T Nation

Surgery.. What Can I Do?

Ok, here’s my story. I used to be really small and started lifting to have an edge in sports (soccer tennis and b-ball) and stop getting picked on. So from november 2002 to january 2004 I basically did 20x3 pushups,10x3 db concentration curls with 10 lb dbs, 20 reverse situps, and later added hyperextension off the floor with a pillow under me so as to not become impotent. I knew nothing about proper nutrition and exercise, so it wasn’t until january of last year that my dad reassembled his old soloflex and gave me his 160 lb weider bb/db set to use. So from that point on until last summer I did your average 5 day split without going to failure for lack of a spotter (so I guess non-failure training is about the only thing I did right).

I started reading up on the web. I devoured everything I came across, started paying attention to my diet, tweaked my training, and during the summer I moved to Riverside, CA and did PE in summer school to catch up on credits. It was 5 1/2 hours a day 4x a week for 3 weeks of paradise, with nonstop swimming, soccer, b-ball, etc. and we did a upper/lower/uppper/lower 5x5 training routine that I was too dumb to follow since I thought I knew better.

Followed John Bernardi’s massive eating program, and in january of this year I started my first real program, doing needsize’s 5x5 routine (off the steroidology forums), and saw awsome increases in strength (my main concern). I recently found this site and started reading up on all the programs and diets (though I’d already read most of JB’s nutrition articles). Since I finished it a month ago I took a couple of weeks off and decided to do an HST cycle, so I spent the last 2 weeks figuring out my maxes for the routine. The thing is though that I’m having surgery on my left forearm this friday to remove a 2-inch piece of glass that’s been stuck there for 1 1/2 years. The doctor told me that it depends on how the surgery goes as to how long it’ll be before I can use it again to lift, but the most likely thing is that it’ll be a month before I lift, and at least 3 weeks before I do any physical activity (I’m on a soccer team and do HIIT 2x a week). So I’m wondering if there’s any way to preserve my mass/strength and prevent atrophy during this time. I’m not going to rush into anything or say ‘f*ck it, I’m hardcore’ and lift, as I’d rather still have my arm ten years from now.
I’m going to maintain a clean diet, but I don’t know if there’s anything else I can do. I’m 16, 160 lbs at an estimated 12% bf at 5’11". My supplements are whey, multi, fish oil capsules, and gren tea. I make a homeade Surge-like drink pwo (25 grams whey, 32 grams gatorade dextrose, 1/2 serving oatmeal, 1 tbsp honey, bcaas for l-leucine). I’m also wondering if I should switch from HST to TBT whe I return from my layoff, as I like near-failure training more (and the reasonsI’m doing a hypertrophy progam are: summer, and more mass to be more physical). All help is appreciated.

Relax young man.

You’re talking about missing a month or so of trainging. You are 16yrs old! You’ll bounce back from this so fast. I mean I know where you’re coming from, you’re thinking it’s gonna suck not lifting. Well it probably will. Find a different fitness program. Hike, jog, whatever you can handle as you recover. Do abs and calves for a month, work ou the kinks in your current program so you can get going as soon as the doc gives you the ok.
Enjoy the company of a fine young lady and a cool spring eve.

Enjoy your time off–you’ll be ‘ass to the grass’ in no time.

Iknow, it’s not the fact that I won’t lift for a month (I’ll be working on evening out any imbalances on my right side) that irks me, it’s that I can’t play soccer or tennis at all until at least 3 weks from now. I’m actually not that worried about my muscles ‘shriveling up’, since it doesn’t happen in a month and it’s easy to get back any lost mass. I was just wondering if there’s any way to speed up recovery, since the soccer season starts in 2 weeks. Thanks for the reasurance.

[quote]nopal_juventus wrote:
Iknow, it’s not the fact that I won’t lift for a month (I’ll be working on evening out any imbalances on my right side) that irks me, it’s that I can’t play soccer or tennis at all until at least 3 weks from now. I’m actually not that worried about my muscles ‘shriveling up’, since it doesn’t happen in a month and it’s easy to get back any lost mass. I was just wondering if there’s any way to speed up recovery, since the soccer season starts in 2 weeks. Thanks for the reasurance. [/quote]

Just be real clean with your diet if you’re really worried about recovery time. While not the same as soccer, I’m fairly sure that bike riding would be available to you. This would help you maintain your cardio level.

Yeah I guess I could bike ride or rollerblade for cardio. Turns out though that the insurance papers haven’t been recieved yet, so I won’t have surgery until next friday. I guess what I’ll do until then is a full body one set-per one exercise- per muscle workout to near failure every other day until then. Or should I just do a week of TBT?

Talk to your doctor!!! Explain what it is you want to do- soccer after two weeks- and present a plan for protecting your incision. (How about a plastic brace and then layers of foam wrapped around it held down by an Ace wrap?) Talk to your coach and see if he/she has any recommendations. Then, work out compromises, set up a plan and stick to it. It’s only three weeks.

man, relax. Hit your legs if you gotta lift, but rest easy knowing that a month of rest may actually do you some good.