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Old 05-30-2012, 03:31 PM   #1
April Jacobson
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Post-surgery Success Stories/Advice?

After finally feeling like I am getting strong and making gains, I found out today I will soon be having major surgery that will have an 8 week NO-LIFTING recovery. I feel so worried that I will lose everything I have worked so hard to do. Does this amazing community have any advice for how I can best make it over this hurdle?
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:25 PM   #2
Eric Shuty
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Re: Post-surgery Success Stories/Advice?

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Originally Posted by April Jacobson View Post
After finally feeling like I am getting strong and making gains, I found out today I will soon be having major surgery that will have an 8 week NO-LIFTING recovery. I feel so worried that I will lose everything I have worked so hard to do. Does this amazing community have any advice for how I can best make it over this hurdle?
I know it sucks while it's happening, but you can always come back stronger and better. I've never had a surgery (mainly because I refuse to go to the doctor) but I have suffered many injuries over the years (16 plus years of various types of training). The key is that fitness is NOT linear, despite what many people say. If it were everyone would be lifting tonnages because they would continuously get stronger. There WILL BE PEAKS AND VALLEYS....consider this one of the valleys. I've been up and down many times...here are some examples: in basic training, where I was not allowed to go to the gym; knee injury, caused me to not be able to squat for 6 months; shoulder injury, caused me to lose a lot off my bench as well as range of motion for about a year; last but least, a nerve injury in my upper back that is still healing that caused me to go from a contest 415 bench to not being able to bench 300 once. That has lasted almost 10 months and is finally healing.

What you can do during this time is plan what you will do for rehab and what you want to accomplish. Set a concrete goal for getting back to where you were and beyond (a race, a contest, etc). Figure out what you CAN do...there is always something you can do when you are hurt. If it is an upper body injury do lower body stuff. Focus on conditioning if you cant lift at all. Focus only on form if you cant do anything heavy or strenuous.

And most of all, stay positive....unless you're like 90 years old you can always find a way to come back better. I have....
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:42 PM   #3
Chris Mason
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Re: Post-surgery Success Stories/Advice?

It is much easier to regain fitness ability lost than to build it. Much easier and faster.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:17 PM   #4
Tyler Goerlitz
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Re: Post-surgery Success Stories/Advice?

Last time I had surgery I was out of the gym for roughly 6 weeks. It was tough especially when you get to the point when you think you can start to workout, but you really shouldn't. Listen to your body and doctor, don't start back up to soon or else you will probably get injured again or just slow your progress. When you do get back to it take it slow and don't over do it. You are going to be "weaker", but if you do it right things will come back quicker than you think. Keep your head up and don't get discouraged. Also something I didn't do, but looking back I should have is to keep the same mentality that you had when you were training. Eating healthy, staying hydrated, resting often and all that good stuff. That was the hardest part for me when I got back was getting back into the mindset and "lifestyle". After 8 weeks movies and video games sound much more appealing than burpies.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:52 PM   #5
Diane Curtiss
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Re: Post-surgery Success Stories/Advice?

I had abdominal surgery about 5 years ago and felt pretty much the same way. I was not doing crossfit at the time, but just standard weightlifting regimen. I had never had surgery before in my life - never had even been in the hospital overnight. I worried and worried that I would lose the gains I had made or that I would never be able to do some of the weight levels I had been at pre-surgery. My life was over!

But I was surprised - I lost very little of my progress over the eight to ten weeks I was out of the gym. It comes back quicker than you think.

There were several things that I did that helped. First being an honest discussion with the surgeon of what I was doing and at what weight levels. Most of them have no idea what you do. You have to be very specific so they understand exactly what movements and activity you are performing. He worked with me to develop a time frame of activity and weight level for me to safely follow. I followed it to the letter - I took the long view that this wasn't a race. I wanted to preserve my recovery rather than have a setback and have the process take even longer. As someone else commented, listen to your body. Even if it was okay on the surgeon's schedule, if it didn't feel right, I stopped. I would just wait a week and try again.

I had also planned for the fact that I would probably be anxious to get back to the gym and would need something to keep me focused and occupied on my goals. (Although I must say the first couple weeks home, the way I felt, I couldn't have cared less about going to the gym!). I used the time to read, plan workouts, create lists of goals I wanted to accomplish, etc. Gave me something to look forward to when I finally could go back.

Good luck to you, and be sure to keep us posted. The time will fly by faster than you can imagine!
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