T Nation

Broken Arm Rant

So here’s my situation:

I was arm wrestling (wait for it) with a friend about a week ago. We were locked up for about 10-15 seconds when I thought he was starting to give in. In a matter of about 1 second the leg of the table directly to my left ,where I was putting a lot of my weight (cheating?), broke off.

When it snapped I fell to my left a bit. It was enough for my friend to gain a serious advantage in leverage and he slammed my arm down, causing a serious spiral fracture in my humorous about 2 inches above my elbow.

I’m posting here because I had been stalking around this site for about a year and have experienced the best gains of my life, in terms of strength and size, due completely to the lifting philosophies advocated on this site.

I’ll be in a complete arm cast for 6-8 weeks and then probably move to a splint of some sort to begin working on limited motion for about 3 weeks.

I’ve been told to expect a shock when my cast comes off in terms of atrophy. I’m trying to keep my diet in order to fight off the muscle degeneration but i can’t go back to my bulking diet b/c i’m so inactive right now it would go to waste.

Which brings me to my questions:

  1. Can you guys recommend any exercise while I’m in this cast? (keep in mind that my entire right arm is immobile at my side and i don’t want to directly work my left arm.

  2. Any recommendations for diet?

  3. What kind of program should I get into when I’m out of my cast/splint? (I love HEAVY compund lifts but i have a feeling my doctor will advise against it)

Thanks ahead of time and I promise to give you some before/after pics of my arm after the cast comes off and 6 months from now.

P.S. Typing with only your left hand sucks!

I broke my thumb a few years ago and had a complete forearm cast on for a while, (can’t remember how long now), anyway, even though I still used my arm for alot of stuff I almost threw up when I first took the cast off. The only good thing was that it grew back to it’s original size very quickly.

Don’t worry about the atrophy. Regular activity will help with regaining the mass, as well as EASING back into your routine.

I was in a splint for 3 weeks, and I lost about 4 inches. My delt had shrunk so much it looked like I had skin draped over the bones. I got the inches back in about a month and a half or so, once I resumed eating like a man again and was able to lift(curls with 3 lbs., yeah).
I was also armwrestling, but I was just pulling too hard, and he had too much weight leaned into it. I really should have quit, since he’s a cheater who likes to lift his elbow, but I was thinking,“I’ve beat cheaters before, I’ll beat him, too.” Stupid. The next time someone wants to armwrestle, I’ll just whup their ass. That should prove my manliness.

Size returns easily. Flexibility does not. As soon as your cast is off, concentrate on flexilbilty. If you don’t get that back, you’re going to have a lame arm.

Consider this an oppurtunity to train legs. Spend a lot of time on the leg press. I wouldn’t squat, because you can stabilize the bar with one hand, but get ont he leg press and stay on it.

Also, get a gripper. One of those 60 or 80 pound grippers from ironmind. When you come out of the cast, go to work using that, but only with the arm that was broke. Drink your milk, and buy a couple of bottles of calcium tabs.

belt squats, sled dragging.

[quote]SweetRespect wrote:

  1. Can you guys recommend any exercise while I’m in this cast? (keep in mind that my entire right arm is immobile at my side and i don’t want to directly work my left arm.
    [/quote]

Is there a particular reason you don’t want to work your left arm? From what I’ve read, working the opposing limb can help minimize losses when one limb is out of action.

[quote]
P.S. Typing with only your left hand sucks![/quote]

I don’t know, on some forums it seems to be the standard.

Quick hijack-

Speaking of arm wrestling, my freshman year of high school, I arm wrestled my best friend. He was a 200 pound fatbody, and I was just a 130 pound dumb farm kid. We had about the same amount of strength, he couldn’t get my arm down. He put his weight into it, and flipped my desk over.