As you know from the last couple of posts I am half way through recovery from a rotator cuff tendon tear.
As a consequence of this injury my upper body strength training has decreased in volume substantially.
For 3 months I did not raise my left arm above shoulder height at all. I now have a 15% decrease in range of motion when extending the arm over head.
I expect that to mend fast once I am able to do bar hangs and pull ups again but that is 3-4 months away.
So its time to refocus my training so I can remain very fit & active but not aggravate my shoulder.
My plan is to greatly increase my cardio training while I have the opportunity. This will be a 4-5 month program after which I should be back to my normal routine.
Of course if I reinjure the shoulder I am screwed.
So I want to do 90 minutes cardio per day. I want to do 80% light easy cardio & 20% intense HIIT per week.
Thats 4 days easy cardio & 2 days HIIT & strength style.
I also want to ramp up my sauna time.
Cardio will be in the form of skipping (if I can do it – have not tested the shoulder yet), cycling, KB swings and rebounder.
I may do some easy barefoot grass runs too.
HIIT will largely be Kettlebell and Clubbell work & other calisthenics stuff.
OK thats fairly standard training with a cardio focus. I will also ramp up my flexibility training. Isometrics etc.
Now what will be different is an introduction of preventative rehabilitation training.
I touted this in a post many months ago. Using medical & physiotherapy rehabilitaion research & programs to take your body to a whole new level of fitness.
Well I posted but did not do – now months later have two torn tendons.
Now I must take my own advice.
I have done rehab on the shoulders for 3 months now with a physiotherapists guidance.
Here are the main area’s I want to focus on:
1. Detoxification – This is the first step & I did my major detox a year back. I simply need to make long duration sauna more frequent.
2. Joint specific preventative rehabilitation.
– Hip / Pelvis
– core / lower back
These are the main points of joint failure. I simply intend to train using the full rehabilitation protocols for people that have injured these joints.
Hence avoiding future injury. This will include an over all strategy for tendon strengthening most probably involving isometrics.
3. Cardio pulmonary rehabilitation
4. Grip training – I already have a good grip & train it regularly but it should be included by everybody.
So what I am planning to do here is pre-empt & prevent injury by giving my body a conditioning buffer.
I’m 48.5 years old not the 28 year old infantryman I once was. Not the 35 year old stallion any more. But in my psyche I still am young & virile.
I also know how to supplement & self medicate to rev up my hormone levels & that should definitely be done with the above regimen.
So for a senior athlete these extra injury prevention measures are required if you want to retain stallion status.
Lets face it most of us are negligent and wont take the required safety measures.
I say alter your training and fit in the rehab protocols BEFORE you get injured. Because a 9 month lay off with a torn tendon really does suck.
One warning about isometrics & joint strength. Isometrics really hit the tendons & are magnificent for strengthening the tendon structure. BUT if you do your isometrics in positions that compromise your joints you will suffer joint & tendon failure.
For some time I was doing isometrics in an overhead press position. This is actually contradictory to rotator cuff anatomy as it is an impingement position. Did this contribute to my injury? I think it probably did & I had no idea what I was doing at the time.
This means isometrics must not simply mimic positions held in certain exercises.
Isometrics must be designed around the functional anatomy of the joint & copied from physiotherapy rehabilitation programs. Then you are safe.
Do not do haphazard, random isometric holds. Do not simply copy muscle building exercises to determine your isometrics positions.