I didn’t expect to have the greatest sleep last night, and I wasn’t disappointed. No, that’s not right. I was disappointed by the quality of my sleep, because I know the value of a good sleep. My low expectations, however, were entirely accurate. I knew I had to get up early this morning. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get 8 hours of sleep, because I wouldn’t be ready to go to bed as soon as I got home from work. I knew that I’d start out on my back, because keeping the shoulders happy is more important than sleeping on my side right now. I knew that I would likely wake up at least once or twice in the night. I knew I would eventually toss and turn, desperate to be on my side but uncomfortable once there. All these things came to pass, which made the alarm at 5:50 most annoying. But I got up. I don’t always train at 8:00 in the morning, but it is kind of nice to get the work done first thing.
I haven’t done any deadlifts for the past two weeks, not since the SI joint problem reared its’ ugly head. As much as I don’t like it when the main lifts are temporarily taken out of my training, I honestly didn’t mind in this case. When the low back pain started, bending over hurt. Simple tasks like putting on my pants, tying my shoes, bending over to pick something up, getting into seated/reclining position on the floor, putting on boots, lifting a 45 lb plate from its place on the rack to the bar…all of those tasks were difficult and painful. With how much discomfort there was with the simple act of bending and lifting, I knew that attempting deadlifts was not going to be a smart idea. Along with the reduction in general pain, I have slowly been noticing an increased ease of movement, especially over the past week. Those simple tasks that hurt last week do not hurt quite as much, if at all, this week. I can put that 45 lb plate on the bar without feeling pain. I move faster and more smoothly getting down on the floor or up from it. I can bend over to put on my shoes or pants without pain. Still, last night I was thinking about today’s training session and resigned myself to the fact that deadlifts would not be on the agenda again. In thinking about training today, somehow I knew that Michael would ask if my chiropractor had vetoed deadlifts along with the squats. My chiropractor did not mention deadlifts, so I told Michael that must mean they are okay. As long as the back feels okay. Happy was I to be allowed to do some form of deadlift today!
1a. sumo block pulls
45 lbs x 8, 135 x 9
135 x 2
155 x 7
175 x 0 + 8
175 x 0
The sumo block pulls started off feeling okay, but I soon ran into some uncomfortable feeling in my lower back. At first the discomfort was when I initiated the pull and as I would begin to lower the bar. Making sure my body was completely tight and that I took the slack out of the bar helped reduce the bother on the back, at least up until 175 pounds. The false start on the first set at 175 was due to feeling a fair bit of pressure in the low back as soon as I got myself into position and tight. Michael was ready to drop the weight, but I resisted and got the set done. On the final set, I set myself up twice and experienced the same uncomfortable low back pressure and decided that enough was enough. Pushing through a bit of discomfort is fine, but there is no need to push too far.
1b. braced single arm kettlebell row
12kg x 15, x 15, x 15
16kg x 12, x 12
All of these saw the kettlebell row closer towards my hip. The first three sets were kept under fairly constant tension.
1c. floor presses, keeping back flat
43 lbs x 10, 63 x 10, 83 x 8, 100 x 8, 110 x 6
For the most part, these were good and solid. I probably could have done another couple of reps on the final set. There was the odd rep with poor elbow positioning. Doing floor or bench presses without arching and leg drive is a bit more challenging, but it also makes me feel strong when the weight moves well despite the lack of advantages. It’s hard to keep that back flat, but it is even more difficult to get my shoulders into the best position without arching. I will be so glad when I can return to normal pressing again. Of course, that also depends on the low back. In the meantime and all the time, I need to be working my shoulder mobility.