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Thread: Still on the Right Side of the Grass

  1. #2741
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    • starting strength seminar jume 2024
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    3/16/24

    Squat -
    130 /140kg *1, 125kg 2*1; Leg Press 300lbs 5*5, Single leg Ext / Curl 90lbs 10*3, Rows and Planks for successories
    Felt really good for once, and was able to aggressively load the bar warming up. Very confident under the bar, things moved nicely.

    Bench -
    87.5kg X ...X, Pin Bench 72.5kg 5*1; lots of dumbbell work and Chin-ups for successories
    Well that was a shit show. My Bench is officially in the toilet. The issues that have dogged me on Squats and Deads finally showed up on the Bench.
    No ability to accept the eccentric portion of the movement, and of course no pop off the chest. This is really "interesting" in a "what the fuck" kinda way. Why now after all this time, would the Bench go in the toilet. It feels like what ever is dogging me is working it's way out off my body starting at the knees, and now up through the shoulders.

    Deadlift -
    185 / 200kf *1, 180kg 2*1; Double Leg Ext /Curls 170lbs 12*3 for successories. Short session as I was heading out to the Sabres game that evening.
    The Bench fiasco the previous day had really gotten in my head overnight. I came into this session full expecting to get stuck somewhere n the 160/170s.
    However, my body came through for me. Might have had 205 /7.5 if I been pushed.

    Saturday -
    Pin Bench 70/75/80kg *1, 65kg 2*1; Double Leg Ext / Curl 90kg 30*3, Hack Squat bw 20*3, Cable work for the shoulders, and some straight bar curls for successories.
    Bench continues to be an exercise in futility. Very tired, and out of breath ... and I slept really well last night.

    NYS's are this weekend. Withdrawing was the correct call. If I had competed, and had my Bench go in the shitter the way that is has ... well, I would have driven right into the Hudson River (the meet is Albany NY)

    Oye ... a very mixed bag this week. I should be pleased, after all the Squats and Pulls were fairly decent ... as good as they have been in a long time. The Bench issue is playing with my mind.

    I had a blood draw Thursday, and I have a follow-up appointment with Dr. Nichols next Thursday. To say I'm interested in what this latest panel shows is a gross understatement.

    Deep Breath ... in ... out ...
    Last edited by Browndog; 03-16-2024 at 02:49 PM.

  2. #2742
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    3/23/2

    Simply feeling our way along at the moment - rep/sets

    Squat -
    Paused Squat 100kg 2*1, Squat 80kg 6*4, Hack Squat bw 10*3; Dumbbell Incline Bench, One Arm Pullldowns, Kroc Rows for successories.
    The whole of this training block has a focus on speed / explosiveness ... which I've been lacking due to what ever has been ailing me.
    Gotta say it was harder than I thought at these low weights. I was pooped physically and mentally.

    Bench -
    Tempo Down Close grip 75kg 2*1, Bench 70kg 6*4; Cable Fly, Shoulders and Triceps work for successories.
    Again the focus is all about being fast. Amazingly, my shoulders are not barking at me. Just like it came on without a reason, it seems to have left jus the same way ... go figure. It's nice to be able to get under the bar with no pain.

    Deadlift -
    150kg *2, 140kg 6*4; Tempo Down Leg Press, Single Leg RDL, Rows and Pulldowns for successories.
    The loading here seems a tad aggressive, but I do what's written. The speed was there without forcing the matter so that's good.

    SBD Saturday -
    2 Board 3 Count Bench 62.5kg 4*3; Banded Squats 62.5kg 7*3; Big Wheel Pulls 125kg 3*6; Dumbbell Press and Hip Thrust for succcessories
    More speed work, at really low weights. I really a not a fan of those Hip Thrusts, doing them single leg is a pain in the ass.
    I was a little toasty from Thursday's session. Thankfully the weights were light today. Coach has me performing the lifts in a different order of operations in order to let my Bench get some work with fresh shoulders. Felt odd starting with Bench .... I'm such a creature of habit.

    So, the first week is in the books. I recovered reasonably well, but not fully. I pushed the explosiveness, and didn't pay too high a price ... my knee held up pretty well, no gross swelling and only a little "pain". I think though, that by week four I'm gonna be not daisy fresh.

    As it's four weeks into the new thyroid meds, I had follow-up appointment with Dr. Nichols. As I suspected, he bumped the meds up bit a little less than half the current amount. I seem to be handling everything without any ill effects.

    That's the good news. The unsettling news is that he's adamant in his overall reading of my situation - my Testosterone levels are below the low end of "normal", and without addressing this issue my health will continue to be compromised on multiple levels.

    I'm still processing this information, and all the data he put before me.

    The narrative that I've been operating under for most of my life has caste Performance Enhancing Drugs / TRT in a negative light ... yes I'm very na´ve. My handling of prostate cancer has been influenced by "established guidelines" of the acknowledged experts in the field. My dreams include being competitive, "drug free", at the highest levels of Powerlifting when I hit my 70's ... there is a short window that would be open before the really strong people re-enter my weight class, and assuming that my health would allow me to train for optimal performance (a la 2019 style).

    I'm being asked to step into the unknown ... or perhaps better put, take the red pill in terms of proper hormone optimization treatments, that perhaps everything we've been trained to believe isn't.

    What I do know is that I'm still not even close to who I was prior to 2020. Am I better for the thyroid treatments, I'd say so. Can get back to 2019 me, I'm told I can. I want to be active, I'd like too live in less pain: I want to be able to get off the couch with requiring an act of congress, I want to be able to go for a walk and not be so winded that I'm constrained by the terrain I can get out into. I love to play golf and walk the course ... which I can't do now. I grew up playing Squash competitively ... and I can't even do ghosting drills, much less play. I can lift, but at a level that I'm not happy with.

    Trust me when I say I've had a few sleepless nights struggling with this decision in front of me. And yes, I've asked for divine guidance.

    So there we are ... stay tuned.

  3. #2743
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    3/30/24

    ... it's been a hard week.

    Squats were OK

    Bench was an absolute disaster

    Deads were OK

    Today's SBD work was mixed: Squats and Block Pulls were comfortable, Bench continues to drive me right around the bend.

    So, to the meat of the matter. I struggled with the decision regarding TRT ... from Thursday, right through Monday morning. I talked with a lot of people: some who are cancer survivors / athletes; my coach; my teammates. I don't remember being so damn conflicted about something, short of how I addressed my cancer diagnosis.

    I ultimately came to the realization that I should go ahead and enter into TRT. I've not been able to function properly inside, and most importantly outside the gym for the past four years.

    So I contacted Dr. Nichols, and informed him of my decision. Unfortunately, due to the fact that I'm still under the care of my cancer team, I cannot start TRT until I get clearance from those doctors.

    I have contacted them, and I have an appointment to meet with them on the 10th of April. Hopefully they are bringing me in to make sure I'm aware of the "pro's and con's" of my decision. If they're going to withhold approval, well ... I'm ready to have a frank discussion with them, but I'm not gonna be happy about being put in such a situation. I have a lot of pent up anger over the whole Covid nonsense.

    Then there's the whole different internal dialogue that I've been having (because of this decision), that has colored the way I've handled this week: how I've entered the gym; how I've interacted with my friends ... it's a lot of drama that I'm not handling well.

    50 years of conditioning regarding "performance enhancing drugs" is a hard thing to override. I'll get there, it's just not gonna be easy ...

    Anyway, I probably won't post anything of interest here, or on "the 'gram" until after I meet with the cancer docs.

    Easter blessing to you all.

  4. #2744
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    Happy Easter!

  5. #2745
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    Hey BD so sorry to hear about the continued problems they are having with your chemistry and the problems that is causing you.

  6. #2746
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    4/6/24

    A better week, both on the platform and off, so YAY!

    Squat
    Still able to move the weight quickly ... it's a shame it's still so light, but it doesn't hurt and that's good.

    Bench
    Much better than last week. I hate to think that just because I forgot to take some "pre-workout", that it took that much off the bar, but it appears that way. Everything moved as it should have, and didn't hurt.

    Deadlift
    If there is a bright spot in training, Deads are it. The top set is nothing taxing, but the down sets of 6 aren't killing me, and they're moving quickly.

    SBD Saturday
    Good Bench, but the Squats and Deads were uncomfortable: hips and knees were cranky. Got the work done, but I wasn't moving comfortably.
    Would have been nice to have taken an Aleve either before or during the session. As it was, I took a half a tablet when I got home.

    What's interesting is that it takes so long to get the "engine' up to speed. Once I'm past the top set(s), the down sets move fairly smartly, and the assistance work is right in the pocket (even if I was on my old game). Just odd ...

    I see the cancer doc's on Wednesday to discuss my desire to go on TRT. I feel like my life is on hold until then.

  7. #2747
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    I hope you can get things figured out. The med's can be good and bad. That's any drugs. You never know until you try them. I only know of Carson being on TRT I think so there is no big base to pull knowledge from personally. I do know how frustrating it is to try to make your body do things and it will not respond. Good luck my friend and keep us in the loop as we will be cheering for you!

  8. #2748
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    4/13/24

    A week of eye opening idiocy, must have been due to the ECLIPSE ...
    Here are the cycle ending numbers just for posterity:

    Squat -
    Paused 115kg *2, Squat 95kg 6*4; Hack Squat 140lbs 10*3; Dumbbell Incline Bench 50lbs 10*3; Kroc Rows 90lbs 8*3; Single Arm Pulldown 70lbs 10*3.
    Not a lot of fatigue in today's session ...

    Bench -
    Close Grip Tempo Down 82.5kg *2, Bench 65kg 6*4; Cable Fly 16kg 7*3; Low to High Fly 14kg 10*3 ... Lots of Tri, and Shoulder successories.
    As odd as this will sound, I could feel my shoulders working, as opposed to being in pain - little victories.

    Deadlift -
    165kg *2, 152.5kg 6*4; Single Arm Dumbbell Bench 55lbs 8*3; Temp Down Leg Press 270lbs 10*3; Cable Mid Row 110lbs 15*3; Close Grip Pulldown 110lbs 15*3
    Not a bad session, did the down sets Touch & Go .. sue me. Liked the Single Arm Dumbbell Bench, good range of motion, as well as drive off the chest.

    SBD Saturday -
    2 Board / 3 Count Bench 70kg 5*3; Banded Squat (green band) 90kg 7*3; Big Wheel Pulls 153kg 3*6; 1 1/2 Chins bw (0-10-5-5-10) *5; Tempo Down Dumbbell Press 35lbs 8*3
    As good an SBD session as I've had in a good long while. The weight on the bar might not be "heavy" but it wasn't "light" either, and I got the sets done on short rest (2-3 minute on Bench; 5-6 minutes on the Squats; 3 minutes on the Pulls). Chins and Press felt great. Amazing what a decent night's sleep will do for a person.

    Now, on to the idiocy / lunacy:

    I heard back from the doctor who handled my radiation therapy, and who I have sent my request for "permission" to engage in TRT to.

    After he consulted with the Urology team, he said my numbers were not evidence of being Hypogonadal, as I was above their minimum cutoff, and that TRT was not appropriate ... notice he didn't say "dangerous", simply not appropriate based on my numbers.

    I politely pressed him on the matter and here's where everything went off the rails, He said:

    1) Your almost 70 y/o, and you're trying to act like a teenager
    2) You need to find other sports to engage in than Powerlifting, Golf, and Squash
    3) I'm (the doc) 55 y/o and I feel like shit every morning when I get out of bed
    4) Are you telling me you haven't been engaging in steroids' prior to cancer treatment
    5) Accept the fact that you are getting older ... shit happens

    There were other items, but the fact is he was dismissive, as well as patronizing.

    After trying to engage with him in a dialogue with little success, he said that he would take my concerns back to the Urology team. On Friday, he came back and said I would need to obtain new blood panels for them to review. I tried to explain to him that all I wanted to know is "was it safe to engage in TRT". He cut me abruptly and would not hear anything else ... "get the blood tests or there will be no more discussions with him or the Urology team".

    To say I was and am LIVID is an understatement. I'll play their game and get the tests ... after all, by having me go through the process of blood testing, it's an implied admission that TRT is not contra-indicated for someone with my medical history.

    I'll insist on a face to face with the Urology team, no more phone consultations.

    If they continue to say that I fall outside their range for TRT, I'll remind them that I already have a qualified 2nd opinion that says I do need TRT, and that all I'm requesting is that they give an opinion as to whether TRT will drive an adverse outcome regarding my prostate cancer diagnosis. If they refuse to offer an opinion, or if they say it is a problem and they fall back on already discredited studies ... I'm firing them.

    The chutzpah of this doughy, fat, fuck. Not one of these people have any background in exercise science. Not one of them engages in physical activity. They know what they know, which is cancer treatment. However, they have no idea to deal with someone who falls a couple of standard deviations to the right when it comes to post treatment lifestyles and activity levels.

    Grrrrr ....

    Blood tests scheduled for Tuesday next.

    Until then, peace ...
    Last edited by Browndog; 04-13-2024 at 02:20 PM.

  9. #2749
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    how dare you want to live your life!

  10. #2750
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    starting strength coach development program
    I feel for you BD as dealing with doctors can be challenging. Fortunately my last encounter went my way. On phone consultations I will not waste any more time or money on those. I only had one and it was a waste of $50. Also no PA's when I am paying for a specialist as that's BS. I hope you are able to get what you want out of this. And do not forget that you are still a strong man even though that may not be enough for your wishes.

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