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Hi everyone! Definitely got behind on just about everything for the start of the year, mostly because of work. Yes I have a fairly demanding job and still manage to find the time for a rigorous training and diet/supplementation routine, at 51 going on 52 years of age.
Once again I have to give it up to ProSource for such amazing products that give me the extra supplementation needed to keep growing in my 50s. I have even been asking myself lately what are my limits because I never thought any of this was possible. So again, thank you ProSource for helping me get where I am today.
Training Around An Injury
This article is going to address my different training methods and routines. I have learned so much over the past 6 months when it comes to weight and exercise selection because I have been fighting some torn tendons in my shoulders and my tricep but chose to keep working through it. I did probably push it too far before seeking medical assistance but that’s kinda been the way I’ve done it.
So shoulder and elbow MRIs showed tears in the tendons but not complete, so I had options. Have surgery and just get it repaired, take 6-8 weeks off completely and it should heal up, or keep working it and when it tears completely have it fixed. I decided on the latter of the 3, keep going but with some fine print the doctor and I agreed on. If you’re going to do this, find ways to keep the pain at or below 3 (on a scale of 10) and let’s see if it can heal.
Guess what? It's working and I discovered an entirely different way, for me anyway, to work out and grow with low impact on tendons and joints. It has come with challenges, tears, and the want to quit but I stuck with it and learned so much about myself and what can be done if you are truly wanting it. The body is so resilient.
A Simple Glossary of Terms
Before we get to my routines I want to define some of the terms I will be using in this article. All of these I use at times in my workouts but not all of them in one workout every set as it can lead to overtraining, so listen to your body and incorporate for a boost or because you’re feeling it.
• Pre-Exhaust: Pre-fatiguing or pre-tiring a certain muscle of a body part (e.g., chest, legs, deltoids) using an isolation or "single-joint" exercise first and then finishing with one or two compound or "multiple-joint" movement(s).
• Superset: A superset is a form of strength training in which you move quickly from one exercise to a separate exercise without taking a break for rest in between the two exercises.
• Partials: Any exercise where you purposefully do a shortened range of motion instead of the full range of motion. Partials don't take the place of full-range lifts.
• Drop Sets: A technique for continuing an exercise with a lower weight once muscle failure has been achieved at a higher weight. It is most often performed on weight machines because reducing the weight quickly is thought by some to be extremely important, but it can also be performed with dumbbells and other free weights.
Lighter Weights, Steady Results
These are the different tools I have incorporated that have given me increased strength and growth with lighter weights. I lift primarily for appearance. Don’t get me wrong, I have great strength but that is secondary for what I am trying to accomplish.
Something else that is always in the back of my mind is injury and not being able to come back. I have had enough close calls that very easily could have resulted in surgery, and still might. They have caused me to open my mind to different types of training. At the end of the day, it's about temporarily going beyond your body's current capacity for that specific stress. In weight training this means growth.
Listen To Your Body
Remember a few articles back when I touched on overtraining? There’s the caveat and this is why I don’t incorporate all of the above mentioned techniques. If you were to add all of those to every set you would hit overtraining very quickly and go backwards. So, as a reminder, listen to your body. My main indicator of the onset of overtraining are my sinuses. I feel like I might be catching a cold.
The other listen-to-your-body advice concerns your tendons and joints. Protect them, listen to them, stretch well before lifting, and see a doctor if you feel like something is wrong. One thing I started doing after my injuries is wearing wraps and sleeves. Don’t wait for an injury to wear them, use them now to help avoid injury. If that isn’t enough to keep you thinking safe then maybe this is: torn tendons, any of them, mean being off a minimum of 6 months if you rip one.
A Training Regimen For Working Through Injury While Not Sacrificing Growth
Currently I do a 4 on, 1 off, 4 on routine which places a heavy demand on my nervous system so I’m only good for about 3 rotations before I need a couple of days off in a row. The other thing I have been experimenting with is 2 on, 1 off, 2 on and then 4 on, 1 off, 4 on. Every 3rd rotation throws a day off in the middle to again avoid that overtraining zone but still be consistently lifting.
This is high intensity training, 60-90 second rests between sets. Remember why you are there, not as a social gathering but to grow and ultimately look and feel better. Leave the weight ego at home and learn to feel the muscle working and burning, not joint or tendon pain. I’m generally in and out in 90 minutes.
Day 1 – Back and traps – 60-90 seconds between sets
Day 2 – Arms - 60-90 seconds between sets
Day 3 – Legs - 60-90 seconds between sets
Day 4 – Chest and shoulders - 60-90 seconds between sets
That’s pretty much it. Remember keep it fluid and don’t be afraid to switch it up depending on how you feel. I find that partials work very well when I’m really feeling it. On the other side of the coin I find that starting with a superset when I’m tired or just not feeling it gets me going. Intensity is key, leave it all at the gym but keep it under control and avoid distractions as these can lead to injury as well. Don’t cool off in the middle of your workout.
Thanks for reading and you can always find me on Instagram @darrinjhills Feel free to ask many anything you like on there if there are questions.
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The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Author's experiences and opinions are his own, results are not typical. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.