October marks ten months since that fateful day I went too far in the gym and injured my shoulder. I rarely feel pain anymore. It's been about four months since any of the pain was present. Although, after a particularly vigorous workout, I do experience some pain in a similar pattern as the progression of the first time: the insidious ache that starts in the middle back near the inner edge of the scapula and moves deeper in towards the head of the humerus and finally becomes a spasm in the belly of the pec minor. But that only lasts for a few days at a time.
I've regained a lot of my symmetry and my shape, but I'm still a bit asymmetrical as you can see
in the photo. My right shoulder, arm and chest are slightly smaller than the left. It takes a discerning eye to see, though, because it's much better than how I was in June. Click here to see Before Injury pictures and how I looked in June and then compare to how I am now. This shot was taken in September 2009:
During my down time, I have doing lots of research on injury recovery, of course, but also on smart and efficient forms of exercise with low risk of injury. It was also important to me that the exercise was very integrated. That is that it shouldn't be bicycling, for example, because of the heavy emphasis on the lower body.
So what I've decided to do is a body-weight strength building program based on combining yoga and calisthenics with the concept of high intensity interval training.
My goal is to:
A) maintain and improve my current flexibility
B) build muscle and
C) lose fat.
So I am:
A) using a four day cycle of intensity progressing from recovery to high intensity.
B) progressively taxing the muscles by altering the body weight exercise as I get stronger. (e.g. going from two-legged squats to squat jumps and then to one-legged squats.)
C) working in bursts of high intensity for 30 to 60 seconds at a time with rest intervals, for up to twenty minutes total (plus warmup time)
My goal is that at the end of this month, after doing this for 28 days, I will be leaner and have more muscle definition, more balance and symmetry and will be able to move more freely and completely free of pain.
I'll post my results in November.