My rotator cuff surgery included repairing two tears in the supraspinatus as well as a massive tear in the labrum and partial tears in other cuff tendons, so it has not been easy.
After the surgery I had to endure grueling months of rehabilitation to just be able to bend my withered arm and shoulder. Finally I was given the okay to workout again. I began with "sissy" workouts, as I call them, on machines.
I needed to gradually introduce my muscles to the kind of workouts that build a superior physique. That would take some time since I didn't have enough strength to use a barbell. My plan was to "Turn the screw," as I call it, to gradually increase the workout intensity until I was going full-bore again.
Turning The Screw
Here Are Some Of The Details Of "Turning The Screw":
- Find any exercise that can be executed without pain or the possibility of stressing the damaged tendons. This meant to continue working only the left half of my upper body with any intensity while I gradually brought the right side up to par.
- Incrementally condition the right side without injury by using machines and light cable work to begin with until dumbbells and eventually barbells can be introduced back into the workout regimen.
- Nutrition is of utmost importance if recovery is to be made as quickly as possible. This means plenty of whey protein shakes with added glutamine, a full assortment of vitamins and minerals, and plenty of nutrient dense foods (meat, chicken, fish, steamed or raw vegetables, and fruit and nuts).
- Enough sleep is essential. (Since one side effect of this operation is trouble sleeping, I arranged with my surgeon to have the prescription sleeping pill Ambien on hand.)
Gradually I was able to get in better shape than I had in years, as demonstrated in this photo that was taken this summer at Diamond Resort in Maui, Hawaii:
Not bad for 58, huh? From this point on, I hope to continue my quest to see how my body can respond to serious training as I age. In a year and three months I will be 60. I don't know what I can do in the next few years, but I hope to continue to avoid injury and reach new heights of physical perfection!
For your own personal motivation, I advise you to take photos. Before and after shots can make you proud as they provide a record of your achievements. Then, not only can you look at great photos of your favorite physique champions, but also refer to past achievements of your own and remind you what you are capable of.
Recently GMV Productions produced a DVD that reminded me of my own involvement in the Golden Age of bodybuilding. It is a compilation of some of the videos Wayne Gallasch took of me in the late 70s. It also includes a slide show of many of the photos he took of me in Malibu, California. If you would like to purchase a copy, just click on the DVD cover below:
Click To Enlarge.
Richard Baldwin Super Tape, Purchase Here.
Many of you have expressed curiosity concerning my workout routine. I emphasize that it changes frequently, depending on how my body is responding and whether a particular joint is still bothering me or not. This is my current routine (notice I have already returned wrist curls since my wrists are no longer bothering me):
- Crunches 3X35
- Leg raises 3X10
- Military presses 3X6-10
- Side DB laterals 3X6
- Bent-over db laterals 3X10
- DB shrugs 3X10
- Seated machine leg curls 3-4X10
- Standing machine leg curls 3X10
- Machine donkey calf raises 3X10 (Ex- Shown Without Machine.)
- Seated calf raises 3X10
- Leg extensions 3-4X10
- Squats or leg presses 3X10
- Lunges 3X10
- Crunches 3X35
- Leg raises 3X10
- Wide-grip pull-ups 20, 10, 10
- Bent-over barbell rows 3X10
- Deadlifts 3X10
- Scapula rotations 3X10
- Bench press 3X10
- Incline bench press 3X10
- One arm cable crossover emphasizing upper chest 3X10 (Ex- Shown With two Arms)
- Close-grip bench presses 3-5X10
- Skull crushers 3X10
- One arm db French presses 3X10
- One arm pulley press-down 3-4X10 (Ex- Shown With Two Arms)
- Db hammer curls 3X10
- Barbell curls 3X10
- Db Scott curls 3X10
(Also, known as preacher curls. Scott curls where name after the great Larry Scott.)
- Bent-over db concentration curls 3-4X10
- Barbell wrist curls on end of bench 3X10
- Seated hanging barbell wrist curls 3X10
- Reverse curls 3X10
Monday/Thursday: Abs, Shoulders, & Legs
Tuesday/Friday: Abs, Back & Chest
As far as nutrition is concerned, for breakfast I eat:
- 8 egg whites with one yoke scrambled in a non-stick frying pan
- A small cup of yogurt (only 3 grams of carbs)
- A handful of vitamin and minerals with an added glucosamine-chondroitin tablet
- Two plates of chicken and broccoli
- A diet soda
For lunch I eat:
After I work out I drink a quart of protein (50+grams) and later eat a chicken breast with some fruit.
I also eat unsalted nuts (particularly almonds) and fruit as I feel I need to fortify my workouts.
There you have it. Remember, it took me a year to work up to this schedule and this is just a goal. Sometimes I will take a day off during the week and make it up on Sunday; other times I don't make it up. It all depends on how much sleep I had the night before, how well I ate that day, how hard work was that day, etc. In other words, I really am trying to avoid over training by listening to my body.
If, like me, you took the summer to get in great shape, send us photos of your results as well as the training routine and nutrition program you used to get in shape. We may just use them in this column! In the meantime, while the rest of America continues to get fat (over 2/3's of Americans are overweight), you and I will continue our quest for our own legendary physiques!
Diane Fields, Member. Legendary Fitness, LLC.
Richard Baldwin, Member. Legendary Physique, LLC.
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Copyright 2005. Diane Fields, Member. Legendary Fitness, LLC. All rights reserved.
The advice given in this column should not be viewed as a substitute for professional medical services. Before undertaking any exercise or nutrition program, Legendary Fitness, LLC advises all to undergo a thorough medical examination and get permission from their personal physician.