Take 60% of your 1 rep max back squat
10 x 10 reps @ 60%. Rest 90 seconds between efforts.
This will be done for 6 weeks. Add 10# the next week if all 10 sets were successful. If not stay at 60% until all 10 sets are completed unbroken.
Post weight to comments and BTWB
Injury and Opportunity By Bill Starr and The CrossFit Journal, continued. . . .
“Shifting Your Focus
Whenever athletes were injured at the University of Hawaii and Johns Hopkins, they were treated by the team trainer or team physician. Then they came to me and asked my opinion. In every case they had been told to rest. No exercising at all. I suggested just the opposite, even for those who would need surgery. The more fit an individual is when he has to have a surgical procedure, the faster he will recover. And there are plenty of exercises anyone can do that don’t involve the injured joint, muscle, tendon or ligament.
For example, I advise anyone who is about to have knee surgery, hip replacements or back surgery to work their upper bodies extra hard, especially with dips. By making the shoulders and arms stronger, the patient can deal with using a walker much better than those who do not have strong upper bodies. Even with a bad knee or hip, an athlete can still do dips, seated presses with dumbbells, inclines, curls, triceps movements, lateral and frontal raises, etc.
I instruct these athletes to come to me as soon as they have the surgery. And they do because I explain my reasons. I have had several athletes show up in the weight room on the same day they were released from the hospital after they had knee surgery. I had them do a short, light session for about 15 minutes. I had them perform a couple of sets of bench presses with dumbbells with their legs straight, then seated curls, frontal and lateral raises—short and sweet.
One of the rules I have is that when they’re rehabbing any sort of injury, they cannot take any pain medication for four hours before coming to the weight room. This is most important. They must be able to tell if any movement is irritating the injured area. To override the pain is a big mistake that can set recovery back weeks or even months.
The main reason I want them to start training right away is it allows them to stay in the habit of training even if the training is rather easy. Once they get back in the pattern of working out, they’re on their way to becoming fully healed—again, because they’re controlling the process.
Perhaps the very best example of an athlete dedicating himself to train diligently while he was injured was Mike House, an outstanding offensive lineman who maintained a 4.0 GPA over four years as a pre-med student at Johns Hopkins. He broke an ankle during a game on a Saturday. On Monday, he was in the weight room waiting for me when I arrived and asked me to give him a routine to follow while his ankle healed.
He was in a cast but wasn’t the least bit despondent. On the contrary, he saw the task as a challenge. He had come ready to train and hadn’t taken any pain pills since the night before. Squats and pulling exercises were out, but he could do a lot of movements for his upper body: flat and incline benches, seated dumbbell presses and dips. He was unable to do standing good mornings, but he could do them while seated. So I made that his primary exercise for his back. For his legs, he did leg extensions, leg curls and adductor work on machines without difficulty.
I told him his goal was to greatly improve his shoulder- girdle and lower-back strength during his rehab. He was willing and determined to do just that. Prior to the injury, he was handling 220 for 8 standing good mornings. Even though the seated version is much easier, I still started him out conservatively with 185 x 5. Quickly, he figured out how to do them without putting any pressure on his injured ankle. He did the seated good mornings three times a week as the first exercise in his program. At each workout I bumped the numbers up just a bit. Baby steps. By the time he got his cast removed he was handling 280 x 10.
As a direct result of the increase in strength in his lumbars, he was squatting as much as he had before his ankle injury within three weeks of recovery. By the fourth week, his power clean also matched his previous best, and all the shoulder-girdle exercises had improved considerably.
Because he had worked hard while his ankle was in a cast, he had made himself stronger overall. Had he followed the regular course of rehabbing, done some physical therapy and rested, he would have lost a considerable amount of strength in that same period of time. He had, in fact, turned a lemon into lemonade. It’s all about mindset and desire.
If any athlete is determined to get stronger, he will figure out how to train when he’s injured. It will take some time and plenty of trial and error to learn which exercises can be done and which ones cannot, but it is extremely gratifying to know it lies in your power to heal yourself.
Of course, serious injuries have to be dealt with in a manner different than minor ones, although sprains, pulled muscles, tendonitis and sore joints can be as troublesome as broken bones or surgical procedures if they’re not handled correctly. Often, most of these physical problems are handled by the athlete without consulting a doctor. In other words, you must learn how to treat yourself.
I have to believe every strength athlete knows the acronym RICE—rest, ice, compression and elevation—in relationship to treating an injury. The acronym helps to remember the four steps, but the order in which they are done is ice, elevation, compression and finally, rest.
The sooner you get ice on an injured area the better. Then elevate it if you can. This isn’t always possible for some lower-back and hip injuries, but they can be compressed. Ace bandages work, although those wider, longer wraps that are used in powerlifting are best. It’s important to know that you should only apply ice to an injured area for 20 minutes at a time. If ice is left on longer than this, it begins to act like heat, and you do not want this to happen. It will cause blood to rush to the hurt body part and results in more tissue being damaged. Ice as often as you can, but for no longer than 20 minutes at a time. Then rest the hurt area and try not to involve it in any strenuous movements.
For most minor dings, such as sprains, strains or pulled muscles, you can start exercising after a couple of days. In the meantime, figure out how to work the rest of your body. Movement facilitates healing. If the injury is in your upper body and prevents you from doing any upper-body exercises along with squats or pulls, just walk. That will cause blood to circulate through your entire body and will bring healing nutrients to the damaged area. As a bonus, the walking will also produce endorphins, hormones that activate the body’s opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect. In other words, they relieve pain.
I’ll use strained biceps for my example. Curls are out, but you might be able to do triceps pushdowns on a lat machine or straight-arm pullovers. And wrist curls and lateral and frontal raises, or maybe even seated presses with dumbbells. No two injuries are alike, so time must be spent trying out various movements. Use very light weight and run the reps up to flush more blood to the damaged area. Try to find movements that hit the muscles directly above and below the ding.
When you’re rehabbing an injury, it’s critical you understand the difference between a dull ache and a sharp pain. If it’s a dull ache, keep going. If it’s a sharp pain like a knife, stop. And if it persists for some time, go see a doctor.
If, on the third day after the injury, you find you can do a freehand curl without any pain, it’s time to go to work—but first do some experimenting. Try a variety of curling motions to find the one that’s the least bothersome to the injury— palms up, reverse curls, hammer curls. In this case, regular curls are best. Do 2 sets of 20 with no weight. No more than that regardless of how easy they are. You want to get feedback before moving forward. That will come later on at night or the next day. If those 2 sets were OK, do 3 sets the next day. You’re going to be doing the rehabbing six days a week. Then do 3 sets twice a day, and finally, three times a day. Ice the area after each of these therapy sessions, and wrap it and elevate it.
After three or four days, or when the injury is feeling much better, begin to up the workload by using light dumbbells for the curls. Fives are enough. Stay with higher reps. They bring more healing nutrients to the injury than lower reps. When 3 sets with the 5-lb. dumbbell is easy, start using 7 or 10 lb. And so on and so forth until your biceps no longer bother you.
This is a critical stage in rehabbing. Because pain is absent, it’s easy to assume the injury is back to 100 percent. But it may not be. Here’s the rule I follow: Even after an injured area is back to full strength, you should act as if it’s still hurt. That means spending time warming it up thoroughly and icing, compressing and elevating for another two or three weeks. This precaution will keep you from re-injuring the area, and as everyone knows all too well, when you re-injure a muscle, tendon, ligament or joint, the rehab process is two or three times longer than the first time around.
When you’re rehabbing, you absolutely must pay close attention to your diet. Build your meals around protein and take extra supplements. And perhaps most important to the healing process, get lots and lots of rest—at least an hour more than usual every night. Rest is crucial because when you are doing an exercise to rebuild a body part, you must pay strict attention to every single rep. One sloppy rep can set you back weeks and even months. That extreme concentration makes the nervous system work much harder than usual, and it takes longer for the nervous system to recover.
Injuries are simply just a part of the ongoing process of getting stronger. No strength athlete I know of has ever figured out a way to avoid them. You really have two choices: You can lay off all training and wait until nature and medication help you heal. In that case, you will get a great deal weaker, and it will take a very long time for you to regain your strength. Or you can keep training and use the opportunity to improve strength in a weaker area while you’re rebuilding the injured body part.
The bottom line is you can be hurt and stay strong or you can be hurt and become weaker. In my book that’s a no-brainer.”
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The trainers at Verve are not PTs and doctors. . . except for Dan, Dan is in fact a PT. Except for Dan, we do not diagnose or prescribe. What we can do is simply help you modify a workout to meet your needs. If you are consulting with a doctor or PT on your injury, we can help you follow their guidelines and give you a workout that helps fulfill your rehab needs. We can simply be a part of the game plan that is bringing you back to full capacity. So don’t let an injury keep you out of the gym, maybe in the beginning what you are able to do is not much and possibly seems boring, but it’s something, and you can do that something with other people around to keep you motivated and encouraged.