T Nation

Add Mass/Power w/Ankle Injury?


#1

So I just partially ruptured my left Achilles during rugby practice and am stuck in a boot for the next month at least. Since I'm out for a while I figured I might as well see if I can make up for lost time working on conditioning and whatnot by adding as much upper-body power as possible in the downtime. I'm 23, 6' 2" 180lbs and I play Center/Wing and I'd like to be in the 200 range eventually so any LBM I can put on now will make that much easier come offseason.

I know my way around the gym and have been using sandbags this past offseason to focus more on functional strength and power than just your typical mirror muscles that the frat boys spend hours on. I used to be a track runner in high school which is why I'm still fairly thin for my height/frame despite the last couple years of gradually bulking up.

Given that I can't really do much in the way of your typical power lifting due to my left foot being out of order, what's going to be the most efficient means for adding maximum bulk with explosive power? Remember, I'm aiming to be ready to boot up and hit the ground running as soon as I'm cleared by our Dr, so I need to do everything possible to keep from losing my fitness or pace in return for bulk. I don't want to add weight only to lose ground in cardio and speed/agility as a result.

I'm open to any/all supplements (within reason, of course) and I've got pretty healthy eating habits established already. I plan on picking up some high quality mass gain powder as well but have tried several over the years and haven't really been blown out of the water by any of the shakes and/or supps I've tried.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, Cheers!


#2

Here's what I would do.

Be very careful to not injure or hinder the recovery of your injured leg. Train the opposite leg fairly hard, especially if it was your weaker leg. Im not sure if its ever been proven in real world situations but training your good leg, may help maintain strength/size in the injured leg.

Eat, Eat, Eat.....

Train your upper body and get your pressing/pulling strength up.

Eat, Eat, Eat.....

And dont worry about cardio too much. If you need to, do some supersets with your upper body work to get the cardio aspect in.


#3

Any suggestions on the quickest way to do so though? All the lifting I'm used to doing in some way involves some sizable strain on ankles just from the weights themselves let alone the subconscious adjustments the body makes to keep balance when quickly shifting weight for stuff like cleans, presses, etc... The best way I know to build fast-twitch power involves speed sets and the like which should (correct me if I'm wrong) be stressful on my leg, which will only delay my recovery time. Would doing sandbag work on my knees instead of standing be an viable option?

Also, if anyone knows anything that could even POSSIBLY speed recovery of my Achilles I'm all ears.


#4

Bench, pullup, rows, tricep ext., shoulder raises, curls, etc.

Save the sandbag work and other stuff until you are better.


#5

Any experience with supps/shakes/etc... that could help me bulk as quickly as possible if I'm doing heavy super sets (3-4 reps max) 3x a week for the next month? Once I'm back on the pitch of course the lifting will be cut back significantly because practice will adequately take the place of it.

By the way, thanks for the help!


#6

If I was you and a fellow contact sport player (football) I would say to really hit the bench, all diffrent ways each week, and hit alot of back work and triceptes workmaybe if it is possible do some leg curls


#7

I would avoid thinking about the quickest way to improve upper body strength. First and foremost, an achilles injury is a very difficult injury to work around. Even in a boot, if that foot is on the ground your calves will place a large degree of tension on it. Leg curls and extensions will put tension on it to. It really boils down to how bad the achilles is injured.

The best way to put on mass? I would recommend whatever the current body building programs are. Something high volume, lower rest times. That's about all I'm good for with BB advice.


#8

No, I haven't had much success with supplements. Maybe creatine, but other than that, Peanut butter sandwhiches on bagels and whole milke have worked wonders.

As for a program, maybe WS4SB and just do teh upper days. You could probably split things up a bit, to a 3 day split and have a ME bench, DE bench, and RE Lat/upper back.


#9

According to the doctors it's only partially ruptured at the base of my heel. A little less than half of the tendon separated from the bone on the outside of my left heel but didn't tear further up the tendon as a result which, I'm told, is a very good thing in terms of recovery time.

Would lifting from a kneeling position or doing single leg squats (with my right leg obviously) be feasible?

Like I said, the last thing I want is to further injure it and cause more delays but I'm not the kind of person that can just sit around and let it heal on its own time, especially with our first match being 12 Sept. Pardon all the questions but I've always been rather lucky with injuries and have managed to somehow avoid anything more than your occasional hand/wrist problems that can be taped up and worked around so I'm trying to make sure I get all the answers I can.


#10

DON"T FUCK WITH YOUR ACHILLES!!! my buddy ruptured his and it took him 2 years before he could semi-jog for 20 feet without pain.


#11

Set after set of bench and pullups. Also check out Superfood and Flameout they will help with the healing


#12

Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!


#13

Did he have surgery? Because I was able to (somehow) make it through most of a practice at about 75% speed. It was fucking excruciating but since it never swelled up or bruised and didn't start to hurt until after I'd completely cooled down from the practice I hurt it during (come to find out, that's common with the kind of separation I have), I assumed it was just some hellacious soreness from a tough practice that could be worked through, guess that's why I play rugby though instead of Soccer or Baseball eh?

Granted, I only separated the distal insertion rather than rupturing the whole damn thing so that's a big part of it but still, 2 years just to do a light jog seems rather extreme to me...


#14

You should be able to do stuff from the kneel or on your good leg. As far as the injury, you should work with a good physio.


#15

The best thing you can do is use electronic muscle stimulation. EMS 10 x 10seconds at maximum intensity 5 days a week, along with hitting the upperbody hard with weights + med ball.