Lifting in Pensacola…

Well, since today marks the first day I’ve lifted since tearing my trap almost two weeks ago, and the first time I’ve ever lifted in a commercial gym, I felt the need to wax poetic about it for a bit.
First and foremost, my trap is still bugging me, and as has been the case pretty much every day since injuring it, it woke me up at about 2 AM this morning by swelling up and putting pressure on a nerve, which caused my left delt, pec, and entire arm to have shooting, stabbing pains. This is in addition to the constant dull ache in the trap itself (which I’m ignoring mostly successfully, thank you very much) and the numbness I have in my pointer and middle fingers on my left hand.
Anyhow, I got the pain managed with acetaminophen and an icepack, but despite the fact that I only had about 4 hours of sleep last night (and 3 hours the previous night), I was so damn excited about lifting today that I couldn’t get back to sleep, which is really jacked up, because no sleep = no gainz. So I got up, got dressed, and headed to the gym.
For those that haven’t been following, I settled on Powerhouse gym while I’m here working in sunny Pensacola for the next month, and I arrived there at a little after 3 AM to find roughly four people in the place. Even better, no one is using their two squat racks, though some moron left a bar racked with weights on it that I managed to nearly knock myself unconscious on twice in one of them.
Anyhow, I go to the nearest one, drop the safety bars down roughly 12 inches (Half squats FTL), and begin warming up. Now, I work out in a home gym typically, and it’s outside, so the concept of working out in a climate controlled area with a mirror in front of me is completely foreign to me. The mirror led to two rapid epiphanies: 1) My hair looks like total fucking ass first thing in the morning (not that I care, just saying) and 2) From the front, my base form is fucking awesome. No butt wink at rock damn bottom, nice hip drive, good balance, tits to the wall.
Not to toot my own horn here too hard, but I’ve been working on this shit for two long years. To finally be able to watch my form in action while lifting with my own two eyes, instead of on a shitty video cam after a set is pretty awesome.
Anyhow, I also saw my form begin to deteriorate as I hit the final few reps on my work set, and watched as my hips tried to rise before my chest and was able to redouble my concentration to correct it. I have to say, the hate for the mirror is starting to dissipate, there’s something to being able to analyze what you are doing while you are doing it visually. Not that you can’t use prioperception to notice the same stuff; that’s how I usually analyze and correct mid-set. But visual cues are also really nice.
So, those are the good things that happened, now for the bad. First, I completely skipped chin-ups, because frankly, when you tore your trap doing chins, and you are still getting woke up every damn night by the same torn trap, it seems like a really bad idea to, you know, do more chins.
Second, I’m not sure if it’s neural (due to the compressed nerve) or muscular, but I couldn’t even complete my warmups on shoulder presses. It didn’t hurt, but I literally could barely complete my 95 x 3 warmup set. For reference, 2 weeks ago I pressed 155 x 9, and my PR is 185 x 5, so 95 x 3 is way off the mark. I am tempted to blame it most on the nerve, because my left arm kind of gave out, and I still can’t completely close/contract my right index finger purposefully.
Overall though, I would say it was a largely positive experience, and while I’m not sure I like working out in a commercial gym better, it certainly is an interesting change.

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  1. #1 by Anonymous on February 7, 2012 - 11:19 am

    drop down weight until you can do shoulder presses then build up slowly from there. You want to pick up where you left off but your trap won’t let you. Start off with almost no weight and pile more on until your judgment tells you to stop.

    Best Regards

    • #2 by Brian Hill on February 7, 2012 - 11:34 am

      Thanks man, I’ll give that a shot if I have the same issue next week. I’m hoping the issue is due to nerve compression and will clear up once the swelling goes down (by next week hopefully).

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