More Important Things

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NEARLY a month since my last post and of course there’s a fair bit to catch up on. I’m starting week two of a rehab program I put together with some input from Paul Carter and my coach, Joel McCaughan. Joel is flying to Victoria this week to compete in Pro Raw 7; one of the biggest annual events on the Australian Powerlifting calendar, now in its seventh year. He should hit a comfortable 800+ kilo total in the under 100s.

Before I get any further ahead of myself, let me share with you what I have learned this month about the Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine. To start, they come in at least three sizes; the largest available in WA is called the T3, or 75 centimetre (that would be the diameter of the interior of the machine, which is shaped like a giant donut), some are even donut coloured. But unlike donuts, they make loud noises, kinda like an 80s dot matrix printer amplified through a 3D loud speaker feeding directly into your head. The other thing MRI machines have in common with donuts is, sometimes they’re really fucking hot.

There are only two facilities in the state with a T3 MRI. You can call ahead and ask for an appointment to use the T3. You can be as specific as you like when making your booking – even refer to the machine by name. Regardless, on the day the technicians will first attempt to shove you into a smaller one, then when that doesn’t work (picture Mister Incredible stuck in the ejection chute, only head first), make you wait nearly half an hour while they ready the machine you specifically asked for when you made your appointment.

The images rendered showed several partial thickness tears through the rotator cuff tendons (supraspinatus and infraspinatus) and some bursitis. While surgery is not required, there’s very little I can do with my left arm right now so my program has some pretty novel stuff in it. For at least eight weeks there will be no Strongman events, deadlifting, rowing or pressing for me. But it’s all good. As I’ve blogged recently, this year has been a pretty good year. Now, all things considered, is the best time to be on the shelf. I had expected to have my arm in a sling for some of it, actually, so this is a better than expected outcome.

My rehab program looks like this:

MONDAY:
Supinated DB curls – 2 sets, 15 reps per set
Rotators – 2 sets, 15 reps per set
Leg extensions – 6 sets, 20 reps per set, 3 second hold per rep
SSB squats – 3-4 sets, 8-10 reps per set

WEDNESDAY:
Supinated DB curls – 2 sets, 15 reps per set
Rotators – 2 sets, 15 reps per set
Pinwheelz – 3 sets, 10 reps per set
Triceps pushdowns – 3 sets each arm, 15 reps per set
1-Arm stuff
Iso-lateral chest/back – 3 sets, 5-8 reps per set
Kroc rows – 3 sets, 5-8 reps per set
DB bench press – 3 sets, 5-8 reps per set

THURSDAY:
Supinated DB curls – 2 sets, 15 reps per set
Rotators – 2 sets, 15 reps per set
SSB Good mornings – 4 sets, 8-10 reps per set
45 Leg press – 4 sets, 8-10 reps per set

The dumbbell curls and rotators are performed at very very light weight and the pushdowns will probably stay lighter on the left so as not to aggravate anything. The safety squat bar is emasculating as it’s wrapped in pussy pads but it’s the only way I can squat et cetera without some amount of rotator cuff tendon activation. Good mornings I have not performed in years but I used to enjoy them, and worked up to sets with 200 kilos on the cambered bar back in 2012:

In other news, the WA Strongman state finals are this Sunday November 15th in Fremantle and I’m excited to see one of my trainees compete in the under 90 division. John Champion is actually on the Crossfit circuit, currently placing 6th in the top tier of competition for the state, I believe. And this coming weekend he’s going to claim a strongman title, I have no doubt.

I will post up my program so far, later in the week.