T Nation

Training After 8 Weeks Off From Surgery

Hi Jim,

I’m coming back off elbow surgery and need to start over after 8 weeks off from training.
I wanted to ask for your guidance. Everyone suggest I get back on Starting Strength and do a linear progression to quickly regain lost strength, but that makes no sense to me, especially after surgery. I’d rather be a lifer and am in no rush to stall or get injured again from adding weight super fast.
My plan of attack is the following:
Super low TM, no assistance, gain good volume on supplemental lifts to build the base slowly.

DAY I - Squat/Bench 5s Pro + 5x5 FSL
DAY II - Press/Dead 5s Pro + 5x5 FSL
2-3 Days/week - 20-30 mins low intensity cardio
Agile 8 everyday

Weeks 1-3 - 5s Pro + 5x5 FSL
Increase TM
Weeks 4-6 - 5s Pro + 10x5 FSL
Week 7 - 7th Week Protocol Deload (TM for a single)
Increase TM
Weeks 8-10 - Rep Pr
Week 11 - TM Test
Increase TM or recalculate

Thanks for all your hard work!


I’d almost say ‘do beginner prep school’ as written in forever.

Faster progression, should be done 'till stalling (read forever for more info on that). 2 main lifts a day with fsl and bodyweight assistance to build a base. Could totally fit your bill.

I restarted also after 8 weeks off of a appendix surgery. I just lowered my TM for about 20%, did a test week and adapted the % a bit (not true RM). I’m also doing 5/3/1amrap + 5x5@FSL, feels very optimal to restart for me. I’m adding volume/accessories throughout the weeks as i see fit, keep it simple. My goal is to reach my old TM in about 6-8 weeks.