My previous push press 10RM was 85lbs. Doesn't sound like a lot, right, but remember, it's a 10RM, not a 2RM or even a 5RM. Today I did 5x5 115lb push presses. At the end of the fifth set, I was beat, and my form was suffering, so I knew I'd hit my max for a 5RM.
I'm also cautiously stepping into deadlifts. Before this week, I'd been using 2 pood kettlebell. That was the biggest we had at the time, and I could easily bang out 10x10 on it. This week I've been using the bar, albeit super duper careful, and after consulting my doctor and personal trainer. When you have a broken back, form is everything on a deadlift. So, my deadlift is presently 85lbs (which is slightly more than 2 pood). This was 5x5 this morning (I love the 0630 workout; I get a shit ton done before the sun even comes up). I know I could go higher, and I'm pretty sure my 2RM is quite a bit over 100lbs, but I need to exercise those muscles, get them conditioned, and then start increasing the weight.
One side effect of the accident is I have reduced mobility (I'm not sure if this is because my spinal column is tighter because of the ligature/musculature or whether it's a physical immobility) and can't get into the proper lowest position for a DL. So we get a couple of 25-lb plates (a bit more than an inch tall) and stack them on either side of the barbell. Thus, my lift starts about 2-3" above the ground and finishes there, but my form is better. Oh, and I have to take my shoes off. Sneakers (I have trail running shoes that unfortunately have a pretty significant heel raise) just don't cut it for lifts. I'm looking in to getting some Inov-8's or NB Minimus soonish (problem is I have ogre feet and they don't always come in my size).
Today's WOD was Cindy. Cindy and I are not friends. My time was 16:48 (we did 10 sets for time rather than AMRAP 20, so in theory my first Cindy might have been 12), the last person in the class to finish. Individually, the exercises weren't hard -- pullups, pushups, and air squats -- but for ten rounds, you get a serious burn on. Today I did something I haven't done at CrossFit before, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. When doing the squats, my muscles were screaming at me (remember, this is just an air squat) to rest, just a second, and I ignored them. I winced and closed my eyes and just kept banging out the next rep. Six, then nine, then twelve, and I-know-I'm-almost-there, then fifteen was up. Of course, that's small consolation, because then I was back to pullups.
It almost felt like I had hit a peak (the first set of squats I actually had to rest at 5, and then did the remaining 10) and pushed past it and was working on different energy. This is kind of in line with what Glassman says about the various "pathways" to energy. Cribbing shamelessly here, the immediate burst of energy is the phosphagenic pathway, followed by the glycolytic pathway, and finally the oxidative pathway. Is it possible I noticed a switch in the way my body was powering the squats?
Lastly, I had my first treatment of prolotherapy last Thursday. I took Thursday and Friday off but hit the gym hard on Saturday. In fact, because of the way the prolo acted on my muscles, I really wanted to work out on Friday. I kept asking my wife, "and I can't go back to the gym until Saturday??" Basically, prolo feels like you've gotten a real serious workout in, only without the workout. I can see how this would actually work, especially for patients who are convalescing and can't exercise the traumatized area.
In my case, I am looking back and really irritated that I was given so many anti-inflammatories. Inflammation is crucial to the healing process. The first thing the doctors did was give me IM toradol and gobs of NSAIDs. No wonder those muscles atrophied and became mostly useless! I think we need to seriously reconsider the utility of the inflammation cycle in traumatic injuries. I know I rant about it a lot, but I think the best treatment for pain in cases of traumatic injury is probably low doses of morphine po, rather than a hydrocodone/APAP formula. But we as a nation are so afraid of opiate addiction that we instead allow people to become permanently injured because they never heal – because of the anti-inflammatories we give them!! (and thus they want more pain killers, and so on).
When I injure myself again – let's not kid ourselves, it's going to happen – I am going to be insistent that I not be given anti-inflammatories. I realize for people who haven't gone through this process that this must sound like quackery, but I have seen inflammation improve my condition, and the proof, folks, is in the putting.
As for the nutrition challenge/paleo thing, I am mostly finding it annoying. I can't say I have noticed any quantitative effects; certainly not on my workouts. I said this morning that I'm anxious to have it over, not to simply have it over, but to be able to look back and see what effects it had, and weigh those effects on my future diet choices. We've still got a little less than four weeks to go, so maybe things will change. Maybe I'll be able to burn on that glycolytic pathway more easily in the coming weeks. For now, though, it's just a hassle and expensive.