Sunday, November 01, 2009

Baby Steps

It felt like Christmas Eve.  You know, when you're anticipating what is under the tree, what is in the box.  It has been just about 6 weeks post-op, and I was hyped.  A little subdued, too.  First day back in the gym today.

During the week, though, I had started to assess where was strength wise and range of motion wise.  I wanted to start on the right foot.  I didn't do full workouts, just test of some lifts with light weights and extra care in technique.  It was another lesson in having to eat humble pie: in the bench press, I could only triple 155 pounds, about 60-70 pounds less than my competition max (This is what surgery and very rapid weight loss will do to you).  And it took a lot of focus from me to do it, my abs let me know about it but not too bad.  I can now do one chinup but I had to be very careful doing it and I was contracting my abs from the very beginning.  I tried the ab crunch machines but they just didn't do it for me, and I couldn't get a feel for ab pulldowns.  So, brainstorming and having my green bands with me today, I tried to do incline situps with a green band over each shoulder and attached to the apparatus (I will try to film this). Eureka, it gave me just the right amount of assistance to take the initial jarring out of it.

Rather than spend this post explaining the structure of this workout, I will reveal it little by little. I am following Westside for Skinny Bastards III template: I'm trying to get muscle back but with less weight and more conditioning and the higher rep range for the assist work will accomplish that.  As Murph suggested, I am doing 5/3/1 for the main movement minus the 3 and the 1, to ease my body back and not fuck up the surgeon's work.  A few more machines here, for stability.  Less training to failure.

Let's do it.

All Notation: weight x reps x sets.

Hammer ISO Super Incline Press (weight is per movement arm): 30x12, 40x10, 45x8, 50x6, 55x5, 60x5, 60x6 (Rep Out Set).  Safer than the bench for now, and I get to work each side individually.

Assisted Dip Machine: repped out at 13 and 12 reps with 120 pounds of assistance (so I was only lifting 88 pounds).  When I can get 15 reps per set, I'll decrease the assistance.

Assisted Chinups (Average Band): 1 set of 6 reps, 3 sets of 5 reps.  With the average band to start with, I had no ab pain.  I didn't try to crank them out: I took it nice and easy, with a dead hang each rep.  The first set was to see how many I could do, then I left one in the tank for the other sets.  As my body adjusts, I'll switch to weaker bands.

Hammer ISO Rows (Elbows Up)(weight is per movement arm): 55x12x4.  In WSFSB, this movement should have been a rear delt movement instead but since I wanted to get muscle back, I wanted to move more weight.  So the second back movement will be a row, chest supported.

Behind The Back Shrugs: 80x15x4.  I didn't want to test every lift, as this was a sure route to get injured.  I have a structural balance spreadsheet with how all my lifts compare with the bench at its most optimal (I had to go through all my workouts to crunch the numbers).  So I computed a 165 1RM for the bench (155x3) using Brzycki's Formula, and the spreadsheet computes the max for the other lifts then I just figure the sets out from there.

Preacher Curls: 40x12x4

The workout went great.  No pain, didn't tear up anything, felt blissfully exhausted.  Now, we'll see how leg day goes.


Kris said...

Hey Alberto, great to see you back in the gym. :)

Alberto said...

Thank you, Kris, and it felt good to be back. If all goes good and safe, April's Virtualmeet 2010 will be my first target.

Kris said...

That's the spirit, keep it up! :)