The MONSTER GARAGE GYM/MAROSCHER COACHING LOG is a weekly Coaching Log by MGG owner, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Eric Maroscher, and is geared to the new to intermediate powerlifter. LIVE, LEARN and PASS ON.

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Coaching Log:
As the story goes, and there are many versions historically of this story, a powerful sultan once wanted a ring of his to be inscribed with a brief but all meaningful sentiment addressing the constant change of the humanity and the like. A pretty tall order, but a sentiment he received and it is used to this date: “And this, too, shall pass away,” which has been shortened further to, “This too, shall pass. ”Such simple individual words, yet combined in this given order speak great volumes.

When it comes to powerlifting, perhaps not so much the constant change of human affairs, “This too, shall pass,” is often a statement uttered after a lifter fails at an attempt, or bombs at a meet, or in the case for this coaching log, falls prey to injury.

We are in Part II of a multi-part series on training through injury. As we stated when we started with Part I, in the sport of competitive powerlifting, there is a 110% chance you will be injured, and the closer you are to an elite total, typically the greater the seriousness of the injury. In this, Part II of SAME WEEK DIFFERENT GOAL/THIS TOO SHALL PASS, we continue to follow the rehab training of WPC World Powerlifting Champion, Steve Brock’s training as he maintains balance between two worlds, the world of rehabilitation and competition prep. Rehabilitation as in post shoulder/bicep surgery and competition prep as he continues to work to maintain his strength and power in the lifts not impacted by this surgery. Here is a little background (in red) if you missed our introductory coaching log that launched us into this multi-part series. If you read last week’s log, then blow past the red font and onto the rest of the log.

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A little background about Steve. Steve is a pupil of the legendary Ernie Frantz and cut his teeth training at Frantz Health Studio/Frantz Gym in the early 1990’s. As a member of the Frantz Power Team, Steve qualified for then flew to Pescara, Italy to compete in the 1990, WPC Worlds, and as a nineteen year old, successfully represented his country, team and gym by ultimately winning his division. Now closer to 50 than 40 years of age, Steve is still a significant force in the powerlifting community as he still routinely squats a grand and presses in the mid 700’s, recently totalling 2,401 LBS. In my opinion, Steve falls into that ever dwindling category I like to call, “They just don’t make ‘em like they used too.” I say that as Steve has a workhorse mentality and any filming of his lifts are for the sake of technique assessment rather than the self-absorbed world of sociallookatmedia, which I have grown to abhor. For all that it can be for advertising and teaching, the ‘pay attention to me’ aspect of it is ever disappointing, but I digress….

Steve was having significant shoulder pain and shoulder mobility issues. Not your typical, “I can work through this” pain and mobility issues, but some issues that needed to be addressed medically. Steve had critically assessed this situation, then took the time to consult experts in the field. Ultimately, although Steve had been and could continue to push through the pain and deal somewhat with the mobility issues, this metal on metal approach would shorten his powerlifting career and as a master aged lifter, you want every year and even month you can get ‘under the bar.’ So after critically assessing the issues, after educating himself with regard to all of the possible scenarios, Steve acted on his assessment and had surgery to correct this issue. Having this surgery meant Steve would have to hit the pause button for a bit with his training, but ultimately, he would significantly extend the time until his powerlifting expiration date by taking the time to heal now.

This takes us to the here and now. Steve in now 6 weeks post-ob and as we mentioned in Part I a few weeks back, during the training week, Steve has three distinctly different goals. Goal 1: Do not do anything stupid! Do not rush and permanently mess up the outstanding surgical work that has been done to the shoulder and bicep tendon. Follow the natural time frame for biological healing to occur not the time frame you want established. Goal 2: DO NOT DO ANYTHING STUPID! Do not rush and permanently mess up the outstanding surgical work that has been done to the shoulder and bicep tendon. Follow the natural time frame for biological healing to occur not the time frame you want established. Goal 3: Work around the injury in such a manner as to keep the strength and power with regard to the squat, which to a degree will play toward maintaining power and strength with regard to the deadlift.

This week Steve squatted 800LBS RAW as he continues his nearly normal squat training. He also continues to do his rehab stretches and movements from the surgery. As part of this process, Steve is reliving his 8th grade as he pressed a, post-surgery p.r. on the bench, 185LBS, just like he did back when he was 12. Funny how that happens to us in this sport. What you say, that has not happened to you? Oh, Grasshopper, it will, I assure you, it will.

Anyway, Steve has been around the block a few hundred times since he began his powerlifting career back in the early 1990’s, and he knows of this situation he is living in, that, “This too, shall pass.” Because he knows this, he is not in a hurry to set the world of powerlifting on fire, as eventually he will again. Because he knows, “This too, shall pass,” he knows that rushing things a few months earlier than they are ready to be pushed puts him at undue risk. Makes no sense pushing up the training a few months when there are years of powerlifting in front of you. This is the power and wisdom of internalizing, “This too, shall pass.” The fact of the matter is, “This too, shall pass,” the vast majority of the time is the case unless you fail to realize internalize the meaning, that there is time involved and pushing that time means the injured lifter continues to re-injure themselves and although, “This too, shall pass,” will come to fruition, meaning the injury will be healed, re-injuring it might mean a compromise of future strength and that is on the lifter who does not heed this sentiment given all that time ago to that powerful sultan.

I just wrote about this at length in the article the Fermi Paradox of Powerlifting. Students of the sport, feel free to check it out here, there will be a quiz…..

“This too, shall pass,” are words to live by in life and powerlifting, but the essence of these words happens in its own time and rushing things puts the depth of what you can do at the meet and in the gym at risk when things do, in fact, finally pass.

In the supplemental video we look at Steve prior to the surgery (left screen) then at 6 weeks (right screen) post-surgery shoulder/biceps surgery. When injured, be wise and methodical in your training all the while knowing that this injury, this state of physical compromise when approached wisely, too, shall pass.

Wishing you the best in your training and competitions. Ever Onward, Eric Maroscher, Owner: MONSTER GARAGE GYM

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