps per side x 3 sets
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:10 pm

Also, carb fast CBL preparation phase begins today. Woke up at 182, yesterday woke up at 181.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:58 pm

How have you been feeling with the training, Dawg?
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:59 am

I feel fine, gettin bored of course. I feel pain free mostly and am physically able to do whatever in theory but am afraid of what valsalva or straining might do to me.. It would probably bring the pain back pretty quick. Still prefer not to sit down for extended periods. I think that juggernaut had me in pretty good shape so I think that once I'm cleared i won't have too much of a problem with work capacity although I'm sure I'm weaker in absolute terms.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:59 pm

1/22 (S+19)


Walked a couple miles through the woods and some hills today.


Overhead Press Bar x 20 x 5
Kneeling Squat Bar x 20 x 5
Face Pulls 50x20x5
Tricep rope pushdowns 40x20x5
Cable External Rotations 10lb x 10 (per side) x5
Bodyweight Leg curls 200x2
Saxon Side Bends w/ 5lb plate 20 reps x 3 alternating with dumbbell windmills 10lbx10 per side x3
seated leg press 75lb x 20 x 3
- sat on the machine in a way that allowed me to rest my weight not directly on my ass, so this was tolerable. Did this instead of step-ups today because the gym was so crowded and I didn't feel like taking up a bench.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:43 pm

Logan Joseph wrote:
I feel fine, gettin bored of course. I feel pain free mostly and am physically able to do whatever in theory but am afraid of what valsalva or straining might do to me.. It would probably bring the pain back pretty quick. Still prefer not to sit down for extended periods. I think that juggernaut had me in pretty good shape so I think that once I'm cleared i won't have too much of a problem with work capacity although I'm sure I'm weaker in absolute terms.

When you're willing to try some lying-down pressing, let me know. It might just be floor pressing to start, but it's something.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:59 pm

Definitely ready for that, what did you have in mind?
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:39 pm

Holy crap, you're possibly able to do floor pressing now? That's fantastic. That will really help keep that press preserved to a greater degree.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:33 pm

Thanks Janis! I'm excited to give it a try. Maybe I'll bring a pillow for my butt. lol!

I wanted to post something I came across in a handout that I got from a behavioral therapy group I'm in that I felt really applies to my training in general and especially training back from or with an injury. It's pretty much just a more codified way of saying the good advice that people have given me already about trying to take the long view despite the frustration of wanting results now, and having to cope with training conservatively. It also reminded me of Kyle's recent decision about wrapped vs. unwrapped squatting. All of this is pretty obvious but I thought it was interesting that I came across something so directly applicable to lifting in a therapy group and thought it might be helpful to some other people.

3. Effectively

a. Do what’s appropriate and necessary in the present moment – to resolve a problem, cope with a situation, or reach a goal – even if it feels unnatural, uncomfortable, or goes against what you are experiencing emotionally.

b. Doing what’s effective sometimes means not doing what you feel like doing, or not doing what you’ve been habitually doing for many years.

c. Being effective often means sacrificing in the short term or delaying gratification in pursuit of a long term goal.

d. You have to be mindful of what you’re thinking, feeling, and doing in a present moment in order to do what’s effective.

e. Being effective requires knowing what the actual situation is and reacting to it, not to what one thinks should be the situation.

f.Opposite of “cutting off your nose to spite your face” or martyring yourself for a cause.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:09 pm

1/24 (S+21)


Added the floor pressing today, felt fine as far as my ass against the ground goes. Saxon side bends are probably the most strain inducing thing about this whole routine at the moment.

Floor Press (comp grip) Bar x 20 x 5
Overhead Press Bar x 20 x 5
Kneeling Squat Bar x 20 x 5
Face Pulls 50x20x5
Tricep rope pushdowns 40x20x5
Cable External Rotations 10lb x 10 (per side) x5
Bodyweight Leg curls 150x3
Saxon Side Bends w/ 10 lb plate 20x5
seated leg press 75lb x 20 x 5

Today is day 4 of CBL preparation phase.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:36 pm

Floor Press (comp grip) 65lb x 20 x 5
Overhead Press 65lb x 20, 65x15x4
Face Pulls 60x20x5
Tricep rope pushdowns 40x20x5
Cable External Rotations 10lb x 10 (per side) x3

Added a little weight today, tolerated it alright, won't really know until later. Definitely tried my best to avoid tensing, straining, or valsalva. Had to cut the workout short because I spent a lot of time coaching a friend on his squat. Might make up those leg curls and some ab work at home tonight. It's starting to sink in that even if the doctor were to give me some sort of "go-ahead" on the 31st at my first follow-up, this is going to be a really long process of working back up to see what I can tolerate, and I won't just be able to go balls out just because I'm medically cleared. I don't mind pain or discomfort, but if that sensation is indicative of impeding healing, then I do mind. So I'll just have to work up slowly and be really conservative, which is a given for now before the follow-up, but also may hold true for longer than I thought it would. Trying to wrap my head around that.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:32 pm

1/26 (S+23)

Floor Press (comp grip) Bar x10, 65x10, 75x10, 85x10x3
Overhead Press Bar x 10, 65x10, 75x10, 85x10x3
Kneeling Squat Bar x 10, 85x10, 95x10x4
Face Pulls 55x25x5
Tricep rope pushdowns 45x20x5
Cable External Rotations 10lb x 10 (per side) x5
Bodyweight Leg curls 125x4=500
Saxon Side Bends w/ 5 lb plate 20x5
seated leg press 105lb x 20 x 5


Adding some "significant" weight today, gradually, dropped the reps on the real lifts from 20 to 10. Basically stopping at the point where I would begin to strain, clench, valsalva, or breathe irregularly. The weights I worked up to turned out to be just about right for a 10 rep set without straining. Next I'll try to work up to 5 full sets at those weights x reps and then either up the weight or the reps to make things a little more strenuous.

I experienced pretty mild discomfort today, nothing really worrisome. I have to say, concentrating on staying relaxed in certain areas and tight in others while lifting is really difficult and sort of more exhausting than a normal max effort set in a way.

Follow-up appointment with surgeon will be some time this week.

Day 6 of CBL prep phase. I don't imagine I'll be doing a workout strenuous enough to justify a backload after day 10, so I'm not sure what I'll be doing with my diet in the meantime. Maybe just do a real moderate and "clean" backload, or just reintroduce a moderate amount of carbs into my diet and try to restart CBL once I'm back to lifting heavy.

Big thanks to Kyle for advice on programming today and in the future.
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PostSubject: Re: Curlin' in the squat rack: Logan's log   Sat Jan 26, 2013 8:39 pm

I made a purchase from truenutrition last night. Hopefully this helps me meet my daily protein needs since I haven't been hitting it. I think the carb mix will be great too.
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