T Nation

Isolation-Only Training for Upper Body


#1

Hello everyone, for the next 2 months I’ll have to do isolation only for the upper body since I won’t be able to use my hands (carpal tunnel surgery on both hands) and will do exercises like cable stuff, flyes, some machines and zercher things.
What do you think would be the best way to train like that to keep as much mass and strength as possible?
I was thinking of hitting each muscle 3x a week since these exercises are low stress


#2

How about rows/pulling and shit from your other post?

Isolation or compound doesn’t matter: Progressively overload and you will grow: More weight, volume e.g. sets/reps per week, less rest time, better rep quality etc.

Compounds are recommended because they overload better. Adding 2.5kg either side of the bar on bench is ez. Adding 5kg to curls is hard and if you do you’re probably swinging/cheating a bit more which negates the extra weight.

So for movements where you start swinging, hip thrusting and cheating when the weight goes up an effective alternative is to add volume. If you do 12 sets of curls on week and then 14 sets the next you’ve progressively overloaded. This provides the stimulus to grow and with the right diet you’ll make all kinds of gains.


#3

I don’t really understand how you can train the upper body without your hands…

Anyway, I wouldn’t focus on trying to keep your muscle and strength or even keeping as much as possible. I reckon that will just frustrate you and potentially injure you.

Keep active, keep your diet in check and keep safe. Your muscle and strength will come back quickly enough if you don’t break the habits you’ve established. Yes, that sucks but life happens.


#4

Yes Thibs pulldown I can do, but I don’t think I’ll be able to use straps with the splint. Allright thanks


#5

2 months is nothing amigo. Work on your lower body or conditioning. Straps and other random upper body exercises may keep you busy but in the long run, as long as you are active, it won’t matter a great deal.

Helping your carpal tunnel to recover should be numero uno on priorities.

Also 1+ on zercher movements. That shit is brutal and effective.


#6

What has really worked well for me when training around an injury is circuits and light conditioning. I broke my hand earlier this year and what I did to train was some lower body/core circuits every other day. Doesn’t take long and by the end of your recovery you will be leaner and in better shape. My progress following this plan was amazing. Hope that helps.