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Best Leg Program(s) After ACL Rehab?


#1

Currently rehabbing my knee b/c of acl reconstruction and lateral meniscus repair.

After I complete physical therapy in 6 months, I would like to start a leg program that will be extremely effective at strengthening my hamstrings, glutes, and quads. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Prior to tearing my ACL I was using Westside for Skinny Bastards III by Joe DeFranco and I had tremendous gains (squat increased every week and my legs grew) but I'm looking for a more specialized template that focuses on the legs.

Thanks,
Mario


#2

Hey Man,

I'm just coming back from breaking my tibia ski racing. Had a rod put in it, so in terms of recovery probably somewhat similar to what you have. I'm 4 months out now.

First off, go to PT as much as your insurance will cover (you probably already knew that). I went 3 days a week and did every single take home exercise religiously and recovered much more quickly than expected.

For my training I was doing 5-3-1 before the crash, but Thibs came out with HPM like 2 weeks after I broke my leg, so I figured once I could get back into it a change might be nice. I've been doing HPM for the last 8 weeks or so and I have to say I love it. The prowler work is particularly good. Even if you don't want to get into the HPM program I highly recommend doing a bunch of prowler work. It's very low impact/low stress on your rehabbing leg and you can get into it like 1-2 weeks after you start walking (I don't know what your time frame there is--I couldn't walk for about 5 weeks).

Also, I don't know if you swim but you might check that out. I've never done any swimming before this, but it's great cardio with an injured leg, or at the very least to just get some good blood flow (also, stationary biking but I HATE that. I max out on that after like 10 mins)

Hope this helps.

Tristan

p.s. a link for HPM, just in case you need it:

http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/look_like_a_bodybuilder_perform_like_an_athlete&cr=


#3

Thanks. I was reading through Thib's HPM template and I am a bit confused after I read it twice. Am I really suppose to do 3 of the same upper body movements on Mondays and Tuesdays? I'm also confused about the lower body days. Am I suppose to use the same exercises for Thursdays and Fridays on leg day?

What does your template and the exercises look like?


#4

I also went through the whole program and the videos a couple of times (it's amazing how much free time you have when you can't walk).

I modified the schedule a little bit so I'm not doing two upper days and then two lower days in a row. Here's what I do:

day1: upper body
day2: lower body
day3: neural charge + light cardio (as I said swimming is great for an injured leg)
day4: upper body
day5: lower body
day6: foundation (lats/biceps)
day7: neural charge + light cardio

That's pretty much my 7 day split. I change things around a bit depending on other activities and just how I feel. You can put foundation/charge days pretty much anywhere in there. The main thing I wanted to do was split up upper/lower days so I'm not doing the same thing two days in a row.

For exercises this is what I do:

Upper:
Push press (9-15 sets) I do these in 'waves' of 3 sets. So I'll warm up to my max training weight (MTW) then take off 20lbs. Do a set there, add 10 lbs do a set, add 10 lbs (now back at MTW) do a set. I call that one 'wave'. I then do 3-5 waves (depending on which week i'm on at that weight). I usually do 3-5 reps depending on how I feel and what percentage of MTW I'm on.

Incline bench (9-15 sets) same thing.

Flat bench (9-15 sets) same thing here but for the waves I take off 40 lbs and increment back up in jumps of 20. So it's MTW-40, MTW-20, MTW.

For assistance work I usually do one set in between each wave, for a total of 3-5 sets of assistance work per exercise. Some things I do: (all barbell/dumbbell depending on my preference that day). Shrugs, overhead shrugs, rows, rear delt flys (dumbbell only), face pulls (on a machine).

Lower:
cleans
Back squat (9-15 sets) same thing here MTW-40,MTW-20, MTW
Deadlift (9-15 sets) same thing

Prowler work.

Foundation (Lats/biceps): the article and videos are pretty clear here. I do that pretty much by the book. I do some pull-ups though. Don't forget your prowler work here.

Neural charge days: These are a bit tricky with a broken leg as a lot of the stuff is jumping. For a while I just did pool work. You can do jumps and stuff in the pool with little impact on your leg. Ask your PT for advice here (they told me I could do vertical jumps and 'sprints' in the pool)

Also, on all training days: I warm up with some form of light cardio for 10 mins, then do some sort of complex with the bar, then do some sort of activation exercise. I got cleared to do cleans on Tuesday, so now I do 10-15 cleans before every workout as my activation exercise. I also swim about 5 days a week (not on lower days-these drain me so much I worry I might drown =D).

By no means is this necessarily the best way to do the HPM program. This is just what I came up with, and it's been working very well for me. Hopefully you can get some idea of what you want to do from this. Also, that was a lot of typing so I may have overlooked something, but hopefully it's pretty clear.

Tristan