T Nation

Hospital for Cystic Fibrosis, Exercising While Recovering


Well this is my first post here, so I’ll give a quick rundown on who I am, my background & my current situation.

My name is Garrett but go by G. I’m 26 & have cystic fibrosis. For those who don’t know, it’s an incurable lung disease. I’ve been into bodybuilding since I was 13 & almost competed when I was 19, but my lung collapsed 3 weeks out from my first show & had to axe the dream of competing. Since that time I’ve been through hell; chest tubes, blood clots, surgeries, 6 blood transfusions…you name it. I should be dead, but here I am, posting on a forum lol.

Over the past month I’ve been extremely consistent with my training & food because my health has allowed me to after quite a long time off. One month back at it & im 14lbs heavier, strength is way up, feeling great overall for the most part. Probably because I started TRT because the CF has wiped out my natural testosterone. A shot every 3 days & I feel like a new man.

Unfortunately, with cf things can be very unpredictable & Tuesday night I felt very short of breath while training & I knew something was up with my lungs…I felt absolutely exhausted but pushed on & got through the workout. Went home, ate, & called it a night, but still felt out of breath all through the evening, needing to use my oxygen tank for the first time in a while. I woke up out of breath & said enough is enough & went to the hospital, Doctor admitted me because I have a lung infection. Shit happens, I guess. I’m not down on myself over it, because this is the healthiest I’ve felt going into a hospitalization. They’re pumping me full of antibiotics, & will be here for the next two weeks, as is customary for a cf patient.

I thought I’d ask about exercising while I’m here, my doctor encourages it, so I figure why not if I can tolerate it?
I can’t do push-ups because I have a port in my chest that’s infusing the antibiotics, & I don’t want to somehow screw that up. That leaves me with crunches, squats, & lunges on top of the head…anything else I could potentially add in there?

I figure I could do 10 sets of 10 or 20 body squats just to get my heart pumping a bit. But I’ve heard great things about this site & forum so I thought I’d ask the higher ups here who know more than I.

I look forward to becoming a regular here, posting & maybe even making a friend or two. Any help on this post will be great

Thanks again!


Check with the hospital’s Physical Therapy dept–they may have some resistance equipment you can use. If not, maybe someone could bring you some resistance bands. With those, you can pretty much work anything you want.


High rep lunges can be awful. Legs like volume training so knock yourself out!

Good luck on the recovery!


Isn’t there a PT or physio taking care of you?

You’re probably already on top of it but you could do more walking at a brisk pace or something more intense if you can manage. Helps with clearing secretions and breathing deeper in the short term and long term you’ll be less fatigued and short of breath for any given activity the fitter you are.

If you walk with an O2 tank you can curl it when nobody is watching lel

You may not have done a pulmonary rehab program before given you’re young, relatively fit and not super limited by your CF but you can apply the principles of pulmonary rehabilitation programs in a prehab-like program to maximise function now and in future.