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Matt Edwards 06-22-2013 04:57 PM

Returning to competition
Quick background: I had hip surgery in January because of a severe labral tear due to FAI, I had to get the labrum anchored down for repair and my femoral neck shaved down or else it would keep causing serious damage. Surgeon told me I'd never hit a deep squat again which we all know is hogwash, I was able to sink painfree ATG within a week of being off crutches. Anyhow, 5 weeks ago I was allowed to start lifting heavy again, heavy being more than 50 pounds which was my limit for 4 months. Just yesterday I did singles in the back squat and hit my old 96% extremely easily so strength is back. I definitely want to return to competition and was curious about how I want to go about it.

BW 77kg
Snatch PR 89, current 80
CleanJerk PR 110, current 95
Back Squat PR 130, current 125

Strength has always been my limiting factor, obviously. The only comp-lift I truly struggle with is the clean, I have very long arms. For reference my best squat is 130 but my best deadlift is 222. This is what I've been doing:

Back squat 5 sets of 4-6 (Tendo unit set to >0.6 m/s)
- paired with 3 jumping/plyometric exercises
RDL 4 sets of 6
- paired with hip flexor prehab and a few upper body pulling exercises

Block Snatch volume
Block Clean + Split Jerk volume
Anti-extension + anti-lateral flexion core

Back squat w/ Chains 8 sets of 2 (Tendo unit set to >0.6 m/s)
RDL 4 sets of 4
- paired with hip flexor prehab and a few upper body pulling

heavy Snatch complex
heavy Clean + Jerk complex
Anti-extension + anti-lateral flexion core

Back Squat single + 5 sets of 2 (Tendo unit set to >0.35 m/s)
- paired with 3 jumping/plyometric jumping exercises
RDL 3 sets of 8
- paired with hip flexor prehab and a few upper body pulling

My focus obviously is on my squat strength and back strength. I'm curious if people think this could be a correct path given my circumstance, or if there are some blatant changes I should make such as more comp lifts. The reason I don't have more in right now is because I'm just focused on strength and letting the lifts come back on their own first.

Patrick Haskell 06-24-2013 07:12 AM

Given that you had one of your hips surgically repaired recently, I'd strongly consider working in a decent amount of unilateral work to help limit the potential for developing bad habits due to compensation for weakness. I'm sure you've got a nice assortment of (p)rehabby work, too, but working at heavy loads can force you to compensate in ways that your doc, who thinks that heavy lifting is right out, isn't considering. Lunges/split squats can be loaded with a barbell enough to develop your max squat while helping strengthen the weak side of the imbalances that limit your max lifts. I also swear by SLDLs, but given your huge DL-BS ratio, I suspect this will be less helpful for you than it is for me. Still, it would work in lieu of one of the RDL sessions (and/or alongside them) to make sure there isn't too much of an imbalance there. and there's lots of single leg exercises that might fit-in as accessory work. The trick is figuring out which ones do the most for you, so you don't waste too much time and energy on the little stuff.

Matt Edwards 06-25-2013 03:03 PM

I have definitely been contemplating the unilateral work. During my 3 months where I was only allowed to lift up to 50#, I did almost exclusively unilateral work and got ok strong there (skater squats with 50# external for sets of 8 and half-kneeling single arm db press 50# for sets of 5). As of right now, my warm-up is almost exclusively unilateral with a couple PRI drills to reinforce it and a few of my jumps are unilateral based. I tested my single leg verts and they are only 1/2 an inch apart so I'm not too concerned yet. I think after another 1-2 months of hammering the bilateral work I will definitely go back to heavy rear-foot elevated split squats and the occasional walking lunge to keep some form of loaded locomotive pattern, those two seem to be my big-bang unilateral exercises.

Blake Barnes 06-26-2013 07:15 PM

It sounds like your strength is good and your rehab went (is going) well. I would definitely get a PT's perspective on volume and intensity.

Make sure your getting those hips really warmed up and loose before training whether that be doing those exercises you were given for rehab or just doing some other general hip mobility exercises to work that range of motion.

Also, I would take small jumps as you're warming up so your body gets better acclimated to the weight, especially in that bottom position. Be careful with those dynamic squats too because you don't want to drive hard out of the hole with a load that's going to irritate your injury.

Matt Edwards 07-05-2013 10:19 PM

Things are coming along nicely this past week. I'm back up to 85/100 in the comp lifts and just tied my back squat PR. Tendo clocked avg velocity at 0.31 m/s so I think I'll stay at that weight until I get it to 0.40 m/s before moving up. I'm thinking of getting my squat up another 10kg before really going after the comp lifts hard. The hip feels wonderful, the only time I even really notice it is if I leave my hip externally rotated for an extended period of time while laying down or sitting.

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