T Nation

Not Able to Lift for a Month?


I'm having surgery in mid December (correcting a deviated septum), and although they tell me I should be back on my feet within a few days, I'm not supposed to do any hard exercise to raise my blood pressure for about a month.
That means... no lifting :frowning:

Now, I'm by no means huge or hardcore, but I've been working out pretty regularly for a few years and have a lot more muscle than I'd have if I didn't lift. Now in particular, after having done Waterbury's TBT (and variations thereof), I'm in the best shape I've ever been, mass and cardio-wise.

I'm looking for any advice on what I can do to maintain as much lean mass as possible - I doubt it's possible to try and gain without raising my blood pressure for a month.

I'm currently getting back onto HOT-ROX for a variety of reasons - partially in preparation for the month away from lifting, as I'm hoping it will help me with maintenance.
I take a little less than a full dose (for loading) of micronized creatine currently; should I up my dosage during the month off?
Should I shoot for more protein than normal?
Are there any exercises I can do to try and maintain as much lean mass as possible?

Any input and suggestions are appreciated,


Taking a month off isn't really that bad, muscle memory is pretty amazing. When you start back up you might even make faster progress then your used to even.


Anytime I have significant time away from training (mostly vacations), I try to seriously overtrain beforehand. I know that overtraining is usually bad because it maximizes recovery time, but if you're not going to be lifting for 3-4 weeks, overtraining will actually be beneficial for you because you will have weeks to recover. Forget maintaining, you'll actually be growing!

You said you're not hardcore, so this may not appeal to you, because overtraining is grueling, and frankly you have to be pretty dedicated (or a little crazy) to do it. I'm talking two workouts a day grueling. See Poliquin's "Super-Accumulation Program" article for an in depth discussion. Even if you don't want to go completely crazy, I think you should consider overtraining as much as you can between now and your surgery.

If you do overtrain, you'll need to keep your protein at the same high levels as when you train, because your body will need it to recover. Don't think you'll need any creatine during the recovery, since it is really meant to boost performance in training, and you won't be doing any.

Just to sell you on the idea, most people who overtrain and get sufficient time to recover see big gains from it.


This is what I would suggest. Kill yourself this month and spend Dec doing recovery work (walking, light mobility, etc.) and enjoy the holiday meals. I'd drop the creatine too and add fish oil if you aren't taking it.


It's extremely important to keep up your protein intake to prevent atrophy (muscle wasting). I've heard that if a drug free lifter keeps up his protein intake and the proper amount of maintenance calories then he can go six weeks without any noticeable size reduction. Strength will go but that comes back quickly.

I have recently had a medical set back that has prevented me from any serious training for almost four months. My weight is still the same as it was four months ago just from keeping up my protein, maintenance calories and other supplements.


Thank you all very much for your suggestions.
Thus far I have simply kept up my workout regime; unfortunately due to it being the end of my (super) senior semester in college, I really can't afford to overtrain without seriously affecting my grades.

I am going to make sure to maintain a protein-rich diet, as well as keep up with the supplements. I may try and do a miniature overtraining session of a few days before the surgery, though I'm not sure that will do anything.

What types of light mobility exercises would be beneficial?
I would think some with compound motions to hit as many muscles as possible?