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Shoulder Dislocation Rehabilitation for Weightlifting: Part 4
Greg Everett

If you’ve been following Catalyst Athletics even with cursory check-ins for the last few months, you know I’ve had my hands full with shutting down our California gym and relocating to Oregon. To say it’s been busy is a monumental understatement—add to the move and those major changes a series of national and international trips (Olympic trials, seminars and Pan Ams) during the process and you can probably guess how well my shoulder rehab and training in general has been going.
 
Essentially my training tapered down for a couple weeks until it disappeared completely for a few weeks. In that time, my already low bodyweight (since the surgery and lack of training and eating) dropped even more to about 97kg, the lightest I’ve been since 2008. No, this is not cool.
 
I finally got the new gym essentially finished and have started to be able to train again on a regular schedule, which is a good thing—I’ve been Rainman unable to watch Wapner for almost a month.
 
Shoulder mobility hasn’t really changed since I did little to nothing about it for that period of down time—I’m still able to overhead squat, back squat, front squat, clean and press, but all with imperfect positions on my left side. Still no snatches or jerks or even push presses after being chewed out by my surgeon when he learned I’d started doing some light snatches about two months ago. The good news is that I have no pain in it.
 
The plan now is to compete at Masters American Open in November. The timing is decent, i.e. I expect to be able to snatch and clean & jerk for at least two months leading into the meet so I can total over bodyweight (which will hopefully be closer to 105 by then), and there’s no way I’ll be in good enough shape by the actual American Open to bother trying.
 
I’ll start a cycle with snatch and clean & jerk 12 weeks out, although the first 4 weeks will probably be essentially weightless on snatch and jerk. For the several weeks leading into that, I’m going to focus on two basic things: getting my leg strength and bodyweight back up. This means a lot of squatting, some relatively light pulling, back and ab strength work, and beach work to get rid of the Dallas Buyers Club look I’m sporting. I’ll also be doing plenty of jump work and even a hill sprint once weekly.
 
Squats will be daily heavy singles (just shy of actual max effort) with 2 double drop sets at 90% of that single. I find this is a decent way to get back lost strength relatively quickly and simply. Pulls will not be particularly heavy—the focus will be on building postural strength and positions again, and reinforcing the movement and speed. Each exposure to a pull will be a different variation—for example, “snatch pull” may be snatch pull on riser, segment snatch pull, snatch pull with slow eccentrics, etc. The same goes for cleans and power cleans—different variations and/or complexes with each exposure. Beach work exercises will change every few weeks. I’m doing shoulder rehab/pre-hab work at the beginning of every workout also—internal/external rotation, IYT, etc. with bands—so I have no excuse to skip it.
 
All weights will be chosen by feel each day with the obvious goal to increase loads week to week in similar exercises, but without reaching failure or grinding on anything. The goal is to feel good after each workout rather than like my soul got pulled out my throat and curb-stomped.
 
The basic schedule looks like this:
 
Monday
  • Front Squat – Heavy single; 90%x2x2
  • Muscle Snatch + Overhead Squat – 3 x 5+5
  • Power Clean – 5x3
  • Snatch Pull – 3x5
  • Weighted Back Extensions – 3x10
  • Weighted Planks – 3 x 20-30 sec
 
Tuesday
  • Pause Back Squat – Heavy Single; 90%x2x2
  • Press – 5x10
  • Incline Bench – 3x15
  • Upright Row – 3x15
  • Farmer’s Walk – 4 x 50m
  • Decline Sit-ups – 3 x 10-15
 
Wednesday
  • Front Squat – Heavy Single; 90%x2x2
  • Step-up (20” box) – 3x8/leg
  • 2-Leg Bounding – 4x6
  • Driveway Sprint (~100m steep grade)
  • Crunches – 3 x max
 
Thursday
  • Back Squat – Heavy Single; 90%x2x2
  • Clean – 5x3
  • Clean Pull – 3x5
  • T-Bar Row – 5x10-15
  • 1-Arm DB Overhead Carries – 4 x 50m
  • Weighted Back Extensions – 3x10
  • GHD Sit-ups – 3 x 10-15
 
Friday
  • Pause Front Squat – Heavy Single; 90%x2x2
  • Snatch Push Press + Overhead Squat – 5 x 5+1-3
  • Snatch Push Press – 3x5
  • Box Jump – 3x5
  • Close-Grip Bench Press – 5x15
  • Barbell Wrist Curls/Extensions – 3 x 10-20
  • Standing Plate Twist – 3x30
 
Saturday
  • Back Squat – Heavy Single; 90%x2x2
  • Muscle Clean + Tall Clean – 3 x 5+5
  • Snatch High-Pull – 3x5
  • Drop to Split – 5x3
  • Stiff-Legged Deadlift – 3x5
  • Weighted Sit-ups

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Greg Everett is the owner of Catalyst Athletics, head coach of the USA Weightlifting National Champion team Catalyst Athletics, author of the books Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches and Olympic Weightlifting for Sports, director/writer/producer/editor/everything of the documentary American Weightlifting, co-host of the Weightlifting Life Podcast, publisher of The Performance Menu journal, fifth-place finisher at the USAW National Championships, masters national champion, masters American Open champion, masters American record holder in the clean & jerk, and Olympic Trials coach. Follow him on Facebook here and and sign up for his free newsletter here.

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2 Comments
 

Melanie 2016-07-20
Hey Greg-
Again, thanks for the updates--they are good for my morale as I recover from my own shoulder surgery last November. Do I read you correctly that you are no longer particularly limited by pain in any position, just mobility/weakness?

The new place looks awesome, by the way.
Yes, I really haven't had much pain during the recovery process. Minor soreness at times from working it, and of course elements of PT/rehab have been painful, but pain is certainly not even on the list of limiters for me.

Greg Everett
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