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Training Before and After Inguinal Hernia Repair

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  • Training Before and After Inguinal Hernia Repair

    I'm 6'3", 200lbs and have a goal weight of 225. I've been resistance training for around 2.5 years. The first year or so involved compound movements but had a heavy bodybuilding bias, and the next year and a half involved trying various approaches to barbell-focused training until arriving at Barbell Medicine training for the last 3 months or so. This January I was training with a program I had built that due to no RPE or RIR awareness or periodization of volume and intensity whatsoever involved a lot of fatigue and grinding. I felt a pop in the last few reps of a set of bench press, and the inguinal hernia was repaired a few weeks later. I was told I was probably genetically predisposed due to an unclosed inguinal cavity and this made sense to me.The doctors advised no exercise whatsoever for the next 6 weeks then a gradual increase in intensity, so I did as such. In hindsight this didn't actually detrain me in itself very much, because after the 6 weeks I went right back to normal bench training and my max and working weights were roughly the same. The problem was that I took a very long time to work back up to heavy squats and deadlifts due to irrational fear of heavy lifting after the hernia, and this caused my maxes to go from 315 to 255 on deadlift and from 275 to 225 on squat. After a bit of using my own programs some more, I did the beginner prescription to get back into normal volumes then the bridge. I wasn't seeing a whole lot of strength gain but I probably just needed more volume (I've been getting 8 hours of sleep per night and at least 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight as well as eating enough calories to maintain my weight). I did however gain 20lbs the summer that I did it and my bodyfat% didn't climb a whole lot so I think a decent amount of it was muscle. I've been taking physical classes as part of my Fitness Technician degree at Salt Lake Community College, and while I can work with this somewhat (replace one conditioning session with my cardio class once a week etc.) sometimes my lifting class has us do surprise intense circuit workouts, and in the 6th week of the bridge, I had just done a tough training session the day before and in my lifting class we did a super difficult medicine ball circuit workout that left me light-headed. I never noticed a pop but the next few days it became clear that the bulge had returned and things like sneezing caused some pain (Hooray for beating the odds of hernia recursion! They're apparently 1-3% after the first surgery). I plan on getting it repaired soon and I know you guys recommend keeping most training variables the same but decreasing intensity pre-surgery, but what's your opinion on how long to wait to train after surgery? You guys seem to recommend mainly listening to your practitioner as opposed to just getting advice online from someone who isn't your practitioner, but I tend to trust you guys' training recommendations more than the average doctor due to some doctors overprescribing not training.