T Nation

Isometrics and Muscle Breakdown

Hey all,

This may be a complicated question for the T-Nation, but I’ll give it a shot:

I have a friend who is a bodybuilder (competition in August), and she recently underwent surgeries (5) to help fix complications from hepatitis that currently have her in renal failure. Her doctor has said her kidneys currently cannot regulate blood volume at all and he expects her to never exercise again. I don’t have the blood work nor any of the exact diagnoses just yet, but she has come to me insisting that she is going to exercise for this competition, with or without my guidance. I have decided that I have to do something, and have recommended that she at least eliminate protein from her diet, and maybe try to get it from vegetable sources for the time being. She wants to exercise with big compound movements that will incur much muscle breakdown, but her kidneys cannot handle that as her CP levels are already WAY to high. I suggested Pilates type core movements and general isometrics to avoid muscle breakdown while still keeping the neuromuscular coordination for these muscles intact at least a bit of a higher level.

I know there is a lot going on here, and I know she should be following her doctor’s advice, but if she is going to blatantly disregard his orders, at least I’ll be able to form some sort of damage control so that the shit won’t hit the fan. So here are the questions:

  1. Do isometrics incur less muscle breakdown to a degree so that they would cause minimal detriment to a person with kidney failure?

  2. What are some vegetable sources of protein that will be a good exchange for conventional sources of protein?

Any and all other thoughts would be helpful. I recommended she speak to a D.O. in the meantime to see if there are any non-pharmaceutical interventions that she might initiate that would accelerate the healing process.

Again, I know that this is limited information, but I’ll try to get back to you all with more specifics so there can be more of a dynamic group effort occurring here. Thanks as always!

The MaxX

maximal isometrics can cause HUGE muscular strain and damage in a sense you are pushing againts a load that is WELL above you max. check out CT’s article on isometrics for mass.

  1. mix and match the protein/veggie sources to get complete portien profiles. Like rice and bean apart they are incomplete together they are complete. just be sure to get a ton af varied sources and if you can dairy, eggs etc.

I think from the kidney’s point of view that protein will be protein. I am guessing that it may be more important to eat very only a little at at time as opposed to switching around sources.

However, I really don’t know anything about this issue, so I’m just tossing out a red flag for consideration.

This is a situation where you really ought to be asking a physiologist who specializes in the kidney. Not sure if there are any on T-Nation, but check around on the internet for email addresses of some PhD’s in the area and ask them.

-Dan