Where is the line?

Lots of PT.

Weights: pull ups, 5 sets of 10 (usual), 2 sets of 5 (wide, chin grip)

push ups: 40 sissy, 30 declined, 20 and 15 deficit.

bench presses: 3 sets of 10 x 145 feet elevated.

curls: 3 sets of 10

trap bar: 10 x 134, 10 x 184 low (went ok)

10 x 234 (4 inch)

10 x 260 (8 inch). Wonder: slight “like it was worked” glow/sensation in the glute medius. It sure FEELS like “that muscle was worked” but am I sure?

No post pain upon McKensie but I am wondering it that 8 inch set was too heavy. I might switch plates and get more conservative.

Melancholy workout

I am trying not to be a drama queen, and trying not to live in the wreckage of the future, but it looks as if my sports era will come to an end very soon.

No, I am not going to sell my equipment; I plan on using it as long as it benefits my health and doesn’t harm it. And I will probably have to order a new set of bands as I broke my second one today. And I’ll be looking for new goggles and swim suits as swimming seems to be doing ok.

BUT: so much of my life, I wanted to either run faster, run longer, lift heavier, do more reps, etc. But now I need to focus on what is good for my health, and that means being risk adverse in my training and *always* leaving something in the tank.

I get my MRI tomorrow AND see my primary care doctor for my prostate and hopefully, finally some answers. What lies in store I do not know.

My guess: a benign enlarged prostate (which might contribute to the “swollen” feeling I sometimes get in my left pelvic/glute area) and some sort of bulging disk impinging on a nerve affecting my left side. (L-5?)

But it could be anything from piriformis/gluteus medius strain/tear, to broken pieces of disk, to prostate cancer, spinal tumor, etc.

The physical therapist says it isn’t spinal stenosis as my McKenzie press ups are way too high.

My symptoms: left leg, tingles down the side, full feeling when I do something like banded walks, some discomfort upon standing still for too long and walking: onset of glute pain after 15-20 minutes if I am stretched and warmed up, 5-10 minutes if I am not. Tingles in the left lower leg/foot at night if I don’t stretch first..knees bent is more comfortable.

Relief: stretching; McKenzie press ups, Open book, yoga pyramid, revolved triangle, triangle help relive it almost instantly; bent forward twists help too.

Ok, there is still a lot I can do, and I can enjoy doing what I can. So what did I do today? I did all of my physical therapy along with:

pull ups: 10, 15, 10, 10, 10, 5 wide, 5 chins (strange I am 206-207..too heavy..but pull ups are going very well??? Improvement on my back?), push ups 30 sissy, 30 feet elevated, 30 sissy, 10 deficit

weights: 10 x 134, 5 x 156, 5 x 156, 10 x 134 (feet elevated)

4 sets of curls with 50

deadlifts: taking care to keep a flat back and use the glutes, hamstrings and quads:

10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 (these went well)

high handle (8 inch) 5 x 260, 5 x 280 (heavier belt) Rule: leave a lot in the tank. Can’t strain the lumbar.

The post lift McKenzie press ups had none of the warning left leg pain that I got when I did too much low handle or tried to arch when bench pressing.

Then a 1 mile walk; not my best as I got symptoms at .7-.8 miles but I got a mile.

Other tidbits: cutting back greatly on caffeine and spreading out my Naproxen dose (1 pill upon waking up, 1 after) and I have an oh-so-slight whine in my right shoulder.

I use an orthopedic cushion at games (watched Bradley softball split with Evansville yesterday with no ill effects)

Break even weekend

I am getting ready to go to a Chiefs game; I saw a good Bradley Baseball game yesterday. That is for my next post.
What I will report is that using an orthopedic seat cushion and my Bears stadium blanket as a lumbar cushion helped me forget about my back/piriformis for a while.

The big news (in my saga) is that I returned to swimming on Saturday and decided to try the following routine:

Swim: Sat, Mon, Wed, Friday, lift: Tu, Th, Sunday with short walks (1 mile or so)

Saturday: swimming: 200 free slow, 100 kick drill with fins, 4 x 50 0n 1:10 (55-57 each), 100 kick drill with fins, 200 drill/swim with fins 100 side stroke, 4 x 50 on 1:10 free (56-57 each). Sad but it is a start.

Then I walked 1.25 miles outside; same old story; went great for 0.6-0.8 miles, ok at mile 1, then kind of tough. PT on the grass before the walk, then on my porch when I got home.

Today: long workout broken up by:

28 minutes inside PT (laying stuff)

42 minutes outside with PT (including banded walks) and 5 x 10 pull ups, 5 wide, 6 chin.

Push ups: 40 sissy, 30 feet elevated, 20 flat, 10 deficit

Then 56 minutes inside (2:10 total) which included:

bench press: 10 x 145, 10 x 150, 10 x 150 (feet on a stool to relieve back pressure)

curls: 3 sets of 10 with 50

high incline back: 3 sets of 10 x 103

deadlift: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 being very careful. Next deadlift session will be handle work.

Note: McKenzie afterward didn’t yield that left side leg/butt pain like it did before, and I wore a light belt.

Then some stretching (10 min) and a 16 minute walk (1 mile) to finish it all up.

Note: the walk was not GREAT but…one interesting sign: the pain..was mild and it seemed to migrate upward..I could feel my glutes working. Getting the pain to localize to the back would be a major step forward for me. For some reason: back pain is easier to deal with that deep glute pain.

Note: weight is 205 (Riverplex): too heavy. I really need to be 195 or lighter, but pull ups are going ok. Go figure.

Back: who knows; I don’t know if I am willing to risk back surgery or if I even need it. But I think I am ready to try shots.

Weekend of walking and lifting

I was worried that I had regressed…it was probably just the exercise bike.

I am in a quandary: how “hurt” am I?
Is this chronic..just something I have to live with?
Might it get better like it did so many years ago?
Should I not walk at all or swim and walk only a tiny amount?
If offered an invasive procedure: take it?

I don’t have pain at rest, but I do balk at walking short distances unless I can stretch first.

Saturday: I did the full PT and then did a few deadlifts downstairs: side was 100 percent painless with the third set: 10 x 144, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 (all beltless)

Then I walked:

Note the second walk (at the top) was 15:33 for the course that, well, measures longer at different times. Going by Google Maps, it was 1.16 in 15:33 which would mean 13:24 for that walk.

I iced afterward; some IT soreness.

Today: more PT, and two walks plus a third experimental walk:

The last walk, I took slowly and wore my new nylon weight belt; it mattered..a little. In each case, I was ready to stop but..had many moments of “normality.”

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.

Journey continues

Well…this will be more about the piriformis/back. It was a day where I stood up a lot and all in all..sore but it has been worse.

Workout: PT, pull ups, push ups, deadlifts; 80 minutes total. 40-50 were the pull ups/PT.

Pull ups: sets of 5 except 31-40 was done in a set of 10; went well.

Push ups: I now realize that I did only 80; 30 sissy, 30 feet elevated, 20 deficit. I didn’t do indoor push ups (did more PT)

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184.

10 x 224: I focused on using quads and glutes more; less lumbar

10 x 300 8 inch: that was WORK..whew.

But no pain.

backsliding or not?

Yesterday was sort of a rough day, glute/back wise…but my lower leg to foot joint and my knee ached slightly too, and, to be honest, it was not THAT painful; it was that I was ready to quit by the time I had walked home.

But today..and last night for that matter..better? Yes, a cold front moved in, and yes, I *probably* have an arthritic condition of some sort (it was diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis at one time..and the diagnosis was withdrawn) so who the heck knows.

Part of it was that I was not stretching my piriformis in the “out” direction like I should, and perhaps I wasn’t doing as many office stretches as I should?

This might just be the “new me.”

Friday: upper body weights; 85 minutes. Did the full PT prior to going outside (sans the prone knee lifts): 50 single pull ups (10 seconds), 2 sets of 5; push ups were 30, 30 sissy, 30 elevated, 10 deficit.

Inside: 10 x 134, 5 x 174, 5 x 174, 5 x 176 bench press

3 sets of single arm rows.

3 sets of curls

3 sets of “almost upright/high incline” shoulder presses: 10 x 88 (too easy) 10 x 93, 10 x 98 (just right)

Today: full PT, deadlifts, PT/stretch, 1.15 mile walk.

deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 224 (all beltless)

main set: 5 sets of 3 x 295 (3 minutes each).

Afterward, I did feel the left IT band on my press ups…but milder…I do have a PT condition to worry about too.

The sets of 295 were moderately challenging but not that hard. There was some lumbar being used but certainly not all. Need to stretch that left IT band.

Keeping humble

No, I don’t have anything to brag about. But I WAS feeling pretty good and today’s walk: a bit risky and I felt pain at 1.2 miles; I did two super quick (as in 15-20 second) stretch ‘er out breaks which helped.

Agenda: stretch:

Deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 234 (all good)

Main set (on the 3 mintues) 3, 3, 3, 3, 4 x 290. All were ok; declined a 5’th rep attempt on the last set as rep 4 I could feel the lumbar start to get recruited into the lift.

Stretch;activate..(felt the left IT side/thigh on the first McKenzie)

walk: 1.5 miles at 14:55; kind of damp.

More PT and finish with a yoga series. One leg chair and one leg tree: MUCH better on the weak leg; undeniable progress.

Personal: 2 years ago, I set up my outdoor pull up bar and introduced my spotter bench press bench a few days later….I already had rubber 45 lb plates and a trap bar.

1 year ago: found out I was eligible for the vaccine…got it 2 days later. Oh happy day!

11 F on 12 March

Nevertheless, the back felt ok and I was able to walk outside a bit.

2:10 worth of working out from 8:30 to 10:40.

Warm up, back work. Included spinal balance, 1 leg bridges

Dead lifts: warm up: 10 x 134, 10 x 184

Transition: 10 x 234

Main set: 5 sets of 3 x 290 with a new one every 3 minutes I suppose these were not “easy”, but they were not hard. I did cinch up that belt though.

PT session 1: standing knee raises, sit to stand on one leg then upstairs

Walk: 16 minutes for 1.1 miles. Felt GREAT for 10 minutes, ok for 3, and last 3, felt minor symptoms but, still, my best yet. I think the dead lifts engage the glutes.

PT again: this time, fire hydrants, banded walks (outside with a new blue band), dead bug, prone knee lfits

Yoga: the old Warrior 2, triangle, pyramid, revolved triangle, reverse warrior, twice on each side.

Then tree: still a struggle on the left, but not as bad as it once was.

Those knees!

Doing ok; maybe time to add just a little?

Note: the best back stretches for me:

McKenzie, Open Book, and the hang from the pull-up bar.

More progress?

Glute sorness..more that than pain. But posture feels a lot better. And night tingles are way down. And I no longer dread walking a few extra steps.

Workout notes: 1:45

Pull ups outdoors: 40 singles, 10, 2 sets of 5; wide grip was fine. Mixed in shoulder PT, banded walks (adjustment in posture), knee raises, one legged stands.

Push ups: 30-30-30-20, with 2 of the 30’s with elevated feet, 20 were flat-deficit.

PT finish: hydrants, clam shells, prone knee lifts, side leg lifts, dead bugs

20 minutes of deadlifts: 10 x 134, 10 x 184, 10 x 234 low.

High; 10 x 290

Then yoga and stretches.