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Minimizing Post-Surgical Atrophy

I originally posted this in the Injuries and Rehab sub-forum, but because there’s not nearly as much traffic over there, hopefully someone in the Bodybuilding forums can offer some insight.

Greeting everyone,

I ruptured my pec yesterday (confirmed by the best orthopedic surgeon in Austin). I have my MRI scheduled for tomorrow, so we don’t yet know whether the tendon tore from the humerus or whether the muscle tore from the tendon. Regardless, the road to recovery is going to be long and arduous. I’ve mostly come to terms with the fact that I could rehabilitating my chest for months if not years. My surgery is scheduled for Monday.

I’ve worked so hard to put on the mass that I have now, and I want to minimize the atrophy as much as possible.

I’ve already bought Biotest BCAAs and Creatine to try to limit the atrophy through supplements. I plan to train my lower body as much as possible without putting any stress on my chest (leg extensions, standing leg curls, body weight lunges, body weight squats, eventually moving onto Smith machine squats, safety bar squats, squats with a Manta Ray). Upper body training isn’t really an option generally until at least 8 weeks after surgery when I’m scheduled to start my physical therapy. I might attempt to do some unilateral work with my non-injured side insofar as it puts NO stress on my wound. I will not take ANY risk of rupturing it again.

I’ve accepted atrophy will happen. How can I minimize it?

How should I adjust my diet? I’m carrying about 18-20% body fat right now and had just started my summer vanity diet when I tore my pec. Should I keep my Calories high, adding a bit of fat to try to keep mass, or should I take this opportunity to try to lose some unwanted body fat since I’m going to be dropping weight anyway?

Can anyone recommend any other exercises that I haven’t mentioned that I can perform while recovering?

Here’s the big one, and what I need to most input with. I will be in an immobilizing brace for upwards of 6 weeks after surgery. Should I ask my doctor is he will prescribe me testosterone or another anabolic to combat the catabolism? If my doctor will not prescribe test, should I seek alternative means of acquiring steroids to combat the muscle loss?

I appreciate any feedback anyone can offer. Thank you.

your doctor will not prescribe you testosterone to prevent atrophy.

having said that, you should definitely go through another avenue to get it… itll be your best bet alongside rest and a solid diet to prevent atrophy

i see a lot of safety bar squats in your future bro… really sorry to hear about your injury…

if you dont mind me asking, how did this happen?

you could also do back extensions with a band, calf training, and abs

I was benching, only had 225 on the bar. On a good day, I can put up 225 for 25-30 reps. I was focusing more on the stretch at the bottom, trying to isolate the pecs. The first two reps felt really good, light and easy. The third rep, I came down, it felt great as well. I paused for a split second on my chest before pushing back up, but before I got any upward motion, my right arm just lost all tension, and it sounded like someone tore a rag.

I didn’t think about core exercises, but I think I’ll be able to do most of those. Everything I’ve read says do NOTHING where you might accidentally flex your chest, so I’ll have to be very careful with some of those movements.

I wouldn’t imagine it would be common place for orthopedic surgeons to prescribe testosterone, but I guess it does seem kind of ridiculous to the average practitioner.

Well, fuck, I guess I need to find out how and where to buy steroids in Texas. Fuck my life.

[quote]Obisidian wrote:
I was benching, only had 225 on the bar. On a good day, I can put up 225 for 25-30 reps. I was focusing more on the stretch at the bottom, trying to isolate the pecs. The first two reps felt really good, light and easy. The third rep, I came down, it felt great as well. I paused for a split second on my chest before pushing back up, but before I got any upward motion, my right arm just lost all tension, and it sounded like someone tore a rag.

I didn’t think about core exercises, but I think I’ll be able to do most of those. Everything I’ve read says do NOTHING where you might accidentally flex your chest, so I’ll have to be very careful with some of those movements.

I wouldn’t imagine it would be common place for orthopedic surgeons to prescribe testosterone, but I guess it does seem kind of ridiculous to the average practitioner.

Well, fuck, I guess I need to find out how and where to buy steroids in Texas. Fuck my life.[/quote]

PED’s are frighteningly easy to acquire

Yeah… That is tragic. I’ll spare you the broscience of it all so I will say, take your time to recover. If you’re doing it for vanity sake, you can wait to allow healing. Now, if you have a $100,000 show on the line well, that would be a different story! I heard when Branch tore his quad, after surgery, he alleges that he took his own PT in his own hands and started training light against Doctor’s orders. You can take that however you want. Testosterone therapy? In Texas? This state is so square when it comes To anabolics. Too big of a stigma. HRT clinics are too pricey and underdosed so, its probably better to hit streets. Only way get test from a doc in Texas is when your playing 4A football and coach and parents look away when its time to go state.

[quote]SavagedNatiion wrote:
Yeah… That is tragic. I’ll spare you the broscience of it all so I will say, take your time to recover. If you’re doing it for vanity sake, you can wait to allow healing. Now, if you have a $100,000 show on the line well, that would be a different story! I heard when Branch tore his quad, after surgery, he alleges that he took his own PT in his own hands and started training light against Doctor’s orders. You can take that however you want. Testosterone therapy? In Texas? This state is so square when it comes To anabolics. Too big of a stigma. HRT clinics are too pricey and underdosed so, its probably better to hit streets. Only way get test from a doc in Texas is when your playing 4A football and coach and parents look away when its time to go state.[/quote]

i mean this in the nicest way possible…

but if you only wrote about things that you knew, you would be posting far…far less

How polite.

@Mrwalkway Could you have possibly respond any more dickishly? Lol.

If it’s any consolidation, I really appreciate your advice. Different perspectives always help me make the most educated choice. Seeing as you live in Texas, I’ll take your word for it. I just moved out to Austin in August, so I don’t really know anyone. I know a couple of big names in natural bodybuilding, but they avoid testosterone by their name sake (not like they don’t know where to go). It seems like it would be a bit taboo to ask a competing “natty” where he gets his stuff.

[quote]SavagedNatiion wrote:
@Mrwalkway Could you have possibly respond any more dickishly? Lol.[/quote]

i apologize… it’s just, whether you mean to or not, you are misleading the OP.

on that note, obsidian… check your PM’s

I’d ask Dave Tate in his Q andA at elitefts, he is the king of rehabbing pec injuries. Probably wouldn’t hurt to ask someone like Thib here in his forum either.
Look into getting some MAG-10/ hydrolysed protein -even just one drink a day is very muscle sparing.

Leave the juice alone, muscle memory is a powerful thing -once rehabbed you can bounce back to at least 80% of your current muscle levels with a couple of weeks of training smart and eating big

oh that’s right… i forgot i was on T Nation^.

damnit i gotta stop doing that

I dunno if it’s a route you want to go down, but I’d get a ton of HGH if it were me. That injury sounds bad man.

Apparently glutamine has some benefit while recovering from surgery. Couldn’t hurt to add some of that.

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:
oh that’s right… i forgot i was on T Nation^.

damnit i gotta stop doing that

[/quote]

Just trying to give some positive advice. My main thrust was to ask a seasoned expert.

Then again, as far as I’m aware you’re a 22 year old kid who’s already juicing and abusing insulin so I’m sure you’re very sensible and have all the answers.

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:
oh that’s right… i forgot i was on T Nation^.

damnit i gotta stop doing that

[/quote]

Just trying to give some positive advice. My main thrust was to ask a seasoned expert.

Then again, as far as I’m aware you’re a 22 year old kid who’s already juicing and abusing insulin so I’m sure you’re very sensible and have all the answers.[/quote]

lol

but anyways…

I’m not currently taking steroids, nor have I ever used anabolics. Great recommendation in asking Tate in his Q&A. Thanks!

You’re starting PT 8 weeks after surgery? Why so long? I realize it’s not the same thing, but people are generally in PT within a week of ACL reconstruction, which would also be a fully torn ligament.

I also have a hard time believing anabolics are going to do much of anything if you are immobilized for a substantial period of time. I just don’t see how that does anything to address the lack of feedback that comes with muscle movement.

The best way for you to minimize atrophy is to start moving and stretching the pec the absolute first second you can. I don’t feel that the amount of muscle you will save will be worth the price of anabolics even in the slightest.

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:
You’re starting PT 8 weeks after surgery? Why so long? I realize it’s not the same thing, but people are generally in PT within a week of ACL reconstruction, which would also be a fully torn ligament.

I also have a hard time believing anabolics are going to do much of anything if you are immobilized for a substantial period of time. I just don’t see how that does anything to address the lack of feedback that comes with muscle movement.

The best way for you to minimize atrophy is to start moving and stretching the pec the absolute first second you can. I don’t feel that the amount of muscle you will save will be worth the price of anabolics even in the slightest.[/quote]

wow…

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:

I also have a hard time believing anabolics are going to do much of anything if you are immobilized for a substantial period of time. I just don’t see how that does anything to address the lack of feedback that comes with muscle movement.
.[/quote]

Somebody needs to read.

[quote]Mr. Walkway wrote:

[quote]HeavyTriple wrote:
You’re starting PT 8 weeks after surgery? Why so long? I realize it’s not the same thing, but people are generally in PT within a week of ACL reconstruction, which would also be a fully torn ligament.

I also have a hard time believing anabolics are going to do much of anything if you are immobilized for a substantial period of time. I just don’t see how that does anything to address the lack of feedback that comes with muscle movement.

The best way for you to minimize atrophy is to start moving and stretching the pec the absolute first second you can. I don’t feel that the amount of muscle you will save will be worth the price of anabolics even in the slightest.[/quote]

wow…[/quote]

Wow what? How much muscle exactly do you expect him to retain be using steroids? Is that really worth the price of the drug/possible side effects, etc? That’s my point, in case you missed it.