After a week off and a reduced training schedule, my shoulder seems to be on the mend. Much as it pains me to admit to being wrong (facing up to such an impossibility never gets any easier), I think I was probably training too much and too hard, so I’ve came up with a plan to keep things scaled back:
1.Only train on the bars on alternate days
Therefore limiting the damage that can be done by working several days back-to-back. This means I’ve had some time to fill with cardio, leg and core work. Since I’m now based outside (no more kickboxing classes *sniff*) the cardio basically involves running and burpees. Running is either steady (for anything up to 10km) or shorter interval sessions, which I hate but must work as they make me feel like I’m exhaling sand whilst a dragon breathes on my legs. Burpees are just awesome. Wearing the Vibrams has made my feet extra strong, which means I get a nice extra push right at the end of the jump. They’re getting faster, although I’ve not had a go at filming another barbaric burpees attempt (well, except for the 40s one on YouTube, but I’m not gonna link to that here as there’re rest stops all over the place!). The only lower body strength exercise I do are pistol squats (still need to do a post on these at some point), and I honestly don’t ever feel that I need to do any more (not least because my glutes *ahem* are massive, and if I’m to stand a hope in hell of hauling my ass above the bar I don’t want them to get any bigger).
2. Cut down the reps
The first thing I did on my first session back was to cut the reps back to a quarter. Instead of 20 sets of 5, I’m on 5 sets of 5. It’s kind of frustrating, but I’m hoping that when Step 3 starts reaping rewards that it won’t be a problem…
3. Focus on strength
I’m going to focus on making myself as “heavy” (i.e. hard to lift) as possible. So I’ve been doing L-sit chin-ups (3 sets of 4 reps yesterday – woo!) and pull-ups, and 5s top/middle/bottom hold pull-ups, plus loads of static holds – L-sits, pull/chin-ups etc. I’m hoping that the lower reps and holds will mean less stress to my shoulder, and that in a month or so’s time I will be able to resume increasing my endurance, with the increase in strength making that easier. We will see.
4. Focus on “power moves”
I don’t know what to call these, but things like skin the cat, pull-overs, working on the progressions for levers etc. etc. Basically stuff that is so hard I don’t really have a chance in hell of over-doing it :)
5. Do a better warm-up
I’m not sure my previous warm-ups were sufficient, so am now doing whole-body things like burpees and jumping jacks, but also bench push-ups and dips to warm up those muscles, plus shoulder and arm mobility stuff.
6. Joint mobility and myofascial work
As well as using my Stick and tennis balls, I’ve been doing more joint mobility using a routine that I used to do in the mornings when I was training karate, but with some tweaks to adjust the focus to more upper body and less hips/legs. I will do a further post on this I think, as I’ve got some good links I wanted to share.
Anyhow, having implemented the above Rules for a week now, they seem to be paying off. My endurance isn’t great (struggled with a set of 20 push-ups yesterday – WTF!) but I do feel strong and, more importantly, pain free :)