Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Back to (insane) Training Till I Drop after my ACL surgery.

Today I was talking to a dear friend about my ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) tear in my knee and the surgery that followed. Well it got me all nostalgic.  I know some of you will yell - "NOSTALGIC, who feels nostalgic about an injury that required a surgery" 

Well those who know me or have trained with me wont be surprised with my statement. It is just the kind of person I am.

If you are not aware of my surgery and all the rehabilitation that I have undergone, kindly do read my previous article by clicking on the link below. That will help you understand this article better.

Hope you have read the above article.

Every human being is different and everyone's body responds differently to injuries and workout. Do not follow anything I have done unless your Doctor or Physio have recommended or approved it. I have been training for over 27 years now so my body responds to exercising in a very different way. All my workout and exercises that I have done are known to my physio and monitored by him closely.

I would like to thank (Dr.) Mr. Bharatram of Body Mechanics, my dear friend and physio for all his guidance and patience in dealing with a person who wanted to jump and sprint when he could not even bend his knee. I would like to thank Dr. Naresh Hanagodu my orthopedic surgeon for the surgery he did on my knee. Dr. Naresh has been very helpful and patient too with a very impatient person as myself.

Coming back to my recovery from the ACL surgery - 

By December 2013 (5 months from surgery) I was able to walk normally and even jog short distances (5kms) at ease.  I use to cycle a minimum 10 -15 kms twice a week, swim for an hour 3 times a week,  run a bit twice a week and exercise on the machines at my physio's clinic everyday.  Yes, I know that most people do not train so much even when they have no injury.

Many people find it difficult to rehabilitate. That is not because the surgery was not performed well or the physio is not good (both scenarios could be true, however usually it is not) but mainly because most people do not like to exercise. It gets to you when you have to just keep exercising and the improvement you see is very gradual. This results in many giving up on their exercise routine and hence their rehabilitation stops too.

I did stick to my training routine and went a few hundred steps beyond that too. Well it is not easy to keep the insanity that lies within me dormant for too long.

By March 2014 I had started training with my 30kg rock but now I use to shoulder press them while wearing a 10 kg weighted jacket. 

Shoulder pressing a 30kg rock while wearing a 10 kg weight jacket.

In March I had noticed during my training that a slightest jerk or bump would make me feel a bit unstable in the knee. The next day I had asked Dr. Bharat ( my physio) about it and he showed me some exercises including jumping on the trampoline in some variations. Well initially the shocks that I felt in the knee were unexplainable but I just continued with the workout. Within  a few days I could see the improvement. I began to jump higher and felt much better and more stable than before.

In April 2014 I pushed myself a bit further to test my recovery. I pulled a 300kg ground roller with a 75kg man standing on it for a distance of about 50 meters.  Every few days I would increase the distance by another 50 meters.  However I did not go beyond 200 meters as I did not want to put too much strain on the knee. 

                                      Pulling a 300kg ground roller with a 75 kg man on it.

My leg was feeling stronger and the aqua exercises along with the trampoline workout were really speeding up my recovery.  I could feel the improvement during my runs as I was now using both legs in  proper balance and without any discomfort. 

Towards the end of April I ran to my physio's clinic with a 10 kg weighted jacket. The clinic is about 2.5 kms away from my home. So I ran to the clinic trained on the machines there and ran back home. This surely boosted my morale. It did not mean that I did this often. I have always been cautious and have listened to the signals my body has given me. If you feel strain or uneasy rest, ice it and stretch. If you still do not feel better do not train till you consult your physio. 

                            After jogging to my physio's clinic with a 10 kg weighted jacket.

Every step that I took getting back to my original training levels made me more determined to work harder and wisely to rehab the right way. It is easy to get carried away at times however it is best to keep your head on the shoulders. 

In the month of May 2014 I conducted the Jukaado training Camp. We trained non stop for 36 hours at the camp. At the camp I ran 10kms with my students and am happy to say I finished first. 
I had recoveredddddddddddddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Running 10 kms at the camp in May 2014.

 I have been training regularly and gradually increasing the intensity a notch at a time. I am now located in Thailand and am looking forward to train like I use to before my accident. I did break down a banana tree in Thailand by kicking, punching and elbowing the tree. Well most people strike a banana tree after it has given fruit but that makes the tree weak. The tree I struck down had not given fruit yet. I did not try it again though as I do not like to break stuff and I like the bananas that the tree gives.


Well I did say looking forward to train like before but I think I have crossed that a few days back. Just a few days back I did a very tough workout which is a confirmation that am back to Training Till I Drop. It is not easy to do a plank for long if your leg muscles and knee are not strong enough or in recovery. The knee has surely healed well since  I could do 5 sets of 6 minute planks without any discomfort.

The workout I did a few days back - 
Went cycling but the rain played spoilt  sport. Only cycled 5kms. Then struck the log, 500 repetitions each of punching, open palm, wrist, hammer strike with both hands. 500 sumo squats and regular squats each with the log ( 10kgs ) resting on the arm at shoulder height. Shadow boxing followed by 1000 repetitions of various Ab exercises. 5 sets of 6 minute plank with a 10kg log on the back. 600 knuckle push ups. 1000 kicks and knee strikes. Ended with a good stretch.

My Students - 
Am amazed at the ability of my students to keep up with my insane training demands from them. They are all super tough and super fit in my eyes. More than that they are all awesome human beings. I do miss the fun we all use to have training together at class or while cycling or at the pool or the very interesting, intellectual and humorous talk that Swamibabu (a senior student and instructor at Jukaado) would have with me during our morning jogs or our regular trips to fill our stomachs with yummy food.  I am happy that they are all still training in Jukaado under  Sensei Sravan Kumar - San Dan ( 3rd dan black belt & representative of Jukaado in India), a senior student of mine. We are looking at organizing an International Camp for Jukaado in Thailand in 2015 (hopefully during the summer). 

The only thing that is weak is the mind that gives up!!!!!!!!!

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