Two Steps Forward, One Sore Back

I caught myself cheating on the shoulder press on Saturday. Ow. Don’t do that.

I arched my back against the weight and tried to use body English. The good news is that I caught myself and promptly corrected my form. The bad news is that I managed to pull a muscle anyway. It really let me know when I was doing dead-lifts in between shoulder press sets. That last three inches to put the bar on the floor? Yeaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhoooowch.

However, I am able to use the 30 lb bar for shoulder presses, which I had not been able to do before. And I’m up to 30 pounds on the dead-lift, probably soon to move to forty. I’m already to forty pounds on the bench-press bar. My problem there is keeping things even, and not being able to use the dedicated bench-press benches. I can’t raise the bench part high enough to allow me to rack the bar in the holders.

We will not speak of squats. They are unspeakable.

The good news is that I am stronger, and lighter, than I have been in quite a while. I have not had major back problems for several months, self-induced foolishness aside. My clothes are somewhat looser in the places I want them to be loose. And I can lift and tote storage containers, the lawnmower, and other things much more easily than in the past.

The very long-term goal with lifting the weights and doing things like squats is to build up enough core strength and bone density that I don’t suffer any more from my inherited spinal problems than I do now. All the women in my direct maternal line have problems with their spines to some degree, alas. I learned this after sudden onset sciatica six or so years ago. Having a stronger support system for my back will reduce trouble later on. Plus weight lifting increases bone density. I can’t tan, so I tend to be on the low side of the Vitamin D curve. Given my lack of altitude, I don’t have height to lose. Nor do I want to break a hip, leg, wrist, or other thing, at least not without having something to show for it.

Weight lifting is one of those things where the end point is improvement. I appreciate getting stronger and leaner. I do not appreciate the work required to reach that point. However, since there is not a safe way to achieve results without effort, I work at working out.

9 thoughts on “Two Steps Forward, One Sore Back

  1. I’ve been yelled at (in PT) for using body English while doing shoulder stretches. Hard work to stretch the muscles out for normal use, but it’s getting there.

    Good news all around – go Alma! This time of year is still favorable for getting Vitamin D from sunlight, because the intensity isn’t full on yet. It means some careful timing with yard work and other outside chores, or moderate sunscreen, to avoid applying barbecue sauce later.

    • I’m back to the before-dawn or after dark schedule. The elevation is part of the problem. I live at almost 4,000 feet above sea level.

      • Oops, never mind suggestion. I always used sunblock in the high deserts. Not enough atmosphere to screen well, and daywalkers don’t want to invite skin cancer on board that easily.

        • I have every. Single. Risk factor. And have already had “interesting” spots trimmed from my hide. As Lawdog once phrased it, when little vampires whine about not being able to go out and play, their parents point to me (and him) and say, “You think you have problems with the sun? Look at her!”

  2. On the vitamin D, you don’t need a perscription. I take 10,000 units a day (with my Dr’s approval) which I get from the supplements aisle at Wal-Mart

  3. Yay! And no on the body ‘English’… That’s not good, correct form is much more important than cheating on the lift. Get well soon!

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