I haven’t given a training/knee update in more than a month so I figure now is as good a time as any to do so since I’ve actually made some substantial changes as of late.
The knee keeps feeling better as long as I don’t do anything stupid. I still can’t doing any squatting or lunging without pissing it off, but I’m able to do most hip dominant work without a problem and I’ve been crushing loads and loads of reverse sled drags to keep working the quads as much as possible without inducing pain. I’m also riding the bike quite a bit—not pushing it hard, but just trying to get some pain-free motion.
Interestingly, while I’ve lost some muscle mass in my quads, my thighs have stayed pretty much the same size, which I attribute to the extra work I’ve been doing on my hamstrings and glutes. As my knee gets better and I’m able to introduce more quad dominant work back into my program, I have a feeling my legs will actually be stronger than before. That’s the hope anyway.
I’ve been working my posterior chain three times a week with a combination of deadlift variations, bridging patterns, and sliding leg curls (as discussed here and here). The key with posterior chain work is to find a balance between lower back intensive work (i.e. deadlifts) and non-lower back intensive work (bridging and leg curls) so you don’t smoke your lower back in the process.
Because I’m doing more lower body posterior chain work, I’ve had to scale back on the upper body work a bit. Remember, the body has a limited capacity to recover, so if you increase something, you also have to decrease something else.
As such, I’ve gone from doing chin-ups daily to doing them 1-2 times a week and doing rows (usually Batwing rows) 1-2 times a week. I don’t want to lose the progress I made on chin-ups so I’m keeping them in the program, but they’re no longer as big of a priority as they were a couple months ago.
With pressing, I’ve also scaled back. Six weeks I shared my plan for attacking the overhead press, and to be truthful, it hasn’t panned out as I expected. When I started on the plan, it made sense in my head and it looked good on paper, but a lot of things look good on paper that don’t necessarily pan out in reality. The program went well for three weeks, but really, what doesn’t work for three weeks? After that, my shoulders started to get cranky pressing three times a week and I’ve gone back to twice a week and feel much better for it. Sometimes you have to admit that you were wrong and go back to the drawing board.
So in a nutshell, I’m back to training four days a week doing full body workouts, but each day has a slightly different emphasis. One day it’s heavy on the posterior, another day I’ll focus on pulling, another day pressing, etc.
It’s actually very similar to my Power of 3 template with some slight modifications to work around my knee issues.
That about sums it up I think. Any more questions, just ask.
Also, if you missed this weekend’s Good Reads, be sure to give that a look.