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About Yellowjacket

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  1. Why not get a fretless bass guitar? I've tried them and I absolutely love them. It's not exactly like a contrabass and you can't really bow it, but at least you're not dealing with frets and the tone is cool! Also, they cost less than a cello tehe!
  2. Well, I'd usually advise people to run the other way when thinking of starting a stringed instrument but your background on bass may prove very useful. Hot tip, you'll have to change your bow hold to an overhand hold (Look for examples on youtube of how to set that up) and the instrument is tuned in 5ths instead of 4ths so the fingerings will likely be different. The strings are way thinner. It's a cool instrument but it is also incredibly demanding. She'd probably be dwarfed by one!! They're huge and quite awkward haha. So I guess you are wanting more information on shoulder health? Not sure how they are weak so it is difficult to advise on what to do. General points: 1) STRETCH. Most people who lift weights get so fixated on internal rotation that they don't train the muscles responsible for external rotation so they end up with a strength imbalance. You always see this with the forward rolled shoulders and shortened neck of bodybuilders. You have to stretch out the pecs, front delts, and biceps regularly to ease the constant strain on the rotator cuffs. 2) External Rotation: Strengthening the lower traps and rear delts is important for maintaining proper posture. These are the skeletal / large muscles that oppose the tension from lats, pecs, and delts. 3) Rotator Cuff. These muscles are small, weak, and delicate. They are responsible for suspending the humerus in the Gleno-humeral (ball and socket) joint. If they become weak, you have a problem with wear happening on the structures within that joint. i.e. the shoulder becomes unstable. This causes pain in the shoulder and wears down the joint over time. NO FUN! i. Rotator Cuff training: USE LIGHT WEIGHTS. SERIOUSLY. The minute you go heavy, the large skeletal muscles take over an you accomplish nothing. ii. Do high reps. Light weight, remember? These are postural muscles and you're not going to train them the way you train large, primary movers. iii. Exercises. a. Any sort of rear delt movement is good. Just lift the weight under control and feel the rear delts squeeze. It is really easy to start cheating with the large back muscles. b. In all back exercises, keep your scapulae (shoulder blades) firmly squeezed together. You should be able to hold a pencil between them. The minute your shoulder blades pull apart, the weight is too heavy. Once you become adept at recruiting your mid and lower traps, you can begin the movement with your shoulder blades apart and squeeze them together as you complete each rep. This is VERY effective for rowing motions. You won't be able to move as much weight, but it will make you stronger. c. Specific rotator cuff movements. You can use the large elastic bands or light weights. Like 3 to 5 lbs. If you lie on your side, rest your humerus against your rib cage at your side, and hold the weight with the forearm perpendicular to your upper arm. Now externally rotate the humerus to lift the weight. You should feel the small muscles above your shoulder blade contract as you do this. This video is useful but forget doing any internal rotation unless you have a specific injury you have to rehabilitate. (basically, ignore anything after 1:08 in that video. If you lift weights, your internal rotation strength will already be far stronger.) In the gym today. Still going light. I have to be VERY careful with the training since if I get 'greedy' I can hurt myself quite easily. My muscles still have memory for moving really big weight so I need to focus on form and moving less heavy weights safely. I'm sure as I continue to keep training, the joint will improve and my exercises will naturally increase.
  3. Ya, thanks. The shoulder really is #1 priority here!!
  4. So, the goal of my last challenge was to start recovering my right shoulder while working on Cardio. Well, here's what I have been doing for shoulder: Lots of stretching Rear Delt work. Standing L laterals Seated L Laterals. I'll add more rotator cuff work as I get stronger but generally, super light weight is best. It helps target the desired muscle group. Heavy weight begins to recruit the larger muscles and they don't need work. I got my bike back from the shop last week so I'm good to go for cardio. I'm going to take it easy and slowly work up the weights on most lifts. The major focus is really delts and mostly rear delts and rotator cuffs. If these are strong, everything else should start working. AND, shoulder is behaving for Cello again. YAY!!
  5. Did a workout today. The more rotator cuff exercises and stretching I do, the better the shoulder feels. I can play Cello for longer again and I can lift more weight in the gym. The upper body workouts are generally short and more frequent. I am expecting the weight to naturally increase as the shoulder continues to become stronger. Just have to do my best not to become greedy!!
  6. Late last night I did a shoulder workout. Weight wasn't impressive but I'm impressed how much more stable my right shoulder feels after one week of stretching, rotator cuff, and stability work. The right shoulder aches all the time but the discomfort while lifting was almost entirely nonexistent. I did DB press 40lbs x 12 reps. Obviously can push more but that's not the point right no Bentover L laterals. 10lbs x 10. Bench L Laterals. 10lbs x 10 followed by 10lbs x 10. Standing rotator cuff shoulder rotations 5 lbs x 20 Lying rotator cuff shoulder rotations. 3 lbs x 20 Ate way too much pizza. Time to start logging food again. Bike goes to the shop on Wed for a recondition! Applying for a music teaching position today. Wish me luck
  7. HI everyone. I'm a professional musician, fitness nerd, and family guy. Busy dood is BUSY! I've been active with may of the challenges but I want to have somewhere that is a little more regular. Current goals: Rehab right shoulder. A right arm injury has migrated to becoming a shoulder imbalance and rotator cuff problem. Now that I can finally lift dumbbells up for DB press again, I'm going to try as many DB exercises as possible to work on stability. The focus will be on shoulders: Stretching, training, and rotator cuff movements. For rotator cuffs, I'll be working on rear delts, and a couple of movements that target the rotator cuffs specifically. I suspect that as those muscles strengthen, my back strength will naturally progress. Cardio: No more running. Cross Country Skiing in the winter and Cycling in the summer. My bicycle will go into the shop for an overhaul this week!! Getting sleep: I need to sleep more. Sleeping for almost an entire 1 week vacation proves this. Eating healthy: I have to budget calories for nutrition. That is what works for me. Want to get lean for the summer but the right shoulder is a priority right now. I'll update my goals as things progress.
  8. Well, back from vacation and we were slightly bad during our trip. The Feb cut was fairly good and I can tell I'm leaning out so far. Right shoulder is not so great still but I am beginning to narrow down the problem. I tried some dumbbell press instead of bench press and it was clear that it is the external rotator cuff and rear delt on my right side that are weak. I'll need to train exclusively with dumbbells for some time while I focus my training on my shoulder and the support structures. This means I really won't be able to train heavy back for some time and it also means it was likely the heavy back training in the fall that caused this problem to begin with. I really dislike the current state but there is hope, especially since my right bicep and forearm is much better. This was the initial injury that I believe is responsible for the weak rotator cuff on the right side.
  9. No kidding. Been busy but trying my best to get it done now! I am currently here http://www.magfest.org/mivsentry/second-shot/presenting and hoping that I can say somewhat on the wagon with the nutrition. I'll be down to business when I arrive home anyhow! X Country Skiing is awesome and super fun cardio. It also really increases ankle stability. I notice that I'm going cardio again because simply walking around is way easier! Lifting is slow, especially with the shoulder. Whenever I jump into training it can get hurt. For instance, trying to bash out a leg workout in 20 minutes after skiing results in problems if I try to use deadlifts to work out my hams. I need to be even, controlled, and slowly work at things with an appropriate amount of rest or else forget it. I hate that I can't train harder but at least I can still train!
  10. I'm really feeling the deficit right now. UGGH. The high quality foods make me feel better overall but I feel like I'm STARVING!!! 2,500 kcal / day is not starving onesself. At least that is what I keep telling myself. Feed the muscle, starve the fat. Shoulder feels like 90% and it just sort of hovers there. I'm really enjoying what cardio does for available energy and stamina. I love the weights and I'm doing what I can to ensure I can keep lifting.
  11. Skiing followed by squats = pain. It was good yesterday anyhow. So far, I'm not having cheat days this time around and opting only one cheat meal a week. Cheat meal / refeed. Also, lowering carb intake on non training days and trying to get as much activity as possible. I cracked the ski on my GT Snoracer (I have an old, big adult sized one) so I'll have to track down a replacement part for it. I used it for the sled pull although I'm thinking a toboggan may be a better investment for a number of reasons: Namely, more resistance and also something which is more robust. I can pull it with both arms at once which would feel far better. Still eating c.a. 2,500 kcal a day. Yesterday was over 2,600 but that's probably acceptable with the amount of activity. Overall, my shoulder is feeling WAY better with the lower workload, which is nice.
  12. Sample Weight Training: For chest I'll typically do just sets of 10 rep bench press up to around 200lbs then I'll do like 6 reps. I'm not really pushing to failure but it helps. I tried doing barbell rows sets of 10 reps with 120lbs. Then parallel handle pulldowns to engage the lats. Then some cable rows for the mid back and some light weight deadlifts. Sets of 5 reps up to 220lbs. Yes, the weight feels light but the shoulder doesn't seem to hurt and that's more important. For arms, I did sets of 10 reps for dumbbell curls and got about 7 reps at 40lbs on my last set. Feeling weak from the calorie deficit and I have to protect my right side. One set of incline DB curls and one set of arnold curls. Tris. Cable pushdowns. Overhead extensions. I go lighter and only to 90 degrees on this exercise which helps me avoid hurting my elbows. I finish with a set of kickbacks. I'm not trying to gain anything right now but just to maintain most of my LBM. for cardio, I did a sled pull tonight. About 1 1/2 miles with approx 70lbs worth of kids to tow. It was great, walking fast and it feels like the same cardio respiratory load as running but the joints like it better. I'm feeling cold because of the calorie deficit and tired but I'll get over it soon!
  13. Well, it was working pretty decently back middle of Sept but I was pushing too hard and it ended up hurting more and more until eventually I had to stop training. I've essentially taken two months off from training heavy and now I'm easing back in very slowly. Limited numbers of sets, not too heavy weights, lots of rest time. I'll also be doing some rotator cuff training as well. The Cross Country skiing helps with cardio and keeps the metabolism going even if I can't train as much. I will have to give up somewhat on the notion of being muscular for the summer since I'll have to focus on losing fat but won't be able to really gain LBM while on a deficit.
  14. Main comment so far: When you cook dinner, make extra food. Left overs are your friend, especially if they are prepared right.
  15. After binging on cookies last night (everyone loves cookies) it begins. As mentioned in the last challenge, my right shoulder was giving me a lot of trouble. I gained muscle and fat but unfortunately, I can't really maintain all that lean body mass when the shoulder won't work. So I'm going to trim for the summer. Weapons will be cardio via Cross Country Skiing and Cycling once the snow melts. Don't really want to run. I'll lift weights as best I can but I'm going to pay close attention to the shoulder. Rather than do one thing 110%, I'm going to try to do everything 80% and hope for the best. I think it will yield a far better result. I'll talk more about nutrition later but it's not been the greatest lately mostly because of lack of planning. Planning is the toughest thing. I think that is where the ball gets dropped. If I make fitness & nutrition my #1 priority then it is doable. But what happens when life gets busy? That's the big question.
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