T Nation

Help Needed

Well 2 years coming Feb 1st I had heart surgery. I had a rare condition that they took the lining off from around my heart. A year ago I got tired of looking in the mirror and having to hold back tears. I started small with push-ups and crunches then about 7 months ago I started lifting. I went from not being able to flip the pillow behind my head by myself to doing reps on bench with 215 lbs. (Max maybe 275 lbs.) I started with a lot of focus on my chest and have rounded off to workout everything. I kind of throw a bunch of different lifts into 1-hour period every other day. I am feeling a lot stronger, but the reason I started was to take away from the scar on my chest. I need help because I am not there yet. I have too high of a bf% and my chest is much bigger but not hiding the scar as much as I would like. I am not scared of hard work I have motivation to go right through it. I also have very good genetics; muscle grows, and strengthens fast. Please any thing that would help would be great.

Ps. I lift alone in my cold garage now with free weights. I can’t find anyone that wants to work at my level with me. I have had two friends quit already.

I too had heart surgery all though that was when I was 6 weeks old. Unfortunatly, the scar is still there. Are you lifting to get rid of your scar? If thats the case I don’t think will ever happen. Also I would try to work out w/ a partner because of your condition…

I am not lifting to get rid of the scar I just don’t want it as noticeable. The first thing I see when I look in the mirror is that scar. I would like a defined enough chest to hide it some. I would love to lift with someone but it seems nobody wants to put in the hard work. How are good ways to find lifting partner? The people I know just aren’t as dedicated as I would like.

IMHO, you shouldn’t really worry about the scar. Even if it looks really bad, who the hell cares, really? I don’t know if you’re single, but if you are, keep in mind that women who won’t date you because of it aren’t worth dating in the first place. :slight_smile:

Hi, ShadowBoxer. I’d rather work out alone than work out with someone who is lacking in motivation. 'Bout all you need, if you don’t have it already, is a Power Rack. There isn’t any exercise I do, even pushing myself to failure, that can’t be done without a spotter as long as I’m using the Power Rack.

P.S. You do do some cardio to get the blood flowing to your muscles before you start working out in the COLD garage of yours, don’t you?

You may think that the scar’s more noticeable because you know exactly where it is and you’re more self-conscious of it. And if girls won’t date you because of a scar, they’re not worth your time. You deserve better.

Not that I don’t disagree w/ you. But if he is training that intensity I would rather him taining w/ a partner or have someone there to watch. Just in case something went wrong. I don’t think anything will, but he did just have heart surgery. Always be safe then sorry. Also back to your scar you might want to try tanning. Making your skin dark may cause an illusion that the scar goes away. I know when I get dark mine does. But my scar was pale also check out my pics in the photoe section you can see the scar but its not that bad. I had my surgery done 30 years ago.

Thank you all for your input. I find it encouraging that people on here are willing to help. Yeah I do get a little cardio in with my shadow boxing and heavy bag (it does wonders). I know I have to increase on the cardio to lower the bf%. The scar is still pink in color and I am wondering if it will ever turn pale. Tanning helps some but with it still pink it stands out still. I think the fact of not having a spotter just slows down the process. I can never lift to failure or get that one last real hard rep in. The thing is I really couldn’t too much with the people I tried lifting with either. I really don’t think they would be much help getting it up if my muscles failed. I bought the weights and bench before I did much research and spent too much on them. Now looking back I would have got a smith gym or something else to self-spot. I also at the time though my friend would be there lifting with me. When they cut through your chest do they actually cut muscle? I notice that I can’t gain anything over my sternum. Is there an exercise that targets this area?

I agree. A training partner would be ideal. Good ones sure are hard to find. (sigh)

You’re already getting good advice and support in regards to lifting so I’ll just throw out a bit of female perspective on scars.

They’re sexy. They’re manly. They make you look like warrior.

Accept your scar. Build your body for functional strength and be proud of that scar. It’s the reason you are alive.

I just wanted to say congratulations!!! Too many people would just whine about why they can’t do this or that. Keep up the good work.