Stepping Back on the #RoadToRecovery

Stepping Back on the #RoadToRecovery

Nov 12, 2013

Snapshot - 62

OK, I had bad news in September – the tendon stretched a couple of mm – but the doctor said ‘use pain as a guide,’ and the therapists saw that as get a little aggressive.  No problem there, at all!  At the end of October, the Friday before heading up to assist at Relentless Detroit, I saw the doctor again and we remeasured the tendon.  Another 4+ mm, which resulted in just over 7mm of stretch.  A significant setback!

When discussed, he found out that I was given instructions to do below parallel body-weight and kettlebell squats, as well as full range leg press.  This, apparently, is a bad thing.  So, we discussed backing off everything related to the tendon.  So, I am presently working bench only, back to ‘butt drive,’ and having to make a few decisions.  Basically, on December 6, we will decide if a second surgery is needed depending on what happens with the length of the tendon.  Starting off with a great healing, it looks like we were too aggressive.

One of the decisions, should the tendon not require additional repair, will be whether I decide to do squat/deadlift rehab in 2014 and continue bench press only for the year in meets.  Yep, no way am I stopping.

Considerations:  According to the Massachusetts General Hospital Sports Medicine paper, “Rehabilitation After Repair of the Patellar and Quadriceps Tendon,” at the point below parallel (deep knee bends), the patellar tendon can see up to 17 times the weight applied (body weight plus anything carried, such as weight in a squat or leg press).  This can explain the stretching and agitation, especially when I was doing these bad things for about 6 weeks, or so.  This also means that when I also started using leg drive on the bench to reactivate the quadriceps.  Well, basically, bad advice even if I didn’t go all the way, thank goodness.

No going down stairs and limited upstairs without leading with the uninjured knee.  No weight bearing unless the leg is straight.  Straight leg raises and range of motion work.  That’s about it on the leg.

However, it is giving me a chance to build strength in the bench press only.  The next bench meet that I will compete in will be in the March, 2014, time period, depending on if surgery is required.

So, I am in the gym 3-4 days per week working bench/back/core and the allowed calf raises.  At home I am doing the leg raises and allowed 6-8 week out from surgery stretches, etc.,  that assumed the tendon was weak.

My present goal is to, without leg or butt drive, do a special bench ladder at 230lbs – it is a 5 reps to chest, then a one board through four board with five reps each and then work my way down.  So far I have gone all the way up and started down as far as most of the reps at the three board.  Once I have managed to complete this ladder, then I will start working the Overkill bench shirt.  In the meantime, my work will be raw.

The other thing I am doing is continuing to coach others.  In fact, I have a few new lifters who will be competing at an AAPF Raw meet this December 8, 2013.  The work is fun and rewarding – but still not the same as lifting!

Stay tuned!…



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