T Nation

Post Transplant Training


#1

Spent about a year and half in the hospital with cancer. Long story short, received a Bone Marrow Transplant and am good to go now. Just started training consistently again not too long ago and figure by posting a training log I'll be more motivated and committed to getting er going again.

I'll be training 2 days on 1 day off. My template will be pretty simple considering I'm basically starting from scratch and probably don't need much more than a basic game plan for awhile to come. I had been training for about 4-5 years prior to being diagnosed with cancer but after it was all said and done I'm weaker than I was when I first started when I was 14. My template has looked something like the following:

1 O-Lift Exercise
2 Strength or Powerlifting Exercises
2 Hypertrophy based/ Accessory Movements

Day 1 usually looks like
-Snatch
-Squat
-Bench
-Pull ( Pull first on this day because previous exercise is a push)
-Push

Day 2 usually looks like
-Clean
-Front Squat
-Deadlift
-Push ( Push first on this day because previous lift is a pull, although I train the DL with more of a push from my legs, theres still pulling involved regardless)
-Pull

My nutrition will be pretty simple. I started the anabolic diet after New Years, did the 12 day low carb approach to try and trigger the metabolic shift and had my first carb up last Friday. I'll be having a carb up every Friday , just for the day. I've always responded pretty poorly to carbohydrates and can easily live without them. Post transplant I developed a disease known as GVHD which is Graft vs Host Disease. In my case I developed GVHD of the gut which is an inflammatory disease where your graft or donor cells do battle with your host cells or original cells. This prevented me from having anything by mouth for about a month and at one point I could only be supported nutritionally through IV. I'm able to eat now but have had to introduce foods slowly. As for supplements, I'm avoiding them for the time being. I'm still on a pretty substantial amount of medication and don't need the extra stress on my already destroyed organs or the potential interaction with any medication. Also transplant is based mostly on the art of proper immune suppression and a lot of supplements have potential immune boosting properties that could pose a problem. Not to mention...I think I have enough problems on my hands and could probably do without anymore.

Anyways today went something like this
- Snatch 8x5- 55lbs
- Squat 8x3- 75lbs
- Bench 5x3- 110lbs
- Row 5x5- 45lbs plate
- Press 5x5- 25lbs DB's

Tomorrow will be
- Clean 8x5- 66lbs
- Front Squat 8x3- 60lbs
- Deadlift 5x3- 145lbs
- Press- 5x10- 20lbs DB's
- Row- 5x10- 25lbs plate

Rest Intervals will be 2 mins on O-Lifts and 1 min on all others.

Progression with Training - I always want to make progress on what I'm doing so it's going to work as follows:

(1 cycle is 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, 1 day off) 9 days total

-Cycle 1 - See weight

-Cycle 2 - O-lifts increase by 5lbs and 1 rep is eliminated
-Strength Exercises increase by 5lbs and reps stay the same
-Hypertrophy Exercises increase by the nearest increment and reps stay the same- example DB's I'll go from 20's to 25's

-Cycle 3 - O-lifts increase by 5lbs and 1 MORE rep is eliminated
-Strength Exercises increase by 5lbs and reps stay the same
-Hypertrophy Exercises increase by the nearest increment and reps stay the same

-Cycle 4 - O-lifts increase by 5lbs and 1 MORE rep is eliminated
-Strength Exercises increase by 10lbs and reps stay the same
-Hypertrophy Exercises increase by 2 increments and reps stay the same
(Cycle 4 should be extremely heavy and all targets might not be hit)

-Cycle 5 - O-lifts- take weight from cycle 2 and perform for reps of cycle 1
-Strength Exercises - use weight from cycle 4 and add if possible
-Hypertrophy Exercises - use weight from cycle 4 and add if possible

-Cycle 6 - O-lifts- take weight from cycle 3 and perform for reps if cycle 2
-Strength Exercises - use weight from cycle 4 and add if possible
-Hypertrophy Exercises - use weight from cycle 4 and add of possible

  • I've chosen this method of progression for O-lifts because unlike most lifts a 5-10lbs increase can seem huge. I've chosen this method of progression for Strength and Hypertrophy exercises because I'm pretty confident that I'll be able to add that kind of weight and don't need any more complex methods of progression than additional weight in my case. If I find that I'm not able to add this weight accordingly I'll have to switch it up for an increase in reps instead. As pathetic as these amounts of weight may seem, they're fairly heavy for me...BUT not so heavy that I'm not confident that these increases in increments are not possible. I don't want to "jump the gun" too fast. First of all I'm just getting back into it and secondly I want to be able to make progress on what I'm doing in a logical and consistent way.

-Progression with Diet

  • After sitting in a bed for approximately 2 years, along with chemo, radiation, insane amounts of other drugs, crappy nutrition (if any) and transplant itself I've lost an INCREDIBLE amount of muscle mass. I pretty much didn't leave a room the size of my bedroom for 18 months, so you could say getting exercise or any physical activity for that matter was somewhat of an issue. I went from approx 200lbs down to 123lbs with no abs...yes that's possible...123 with no abs at 5,8". Starting Jan 1st I started the anabolic diet and will continue this diet for 16 weeks and see where it takes me. I'm currently about 175lbs but soft. I've accumulated a lot of body fat and am not overly concerned about stripping it off because of my situation but I figure there's no point in carrying that extra fat around and prefer to eat healthy anyways. I know that by doing this it will only benefit me in the long run and do nothing but make me feel, look and perform a whole lot better. I figure that this reduction in carbs alone will be sufficient in making my dreams of becoming lean come true, but diets tricky and we'll see how it plays out and adjust accordingly.

#2

Well...welcome to the Nation. Glad you made it out of the woods. Good luck to you.


#3

@Beast27195 Thanks man, appreciate it

Today's training was a little rough, monday's are always a little sluggish for me because I have to wake up and drive into the city really early to go draw labs before I can eat breakfast and take my morning meds. Not that big of a deal though just took a little extra focus and motivation. Todays training went something like this

  • Clean 8x5- 66lbs
  • Front Squat 8x3- 60lbs
  • Deadlift 5x3- 145lbs
  • Press- 5x10- 20lbs DB's
  • Row- 5x10- 25lbs plate

  • I was able to handle the weight pretty easily, but still worked up a good sweat and felt as if I did get something done, but like I said I want to be able to make consistent progress as mentioned above and feel confident that'll be able to do so with this plan. I really don't want to be grinding out any dirty reps on this first cycle because there's a considerable amount of progression that'll take place during the following cycles and not to mention that I'm a little more focused on basic things right now like getting my technique and coordination back in lifts like the snatch and clean. Post transplant I was really lacking flexibility and mobility so it's good to have those things coming back. Also I can't believe how bad my legs took a hit throughout all of this, after transplant I couldn't even walk my legs were so weak. I had no idea it was actually possible for a human to not be able to jump off the ground.


#4

Day 3 = Off Day

Probably just take today to go to the cancer clinic, relax, eat some good food and study. Training will resume tomorrow with Day 1, same weight.


#5

Good to have you here man, I was in a similar situation not too long ago, things will get better. Good luck on your journey to kicking ass again, will be following.


#6

Repeated Day 1 for the same #'s today, looked something like

  • Snatch 8x5- 55lbs
  • Squat 8x3- 75lbs
  • Bench 5x3- 110lbs
  • Row 5x5- 45lbs plate
  • Press 5x5- 25lbs DB's

-Felt a little sluggish today, kinda tired, wednesdays are long ass days at school. #'s felt pretty easy, looking forward to increasing the weight next cycle. Hit all reps pretty solid. Snatches and squats felt really good, my mobility already feels a lot better. My joints are feeling a little sore, I think it's most likely due to the corticosteroids I'm on to regulate my GVHD but I'm coming off those steady and hopefully it won't be an issue much longer.


#7

Repeated Day 1 today for the same #'s as planned, so it looked something like this:

  • Snatch 8x5- 55lbs
  • Squat 8x3- 75lbs
  • Bench 5x3- 110lbs
  • Row 5x5- 45lbs plate
  • Press 5x5- 25lbs DB's

-Felt pretty tired today because wednesdays are always a long ass day at school. Hit these #'s pretty easy and am looking forward to the increase in weight next cycle. Snatches and Squats felt really good, my mobility already feels a lot better. My joints are a little sore, I think it's due to the corticosteroids that I'm on to regulate my GVHD. I'm tapering off those and should be done with those soon as long as my GVHD remains under control, so hopefully this won't be an issue too much longer.


#8

Repeated Day 2 today for the same #'s as planned and it looked something like this:

  • Clean 8x5- 66lbs
  • Front Squat 8x3- 60lbs
  • Deadlift 5x3- 145lbs
  • Press- 5x10- 20lbs DB's
  • Row- 5x10- 25lbs plate

-Once gain these #'s were pretty easy but still a good struggle. I'm really enjoying the anabolic diet and think it does wonders for aesthetic purposes. Hopefully everything continues to go good and I can post some pictures at the end of cycle 6. Tomorrow I have to go to the cancer clinic for a 6 hour immunoglobulin infusion and then have class so training will resume Saturday with Day 1 and Sunday with Day 2. After that it's on to cycle 2! can't wait!


#9

Day 1

  • Snatch 8x5- 55lbs
  • Squat 8x3- 75lbs
  • Bench 5x3- 110lbs
  • Row 5x5- 45lbs plate
  • Press 5x5- 25lbs DB's

  • 's felt really easy, after tmr it's a day off and then cycle 2. For cycle 2, the #'s for day 1 will look like this :

  • Snatch 8x4- 65lbs (decided on 10lbs)

  • Squat 8x3- 85lbs (decided on 10lbs)
  • Bench 5x3- 120lbs (decided on 10lbs)
  • Row 5x5- 45lbs plate plus a 10lbs plate (kept the progressive increments on these lower because increasing 10lbs on BB Squat and 10lbs on DB Press is a lot different.)
  • Press 5x5- 30lbs DB's

  • We'll these increments might not seem like a whole lot, remember that cycle 3 I'll increase again and then cycle 4 as well. For example on day 1 my Bench was 110lbs for 8x3 and by cycle 4 It'll be 130-135 for 8x3. #'s seem small, but in my circumstances it should be a sufficient challenge.


#10

Day 2

  • Clean 8x5- 66lbs
  • Front Squat 8x3- 60lbs
  • Deadlift 5x3- 145lbs
  • Press- 5x10- 20lbs DB's
  • Row- 5x10- 25lbs plate

  • 's felt really easy again, tomorrow I have class all day and it's an off day so I won't be training. By the way for cycle 2, the #'s for day 2 will look like this:

  • Clean 8x4- 77lbs (decided on 10lbs)

  • Front Squat 8x3- 70lbs (decided on 10lbs)
  • Deadlift 5x3- 155lbs (decided on 10lbs)
  • Press- 5x10- 25lbs DB's (kept the progressive increments on these lower because increasing 10lbs on Deadlift and 10lbs on DB Press is a lot different.)
  • Row- 5x10- 25lbs plate plus a 10lbs plate

#11

-Felt real tired today, had to wake up early and drive into the city to have labs drawn and an appointment at the cancer clinic. #'s didn't feel too bad though. I think these increments we're a good choice. Feels like I'm doing solid work but still able to get all necessary reps done without compromising form or technique.

-Snatch 8x4- 65lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Squat 8x3- 85lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Bench 5x3- 120lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Row 5x5- 45lbs plate plus a 10lbs plate (kept the progressive increments on these lower because increasing 10lbs on BB Squat and 10lbs on DB Press is a lot different.)
- Press 5x5- 30lbs DB's


#12
  • 's felt good, all reps were solid and smooth but I'm skeptical about the increase on the last 2 hypertrophy movements. For now they're fine but for cycle 3 they might not fly. I guess I'll find out soon enough. Tomorrow will be a day off, I need to go to cancer clinic and hit the books. Post back on Friday.

  • Clean 8x4- 77lbs (decided on 10lbs)

  • Front Squat 8x3- 70lbs (decided on 10lbs)
  • Deadlift 5x3- 155lbs (decided on 10lbs)
  • Press- 5x10- 25lbs DB's (kept the progressive increments on these lower because increasing 10lbs on Deadlift and 10lbs on DB Press is a lot different.)
  • Row- 5x10- 25lbs plate plus a 10lbs plate

#13
  • Actually decided to train today because I have exams next week and want to have Tuesday to study. And I have to go back to the National Cancer Institute in D.C on Friday so this way it'll work out so that it will be an off day anyways. Today went as follows:

-Snatch 8x4- 65lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Squat 8x3- 85lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Bench 5x3- 120lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Row 5x5- 45lbs plate plus a 10lbs plate (kept the progressive increments on these lower because increasing 10lbs on BB Squat and 10lbs on DB Press is a lot different.)
- Press 5x5- 30lbs DB's

  • 's felt good and was a good session besides some asshole hogging the bench for an hour...

#14
  • Rough day at the gym, 4 days in a row = brutal, #'s didn't feel overly hard, just more sore than usual, tomorrow off, I need to hit the books for exams next week. Resume training on Sunday

  • Clean 8x4- 77lbs (decided on 10lbs)

  • Front Squat 8x3- 70lbs (decided on 10lbs)
  • Deadlift 5x3- 155lbs (decided on 10lbs)
  • Press- 5x10- 25lbs DB's (kept the progressive increments on these lower because increasing 10lbs on Deadlift and 10lbs on DB Press is a lot different.)
  • Row- 5x10- 25lbs plate plus a 10lbs plate

#15

Day 1

-Snatch 8x4- 65lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Squat 8x3- 85lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Bench 5x3- 120lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Row 5x5- 45lbs plate plus a 10lbs plate (kept the progressive increments on these lower because increasing 10lbs on BB Squat and 10lbs on DB Press is a lot different.)
- Press 5x5- 30lbs DB's

's felt a lot better and am definitely looking forward to an increase in #s after tomorrow!


#16

Day 2

  • Clean 8x4- 77lbs (decided on 10lbs)
  • Front Squat 8x3- 70lbs (decided on 10lbs)
  • Deadlift 5x3- 155lbs (decided on 10lbs)
  • Press- 5x10- 25lbs DB's (kept the progressive increments on these lower because increasing 10lbs on Deadlift and 10lbs on DB Press is a lot different.)
  • Row- 5x10- 25lbs plate plus a 10lbs plate

Had to wake up really early today and write an exam, was pretty gassed but #'s still felt light and cant wait to increase #'s on wednesday.


#17

Went to my exam review today and we're expecting a huge snow storm so my exam for tomorrow is canceled, which is awesome! I do have to go to the National Cancer Institute on Thursday and won't be able to train Thursday or Friday, so I decided to hit the gym today and tomorrow to make up for it and since I now have the time. Today was the start of cycle 3 and the #'s felt great. Today looked something like this

-Snatch 8x3- 77lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Squat 8x3- 95lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Bench 5x3- 135lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Row 5x5- 45lbs plate plus a 25lbs plate (kept the progressive increments on these lower because increasing 10lbs on BB Squat and 10lbs on DB Press is a lot different.)
- Press 5x5- 35lbs DB's


#18
  • Clean 8x3- 95 lbs
  • Front Squat 8x3- 75lbs
  • Deadlift 5x3- 165lbs
  • Press- 5x10- 30lbs DB's (kept the progressive increments on these lower because increasing 10lbs on Deadlift and 10lbs on DB Press is a lot different.)
  • Row- 5x10- 45lbs plate

#19

's felt awesome today, I'm seeing the most improvement in my o-lifts for sure, this could be for a # of reasons. Most likely because my coordination and technique are improving tremendously. I'm still happy with my progress on the other lifts as well though. The only thing that feels a really heavy is the Bench, but I have increased it 25lbs in less than a month for the same amount of reps, so I can't complain.

-Snatch 8x3- 77lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Squat 8x3- 95lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Bench 5x3- 135lbs (decided on 10lbs)
- Row 5x5- 45lbs plate plus a 25lbs plate (kept the progressive increments on these lower because increasing 10lbs on BB Squat and 10lbs on DB Press is a lot different.)
- Press 5x5- 35lbs DB's


#20

's felt alright, but I was really unmotivated and feeling lazy today. This is highly unusual for me and shouldn't happen again. They're pulling me off Immune suppression really fast so my GVHD is flaring up bad and it feels like my skin is on fire. Tomorrow I've got class all day and need to go see my oncologists so training will resume Tuesday. Also I ordered some new bumpers today! CAN'T WAIT!!! :slight_smile:

  • Clean 8x3- 95 lbs
  • Front Squat 8x3- 75lbs
  • Deadlift 5x3- 165lbs
  • Press- 5x10- 30lbs DB's (kept the progressive increments on these lower because increasing 10lbs on Deadlift and 10lbs on DB Press is a lot different.)
  • Row- 5x10- 45lbs plate