Starting Strength Weekly Report

August 03, 2015

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Under the Bar

deadlift kelly bryant Kelly Bryant successfully completes her third attempt deadlift of 117.5 kg (259 lb) at the recent USAPL NorCal Open that took place in Sacramento, CA. [photo courtesy of Tom Campitelli]
deadlift pr gaby Gaby V. hits a PR deadlift of 200x3 at Horn Strength & Conditioning in Los Angeles. [photo courtesy of Paul Horn]
deadlift tonya New lifter Tonya deadlifts an easy set of 5 with 195#. She's currently training for the Charm City Strongwoman Contest hosted by Fivex3. [photo courtesy of Emily Socolinsky]
clean learning 61 year old Sam Indorante shows us his jumping ability at July's Starting Strength pulling camp at STRONG Gym. [photo courtesy of Matt Reynolds]

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Best of the Week

Starting Strength in NYC with Michael Wolf

Just finished up a cycle of Starting Strength in Manhattan. Michael Wolf runs a Starting Strength program out of Crossfit Solace in Midtown and I can’t recommend it enough if you’ve been in search of a place that's SS friendly in NYC. I just finished the 8 week cycle known as Solace Strong that he runs, although I do believe Wolf offers other personal training options through his company Wolf Strength and Conditioning.

The low down up front:

I got bigger and a hell of a lot stronger in all the lifts and had a blast.

A week before the cycle starts you come in and learn the lifts with everyone else scheduled for the class. I had read the books before, and toyed around with some lifting a few years ago so I was familiar with the basics, but never had the benefit of a Coach watching me. This alone makes the class worth it, as I confirmed things I was doing right and Wolf gives feedback and cues throughout to correct what you’re doing wrong.

The cycle starts the next time you show up, and generally you’re 3 to a power rack. The facility is a Crossfit gym, so it’s got great equipment, and although the circus freaks are doing their WODs nearby, they don’t get in the way or else Wolf scares them off. We had everyone in the class from complete newbies with barbells to real strong guys who were on multiple cycles of the class. Wolf does all the programming and you come in with your work sets for the day written on the white board. It starts off with the standard linear progression (LP) and as you progress he’ll change your sets accordingly. For me personally, this meant adding a light day for squats on Wednesday after about 4 weeks. Although I wished I could’ve kept with +15 a week, the light day was just what I needed, as I felt better after adding another 20 pounds on squat than I did before the light day just because of the extra recovery.

The last week and a half we deviate a little bit from the standard LP by changing up with ramping sets to get ready for the end of cycle Crossfit Total. Workouts get long and heavy and it's a cool change of pace from the sets of 5. The cycle ended today, Sunday with the CFT that most people showed up for. It's an awesome informal introduction to how a meet works and it's a great atmosphere to do it in. All in all an awesome time, and if you're nearby and on the fence about working in a group instead of on your own, definitely check it out. It'll be back to an LP for me, and I'm either going to do another 8 week cycle, or work out on my own until I know my form needs work and hit up Wolf for a check up.

Best of the Forum

To Cortisone or not?

I have a Hip Labrum Tear that has been with me a long time now. The symptoms used to come and go but for about 19 months it has been consistent and always there. It has been very troublesome at times, which includes right now! I can barely bend over/dip down.

When seeing ortho they explained that the usual diagnostic procedure is to give a cortisone shot, and if the patient gains any relief than this means that surgery may have a productive outcome. And if no relief is found, then surgery will be a waste of time so the case will be dropped.

I refused the shot, demanded a scan, which raised eyebrows and caused a lot of uncomfortable shuffling and phone calls. But I was granted an MRI, which I have had and am awaiting results/consult for in coming weeks.

At the moment I am not sure if I want to have surgery, I have some silly lifting goals and desire to work, travel and do a bunch of outdoorsy stuff this year. If I could gain some temporary relief that was non-destructive I would take it. Pain itself does not bother me, but when it feels so absurdly torn up and the whole joint is mechanically locking up and grinding to sensations of further tearing. It is difficult to do anything!

So to cut a long story short, and excuse the pun.. is Cortisone worth a shot?

Ortho totally denied any negative effects when I asked him, not sure if I trust the fellow. And before you ask, I did try "not lifting" for a period last year, didn't help.

John Petrizzo

I have worked with several patients who have had either arthroscopic debridements or repairs of their labrums. The recovery can be a slow process, but ultimately you should be back to lifting without restriction in a few months (the time frame will vary a bit depending on whether they do a repair or debridement). The population I have seen with this injury have been high school athletes, and all of them suffered labral damage secondary to congenital bony abnormalities of their hip joints. As is typical, the stronger, more athletic kids have recovered faster and with fewer complications than the weaker, less athletic kids. I would think your previous training history will ultimately be helpful to you in your recovery if you do need to go the surgery route.

Others can probably speak to the long term effects of repetitive use of cortisone shots better than I can, but my opinion is that too many shots in any one area is ultimately harmful to the integrity of the healthy tissues. In addition, while the cortisone itself may ease the inflammation in a particular area, if the underlying cause of the inflammation is not addressed, then once the cortisone wears off, you are back to square one. Ultimately, if you have an injury that is going to require surgery, than cortisone probably is not the answer other than just for some short-term relief.

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