Working Out Around An Injury – Labrum Tear + P90X
LABRUM TEAR + P90X
As mentioned in the prior post, after some physical therapy and cautiously learning my shoulder’s new limits, I was back to power-lifting 5 days a week, running about 10 miles a week, and climbing over 120 flights of stairs per workout. I learned what I could and could not do with my right shoulder’s full labrum tear and before long, my strength was back to normal…but my shoulder was lacking in one major and important category – something I did not realize until starting P90X!
It took about 8 months, to recover what strength I had lost from fully tearing my labrum. I was, from a power-lifting standpoint, back to “normal.” “Normal” being a relative term because, if your remember from the last post, THE DAY I STOP WORKING OUT IS THE DAY I’ LL NEED SURGERY. Nonetheless, though I cannot say I had, nor have, completely recovered from my shoulder injury, I can say I had recovered my strength and was lifting the same amount of weight I was lifting pre-injury within 9 months of the injury. So, there I was, ready to make good on my original intention –
lose enough weight to not sweat from merely eating!
JUST TO RECAP, When I got back to working out I was still at:
- Weight – 238 lbs.
- Shirt Size – 17″ neck / XL
- Pant Size – 38″ Waist…pushing 40″!
When I got back to the gym I lost 40 lbs. in 2 months – with a fully torn labrum none-the-less!
Power Lifting + Running : 5 days/week
Lift/Cardio Superset + Running : 5 days/week
How did I do it?
IT WAS A TWO-PART ATTACK:
EXERCISE – Strength-Cardio Superset
Instead of just running after a workout (which I believe everyone should do for reasons I will explain in a later post), I was running over 120 flights of stairs during every strength training workout PLUS a 2-mile run at the end of every workout.
So a typical day would look something like this:
CHEST + BACK DAY
SET 1 (Repeat 3 times):
Bench Press, 6-8 reps | 5 flights of stairs immediately after
SET 2 (Repeat 3 times):
Pull-Ups, 10-15 reps | 5 flights of stairs immediately after
SET 3 (Repeat 3 times):
Inclined Bench Press, 6-8 reps | 5 flights of stairs immediately after
SET 4 (Repeat 3 times):
Chin-Ups, 8-10 reps | 5 flights of stairs immediately after
SET 5 (Repeat 3 times):
Decline Bench Press, 6-8 reps | 5 flights of stairs immediately after
SET 6 (Repeat 3 times):
Switch-Grip Pull-Ups, 8-10 reps | 5 flights of stairs immediately after
15-20 minute (various ab exercises)
BREAKFAST – Fruit Smoothie (16 oz.)
LUNCH – Fruit Smoothie (16 oz.)
DINNER - Normal Dinner (i.e., dinners I normally ate so I didn’t calorie count but I did not over eat either…I just ate what was my “normal” dinner portions)
NOW, EVEN THOUGH I HAD LOST 40 LBS IN TWO MONTHS, I COULD NOT DROP ANOTHER SINGLE POUND NO MATTER WHAT I DID!
Everything had been going perfect…that is UNTIL I HIT THE MASSIVE ONE-YEAR PLATEAU!
I tried a number of different approaches, diets, and workout regimens to break the plateau but nothing seemed to work.
And that’s when, if you’ve read this site’s About Page, I turned to P90X and forever changed my life!
Though P90X made all the difference in terms of breaking the plateau, more importantly for this post, it exposed my shoulder’s “recovery” for what it was – a fraud!
You see, though I thought my strength had returned to “normal”, P90X made me realize it was far from it.
P90X exposed two major flaws in my shoulder’s recovery…
…shoulder mobility and stability.
Yeah, I could lift the same amount of weight as I had prior to my labrum tear, but my shoulder was nowhere near “normal”. P90X made me realize that due to my lack of shoulder mobility and stability I was missing out on significant potential recovery gains…like being able to throw a baseball again.
…P90X EXPOSED THE WEAKNESS IN MY “RECOVERED” SHOULDER AND BROUGHT ME AS CLOSE TO 100% RECOVERED AS I COULD POSSIBLY BE…not to mention a +20 lbs weight loss.
Lift/Cardio Superset + Running : 5 days/week
P90X + Lean Gains
So, how exactly did P90X HELP FURTHER STRENGTHEN my injured shoulder?
Because, as stated above, P90X exposed my shoulder’s true weaknesses.
You see, P90X has absolutely no bench press moves in the program – IT IS ALL PUSH-UPS! At first I thought having to do no bench press exercises would be good for my shoulder injury, but, believe it or not, doing only Push-Ups was killing my shoulder muscles more than ever! After p90X chest workouts I was noticing that my shoulder muscles, specifically the muscles in my injured shoulder, were much more sore than my pecs. This little tidbit meant my shoulders were more involved and/or weaker than my chest muscles and were therefore more sore after chest workouts.
Because P90X is all about doing various types of Push-Ups with CLEAN FORM people tend to slow down the muscle explosion a bit to focus on form. When this happens the smaller muscles, which are used to stabilize and support the larger muscles, get more of a workout than the larger muscles which are used in explosive movements. This change in muscle “focus” exposed my true lack of shoulder strength post-injury and was evident in my shoulders’ soreness post chest workouts.
You see, I could do the explosive bench press moves with no problem because my large muscles were doing all the work while the smaller ones just held on for the ride. But, with P90X the smaller muscles have no choice but to set the ride in motion –
no muscle fibers sit ideal when doing a P90X regimen.
IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE that there were moves in the P90X program I HAD TO MODIFY because of my shoulder injury. Certain moves either caused me too much pain during the workout or too much pain the next day. But, because I paid close attention to my body, learned which moves caused issues, and adjusted/modified accordingly, by the end of the program I could do every move without modification.
I am going to drive this point home one more time. Because I modified P90X moves to accommodate my shoulder injury I was able to finish the program! And, as seen on the RESULTS page of this site, by the end I had not only lost 20 lbs but gained a much stronger and more “recovered” shoulder.
A shoulder I thought could get no stronger after P90X…that is until I started P90X2!
Stay tuned for what happened next!