It’s been ages, guys.
I started the draft of this post FOUR months ago, and never got around to finishing it. Multiple reasons account to why, and I’ll go into some of those reasons in a follow-up post. This post has a purpose and its purpose is…LIFETIME PRs!!! That’s right, not just post op PRs but LIFETIME. This is huge for me, guys. Lifetime PRs were hit on January 14, 2018 and February 16, 2017. To put into perspective:
- Surgery Date: November 16, 2017
- Had been dealing with hip pain all of 2016 and about half of 2015
Needless, to say, I hadn’t PR’d snatch, clean & jerk or squats in years. I was beginning to think, this is just how it’s going to be.
In December, we lost my sweet Abuelita to heaven, and it absolutely shattered my heart. Her health began to decline in November as Migs and I were flying back from Costa Rica. I made it a point to see her every single day since I got back and it was tough to see her this way since we knew, and she knew, what was coming. She was the ultimate fighter. My emotions were on high alert this entire time and then her passing came and it broke all of our hearts. She was the light of our little family. She had a wonderful 97 years of life. I know she is up above living it up with my Abuelito.
Training has always been an escape for me. An escape to get away from stress, to soothe any harsh feelings. But in this time more than ever, it helped soothe my soul during these sad times. I let my emotions be channeled through my training and my training was responding to it – it was going well. Leading up to the max outs, I was able to hit 90%+ in the lifts without misses. Okay, I’m rambling now! Let’s get to it.
My previous lifetime PR was 64kg/140lbs and 65kg/143lbs (aka red plates) had always evaded me, even before all the hip pain. On January 14th, I not only hit 65kg/143lbs but I also got 66kg/145lbs. It was a bit wobbly at the catch but at least I did not end up going to failure which means, I know I have more in the tank!
CLEAN & JERK
Reason I did not go to failure on snatch is because I didn’t want to burn out for the clean and jerks, which tend to be more taxing for me. My former clean & jerk lifetime PR was 80kg/176lbs, and it was a weight I hadn’t even matched in years. Heavy squats and cleans are what would hurt my hip the most. On this day, I surpassed my lifetime PR by 1kg to 81kg/178lbs – which may not seem like much but I was thrilled! With these, I did in fact go to failure, but I feel good knowing that I went to failure because I was tired (legs were exhausted and just wasn’t pulling enough anymore) – not because it was way too heavy. There are few things I could point out that I could’ve done better – keep core tight entire time, stronger lockout, caught jerk forward causing me to take the jerk for a walk to stabilize, etc – but you know what, wooosah – I’m going to celebrate the fact that I made these lifts after so long which is a feat in itself for me.
After my lifetime PRs of snatch and clean & jerk, Coach Jeff put me on a leg strength cycle, which means, the focus and priority are squats, the lifts are secondary. About a month into this leg strength cycle, it was time to go for a 1RM squat. And boy, oh boy, it was a grand day. Now this I have not PR’d in in over two years. The first thing to go when my hip began hurting were squats. Doing heavier squats is when I began to notice pain. I have had a couple max out squat attempts since hip surgery and each time, I would get to about 97-98% and it would feel fine, go up fairly easy. But any attempt at 100%+ and I’d fall apart. I’d get to the bottom and just bail way too soon. I know for a long time it was mental. Subconsciously, the fact that heavy squats were what would hurt my hip pre-op, messed with my head. After all the work I put in in this cycle, I knew I would get a PR – but I honestly expected at the most a 5kg/11lb PR or so. I did not fathom ending up with a 12kg/26lb PR. And, I didn’t even go to failure!
The best part? No, not my happy dance. All of these PRs happened WITHOUT HIP PAIN. Beyond not wanting to end up with a hip replacement when I’m older, and not dealing with hip pain in my daily life, THIS was why I went through with hip arthroscopy to repair a badly torn labrum and reshaping of hip bones. I wanted to be able to do what I love without pain. And not have to scale for the rest of my life.
If you know anyone that has gone through surgery and is feeling hopeless, share this post with them. I had all the doubts in the world that I would ever get back to 100% in strength, let alone go beyond. Yet here I am.