Archive for April, 2012

testing the shoulder out

Today I did some more just general flushing and stretching.

While at work, I did some rehab type stuff for my shoulder:

– isometric pushing and pulling on my left arm with my right, 10 sec push 10 sec pull

– taking my arms through range of motion, 10 seconds at shoulder height, 10 seconds above my head

– bending at the elbow and sweeping my left forearm across the desk for 3 sets of 10

– standing up, lowering my chin, relaxing my shoulders and squeezing my shoulderblades together for 10 seconds, 3 sets of 10 reps

– placing my hands closer than shoulderwidth against a wall and push on the wall while squeezing my shoulderblades together for 5 seconds, 3 sets of 10 reps

After that I did an L-sit above my desk chair for 20 seconds, then held a short bridge for 30 seconds, then a seated spinal twist for 30 seconds on each side.

My quads were getting really sore after the squats from yesterday, I usually have a 24h DOMS turnaround, so I went for a walk to flush them out.  I decided to walk to a grocery store 30 min away, bought a bunch of groceries, walked 30 min back, so I could see how my shoulders felt carrying a bit of weight for a long period.  That went well, no pain in my shoulder carrying stuff.

Came home, swung my arms and elbows and wrists and legs through about a minute of range of motion (joint circling), then did some fingerpad pushups, 5 against the wall, 5 off of the back of a recliner, then 2 sets of 5 fingerpad pushups on the floor on my knees.

Then 2 sets of 10 eagle claws.

I was going to do regular pushups, but my shoulder felt really tired actually, so I am deciding to get some rest and see how it feels in the morning.

It was a super light day, but shoulder focused, with some light cardio, so I got what I wanted.

Crawling Back

After a long period of resting my shoulder and being a general lazyass, I tried to get back into it a little today.

It is important to give the shoulder at least some light work after a sprain, to prevent scar tissue from forming.  Over the past week, I have taken it through range of motion, and by this point, I no longer felt any pain, so today I started to put a little weight on it.

I did “vertical pushups” in alternating sets with “vertical pulls”.  Basically for the vert pushups I placed my feet a foot away from the wall, and did  pushups against the wall, it is like a much easier version of an inclined pushup.  Vert pulls are when you place your feet to the wall, grab both sides of a doorframe or something similar, and rock back and pull yourself back in.  These were very light, so I did high reps, and it gave me a chance to see how my shoulder felt.

I did 3 sets of 50 of the modified pushups, and 3 sets of 50 of the modified pullups, supersetted with each other.  They felt fine, no pain in my shoulder, so I passed that test, I might move on to harder versions later in the week.

Then I did a few seated dips.  I ended up doing about 70 in a row.

Then I did some ATG squats, 2 sets of 20 with my hands resting on a chair seat (aka jacknife squats), followed by 3 sets of 30 with my hands on the back of the chair (aka supported squats).  Those felt good as well.

I had a nice light sweat going after the squats, so I did some standing bent leg calf raises, 3 sets of 40.

Then I laid out the yoga mat for some leg raises.  I did 2 sets of 20 of the bent knee leg raises, then I did 3 sets of 30 of the bent leg raises.

Overall, the exercise felt good, it was all a bit too light feeling, but I also feel like I need to ease back into it, even if it feels like a slow crawl.  Can’t rush a sprain.

Bent Out of Shape

My fears were realized today – I have sprained my shoulder.  The doctor at least believes it isn’t any worse than that, range of motion is still good, just some pain.  Luckily, I have some strong anti-inflammatories at home I can use while I refresh the prescription.  I was told to wait about a week, take the a-i twice a day, then check back if I don’t feel better.


So, unfortunately, I have to put upper body on hold for a while.  This means pushups on hold, yoga on hold.  Well, the Vinyasa and Moksha and other flows are out, I might go to a few Yin here and there and just stretch out the legs and hips.  I was signed up for a charity yoga event on Friday, 2.5 hours of Shiva Namaskar flow/sadhana.  Very disappointing to cancel out of that.

I took Tuesday off to just rest and do nothing, but today I decided to at least do some squats.

34 squats, 60 sec rest

40, 60s

34, 60s

34, 60s

49, DONE

Week 4, Day 2, Level 3 of the 200 squat challenge complete, on to Day 3.


Yoga was a big chunk of my cardio, so I will have to start signing up for more Spin classes to keep active.  I hope my IT band stays strong, because my legs have to carry the burn for a while.

Plans Change

Woke up with a sore left shoulder, couldn’t lift it when I woke up.  So I pushed the chest and biceps workout to tomorrow, and moved Tuesday’s meal plans to today, as they add in some more food early on and will give me energy as I recover.

I decided to workout at home tonight and monitor my shoulder, so I cancelled out of the “core flow” yoga class, an otherwise great hot yoga class with an overly healthy number of planks thrown in.

I have also decided to take neck exercises off my schedule for the foreseeable future, my neck has been tight for a few weeks, and my spine is not strong enough to do a full back bridge yet, so I decided bridge-based neck strengthener exercises were too much too fast (as they suggest in Convict Conditioning 2).

Came home, and did the Seated Dip challenge I had put off from the night before:

26 Seated Dips, 45 second rest

26, 45 sec

31, 45

31, 45

26, 45

26, 45

28, 45

65, DONE

This was a good test of my sore shoulders.  They were somewhat sore by the end, but mostly I felt a great pump in my triceps.  They were seated dips, with legs bent maybe 60 degrees, feet on floor.  I plan to build up later to high-volume sets with my feet elevated, then off a dip station, but for now this was good.  I passed the dip challenge for the day, and will move on to Week 6, the final week of that program.


Gave my shoulders a break as I did some ab work, the Leg Raise section of the CC book.  2 warmup sets of 20 reps of bent knee leg raises.  Then 3 sets of 30 bent leg raises.  A bent leg raise is leg extended, with a bit of a bend, not 90 degrees like the warmup sets.  I kept my hands under the small of my back this week, will slide my hands out from under me, palms down, next week.


Then calf raises.  Both legs, slight bend to the legs, press off the floor.  A set of 35, slight rest, set of 35, slight rest, set of 70.  I probably could have chained them closer together and gotten a better pump.


Went to the CC pushup portion.  After lots of dips plus the sore shoulders, plus the pushups from the night before, plus the chest workout pushed to tomorrow, I didn’t want to push it too hard.  I did a warmup set of 25 pushups against the wall, then a warmup of 20 incline pushups, against an object at waist level. Then I did a set of 30 kneeling pushups, full ROM, then a set of 12, then a set of 20.

You can guess by those numbers that my shoulders were starting to complain loudly, and you would be right.  Also, I should add, when I say full ROM, I don’t mean my chest is a fist width away from the floor, I mean until my gut is a fist width from the floor, as my gut is bigger than my chest, hahaha.  I figure if my gut is on the floor, then that’s resting, sad as that sounds.  It just becomes more obvious when I do kneeling pushups, due to the angle.

So my shoulders gave out in the second set, then I tried to rally for the third set.


Then I did some light hand work:  I did a set of 5 fingerpad pushups against the wall, then a set of 5 fingerpad pushups against the incline from before.  Then I did 2 sets of 10 eagle claws (isometric hand clenching exercises),  I need to buy a chinup bar so I can at least do some grip exercises hanging off the bar, my arms are so long the dining room table wont cut it, really.

Then I flushed the shoulders out, 2 minutes of swinging them through range of motion.  Then 20 seconds or so of an L-sit (straightening my arms in a chair so I am suspended in the air over the handles), then a minute or so of a held short bridge, then 1 minute or so of floor twists.

I was running low on cooked meat tonight so instead of cooking up a bunch more, I cooked some egg whites and had them for dinner along with soup.

I think I salvaged the day pretty well, despite the shoulder soreness.  Hopefully a good sleep will make the difference for tomorrow.

Spinning Fool

April Fool’s Day!  Today was no joke however, I had work to do.

My neighbour convinced me to go to a 9 am Spin class.  My favorite Spin instructor was leading it, so I was up for it. In cardio in general, I prefer female guides, go figure.  But most female Spin or RPM instructors are WAY too chatty. Andrea though is all business, which I like.

2 songs into the 7 or 8 song set, I knew I was in trouble.  My legs already felt low on energy.  Sure enough by Song 6, I failed out towards the end, my legs came to a complete stop, and I had to dial it back and start up again.  In the final race song, I failed out 3 times!  Basically I emptied my tank out completely.  In that respect, it was a great Spin class.

No time to rest though, I had enough time to go home and switch out gear, then I headed to my backup yoga studio for a Seane Corn-inspired Detox Flow 75 min hot yoga class.  I had never tried this class before, and I was curious.  Basically, it was a bunch of sun salutations and some squats, followed by extended twists, like a mix of Yang and Yin, except focusing on twists.  I like twists, so I was happy, but I don’t know if it’s anything I couldn’t get in greater quantities in a full-on Yin class.

It was a tough class though, because I was pretty worn out.  I forgot my towel for my mat so I was slipping and sliding all over the rubber mat, which hampered the workout unfortunately.

I sweat lots and lots in spin, and lots more in hot yoga, more than usual.  I am fully convinced that Creatine makes me sweat more, especially during the load week.  This makes sense, as Creatine makes you retain water, so when it’s time to sweat, I do it like no other.

By the way, load week is over on the Creatine, now into regular cycle for 3 weeks.

The side effect of evenly spaced out cardio classes like this is that I had very little to eat all day.  I like to go on an empty stomach, or I want to vomit,  So breakfast was just a protein shake, and I had a booster juice in between classes.  When I got home, I cooked up chicken and fish for the week, and ate some fish and kicked back.

My chest was feeling really good during yoga, like it was ready for more work, so tonight I went for the 100 pushup challenge: Week 4, Day 3, Level 2.

23 pushups, 120 sec rest

28, 120 s

23, 120 s

23, 120s

33, DONE

In total 130 pushups, and I was successful and ready to move on to Week 5.  I should point out that these are not full ROM pushups, my chest is not that strong yet.  They were more military style, going slightly more than halfway down, and as quick as possible.  Mathematically, it makes sense to me.  If a pushup is 60% of your weight, am I doing 30 rep sets of 180-90 pound bench presses?  Nope, I am lucky if I do 5 of those.  So, not full, slow ROM, but military-style.  That’s ok though, I will be exploring full ROM in depth when my Convict Conditioning progresses, so I don’t want to milk the 100 pushup challenge for work, I want to get through asap, so I can save energy for CC.

Then I did the 200 Squat Challenge: Week 4, Day 1, Level 3

29 Squats, 60 sec rest

34, 60s

29, 60s

29, 60s

43, DONE

These are “half squats”, not ATG.  They are what this program asks for, so they are what I do.  Total 164 squats, on to Day 2.

I considered doing triceps, but all the pushups wore out my triceps a bit, so I am planning to do them tomorrow morning when I wake up.

Snacked all afternoon in between calisthenics and laundry, bagel, 450g of oven-cooked tilapia, can of veg soup, can of peas and carrots.  Will have some protein before bed, then that’s that!

Overall a good day, I am always happy when I progress on the pushup challenge,