T Nation

Weight Lifting and Illness Recovery


#1

So I have been an avid lifter since I was 16, now 24 but around a year and a half ago I fell really ill from an undiagnosed case of lyme disease. I ended up losing all of my work in the gym and dropped weight very quickly, anyways now I have been treating it for around seven months with a Lyme disease specialist doctor and have bounced about 65% back to my normal health as of now.

I am feeling pretty good enough to get in the gym and do some light lifting to help strengthen my body again and hopefully further facilitate my recovery from the infection. I am not going to go crazy and try to lift like I was training to be a physique athlete, however I don't have much experience with rehabilitation type training and trying to start from such a low thresh hold with much less exercise tolerance.

I can bounce back once my health comes back more and get back the strength and athleticism I lost through muscle memory at least. I am just not sure what program or style of training to do right now until being more "normal" again. Just seeking some tips on things I can try now in the meantime, So far I thought of doing the 5/3/1 program from Jim Wendler and accessory work based on things I need. Just need to get my system moving and muscles really engaged again so I don't atrophy anymore.


#2

[quote]cstratton2 wrote:
I have been treating it for around seven months with a Lyme disease specialist doctor and have bounced about 65% back to my normal health as of now.

I am feeling pretty good enough to get in the gym[/quote]
Did your doc say it’s fine to get back into the gym? Or do you just feel like you’re ready? I’d definitely run it by them in order to get clearance and an official word that you can start training again.

If you’re looking to do a 5/3/1-based plan and are having health-related recovery issues, I’d scale back the daily intensity and only shoot for the target reps instead of pushing for rep PRs. Or even start with basically “deload” programming for most sessions.

With the accessory stuff, keep the overall volume relatively low/minimal until you feel like you’re back in the swing of things. Keeping a lid on intensity and volume, while still pushing for gradual progress, should put recovery at the forefront while re-establishing your base.

Should go without saying that nutrition and strategic supplements will play a huge role in this. Workout nutrition (for maximum recovery and performance) as well as whatever immune system boosters you feel are appropriate (D, C, glutamine, whatever). Ample quality protein, healthy fats, and a generally anti-inflammatory diet should help as well.


#3

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:
Did your doc say it’s fine to get back into the gym? Or do you just feel like you’re ready? I’d definitely run it by them in order to get clearance and an official word that you can start training again.

If you’re looking to do a 5/3/1-based plan and are having health-related recovery issues, I’d scale back the daily intensity and only shoot for the target reps instead of pushing for rep PRs. Or even start with basically “deload” programming for most sessions.

With the accessory stuff, keep the overall volume relatively low/minimal until you feel like you’re back in the swing of things. Keeping a lid on intensity and volume, while still pushing for gradual progress, should put recovery at the forefront while re-establishing your base.

Should go without saying that nutrition and strategic supplements will play a huge role in this. Workout nutrition (for maximum recovery and performance) as well as whatever immune system boosters you feel are appropriate (D, C, glutamine, whatever). Ample quality protein, healthy fats, and a generally anti-inflammatory diet should help as well.[/quote]

Thanks for the suggestions Chris, actually a pretty big fan of your teaching methods and advice from what I have seen before. I have gotten the green light to just go at a pace my body would respond well too. In some regard he kind of wants me to feel out what this may be using my bodies response.

Those are good suggestions and I will probably end up taking an approach like that, keeping things very light and going slow with things until I get overall healthier as well. I plan on just taking a minimalist approach to the training and keeping things restorative rather then further stressing on my immune system.

Yes, my diet is already superb and I have some very helpful immune modulating supplements and other things to really help support my body. It is actually how I was able to get so much healthier from the infection without a high load of pharmaceutical antibiotics.

Is there any specific stretching or other rehab type exercises I could implement to really help blood flow and promote a lot more movement to my body again? So far I was using yoga which works great but just curious about what other things I could try that could compliment things well.