T Nation

Training Through Health Issues

I guess I’ll do a little about me and then put up some pics later. I have been hesitant to start a log cause I keep my own already in a notebook, but I guess it will be worth it to have some other people look over it. Here goes.

I’m 19, started training a year and a half ago, at this time I also started increasing calories too gain mass. Here’s my basic stats before and after before I get into detail.

Starting Stats
Height- 6’2
Body weight- 139lbs
bench press- 45lbs x5
deadlift- 135lbs x5
squat- 95lbsx5

Current (1/27/13)
height- 6’2
body weight- 215lbs
bench press- 250x1
deadlift- 405x1
Press- 145x1
squat- can’t do cause of surgery

Okay so after about 7 months of training I got extremely sick, vomiting every morning, couldn’t keep down whole foods, vomiting during day, constant extreme nausea. This lasted for about 6 months, I went to a ton of hospitals and got tons of tests, even for cancer, overall this was very serious chronic illness symptoms. I went into this at 195lbs, came out at 180lbs, and took me a month to get back to 195. I tried like hell to maintain my weight during this period by continuing to train hard and drink liquid smoothies. Overall worst experience of my life. Anyways I get a good amount of my calories from shakes still as my body is still adjusting. I eat 4200 calories a day.

Also during this time I had two surgeries. One got me out of training lower body for 8 weeks, the next has kept me from squatting and doing any other form of leg work (except deadlifts and leg extensions) for the past 5 months. Still got some time to go as the wound is taking a ridiculously long time to heal. I won’t go into detail but trust me its not pretty nor is it fun. I’ve def been introduced to the concept of extreme pain at a young age haha, more of lifes lessons.

Anyways my goals right now are to get strong as hell while working around my medical conditions and also get as big and muscular as possble.I’ll throw up some pics later but I’m guessing I’m sitting at about 20% bf, not too bad I guess considereing its been about a year and a half of bulking (although interrupted).

I’m doing wendler’s 5/3/1 for my main lifts (obviously no squatting) I’ll post my routine in the net post so this one isn’t long as hell

Heres my training

Bench Press 5/3/1
Incline Bench press 3x10
DB flyes 3x10
“ahead” cable flyes 1x10 (finisher)
Leg Extensions 3x10
Dips 3x12
Reverse Grip Pushdown 3x10
Incline Sit Ups 3x10

Deadlift 5/3/1
Chin ups 3x8
barbell Row 3x10
Cable Row 3x10
barbell Curl 3x10
Hammer Curl 3x10

Press 5/3/1
CGBP 3x10
DB Flyes 3x10
“ahead” cable flyes 3x10
Pushdown 3x10
Leg Extensions 3x10
Incline Sit Ups 3x10

Hang Clean 5x3
Trap Bar Deadlift 5x5
Barbell Row 5/3/1
Face Pull 3x10
Barbell Curl 3x10
Cable Curl 3x10

Also I forgot to mention- I pulled my spinal erector a few weeks ago and I tried to work around it but it still hasn’t healed. Took last week completely off from lower back stuff and I’m hoping to make it through a deadlift warm up tuesday, but I may skip again. That has kept me from deadlifting, pressing, hang cleans, tb deadlift, and barbell rows for the past 3 weeks.

Front Relaxed

Back Relaxed

SIde Relaxed, hello APT

Back Flexed, Idk why these are so big… Sorry about that

Legs (or lack thereof)

Fount Flexed

This was a deload week for my 5/3/1 lifts

Bench Press: 95x5-115x5-135x5

Incline Bench Press: 120x10-120x10-120x10 (still getting used to this movement)

Dips: 12-12-12

Leg Extensions: 140x10-140x10-140x12 ( I hate doing these but I’m really limited for leg stuff)

DB Flyes: 40x10-40x10-40x10

“Ahead” Cable Flyes 40x10

Reverse Grip Pushdown 30x10-40x10-45x10-45x10-45x10 (took a bit to find work set weight)

I’m getting kinda discouraged about my lower back. I was planning on deadlifting with warm up weights tomorrow but my back hurt a bit stretching and I don’t want to chance it. Maybe I’ll do that on Friday. It’s been 4 weeks since I last deadlifted anything heavier than a warm up that didn’t leave me with a lot of pain and very little ROM

Also I’m pretty set on continuing my bulk until summer.

Foam Rolled glutes/hamstrings before session. Hopefully will take some of the tension off my lower back.

Chin Ups: 3x8

Lat Pulldowns: 120x10-120x10-120x10

Cable Row: 125x10-120x10-125x12-125x12

Leg Curls (machine): 95x10-95x19-95x12 I hate using the machines, did this mostly to get some blood flow and activate my hamstrings with no deadlifting

Barbell Curl: 75x10-75x10-75x10 (this is assuming the weight of the ez curl bar i used is 25lbs, I had a 25 on either side)

DB Hammer Curl: 25x10-25x10-25x10

Did some foam rolling today. My back feels much better and I think I’m good to go, I might wait until tuesday to make it a full 3 weeks (docs orders). Also got cleared to squat by surgeon even though my wound isn’t healed. I’m def gonna start light. Things are starting to look up. I’m trying to figure out how to program leg work into my training while maintaining high volume for upper body and increasing strength. Seems as if my decision as to what my main goal will be, size vs strength, is gonna have to be made somewhat soon. Anybody have any input?

Nice progress man, sorry to hear about the health issues. I myself have had a ton of hip issues (APT, FAI, torn labrum, etc) myself that has thrown all kinds of wrenches into my workout plans. …Be careful with the APT, I have it and it was at least a main factor if not the reason for all of my hip issues. Do you think you tweaked your spinal erector due to the APT?

Just throwing it out there, but if you want any help/advice I might have something to offer from years of personal experience.

Again, congrats on the weight gain and persevering through all everything. It sucks but it seems like you’re seeing the light at the end of the pain tunnel.

I’m not too sure about the apt /injured lower back. I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I know it was a week after I started doing hip thrusts and foam rolling/stretching to fix apt. I’m still trying to figure out the correlation if there is any. If love input on any level though. I’m starting to get frustrated as the back is getting worse and I’m worrying about long term damage (possible herniated disc). I’m getting an MRI soon. I wanted to get really strong and maybe eventually conpete in powerlifting. I also have been studying to become a strength and conditioning coach and Idk how this will affect that. Anyways I’m sorry to hear about your injuries and I greatly appreciate you looking over my log

I was guessing APT could be a factor with the spinal erectors since APT and the accompanying lordosis means you have shortened/tight spinal erectors, and tight muscles lead to injuries. (If you haven’t read this article already, it’s very pertinent: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/hips_dont_lie_fixing_your_force_couples )

For my APT, I am currently seeing a physical therapist trained in postural restoration. I’ve been doing it for like two weeks and have learned quite a few things, and am seeing good results so far, if PT is something you’re interested in.

Just curious, what is the MRI for? If you don’t want to get into it here that’s completely understandable, but I’ve have three MRI’s (one with contrast) and all three seemed to show false negatives (except for the FAI) so make sure your doctor only uses the MRI as one tool of many to make a diagnosis. The first couple of docs I saw did not- they lived and died by the MRI exclusively- and that delayed treatment.

APT also tends to be associated with really tight psoas, which can cause a lot of back pain. Again just throwing that out there, I apologize if you already know this.

You’re still quite young, as long as you address these issues now you should be able to pursue some type of powerlifting career, and I imagine the knowledge and wisdom you will gain on your journey towards wellness will only help you in your career as a S&C coach.

Thanks for the help. The MRI I wanted was to make sure it wasnt a disc

Things have been crazy and I got behind in my log. Heres the past week in the next few posts. I’ve been foam rolling and stretching twice a day in an attempt to heal up my back quicker. Starting physical therapy tomorrow and hopefully its a speedy recovery and I get back into lifting heavy soon enough. Also for simplicity sake I’m not putting my warm up sets in this log so if you notice a lack of them thats why.

Bench Press: 155x5-175x5-200x10

incline Bench Press: 120x10-120x10120x10

Leg Extensions: 140x10-140x10-140x12

Dips: 12-12-12

DB Flyes: 40x10-40x10-40x10

Reverse Grip Unilateral Pushdown: 45x10-45x10-45x10-45x10-45x10

Chin Up: 3x8

Lat Pulldown: 125x10-125x10-125x10

Barbell Curl: 75x10-75x10-75x10

DB Hammer Curl: 25x10-25x10-25x10

Pretty short session, I felt pretty beat up going into it and I want my back to heal ASAP


BW Tabata Squats: Legs were pretty sore after this, thats how I know my quads are weak haha

Incline Bench Press: 115x5-135x5-145x5-150x5-155x5 (using this as a main low rep movement until my press is back)

Leg Extensions: 140x10-140x10-140x12

CGBP: 150x10-150x10-150x10

DB Flyes: 40x10-40x10-40x10

Pushdown: 110x10-110x10-110x10-80x8-60x6 (last 3 sets done as one drop set)

“Ahead” Cable Flyes: 35x10-35x10-35x10 (I’ve gone down in weight in these, wasn’t really feeling the squeese at 40lbs, and that’s the whole reason I do these)


Chin Ups: 8-8-8

Lat Pulldown: 125x10-125x10-125x10-95x8-65x8-35x8 (Last 3 sets done as drop set. ANybody notice a lack of range in motion towards the end up these? Not because of inability to complete the rep but feels more like my body just won’t stretch as far…)

Face Pull: 80x10-80X10-80x10

Barbell Curl: 75x10-75x10-75x10

Cable Curl: 105x10-105x10-105x10

DB Hammer Curl: 25x10

Bench session tomorrow, its my last remaining 5/3/1 lift I can actually do so I"m pretty amped to go all out


PT before training session, they decided my hamstrings are tight and they need to be stretched and strengthened. I agree with the diagnosis and it was one of my original theories, nice to see I atleast kinda know what I’m doing.

Bench Press: 165x3-190x3-210x8 (I was really happy with the 210x8, if I had a spotter I would have gone for 10)

Incline Bench Press: 120x10-120x10-120x10 (still pretty weak in relation to my flat bench)

Dips: 12-12-12 ( I struggled through these after the benching)

DB Flyes: 40x10-40x10-40x10

Reverse Grip Unilateral Pushdown: 45x10-45x10-50x12

“Ahead” Cable Flyes: 30x10 (just to finish with a good pump)

Wondering how I should transition my squat back into training? HIgher frequency for beginner gains after 6 months off? Once a week 5x5 until I plateu? Any input?