I just had an appendectomy, it hurts like hell. The doc said no climbing for a month. What can I do without making myself worse? Can I do any training without my core? Should I give the Dodgy Elbows workout another go since my elbows are still sore as well?
Kolin | via e-mail
My considered opinion is that you are one poor fucker. Not only have you had your beloved appendix removed and thrown in the medical waste bin, your elbows are clearly still causing you some heartache. At least your wife climbs much better than you. You can live vicariously and proudly say, I’m with her. I saw a photo of your lovely and she looks like a weapon. I wish I looked that strong.
The doc is correct. You have stitches in your guts and there is no way around straining them if you pull even a hair from your nose. No climbing, edge boarding or anything of the like, and even shagging should be done in the starfish position. Doctor’s orders.
I know you started the Dodgy Elbow program (archived at www.drjuliansaunders.com/resources/) some time ago. That it didn’t work may mean several things. First, that you have no commitment and are terrible at following instructions even though it is spelled out in the program that rehab will take some time and your elbows will likely become more aggravated in the short term.
Second, your lack of progress could mean that the diagnosis is wrong and you are dying from a rare tumor in your elbow. Get help! Or, last, the program needs tweaking. Ummm, get help.
Since I doubt you will be able to find help for this last point, I offer this guidance: The elbow angle at which you do the exercises will define the effectiveness of the program.
Step 1: Read the article again.
Step 2: Start with your elbow straight and test the eccentric wrist curl. Now move it up so that your elbow is at 150_ (from 180_) and repeat. Test again at 120_ and so on. You are looking for the position of maximum aggravation. You want to target the exercise so it loads the exact portion of the common flexor tendon that is suffering with tendonosis.
Now, using the same protocol, test the tick-tock exercise in which you have weight on one end of the dumb-bell only. Both exercises should be done with fairly heavy weight, twice a day.
The work/rest ratio can have a profound effect on whether the program is therapeutic. Usually two days on and one day off work well, but you may find that a 1:1 is better for you.