Heartbeat (Back to the Gym)

One week ago, I had surgery. Dr. Frisch, of Mission Trauma (Blue Ridge Bone and Joint), removed the titanium nail and two distal screws from my right tibia. Today, I returned to the gym. The body is amazing!

Training Cycle: Week 1/6 (Work Week)
Surgery Recovery Week 2/10
No Alcohol Month 2/5
Diet: Flexible-Paleo-Zone

First WOD of this Week

“Obviously,” I’m not really back to normal. I have limited range of motion, pain in movement, swelling, and of course, some really cool staples in my skin.

Other than some light walking around, I’m not really using my legs for a while. The discharge instructions said: “load bearing as tolerated.” (The doctor probably doesn’t realize that I have a high tolerance for discomfort; I did live with that stinking hardware in my leg for six and half years, after all.)

Still, for now, I’m not pushing it. I’m keeping my effort below 80% in the “met-cons” for a few weeks (metabolic conditioning workouts, i.e. short, high intensity sessions). And in the lifting, I will only slowly progress back into weighted work that involves my lower body or explosive full body movements. Ditto for various calisthenic workouts.

My plan is to do just 3 workouts per week for the next 4 weeks. (I’m keeping a close eye on my diet, and so far, there’s no sign of problems from doing less activity.) After 4 weeks, I’ll return to a 3-5 workouts a week schedule. After 8 weeks, I will begin to pursue a “couch to 5k” retraining into running. After 10 weeks I will add sprinting and jumping back into my routine… in other words, my recovery will be “over” for good or ill.


I did what I could, mostly some calisthenics. Stretching was a bit more sketchy but I did most of it ok.

I was psyched that I could do pushups no problem (I was doing them on the same day as the surgery, actually, last week) and was even more excited that I could do squats down onto a weight stack, without excessive discomfort.

Strength: Shoulder Press

The rest of the affiliate members were working on Push-Jerk today, so I did Shoulder Press. It’s less explosive, and doesn’t involve the legs except to hold the body (and the weight) in the air. I did a 5-rep sequence. I wasn’t sure I should, but I went ahead and went for a max effort session. I was using a rack… no power cleans yet for me!

Result: 5 x 75 / 5 x 75 / 5 x 95 / 5 x 105 (PR tie) / 4 x 110 fail on 5 / 5 x 95

Volume: 2,665.

Analysis: I came close to breaking my 5 rep max effort PR, which I also tied last time I tried, on Jan 10th. I think, if I hadn’t had surgery last week, I might have got that 5 x 110 today. I beat that session’s volume today by about 90 lbs. So that’s good!

WOD: “Heartbeat” (Modified)

I did:
5 rounds of:
30 seconds max reps pull-ups (band assisted, red band, to prevent coming off the bar onto my leg, and to help me keep moving for the entire time)
30 seconds max reps kettlebell swings (26# kettlebell, much lighter than I needed to use, to prevent any mishaps on my leg).
1 min rest between rounds.

Result: Total reps: 127. That is: 12 + 10 | 12 + 11 | 12 + 11 | 8 + 14 | 7 + 11 | 8 + 11. I actually can’t remember if these are my rep totals, but they are close to what I achieved.

I really don’t care what my totals were today. I don’t aim to repeat this WOD, though you never know, some day I might. Basically, today was about being back in the “swing.”