Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Upper Downer

This evening's workout was destined to be an exercise in going through the motions.  I hit significant PRs on both Saturday and Monday, juggled kettlebells on Sunday, and only slept 5 hours each of the last 2 nights.  It was time to take a down workout.  I almost skipped it, but decided to go out in the gym to warm up and see how things felt.  I did:

12k Kettlebell Warm Up
16k Kettlebell: Swings, Snatches, Presses
20k Kettlebell: Swings, Snatches, Presses
Partial Chins: 2 3 rep sets, 2 jump assisted chins
Curls: 12k kettlebell, 16k kettlebell
Push Ups: 2x5
Grippers: 5/5xT, 5/5x#1, 5/5xBBSA, 5/3xBBSA
Levering: Worked way down 6lb sledge, to several full singles with each hand

The snatches woke me up and gave the energy needed to do a lazy workout.  Knowing I am so close the doing a full chin gave me the incentive to try those.  It was clear I am tired, but I went through the motions.  I added a little direct bicep work, since I haven't done any in years.  I lost the chin at the top, where my arms are almost fully flexed.  While my biceps are strong with a straight arm, they almost never get worked in the fully flexed position.  I think there is some "easy" strength available to me here.

My shoulder didn't feel great on the presses today.  I was doing normal presses, focusing on sucking my shoulder in and pushing with the elbow.  It did not stop the shoulder from clicking as I transitioned from the rack to the press.  I would like to resolve this, but am not sure if it is possible to do so without resolving the imbalance in my hips.  If I have not worked the hip issue out by sometime next year, I will put all training on hold to attack it full bore, just like I did with my shoulder.  Hopefully it doesn't come to that.

I discovered a secret on the levering.  It is incredibly obvious and I feel dumb for missing it for so long.  For years I have had hammers, but failed to progress on them.  Any serious training with the actual hammers results in a shooting pain through the nerve between my thumb and pointer finger.  I would tough it out, but still struggled with the 6lber.  I even had Chris Rice build me a special tool to train around it, but still I struggled to lever the 6lber.

Today I really thought about what was happening.  I looked at the shape of the hammer handle, and summoned my deepest problem solving skills.  Gradually, it occurred to me that handle was oval, shaped like this: ().  In other words, the handle comes to a relatively sharp edge.  That edge is what presses into my nerve.  Self, I thought, what if the handle was shaped like this: 0.  Then I got my file out and went to work.  Sure enough, by taking one edge of the oval down to a quarter inch flat strip, I eliminated the pain.  I was able to lever my 6lber without any problems.  Given how tired I was, this was very pleasing.  It made the entire workout worthwhile.

I will stretch tonight, before bed.