Big S, Little S, What Begins With S

The right shoulder has not been happy all weekend. It’s not super bad…just enough to be uncomfortable in certain positions, like overhead at various angles. It simply does not feel right, and that makes me unhappy and frustrated as it impacts my day-to-day life in big and small ways. The actual level of pain may be on the lower end of the scale, but even minor pain can be demoralizing.

As much as I don’t always admit every little ache and pain to my coach, I think I am smart enough to be honest when there is an issue that should be acknowledged. Michael gives me a hard time when I am not forthcoming about discomfort in a body part, but I think there is a difference between some minor discomforts and actual signals of pain, overuse and injury. That’s why I didn’t mention the right hip this morning until it made my final set of squats feel a little tougher; however, I did admit to the shoulder being sore all weekend. Michael then asked if I wanted to skip the overhead squats today, and I agreed. I really didn’t want to skip them, but sometimes you just need to be smart with what you do!

1. bottoms up kettlebell presses (in lieu of the overhead squats)

8kg x 10 each side

10kg x 4 each side while balancing on a bosu…just for fun

2a. front squats

45 lbs x 8, 95 x 8, 125 x 6, 145 x 8

The last set was a bit of a challenge. It felt like the bar was slipping off of my left shoulder, and I was likely also having trouble maintaining tightness in my upper back.

high bar squats

125 lbs x 8, 145 x 8, 165 x 8

It is always an odd feeling to do back squats right after front squats, and I feel as if I struggle more with pitching forward even at relatively easy weights like these. It also feels like my depth is super low. As I mentioned earlier, the last set here was a bit tough due to some discomfort in my right hip, both at the front and back/bottom. Nothing major…just annoyance.

2b. military press

45 lbs x 8, 55 x 8, 60 x 7, 60 x 5 + 1 push press

Although it really only matters to me, the weights recorded likely aren’t 100% accurate. I’m not sure which bar I was using for these today, so I don’t know if the bar weighed 43, 45 or 47 pounds. I’m going with 45 pounds, but it was probably the 43 pounder.

My third set was one rep better than the same weight last week, and that was the only reason why I even attempted that seventh rep. For the final set, Michael told me to do 5 strict reps, then as many push presses as I could manage. Obviously I didn’t get very many! He expressed some surprise at that. It’s disappointing and frustrating for me, but the right shoulder was burning something fierce.

incline bench press

60 lbs x 8, 65 x 8, 25 lb dumbbells x 9

Michael had me do the final set with dumbbells instead of the bar, thinking that would be easier on my shoulder. It was…the shoulder just felt weak and fatigued. The first set of incline actually felt the worst on the shoulder. The second set still presented with a sense of discomfort, even though it wasn’t as bad.

competition bench press

75 lbs x 10, 105 lbs x 8 or 9? using the slingshot

I wasn’t sure that Michael would let me do the regular bench portion of my ramp set, but he did. It didn’t feel quite as uncomfortable as the incline, but he still switched things up for the next set. He upped the weight and had me use the slingshot, since the shoulder seemed bothered more at the bottom range and the slingshot would help most off the chest. That set wasn’t horrible, but I wouldn’t say it was fantastic. The right elbow never did fully lock out on the final rep, and I can’t remember if it was 8 or 9 reps.

2a. TRX rows

2 easy sets of 12

2b. push ups

Michael had to step out before I did the push ups, so he has no idea how pathetic they were. He said I could do real push ups, and then use the slingshot. Ha ha! Oh that shoulder had other ideas! I got myself into position to begin. I began to lower myself to the point that the tip of my nose was touching the floor. My brain sent signals out to my arms to push my body back up, and that right shoulder said, “Not gonna happen!” So I collapsed on the floor. Does that even count as half a rep? A frustrated word escaped my lips. Push ups are not something I excel at, but I am completely capable of banging out at least 10 reps. <sigh> Michael wasn’t in the gym. I could have quit there, but I didn’t. Not quite. I put on the slingshot and did 10 reps that felt utterly ugly, but at least the shoulder held up. And held me up!

In my training journal, I let my frustration show:

right shoulder sucks! skipped overhead squats. burned on military. wimped out on push press. cried on incline bench. annoyed at bottom of competition bench. failed on pushups.



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