Fridays: Bench followed by massage. Coach and I had a long discussion about the cost benefit of the weekly (soon to be every-other-week) massages. His input is more important than ever given the fact that massages aren’t cheap and we are saving like crazy for our back-up plan and his greater dream. He hasn’t been positive or even encouraging about the other things I’ve tried for rehab and he is almost as frugal as I am so I was minorly surprised to hear him say “I think the last few weeks have shown this is now an essential part of your program. With all that your shoulder has been through (as a child it was dislocated several times, it sublimates regularly, the tendons and ligaments destroyed from the anorexia, the injury to the rotator cuff in December) it has to be packed with scar tissue. She is doing a great job of breaking it down.” And the money? “Well spent”.
Last week I asked Coach if he was going to coach me on the competition details of setting up for benching. At the time he waved it off and said “so many competitors arch so much I don’t even consider it a true bench press”. I know there is more to his reasoning and I have learned to stop pushing for full explanations when they aren’t necessary. All becomes clear in time. Eventually the pieces come together and I understand his plan.
This time it only took a week and Friday he started coaching the finer points of setting up for a competition bench press. We spend time learning how to tuck my feet to allow for as much glute engagement while not engaging any muscles around the hip. Others get to engage their hips but the second mine kick in, my bad hip cramps. Glute engagement sans hips is easier said than done and the slightest shifting of the feet can change the whole chain. After a few times practicing set up, he has me lift. The arch I am able to create makes me feel unbalanced and the bar wobbles. When we discuss this later I say: core! I need to keep my core tight to make me feel balanced.
As I type this in reflection of my day, I begin to consider how far my head game has come, not just from when I started lifting but even from when I began this blog. His silence to my assessment I would have mistaken as him thinking I’m stupid (hey, I am able to self-assess and say “this needs work” instead of “I’m such a screw up”!) . I would have interpreted his little smirk as disgust at my stupidity instead of how I read it today: it was a little bit of pride, “she figured it out”. And my reaction to the weight not changing from last week? It was challenging to bench last weeks weight on the first day of a major form adjustment. And in the end, the form will make all the difference. My head game has jumped into a whole new realm.
DB presses and chest flys. As much as possible, I am to take the new form to the DB presses. It’s hard to “fall back” into that position and unnerving to adjust with a pair of 55# dumbbells overhead.
Chest day is a two-a-day but Coach says I can wait until Saturday for the tricep work, allowing me to make the most of the massage.
Friday evening my shoulder was so sore from the massage I had to pack it in ice. This morning it feels incredible. Tricep extensions, dips and a unique form of shoulder press that primarily utilizes the triceps. Everything was higher than planned. There was a strange “pop” in my shoulder when I started the presses and for a second I paused…this can’t be good. I completed the set and then started ROM work. It was more mobile than ever.
My massage therapist is moving to a private fitness facility that actually looks like my dream. I didn’t even know I had a vision until we started working on plans for Coach’s. His dream is a goal and one I want to help him achieve. This dream of mine is just a dream. I have no interest in pursuing it but it is fun to think about. We live in a city built during the logging boom of the 1800’s. Down in the valley, along the river that divides the city in half, stand the old lumber and paper mills. Several have been made into beautiful and expensive lofts but some still stand empty. And this is where my dream facility would be: in an old mill along the river with enough land beside it for outdoor activities. It isn’t that far off from Coach’s, it just has a touch more character.
And for the rest of my evening, I will be catching up on my reading!