Tuesday, 30 April 2013
Ok, so it took me a week, but finally I got it done! Here are the video highlights from the WPU Strength Club session.
Check it out. Looks like great fun right?
If you want to find out more about the next WPU Strength Club Session in May go to http://wildphysiqueunleashed.eventbrite.com
Yours in strength
DEALING WITH SHOULDER BURSITIS
By Richard Aitchison
By Richard Aitchison
Everyone that trains seriously, competitively or otherwise at some point will realize they’re not indestructible machines and from time to time suffer injuries.
It happens to the best of us and I’m no different having had a plethora of different injuries over the years.
I could blame them on a number of things, bad form, hard sparring, wear and tear etc etc, but in the tradition of competitive pride that annoying niggle is ignored, “worked through” and inevitably becomes a fully blown “I’m going to have to take a month off” setback.
With that in mind I thought I’d tell you about my most recent endeavor in to the world setbacks.
So yes, the niggle was ignored and I quickly became aware that something was drastically wrong when I had to keep changing my training regime to fit around the increasing pain I felt in my shoulder. To the point, all pressing movements were out, any kind of pull ups were out, any bicep isolation exercises were out and I had virtually no external rotation.
I always find seeking help with these kinds of issues a bit hit and miss. Below par therapists usually far outweigh the good and knowledgeable ones, luckily however, I had been introduced to Micheal Bordignon of Northern myotherapy previously and was very pleased when, after describing the symptoms and the inevitable “worst case scenario” talk which involved musings of a labral tear, he actually identified the problem to be bursitis.
Shoulder bursitis is inflammation of the bursa sac, a small cushion of fluid between the acromion and a number of tendons including subscapularis, supraspinatus, and bicep. It helps reduce friction as the tendons
move back and forth.
With bursitis there is almost certainly going to be tendonitis . For me, this was definitely the case. I had increasingly aggravated the bicep and subscapularis tendons to a point they were so swollen they had started to push on the bursa which then caused it to become irritated.
The pain is quite acute especially at the front of the shoulder and is easily pinpointed which is good in terms of diagnosis. The pain, although sharp and annoying is bearable, and I found in the early stages of the injury that, although painful initially it subsided during training as I began to warm up. Obviously, at this point I should have been listening to my body as it began to get worse and restrictions in my range of motion were becoming more apparent especially regarding external rotation, which at its worst was less than half of what it should be and very painful under load.
After diagnosing the bursitis and tendonitis we found with a little more investigating that the fundamental reason for the occurrence was an unstable shoulder. Due to lack of development, the shoulder had dropped down and forward effectively decreasing the gap between the acromion and top of the humerus, especially when raising the arm laterally and anteriorly. It’s fair to say i had been aware of this to some degree for some time prior to the injury, however, despite my best efforts to employ good form and muscle recruitment it was a case of too little too late and I believe without the right corrective procedures it was a lost cause.
Specifically, the muscles around my scapular, mainly subscapularis and infraspinatus were the culprits, to a lesser extent teres minor, supraspinatus and the superior portion of my trapezius were involved also. Underdevelopment due to wrong muscle recruitment in this instance can really highlight how important initial programming is. We know it only takes a few repetitions to properly program a correct procedure but can take hundreds to re-program a bad one which, essentially, I’m having to do now. ‘Start as you mean to go on’, I believe the saying goes.
Proprioception - the ability to sense the position and location and orientation and movement of the body and its parts.
For rehabilitation to be successful I had to employ the use of a series of proprioceptive exercises. Contrary to what seems like popular belief amongst some therapists (I say this from experience), rotator cuff exercises involving internal/external rotation on several different planes was not an option .Because of the position of my shoulder the very movements involved in said exercises would have only served to aggravate the tendons further.
I see proprioceptive exercises as a way of isolating the specific muscles or groups of muscles affected, obviously to increase strength in the area but also to get good mental connection and therefore efficient motor unit recruitment, so when you’ve reprogrammed how a certain muscle should contract through a certain range, recruiting those muscles through more advanced movements becomes second nature.
The exercises prescribed for rehabilitation, a combination of isometric contractions and movements under contraction, target the muscles of the shoulder girdle to strengthen and reposition it in such a way that it effectively increases the gap between the acromion and humerus relieving pressure on the bursa and tendons and allowing the inflammation to settle.
So, a few things to highlight, obviously being aware of imbalances in muscular recruitment and development, and any other issues with anatomical positioning could help in self assessing potential problems. Admittedly, this injury probably could have been avoided altogether and as it is I’m now in my fifth month of dealing with it. Also, I feel I should mention again the importance of seeking a good therapist to work with, a lot of the time I have spent dealing with this issue was because of bad advice that was detrimental to the healing process and its fair to say that since working with Michael I have made more progress in the last month than at any other time.
Monday, 29 April 2013
The W.P.U Strength Club had a great inaugural session. If you want to get involved in strongman style training in london, the booking for the May session is now live.
Sunday May 26th down at the W.P.U Strength Club HQ, Crossfit Bold will be another day for strongman style strength training and challenges for the brave hearts.
Guys and girls, all levels welcome. Spaces are limited to ensure quality training and access to all the kit. You can book your spot by clicking the link below now
See you in May, any questions please do get in contact via the link above.
Yours in strength
|Darren grafting on the Olypmic Platform|
|Hannah mastering the Zercher Squat.|
Thursday, 25 April 2013
Deadlift Dynamite? That's what I'll be needing if I am to win the deadlift in the southern area qualifiers for Britains Natural Strongest Man (BNSM). Last year, my friend and strongman athlete Richard Senewald knocked out 12 reps at 230 to take joint first. Impressive right?
7 Weeks out and here is where I am at the moment.
Got some work to do. As I'm sure you know, There are only certain products I recommend, they have to be of quality, and have to add value. The same goes for the other Strength Coaches I work with. Luckily I've worked with some of the best, including world record holder Andy Bolton.Think I might give this a go to fine tune my technique, strength and endurance. Lets see what happens...
Andy Bolton in action......
Friday, 5 April 2013
Cj M Swaby
I thought I'd set myself a challenge. I was becoming comfortable being comfortable and I thought that with the start of the WPU Strength Club, I had better lead by example. So I did.
I'm 8 weeks out. On June 1st 2013 I will be competing in the Southern area qualifiers for Britain's Natural Strongest Man in the U105kg category in Oxford. This will be my second competition. I've got that nervous excited energy in the pit of my stomach, and looking forward to getting into the arena.
I am currently 96/97kg and my strength is currently off the mark. But come 1st June I am sure it will be.
Do you want to know what the event involves? Well here it is?
105kg Log lift for reps
230kg Deadlift for reps
110kg & 130kg Farmers Walk
Olympic Bar to overhead. Maximum weight wins (no continental cleans)
Plus medley to finish.
Too easy right? Each week I will be blogging about my training down at Crossfit Bold and Energie Gym in Fulham leading up to the competition. I'll certainly be reviewing what I learned from the legendary Andy Bolton.
Bricking it? Yes.
Excited? Sure bloody.
Saturday, 23 March 2013
April 21st at Crossfit Bold, London see's the launch of W.P.U Strength Club. The W.P.U Strength Club is all about drug free strength training for men and women who want to train with all the strongman style kit, with like minded individuals who are just plain awesome.
Whether you want to actively compete or just train and get freakishly strong, you are welcome to attend. Spaces up for grabs are limited.
You can find out more and book your spot by going to
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
After publishing my articles and Richie J Edwards strength phase training sessions on breakingmuscle.com I received tons of emails with questions about strength training. As I am not able to respond to all of them individually, here is a first of the short posts on strength training. In the Strength training series, I hope I will answer all the questions asked.
So why is it so important for a COMBAT ATHLETE to be strong? In the end, he/she moves or reacts only a weight which is closed to their own, etc. Why and how we have come up with the standards like 2x bw (body weight) Deadlift, 1.5x bw Front Squat, 0,9 bw strict press etc (for full list of strength standards go HERE:)
I strongly believe in fundamentals, not only from the standpoint that the stronger you are the more damage you can cause in your opponent. I believe in strength training because it is an extremely effective in injury prevention, especially for such a contact sport as MMA. It does not matter that much how many times you can hit the tire with a sledge hammer or how long you can go full out on an airdyne whilst wearing a gas mask. It may look cool but it is not necessarily effective. In my opinion - Front squatting 1.5 x your body weight looks much cooler.
What is important and what you always come back to are the pillars of strength, the basic movements.
Hinge / lift movement
The basics of learning tension, applying the correct body structure and absorbing the load through both muscular and skeletal systems, understanding the use and activation of the mid section and also the importance of the tension through the whole body can never be overestimated. The effort of the BODY and the MIND and the feeling of lifting big load is what aids the confidence when in the cage, ring or matt, providing technical skills are in place.
Make your athletes strong before adding any plyometrics, balance, ballistic or speed training. I still see so many trainers and video posts, where fighters are jumping over, on top and off boxes etc and it is clear that they are not strong enough to provide stability for the knees to absorb the shock. If they cannot front squat at least their body weight with correct from - don't make them jump, it is asking for a blown knee or Achilles tendon injury. Find the weaknesses and deal with them before progressing.
Training strength - stick to basics, certainly providing you have enough time in your hands you can add some fillers, make the sessions more interesting, however fundamentals come first. If I have an athlete for 30 mins, I will better make sure these 30 mins have been used to the best of his/her ability and advantage.
Strong comes first, once Strong is in place, you can play with your training more without risking injuries and getting more speed, power and endurance benefits out of it.
As to the strength standards - they are based on experience, consultation with top s&c coaches and still, they serve us only as a basis for true athletic development. As to the next questions that pops up - how strong is strong enough for a combat athlete, I will answer it in the next weeks post.
Ps. Check out breakingmuscle.com (HERE). Its a top website with tons of information from various fields of fitness and athletics.
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