Susie's Back (and neck!) Log
So today is Day One of my serious return to fitness. I'm rehabbed sufficiently to go about this in a more organized and dedicated fashion than I've been able to before now. There will be some trial and error in figuring out what this body can do but I'm choosing to be optimistic and hopeful that it will be quite a bit. I am really starting to feel well for the first time in seven months, thank God.
I'm really glad Jay Cohen has offered to help me by being a kind of long-distance coach and buddy, thank you, Jay, for the following pointers:
1. Determine specifically what you are going to achieve.
-I want to lose fat and gain muscle, maintaining a lean 145-150lb. body weight.
-I want to be able to take regular (non-senior) dance classes again.
-I want to be able to do strenuous hikes in the summer.
-I want to row a 2:10 500m. and a 9:00 2K. (Previous PRs were 2:01 and 8:25, respectively, very good times for a 53-year-old woman)
2. Stay focused on this goal.
3. Find the areas in your training as well as your conditioning and recovery processes that need work.
-I'm way down on strength and endurance, and my flexibility isn't what it should be, either. But strength is the weakest area, especially my upper body.
4. Find ways to hold yourself accountable.
-Fitday journal daily (public journal in sig) and activity log here.
Took two very brisk 30 min. walks, first of which was this morning BEFORE breakfast. Felt great. Second was this afternoon. Walked fast enough both times to get warm and breathe heavily. Felt much better than usual doing this walking, I find I can reduce the discomfort in my neck and across my shoulders by very consciously bringing my scapulae together and down, so that my neck feels more supported. MUCH less pain!
Strength: 1 set of 10 pushups off the wall, as deep as possible.
2 sets of 10 unweighted squats, full depth
1 set of 10 lunges, each side
Rehab: Full set of shoulder exercises, doing so much better!
Flexibility: 10 min. of stretching
I just feel wonderful, having had so many suggestions about what to do and having a total plan for this week. I'm determined to forge on. Tomorrow is dance class. (NIA dance, very adaptable to limitations and quite a bit of huffin' and puffin')
Welcome aboard Susie. Great start!
60 minutes NIA dance class. Worked hard, felt great.
I was going to do four 500m. erg sprints after class, but was only able to do two because my neck felt stiff and funny. The two sprints came in at 2:19 and 2:21.
My quads are moderately sore today from yesterday's squats and lunges, in a good way. I feel like I am just waking up my body from a seven month sleep.
B: coffee w/half and half
2 eggs w/spinach and 2 oz. salmon
1/2 small grapefruit
L: homemade chicken soup w/ lots of veggies and chicken
small green salad w/ olive oil and vinegar, raisins and walnuts
D: Lamb stew
Cal: 1652 39% fat, 22% carb, 39% protein
Thanks for the drive-by, Steve.
Good work and nice to have you back in the community, again.
Good to have you back.
I realized that for most of the past seven months, I was in so much pain so much of the time that I couldn't really "inhabit" my body with awareness. I lost touch with when I was hungry and when I was not, and I ate carbocrap for comfort, despite knowing a good diet would hasten healing.
The past couple of weeks I have really turned a corner on recovery. I can feel it. Before, I didn't want to exercise because I couldn't stand adding one jit of discomfort to my baseline pain. Now, I am reawakening to the feeling of soreness in a well-used muscle, and I don't fear it or dread it. I'm looking forward to reanimating this body, pushing myself so that I get that rush that comes with having energy to spare.
Today: 2 hours of (gentle) dance class: this is very rehabiliatative for me, lots of activity mobility, balance, and a little huffin' and puffin'.
B: 2/3 c. cooked oatmeal w/ blueberries, nonfat Greek yogurt and 2 eggs
L: 3 oz. cooked salmon w/2 c. raw spinach and 11 almonds
Snack: 1 crispbread w/ 1 TB. peanut butter
D: collard greens cooked w/bacon, 6 oz. cod with lemon butter sauce, 1/3c. brown rice
Cal: 1122 35% fat, 32% carb, 32% protein
I feel wonderful today. Trifle sore in the quads, but wonderful. Tomorrow is strength work day, such as I can do. I'm going to concentrate on squats, lunges, situps, back ext., plank poses, body rows.
I'm going to try some swings with a DB to see how that motion feels, if it doesn't feel wrong, I might order myself a couple of kettlebells. I could probably do SDHP with the KB without much difficulty, I think. I can use the DBs at the Y for that. Maybe Jay has some other ideas. I'm looking forward to regaining some strength!
I'm weak as a kitten, especially upper body. I really miss my strong muscles.
I'd suggest you forget about the SDHP and either just do OL-style clean pulls or simply learn how to swing and snatch a KB the "Girevoy Sport" way (as in, using as little effort as possible).
SDHP are an exercise that puts a lot of strain on the lower back as form degrades with higher reps, along with putting the shoulder in the internally rotated position at the top of the pull.
Or you could just row instead, since the original implementation of SDHPs was as a substitute for those who didn't have rowers...
Doc G is spot on. Goes easy, slowly work back into your program. Err on the side of caution.
You've outlined a great program, tweak it some, but stay the course for the next 4-6 weeks.
Good job on eating.
Wow. Thank you both, Dr. G and Jay. What an awesome community. I can't thank you enough for the suggestions and support. I'm not part of my local Crossfit community anymore, so I'm without a coach and working on my own just now, so your help is extremely valuable to me. Thank you!
I'll take it easy tomorrow with the core work, squats and lunges, rows and such.
I have physical therapy at noon, so I'll get the work done in the morning.
Question: would I be better off doing fewer squats, but with a little weight, or more unweighted (air) squats? Goal being to really get stronger. I have done a few squats with 20 lbs. of DBs on my shoulders. My problem is I can't grip a bar across the back (nor hold it overhead) because of limited ROM in my shoulder, but I can place a DB on my shoulder and hold it with my hand.
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