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Recovering from Cancer; Need Help w/Training


Need some advise. I am 56 years old and been lifting for 42 years. I just finished cancer treatment and want to regain my size/power. I was benching 245 for 8 reps and had decent size I weighed 220 lbs. Now I weigh 190 lbs and benching 175 lbs for 5 reps. I want to build size and power. Please advise on the below training.

I alternate this workout thre days a week.

Workout 1

5x5 BP
5x5 Austrailian Chins
5x5 Incline BP (thinking about changing to 5x10 for size)
5x5 Incline bench row (thinking about changing to 5x10 for size)

Workout 2

5x5 curls
5x5 dips
5x5 preacher curls (thinking about changing to 5x10 for size)
5x5 skulls (thinking about changing to 5x10 for size)


First of all, congrats on beating cancer, that is awesome.

Now, in all seriousness, that is one of the most god-awful "routines" I think I've ever seen. There's 3 exercises for chest, 1 for back, 2 for biceps and 2 for triceps. C'mon man. Where's the legs? Shoulders? Forearms? The rest of your back training? Abs?



x2 Focus on the basics and build up from there


hey mate,

not sure where youre up to in terms of energy etc but i believe deadlifts are the unbeatable "frame builder".

if your back is up to it and you have enough motivation see if you can work them in to a weekly routine.

your mirror muscles will get back to where they were in a relatively short period due to muscle memory etc but adding deadlifts may be something to supercharge even those results.

let us know how you go.

you beat the big c man so theres not much you cant do.



What are Australian chins?



you are flat on the ground and pull yourself up on the rack bar of a power rack.


maybe he has some other problems and can't train legs and shoulders?


It's possible, but he's doing a piss-poor job of answering the question I posed earlier.


my back seems to be injury prone so I will not do any deadlifts or squats for some time. All the back work is bench supported. Aus. pulls are no more than a pullup to a rack bar laying on the floor. Is the 5x5 with 5x10 too much for a single bodypart?


Post videos of you doing these lifts for form check.

At least leg press. Leg extension. GHR. Back extension. Calf raises.

I don't want to be the douche but I have difficulty believing you're not a troll after having seen so many of them on this forum and your 3-post count. Friends I know who have fought off cancer can barely walk after doing so. They can barely lift dumbbells let alone bench press. I truly cannot believe you "just finished cancer treatment" and can press 175 lbs 5 times.

Past being a douche but I really don't care.

If you really did go through chemo and treatment then congratulations on the miraculous and speedy recovery.


You seem to be quite dumb as it pertains to cancer. There are many forms of cancer. I had throat cancer and had 33 rad treatments and 3 months of chemo. If you would like I can go into detail like how they pin you down and you wear a mask so your head don't move while you are getting zapped. I went from 230lbs to 185lbs. I lost my saliva gland and have to drink water constantly. I am being honest, I am determined to get my strength back and have been doing the above workout. BTW,,, I really don't care what you think cause I am on the top of the world and it sounds like you live a very sad life.


Okay, things can be worked around with back issues - trust me, I have a lot of lower back problems.

First of all, Kingbeef's thread here in the BB forum is awesome. It's called "Do this Routine, Not that dumb one" or something to that effect. Tons of good information there.

I would suggest hopping on a fairly standard template. You need to do something like so,

Day 1 - Chest
Day 2 - Legs (Use leg press, leg extensions, hammie curls, calf raises, etc.)
Day 3 - Back
Day 4 - Off
Day 5 - Shoulders
Day 6 - Arms
Day 7 - Off

Everyone is different, so the number of work sets you'll need will be variable. I know people who do like 20-30 sets on leg day (I'm dead fucking serious,) but if I tried to do 15 total work sets I'd probably be the walking dead.

I can tell you that you need a whole hell of a lot more attention distributed throughout your entire body.

Really, again, good on you for overcoming cancer and all, that's awesome. There was a poster around here (he has a thread in the T-Cell) named DOHCrazy who had Thyroid cancer is crazy jacked and strong, so it can be done. But you will need a much more intelligent and well-thought out program to get the results you're looking for.


Thanks SSC. What rep scheme/# sets would you suggest. I was thinking about Max OT. I workout in my home so I am confined with a power rack and DBs/barbells, preacher bench, etc. I lived by 5x5 for years. In 40+ years of workingout I have tried every rep scheme. I remeber when you could buy clenbuterol ($) at your natural foods store...


Search/contact Alwyn Cosgrove


Cool, Max-OT should be just fine then. It's a pretty low-volume high-intensity routine, I definitely prescribe to that as well. I know Max-OT advocates 4-6 range for reps, but I personally need to do work with a higher rep range than that for certain bodyparts. Like, I might stick to the 4-6 for barbell curls or something but then start increasing the reps as my biceps get fatigued, change exercises, etc. If you've had success with 5x5 the biggest difference will probably be making sure to push yourself 100% during each and every set you perform, instead of possibly holding back on a set (going with 5 reps instead of if you could get 8, for example.)

The biggest worries will definitely be legs/back working out at a home gym. Are you capable of doing just squats/front squats or just deadlifts, instead of working them out both?

Without the ability to do squats leg training would be pretty dang unconventional, but you could make it happen. Things like DB split squats (lol,) good mornings, stiff-leg DLs, etc. Back workout could be tricky as well... can you do BB/DB rows without problems?


Also Check out Bob Youngs log at elitefts


As I said, congratulations on your speedy recovery and overcoming cancer.


I will try Max OT. I can do squats but will probable start w/breating squats 1x20. Deadlifts might be the same but I have a deadlift bar (chambered) so I might give them a try but also at high reps. Everything else will be in the 4-6 rep range. I will do a hybrid 3 day a week max-ot...


Cool, good luck to you man! Nothing beats hard work and a gritty attitude, so as long as you have those everything else should fall in place. :slight_smile: