EMS Max Strength Journal

Looking good. Are you still using HRV throughout this process?

I haven’t used HRV since pre-surgery actually. The HRM strap that I have isn’t a clip on so it’s kind of a pain in the ass to put on when you can’t even flex your hip 45 degrees. I will start using it tomorrow though as it couldn’t hurt. Whenever I do start using it, I’m going to include a lot more info like you’re doing in your journal.

18 days Post surgery, Monday, 7.29.13
AM session - 10min water walking in the pool at my house.

First PT session:
10min on upright bike - there was level 3 pain, but it eventually went away.
Passive Stretching/Mobilization - Lot’s of pain when she was manually stretching me. There is still pinching because of probably scar tissue buildup - my hip flexion couldn’t even make it to 85 degrees. However, when she used hip mobilization/distraction techniques, I was able to gain an extra 15 degrees of motion up to 110 degrees. It’s still painful to get complete ROM in hip extension, abduction, flexion, IR, and ER but it improved a lot by the end of the session.
Rehab Exercises - 6 Way Hip Raises
1x20 of supine straight leg raises, Prone hip extensions, Lying hip abductions, Lying Clamshells, Lying IR, Lying Hip adduction

Gym session afterwards
Bench - 6x3, 185lbs, 60sec rest
SL Leg Ext - 2x15, 25lbs
Hammer Seated Shoulder Press - 3x10, 100lbs
BW Dips - 3x6
10 min cooldown on upright bike

3hrs later
EMS MaxS, Quads only - 5 reps at 3sec ON/20sec OFF

I finally ditched the crutches yesterday and I’m still walking with a slight limp but it’s improving. I had a lot going on yesterday which is a good thing. I went through a lot of aching pain in the PT session, and there is still impingement like symptoms in my hip which is part of the process of this rehab. “Your nervous system still thinks that there is an impingement in your hip which is why it’s still guarding itself. Remember also that you’ve practically had to deal with this issue your entire life prior to surgery” is what my PT said about the current symptoms. It’s definitely a new learning process for me to learn how to use my hip correctly.

I still don’t feel comfortable using EMS MaxS right now. The two incisions that I had were on the lateral TFL and proximal rectus femoris muscles and there’s still a ton of stiffness there and possible scar tissue. I’m also missing a ton of range of motion in my hip. When I used EMS MaxS on my quads yesterday, it still wasn’t firing correctly during the session. The tetanic contraction is unstable and very flutter-like. I supposed I could still use it for hamstrings at the very least along with glutes, adductors, etc. I’ll try this out and report back tonight.

19 Days Post Surgery, Tuesday, 7.30.13
AM Session: 10min Water walking in pool + 6 way hip raises

PM Session:
-10min easy pedal on bike
-6 Way Hip Raises
Med Grip Chest to Bar Pullups - 4x5
Prone SL Leg Curl - 4x6-10, 40lbs
T-Bar Row - 3x10, 45lbs
Machine Curl - 3x10
-10min easy pedal on bike

20 Days Post Surgery, Wednesday, 7.31.13
AM: 6 way hip raises

PM: PT session#2
-Did more ROM work with manual hip mobilzation, passive stretching, kinesiotaping and a little bit of myo release. After the session I did a 10min water walking session.

In the second PT session, I was able to almost get the full hip flexion ROM (got to 119 degrees) which was still a big improvement from last time where I eventually only got to 108 degrees flexion. Keep in mind that I couldn’t even get my hip past 90 degrees without a severe amount of pain at the beginning of session one. My hip ROM has drastically improved from the first session, but I’m not able to achieve a pain free ROM as it still hurts to go beyond 90. I’ve never been kinesiotaped before but she taped my my entire IT Band and it MAY have helped, I don’t really know. My IT Band and TFL muscles are still rock hard from the scar tissue buildup. It’s funny because she used “the massage roller stick” in having hopes of releasing the TFL rather than getting her hands dirty or sticking an elbow in there and it did nothing as expected. Today I will be making a trip to Ft. Worth to get some ART done in the area with the hopes of eliminating the scar tissue and restoring ROM.

21 Days Post Surgery, Thursday, 8.1.13
-HRV 89

Drove an hour north to get some ART/Airrosti done in the wound/scarred tissue area. There was a noticeable difference after the session. I was able to extend my hip farther without any pain. There still is some rock hard scar tissue in my TFL but I can tell there isn’t as much. I’m hoping I can get an appointment this upcoming week to keep reducing it.

22 Days Post Surgery, Friday, 8.2.13
HRV - 77, -12/Orange

Bench - 6x3, 185lbs
Shoulder Hammer Press - 3x10
Dips - 3x6

Slept horrible the night before, but still trained anyways…

23 Days Post Surgery, Saturday, 8.3.13
-HRV - 80.8+3.8, Orange

Wide Grip Pullups - 4x5
SL Leg Curl - 4x6, 55lbs
Seated Hammer Row - 3x10, 70lbs

I keep seeing small improvements in the hip ROM everyday. It’s a lot easier to get in/out of the car, I can tolerate sitting longer without being too stiff, and I no longer walk with a limp from limited hip extension. Right now I’m in phase 2 (ROM focus), in order for me to get to phase 3 (strength building) I have to be able to flex my hip 90 degrees with zero pain. I’d say that I’m about 90% there right now and feel that if I can keep breaking the scar tissue that I’ll be able to continue increasing ROM.

25 Days Post Surgery, Monday, 8.5.13
HRV - 87, white/normal
AM - 10min water walking in pool

-10min easy bike pedal, 6 way hip raises
Bench - 6x3, 195. 60sec rest
SL Leg ext - 3x15, 25lbs
Hammer Military Press - 3x10, 110lbs
Dips - 3x6
-10min easy bike Pedal

26 Days Post Surgery, Tuesday, 8.6.13
HRV - 86, white/normal
AM - 10min water walking

PT Session#3
-10min bike ride
Lot’s of stretching and finally reached 120 degrees of hip flexion but far from pain free. Tons of hip distraction/mobilization work as well. Hip IR has improved, ER is still painful, Hip Extension is pain free.

PM Session:
-6 way hip raises
Chest to Bar Pullup - 4x5, BW
SL Leg Curl - 4x6, 55lbs
Hammer Row - 3x10
-10min bike pedal
-10min water walking 3-4hrs later

27 Days Post Surgery, Wednesday, 8.7.13
HRV - 87/white

Pool Routine: 20 x 1/2 squats, 2x6 Step-ups, 20 x GM, A-March - 3 x pool length
6 Way hip raises
Speedcoach Level 1: Glutes only - 57/33

Cold Laser Therapy session afterwards.

T-Slow came through town today and let me borrow his Cold Laser device, I’m hoping this can continue easing up the knots in the TFL area that I keep complaining about in this log. The PT sessions are going well, she gave me permission to do some BW exercises in the pool, but she’s not really giving me a clue as far as implementing new exercises, etc. I tried EMS MaxS for the first time in a while today, went well but felt a bit different than usual as if there was less pain than I usually put myself through.

4 Weeks/28 Days Post Surgery, Thursday, 8.8.13
HRV - 80, -7 white/normal

AM Session
Seated OHP - 7x3, 105lbs, 60sec rest
Dips - 4x6
-ended early, had other stuff to take care of.

PT Session#4
-Hip moblizations, Strength test, ROM test.
-Cold laser therapy session#2 afterwards

Great news to share, I’m currently on week 4 and have met the goals of completing phase II by two weeks early! To do this, I had to be able to complete 90 degrees of hip flexion, 20 degrees external rotation, and have equal symmetrical strength of hip flexion, adduction, extension, internal, and external rotation. This was my last session with this physiotherapist because I’m moving to a different state for grad school next week. With phase III, I will be allowed to start doing more strengthening type work with modified/easy exercises. There’s a chance that I will be back earlier than expected but it all depends on what the new physiotherapist says.
I haven’t mentioned it yet in this journal, but I’ve been doing some microstretching and have noticed to really quick improvements in my ROM. I believe it’s quite effective and will continue with it.

(last week), Saturday, 8.10.13
Seated OHP - 7x3, 115lbs
Supinated Glute Bridge - 3x10 w/ 10sec hold at top
Wide Grip Pullup - 4x5
SL Leg ext - 2x15, 35lbs
SL Leg Curl - 4x6, 60lbs

Wednesday, 8.14.13
DBL Leg Supinated Glute Bridge - 3x10, w/ 10sec hold at top
6 Way Leg Raises - 1x20
SL Glute Bridge - 5x10
SL Leg Extention supersetted with 1/4th BW Squat - 3x10+10
SL Leg Curl - 4x6, 60lbs
BW Goodmorning - 3x20

Speedcoach lv1
Quads - 50/35
Hamstrings - 35/23
Glutes - 66/46

Cold Laser Therapy Afterwards

It’s been a long week so far because I moved to a new state for grad school. I had a PT session with a new physiotherapist yesterday and he practically told me that it’s up to me to push my ROM back to it was before. He recommends stretching to the point of minor pain, then back off, and repeat. He also told me that I really don’t need to see a PT anymore according to where I’m at right now. He did do some testing and I do have a little bit of weakness on my left side, so with every single leg exercise from now on, I’m going to at least do one more set on the other side. If you look at my EMS workout above, you’ll also realize that my left side requires greater intensity than my right to “feel equal”, mainly because it is a little bit atrophy. As far as the workouts go, I’m going to do an upper/lower split but may do EMS MaxS daily depending on how recovered I feel from session to session and how much time I have.

5 Weeks Post Surgery, 8.15.13
-HRV 91/Normal/white

Seated OHP - 6x3, 125lbs 60sec rest
Wide Grip Pullup - 4x6, BW
V-Dips - 3x8, BW
-BB work

Cold Laser Therapy+microstretching afterwards

Pain is slowly escaping, ROM is steadily improving. My entire lowerbody is sore from yesterday so I didn’t do any EMS maxS today. Now that school has started up again, I’m doing a lot more walking than normal and my ankles are quite sore from this alone.

I know your not directly using the EMS for recovery but do you feel it is helping it indirectly? And assisting in keep some of your strength prior to surgery without being able to so full work? I have always been fascinated with EMS for indirect recovery and a maintenance phase during injury periods .

Considering that I was so limited with only being able to do bulgarian split squats, leg curls/extensions, I do believe that it helped maintain my strength better before surgery based on how I “felt” over the course of 8 weeks of sessions. Along with strength gains, I believe hypertrophy gains came from using it as well.

Are you asking if EMS is helping indirectly based on an overall organism perspective? Also are you asking if the specific Active Recovery mode settings are helping me indirectly or just about using the EMS in general (maxS and active recovery)? I’d like to hear your experiences about using EMS if you care to share them.

Friday, 8.16.13
HRV - 84/white, -7

Glute Bridge - 3x10, 10sec pause at top
6 Way Hip Raise - 1x20 each
SL Glute Bridge - 5x10
SL Mini Squat off box - 3x10
SL Leg Ext + BW 1/4 squat - 3x10+10
SL Leg Curl - 4x6, worked up to 65lbs

Speedcoach lv1
Quads - 49/39
Hamstrings - 33/22
Glutes - 66/46

Microstretching/Cold Laser Therapy afterwards
ROM Check - Left/Operated Hip Flexion - 115 degrees, Right/Normal Hip - 122 degrees.

I bought a cheap $3 goniometer app on my phone that I used to measure my ROM. I know it’s not the most accurate, but it’s at least something. My hip ROM on my operated leg has improved about 10 degrees since last week and can certainly tell the difference already. My legs were quite sore again today as expected. Today I noticed that I felt better stick with the pads to skin during the contractions. I took a longer hot shower than usual prior to the EMS session (7min instead of 3min) and this could have been the reason why.

Curious on many levels really, orerall organism and indirectly helping in your recovery from your surgery.

Unfortunately my experience with EMS has been more limited then I would like, never got around to purchasing my own unit yet, however one of my training partners and good friends was very successful using his EMS directly on his torn Achilles approx 12 weeks post recovery (he did a non surgical recovery method) I have had a fair amount of success with IMS currents dealing with inflation and irritation in my knee a number of times as well. That was really messed up to be honest I had a IMS needle in my toe’s and hip flexor region and it reduce inflammation and swelling in my MCL and meniscus region

slightly off topic, I am planning on using the ithlete to try and monitor fatigue in skeleton sliding this season, to see if I can map a proper recovery and recovery cycle for it, as I beleive we ar ein a stage of constant “overreaching” the entire season, should be quite interesting.

In about 2-3 months I should know whether or not EMS helped me with my recovery. When you decide to buy an EMS unit, I’d only recommend the Globus speedcoach unit. It’s far ahead of anything else out there from a periodization perspective. Don’t waste your time with anything else like a lot of people like me have done already.

I’d also highly recommend the Ithlete as well. Even if you aren’t training extremely hard for sports like I am right now, it’s still a great tool. For example, I caught an allergy attack this weekend and the day before I felt the illness symptoms, the HRV readings went down by 10pts and sure enough I was sick the next day. In previous years, I would have sucked it up and trained right through it but having this information readily available I now feel like it was best to listen to the Ithlete.

5.5 Wks Post Surgery, Monday, 8.19.13
HRV - 82, RHR - 67.4, white/normal

Glute Bridge - 3x10, 10sec hold at top postion
SL Glute Bridge - 5x10
Step-downs - 3x15
SL Leg Curl - 4x6, worked up to 65lbs
SL Leg Ext + BW 1/4 Squat - 3x12+12
6 Way Leg Raises

Speedcoach lv1
Quads - 55/45
Hamstrings - 30/24
Glutes - 66/46

Tuesday, 8.20.13
Seated Military Press - 3x5, 120lbs
Wt Pullup - 3x5, 20lbs+ BW
BB work, etc - 10min

My ROM really isn’t improving any since I saw the new PT last week, my hip flexion still stuck at 115 degrees which is 10-15 degrees shorter than the good hip. I’ve been doing the two stretches that he gave me which was the knee to chest stretch and kneeling psoas stretch and it hasn’t done really anything. I see him tomorrow and hope to get better use out of him.

how much weight do you use for glute bridge. IVe done up to 530 with a few to no sec hold. Im now doing 275 with 5 sec hold

I’m just using bodyweight for the glute bridges at this time, just to be safe around my injury. Man, 530 is impressive even without any hold at the top. I did this exercise about 4 years ago and the most I ever did was 365 x 4.

Wednesday, 8.21.13
HRV - 78, RHR - 71, Orange - recommended light day

Glute Bridge - 3x10, 10sec hold at top
6 way leg raises - 1x20
SL glute bridge - 5x10
SL Leg Curl - 4x6, 55lbs
SL Leg ext + BW Squat - 3x10+10
Step-downs - 3x15

Speedcoach lv2
Quads - 58/48
Hamstrings - 40/32
Glutes - 68/48

6 Weeks Post Surgery, Thursday, 8.22.13
HRV - 95, RHR - 59, green/good recovery

Seated Shoulder Press - 3x5, 110lbs
Pullups - 3x5, BW
Dips - 3x8, BW
BB Work

Hip Flexion ROM test: Left/bad hip - 128 degrees, Right/good hip - 128 degrees

I have been stuck at 115 degrees flexion lately until I called the physiotherapist and demanded some lateral hip distraction and it worked as a miracle for getting this ROM almost instantly. What has also been helping a ton is using the “voodoo” bands that crossfitters use. If I get stiff from sitting a lot, I’ll put a voodoo band on and my ROM will return back to where it was rather quickly. Even though I’ve finally gained this lost mobility back, it still isn’t comfortable and there’s still a bunch of pinching that needs to be sorted out. My next goal is to comfortably be able to flex my hip at 128 degrees without any pain, if I can make this happen then I believe that I’m ready to return to the platform.

How can you have big gaps in your hrv scores 70’s to 90’s etc and you actually get different readiness scores my shit always scores green.

I agree that the bands and things can aid mobility. Talk with your therapist about distracting your hip in different directions. For example, you may benefit from lying on your back with the involved hip flexed to 90. Place band at the hip joint and have the therapist pull inferiorly while you flex the hip. This may help you and I would ask about joint mobs of your hip as well. You can combine the joint mob with movement (basically what the bands are doing). Another thing that may help you is, in the same position as above, the therapist does a posterior mobilization of your hip, maintains that position and flexes your hip at the same time. Those may help, but there are tons of variations that may help you. The main thing is make sure that something isn’t contraindicated first due to your surgery.

I think this recently happened because my sleep has been real inconsistent ever since I moved. I really think the HRV scores are correlated with the RHR. If I can sleep through the entire night without waking up before my alarm goes up, my RHR tends to be lower which leads to a higher HRV score. Same goes with the opposite, if I have to physically get up out of bed to do something and then go back to sleep. When I wake up my RHR will always be higher. I hope this makes sense. To be honest I haven’t had a green (which means good recovery) in a while. It’s always white/normal and occasionally orange/red.