Distal Bicep Tendon Rupture – 15th week post surgery

It’s been four months since surgery more or less.
Recently I had my third and final physio appointment, compliments of the UK’s National Health Service. Generally things are looking good (i.e. the surgery appears to be largely successful) and I’ve been given some general workout tips to progress on my own from here.

Training planning

On this final physio appointment I was asked to do all manner of things like bicep curls, cable pulls and eventually pull-ups?!?!

After 3+ months of no physical activity on my left bicep I completed 4 pull-ups before my form began to suffer. I was impressed by this. So impressed days later I attempted this again to find myself cranking out 2 repetitions before throwing in the towel 🙂

My physiotherapist instructed me to undertake strength training for a period of time, then vary that, and then finally move to explosive strength movements. To explain:

  • Strength training specifically where the movements are slow and require full range of movement. e.g. good, fully-formed push-ups
  • Strength training variations i.e. fully-formed push-ups where you would move your arms about for each press.
  • Explosive strength training where you would then push up explosively to undertake clap push-ups.

A general guideline I was advised was to always keep some reps ‘in the bank’ – if I can do 10 repetitions for example, I should do 8. So very, very gradually overload would apply here. Makes sense really.

One thing which wasn’t mentioned was the importance of sleep. By God I sleep badly. I recently came back from a family holiday in Spain. As any father of young children could attest to: “family holiday” and “rest” are not synonymous. What also didn’t help was the classic hotelier choice of hard mattresses; yes they certainly last longer but a comfortable sleep they do not make. Unless you sleep like a pharaoh.

Having no children, better yet, sleeping solo on a comfortable mattress at the other end of your abode will one-up you with most judoka family men and women. Remember this, you miserably single older judoka – there are benefits to being single and childless.

Concerns with returning to training

As much as I’d love to jump back into Judo at this point, the idea of surgical steel any time soon unnecessarily halts me in my tracks. I drill at my local BJJ club which is working out great, but I decline any rolling.

I have a good friend who’s out of Judo because of a shoulder injury. His target return is a few months away so I’m using his return as a yardstick since he’s a great partner to work with.

On the topic of this same chap, I was with him and another friend who’s a Calisthenics fanatic yesterday (her Instagram handle is @angelaig) for a waffle/coffee/tea. Just surrounding myself with people like this who have fitness high on their agenda have really helped with my recovery.

Angela doing her thing – check out her Instagram profile at @angelaig

I was a bit on the fence this past lunchtime about whether to squeeze a gym session in but remembering our conversations really pushed me to take the plunge. Tip #26146168: surround yourself with like-minded healthy people.

What’s next?

I’m still at the Strength Training phase, and will continue until at least the end of this month. I’ll then gradually introduce Strength Training variations followed by an introduction to light Judo training at the club. Steady as she goes..

I hope you enjoyed my judo rant for today. If you did, please consider subscribing to this blog (link at the bottom right of this page) so you can be emailed when I come up with something new. I won’t use your email for anything else other than letting you know what the next blog post is.

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