Bicep Blog - a tale of a tear, and recovery - mental and physical!

  • OK, here goes, prepare to get bored tit-less over the next XX months as I document the tear and recovery of my right bicep.

    [b]SUNDAY 27 May, 2012.[/b]

    5:30pm horse paddock, having just dropped the horse float off and car slipping a little in the damp as we come out of the paddock at the gate. Get out to push and give enough force to get us through. What I think happens is left hand slips off (was an underhand grip on the bumper, lifting/pushing), causing then right arm to overload and 'POP', electric shock from wrist to shoulder, centering in the inner elbow. Massive pain when it happened for about a second, and then nothing. So now right bicep starts about an inch and a half above where it should be.

    Mindset at the moment - FUCK, why now. A week out from comp. I knew I should not have come out to the paddock, I wasn't needed, why did I? Should have stayed home, didn't nee to come. But then, I always do go out, needed to or not, and regardless of the whys or whys nots, it's happened, lets look forward and get it sorted.

    [b]MONDAY 28th may, 2012[/b]

    Just did cardio at gym this morning, arm still not to sore, the odd sharp pain when I move to quickly or in a reflex motion, like motion when talking. Other than the muscle looking weird, prety much all go. Whacked out a fierce pace on the treadmill, especially considering am halfway through a carb deplete. Ness saying that she blamed herself for the injury making me come out to the paddock. I said bugger off, I have already blamed everyone from the Pope to Mickey Mouse, and the bottom line is, 'shit happens', and it did to me, so time to look ahead and get this sorted.

    Visit to nutritionist and trainer today, I'll still compete on the weekend, and see if any of the judges notice the new de-proved me!

    Also saw the Doctor, and have been referred to ultra sound ASAP and a specialist at Grace Hospital in Tauranga. We'll try and get into the same bloke that is going to operate on Vanessa's tennis elbow ligament. She's on the waiting list at the moment. Reckon I should be able to see him within 6 weeks, the Doc that is. Sandy Moss.

    In a weird way I am looking forward to this while process. Target setting has never been a strong suit unless forced upon me, and here it certainly has been! Target to get body back to normal, back on stage, and winning a third National title. I certainly don't think it will be this year now!

    [b]TUESDAY 29th May, 2012[/b]

    Cardio again this morning, belting along like an Olympic walker again on the treadmill. Was watching Ness train and thinking, some of those exercises should place no strain on my bicep, I might give them a go. SO I did (much to Vanessa's chagrin). But no pain for dumbell press, front plate raises, wide grip pulldowns, seated close grip row, smith machine shrugs, machine bench press and tricep pushdowns. Light weights, but fully functional. Also did some lat raises, slight elbow pain, from the twisting I expect. but stoked and thinking maybe the rehab on this might not be too bad post op.

    Did some posing in the evening to see if I can flex. Was more than able. TO me the difference in biceps on the poses is massive. But not really, will be interesting to see comments from judges if any post show. Then went through our pairs routine, having to learn the old one with no lift, we ran through a couple of times not too bad. I thought I might be able to do current one still where I lift ness above my head (and she drapes back so we're like a human T). And I was able to no worries. Just a little pain on the return to ground. The lift no problem - like a lineout lifter behind the jumper. BUt I think we're still going to do the old one, just in case!

    [b]WEDNESDAY 30th May, 2012[/b]

    Cardio for a half hour in the morning on the bike, tired now, thanks to carb deplete being a week old! And then weights again, much the same as the above day, but a little heavier. When loading up the Olympic bar for shrugs in the squat rack, threw in a set or reverse grip curls. Just the bar, but managed it with no pain in bicep. It really must be munted!

    Again mindset good, thinking that I'll be able to machine shoulder press a couple of weeks post op, there was no pressure in bicep at all. So will probablu if anything have to keep the breaks on when rehabbing, do this once, do this right, but that might yet be months down the track - I still might get to finish the bodybuilding season. But I don't know if I WANT to do it half-arsed. Or in this case, half-armed. Will depend on how much I can train as much as anything I think with the injury, but that looks like it should be pretty easy going on the last few days.

    Can't wait for the exact medical diagnoses of the injury, so I can then google my life away and check out on it.

    [b]THURSDAY 31st May, 2012[/b]

    Cardio and a few abs this morning at the gym, no weights now, not that I have been able, properly this last week. A bit down today, not so much about the injury, just that the excitement of pre-contest is not there as much. Feel like a boxer going into a fight with one arm tied behind his back! Seems half arsed, but hell, do the best I can and see what happens! Rest of the body feeling OK though, so that's a bright side!

    [b]FRIDAY 1st June, 2012[/b]

    Forgot to mention 'treatment' so far on the bicep. None. It's not been sore, except for reflex movements, like reaching out to open a door and turning the knob really fast (a habit of mine), then a sharp pain, not intense, just a reminder. I have been wearing one of those compression sock type bandages on bicep to forearm to keep any swelling at bay, but today nothing. Pain is returning now though, a dull background throb, so the muscle is repairing itself no doubt. or whatever it is doing. I expect though that the tendon is not pulling itself down my arm to reattach itself, dammit. Tanning session last night, still a bit down and out about competing this weekend with only one good wing. Need to shake that and be the normal me on stage, 'King of the Jungle', biggest man on the block!! Whatever!?! But need to get the head space sorted.

  • Is your bicep going to set up a twitter feed like Tom Abercrombie's ankle? I think Cedric Jackson's ankle got in on the action too!

    I'd read tweets from Bart's Bicep lol... something makes me think it'd be a bit potty mouthed!

  • lol, Hard to get a tweeter from my dial tone 1948 mobile phone...

  • Saturday 2nd, Sunday 3rd.
    Well, competed in INAB Auckland championships, placed 1st 40+ physique, and won pairs with Ness, and Ness won the open figure short. Typical first competition of the year, not as hard or as ripped at the second and third shots, where I seem to be at my best. Tough too after a week from the tear. Mental prep this week has been ratshit, and on stage in the morning felt flat and disembodied, just 'not there'. When we went out for pairs and overall later in the championships had the mojo back a little. but was not with it really at all.

    Good news though, the bicep was not noticeable anywhere but in my head - trainer in the audience could not notice anything majorly different between the two arms on bicep poses, so just have to get into my hear that everything is all right. So training will carry on as usual, just keeping tabs on the right arm. All bicep exercises are now DB as opposed to barbell exercises. A bonus point I suppose it that the right bicep is blown, not the weaker smaller left one. So I will keep going hard and heavy on the left, and just do what I can on the right within the pain threshold. And post op hopefully once all is running smooth again the right and the left might end up equals after 42 years!

    ahhh, other than that, business as usual on stage, just have to get the head right, and accept that the right bicep is poked until further notice! No doubt operation will end up happening at the most inopportune time, but whatever time, we'll take it, the sooner it is tied back together, the sooner it is recovered!

  • Well done to you both. Great results first up!

    Any links to competition pics?

  • Yeah great work both of you!! Must be stoked with that win on the back of an injury!! awesome stuff : )

  • Monday 4th, Tuesday 5th.

    Well ultra-sound as expected confirmed the worst. Tendon torn and waving in the wind, 3cm away from home base. So surgery the only thing that will tie the story back together. I am to call the surgeon today (once I've typed this in fact), and ask for him to look at the scan straight away (on the advice from the ultra sound doc), and see if he wants to see me sooner rather than later. I'm sort of hoping it's sooner, as I have a serious case of the 'blahs'. Training, eating clean, keeping lean, and for what, I'll go under the knife in 3 weeks, so why stay in contest condition etc. It's just the post contest come down, always happens but still sucks. We're seven weeks away from competing at Bay of Plenty NABBA, but the heart is struggling to get back into it. Will stay strong with it though, Ness is still going great guns, so don't want to rain on her parade at the moment, she's in the best condition she has ever been in, just me the broken arse.

    After viewing a few more photos though it is quite noticeable. I will have to work and see if there are different angles I can pull the fist and elbow too.

    Just off the phone - 8:40 am visit to surgeon tomorrow morning. You beauty, lets fast track this bastard.

    that my friends, is all.

  • Good to get it done asap mate.

    And that post contest rage was evident on a few of those facebook updates yesterday too mate!

  • lol, yeah, stupid bloody wrinkly drivers.

  • Or was it post fake tan rage?

  • Yep, make sure you don't do 60 if you're in front of Bart but surely he coulda overtaken at some stage !!

  • mate, there are about a half dozen places you can pull over on the Waihi / Whanga road, and about two where you can decide to pass if lucky....

    Anyway, saw surgeon today, operation scheduled for the 6th of July. Lucky Friday. Overnight stay, and then recovery. 5% chance of shit happening, and they get the joint moving again almost straight away.

  • How's the progress? Me, I just did my lower back, walking around like an old woman today, ow!

  • Not good Kea - how did you do that?

  • Lay on your stomach, keeping your hips on the ground, ease yourself up on your arms. Does wonders for the lower back twinges.

  • Thanks Kirwan, I tried it. Not much improvement but it motivated me to look for more exercises to relieve the pain. I'm doing quad stretching and will initially focus on staying within the areas of movement that do not have much pain-sitting stretches.... Sitting is ok. Can't stand up straight and walking is painful. Got a walking stick.
    This is a vertebrae, and I guess I need more flexibility in the legs/hips, but the hiking probably was the opposite of what I needed for the back.

    And JK I did it when I kneeled on all fours to pat a cat, then when I went to get up I felt something go out. Off to the hospital on Monday or Tuesday, fingers crossed it miraculously recovers before that.

    Anyway, back on topic, hope Bartman is ok.

  • alive, i am alive...

    and hope your back is OK.

    been flat out organising Saturdays comp, abrely time to breath, let alone train, let alone worry about biceps.

    latest update, more pain in forearm at moment, various exercises hurt so avoiding them!

    Operation now set in stone - 6th, so bring it on.

    I am now competing on Saturday at our comp, might be my last one for a year or so! Instead of guest posing.

    68 competitors, so a good sized gig.


  • won open athletic and overall athletic.

    operation this Friday, bring it on!!

  • So you could say you won them with one arm tied behind your back?

    Awesome work!

  • Saw the pics mate. Well done on your performance but also on you and Ness running the whole thing. Heard some really good feedback around the traps. Top stuff!

  • well, 3 days after op and ready to chop arm off! nah, not really, but doc said 3 months before ANY weight bearing, but see him next monday for first real assessment. Going to be a long row to hoe though I am thinking. Defo knocked me around more than I expected, sometimes perhaps you are NOT bulletproof!!

    So probably looking at a good 9 months recovery to get back to being stage ready, but just want to be able to lift a box at the moment! Hard work going from the guy who can lift heavyb shit and move stuff all over the place to the guy with one arm who is farking useless!

  • Good luck on a smooth recovery and remember to stay positive and appreciate that it's not something much worse-and value what you have and have achieved.
    Oh, and maybe some stair repeats

  • geee, when I am not at work my internet time is WAAAAAAAAY down.

    Anyway, been a few weeks now, are still week, watching the bicep shrink day by day, still not meant to be at work, so of course I AM NOT there at the moment.

    However, I have discovered that I can use a Smith machine for bench press and shoulder press, so that is great news, getting pretty heavy too on those.

    Still have not picked up a milk bottle as surgeon advised. I have however moved house, stacked firewood, shoveled and barrowed horse shit, built scale models. But wiping bum is still a left handed option...!!

    So recovery going well. Had a yarn with mate whose Bicep was reattached too, but his was done a year later (so he could finish his rugby season), so they had to grab some tendon from his hammy as the bicep was too far up the arm to stretch back down. At any rate, he's now pretty much good as gold. When he flexes though the bicep starts 2 and a half fingers up from the inside elbow join, as opposed to 2 for the good arm, so that's not bad, and not noticable to the naked eye. Fingers crossed mine will be better. Surgeon actauclly said it might start closer to the elbow, depending on how much trimming on the trimming on the tendon they had to do.

    SO all good, eating like a bull elephant, have not been NEAR the scales, is funny not eating surgically clean as per the last 3 years, but enjoying the looser eating. Things like a couple of pieces of toast if I am hungry in the afternoon! Eating far too much bread type stuff, but it is a good mind break. And in saying 'far too much', still sod all - it's like toast today, a scone the day before type stuff. Not the half loaf here and there like in the good old fat and unfit days!!

    I even ran on the treadmill the other day. First time I have run since 2009. I still hate it!!!

    and that is all for now. Ness at Whakatane this weekend at BOP championships. She is in the best nick of her life, looking awesome, BF% down to 7. SHe has never been that low before. Fingers crossed she cracks the big one and wins the overall at BOP this weekend. BUt you never know who's going to turn up.

  • Wow 7% for a lady is pretty dam low mate. Keen to see the comp pics. Hope she does well.

    Good to hear recovery is on track too.

  • check facebook page, she won class and overall, her first overall, stoked!!

  • That latest photo she posted was excellent, looks ripped to shreds. Congrats!

  • 87.7kg 12.2%BF.

    Not as bad as I thought I'd be, have been too scared to get on the scales!!!

    And with all this rain, have not been able to get onto the road bike and hit some good long rides to fill in the time.

    Otherwise all going as (I guess) it should. See surgeon on the 20th next.

  • When can you get back into work and training?

  • been training right through but for anything biceps related, so back workouts and obviosuly biceps have been off the menu big time. but legs, chest and shoulders in the Smith machine have been getting a caning! Did some bicep curls for the first time on Sunday, 4kg dumbells. Can't feel anything untoward when I do that, so it must be healing or sometrhing. 6 weeks I think last Friday.

    Check up with surgeon now next tuesday, be interesting to seee progress from there and what the plan is. Seem to have full range of motion, still a little numbness though, but other than a shrunken upper arm and a scar, all systems are go!

    How's your knee doing?

  • bonus bounds time - after my millionth chest workout in the snmith machine. Did some incline press with the bar, only light, but no problem with bicep. Then some seated close grip rows, again very light as some of these rowing exercises can get into the biceps. But nice and light, it worked well, could feel into my back nicely. Smith machine upright rows also worked, so might be able to cobble togther a back workout tomorrow, yay.

  • Good stuff mate. Glad to hear the recovery is making good progress.

    Do you think you've lost much conditioning and size over the last few months?

  • only in the arm, have been able to go hard on shoulder press and bench press, legs never changed their workouts, back and bicep the only parts that have been limited! Roll on Tuesday!

  • Sooo, keep on hurrying up and waiting. More weeks of sweet FA on the horizon after visit to surgeon. All going well, tendon joined up well etc, range of motion good (full actually), everything as it should be. Still wants no loading of the muscle for at least another 4 weeks, and then GRADUALLY get back into loading and working the muscle.

    All good, bored titless though.

  • bah, gradually!! the last think you want to hear when you are champing at the bit to get stuck in!! However it is good to hear things are progressing well, better for your long term training and competing.

  • and while I am following my docs instructions to the letter (now that could be a Tui billboard), I have maanged two rows on the concept 2. A 5k in 19:07, and a 2k in 7:41. Felt a little sore in the bicep after the 5k row, so only did 2k the second time. Good to row though, but arm defo not right for that either yet. Will have to stick to the weights for now.

  • Still good to get a sense of what you can and can't do at the moment. But go easy on it mate - last thing you want is to rip it again finding out you can't do a certain exercise! So no 30kg dumbbell curls!

    You've spoken to other people who've had the same injury aye? what sort of timeframe did they talk about in terms of recovery?

  • usually 9 months to a year - doc reckoned that too. So i'll be aiming for the lower end of the scale!

  • [quote name='BartMan' timestamp='1345437023' post='305343']
    been training right through but for anything biceps related, so back workouts and obviosuly biceps have been off the menu big time. but legs, chest and shoulders in the Smith machine have been getting a caning! Did some bicep curls for the first time on Sunday, 4kg dumbells. Can't feel anything untoward when I do that, so it must be healing or sometrhing. 6 weeks I think last Friday.

    Check up with surgeon now next tuesday, be interesting to seee progress from there and what the plan is. Seem to have full range of motion, still a little numbness though, but other than a shrunken upper arm and a scar, all systems are go!

    How's your knee doing?

    Sorry for the late reply. We moved flats and had to wait 2 weeks for the modem to turn up. (Joys of the gf leaving it to the week of moving to organise an internet account haha).

    Knees going ok. Finally got back to full duties at work which is a huge relief. Even though Im on a pretty shitty wage, its not until you only get 80% of your wage do you learn to appreciate getting a full pay haha.

    Rehab has been bloody slow and its taken almost 9 weeks to start finally getting some gains in my exercises. my biggest issue is that I can't straigthen my knee on my own accord. The phsyio can force the knee to get within the range of movement which means that there isnt a block within my knee thankfully. As if there was it would probably mean another surgery.

    ive been thrashing the rehab with a 20min bike every morning and body weight exercises at night. After speaking to the physio over the weekend it sounds like Ill be up to doing some light weights at the gym next week (leg press etc) which will be nice for a change.

    I wish Ild taken weekly photos of my legs to capture the difference in sizes between the two. My left leg is about half the size of my good one. I have to make a good effort at putting even weight on both legs when Im standing.

    I joked with the phsyio about how the boys were giving me shit for being unfit and out of shape, and that I was dreading getting back into running again and she just told me straight out that it will be another 3-4 months before I can run again

  • chubbs, how's your walking going? You able to go walking OK yet? Head to the hills I reckon!! Start recording time and even if you add a minute each day, it'll soon add up. Walk out for ten minutes, back in whatever it takes. All of course if you are allowed and able to!!

    Great workout for me today - shoulders, and slammed to pieces. Have got hold of some brilliant books on weight training - will add a link at the end here, worth their weight in gold. But your lat raises, says to have a weight that you are able to HOLD for a moment at the top of the range of movement. So weight lifted has dropped, intensity is up about a million percent.

    only thing I could not manage to day was the clean and press, so super setted upright rows and BB press. Shoulders whacked to pieces.

    This website has free delivery. WE got all three, but if you were just going to get 1, i would get the first link.

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