Coming back from an injury

It’s been more than 12 months since my shoulder injury.  I’m now back to near lifetime strength levels, leaner and fueled to beat some lifetime bests later this year.  Here’s my story of recovery.

Some dates and history

In Mar 2015 I was at the top of my strength game at 47 years old, I was still the record holder for my age & weight category for the deadlift in England, UK (www.bdfpa.co.uk – a drug free powerlifting organisation).  Then I became injured, it wasn’t a singular event but a build up of shoulder niggles which culminated in pain in my left shoulder.  I couldn’t sleep on my left side, I couldn’t use that hand for any form of weight lifting I couldn’t even lift a mug of tea.

Rest brought some relief.  Daily stretching helped somewhat. The diagnosis was shoulder impingement/bursitis, likely brought on from excessive hours desk bound typing at a keyboard.  2 months went by and I started to train again but the pain returned immediately.  Finally a steroidal injection into the bursa brought immediate relief, which I told would last up to 12 weeks.  Luckily for me, the body began to heal itself, now that the bursa was no longer inflamed.

Light weights and cardio continued from September until the end of the year.

January and February saw a weights cycle with more volume and occasionally heavier weights.

Mid Mar 2016 saw me embark on an intermediate powerlifting cycle to last 12 weeks.

What did the training entail?

The intermediate cycle involved lifting 3 days per week with 2-3 steady state cardio sessions.

  • Day 1 – squat, bench & bent over row
  • Day 3 – squat, deadlift & overhead press
  • Day 5 – squat, bench & bent over row

Most work was done at the 5 rep range with some 8 reps and 3 reps each week.

Cardio was fitted in around these 3 days.

What was the outcome?

Time for some numbers:
Lifetime best lifts:

Squat 150kg, bench 125kg & deadlift 220kg

Start of cycle maximums:

Squat 135kg, bench 110kg & deadlift 180 kg – well down from lifetime bests.

I set myself these 12 week goals:
Squat 142.5kg, bench 117.5kg, deadlift 200kg

At yesterday’s max out session:
Squat 145kg, bench 117.5kg & deadlift 202.5kg

Conclusion

Overall very pleased and during training hit a pb2 (personal best for 2 repetitions) & pb5 (personal best for 5 repetitions) in the squat. Culminating in a 145×2. I missed a 147.5kg single – disappointing but without a definite competition lead-in I’ll take more from the pb5 and pb2 in training.

Squatting 3 days per week has been a revelation. Previously I had always squatted once per week and had very sore legs and glutes for 3 days after leg day. Now my legs do not get sore – choosing the correct weight and rep/set strategy is key.

I lost 1.5kg of body fat and weighed in at 82.5kg with approx 17% body fat. As I approach my 49th year I’m focusing on getting to a body fat level of 10-12% whilst maintaining my strength levels and improving my 5km running time.  My squat and deadlift lifetime bests can be improved upon but I think that I need to realise that my shoulders are more important than beating 125kg in the bench press.  The stretching and mobility work will continue daily.

I can help

Do you want help getting stronger &  leaner?  Are you coming back from injury and need some guidance? Or do you want to get into a great condition to handle life?

Then get in touch via my website and see Available services.