I still don't care. I mean, I'm not like other people, so shouldn't may elbow magically heal itself in a couple months? --and I just return to lifting like a badasss. Do weightlifters even need a UCL, anyhow?
The first month or so I could barely squat as it put too much pressure on my elbow. I even invested in the "manta ray",one of those contraptions that would let me squat practically armless. It was ok; it did shift the center of gravity of the bar ever so slightly form my normal squat line, so I would not recommend using it unless needed.
For months, I could not lift more than 5kgs over head if anything.
I tried to start actual lifting a couple times too early.
Fast forward over 6 months from injury date, when I could do almost " real" workouts, with tiny weights. What amazed me most is that there were some crazy positives and unexpected could be betters:
My speed never left me. It was there day 1. I always thought my speed was a little bit something I was born with and mostly something I developed. I'm starting to see it as the other way around- it was something I was born with and had to unlock through training. I was so psyched about my speed, that one day after riding horses, I stopped at a high school track-- because it was just there on my way home --- and I threw down a 13 sec 100m in horse back riding boots and breetches. Yeah, I was pretty sore the next day; the thick leather riding boots really restrict the calf extension. And, I did this on my rest day ; ooops, coach wasn't too happy.
For a while, everyday is a PR sort of. One week, I could only go up to a 55kg snatch without pain, the next week a 60kg snatch, etc... Sure, these lifts were well under my all time best, and it still felt good to see progress.
My legs got really strong.
I had time and a reason to do lots of upper body bodybuilding.
I'm impressed with how much mass I put on my back and upper body since starting lifting again vs bodybuilding alone
The could be betters:
Because my legs were stronger than before injury, I expected to just walk up to the bar and start power snatching my max snatch--because that's how it worked before. I finally understand why some really strong and explosive people have a very difficult time transferring their talents to Olympic lifts. As Norbert Schemansky once said, the way to get better at the snatch and clean and jerk is to snatch and clean and jerk.
I felt two things: (1) my upper body was not caught up to my legs and (2) it was like there were all these little muscles I hadn't been using by not snatching nor clean and jerking.
I had done bodybuilding to the extent allowable on my upper body. For a long time, I was restricted to slow, controlled motions to allow the ligament to heal. The weights I was using when I started lifting , again, were pretty close to what I had done prior to injury, yet, my upper body didn't feel as strong.
The reasons were obvious , thought: it is very difficult to hit the stabilizer muscles the same way a snatch or a clean does. Further, the whole energy absorption and transfer aspect of catching a lift is not duplicated with static exercises.
On the technical side, I found myself doing little compensations here and there. When my arm was pain-free enough, I stopped all the compensation nonsense.
Weightlifters have their own body aesthetic. Its made from the pounding of thousands of repetitions. We get this wide column like upper body, that wouldn't be the goal of say a bodybuilder, because our bodies are functional for lifting heavy stuff from the floor to overhead.
I'm starting to look like a weightlifter, again, from the Risto training. I look forward to hitting more "PRs" as well as actual PR's.
That which does not kill me makes me stronger.