T Nation

Done with Weights... A New Era


In May-June 2009 I was diagnosed with Myelodisplastic Syndromes. My health started to plummet at an exponential rate. It wasn't long after that diagnosis that I found myself with Hemoglobin of 42, WBC of .02, Platelets at 2 and Neutrophils at 0. I needed RBC/Platelet transfusions almost constantly. Sometimes requiring 5 transfusions a week. Symptoms soon got worse, fevers, chills, sweats, vomiting, pissing blood, nausea, infections to name a few. Unfortunately I was 18 and doctors ignored me for the most part. October 1st 2009 I was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. After about 15 rounds of chemo, a myeloblative stem cell transplant, super high intensity total body radiation, a long ass time in the hospital and a whole wack of medication I made it through.

I'm now recovering and still have some issues, GVHD (Graft vs Host Disease), Arthritis, Avascular Necrosis and Lymphedema. I cannot train with weights comferably and although love nothing more than hitting the weights. After everythingI've been through now's not the time to get stupid. I'm taking all my attention away from weight training and doing nothing but body weight training and focusing primarily on nutrition. Is this the best plan of action? is this the secret to mind blowing strength and hypetrophy? Of course not. Unfortunately sometimes you've got to make due with what you have. A picture below will show you what I'm working with.

The journey begins tomorrow. I'll be posting my daily workouts and will have before and after pictures. So come and join me on my road to recovery. It's not going to be easy and it may get the best of me sometimes but after all when you're used to the possibility of not waking up the next morning I'm sure it won't be the hardest thing I've ever done. The journey begins at 9 a.m tomorrow morning.


-This journey will be done with nothing more than the following

  • A bike that may or may not be a girls
  • A jump rope
  • A med ball
  • My bodyweight
  • A bar - Pull ups etc

-15 mins of HIIT cycling

-Elevated push ups/inverted rows

-Chin ups/Bench Dips

-Med Ball throws

-HIIT Jump rope


Congrats for making it through man! Sounds like you've been through a lot.

1) Did your docs give you approval to be 'physical?'
2) How much are you eating? I've heard recently that people working through/recovering through injury/sickness need more calories than they would otherwise
3) What was your history with weights? How long did you lift before, what were your numbers/BW/height...

It's cool to see you up again. I think DOHcrazy, an old poster here, went through similar stuff w/ cancer. And now he's an ANIMAL. Your plan sounds pretty good, as long as it doesn't interfere with your recovery.


-Got the approval and have discussed all necessary precautions. I have really good doctors and they understand that cancer for me at age 18-20 wasn't like cancer for an old woman 80 years old.

-Calories are about 3000-3500. They encourage you to eat as much as you can and considering they're used to people eating 3 meals a dat at best, they're pretty happy with me eating 6 healthy meals a day.

  • Lifted weights for about 5 years prior. Snatched 103kg at 69kg at 5,8


And btw today looked something like this

15 min HIIT cycling
Inverted rows/Elevated push ups - 5/5 x 10
Chins/Dips - 5/5 x 10
Med Ball work

  • Eliminated jump rope - too strenuous for arthritis

Other notes - Focused mainly on explosion. Speed did not terminate throughout the sets. It simply became harder. Felt like I got a good workout but I'll be sure to make progress on it, which feels great.


Got some MRI results back, looks as if pieces of my bones are dead. Most likely from high dose corticosteroids for extended periods of time. I'm scheduled to see an orthopedic surgeon soon. In the mean time they said there's nothing I can do and to not worry about it. This is why I have no lower body work except HIIT cycling. They said just try and keep blood flow and be active. More on this when I find out


Day 1 was the following

A.M was

15 min HIIT cycling
Inverted rows/Elevated push ups - 5/5 x 10
Chins/Dips - 5/5 x 10
Med Ball work

P.M was

Stretching routine
Inverted rows/Elevated push ups - 5/5 x 10
Chins/Dips - 5/5 x 10
Stretching routine

I really like high frequency training, I'm curious to see how I can push the frequency of this strictly BW training. You have to understand that at the end of the day I'm just a guy at the gym. I'm not a professional athlete, I'm not a movie star. I just feel incredibly lucky to be alive and cannot complain considering I saw people lose their lives on a daily basis, I still struggle with what my life and the life of my loved one's around me has been squandered down to. Training at this point is purely a passion of mine. When times were better and I was at my peak physical condition, I just took things like being able to squat, snatch, clean and jerk and sprint for granted. I remember not being able to leave the ground (i.e jump) after transplant. The atrophy was beyond incredible. Once GVHD set in and I wasn't able to ingest ANYTHING by mouth for a month, no water, nothing, my weight was down to 123 lbs. This was last September. I'll be posting pictures in the following weeks to log progress. Although I've realized I'm nothing more than a kid with cancer trying to get his life back in order that doesn't mean I'm going to half ass it or have the pathetic drive that the average person has. I believe I had more drive than the average person before I had cancer and such adversity. Now that I've made it through I have even more. I may not be able to pursuit an ideal plan of action but I have to realize my limitations. This whole experience had only served as more motivation. Stepping into the gym for the first time upon coming home I saw an old friend, kid I went to high school with. He was deadlifting, he offered me to jump in. I said "Sure" he had 135 on just warming up, he was standing behind me. I went to pull it as hard as I absolutely could. The bar did not budge. I tried to pull for 30 seconds, as he stood behind me he said are you gonna go? because he thought I wasn't even attempting to pull. I simply stood up and said "Uhhh I'm actually not going to deadlift today" It's been pretty tough on me. As a guy who was pretty regimen for a kid when it came to eating and training to go to the gym and see twirps you went to high school with who don't know jack shit about training and don't even know what nutrition means and yet they're 5x the size of me now. Personally I've always done my own thing and could give a fuck less, but it does wear on me. Considering at age 17 I was training under olympic athletes, had been eating religiously with the same things, at the same time day in and day out and been doing this for years at that age and to see where it's gotten me now, makes me rather upset. This is why I've committed myself to helping other people. I wake up everyday hungry to learn. Hungry to accomplish something. I'm currently pursuing a degree in Kinesiology - Exercise and Sports Physiology. I want to be strength and conditioning coach. This is something I'm passionate about and not only do I want to be one. I want to be the best. So many I know are just guys going through the motions. They go to school for something for a couple years and then that's it for them. Their jobs ok, makes ok money, they have an ok life and if that's what makes them happy whatever, but here on T-Nation I'd like to think that most of us want more. Most of us are anything but average and will settle for anything less than extraordinary. I've gotta go hit some books and call it a night though, post back soon.


A.M workout felt great today, way more explosive. Only do Med Ball work every other day. Gonna go hit the books and catch a nap bf the p.m session, btw Tudor's Periodization book f*ucking rules. Since I'm hitting 2 x daily, I've increased my carb intake a little bit, just around training sessions.


P.M session felt great, I'm going to increase everything by 1 rep, everyday. Excluding my med ball training that takes place every other day. This will increase weekly.

Side Note - To that 17 year old asshole who was gelling his hair and mixing N.O Explode pre workout in the change room...I saw that. Secondly, don't attempt to nudge me in the gym. I'm a kid with cancer who could give a fuck less about you working out in your lacoste hat. Although I'm frail and weak don't think for a minute I won't mow your ass down in my car in the parking lot, reverse and re-run over that N.O Explode a couple of times and then steal that over priced, piece of shit lacoste hat and sell it back to one of your gymbozile, ILS suffering faggot buddies.


A.M workout felt good, increased all pressing movements by 1 rep

15 min HIIT cycling
Inverted Rows/Elevated Push Ups - 5/6 x 10
Chins/Dips - 5/6 x 10
Med Ball work

Was going to increase the pulling movements but don't want to compromise form at all. I feel good about just increasing the pressing for now. I ordered a copy of Building the Olympic Body and can't wait for it to get there. I;m going to use what I'm doing for 30 days to get the dust of my muscles and hopefully have read the book by then and start getting into that. Just something new to focus on and a completely new challenge. Gonna go finish up "Periodization, the methodology of training" and catch a meal, post back soon.


As it stands right now...

15min HIIT cycling
Inverted Rows/Elevated Push Ups - 5/6 x 10
Chins/Dips - 5/6 x 10
Med Ball Work

Inverted Rows/Elevated Push Ups - 6/5 x 10
Chins/Dips - 6/5 x 10

Daily Totals

110 Inverted Rows
110 Elevated Push ups
110 Chins
110 Dips


Sry my Chin/Dip is x5 not x 10



15 min HIIT
Today's a.m 110,110,55,55

Started at 100,50, want to get to 200,100


Tonights P.M session will be
Inverted rows/Elevated Push Ups - 6/5 x 10
Chins/Dips - 5/5 x 5 with and extra set for progression, instead of increasing reps I'm doing set progression on these to maintain form

Total will be

Tomorrow will be an increased total
120/120 Inverted rows/Pulls Ups
60/60 Chins/Dips


Feels good to get her out


Today's A.M

15min HIIT cycling
Increased by 1 rep

Med Bal work now moved to P.M

Today's totals will be


Tomorrows totals will be the same and an increase on Monday. Reading Lower back disorders and must say it's a great read. Love when someone can throw things out that you and no one would have ever thought of.

Also for the asshole that made a point of me being able to here him chirping me. I'm a kid with cancer you fucking asshole. I don't want to be doing BW training. It's the only thing my doctors have advised and the only thing tolerable at this point. Not to mention the fact that I went into the hospital for about 2 years and this fat fuck, muscle mag reading, sauce pig, washed up old man has no understanding of training, nutrition or anything for that matter. You figure after spending 2 years away from the gym this guy would have at least stopped reading muscle mag and flaring his elbows out/fucking the ceiling when he bench presses. But what do I know...I'm just an idiot.

Pictures coming soon. Been dieting really hard and honestly that;s more my focus at this point. If I focus on strength it will drive me crazy. Can't compare myself to what I used to be, just not realistic. Have a good weekend and post back soon, cheers.


Just discovered.

Keep on fighting and killin it my friend.


As long as my totals are increasing, I do not care. I'm going to add some intervals in my HIIT cycling for progression and add reps to my BW exercises. Elevated Rows are getting tough so, I may increase sets after a few more rep progressions.


Friends have asked about my BW training and why I'm doing it. Most people know me to be a little smarter about training than your average joe and know that I'll usually have some "Methodology" or at least some "Logic" behind what I'm doing but as for BW training, it's something I've never really done before, at least not past grade school. I told people who've asked that I wouldn't recommend strictly BW training for anyone except maybe kids. I'm only doing this because it's the best I can do in my current situation. As for "Logic" behind what I'm doing, well there really isn't a whole lot. I've just picked a Horizontal Pull/Horizontal Push, a Vertical Pull/Vertical Push and for reps/sets I've simply started off at a moderately challenging start and will now continue to simply do nothing but progress on it. This isn't by choice but out of necessity. Have to say I have had a lot of fun doing this though, I leave the gym feeling invigorated and energized. I'm sweating my ass off and it was hard as hell but felt damn good. I spend 10 minutes in the Sauna after each workout and take a nap after my post workout meal and before my P.M training session. Does wonders for recovery and a little boost. Post back soon, cheers.

Today has looked something like this so far

15 min HIIT cycling increased intervals
Inverted Rows/Elevated Push Ups - 7/10 x 10
Chins/Dips - 5/5 x 8

Med Ball work
Inverted Rows/Elevated Push Ups - 7/10 x 10
Chins/Dips - 5/5 x 8