In December of 2020, I had knee surgery. Luckily, I recovered fairly quick and was able to pull 455 in February of 2021. Not a big number, or a PR by any means, but a decent amount of weight post-surgery.
Last week, I pulled a new PR of 530 lbs. Not only am I happy to have a new PR, but I’ve realized I added 75 lbs to my deadlift in 1 year. Not too shabby.
Recovery from my meniscus surgery has been going really well and with it being less than a month since, I’m much further along than I anticipated. During my first physical therapy session, my PT let me know, unsurprisingly, I may be a candidate for arthritis as I get older, but it would likely not affect me as much as others. This was also true for the knee recovery and steps necessary to improve; due to my powerlifting training, he said I have a different relationship to pain than most people. This didn’t surprise me either, but I found it helpful to hear this directly from a physical therapist that specializes in sports medicine. I’ve gained an awareness of pain, an awareness of the different levels of it, ‘good’ pain vs. ‘bad’ pain, and where my limits need to be. I think this awareness likely started in my youth when I experienced a crushed vertebrae, then finally years later found that strength training could help my body overcome a lot of the discomfort I felt with a weakened back.
The meetings I’ve had with the physical therapist have been fantastic and I’ve learned a number of movements to strengthen my knees, quads, and hips that I will likely use even once the recovery is complete. I’m also fortunate enough to have a leg press machine in the garage gym that my precious wife had got me. That thing and my foam roller have been vital in the knee recovery. Today my PT saw how far my recovery has already come along and gave me the OK to start doing light deadlifts to see how they went, with the directive of “for now, walk away from them still wanting more”.
Did my PT work:
leg press (0 weight, just the sled)
body weight squats (holding a strap around the power rack to stabilize)
1 leg squats (holding strap)
1 leg lunges (holding strap)
Then I got to do a little lifting:
Deadlifts (225 x 5 x 4 sets) [left wanting a LOT more, but hey, progress]
hanging leg raises
reverse hyper (only 90 lbs, again, light to let the recovery continue)
Now that the soccer season has ended, I’ve been able to train with a bit more regularity. One thing I’ve been considering is bringing back my training log. I enjoyed keeping it, updating it, and having it as a good way to keep myself accountable.
So yesterday was leg day for my new lifting schedule. The set of lifts I put together for this leg session is a lot, but should give me great progress.
It started off with squats. This is an exercise I had not enjoyed when I first started doing them. Not sure if that was because of the difficulty, the fact that my first gym only had a Smith machine to use when doing them, or what… I had steadily gone up over time, and yesterday I felt mentally and physically prepared to go after my goal. Now, mind you this is lighter than many people, but I am quite satisfied — only lifting for a little over a year, mostly self taught with some pointers from friends, I’m happy with my progress.
I was able to squat 315 lbs. Happy. Now I need to get that for 5–8 reps and truly own that weight.
Glad to see I’m about average on this one. It’s admittedly one of the areas I continue to feel I need major improvement. Here are the results from muscleandfitness.com. I’d love to be at least within that 18.8%, but all in due time…
What is the most you have ever bench pressed without a vest?