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Boosting Test/GH Without Working Legs?

OK, I will post a little bit of background about myself and my situation and then my thoughts and then leave everything open for informed comments.

Basically, I had been training for about 2 1/2 years solidly, going from around 140lbs to around 205lbs at the same bodyfat perrcentage, around 13% or so. I am 5’10". I guess I was at intermediate or advanced intermediate stage by strength and size standards… my big lifts were in the 300-450lb club, I could do 10 chins with an added 66lbs of weight, and whilst I appreciate by T-Nation standards my build was nothing to shout about, the average person used to constantly comment on me being massive.

Anyway, for personal reasons that aren’t relevant and I won’t bore you all with, I had 14 months off from training, but then about 3 months ago I started again and got back to not all that far behind where I was after 9 weeks of solid training.

Unfortunately I then encountered the rather major problem of fracturing my ankle and tearing all the ligaments and tendons 2 1/2 weeks ago (quite painful it was, may I add), as well as a couple of days ago damaging the cartilage in my other knee from hopping about on it so much.

So basically the situation is I won’t even be able to walk for 6 weeks, and can’t train my legs for 6 months, and even then I will have to be careful and go quite light, at least to begin with. It was a pretty bad fracture and tear of the ligaments, it’s pulled the bones out of place and all sorts. So basically: no squats or deadlifts. I can’t train my legs.

I was planning to start a 20 rep squat/20 rep deadlift routine but obviously that’s out of the question now. Normally I would favour an upper/lower split or a full body, depending on how often I would want to train, since training would always come second to my personal/social life.

Anyway, at the moment training frequency isn’t an issue (particularly since I’m signed off work for another 4 weeks at least) so I figure training more often is a good thing, and would help alleviate boredom. So I was thinking of a chest&back/shoulders/arms/rest split GVT routine. I figure the high volume of repeat work would stimulate GH and test production, and of course I would be using light weight which whilst not ideal pretty much fits my predicament at the moment.

I don’t really fancy lying underneath my 5RM on the bench without a spotter when I can’t push with either of my legs, do you know what I mean? Equally getting into position on a bench with my 5RM dumbbells is going to be next to impossible without using my legs. Obviously I would also have to select appropriate rowing exercises, i.e. everything would have to be seated. I train at home too, so no cable exercises.

I would do two routines, alternated. So I figure my routine would look something like this:

Chest/back
Incline dumbbell bench or bottom position wide grip barbell bench
Seated chest supported barbell rows or chinups

Shoulders
Seated upright EZ bar rows or seated dumbbell shoulder press
Seated lateral raises or incline lateral raises

Arms
Flat close grip bench press or seated incline overhead barbell extensions
Preacher curls or seated incline curls

I could obviously look at changing exercises for my upper body once I was able to stand again, but legs are definitely out for the time being. And again, I might have to reassess my routine if I found my social life became busier, but her, that’s life.

So yeah, if anybody could offer me any suggestions as to anything I could do to improve things as they stand, knowing my situation, then I am all ears.

Thanks guys!

Dude, its going to be a real uphill battle, the legs contain the muscles that really produce GH & Testosterone.
Umm… You could try something like Alpha Male by Biotest…
Short of taking steroids thats the best there is.
Just try to go as heavy as possible on your back/Chest Day.
Personally given you cant do Deadlifts/Squats.
What has been known as the ‘Upper body squat’ is your best bet THE PULL UP.

Try this [[If you can]]
Mid/Wide Grip Pull Ups - 5 x A
Chin Ups - 5 x A
Inverted Rows - 5 x A
((A - Denotes As many as possible))
Hopefully you know how to Inverted Rows, If not, Search it on T-Nation, You’ll find it and believe me. Very good substitute for Bent Over Rows.

MJ-Cartwright
Fitness Instructor and Strength Coach
Pontypridd South Wales

[quote]MJ - Cartwright wrote:
Dude, its going to be a real uphill battle, the legs contain the muscles that really produce GH & Testosterone.[/quote]

Yeah, I know, but I don’t really have much choice about it. It’s going to be 6 months before I can work legs and even then I guess I’m going to have to be careful about how heavy I go if I don’t want to end up on crutches again, so really I have to deal with the situation as best I can.

I would like to, and going heavier will definitely be an option once I’m out of a cast, but for the time being I can’t really see how I can safely go heavy. I shouldn’t really even be training whilst on crutches at all, but I don’t fancy spending the next 6 weeks doing nothing, let alone the next 6 months. I won’t make optimal progress, but I can at least make some progress. Even if I do have chicken legs by the end of it.

[quote]What has been known as the ‘Upper body squat’ is your best bet THE PULL UP.
Try this [[If you can]]
Mid/Wide Grip Pull Ups - 5 x A
Chin Ups - 5 x A
Inverted Rows - 5 x A
((A - Denotes As many as possible))
Hopefully you know how to Inverted Rows, If not, Search it on T-Nation, You’ll find it and believe me. Very good substitute for Bent Over Rows.[/quote]

Yeah, I do love my chins/pull-ups. Where I don’t have a lat pulldown I’ve often used clusters to progress in weight whilst still keeping the volume moderate (as opposed to low) per set. Inverted rows are the same thing as supine rows, right? You hook yourself under a bar with your feet elevated and then row yourself up to the bar? I’ve done those before and they’re great, but again, can’t do them while I’m still in a cast, but once I’m out of it they should be an option.

Thanks for the ideas.

Hmm… Sorry mate, best ive got, Yeah Inverted and Supine, Same, Couldnt you do them on one leg?
The Pull Up is superior to the lat pulldown.
Just check…


Hopefully that works.

MJ-Cartwright
Fitness Instructor and Strength Coach
Pontypridd South Wales

[quote]MJ - Cartwright wrote:
Hmm… Sorry mate, best ive got, Yeah Inverted and Supine, Same, Couldnt you do them on one leg?[/quote]

Ha ha, yeah, but what do I do with the other leg while I’m doing them? It seems like a lot of trouble and difficulty to perform a movement when I could substitute it for another for greater convenience. Not that convenience is usually an issue, but obviously getting into position at the moment is going to be a real challenge, and it would be a huge drain of energy that could be better spent on lifting. Not to mention the practical issues of performing the movement with one leg and keeping the bad one out of trouble in the meanwhile.

[quote]MJ - Cartwright wrote:The Pull Up is superior to the lat pulldown.
Just check…


Hopefully that works.[/quote]

Don’t have to convince me of this one! I’m a believer in chins and pull-ups.

Yeah… Fair point. Lol
Trying my best mate. Really hard to think of anything that would work…
sorry :frowning:

MJ-Cartwright
Fitness Instructor and Strength Coach
Pontypridd South Wales

Ha ha, it’s OK. It’s really hard once you take the legs out of the equation. Like you said, it’s the squats and deadlifts that do the real good and they’re just plain impossible for a long time.

Then again, you do see pictures occasionally of disabled bodybuilders with very impressive physiques, so it can be done. At least I’m only limited temporarily, albeit for 6 months.

It really makes you appreciate people who deal with disabilities as part of their everyday life indefinitely. To be honest this has really given me a bit of perspective on things I take for granted. Sure, massive, strong legs would be great, but at least I’ll be able to walk again, that’s the important thing. Others aren’t so lucky.

Thats very true and very honourable of you to say so.
All to often we all take walking for granted.
Ive had clients with Spina Bifida and Cerbral Palsy and it does take some time to come up with viable solutions for the problems.
As yet though I havent dealt with a disabled client that wanted to increase strength or muscle mass.

MJ-Cartwright
Fitness Instructor and Strength Coach
Pontypridd South Wales

Well, after spending 2 1/2 weeks on crutches I will certainly be doing everything I can to avoid being back on them again at any point, and therefore I will lay off my legs for as long as need be. Who knows? Maybe they will let me start training them a lot lighter after a few months. I know ligament injuries can cause people discomfort for years after the incur them so I will be careful.

Any lower body work I do from now on will be done under medical consultation.

Your muscle itself does not produce GH or Testosterone. It’s a physical stress on the body that causes a release of these hormones to recover.

Putting stress on your body (lifting weights) will cause a release of those hormones. Granted Legs carry more meat than any other body it only makes sense that when damaging those muscles that your body will release more Test/GH to recover those muscles.

Don’t worry soo much about this, instead worry about fixing your legs and recovering healthy.

[quote]Dirty Gerdy wrote:
Don’t worry soo much about this, instead worry about fixing your legs and recovering healthy.[/quote]

Believe me, I will be. Having big legs isn’t so important to me I’m willing to spend the rest of my life limping at best to have them.