Howdy, I just found these forums, hope to get some advice!
I started lifting in July 2017 after a lumbar fusion and subsequent total knee replacement - I’m tired of being skinny especially after 5 months of recovery. I’ve been a hardcore skier, mountain biker and mountaineer the last 30 years and the wear and tear has added up. Multiple medical professionals have recommended avoiding loading my upper body to avoid further damage to my lumbar spine due to significant disc degeneration.
Question 1 - - all of the workout guides recommend “heavy complex” lifts to build the posterior chain and the larger muscles - but I cannot do any of the exercises including squats, deadlifts, standing or bent rows. I shrug about 160lb for traps but that’s about max I can handle, standing upright. I lie on an incline bench for rows. What alternatives would you recommend, especially for legs?
Question 2 - yep I’m a cardio athlete - I can sustain 160bpm while skiing uphill. Great cardio, but tough to gain and hold muscle. I’ve always eaten healthy and have worked hard to really clean up my diet - sweet coffee and microbrews are my only vices. No I don’t track macros - got a good suggestion for an app? At 165 lb, 5’8", age 55 I’m getting stronger in the gym, some noticeable size increases but no change in BF% (currently 20%) or weight gain. Suggestions how I can gain weight, drop the BF% and still get in hardcore mountain bike rides now that ski season is almost over?