Had a pretty sore and tired lower back today. After doing a lot of squat and pull movements lately, I had planned on hitting the good morning this workout as well, but thought the better of it. Figured high box squats would give me some needed mercy. Took my 13″ box and placed the low pulling box I usually use for stiff-legged deadlifts underneath. Including a mat put lowermost to prevent gliding, the whole thing measured 43 cm, or roughly 17″. According to my friend this is about parallel for me (probably slightly above, I’m 184 cm/6 feet tall; see this link for some comparisons for shorter lifters).
From the beginning I could tell that this wasn’t going to go very well. The reps were slow and my back took every opportunity to remind me of its sore presence. What the heck. Being some 4 inches higher above sea level than when I recently did 105 kg/232 lbs I did off the 13″ (33 cm) box I though I would quite easily move some heavier iron my soreness notwithstanding. Wrong. What should have been an easy rep with 110 kg/243 lbs left me nailed to the box. Good thing I was doing my sitting in the rack. I think I was probably protecting my back and not allowing myself to lean forward sufficiently to get good drive off the box. Can’t wait to put things right next time.
Saw no need to punish the punished further. Cut the lower back out of the equation and did some rare sets of leg curls plus the normal ab stuff.
Unfortunately, the not to be mentioned shoulder was not to be forgotten that easily. Although the Sunday workout felt good, it had by Monday morning regressed considerably. Although nowhere as sore as it was a couple of weeks ago, this was nevertheless a big step in the wrong direction. I suspect I should not have done the Kraftwerk rear delt machine yesterday. The time had come to consult my girlfriend on the matter.
My girlfriend is, among so many other things, a licensed massage therapist. After doing a lot of test pressing (palpation) all over the place she pinpointed the problem to the front delt region. The place was jumpy as a frog on springs. Ouch!
This was a diagnosis I was only too happy to hear. Rotator cuff injuries have a tendency to make a comeback when you least expect it, and can be a pain to heal. Seems like I was wrong about this being a case of bursitis. According to Basic Clinical Massage Therapy (by James H. Clay and David M. Pounds) this is a common misdiagnosis:
Deltoid trigger points are often interpreted as bursitis (an inflammation of the bursa, the fluid filled sac that serves as a cushion underneath the muscles).
Indeed, the fact that it doesn’t hurt to move my arm up sideways or do L-flyes indicates that this is no rotator cuff problem. On the contrary, it hurts when I extend my arm straight backwards behind me or lift it straight up besides my head (i.e. when the front delt origo and insertio are the farthest from each other).
I got a light front delt massage, did some light stretching and applied ice directly on the spot (frozen in a styrofoam cup). If it feels worse tomorrow it is probably, or so am I told, an inflammation. Otherwise it is probably just a trigger point caused by a defensive contraction or a sudden excessive stretch. If the latter it should respond favorably to continued massage and ice. Before going to bed in anticipation of tomorrow morning, I will pop a gram of vitamin C and apply a generous amount of IcePower on the shoulder. Good night, heal tight!
ME Squat/Deadlift, 29 September 2003
Box Squat, 17″:
3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
3 @ 70 kg/155 lbs
1 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
1 @ 90 kg/199 lbs
1 @ 100 kg/221 lbs
0 @ 110 kg/243 lbs
One-legged standing leg curls: 3x6 @ 80 kg/177 lbs
Ball crunch: 3x25 @ 10 kg/22 lbs
Total training time: 45 min