Restart After an Injury Stop. Help!

I’m an intermediate lifter (age 37), training for 10 years with a stenght approach (Wendler, Bill starr, Korte, ecc). Due to a trap/shoulder injury, i was forced to stop training for 2 month, losing great part of my gains. Now i almost recover from that injury and i want to slowly come back training, but i really don’t know how to do it.

Should it be better a program with an high volume and lower intensity progression to gain a good reconditioning and vascularisation (such as 4x10, 4x12, 4x15 bodybuilding style) or a program with higer intensity and lower volume to achieve a strenght base first (like a 5x5 plan)?

What’s your advise in this particular situation?

Thanks a lot.

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10 years of training. 2 months out?

Dude, if you were eating okay and doing any amount of regular basic activity, any actual muscle loss is going to be minimal. Most of your strength loss will be neurological.

High volume is the opposite of what you should do. Stick with low volume, low intensity for the first 1-2 weeks as you relearn the movements. Slowly up the intensity and volume as the weeks go on and you feel your body is recovering well.

Lots of us had to do this several times and for longer with COVID gym closures. You’ll be surprised how quickly it all comes back. Don’t overthink it, listen to your body. You’ll be golden in about a month.


For starters…

Respectfully, no you’re not. You may be a little unfamiliar with movements, but give it a week or two and you will be back to normal.


I keep a good nutrition with a high protein intake, but i didn’t pratice any kind of basic activity (i felt pain on my traps also when walking). I know that probabily my muscle loss is minimal, but i feel so damn flat and skinny.

So, do you consider a Strarting strenght approach better than a volume/metabolic approach in my situation?

Thanks everybody.

Muscles get flat with a layoff (or a cut), but they don’t just disappear. When you start training and eating a lot again they’ll soon fill back up.

Something like Starting Strength would be better than a volume approach for sure. Jeff Nippard has a YouTube video on this stuff. People gained strength back as quickly as people training close to failure even whilst leaving 7+ reps in the tank. I’m not saying to go that extreme but you don’t need to overthink it. Do 3 sets of 5, leave a lot in the tank. Next session/week or whatever add 5-10kg, maybe even more. Play it by ear on how the weight feels on the day. Slowly ramp the intensity up until you’re back near your old numbers. I really think it’ll shock you how easy it’ll be. If you go in with an overly high volume or intensity you’re just increasing your likelihood of ridiculous DOMs or possible injury.

So an approach like this probably should be not optimal…

This counts as overthinking. You’re 2 months detrained. Your body will respond quickly to any stimulus. Why work harder than you need to just to get a higher injury risk, worse DOMs and potentially create a recovery issue? You can coast it whilst getting awesome results.

You literally barely even need a plan. Go in, lift a bit, go in next time, be surprised that that weight feels way lighter than last time, add a bunch of weight, repeat until the intensity gets high enough over the next few weeks and you’re nearing old numbers. Once you’re there, hop on a program. The one you posted above or ANY other. Done.

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Did you do the neurological type test? If yes, I guess you are Neurotype 1A?

Tell us more about your situation.

You mentioned that you haven’t been doing much for two months. Maybe you’re out of shape, and should work on conditioning first. And on that note, what kind of shape were you in before the injury? Like if your conditioning sucked before, it may double-suck. So maybe it should be a double priority now.

What’s up with your muscle mass? You mentioned feeling skinny and flat. Are you like 170 and boney because you didn’t have huge muscles before? Maybe hypertrophy should be the priority. Or maybe you’re like a solid 230 and you just “feel” skinny, like in your head. And you don’t need a whole specific Mass phase. You just need to start training again.

How is your lifting technique? Did you injure yourself by jerking weights around? If your technique is whack maybe a routine like “Russian Skill Strength” could help you practice.

Anyway, for inspiration; Have you seen this crazy routine? To get in shape for even crazier routines? It’s got the low volume, not to failure “practice” style on the big lifts.

Or this one for Firemen? It inspired me to do a Circuit Training day/workout, dragging a sled and swinging a kettlebell and stuff to get in shape.

I get injured doing chin-up with a light overload (after a heavy session of miliary press and deadlift - i was on a wendler 5/3/1 plan). My conditioning at that time was good enough (i was about 170 lb and 5′ 9”), not a huge muscolarity but an athletic body. In the past 5 years i dedicated most of my gym time improving my technique, especially in the big basic lift (korte and russian cycle were my favorite approach).
After my injury and the inactivity, i lost 1 or 2 lb (probably of muscles) and yes, i feel and i see myself smaller and more skinny than before (i can also see it wearing my usual t-shirt).

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It sounds like you were doing pretty well, and just need to get back in the groove.

Pump up those T Shirt muscles for a couple weeks. Then when you’re sick and tired of cable flies and dumbbell curls, get back to the stuff you like.

What’s up with that injury? Do you have strength and stability back in your arm?

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You could lose this much from just not eating carbs for a day. I think this is all in your head, my guy.

^Best advice for you.

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