My low stakes saga continues

Yes, this is of interest to me only.

Compared to what others deal with on a daily basis, what I am dealing with is not much. But it does affect my quality of life: I used to love to walk distances and to walk errands. Now I dread unplanned walks anywhere.

Reason: piriformis pain, probably brought on from my back.

Currently, I am trying to figure out what sets it off and how I can mitigate it.

Factors: 1) weather changing from warm to cold.

2) exercise bicycle use (really)

3) arching while pressing; the “legs on the step stool” bench presses appear to work. I am now doing sets of 10 with lighter weights (134, 145, 150) but it isn’t as if I am preparing for competition. Once I get the motion down, maybe move up to sets of 5 with heavier weight.

4) seated shoulder presses; doing a “high incline” appears to help;

I think that I’ll have to bite the bullet and switch to swimming for my cardio; probably Tu, Th, Sat, and move my deadlifts (so far, light due to a too-tight belt injury) to Sunday. Given that swimming will start small, I’ll have time for a short walk afterward; I do think I need some short walks.

Anyway…wonder if it is past time to see if there is a pattern. I do remember the last time it got really bad, I was doing much more on the bike.

Workout the last couple of days:

Thursday: slept in due to a late ball game; did some PT before work. lunch: 30 minutes of cycling (bad idea?) and a LOT of PT

Friday: damn thing ached the rest of Thursday and most of Friday; it only felt good in the morning. (to and from work: ok, until the stairs) It did feel ok right after Friday’s workout:

Usual PT; added the IT band side move no. 6 as I already do most of the others for my piriformis and back.

pull ups: 40 singles on the 10 seconds, set of 12 (kind of sloppy last 3 reps), 6 wide, 5 chins.

push ups: 40, 35, 25 (two sissy, one feet elevated); pushed it a bit here.

bench (flat) 10 x 134, 10 x 145, 10 x 150 (last set was challenging)

4 sets of curls

3 sets of 10 x 103 high incline presses

More PT (shown)


Highlight: Bradley’s Baseball home season opened. I went to the game and stayed for 4:28 of it, before I gave up at the end of 10. Iowa won in the 11’th; the game drug on due to the pitchers throwing a LOT of pitches for each batter, the Iowa manager switching pitchers frequently, and a couple of reviews.

Yes, it was cold. Oh; Iowa ended up winning 9-8.

It was 49 F and there was a wind, so much of the crowd left in the 7’th or so.

Ironically, Bradley probably blew the game in the 2’nd where they scored 5 runs, 4 on this grand slam:

It that sounds strange, the Braves actually loaded the bases AFTER the grand slam, but stranded all 3. Still the 6-3 lead..then 6-4 held for a long time; but then Iowa took the lead in the top of the 9’th. The Braves tied it in the 9’th (great small ball from both teams) and again in the 10’th.

And that was a bit of a shame; the excessive time took away from a game filled with action, steals, bunts, and a home run. The actual action: there was a LOT of it ..very entertaining.

Iowa even scored a run on a squeeze bunt.

Workout notes the butt has been in a bit of a funk; sometimes good, sometimes painful. At the game I did some stand up stretching (at the back of the stands)

Yesterday: the side was ok; I got all of my pull ups: 8 sets of 5, one of 10, then two more sets of 5, including, 4 sets of 5 wide, 1 set of chins.

Full PT; push ups: 35, 30 sissy, 25 feet elevated, then 10 deficit. Down stairs: I added some hip thrusts in addition to two light sets of deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184.

I suppose my glute was ok..sort of.

Today: slept in until 6; did some light bike (5 minutes); PT before work, then over lunch: full PT (lots of it, really) then 30 more bike minutes.

Weird: forward bends and the “stenosis” exercises seem to help, even though I don’t really have it; McKenzie press ups and open books really help too.

I’ve said this before: it seems when I skimp on yoga I feel it. I suppose that is an every day workout.


I felt lousy yesterday; kind of stiff upon waking up, but the glute activation exercises got me going, and so my pre PT workout, well, not stellar but I managed to make it in prior to pain:

I think that I got shorted again (by the Garmin) by about 0.05 miles in each segment. But whatever.. overall, this was NOT a “no pain” day but pain was definitely down.

The physical therapists saw my side..thought it was the interaction of a too-tight belt with my side. We shall see; I’ll restart trying to deadlift something other than super light weight when coughing/laughing/pull ups don’t hurt my side at all.

On not wallowing

Yeah, this latest “oblique/rib” injury has gotten me down a bit for a couple of reasons:

  1. I was really enjoying my progress with trap bar deadlifts. Now that has been stopped cold.
  2. The discomfort makes it easy for me to lean forward…and set off my back/pirformis.

But as for 1: that is a harsh lesson. Yes, doing heavy high handle reps DID make me stronger …a lot stronger (up to 5 sets of 3 with 295 low handle). But, while it is an 8 inch handle which my glute and back could handle, it stressed other parts of me, and a 62 year old has to remember that. It was too much for my body. 10 x 300 even high handle is hard on the body.

So, the good news is that today IS better, though it did affect my workout.

Effect: doing regular pull ups was very uncomfortable. But wide grip was ok…and so


Pull ups: several singles, then 6 sets of 5 wide grip (ok..mild tug)

push ups: 2 sets of 30 sissy, 2 sets of 30 feet elevated (went well)

bench press (feet on a arch): 10 x 134, 10 x 145, 10 x 150 (mild tug)

curls: 4 sets of 10 painless
high incline bench: painless: 3 sets of 10 x 103

And the work day: roughly the same as it has been recently, so far.
I just have to focus on what I CAN do and not overdo that.

Self pity is unwarranted and counter productive and won’t bring me even an inch closer to healing..if healing is in the cards for me.

Here is the rep that made me realize I was injured (234)

Life is harder when you are stupid.

No, this wasn’t a great walk, but I was already in a bad mood as my deadlift workout:

10 x 144, 10 x 184 (0k, not that bad..)

started my usual 10 x 234 set and quit due to a sharp burning pain in the left side of my torso, below my ribs. So ONE rep was it. (yeah, pretty easy)

So, I stretched a bit (not enough), limped my walk (first segment); second segment: got cheated by my Garmin (should have been at least 0.65 miles) then the final one was ok; quit when I was supposed to.

Then upon showering..caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror:

I think I gave this to myself during Wednesday’s workout when I tightened my weight belt too much and did 10 x 300 with 8 inch handles. It should clear up in a month or so..until the bruise/touch pain is gone, keep the deadlift weight light enough to not use a belt. 184 seems ok; this Wednesday we’ll see how the two warm up sets go.

Up and down

And today was a bit of an up. I still felt some left side rib area tightness so I opted to do “PT, walk/PT/walk/PT/walk/stretch” with doing complete PT series (except for side plank clamshell, which may have been what dinged my side) and some slow “walk, balance on one foot, walk” moves.

Afterward, I felt good..and enjoyed picking up my half season tickets for Peoria Chiefs baseball!

The walks: listed in reverse order (bottom walk was the first one); I was feeling pretty good for the last one but decided to “quit before symptoms” for a change.

2.13 miles at an average pace of 14:15, but to be honest, broken walks aren’t the same thing as a continuous walk. But at the same time, I got a tiny bit of distance and left the workout feeling good.

Whack a mole

Dang…I have soreness in my left side around the ribs; wonder if it is from the side plank clamshell done carelessly. I felt it slightly during pull ups, and a lot during one armed rows on the left side; switched to trap bar with light weight.

I feel it when there is internal strain (TMI). This does NOT appear to be serious, but..well, back in April 2020 I didn’t think my flare up of glute pain would be serious and…now, 2 years later…

Workout notes

PT and: pullups (5 sets of 10, 2 of 5), push ups: 2 sets of 30 sissy, 30 feet elevated, 10 deficit

the above took 40 minutes and included almost all of my PT including banded walks.

Then inside: rows (10 single arm, 20 with the empty trap bar, 10 with 94 lb)

back friendly bench press: 10 x 134, 10 x 145, 10 x 150 with feet on stool

curls: 3 sets of 10

high incline: 3 sets of 10 x 103

Busy and boring

Today: pain wise was so-so.
I did PT and 3 walks with PT/stretching in between: .6, .65, .65 miles each all at 14:45-14:55 mpm. I did feel symptoms toward the end of each session but not pain. I did feel good on my walk to work, until I got to the stairs..the usual 4 flights. Ugh.

The back and forth between work and home (lunch and after work) were “meh”; I’ve felt a LOT worse, but rarely better over the past couple of years or so.

Did a LOT of admin stuff.