no use of legs - how to stay lean!?!?

i am having an operation on my lower legs (anterior and medial compartment syndrome - gettin ma shins split like a piece o chicken!) - and as such will be severly limited in the training department.

I train westside, and play rugby and dont want minimise my fitness levels, increase in bodyfat and strength. I should be able to hobble after a week or two, and the gym where i work has those arm cycles which seem pretty nasty. Does anyone have any ideas how or what I can do to minimise my losses. I go under the knife wednesday. Ive just graduated to first team, and suer as hell dont want to loose everything ive worked for all summer!

any help greatly appreciated


Go on a bench/chin heavy program or a military press specialization or something like that.

And the arm-cycle thing sounds cool, I’d go with that.

But, in terms of losing fitness, you’re going to lose some. That’s the breaks of having a surgery like that.

On the other hand, you can tell yourself it’s a great opportunity to really concentrate on some big upper body movement. “Great, now I get a chance to really concentrate on my bench!” Sure, it’s a mind-game, but what isn’t?

Good luck, you’ll make it through.


The arm ergometers are often pretty old and busted, but they’ll do the trick. You’ll be able to get some cardio in that way.

I also agree that doing some heavy duty upper body work would be a good idea. If strength is your priority then you can focus on some heavy movements. If you’re simply trying to stay lean you might want to go with a little higher volume and shorter rest intervals.

Since I don’t know the specific nature of the surgery you’re having I’m not sure what your options for leg exercise are. If you can, while lying down contract your quads isometrically to prevent atrophy as much as possible.

Best of Luck!

you will lose some fitness no matter what due to your surgery. However I would recommend dragging a sled as soon as you can walk a little bit, wheelbarrow pushing can be a good idea also. There are entire knee rehab programs designed around the wheelbarrow and sled. I realize your problem is a little different, but it still could work. Look on elitefts for John Bott’s knee recovery program, and maybe write in to their Q&A for suggestions.