T Nation

Please dont ignore

I have had a debilitating lower back problem for 4 months now. My doctor has taken side x-rays of my back and should come in this week. Though he is pretty positive that I have fractured my transverse process from the information I?ve told him. He says to heal something like this if its fractured then I have to take up to 6 months of rest from real training and positively no back training. I don?t know what the hell to do. My life has been revolved around bodybuilding for the past 4 years and taking this much time off is going to destroy the huge gains that I?ve accomplished this year, not to mention the shear metal breakdown it will inevitably cause. I?m sure someone at t-mag has come across an injury such as this. What can I do to preserve my muscle mass? I am especially worried about my lat width since I am naturally narrow to begin with. I?ve dieted and trained my way up to a lean 210 and now am posed with a roadblock that I?m afraid will knock me down to a flabby 190. Please help!

Sincerely,
GlassMan

Let me play Joseph Murphy (see “Psychology of Big” thread for the references to his book). First, stop thinking about the possibility that you won’t be able to lift for 6 months and that you’ll become a flabby bastard. You’re sure to see that result if you don’t re-program your thoughts. Start with that.

Good advice C. Plus try to look at this from more of a “what WILL I do to hold onto the hard earned muscle” standpoint. Personally I’d try to load up on methoxy-7, vitamin C, maybe red-kat for the sclaremax/feel good effects and quality protein. Also the psychology of big ideas couldn’t be used in a more appropriate situation. Learn how to use them not only to make up for your training void, but to help with your recovery. One last thing learn more about yourself outside the weightroom/spend time with family ect. you’ll be back up and probably even stronger in no time.

Will body weight only exercises be out of the question? They could at least help you keep things in a holding pattern. Don’t underestimate the power behind an isometric hold.

I also agree…keep thinking big thoughts. Don’t let negativity enter your brain. You do after all have the rest of your life to train, if you must take time off it isn’t the end of the world.

Best of luck in healing quickly.

thanks for the advice guys. I know the idea is to think positive but after 6 months i dont think happy thoughts are gonna keep up my size. I know im comming off blunt but i am really stressed out. Has anyone had experience similar to this injury that knows if its possible to do a light type of rehabilitation routine. I am not an old bodybuilder who has decades under there belt and can afford this type of time off. The past gains i have made this year happened rather rapidly. Is there any maintenace that i can do that won’t hamper recouperation?

Just a couple of points.

  1. Studies have been done to show that just thinking about the process of lifting has actually increased strength in people who weren’t even training. In other words, do your workouts in your head. Make time and go through your training routine with mental intensity as you would in the gym. Go through all the steps you would while training. Although the reason for this remains to be explained there is some evidence to suggest that the CNS is being stimulated. While this might not keep your muscle up it may help you to maintain strength after your layoff. It might also elicit some muscle tone from your nervous system (I’m guessing on that one).

  2. Read like there’s no tomorrow. You’ve got time. Spend some of the time you would’ve spent training (unless you’re trying point #1) reading about nutrition and training.