I’ve searched the forums and have read lots about the diagnosis and how I should listen to medical advice, etc.
First, the background:
At 22 I was accepted in to Army Special Ops. I was a serious athlete- I trained with the unit in the morning and again after work. I had no life. I did about 2 hours a day of cardio (running, dance).
I was injured in a bizarre accident during an operational deployment. Bizarre, as in, a safe landed on me, affecting my cervical and lumbar spine. (Actually, my T-spine was worked on by a retired SF doc and it’s in pretty good shape- he injected volcanic dust into the ligaments to shorten them up, but refused to touch the other ligaments due to the risk of paralysis.) My thoracic spine was protected to some degree by the vest I was wearing, as well as by gear.
Right now, I have degenerative disc disease (DDD) in 4 cervical vertebrae and 4 lumbar vertebrae. L5 looks like a flat tire on the MRI- it’s pretty well gone, I’m told.
I was doing okay with chiropractic until about 5 years ago. An orthopedic surgeon went on record as saying I couldn’t do a zillion things and I lost my job, etc. as a result. (Got a nice check, however, but that’s gone now.) I’ve since found a new guy who says the opposite, with a few exceptions.
For example: I can’t use dumbbells of greater than 5kg in mass. Training wearing a vest/backpack is out. I can’t do anything that involves ‘impact’ (i.e. jumping) either. I could try ‘hip-hop’ but I’m only competitive in the Senior Citizen category.
Unfortunately, I’m only 37 years old.
Which brings me to my question: How to build when I can’t increase the weight?
I’d love to pump up my arms, at least, and get rid of these Man Boobs which are forming. Am I stuck with endurance routines (and the attendant slim/trim aerodynamic build?) or is there some way to bulk up a bit more? I know I’ll probably never grace M&F but I’d like to look and feel better.