T Nation

Furo's Comeback Log

I thought I’d start up a new log detailing my comeback from a fractured tibia I sustained skiing in January. Shortly prior to my injury I’d stopped logging my usual training on this site - I guess that teaches me. But this site is an incredible resource and I’ve found myself in an unfamiliar situation, so I’m back.

The details of the injury are as follows - on the 16th of January I skied into a big rock (not recommended) and fractured my right tibia about two thirds of the way up the bone (my fibula was spared - the little wins). The impact was severe enough to cause an open fracture - my bone broke the skin. I underwent emergency surgery the following day - wash-out and intramedullary nail insertion - and it all went smoothly. To insert an intramedullary nail the surgeon has to split the patellar ligament vertically, so I anticipate that my knee will be my main challenge during recovery.

The week following discharge was horrible, I was in a tonne of pain mostly due to my hip musculature constantly cramping up (the actual break/surgery pain was completely bearable). During weeks 2 and 3 I slowly incorporated some basic training - just push-ups and things like that. Now I’m midway through week 4 and my training is probably productive enough to actually be worth logging (or maybe not).

In terms of my training background I’ve been logging on here for a good number of years now. I’m 25 years old and have been training since I was 17, initially barbell stuff and for the last 4+ years it’s mostly been bodyweight and kettlebells, with a good sprinkling of barbell stuff when I feel the need. Prior to my injury I was weighing in at around 96kg (210lbs) at 6’2", and I haven’t weighed myself since.

I don’t have much information on what is expected of my recovery - I’ve been told I should be able to weight-bear after 6 weeks (end of Feb), but I don’t know what happens after that. My plan is to hit my bad leg with a tonne of bodyweight volume as soon as I get the green light to weight-bear but it has wasted so much and I don’t know what it’ll cope with.

Week 4 - Lower Body

Pistol Squats (Left Leg - to Box)

Back Extensions (Left Leg)


Unweighted Reverse Hypers

This was a solid lower body session, it finally feels like I’m beginning to do proper training now. I did the pistol squats to a box for safety reasons - I’ve fallen a few times since my surgery and it isn’t fun. The box is slightly above parallel, so I need to find a lower one. The single leg back extensions really hammer my good hamstring although I have to focus hard on hinging at the hips as it is so easy to cheat.

I should explain that I’m staying at my parent’s house while I recover and my equipment is limited. I bought my parents a back extension apparatus a couple of years ago (possibly a strange choice but I figured it was the safest way for them to train their most important muscle group) and I’m really making the most of it now - I’m able to use it for both single leg back extensions and unweighted reverse hypers. Other than that they just have a couple of light dumbbells and I have a couple of resistance bands and CoC grippers that I bought last week.

Good to see you logging again man, and good to have another recovery log here. I think you’re going to move along just fine with the attitude you’re bringing to this. Keep hammering away what you can.

Can’t offer much help on recovering from a broke leg, but as usual I will be keeping up with what you are doing. Hope recovery and everything else goes well!

Feels good to start getting back into the workout, all kinds of progress to come… Take it easy and heal well!

@T3hPwnisher Thanks so much, it’s great to have you here. I’ve learnt so much from you already (unweighted reverse hypers, CoC grippers, not worrying about symmetry and training my good leg hard). I look forward to continuing to pick your brain! Mentally I feel really good - I’m going to damn well will this leg back to baseline and now I feel extremely motivated to push it as far as I can beyond that. I’ve always trained consistently, but I’ve been very relaxed about progress over the past couple of years. Nothing has ever lit a fire inside me like this. I’ll feel acceptable once I can do a pistol squat again - I’m using that as my baseline - but I’m determined to set some big PRs and really prove that I’m back. Not sure what exactly, but I want to lift something heavy.

I really can’t complain at all, this whole experience has been positive and I honestly mean that. I’m so lucky to have parents able to look after me like this, living the ‘patient experience’ is so useful for my career, work is still paying me full-time, I’m being productive and I’ve got my training mojo back. Oh and of course I got to experience our NHS from the other side before our government completely screws it all up.

Got a little off-topic there, sorry. Good to have you aboard and thanks for your support!

Haha always a pleasure jblues85, it’s great to have you here. Thank you very much.

Thanks man, appreciate it!

Week 4 - Upper Body


Band Pull-Aparts

Band Curls

CoC Gripper (Guide)

Great session - hell of a pump! On the surface it looks like a pretty lame set of exercises, but it felt really good. I think push-ups are really under-rated in general and I’m enjoying training with bands. The Captains of Crush grippers are hugely fun too - I can close my number 1 with each hand but it’s a real grind so I’m sticking with high reps on the guide for now. If I could figure out a way to do pull-ups I reckon that this would actually be a pretty worthwhile workout, even outwith the context of my current limitations.

I think I overdid it a little yesterday - not in terms of my training, but just my overall activity. I’m meant to keep my leg elevated, but I’m not one for bedrest and so I was up and about all day and today it just feels “off”. Tight and uncomfortable. Luckily series 1-3 of Vikings arrived in the post today, so I’m taking it nice and easy :).

This shows the difference between my legs, which is quite striking, especially when you see how loose my shorts are on the right. It doesn’t bother me though: I’m looking forward to rebuilding, and in any case it’s already better than it was thanks to the physio I’ve been doing.

Your legs are looking like mine, haha. Just comes with the territory.

I ran into similar issues as you regarding not keeping the leg elevated/dealing with swelling. You’ve got the right idea at least in that, if you realize you’ve pushed yourself too far, you’ll need to consciously make an effort to rest up the next day to compensate in some way.

As for pull-ups, one of those doorway gyms wouldn’t be a bad bet, but since you’re at your parent’s house, I’m sure you don’t want to go beating up their doorways. You could try to work some manner of band rows/pulldowns for lat work. If they have stair rails, bannisters, etc, that could work, or you could go real basic and just loop the band around your good foot and row the band that way. Some lat work is better than none, and the lats seem to like super high reps/volume anyway.

Thanks for the suggestions man. I had tried band rows with my heavy band and they didn’t really work (just too easy), but just now I tried it with my lighter band doubled up and that was very promising :slight_smile:

Week 5 - Upper Body

Bench Press (Legs Up)
100kg: 1
80kg: 5x5
Dropset: 80-70-60-50kg

Pull-Ups (Neutral Grip)
BW: 8-6-6-5

Bodyweight: 92.2kg (after lunch)

This was so good!!! My friend picked me up, bought me Rockstar energy drinks and took me to his home gym. I cannot think of a better way to spend an afternoon. It was a pretty slow session, and I wouldn’t have coped well if I’d tried it any sooner - there is an old sofa in his home gym and I had to crash out on it with my leg raised between sets lol. The whole thing took over 90min, but nevertheless, it was beautiful.

I misjudged the bench press - after a solid warm-up I went for 100kg (225lbs) and got it, but it wasn’t smooth. Looking back I’m sure this is due to being out of practice, especially as I was doing it with my legs raised which was disconcerting. I don’t think I’ve actually lost much strength. I was over-cautious and dropped the weight right down to 80kg (175lbs) for 5x5, but that was too easy, so I finished with a drop set starting at 80kg and I got 10 reps before dropping weight. So I was a bit all over the place, but in the end I got a good amount of work done. The pull-ups were much better than I expected - before my injury I did 3x8, so getting 8 on my first set was huge, although I have lost a significant amount of weight. For a long time I was 97kg fasted and for the 2 weeks before my injury I’d been eating strictly paleo and dropped to 95.5kg or so fasted. 92.2kg with a full stomach is the lightest I’ve been since 2011, but a fair amount of the weight I have lost has been fat so I’m really not bothered. I’m actually just extremely pumped.


Band Curls

CoC Grippers (Guide)

Band Rows (One-Handed)

I felt like doing more work, so I did some high volume band and gripper training. I’m so encouraged by my gym session today - I have clearly lost a little upper body strength, but I have confidence that I will get back to my baseline in the 2 weeks until I can weight-bear. That will leave me free to put 100% of my effort into strengthening my right leg, rather than having to worry about my upper body too.

That’s awesome work getting into a real gym again dude. It’s funny; I went through the same recovery when my wife got me some energy drinks too. It was nice to feel human again, haha.

Man a well-timed energy drink can be an absolute life-saver!

Week 5 - Lower Body

Pistol Squats (Left Leg, to Low Box)
BW: 5x10

I’m feeling really good following yesterdays upper body work - I’m pretty sore all over, but it’s not debilitating. Just enough to let me know that I put in some solid work. The only disappointment is my neck - I’ve been having issues with a stiff neck and tension headaches for around 9 months which started during a phase of heavy kettle bell cleans (although posture was probably an underlying factor). Since my injury my neck has been completely fine, but something in my training yesterday has really set it off. The only thing I can think of is the high rep rows, as that seems to have hit my traps pretty hard. I’ve got an annoying headache now.

Today I was pretty tired so I just kept it really simple. These pistol squats were below parallel, and the final reps were quite a grind. Brief but effective. I’m going to keep my lower body training to every 3 days, because my hips do feel a little strange being trained asymmetrically.

Week 5 - Upper Body

Bench Press (Legs Up)
90kg: 3x5
80kg: 2x10

Pull-Ups (Neutral Grip)
BW: 4x5

Band Curls
Red: 5x25

Band External Rotations
Red: 5x10

Another home gym session today. The bench and pull-ups took over an hour, and I did the band work at home. The bench press felt more productive today, as I was definitely working with more appropriate rep ranges - every set was a struggle, but I maintained form throughout. Next session I think I’ll try 100kg for 5x3. The pull-ups are down from Saturday, but that’s purely due to soreness - I had no idea how much the previous session had affected my lats until I did that first set!

I think I’m going to drop my lower body frequency down even lower. My hips felt really uncomfortable this morning, but had loosened up by the evening. My left leg feels as strong as it ever has been - every single time I stand up I’m basically doing a concentric pistol squat - so I’m happy to just keep my dedicated leg training ticking over in the background. Anyway, I’ll have to focus plenty of attention on my legs when I start weight-bearing again, so for now it is nice to prioritise my upper body.

Week 5 - Upper Body (Light)

BW: 5x20

Band Pull-Aparts
Red: 10x25

Band Curls
Red: 10x25

CoC Gripper (Guide)

Band Pullovers
Red: x lots

I’m not sure how productive this type of session is, but it felt really good. If nothing else it at least gets my heart rate up a little and stimulates me mentally. I’m especially enjoying the grip work - these CoC grippers are extremely addictive! I’d always avoided direct grip work before because of my minimalist approach to training, but I certainly plan to keep these up.

Week 5 - Upper Body

Bench Press (Legs Up)
100kg: 4x1
60kg: 1x20

Ring Pull-Ups
BW: 6x5

CoC Grippers
1: 10x1*
Guide: 5x50

Band Curls
Red: 5x25

Bodyweight: 92.8kg

Another fun upper body session today. I am getting more and more restless and these sessions are really getting me through. The first set of 100kg was discouraging, but I’m glad I stuck with it because the sets gradually seemed to get easier. It’s difficult to say how much having my legs up is affecting the bench press, so I cannot judge how much strength I have lost, but I imagine it is only a little. The ring pull-ups felt solid and the band/gripper work was as fun as ever.

*For the number 1 gripper I was not fully closing it - all of my right hand reps were within 5mm and all of my left hand reps were within 10mm. I felt it was important to mix in some heavy work because sets of 50 on the guide gripper are not doing much for my top end strength. Since this session I have ordered the trainer gripper (the one in between the guide and the number 1) so I’m looking forward to using that. I would have been better off getting the trainer and the 1 initially, and not the guide, but I didn’t have any way to judge what strength would be appropriate for me.