Although I alluded to the reasons here, I never really explained why I’m not doing a formal exercise regimen like Starting Strength or CrossFit (two modalities that worked well for me before). Long story short, I broke my left shoulder twice and separated my right shoulder once. Each time I broke my shoulder, I had metal put in, and eventually metal taken out, meaning that my left shoulder has had four operations on it. Although it’s left me with some nice titanium souvenirs, its also left me with serious chronic pain. The pain was exacerbated by serious exercise. I’ve done extensive physical therapy and found only limited relief. Some times, the best thing you can do for an injury is just let the body do what it does best, slowly repair itself over time.
It’s been about 16 months since the last surgery. I’ve been slowly but surely adding weight to the Diesel Crew modality. My training facilities are fairly basic right now. My building has a “hotel-grade” gym. Few free weights, and no barbells. My basic routine these days is to take that day’s Diesel Crew set and add one or two exercises that work my lower body and/or legs. Obviously, I’d prefer the deadlift and back squat, but I’m working with my gym’s equipment right now.
Over Thanksgiving break, I stayed with relatives who owned a great garage gym with proper free weights and a power cage. Since I haven’t lifted with free weights seriously since 2009, I started very easy, adding 5-rep sets of BS and DL to the diesel crew superset. I started with #95 on the back squat and #135 on the deadlift. Considering that my PR’s which I hit right before I broke my shoulder in 2009 were #240 and #255 for BS and DL, respectively, I’ve got a long way to go. Thankfully, I had no shoulder pain. My left shoulder definitely feels “different” from my right, but that shouldn’t be surprising given the major structural changes and scar tissue on my clavicle.
Besides the PT and exercise, I’m also seeing a therapist who’s giving the The Graston Technique a whirl. Honestly, I have no idea if it’s working, but I’m willing to try quite a bit to get my shoulder to 99.9%.
On diet, I find it pretty easy to stay fairly “strict” in the city, mostly I’m either cooking for myself, or eating at places I choose. Thanksgiving was a Standard American Diet bender. Stuffing, Pancakes, French Toast, Egg Nog, etc.. I don’t really worry that much. I’m not a bodybuilder training for a show or a wrestler trying to “make weight,” so a few days of junk won’t negatively affect me much (unless Gluten really does damage your body for weeks after consumption).