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No Lower Body for 16 Weeks

Hey guys. So I had a surgery done and was left with an open wound. Doc said I should be squatting again in 8 weeks. 8 weeks is now up and they’re saying about 8 more until its ready. Yeah I know I’m pissed. So no lower body work for 16 weeks. Regardless of my strength/ leg size losses, can I still realistically make ideal gains for my upper body? I have been progressing in strength and size since.

However, every once in awhile you run across things that say you can’t get big while neglecting leg work. My question is, is that true in my situation? Can I still make the same gains in size/ strength of upper body without leg work. Might be a dumb question but its driving me nuts so I’m posting this.

Oh forgot to mention I can and have been deadlifting.

I think you’ll be absolutely fine.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
However, every once in awhile you run across things that say you can’t get big while neglecting leg work.[/quote]
You can, it’s just that it’s not a good idea. :wink:

Of course you can, to an extent. If zero progress happened when people only trained upper body and skipped lower body, there’d be no stereotypical chicken-legged lifters that we love to, rightly, mock.

Your situation sucks, but I’d say train whatever you can, definitely. It shouldn’t effect your upper body training too much, and if you can still do deads and deadlift variations, even better. Don’t forget to try out standing calf variations.

Maybe check out this article to see if the “bad knee” advice has anything you can use:

Just remember to not get ahead of yourself with anything by putting the long-term recovery at risk.

Haha that pic def makes this thread complete Chris. Any chance I can get you to expand upon what you mean when you said to an extent? Strength wise my lifts have continued to go up, which is good. However, I’m worried about things from a size standpoint.

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
Oh forgot to mention I can and have been deadlifting. [/quote]

What else can you do? Deadlifting is a pretty demanding lift for the lower body so I imagine this affords you the ability to do alot of similar movement patterns.

Deadlifting is the only thing that doesn’t spread the already open wound. It stresses the area and I would imagine their is some pretty strong compressive forces, but like I said no stretching. Squats would be a disaster, lunges would be similar. I’m gonna try leg extensions on a machine but it hurts to sit and pressing my ass down into a seat while putting weight on my legs may not be the greatest idea. I’m gonna try it out light though

Just do deadlifts twice a week and you should be fine. Try different body angles (like this).

You should be perfectly fine.

I disagree, i think he will probably get leukemia and his balls will fall off.

[quote]Field wrote:
I disagree, i think he will probably get leukemia and his balls will fall off.[/quote]

On second thought… Yes. definitely. And he’ll start to dig Justin Bieber.

Well its too late on the Justin Beiber part, he’s my go to playlist for heavy deadlifts. I’ll watch out for the leukemia though

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
Any chance I can get you to expand upon what you mean when you said to an extent?[/quote]
Basically that when we say things like “you’ll never get big if you don’t train legs”, at least part of the reasoning is to reinforce a more well-rounded approach to training. Though there’s certainly plenty of practical carryover to training everything.

By neglecting lower body training, either by choice or by circumstance, you end up up a situation where you’ll eventually run into issues with muscular balance/physique symmetry (the ol’ chicken legs); limited total body strength and core strength (lower body training incorporates more indirect ab training than upper body); and, related to both of those, an increased risk of injury due to weak whole body stabilizers (underdeveloped hips/posterior chain can lead to upper back pain/structural problems).

But, like I said, it’s not as though you’ll see zero complete progress if you skip legs. If you take in enough calories and continue to improve in reps and weight on the bench, overhead press, row, pulldown, curl, and extensions, your body will adapt accordingly. It’s just that, after skipping legs for an extended period of time, eventually it’s going to become obvious that you’ve been skipping legs.

Thanks Chris, I really appreciate the thorough response. I wasn’t trying to nag you I just wanted a little more details cause I’m curious. It makes perfect sense now though

I had to stop legs for the last month while trying to recover from a knee injury. I just started to get back into legs by doing some hamstring stuff (stiff-legged deadlifts, lying leg curls) and calf stuff.

I lost some size in my legs but my upper body had not suffered. Actually, I’ve made better gains in my upper body this month because I’ve been able to work it out more.

Ok I know this thread is nearing its end… But does anyone have any idea how much strength I can expect to lose over this time? I know their are a ton of different variables. But if at the beginning of 16 weeks I was squatting 245, what can I expect to be around when I get back at it? More importantly how quickly can I expect to get back to where I was.

Concerning the first: Impossible to say. The second: Almost impossible, but my guess is you will need 10-20 weeks to get back to it. If you keep training deadlifts, this time will be greatly reduced.

That sucks, I expected as much though. Thanks for the response

Dude, don’t worry. I had knee surgery 6 months ago, menisectomy, cysts, cart. cleaning and scraping… Just started squatting for real last week, I lost strength, but no size. I’ve done rehab 3x a week since surgery, and have walked 4M a day for the last 5 months.
A couple months and you’ll be back where you were, it comes back quick.

I’m sorry to hear that strangemeadow. I hope it all comes back for you quickly too. Thanks for the help

[quote]bulkNcut wrote:
But does anyone have any idea how much strength I can expect to lose over this time?

More importantly how quickly can I expect to get back to where I was.[/quote]

Yeah, there’s really no way to reliably predict because it’s a funky situation. You’re having to skip squats becuase of a unique situation, it’s not like a “direct” leg injury, plus you’ll still be deadlifting and training what you can in the meantime. So maybe you’ll lose 10% strenght or 30% strength. Total guessing game.

I do agree that you should be able to rebound fairly quickly once you can hit it consistently again. So at least there’s that.