Thursday, December 29, 2011

...Post massage part two

...I've also realised that after the massage I did not feel the psoas tighten up immediately after getting off the table.  So that instability that causes the psoas to tighten has been reduced.  As I sit here typing this my hip pain is gone. However, I'm not doing cartwheels yet because Dr. Hauser said that the swelling from the treatment will last about two weeks, and the swelling will provide some stability.  So in order to  see if there is any real improvement I will have to wait another two weeks.  Again, time will tell.
Ok well that was interesting.  While Bobby was working on my hip he commented that "there is definitely a party going on in there". However, things did seem to release a little faster than normal, there were just more things needing release.  When he worked on my glute he commented that it released way faster than normal, probably because I'm now sleeping with my knee up rather than letting it fall to the side (which would open up my hip).  He also worked on my abs, and that was extremely painful, and I think it was related to the injury back in August.  ...I feel different, and kind of wrung out, but I think this was a good thing.

Again, time will tell.  

Almost a week now

It's been six days since I had my first treatment, and the hip is starting to feel much more normal, which is nice, but it also has me worried that nothing has changed.  It still feels... different, but I can tell that my psoas is still really tight.  However, a tight psoas doesn't really mean that much because it was tight before the treatment, and there's not much reason why it still shouldn't be tight.

I guess I'm concerned that all the cracking and clicking my hip has done means that whatever help the treatment provided as been has been undone or greatly lessened.  Dr. Hauser said I should not manipulate the hip, and to avoid doing anything that makes it click.  Well, you can't put your hip in a sling, and every crack and click has been the result of doing something exceedingly normal, like walking around a corner or putting on my pants.  I use my hip all the time, it's something I can't avoid.  I just hope progress is being made.

I am about to go see Bobby for some work on the psoas, I'm looking forward to getting some feedback from him, as well as the hope that my psoas won't tighten up immediately after getting up off the table.  This should be very interesting...

Will have the update later today.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Day three: Update

First of all a Merry Chrsitmas to everyone!  This has been a wonderful year for me, and I hope it has been for you as well.

The stiffness in my hip is pretty much gone, I'm now walking without any gimp.  It seems like dancing will be an option, so that's really, really good news.  I was told that I need to let the labrum heal (duh) so I can't let it click.  That clicking is the labrum tear opening and closing, so obviously if I keep doing that it won't be able to knit together and heal.

In order to prevent any clicking, I basically can't let leg do more than 20 degrees flexion.  First day it wasn't a problem, mostly because I was asleep for the whole day.  But yesterday I accidentally raised my leg up just a little too high and it made this really loud thunk.  It also happened again doing something else, can't remember what but it was very casual. 

The hip also popped twice, again just me walking around.  I think it might have to do with the swelling around the joint, I don't know.

But back to the clicking.  Today it clicked when I got out of bed, and the thing is I know it tends to do that so I figured out a way that doesn't click.  Yet I moved my knee just a little too high and "Thunk".  I then tried to put on my pajama pants, I raised my leg to step in to them and felt the pinch that precedes the click.  Stuck, I tried to slowly lower my leg so that it wouldn't click.  "Thunk".  Both of those were so loud that Kristin could hear them.

I'm nervous about undoing the healing that is trying to take place, but hopefully these four clicks don't do too much, and am able to keep this from happening again.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

First Prolotherapy session finished

Nervous as hell, I showed up to the doc's office at 8:45, 15 minutes ahead of time.  I had already taken my vicodin and xanax, and I was starting to feel a little woozy.  Still lucid, I filled out some sheets and then was taken to a room.  They had me gown up and applied a topical novacaine ointment to my hip/thigh area.  After waiting a while for the drugs to set in Dr. Hauser showed up.  I was handed two squeeze balls laid on my back, and he got to work.  I could feel some of the pricks of the needle, but just barely.  Then he had me lay on my side and started going at it from there.  I don't think the numbing agent had been applied there because I could definitely feel that more, but I just focus on something else, like those stress balls.

But then it was over.  It probably took like 2 minutes, max.  Apparently he gave me 60 injections, but I could have sworn it was like 15 at most.  My hip definitely felt some swelling, but it was discomfort and not pain.  They put a heat pack on me and let me just lay there for a while.  Eventually I got up and dressed.  I was pretty tired and I think the drugs were making me woozy, so shortly after Kristin started driving me home I passed out.  When we got home I laid down on the bed and then slept for six hours.

My hip definitely feels different, it feels swollen and like I'm stretching my glute or something.  There's not really any pain though, and the pain from the psoas being too tight doesn't seem to exist right now.  I don't know if it from the drugs or the swelling has allowed the muscle to relax.  I don't know.  All I know is that I now have to be very careful with what I do, to make sure I don't make my hip click.  If I do, I'm preventing my labrum from knitting together, and that is the last thing I want to do.  It will be tricky, all those little habits like crossing my legs will be tough to not do, but this is definitely worth it.

If I can beat all of this without surgery, I am going to be a very happy man.  The thing that I like most about this prolotherapy is that although I can't really exercise like squats or Pilates, I can walk around and be independent.  This is not like what I would experience if I had surgery, where I would be on crutches and my body would be recovering from the stress of putting my hip in traction.  Surgery really should be an option of last resort, and if this works I am going to be very, very, happy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's been such a long journey

If this really does work, and in six weeks time I'm pain free, or at least a heck of a lot better, I know there will be a part of me that will regret not getting this sooner.  But then I have to remind myself that I did try to get this done, over two years ago when I met with Dr. Wagner who was a supposed "expert".  And then I get angry.  The man just looks at an MRI and figures if he doesn't see it then it can't possibly be there.  I mean, who cares that my hip still clicks even though everything is in alignment.  Who cares that you can feel the joint move around.  Who cares that another doctor diagnosed a torn labrum without an MRI.  Because it certainly wasn't Dr. Wagner. He just looked at a picture and figured he couldn't do anything to help me, and I couldn't do anything, literally (except for swimming and yoga).  If he would actually look at the whole patient, then maybe I would already be fine.  Maybe I wouldn't have to worry about fixing my hip versus getting ready for our first dance at our wedding.

But then I think about it a little more, and if Dr. Wagner had treated the labrum, I wouldn't have discovered I have tight hip capsules, which in turn led me to massage, which seems to have healed my FAI.  If I had repaired the labrum without treating the FAI, that impingement would still be there, and would possibly tear the labrum again.  There are people out there who get surgery or PRP treatments and yet still have pain.  I think that's because even though the underlying issue (joint instability) is fixed the muscles have become so patternized that they will remain tight even though they don't need to be (being tight is all they know), and it is the tight muscle that is causing the pain.

So, in fact, I just have to accept that this is what the universe has presented to me, and I take solace in the fact that I have kept searching, learning about my hip and what might be the issues at hand.  I have not resigned myself to a life of pain and/or inactivity.  In life there is always a choice, and I choose to be better today then I was yesterday.  Whether that be stronger, faster, smarter, wiser, or some combination of all the above, I try to make the most out of each day because that's a day I'll never get back.

Now if you excuse me, I need to get back to taking on the day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Getting excited for the treatment

As painful as this is going to be, I am starting to get excited about this.  I feel even better about trying this before getting surgery, because I've realised that if this works I will have a healed up labrum.  Not a labrum that's been stitched together, or one that has had peices removed, but a healed labrum that is whole and working as it should be.  And as one article points out, when you have surgery to remove peices, you're probably not really helping with anything.

Also, I think my psoas an illium are so tight because of looseness in my hip.  That could be directly caused by my torn labrum, but perhaps not.  If not, then this prolotherapy should help with that instability and allow my muscles to relax.  This could be a really good thing!

Has my FAI gone away???

The fact that Dr. Hauser couldn't detect any impingement has really got me thinking, is it actually gone?  I really need to check with the results from the MRI I had a couple of months ago to see if my cam and pincer impingements are gone.  If this is the case, then I'm proof positive of the importance of mobility work.  I always wondered if the extra bone growth would go away on its own.  I mean, it's no longer needed because the femur is no longer banging into the hip socket, so it could go away.  On the other hand, it would seem odd that the extra bone would realize it's no longer needed and would go away.

...I will call the doctor's office later today and see if they could help me out on this one, since I don't have the images for myself.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Met with Dr. Hauser

The meeting was... interesting, to say the least.  He did a few, quick tests and felt that I really didn't have an impingement of the hip (this would kind of make sense since I've been working on my stretching my hip capsules for almost two years to the day now.), but he definitely felt some instability in the hip joint as well as that laberal tear.  This is almost completely opposite of what the PRP Dr Wager diagnosed like two years ago (no laberal tear, but FAI). Perhaps all the stretching and stuff has made the impingement a non-issue, that would definitely be ideal as well as the hope of getting all those massages. 

He told me that he felt he could help, and if I wanted to he could do a procedure in like 30 minutes.  ...He gave me the option of taking some painkillers before the procedure, as I will get poked by a needle 30+ times.  That is a ridiculous amount of needle, so I felt I would be best served by some vicodin.  However, I have a lot of work to do, and I can't really afford to take today off so instead I scheduled an appointemnt for the 23rd.

There is one thing that really, really bummed me out though, and that's the recovery.  One of the main reasons why I wanted to try prolotherapy before surgery was because of the recovery.  In the clip of Dr. Hauser getting an injection of stem cells (the stem cells come from the marrow in his own tibia) for treating his knee he talks about how he was running three days later.  Well, appearently with a labral tear I would have to be inactive to let the labrum knit together.  I can swim and walk,but anything that causes my hip to snap would be bad (so no more than 20 degree movement), and I wouldn't be able to do any external rotation as well.  ...That last part may mean I might have to hold off on dance lessons (have been learning how to dance with Kristin in preperation for our wedding). 

It's that last part that kills me.  I've really been enjoying dancing with Kristin, and that I would have to hold off on dancing for like eight weeks is sad news.  The recovery time for prolo is almost the same as surgery, so it makes the idea of prolo less appealing.  However, I know that surgery is not always the answer, in various forums there are people who are months post-op and are still expereincing pain just walking.

So I think I've decided to try at least one prolo treatment, but I swear I'm not as near as excited about this as I was when I thought I could immediately get back into squatting and stuff.

I will keep posting about this, as well as some other things.  I apologize for the lack of posts, but since I've become more inactive there hasn't been too much to write about.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy belated Thanksgiving

Went back home to dallas for the holidays, and I couldn't play tag with my neices and nephews because I couldn't run without pain.

I cannot wait for this pain to end.

I meet with the prolotherapist on the 12th, here's to hoping that he will actually be able to help me out.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Another possible diagnosis, and possible PRP treatment

So I've kept researching what could be causing this pain, and there is a very similar injury to Athletic pubalgia (aka sports hernia), and that is an injury to the pubic symphysis.  The pubic symphysis is a cartilige joint, and it has some ligaments keeping it in place, and according to wikipedia:

Two such ligaments are the superior and inferior, these being the ligaments that provide the most stability... The strong and thicker superior ligament is reinforced by the tendons of the rectus abdominis... and thigh adductors muscles.

So I'm thinking when I pulled my groin (aka thigh adductor) I might have aslo damaged the ligament up in there as well.  It definitely feels like a precise pain in the pubic area, so this is a possibility, although it could be "just" a sports hernia.  If it is damage to superior ligament in the pubic symphysis then prolotherapy should prove to be really helpful.  If it's a sports hernia then perhaps not so much.  Either way, I think Dr. Hauser will be able to figure out if it is either.

Even though I have been very inactive this past two weeks, when I saw my massage therapist my psoas was once again "insanely tight".  We talked about why this could be when I've rested for the past two weeks and the only conclusion we could come up with is that there must be some type of soft tissue damage that the psoas is compensating for.

I feel like I am so God Damn close to figuring out this hip pain once and for all that I'm experiencing all kinds of emotions.  I've been dealing with my hip for years now, and the idea that I could finally figure the underlying reason for pain is honestly an idea that I'm a little scared to believe.  I want to hope for this, but I've been burned already and it makes me hesitant.  But it makes sense that I have some type of soft tissue damage in my hip, and that this is why I still experience hip pain.

If there is damage to the Pubic symphysis I am not going to look forward to the prolotherapy treatment,  I've seen this video of the treatment and the idea of getting like 7 injections right above my junk is not my idea of a good time.  However, this should tell you how much I'm ready for this pain to be gone.

I'm hoping the symphysis is the only issue, but if there is something else going on I surely hope Dr. Hauser can figure it out. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Def seems to be a Sports hernia

[UPDATE:  turns out it wasn't a sports hernia, just a really really tight pectineus that was trying to protect the instability in my hip caused by the tear in the labrum]
Ok so the more I look up stuff on sports hernias the more I am convinced that I have one.  Sports hernias are different than regular hernias.  In fact, they are very different injuries.  A sports hernia is tissue (including muscle) ripped off the pubic bone.  While I have tried to be conservative with my activity, I still find myself pushing through the pain to get the exercise done.  I've been doing some crossfit, subbing out exercises that hurt for ones that don't (rowing instead of running, etc).  Thing is, seems like there are more and more exercises that are starting to hurt so I'm going to take some time off and just do swimming (if I can) or something while I figure this out. I did start to feel better when I rested it, so back to rest I go.

As weird as this sounds, I think this could be a blessing. To be honest I'm starting to think I may have had a sports hernia to begin with.  I figured out the pain in my hip was from too tight muscles, which caused the FAI and torn labrum.  So once I got my hips to loosen up, the pain abated to a level that I could easily handle doing anything (scale of 1 to 10, 2 at most).  Thing is, my psoas kept tightening up causing pain so I keep having to go to get a massage.  Both my massage therapist and I are a little confused as to wonder why my psoas keeps tightening up.  I had figured out one level of why I had hip pain (tight muscles) but couldn't figure out the underlying reason why certain muscles were tightening up so much and so quickly.  ...A sports hernia could be the reason, a little muscle tear around the pubic bone could definitely cause contraction/tightening in the psoas.  And when I competed in the Oly lift competition and C+J'd 220 (when I also pulled my groin) I might have exacerbated the problem, causing more damage.  So perhaps this is a good thing, perhaps I will have finally figured out the underlying cause for my hip pain and be able to address it and move forward.

I plan on seeing a prolotherapist here in Chicago (Dr. Hauser), one who seems to have a good reputation from the reviews I've found so far (he also has a lot of youtube clips out there).  He claims that prolotherapy can help with torn labrums and sports hernias, and his website talking about why it works seems legit, so I think I'll give it a go, although I'm skeptical.  If that doesn't work, then I will probably have to have surgery.  It's damage to soft tissue, so as far as I understand it that type of injury doesn't repair itself.  I just may need an outpatient procedure where they get me with one or two staples and I'll be 100% in like a month.  Thing is, the staples have to be in the right place and so it will require a doctor that knows what he's doing, and I have yet to find a specialist.

One of the owners of crossfit rise had a sports hernia, and he elected not to have surgery, but it took him a year to recover.  So I'm really not sure what to do, although I don't really think I have the patience to wait it out for a year.

Really hope I can beat this thing.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Done with PT, Half Angie

Saw that at CFR they were doing a half Angie, witch is 50 pull ups, push ups, situps, and then squats. being bodyweight movements I figured it was a good idea to go for it.  And it worked out allright.  My endurance really has gone down the tubes, the pull ups and push ups took a really long time, I actually finished this WOD after everyone else.  That didn't really bother me, push ups are still a problem for me, but what did bother me was my mechanics in the squat.

This whole injury/rehab process really has brought attention to the asymetry in strength in my right and left legs.  I think the weakness in my right leg, namely my adductors, where what caused the injury.  In pilates, when I really focus on extending my right leg in certain movements, I can really feel how certain muscles want to take over but weaker muscles are starting to fight back and take on the work that they're supposed to.

Anyway, back to the squat.  Near the end when I was starting to fatigue I could really start to feel how wobbly my right knee is.  Actually, I think it is a lot wobblier now that it used to be because my groin is stronger and is now starting to fight instead of just not firing at all.  This problem in mysquat mechanic really could be the reason why my right hip has has so much pain.

I've spent so much time working on pushing knees out when squatting that I never thought the ability to keep my knees in to be an issue.  Now I know better.

It's been six weeks of PT, and I had my last session on Wednesday.  The therapist said that my groin is now much stronger, and all the exercises I did really did get easier as the weeks went by, but I should still keep up with the pilates.  This I already know, it's funny I could lift 220 pounds over my head but I can't go through a pilates class without taking like 45 breaks, and they're only using bodyweight.  All this work on power has left me with little work on endurance.

I still can't run without pain, although this pain seems to be more where my psoas is than the groin.  Still working on it, not really sure what to do.  A lot of things kind of hurt, but only a few things really hurt, if that makes sense.  I do a lot of self massage with the lacrosse ball, and that seems to help with the referral pain.  The fact that it is referral pain tells me that this is probably muscular and not a hernia.  Yay for silver linings.

Monday, October 17, 2011

MRI results

Ok well had the MRI and it shows some thickening (a sighn of inflamation) of one of the tendons in my right hip.  This does not disprove the idea that I have a hernia, but the doc thougth that the inflamation from having that tendon snap over other muscles and bone.  The doc described it as rubbing sandpaper on the tendon, so it's inflamed and probably why it hurts.

I have mixed feelings about this, it sounds a lot like the situation back in July '09 where Dr. Craddock said nothing should be clicking because all the muscles are in correct alignment.  If everything is in the right place, then the muscle shouldn't snap over anything because there's a clear path, if that makes sense.  Yet, there was still clicking, and this is what led me down the path of figuring out I have FAI and a torn labrum in my right hip.  ...I'm left a little puzzled, not sure what exactly to do.  This ortho here perscribed some PT, so I'm thinking about doing that and seeing how that works.  The pysical therapy on my groin is getting better, but it is still showing signs of weakness on the right side.  I need to fix this asymetry, I feel like it might be a source for all of my problems.

....The MRI still does not rule out a hernia, but it seems to be getting better (it's tough to tell because that air force wod really set me back) so if it is in fact getting better then it's def not a hernia.  I'm seeing Bobby this Thursday so we'll see if that will help with the recovery process as well.

Friday, October 14, 2011

injury mystery deepens

Ok so it's been like a month of rehabing the groin and despite that setback last week I'd say the actual hip adductor is 75% back.  However, there is still this hip pain that's right where the psoas is.  It doesn't hurt to do a sit up, but it does hurt to hold me feet a few inches above ground, or to hold a plank.

Saw the Doc again, and there are a couple things it could be, all of which are hard to tell because of the location of the pain.  It could be a sports hernia, it could be a ligament sprain, or maybe a muscle sprain.  To figure this out, I'm getting an MRI on Monday.  Yay.  I figure it's worth the $30 to add another piece to the puzzle (yay for gov benefits).

Really hope it's not a sports hernia, but even if it is it beats not knowing.

I've been doing some light lifting to shake the rust off, and boy is there some rust. Good news is that afterwards I did not feel like I was worse off than before, and that was my main goal.  ...I see that I'm now doing a butt wink when I squat, I think I've lost some of the flexibility, and also my body just might not remember how it's done.

I have not been exercising like I'm used to, and I feel lazy.  I have to stay active, and though I'm doing PT and pilates for a total of 5 times a week, it's just not enough, I need to go to crossfit or something.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Three steps forward...

So everything was going well and I decided to push my body a little harder on Monday, where I did the Airforce Wod for the first time.  I figured I would scale the weight and see how it went.  Turns out that was a bad idea.  I didn't feel anything during, but afterwards my hip area was SORE!  This worried me in that I thought maybe I do have a hernia.  Things were suddenly worse, I couldn't do movements that I could do last week without pain. 

I have been doing pilates three times a week, and while that's helped me work on my abs I am also finding out how weak all of my stabilizers are.  In physical therapy I'm finding a pretty big asymmetry in strength, my right side being my weaker side.  Perhaps this asymmetry is what is causing my hip pain.   Regardless, pilates seems to be exactly what I need to work on to fix this.

Thankfully I was able to see my massage therapist again, and it seems my psoas was rock hard, again.  Bobby spent about 45 min just working that one muscle and the pain I felt from the pressure felt a lot like the pain I experienced when trying to keep a hollow body or hold a plank position.  So I don't think I have a hernia, but I do think I've done something to my psoas, maybe a strain? I don't know.  All I know is that I feel better after the massage, but I'm still in quite a bit of pain.  I am going to try to do a lot of self-massage and see how that works. 

...Again apologies for not having a lot of posts lately, but I should have some good links posted tomorrow.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Rehab is going well

So I've Oly lifted twice this week, went light and I walked away without pain, which was the main goal.  This is taking a lot of patience, but I'm going to physical therapy twice a week and pilates three times a week, plus some crossfit.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm overtraingin right now, even though I'm resting the groin. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I do Therapy, pilates, and then crossfit. that's three a day, and sometimes twice a week.



When I tried jerking for the first time on Wednesday, the body took over and I did a split jerk.  My groin immediately told me that was not a good idea.  The pain didn't linger or anything, but it definitely wasn't ready for a split jerk.

In pilates, I'm finding I can do more and more, like there were exercises I couldn't do last week that I could do this week.  As long as I keep making progress then I'm doing the right thing.

It's odd, during the week where I rested the most I saw significant improvements in my physique.  Perhaps I was overtraining, but I was only lifting three times a week, and no cardio to speak of.  For whatever reason, it's pretty cool that the week I don't do anything I seem to lose fat and gain definition.  However, I think if I were to continue the path of sloth I would stop seeing results ;)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Articles about diet

So since working out is kind of touch and go right now with the groin, nothing has proven to be note-worthy.  I'm def getting stronger and better, I can power clean light weight now, and pretty much everything but squatting and running.  The pain in the groin is pretty much gone, but I still hurt in the ab from time to time.  Been doing a lot of self massage and I think it's been beneficial.  Anyhow, because there hasn't been too much to report, I've been accumulating interesting links and thought I could post them every week or so. So without further ado:

Here's an interview with Dr. Davis explaining the evils of wheat, why it makes you fat and why it's addictive.

Here's a study showing extreme endurance sports isn't healthy for the heart (do weights instead!)


A Ketosis diet is essential for some kids.

Gluten can cause depression.

And for balance, an article that thinks Paleo diet is bunk.

Paleo diet is EXPENSIVE!!!!

I find when arguing with people about the evils of wheat it's better to have studies and facts, and I hope to provide it here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Post Pilates report

So I did pilates with the reformer, and whenever I felt like I was about to hurt myself I limited the range of motion.  I was still able to do everything, but the nice thing about the reformer is that it can be used to make things easier or harder, and with my groin I made everything easier.  The result, I walked away without feeling any pain, like I didn't make things worse.  Woot :)

...I also think I've figured out why it seems like I might have a sports hernia.  After Pilates I felt some discomfort, but it def wasn't in the groin area, more like the psoas but a bit lower.  I felt around for knots and sure enough there are some knots that are as hard as pebbles in my lower ab, right side (side of the groin injury).  I do think these are knots and not indications of a hernia because they don't protrude out at all, but are only felt when you press on them.  I tried applying some pressure and sure enough I felt that same pain that I feel when I do flutter kicks or that motion doc asked me to do.  After a little while the pain subsided, just like with a knot, so I think I've figured this out.  Having answers to questions like "what is wrong with me" is such a relief.

Monday, September 19, 2011

First day of PT

Ok so I saw a Dr and he confirms the pulled groin, also there is a possibility I have a sports hernia.  It is a small possibility, but because holding a hollow body causes pain in kind of the ab region there's a chance I've done some damage up there.  For now though we're treating it like just a pulled groin and seeing how that works.  He perscribed some PT and today was the first day.

Being the first day not a whole lot happened.  She tested out my range of motion, which was good, and then did some ultrasound and some massage.  She said things looked to be pretty good and so we should be able to start doing exercies soon.  Groin pulls are tricky because if you push too much too soon you'll pull them again.  Dealing with this will require a lot of patience from me.

...And I kind of feel like I'm already failing in that department given that when I tried to take a week off I worked out like two times, albeit I stopped in both sessions when I felt pain.  In addition, I'm supposed to go to the first private pilates lesson with Kristin and her sister.  I feel like this is pretty important, and I'll tell the instructor about it and if something hurts I just won't do it.  My main concern though is that everything will hurt and I'll just lay there, wasting money.

I also had to cancel a massage so that I can go to this pilates session, and after seeing the therapist and having her do some very shallow massage I think seeing Bobby may be just the thing I need to do.  I've called the studio and am on the list for the next canceled appointment.  The fact that I have such a flexible schedule should allow me to see him sometime this week, and I'm fine with that.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Injury report

So I workout out on Friday, it was death by 10m and then death by pull ups (got 16 and 12, btw).  I felt that was an ok workout on my hip.  Right after the massage it felt like it was cured because the pain had gone down so much but after a while I realised although it had gone down it had not gone away.  The pain does feel like it's the psoas area, but instead of around the iliac crest area it's closer to the groin area.  This has me wonder if it's actually a goin injury, and perhaps the psoas tightened up to cover for the groin.

Regardless, I took Saturday off as well as Sunday, and it felt better.  Today I decided to try working out, and if I felt it get worse I would stop.  Well, it got worse, and now I'm kicking myself for re-agrevating the injury.  So now that plan is to take the week off, and if I'm not feeling 100% after that I'll take even more time off

Sucks because I have the lifting competition in early November but I can't train through this pain, I can't even air-split jerk without my right hip feeling pain, and the pain makes me try to put all the weight on my lead/left foot.  I don't want to pick up bad habits here.  There will be other lifting competitions, but I have only one hip and I don't want this to become a chronic/nagging issue.

AARRRRGH I'm so frustrated now.  I think it's mostly for not taking the week off directly after the Oly meet when I injured it.  I thought it wasn't a big deal and really didn't seem to bother me so I figured it would recover on it's own.

Sigh, I'm ashamed I thought this because I'm experienced enough to know better.  I just hope I haven't made things worse for myeself, that's all.  Also thinking about seeing a doctor just to try to diagnose the problem, I think the worse part is not knowing what it is and having a recover time period.

Here's to a speedy recovery.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Massage = best thing ever

Massage therapist worked on my right psoas, found it to be ridiculously tight.  Then he went and found the muscle that was causing the psoas to act up.  The root cause seemed to be a stabilizer in my left hip, don't remember the name but I think it ended with an -itis, like faciatis.

Anyway, pain is pretty much completely gone and I feel like I could go lift heavy tomorrow.  However, I think I'm going to take Friday off as well.  It's nearing the end of the Fiscal year for the PTO, so it's getting to be crunch time.

Can't believe how effective massage is, def prevented this into becoming a nagging injury.

Injury


A girl rocking it at the Meet
So back at the Oly meet I hurt one of my core muscles, probably on the last lift.  It could be a groin, psoas, or oblique that is giving me trouble.  It has been slight so I figured I could train through it, sadly it seems to be getting worse.  Today I'm seeing the massage therapist and he'll give me a better idea of what's going on.  Hopefully he'll be able to help in the healing process.  This past week I was determined not to give up on the opportunity to workout with Kristin.  I've been wanting this for too long to give up on her, and I felt like I owed her a week of working out together since I went off on my own and stopped crossfitting and started Oly lifting.  Sadly, the pain seems to be getting worse so I need to back off and wait things out.

There's another Oly lift meet coming up in early November.  Angie has already posted the "new" training routine, which is the same as the last one.    For some reason that disappointed me.  I guess I was expecting something different, but I guess with Oly lifting you stick with what works, and this def works.

I feel bad in that I'm not lifting this week, that I missed oly class yesterday and I'll be taking at least the rest of the week off.  There's not that much time to train for this upcoming event and I don't like half-assing things.  When I tried both Oly lifting and crossfitting the crossfitting kept making me sore and made me feel like I wasn't able to really improve in Oly lifting until I gave up crossfit.

It's just a hard thing to balance: the desire to excel with Oly lifting and the joy from working out with the fiancee.  Tough decisions, tough decisions.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Week of Crossfit

Ok so now that I did the Oly competition I went back to Crossfit this week as a "break".  This past week I crossfitted only three times instead of my regular five since my body isn't used to it.  At all.  As I sit here my lats and arms are quite sore, mostly because we did pull ups on Friday and damn if my body isn't used to doing them anymore.  I'm looking forward to doing a whole five this upcoming week, all with Krisitn.

On Tuesday I saw the Chiropractor again, and she was amazed with how out of whack my body was.  So either it was crossfit or the competition that really through my body for a loop, probably a combo of both.  I have to say I'm really glad that I started seeing her, it really has changed things for the better, which can be hard to believe given how delicate her adjustments are.

Now that I'm weighing 190+, I'm going to try to hold on to these muscle gains.  This means I need to keep eating a ton of food, the nutrition guy at crossfit Rise said I can easily go through 6-8k calories a day.  I guess that would explain why I feel hungry (and eat) all that time.  It's funny but eating for me really is work.

Speaking of eating, I am trying to step up my nutrition, again.  It always seems like there's something to improve.  First I did the zone diet, then I switched to the paleo diet and that caused me to lose more fat but was also harder to keep strength so I added protein shakes. Then I made the move from corn fed beef to grass fed beef.  I honestly felt like there wasn't really much more I could do but I've learned that I should start eating fermented foods.

Fermented foods?  When I first heard about that I thought it mean spoiled foods, but that's not quite right.  A fermented food is sauerkraut, for example. Pretty much every culture has a fermented cabbage dish, and the reason is it's a great source for healthy bacteria.  Otherwise called probiotics.  Some may turn their nose at the idea of fermented foods, good thing I am up for trying anything to eat, like the time I was up in Quebec for my 30th bday.  Seems that probiotics shouldn't be taken lightly, they can help decrease anxiety and depression.

This nutrition stuff can really get complicated.  Hell, I just found out my sea salt isn't naturally made because it's white and what I need to look for is Trader Joe's Himalayan sea salt, which is pink.  Back to the probiotics, for this week I've been buying teas that are fermented, but this week I should get my hands on some really fresh whey and will make my own fermented beet drink to have at breakfast.

It's always something, I can always eat better, sleep more, and stretch more.  I'm still finding my limit on these.  Funny, I think it's easy to find your limit on working out.  I mean, I could work out more, and I am going to this upcoming week, but if I do that it means I have to do even more work on recovery.

Speaking of working out more, I am now incorporating Pilates into my weekly routine, so that means I'll be doing two-a-days, at least on Tuesday and Thursday.  I'm pretty excited about this because I've always had issues keeping a hollow body on gymnastic movements.  I arch my back and my ribcage pops out all the freakin' time.  This is because I don't have great control over my abs, I still don't have a great neurological connection to them.  Pilates' work on the core/abs will help with this.  There is a chance I'll be doing this on a reformer with Kristin and her sister, so that will be even better.

This upcoming week I could see a lot of different things happen, it should be interesting.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oly Competition: Epilogue

My Badge
I had a great time at the competition, hard to believe it's over.  I've competed in three or four crossfit competitions, and I have to say this one was a lot different, and all was pretty much in a good way.  First, I knew exactly what to train for.  This allowed a focus and a specialization that was pretty awesome.  Crossfit competitions, being what Crossfit is, is all about testing your weaknesses on an off day.  You don't know what's coming so you have to train for everything, but even if you train for everything you can think of, the competition may come up with something you've never seen before.  This is exciting, but it tends to make it all about pure athleticism rather than skill.  At least, that is my own take on it.  Now there's nothing wrong with that, it's just that I'm a person that likes a test of skill.

...That's probably why I prefer Oly lifting to Power lifting, because the Olympic Lifts are about coordination and technique in addition to strength, where power lifting is more about sheer strength.  I liked the fact that I knew exactly what to expect, and that this competition would catch me when I'm peaking.  It's testing me when I'm at my best, rather then testing me on an average day.  Two different goals, but I prefer the former, but that's just my humble opinion.

Guys warming up
Secondly, these competitions are different than crossfit competitions in that all eyes are on you.  Instead of working out side by side other competitions, it's just you, on the platform, with three judges and that light box behind you.  It's a pretty awesome feeling.  I love performing in front of people, whether is singing or dancing solo in front of thousands of people at SMU's sing song contest or playing the upright bass in Orchestra, I enjoy the rush of all the attention.  You don't have to worry about what others are doing around you. You just approach the bar, lift, and then turn around and see if the judges decided whether it was a good lift or not.
 
A guy in his 40s who is way strong
And third, the sport just places so much more emphasis on technique than just gutting it out and letting slop happen.  I've always been big on perfect technique, quite the opposite of the stopwatch whore who will do anything for a faster time.  And lo and behold here in the Oly world technique is something you want to have all the time, since in the competition you only lift six times, with at least 2 minutes in between lifts.

Oh, and one more thing, Oly competitions have weight classes.  To me, that's huge.  Although, Olympic Lifting, like crossfit, favor the shorter competitor, at least the guy that weighs 60 kilos isn't competing with the guy who weighs 120 kilos.  At least not directly (the lifter that lifts the most weight with respect to body weight wins an award. This also favors the smaller, lighter guy).

The Platform, made of Japanese hardwood
...There were 12 lifters in my weight class (94 kg), by far the most popular weigh class.  I manages to lift more than one guy, the only guy who was taller than me.  So I got second to last, but I didn't do this competition to beat other people, I did this all for myself.  And I am pretty damn happy with myself.

Monday, August 29, 2011

and it's done

Too tired to do anything other then post this link, it was awesome:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

twittified

Recently become a lot more active on Twitter, and so I figured I should start enabling people to tweet my blog posts. (believe it or not I've had people link to some of my posts before, so I know there are some posts actually worthy of sharing.). I only have 25 followers right now, but now that I've decided that twitter Adam will be the crossfit side of Adam (meaning, most of my tweets will be xfit related.) I might actually get more. Still learning how to use this particular form of social media, #WhenIWasAKid we didn't have anything like it.

Lol.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The quiet before the storm.

This non force treatment thing is really working. In the past, whenever we did shoulder dislocates (also called something else, can't remember), I would have this sticking point in my right shoulder. Something was kind of binded up and I would hear a crunch. It wasn't painful, but I could tell something wasn't quite working right. After seeing Dr Mary for a bit, now when I do them there's nothing going on. It works perfectly. I've seen DOs, other chiropractors, plenty of massage therapists, and nothing has fixed this.

It's just so strange because even though I'm seeing results I still don't fully believe that it works. That's how much it feels like she's doing nothing, like they're just these slight nudges and that's it. However I really can tell a difference so I guess I need to just look at the results and believe in it.

Yesterday we just did Snatches up to our starting weight and then Clean and jerks up to our starting weight. Looks like I'm going to open up with 68 kg for the snatch and 94 kg for the C+J. Obv these are modest weights but that's the point, you want to have something down before you move on to heavier weights that you might miss.

From what I understand you should open up a little under your PR, then for the second lift go slightly above your PR, and if you make that go ape shit for your third and final lift.

So I figure my progression is going to go something like this:
Snatch 68, 74, 76
C+J 94, 97, 100

These weights are far lighter then what I was hoping for three weeks ago, but sadly my strength and technique gains have kind of tapered off.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Snatch PR and frustration

Saturday was a mixed bag. On one hand I snatched 75 kg, a 4 kg pr which is awesome. But I simply could not jerk anything over 95, and that was frustrating. I could get 90 easy, 95 ok, and I tried 98 four different times, and each time I was soooooo close. But I simply couldn't stick it. It doesn't seem to be a technique thing, as Angie says everything looks good, and I asked Jerry over twitter if he saw anything I was doing wrong and he hasn't responded (I figure no response = nothing to offer).

I knew the jerk was going to be the limiting factor with my lift, but still it's frustrating not seeing any gains this week. To think I was actually expecting to be able to lift 110 kilos.

I've also learned that my weight class is the most populous one in the competition. There are guys in it who've placed in Nationals, so my best bet to get a medal is to win the crossfit division. I think there's only two other guys in that, so I'm guaranteed at least third right? Whatever the case, I'm really excited about this, saw the singlet I'll be competing in and it's starting to hit home that this is really happening!



Friday, August 19, 2011

Breaking PRs



Wednesday I cleaned 105 Kilos, so now I just need to get my jerk up to that and I think I'll be ablt to C+J 110 for the competition next week. ...I've also been seeing a chiropractor who does directional non-force technique, and at first it seems a lot like faith healing but I have to admit that after three sessions my knees and hip feel much, much better. This might actually be the treatment I need so that my psoas isn't making me feel pain all day everyday. ...Quite awesome.


Speaking of awesome, here are my cleans from Wednesday:





Friday, August 12, 2011

I was hesitant about doing Day 2 right after doing Day 1, but the prednasone's ability to suppress inflammation had me feeling fresh. Only two more weeks until the competition, so we're lowering the reps even more and are now starting to work on our one rep max, which is super fun.

Day 2:
Clean: 95, 100, 105, 103 kg
Snatch lift: up to 90? 95?
Snatch Pull: 95

I have really come a long way thanks to working on the Snatch lift and the Snatch pull. I still move my hips up first, but to a much lesser extent now and I'm much, much better at backing my back/shoulders. That first movement is really the hardest part, so the snatch lift and pull isolate that. I you're working on improving your snatch I highly recommend adding these two lifts to the mix.

After cleaning 100kg I then went for 105, which was too much. So I went for 103 and got it (new PR!). The Youtube clip can be found here. Honestly I'm a little worried that I'm just tearing down my body and not letting it rebuild itself thanks to the steroid, but it's a low dose and yesterday was my last day. I will say it did wonders for my sinus infection. I'm going to wait one more day and do day 3 on Sat, so the steroids will be completely out of my system and I can feel like I'm going to get stronger.

It's starting to sink in that I'm going to be competing soon. I had this vision that it would be a small meet, not many would show up, I'd get a medal because I'm the only one in my weight class, stuff like that. Talking to Brian, a Crossfit Rise owner, he said one crossfit box is fielding a team of 15 members. Damn. People are going to be taking this seriously, and I know I'll never be able to be a serious Oly lifter with my build unless I somehow pack on 50+ pounds, maybe more.

...I was going to go out and buy my own singlet for the event, but Brian said he's ordering singlets for the team, should be fun.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ending on a good note

Worked out on Tuesday, and was still under the weather. Here's a compilation of most of my lifts, workout was
Power Snatch 3x2 (got up to 70)
Jerk 3x2 (got up to 90)
Squat 3x3 (got up to 100)

had some failures with the snatch, but I figure it out. Felt weak for a bit there, but then I got to the Jerk. My last one was a thing of beauty, it was pretty much perfect. Enjoy:


Monday, August 8, 2011

Down with the sickness

Woke up on Saturday feeling off, and by the end of the day I felt really crappy. The next morning was awful, so off to the minute clinic and lo and behold I have a sinus infection. The Nurse gave me an antibiotic and then said, "Now don't freak out but I'm also perscribing you something else, they're steroids."

My first thought was 'Oh come on I already know catabolic steroids are used for anti-inflamatory purposes I know better'.

But my second reaction surprised me 'Aw man too bad it's not anabolic'.

And then there was the third thought, 'Wait is this really going to mess up my training? I don't even use Ibuprofen since inflamation is the first step in healing and repairing my muscles.'

Hopefully I'm on a low dose, and when I asked the nurse when I could start training again she said it would be whenever I feel up for it, so that's good to know. I just don't want to do something that will hurt my training, but now that I've been on it for a day I can tell you this stuff works, really opens me up and my sinuses feel much better.

Really do hate my allergies, they've been a pain in my side for a long, long time.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Killing it

Managed to break personal records on both the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk yesterday, 70 and 95 Kg, respectively (links are to the youtube clips). Two pretty big PRs for me. I'm really started to get this, and it's exciting. This experience is so different than crossfit, working on the same thing everyday and seeing improvements everyday, it's awesome.

Still don't miss running.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Oly work going well

Again, not much going on. Still training, still getting stronger, and still improving on technique. I really, really do wish I had a video of the first week I attended Crossfit Rise's Oly class. The change has been from night to day, amazing. People keep on commenting that I'm getting beefier. Combine that with the fauxhawk and the fact I got some sun over the weekend and my fiancee said I looked a little Jersey-shoreish. How you doin'?

Here's a compilation of last week's lifting, as you can see I'm getting pretty good at keeping the back straight, and my hips go up with the bar for the most part. Obviously still have a lot to work on, but I'm happy with the progress made so far:



Yesterday in the workout I cleaned 100kg twice, which is exciting because in early June that was a PR, and by 20#s no less.

My clean is really coming along nicely. I think with 95kg my first rep was perfect. Tight back, got to full extention, got the violent shrug, got under quickly and bounced out of the bottom of the squat without losing tension. It felt amazingly light. Hopefully I'll get more and more of those, and with heavier and heavier weight.

My limiter will be the Jerk, Cleaning 120kg will be great and all but if I can only jerk 95kg it won't be that much help. Will talk to Angie and see if there's something I can do.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Making gains

I know it's been a while since my last post, but not much has come up. I've just finished the strength building phase of my training, and am now making the transistion to developing power. In the mean time, I am making HUGE gains with technique. Angie said that she wished there was video of me when I first came to class so that she could compare it to what I'm looking like now. It's like day and night, I'm now keeping my back tightly packed and am keeping my chest up. This improvement in posture has helped eliminate my shoulder pain (it's now been over a week and I haven't felt a thing, pretty amazing!) I'm also now starting to squat like an Oly lifter, butt almost touching the ground, back tight. Angie says I need to start working on bouncing out of the bottom, but I worry about losing core tension and that affecting my knees and back.

At Oly lifting class on Wednesday Angie commented that I'll soon start lifting more weight then I ever thought possible. That has me really excited.

I haven't weighed myself in a while, have no idea if I'm still at 194 or have gained even more weight. I've noticed my legs are looking bigger, more powerful. I also feel that I look bigger, but that may also be an effect of having much, much better posture (shoulders back chest out).

It may seem blashomy for the Paleo diet, but I've been taking Myoplex right after my lifting sessions. If I don't I won't have anything to eat until like an hour after my workout and that is way too long.

Really, really interested in where this training takes me over the next month!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Body Transforming into an Oly Lifter

So it's only been like two weeks since starting the Olympic lifting training, and I'm already seeing a difference in my build. Going from crossfitting 5 days a week to lifting three has lead to a roughly ten pound increase already, and when I look in the mirror I feel like I'm starting to look a lot bulkier, heavier. According to my fiancee I now look like I'm going to rip open the sleeves of some of my polo shirts with my biceps. Obviously, no complaint here. The bulkier look goes against what I'm trying to look like, but I'm going to see this training through. It's only six more weeks until the meet, can't change myself that much. And, hopefully this increase in strength will stick around, I could really use it. Regardless, what I'm learning with technique will def stay with me.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I've been doing it all wrong.


I know that lifting with my legs and not with my back has been an issue for me. I know that my core strength hasn't been what it's needed to be in order to keep up with my leg strength. But the other day I saw this picture of myself, and it concerned me because of the horizontal striations in my back. I've been told that this is indicative of lifting with your back, and it's a bad thing (obviously) because you're using the weaker stability muscles around your spine instead of the larger muscles in your hips that are designed to move things.





When you lift properly, your lower back should develop into something that looks like a Christmas tree, as shown by this body builder pic. Since I've started this oly lifting program, the main focus for me has been to keep my back tight throughout. To be honest that's almost exclusively what I've been working on. Everything flows from keeping the core tight, and it's pretty much all I've been working on for the past two weeks. I have the other mechanics down, other than the shrug at the end of the snatch (it's still eluding me). I'm worried that I'll mess my back up, and I'm realizing how all of my shoulder problems probably stem from poor posture and that means I'm not using my back muscles. I sit in a chair all day for work, and I've always known I hunch over the keyboard, but it's been such a hard habit to break. Well, now I seem to have the motivation to break this habit, I find myself straightening out my posture all the time (have typed up this whole post with my shoulder blades squeezed).


I don't want a bad back, I want a healthy back, I want to be able to lift heavy weight with my legs, I want to be able to do this stuff when I'm in my 50's. You could say that picture really has scared me straight.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Gyms don't get the idea behind Subbing out exercises

Back in the day, when crossfit was done by pretty much only people who were already in really good shape, Glassman (I think) came up with the idea of subbing out 4 pull ups and 4 dips for every 1 muscle up. The idea behind this was to provide incentive to work on getting a muscle up, which was a pretty tricky movement at the time. This 4-for-1 model was designed for people who have no problem with dips or pull ups, the only thing that was stopping them from getting a muscle up was technique, not strength.

Sadly, the crossfit community seems to be unaware of this notion. Instead, they just see the 4 to 1 ratio for subbing in excercises you can for those that you can't. Can't do 10 pull ups? Then do 30 jumping pull ups! Can't do 50 double unders? Do 150 singles!!! Just blind substitution without really thinking about the context of the client will lead to frustration, pain, and possibly injury, like one girl who's first wod involved a large amount of jumping pull ups and it lead to a slap tear.

When the client is new to exercise don't sub out a 4:1, 3:1 or even a 2:1 without considering what effect it will have on the client. If they can't do a double under because singles are a challenge, just do a 1-1 substitution, or even assign half the number so you don't push them painfully past their limits. If the client can't do a double under but that's because they don't put in the time to practice and can do ten minutes of singles straight then sure make them do 5 singles for every double. My point is every client is unique, and thus the programming should be unique as well. But people see the 4 -1 muscle up sub and just figure it's a good idea to do it to everything and everyone. This really saddens me because trainers have the posibillity of hurting their clients or at least make them miserable. "Punish" those that are capable of handling it, help those that can't.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trying out Oly lifting

So it seems that I'm now in full on Oly lift mode. I've got my three workouts a week, and on off days I'm only really going to do stretching and mobility work, maybe do a light wod or two. ...It's odd not to workout 5 days a week, and I know I'm going to lose all that I've gained from lactic threshold training, but I'm hoping to see some real strength gains here, and that's more important than the other stuff in my mind, because after a week or so I'll be back into "crossfit" shape.

...I'm a little surprised at how much I feel like I need to defend myself in choosing to do something other than strict crossfit for two months. I guess because this is a crossfit blog is part of the reason, but to be honest I think it comes from knowing crossfitters who are extreme to the point of zealotry, and that doing anything other than crossfit is a mistake. What I do know, in my three years of doing this, is that strength is great for crossfit, and most crossfit programming will not take one to snatch 1.5 bodyweight, or clean and jerk 2 times body weight (especially if you started out really weak like me). Another reason, if I'm perfectly honest with myself, is that I'm a little bored with crossfit workouts, and I think this will help shake things up. For the first time in a while, I'm really excited about working out. This training program is all fresh and new to me, and a little scary as well.

I watch a vid of myself snatching something like 55kg three times the other day, and while knowing how difficult it is for me, the weight looks very unintimidating. There are those, especially in my weight class, who are working out with much, much heavier weight. It can be a bit of a downer knowing how weak I'm going to be when compared to the competition, but I really do try to focus on the fact that I'm doing this for me, not to win, but for me to try to work on the Oly lifts for two months and come out of it with a much stronger base both in the physical sense and in the knowledge sense.

I want to keep trying new things, and this Oly lift compeition feels right for me.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Done with Swimming, on to Oly lifting

So Wednesday was the last day of swim class (though I didn't know it at first). We ended with a time trial of 100m, and I was a shade under 1:20. The first time I did it about six weeks ago it was 1:21, so there is some improvement. I should note that my back was very sore from doing 100 pull ups on Monday (did Holbrook, something like 23:31) followed by max number of pull ups on Tuesday (a paltry 20, my hands were all kinds of screaming at me). I don't like making excuses but I feel like it should be put on the record.

My first 50m was all kinds of awesome. My lane is next to the fastest swimmer, and for that first half I was actually ahead of her. The instructor said I did the first half in 35s, so on route for a 1:10 time. However I started breathing every stroke instead of every four strokes, and finding that moto to keep pushing was a little tough (it was hard to muster the popeye theme song that day).

But those first 50m were awesome. ...There are times when I'm running, and suddenly I'm able to kick it up a notch. I start to really, really move. Everything feels balanced, and it's easy. All I focus on is how awesome it feels to move quickly, to feel the wind blowing through my hair (back when I was sporting longer hair). I can usually keep it up for until I have to change direction, and usually it's near the second half of a run so it's not like I'm all fresh. Anyway, it just feels... right. It feels like fun, it feels carefree, like a game of tag, it definitely does not feel like work.

And that's how those first 50 meters felt. I wasn't flailing/drowning, I had learned enough technique so that I was pulling myself through the water, wasn't crossing the midline, kept the neck loose, and was kicking kind of hard. I was a torpedo, and feeling the water flow past me was awesome. Every time I brought my head to the side to breathe I saw the wake I was creating, and it made me feel powerful, made me feel fast. I was breathing every fourth stroke, but I didn't feel like I was forcing anything.

Obviously, things changed during the last 25m. My muscles were gassed and I was having a hard time pulling myself through the water instead of paddling, if that makes any sense. I was trying to figure out what to do to regain focus, but obviously that meant I really wasn't focused, and it showed in my time.

Coincidentially, today was the first day in training for the Oly weightlifting meet Crossfit Rise is hosting eight weeks from now. Our Oly coach Angie has set up three workouts to do a week for the next four weeks. They'll work on building strength. Then the following four weeks will be devoted to working on power, so we'll be lowering the volume and raising the weight. So it looks like I'm trading in my speedo for a singlet.

The only issue I have with this is that it will cut into my crossfit workouts. Honestly I don't care about not crossfitting (I could be wrong on this), but I don't want to miss crossfitting with Kristin, especially just when we started crossfitting together. Working out with her is awesome, and I don't really want to lose that right now. We will see what happens, but right now it's an issue I'm having trouble resolving.

Moving on, it's nice to train like this for a competition. It's hard to train for a crossfit competition because you need to work on so many different things. But for an Oly lift meet, you know exactly what to expect and thus can be much, much more focues on training. Like Angie's plan will have us peaking on our 1 rep max the day of the event. That is some pretty awesome stuff right there. I've never felt this way in training for a crossfit competition becuase we're always working on strength and speed and double unders and wall balls and lactic threshold and whatever else there is. I also really like the focus on technique and quality over quantity. This is an enviroment where it's ok to let go of the bar when lifting in sets of 4 reps, where you take your time and reset for each lift, trying to make it perfect. It's so my style it's not even funny. Now if I can only figure out how to balance this with crossfitting with Kristin I'll be a really happy man.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The pain is gone

Ok, so for the past 5-6 months I've been dealing with shoulder pain. Come to find out, it's tight scalenes that have been pulling on my shoulder. Meeting Bobby my massage therapist, we figured out I was tricep dominant and that was causing the tightening up of the scalenes. Well even with that knowledge I would still end up with shoudler pain. Even with the stretching and massaging the collar bone area, I would still have either a lot of discomfort or just straight out pain in my shoulder. I knew one cause was sleepling on my side. By resting on my shoulder, I would end up throwing all the muscles out of whack. So I would try and sleep on my back, but I would still find myself waking up on my side, and everything Bobby had done had been undone.

I finally figured out that if I placed a pillow under my knees that would keep me from rolling over in my sleep, so that would prevent a lot of the pain. But even after seeing Bobby, I would still have some pain. I stretched and stretched, but finally I figured out how to self massage with a tennis ball on my neck (hint, use a doorway). I've found a couple of knots, worked on them (soooo painful) and for the first time in a long, long time I can say that I'm shoulder pain free. It's been this way for a while now, so I feel safe in posting about it. I'm super glad to have this figured out (for now) because that means I can now turn my attention to my hip pain, which seems to stem from a tight psoas. I've been stretching it and trying some self massage, but I don't think that in itself will cut it.

Regardless, I am so happy to have beaten this thing. My body keeps throwing obsticles at me, but I keep outsmarting it, wait, massage, and end up beating it. Crossfit really can lead to injury if you're not putting in any effort into mobility and recovery, and for me it's been a long, long road, but one that I'm glad to go down. It makes my accomplishments feel that much more significant.

She said Yes!!

So a while go I proposed to my girlfriend and she said yes! Obviously, this is awesome. However, she upped the ante and said she wanted to start crossfitting, despite her experience with it three years ago. She went and attended the ramp on sessions, graduated, and now we are crossfitting together!

The other day she said she may have caught the crossfit bug, and today she said she was excited to go to crossfit! Crossfitting with my fiancee has been better then I could possibly hope for. I used to occasionally feel like crossfit was my mistress, this love of mine that took time away from time with my gf. I would see all the other couples in CFOT working out together, and I was always a little jealous that they shared such great experiences together. But now, now I get both!

I enjoy crossfit, but it is so much more enjoyable when you do it with some one you love.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Clean and Jerk in Oly class

My hammies were still not quite right from Murph, but I managed a 90kg clean and jerk. That's about 198#, I then tried 208 #, went for a proper clean (not a power clean), and had to really force my way up the squat. That, in turn, gassed out my legs for the drive in the clean. Had a very half-assed attempt, and bailed.

The next step is to try to learn how to bounce out of the bottom of the squat.

In late August Crossfit Rise is going to host a Mid-American Weightlifting Championship & Roger DeGarmo Memorial meet. This is a sanctioned USA Weightlifting meet, and their oly lifting coach has a program for us leading up to the meet. This is kind of a dream come true for me right now, I get to Oly lift while still being in a crossfit gym.

There is only one thing that would keep me from doing the training for the meet instead of the crossfit WODs, but I'll talk about that tomorrow.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Murph again

So to celebrate the summer solstice Crossfit Rise had Murph this morning followed by a BBQ. This was a lot of people's first time doing Murph, so I felt like an old salt having done it first three years ago (about 68 min without a vest), then a few months later (65:29 without vest), then two years ago (69:51 without vest), and later that year (80:23 with vest), and I did it on First Friday at CFOT a couple of months ago (can't find the time, but I think it was a little over an hour, with vest)

So this was my sixth time doing Murph, and I was definitely the last person to finish again. I have the time as 57:30, but I think that's wrong (they turned off the clock before I finished, ugh) Obviously if that was my time that's a nice PR, but there is also the thought that I was something like 72:XX. Perhaps I should work on a sub 45 Murph sans vest. I'm not sure, but I guess that's the way I should go.

It can be humbling to see people do Murph for the first time ever and get it done in 45 minutes, while you've been working on it for over three years and still do it in 1.5 times as long.

Push ups are definitely my weakness, but given what Bobby told me about my triceps being all kinds of locked up, perhaps I can start seeing some improvement. I did do pretty much every pull up and squat set unbroken, my shoulders were just shot when it came to the push-ups.

So here's to the seventh Murph, may it be under an hour!

Friday, June 24, 2011

feeling worn down, breakthroughs with technique, and having dreams

After seeing Bobby, I've been sleeping on my back every night so as to avoid effing up my shoulders and neck, yet I still find myself with tension and pain in those areas. Lately we've been doing a lot of dips, push ups, and overhead work. Perhaps I'm biting off more than I can press, and it's causing all kinds of problems with my shoulder. This Tuesday I took a day off, as well as today, and that is really uncharacteristic of me. I just feel, beat up. My hip is really starting to hurt, and my right knee is also starting to hurt. I just feel really tight, and all the foam rolling in the world doesn't seem to be doing much right now.

On a more positive note, I made a mental breakthrough with swimming. I've come to realize that I should be anchoring my hand into the water, and pulling myself around it. This is much like a rock climber pulling himself up. I think that really changed my technique of my arm placement, and I noticed an immediate improvement. This is good, as I'm still very, very inefficient in the water. ...I am so glad I am doing this, as I really think this zero impact work is helping me with my shoulder stregnth.

I'm also making improvements on Banded HSPUs. I'm now using only a step up from floss, so I'm very excited. I am trying so hard to keep a hollow body when I'm doing this, but so far it is still really a challenge. Keeping a hollow body is my greatest weakness, and I try to work on it with every single squat, pull up, push up, push press, anything. I'm doing 30-40 GHD situps a day now after every workout, all in the hope that I get better at keeping my core tight and improve the control over my body. I am trying to do HSPU's like Carl Paoli recommends, and they are tough as all get out. I guess I simply must keep doing them, I've already progressed fairly quickly from a super thick and short band to almost nothing, so I bet I'll be able to do a HSPU by the end of the year. *crosses fingers*

I'm also showing improvement with my Oly lifts. I am doing a better job of tightening up all of my back, and this is forcing my torso to rise up correctly on the first pull (aka my butt doesn't shoot up early). Having a time to work on these lifts every week without the crossfit intensity is great, working only on heavy triples at most is awesome, I love the focus on such a specific goal. If I ever move away from crossfit, I will probably end up as an Oly lifter.

I have a horrible physique for it, being tall and lanky, but it's not something I would do because I expect to hold records. It's something that I simply love doing. The lifts are so technically complicated that it keeps my kinesthetic awareness part of my brain entertained, if that makes sense. They are skills, and I can really appreciate that. ...I have a goal of snatching 90kg by the end of the year, and I feel at this rate I might actually get there.

I know I've talked before on this blog about my motivations for crossfitting, the main one being vanity. I wanted to look like a spartan, and when I learned they did crossfit then I figured that's what I would do as well. It's odd, when I think back and try to remember life goals I've had the only one I can remember is to have a great looking body. Not to be a fireman or President, but to have a six-pack. I know it sounds vain, and sometimes I wonder if I have something like an Adonis Complex, but I really don't think so. There are a couple reasons why I think this has always been a goal of mine, but I'll talk about that in a later post. My main point here is that we all have dreams, and we can't let concern of how they will be perceived get in the way of pursuing them. A dream is a dream, there's really not too much on what we can do about it. If you want something, go for it. I started out always finishing each wod last by a long shot, and if I had any concern with how others thought of me then I really never would have started this wonderful journey, and I never would be in the awesome, awesome place that I am right now.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Identified issue with the shoulders

For a long, long time now I have experience a lot of pain in my shoulders, especially my left one. The left one has been very tricky, I tore my suprispinatus in my first week of crossfit, and after that I started working out while still having inflamation, which lead to chronic tendinitis. I then found out that some of the pain was a phantom pain coming from tight scalenes pinching on a nerve.

So then I worked on my scalenes, and it worked, up to a point. I would sleep on my side/shoulder, and boom it would go right back to the way it used to be: painful. I would do as much self-massage as possible, but it was still painful for most of the time.

Since I've moved to Chicagoland I've started seeing a new massage therapist, Bobby, who is fantastic. The man is not ok with leaving things half-assed, and when he had issues getting my scalenes on my left side releasing he thought to check out my rhomboids, which were fine, and then my triceps.

Bingo.

It took Bobby 2.5 hours to get all of my shoulder and arm muscles to release. Two and a half hours and the man never got a chance to work on anything other than my arms, pecs, and shoulders. Appearently, my triceps are all kinds of locked up and have been pulling my shoulder joint out of whack, and my neck muscles tightened up in response, thus causing the pain. This also might help explain why I have such issues with the pushup, if my triceps are locked up I can't push them very hard.

Almost seems like an episode of House, similar to my hip (which still hurts, damn psoas is still tight all the time). Bobby mentioned that to be tricep dominant is very rare, should've told him that seems to be the only way I do things. My arms felt like wet noodles afterwards. Because two weeks seems to be too long, I'm going to see Bobby next week, and hopefully my shoulders won't be back to the way they were before I saw Bobby today.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Starting to see improvements in my lifting

So last week we found our 3 rep max in the deadlift, and I got up to 140kg! That's 308.6 pounds, which is by far more than than I've ever done with correct technique. I'm not sure if it's my core getting stronger, but I do know my technique is getting better.

I know my technique is getting better because although my squat has actually gotten weaker, I'm starting to get PRs in the Oly lifts and the deadlift. Since coming to Crossfit Rise I've been re-learning the double knee bend and it has allowed me to get a huge jump in my clean (from 205# back in december to 221# the other day) as well as improved my deadlift. True, I was able to DL 365#s twice back in '09, but that was with the worst technique ever.

I think it's been very benefitial for me to see a new approach to crossfit here in Chicagoland. There have been times were a trainer tells me to change my technique (straighten my knees more, etc.) and I want to snarl back, "back off I know what I'm doing", but I get ahold of myself and I recognize I still have lots to learn. So I take notes, do what I'm told, and lo and behold I am seeing results.

Sometimes I think it's a good thing to get a different approach on things. Honestly I think everyone should go to another gym for one or two months. I think that'd be a good thing for a local crossfit community to do. I recognize people don't switch gyms because it's a family and three are also contracts to consider, but what if a group of boxes decided to make an exchange program availible? For two months a member of one gym could go to another gym, and visa versa. I know it's never going to happen, but I think it would be pretty cool.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Being weak is a choice

"The only way to hurt the body is to not use it."
~Jack LaLanne

Done with swim class, I'm leaving Good Shepard fitness center, and an elderly lady is coming in on her walker. I hold the door open for her and her family helping her, and another patron waiting turns to me and she says, "that'll be us one day".

Honestly, no, I don't think it will be me some day. I actually take care of myself, stay active, eat healthy, and work on strength (just cleaned 100.45kg, or 221 pounds for a new PR!). I am not going to let myself rely on some tool to help me get around, for once you lose it, it's sooo hard to get back. Just take a week off of working out and see what I mean.

But what bothers me is the acceptance that such dependence and decrepitude is our fate. It's becoming so commonplace in American Society that we're now just accepting it as a fact of life. This "fact" is all a myth.

There are many reasons why I work out, although my main goal has been based in vanity there are other motivations. I want to be on this Earth for a long time, I want to be here for my family and friends. I want to be here as long as possible to spend time with my fiancee. I don't ever want to be a burden, instead I want others to be able to depend on me.

...And it makes me mad that others seem to just let themselves whither away, it just seems so wrong.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Back in the pool

In addition to my crossfit rise membership, I also have a memebership with a fitness center (got a deal where my membership is $2/mo!) that has a pool among other things. For $70 I get like six weeks of swim training, so I decided to jump in on that. It's offered on Mondays and Wednesdays, and Monday was the first class (which I missed).

In Alexandria I was attending a class on Sundays (occasionally). It was lots of long swims and I felt like I was drowning half the time, not to mention out of breath.

This class was very different in feel. For one, I wasn't the worst swimmer. I was in the slow lane, but I shared it with a lady who couldn't do flip turns, so that made me feel better about myself. Secondly, on Wednesdays they do shorter distances, more like sprints. This meant I was never really out of breath. Like it was short on breath, but I never needed to take long breaks and felt pretty fresh after a few seconds.

...I also liked the fact that they end with a 100m sprint to see if you're getting faster. This was a really fun experience for me, it kind of brought me back to when I used to compete as a kid. The first 50m went fine, I was breathing every fourth stroke (I figured that was fast). When I got to the last 25m, however, I started to feel like I really needed to breathe so I took a breath every stroke for like three strokes. Then I realized how close I was to finishing and I also realized I could go a lot faster. I was focusing on technique so I figured a slower pace would be ok, but then I decided to just get to the end of the pool as fast as possible so kept my head down and moved my arms faster then ever and finnished at 1:17. For that last stretch I felt amazing, I felt like I was finally going fast enough that I was floating on top of the water, I felt powerful. Breathing was irrelevant, because I was going to finish this thing strong.

I'm pretty happy with this time, especially as a baseline. Not too pleased about losing mental focus and toughness, but I think that will come with more experience in the water.

I'm also really glad to be doing this, I think it will help build up my shoulder strength and help with the cardio, very excited to be doing this now, especially with the 100 swim at the end of each class.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New Massage Therapist

So now that I'm in Chicago, I have to start all over and find new things. You know, new hairstylist, new gym, new doctor, new bar, and also a massage therapist. Olga has done some amazing things, so whoever I found had big shoes to feel. I asked around at crossfit Rise, and one of the trainers, Kathy, recommended Bobby at Northwest Massage Studio. He used to work for the Detroit Lions, and Kathy swears by him so I figured it was worth a shot.

I was a little hesitant because I've never gotten a massage from a dude, but I figured his strength might come in handy.

The man does fantastic work. I booked a 1.5 hour massage, and he ended up taking 2.45 hours, without charging more. He worked on my hip, and commented that what I presented was "interesting". He found things in the Psoas, and really worked on it. He worked on my shoulders, and told me I was "going to feel a lot of pain." It wasn't anything I couldn't manage. I commented that I had a high pain tolerance, to which he responded, "yeah I can tell, most people would be levitating off the table right now."

Things changed, however, when he got to my hamstrings. Namely, my left hamstring. He said that the entire muscle fiber was contracted, and he could tell this wasn't something new, that it's been that way for a while. When he was working on it, I felt pain that I really didn't think was possible. There were a few times where I almost caved and asked him to lessen, but I managed to bite the bullet and afterwards when I stood up I felt very, very different. My left hammy just felt.... different. I could feel it, I guess. I also didn't have any pain in my hip, which is awesome of course.

So perhaps this previously unnoticed tight hamstring was a culprit in my hip pain? I'm sure the imbalance was throwing my pelvis out of wack, so perhaps this is yet another step towards actually being able to just sit still and not experience any kind of pain whatsoever. I also get a little mad that this was missed by Olga, but she has helped me so much I can't get too upset.

There is one more treatment I am going to try soon, and that's acupuncture. I really, really hopes it works, because every now and then I get tired of this pain.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Found a Chicago Home

Apologies for the long drought in posting. A lot has been going on here and it's taking some time to find any sort of rhythm, so my blogging has fallen by the wayside. So after a short while I decided to go with Crossfit Rise. It was either that or Crossfit Arlington Heights (the third nearest one is 30 min away, and I'm not going to take an hour out of my day just to drive to and from a gym), but I liked Rise's facilities more, plus the Oly class is pretty awesome, not to mention they were offering membership for only $115 a month. Take that and the fact that it was the closest gym to where I live, and boom there ya go. Brian commented earlier that I should check out his garage gym, but by the time he had posted that I had already signed the contract with rise. I do plan to check it out though, he was the lacrosse coach of friend of the family, is of military background, and may be starting a Crossfit Barrington. Will see how that goes.

Crossfit is super new, started this April, so it should be interesting to see what happens. It's taking some adjustment to this new place, they do things differently than in CFOT, neither really better or worse, just different. Also, I'm trying very, very hard to be respectful and not try to volunteer any training techniques or tips. I don't want to step on any toes and I don't feel like it's my place to just walk in to a gym and be like "try this bla bla bla".

Today they made a workout with me in mind. I asked the owner to keep including HSPU's since I want to work on them, and lo and behold:

5 Rounds
9 Squat cleans (135#)
7 HSPU (I did them with the second thickest band)

Did it in 19:23, pretty happy about my performance, the squat cleans were easy, but I missed a couple of times with getting into position for the HSPU. Also, my core is so weak it's not even funny, I can't keep a hollow body to save my life when after like the first HSPU. Obv, something to work on.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Crossfit total

Did the crossfit total for the first time, and it made me feel weak (of course)

Squat: 245
Press: 122
Deadlift: 295

for a measly 662. This is pretty sad, but since I've switched to paleo and started losing weight I've also been losing strength. Been trying to keep up the weight, to keep eating more protien, but it's such a challenge for me. I do find myself hungry (and thus eating) all the time though, so it's not like I'm starving myself. I've also stopped losing weight, been hovering around 186 for some time now. It's only about ten pounds lighter than what I weighed in January, but I feel like I really do have more muscle/less fat.

I just need to keep working on getting stronger, which means I need to come up with a game plan to do so.

success with hand stand push ups.

So I was back in DC for work, and while I was there I got to work out at CFOT again, and the wod included HSPUs. I used what I used to use, the thickest band, and that was waaay too easy, so in the middle of the wod I switched out the the next thickest. There's a huge drop in assistance, so I thought it would be difficult, but instead it was still doable, but it was more challenging.

I'm super excited about this. I think working on the complete range of motion is really starting to help my shoulder strength. Milestones like these are what keep me going, glad I'm still progressing.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

First gym to try out: Crossfit Rise

The past week I've been attending Crossfit Rise, and I have to say I'm impressed with the place. The owners are a married couple, with the wife (Jessica Schulz) having gone to crossfit nationals last year. It's brand new, they opened up in April, and it's the closest gym to where I'm living at being only a 15 min drive away. The facilities are top notch, 12k sq feet, oly platforms and a 30m grass track for sled work. One thing I really, really like about what they have to offer is they have an olympic lifing instructor come in every Wednesday and go over the lifts. This is awesome. She's not even a crossfitter, just a straight up NSCA certified oly instructor. I attended the class and we worked on the double knee bend for the clean. The double knee bend is the most effiecient way to lift weight, but because of its complexity we never really worked on it at CFOT.

Because they are so new they only have like 20 members. A large class for them is four people! This is nice in that I get a lot of personal attention (was called out for pressing out on a jerk during a met-con), but the downside is that they don't have much of a community yet. I know they will, the market is there, it's just going to take time. ...Another nice thing is I seem to be one of the more fit people in the group, I find myself having faster times and lifting heavier weights then anyone else, it can be nice to be a big fish in a small pond. The pressure of feeling like I HAVE to finnish first is a nice change, it really motivates me to do better and to push myself.

When asked about their programming, they said they don't have a strength bias per se, but tuesday and Thursdays are strength days, and they're able to figure out a plan just for me. Not exactly what I'm looking for, but I get the feeling there isn't a real big strength bias around these parts.

Because of the facilities, proximity, and mostly because of the Oly class, this is my current frontrunner for my new crossfit home.