Road Back to Awesomeness After Nerve Injury

So, I had (my first) surgery recently to remove a cyst and decompress a nerve in my lower leg. I cannot left my left foot very well, yet, but indications are that the nerve is going to come back. Time, my friends, lots of time, though.

I have gained a bit of weight and lost that “awesomeness” over the past months, and, to be honest, I want to resist getting old. My strength is still pretty good, but I used to be faster, quicker, and could do better at bodyweight feats.

This log is intended to keep me accountable, but also show some other styles of workouts for those that want to change things up from typical barbell routines. My “go to” has been 531 for years, and has made me better and stronger, but prior to that it was different. I am going to spend some time doing “different”.

Starting stats: 5’9", turning 47 soon, and now about 180. Goal is to get a bit more ripped, and closer to 170 (although the scale is not indicator of success).

I’ll start posting workouts and other thoughts.

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Yesterday’s workout:


Shadowboxing 3 x 2 minute rounds.
5 minutes on Airdyne bike.

Main work:

5 rounds of:
20 ring push ups. Rings set about 6 inches above the ground.
10 slow, wide pull ups.
10 slow goblet squats with hold at bottom.
Rest, do again. Only a few breaths between each during a round.

3 rounds of pretty intense boxing, with 8 oz gloves and a heavy bag. I spend 4 years learning to box in my late 30’s/early 40’s, and want to get back into that. I go for 2 minutes, then 1 minute rest. A round of straights, then add hooks, then upper cuts/extended combos. Very tiring.

Do about 10-15 minutes of yoga in the morning. Several Sierra Nevada pale ales with friends in the afternoon (6 feet apart, of course).

Today’s workout: 5/16/2020

5 min airdyne.

With a 60 lb DB: (repeat 5 rounds of)
1 clean and snatch left arm; 1 clean and snatch right arm; 1 pull up.
2 clean and snatch left arm; 2 clean and snatch right arm; 2 pull ups.
3 clean and snatch left arm; 3 clean and snatch right arm; 3 pull ups.

3 rounds of:
1 arm DB press 8 times left ; 1 arm DB press right arm. Both with 60 lb DB
8 ring rollouts. With rings about 6 inch from floor. Like ab wheels but harder.

Count down of 10, 9, 8…1 KB snatches on each arm. Only using 35 lb KB (heaviest I have), but little rest so still challenging.

Overall, took about 35-40 min.

My foot is still pretty limited in overall mobility, and I usually wear a brace. Can do any pushing off it (jumps, snatches, jump rope, etc…) but can’t dorsiflex well. Walking normally is hard.

Workout today (easier day)

Yoga for 20 minutes. Did a youtube video of one, which I don’t really like to do but feel like I need it to get me back into it. Felt good to do, and I’m glad I did it.

Boxing for 6 rounds (2 min rounds/1 min break). Working on form and combos, but really just like getting me HR up and do something that feels marginally athletic. My lame foot (with drop foot) can handle things like this but not full on running or field sports.

Airdyne for 3.5 miles. Took 9:43. Going at a reasonable pace, with a few sprint intervals sprinkled in.

Notes: It’s amazing how fast you lose mobility. Doing yoga at least weekly for a few years, to not doing it much at all for about 4 months is noticeable. I know I’ll get it back, but just need to stick with it consistently.

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In for the log man. Always look forward to your input on the forums.

How you feeling?

In for the log

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Thanks, man. I’m feeling pretty good, and am just frustrated by the slow recovery and limitations. Figured I’d take this time to reset my training and mentality, and focus on some things I’ve let slide. This log will help keep me accountable and also track/plan better.

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My day 5/18/2020

(Easy day/off day)

Yoga for 30 minutes

Easy bodyweight circuit of push ups, pull ups, squats, roll outs. Just one round of 10 each, and then some easy shadowboxing.

Today 5/19/20

Trying to stick with more bodyweight and rings, and not heavy barbell. Not feeling super energetic today, but got it:

5x12 ring dips
5x12 ring rows

3x16 lunges
3x15 roll outs

Shoulder complex:
12 plate raises, 10 rear delt raises, 25 band pull aparts


Lunges are hard when pushing off my lame foot. Feel wobbly. The PT and Dr. said I should do things like that, though, which will help spur recovery. So depressing, though, to be limited.

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Today’s workout 5/20/2020

5 rounds of:
1, then 2, then 3 continuous clean and presses with 115 lbs. After each, I do +1 pull ups. So: 1 clean/press then 2 pull ups, 2 clean/press then 3 pull ups, 3 clean/press then 4 pullups.
Total = 40 C/P’s and 45 pull ups.

3 rounds of:
8 each 1 arm push ups
8 Hanging leg raise, shins to rings

5 rounds of hitting the heavy bag (2 min rounds)

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Today’s workout routine 5/21/2020

20 min of morning yoga. I just set a timer, and go through some progressions I’ve learned from classes I’ve taken. I feel much better adding this back into my routine.

An “easy” 2x5 inspired by Dan John workouts. The goal on an easy day (like today) is just to do two sets of five at a relatively light weight.

My selections for 2x5 of each (using about the weight of a second or third warm up set):
Continuous clean and press @95 lbs
Snatch grip high pull at 115 lbs
Zercher squat at 135 lbs
Bench at 155 lbs
Ring pull ups

6 miles on Airdyne. This took about 14:40.

Notes: My foot is getting better, slowly. I was given a 6 month timeline before I noticed any changes, and it’s only been 1.5 months and I am already seeing improvements. I can twitch the nerves and flex a bit more, but still weak and poor range of motion. It’s a great sign, though, that I’m seeing progress so early.


Today’s workout: 5/22/2020

AM: Yoga for 15 minutes, some light bodyweight work of pull ups, push ups, squats, ab rolls.

Shadowbox 3 rounds.
After a warm up with a 40 lb weight vest:
Max set of weight vested ring push ups (22), max set of weight vest pull ups (11).
Repeat 3 more times. Hit 15, 13, 12 on push ups; and 7, 6, 5 on pull ups.
Then, one more time with the weight vest off: Hit 22 ring push ups, and 11 pull ups.

Whew! That was tough. Was gonna do some harder lower body work, but instead did the following:

3 rounds of: 20 KB swings, 10 goblet squats, 10 hanging leg raises. That’s enough for the day.

Today: 5/23/2020

1 arm clean and presses (60 lbs). 30e arm + 30 ring pull ups. Done as 1, 2, 3 ladders supersetted.

3x10e 1 arm bench press (60 lbs) supersetted with 3x10 HLR with shins to rings.

3x10 BNP, 3x10 rear delt raises, 3x10 band pull aparts.

4x15s springs on airdyne bike.

Today’s workout: 5/24/2020

10 miles on the airdyne bike. Got off every couple of miles and did 10 push ups, 10 squats, 5 pull ups, 10 HLR, and 20 band pull aparts (3x during the ride).

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I don’t know why the last few posts didn’t work.


Off day. Did a leisurely bike ride around the neighborhood and 15 minutes of easy yoga.


Added some 531-style barbell work. Starting to miss the structure of those.

Worked up to 5x215 on squats (keeping it light).

Then did five rounds of:

5x10 squats with 165 lbs
5x12 ring dips
5x12 ring rows

Felt good!

5/27/2020 (conditioning day)

AM: 20 minutes of yoga

3 rounds of shadowboxing.

4 rounds of:
2 min of Airdyne with bodyweight work between.

5 rounds of heavy bag work.


Met with physical therapist and need to be more deliberate in my PT work. Will go back to wearing a soft brace, and work more on mobility and strengthening of my dorsiflexing. I think I became a bit too overly optimistic about early gains, and thought just walking and using my foot would be best. My PT says that will over-tax it and delay healing, and to do more focused sessions with it, and otherwise use a brace. I’ll listen to her.


Some barbell work mixed with ring and ab wheels. Keeping things light and progressing slowly.

Warm up of airdyne, throws, bodyweight work.

Bench press: following 531 numbers up to 205x5.

Then, a circuit run 5 times through:

5x10 on bench press at 155 lbs
12 rings pull ups
12 roll outs

Finished off with three relatively easy sets of curls.


Conditioning day:

3 rounds of shadowboxing

Quick bodyweight circuit of push ups, squats, pull ups, and hanging leg raises

6 rounds of heavy bag

Notes: I am liking get back into boxing. No sparring or even a partner to hit the mitts with, but still it is way better than the airdyne bike in terms of being fun and feeling a bit more competitive.


Trying again a 531-style workout, with trap bar DL’s, presses, and pull ups as the three moves.

DL: 5’s PRO up to 300 lbs.

Then, 5 rounds of:

DL 5 reps with 225 lbs
OHP 10 reps with 95 lbs
Ring pull ups 10 reps

That wasn’t easy! I haven’t been lifting heavy, so doing the DL and the BBB sets of OHP supersetted was tough. The pull ups were a nice break.

Last couple of days were easy “off” days, where I did some yoga, walking, and biking.


New 531-style workout (taken from

531 Snatch grip HP’s (5’s PRO)

5x5 FSL zercher squats (155 lbs) super-setted with inverted ring rows (5x10)

Circuit, 5x through:

12 DB presses (45 lb DBs)
10 ring pull ups
10 SLDL with shrugs (45 lb DBs)

Notes: Kind of fun and different from a typical 531 routine. I swapped hang cleans for SG high pulls, and did zercher squats instead of back squats. For this week, I will use this template’s approach for a change up. I’m still taking it pretty easy on weights, and sticking with the 5’s week numbers for a second week.

Also, I have gained 8 lbs so far in quarantine. This is compounded by:

  1. My injury preventing running/sports/and long walks.
  2. Beer. I’ve been enjoying IPAs quite a bit lately.
  3. Supporting my local restaurants more than usual. I love me some burritos and NorCal has awesome Mexican food.

At least I’ve stick to lifting, and don’t feel too soft and pudgy.

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