Saturday, February 2, 2008

Saturday Swings (Mostly)

Squeezed in a quick workout this morning while my little guy was taking his daily nap.

2-Hand Swings: 24kg - 15, 15

Double Snatch with Overhead Squat: 12kg - 5, 5, 5
(Snatched on each rep followed by squat with bells locked out overhead)

1-Hand Swings: 24kg - 5L/5R on the Minute - for 10 minutes (total of 100 swings)

That's it for today. Recuperation from this cough/cold is slow but symptoms finally improving. Looking to get back to Mon/Wed/Fri schedule this week.


Franklin said...

Hi Howie,

I'm coming back slowly after having to fore go all KB workouts for several months due elbow tendinitis in both arms.

With my elbows finally feeling okay I started my KB workouts last week. Now to relate this your post, I was intrigued by your 3rd item of using the 24kg for 5/5 one hang swings on the minute for 10 minutes. I decided to go for it and I was very excited when I completed this today and continued with another 10 minutes of 5/5 with the 16kg. This seemed to be just the ticket to get in decent volume without over doing the reps ... thanks, man!

Howie Brewer said...

Wow, you're welcome. I'm honored. I think this is the first time someone reading my blog has used one of my "methods". Cool! How did your tendinitis come about? I think I might be battling the beginning of that now, also in both arms. And what was your recovery program like? Did you see a physical therapist?

Franklin said...

In a nutshell, my enthusiasm and cardio-vascular system were at a much higher level than my joints and tendons! In the beginning I made extraordinary progress (similar to yours) in a very short time and kept trying increase the intensity of my workouts with little or no rest days. Also, at that time I had my heart set on making it to an RKC Cert and did way too much way too soon.

In particular, I naively tried to push through the elbow discomfort with snatches, presses and pull-ups. I was warned back in August to take it easy in a private correspondence with Fireman Tom Corrigan RKC TL. I was so new to KB's at the time I didn't understand that guys at that level REALLY know their stuff. And its not just pre-geezers like myself (I'm 54) that are susceptible to this injury, anyone who trains hard has to be on the guard for it.

If you haven't done so already, check out RKC II Tim Anderson's wonderful "Life is Movement" blog as he too recently battled back from this injury.

You are not alone ... if you perform a search for "sore elbow", "tennis elbow", "elbow tendinitis" on the dragondoor strength and KB forum, you will find hundreds of posts regarding this injury. I read and tried just about everything with the exception of drinking DMSO (see the renowned Steve Maxwell's posts if you think I'm kidding) but only the following really helped:

1. Ice, ice and more ice. Specifically, the big chain pharmacies sell these re-usable freezable ice packs that come with elastic/velcro wraps to secure them tightly to your elbow. As my chiropractor stressed to me, the key is not to leave it on for more than 5-7 minutes at a time ... applying it multiple times with these short sessions through out the day is the best. And it yields almost immediate results. Surprisingly, heat does nothing for this injury.

2. Rest. Several months or longer with no lifting at all is not uncommon for bad cases. In my case, after having have to stop doing everything for 3 months ( my elbows got so sore they hurt just walking around!), I was just beginning to start slowly getting back to training in December but had a set back as we had an inordinate amount to snow here in the Boston area and all the shoveling was just too much. Fortunately its been over a month without an real big storms (if we get hit really bad again, I'll hire one of the kids in the neighborhood to do it).

3. Any combination of Z-health, Qi Gong, Relax into Stretch, Super Joints on the off days. Leave out anything that irritates your elbows. This is more preventive but really complements the physically demanding KB practice sessions. In my case, I have recently switched from Z-health R-Phase to Lee Holden's "The Flow Continues" QiGong DVD.

4. Limit the use of ibu-profen and other NSAIDs to a minimum. These have a tendency to reduce the pain enough to create a false sense of security to thinking you are ready to resume workouts way too early.

Howie, I hope some of this might be helpful and wish you success in treating what may only be an early stage of the tendinitis.

Howie Brewer said...

Thanks Franklin, your response was most helpful and I can really relate well. Part of my problem too is that I have a two-year old that I carry around much of the time which doesn't allow for too much rest of the forearm muscles. I will be looking into some of your references and try to be smart about training. Please keep in touch so I can see how you are progressing.