T Nation

Bodybuilding with Multiple Injuries

Over the few years I’ve been weight training, I’ve done nearly everything wrong and I’m currently fucked up. After a nearly 6 weak layoff, I’m left with a herniated disc, torn kneecaps, fucked up wrists and achilles tendonitis. Not a single light day/layoff for 2 straight years with horrible form caused me this. Back in the day I used heavy weight with little regards to MMC or quality reps almost always to failure and this is what I’m left with.

This has to end.

I’m currently at a state of loss. I’ve read everything new from scratch from the beginners section to the bodybuilding bible to anything in between. I no longer care about being strong. All I want is to look good naked while feeling fucking HEALTHY. I can’t train my lower body with almost any weight at all. I can’t go heavy on anything really.

I’m ready to embrace a new style of training. I’m thinking of creating a split of mine using the Bodybuilding Bible here. What are some advice you can give? Straight sets or supersets, ramp up or not, when to go to failure? And perhaps most important HOW TO PROGRESS? I literally can’t think of any progress other than adding weight to the bar. How can I remove the urge to become a weight-whore? My greatest challenge is this probably. Any ideas?

If all you ever focused on was moving weight from point A to point B, I’d spend some time doing straight sets, with a conscious attention on developing MMC and Time Under Tension.

You won’t need to chase #s, and your joints will definitely appreciate the care you’d be showing them.

As to not worrying about adding weight,… I actually lifted with less weight the last 2 years than I ever have, and I still managed to put on size. After a while, you can go by feel and assess a quality training session or not (of course that may be a while off for you, but for now, focus on working the muscles).

S

Where do u have the herniated discs… lumbar/thorasic/cervical ?

I have a similar history of unwise training, and have the biceps-tendon-reattachment-surgery scar to prove it.

I agree with straight sets, focusing on MMC and TUT. To that end, you can increase the effectiveness of lighter weights by 1) performing all reps in a nonlock fashion, and 2) performing reps in a deliberate (read: somewhat slow) fashion. Remember, you’re in the gym to create muscle tension, not to move weights around. Pay particular attention to the speed at which you reverse the direction of movement (ie, transitioning from the eccentric to the concentric portion of a movement), as doing so in a too-fast manner places tremendous stress on joints/tendons/etc. Also in the interest of sparing your joints, consider limiting the range of motion of any movements that aggravate joint pain (for me, this is incline bench, shoulder press, etc).

As for progressing without increasing weights: Consider an Escalating Density approach wherein you progressively reduce the amount of time between sets. Say you can bench 6 sets of 185x10 (controlled nonlock reps, remember) with a 60-s break between sets. Next Chest day, attempt to do the 6 sets with only 50-s breaks. When you can do this, go on to 40, then 30. Only then would you bump the weight a few pounds, go back to 60-s, and start the process over. You will be stronger. You will get bigger.

Your stated goal is to have a healthy, attractive body that is not painful to live in. That’s my goal too. And like me, you have learned from experience that this goal is not attainable (for you) via lifting heavy weights. But it is still achievable. Good luck.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
If all you ever focused on was moving weight from point A to point B, I’d spend some time doing straight sets, with a conscious attention on developing MMC and Time Under Tension.

You won’t need to chase #s, and your joints will definitely appreciate the care you’d be showing them.

As to not worrying about adding weight,… I actually lifted with less weight the last 2 years than I ever have, and I still managed to put on size. After a while, you can go by feel and assess a quality training session or not (of course that may be a while off for you, but for now, focus on working the muscles).

S[/quote]

OP you sound a lot like Dave Tate lol. And Dave Tate did basically what Stu just said in this post!

I feel your pain, OP.

Regarding Stu’s recommendation to “develop MMC”, I think there is enormous potential for progress just right there.

I’ve logged some insane sessions simply trying to zero in on, for example, the best front delt contraction I could possibly find. In the process of just trying different angles, wrist rotations, tilts, and tweaks, you’ll find that you can start accumulating plenty of time-under-tension before you know it, as well as some good pumps and burns along the way.

Pair that with the above recommendation regarding escalting density, and shit…you may not to look further than that for quite some time!

Sometimes you’ll get really lucky and find the combination of horrible leverage and maximum contraction, which means you can get excellent stimulation with just a pink or orange DB. Joking but seriously. To me, that just means you’ve got huge potential to make progress with minimal collateral damage to your joints.