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Focused bench press and upper body training while recovering from lower body injury

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  • Focused bench press and upper body training while recovering from lower body injury

    Hello All,

    Now recovering from knee surgery (a very long story, won’t bore you with the details, see my meniscus post in medical QA if ya want to know more) and lower body work (under load) is going to be fully out of the question for quite some time (squats, deadlifts, etc).

    So knowing fully well that some strength training is always better than none, I am going to focus on upper body and especially getting my bench press and press numbers up.

    Then my request for help...How would y’all structure a training program focused on bench press and press? Anyone aware of some good training programs that focus on these lifts? As my lower body training will be extremely limited, I will have extra recovery for my upper body and expect I could train the press movements more often (for example bench press 2-3 times per week), plus of course a lot of extra accessory pulling movements...rows, pull-ups, etc, to keep a good muscular balance of push/pull.

    Thanks all, doing what I can to make the best of my crappy knee situation

    ​​​​​...Plifter

  • #2
    Smolov jr?

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    • #3
      I think the 12 week strength or press templates from BBM would work well still. You'll be benching/pressing 4x a week, can replace deadlifts with pullups and/or rows, and replace squats with some arm work. If you can't get leg biceps, may as well get some arm pump, right?

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      • #4
        Thanks all for the suggestions... I checked out the Smolov Jr program ... Holy volume Batman! That is a lot of benching in a week. Not sure how that would go for my 48 year old body! But maybe worth a try for one week and see if I die!

        Also considering the BBM templates for sure. What is main difference between regular and press templates? Does the press template focus on shoulder press only, or BP and shoulder press?

        Thanks!
        Last edited by Plifter; 05-20-2018, 01:13 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Plifter View Post
          Thanks all for the suggestions... I checked out the Smolov Jr program ... Holy volume Batman! That is a lot of benching in a week. Not sure how that would go for my 48 year old body! But maybe worth a try for one week and see if I die!

          Also considering the BBM templates for sure. What is main difference between regular and press templates? Does the press template focus on shoulder press only, or BP and shoulder press?

          Thanks!
          On the strength template you bench 3-4/week and shoulder press 1-2x/wk, and the opposite for the press template.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by llaffin View Post

            On the strength template you bench 3-4/week and shoulder press 1-2x/wk, and the opposite for the press template.
            Got it, thank you sir! And do you know much about the hypertrophy template? Does it also have high frequency pressing?

            Thanks

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            • #7
              So the tl;dr of the OP about your knee, it was left unresolved as to whether you can train lower body. So I wouldn’t encourage not training your lower body until that was resolved.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by DylanKittrellCPT View Post
                So the tl;dr of the OP about your knee, it was left unresolved as to whether you can train lower body. So I wouldn’t encourage not training your lower body until that was resolved.
                Hello Dylan,

                Thank you for your response. Indeed unresolved. Which is exactly why I need to be careful until I figure out how to proceed, and until then, no reason I cannot focus on the upper-body aspect.

                Believe me, I would love to be squatting and deadlifting, it is killing me to not do this. But every time I do my knee blows up like a cantaloupe and I have pain for days. So, something is clearly not healed yet (or worse, something still messed up that requires additional procedure, no idea). If I am to let pain/swelling be my guide, then I have no business doing squats/deadlifts at this time. I am in fact trying to avoid any weight-bearing activity. Meaning, even something like stiff-leg deadlifts is out because even though I am not actively flexing knee for such a movement, my knee joint still has to statically support the weight, and even that seems to tick it off. So for at least another month (while I am trying to find PT or doc that can help me ... I live in Japan, not so easy), I am going to be very conservative with my knee. My concern is if I keep pushing it, it is like a scab I keep ripping off. And you rip a scab off a wound enough times, eventually it will never heal correctly.

                The good news is I can walk and stairs are not an issue as long as I go slow and easy (if you can't walk or use stairs in Tokyo you aren't getting anywhere!). Plus stationary bike is no issue. So at least I am "functional", but I fear if I keep pushing my knee until whatever is going on is resolved, I am not going to be able to do even normal everyday activity, which is most important. Who cares how much you can squat if you can't even walk without pain! In fact, one of the main things I have learned through this entire ordeal is how much I took for granted just basic everyday tasks! Never again. Easy to do when you have been so healthy your entire life as I have been, never any major injuries, but sadly I guess pushing my body as hard as I always have these many years finally caught up with me.

                And I should add I have backed off my knee and really babied it past week, and it feels better than it has in a month. So again, clearly it is not ready for squats at least. I may try deadlifts again, maybe some high rack pulls where knee flexion is minimal, but again gonna baby it for at least another couple weeks and then reassess.

                But regardless of all the above, I really need to find a professional that can help me navigate this post-op minefield. That is highest priority. Seems my ortho (US) really did me a disservice by just leaving me to my own devices after surgery. No PT, nothing. Gave me very basic exercises to do at home that were really only for first 1-2 weeks after surgery just to get me back on my feet, then that was it. Obviously my situation a little more complex and I needed additional PT supervision. So now I backtrack and try to get to where I should have been months ago (surgery was this past January, no way I should still be having these issues, at least not based upon what I have read on the web for what is typical recovery time for meniscectomy and articular cartilage smoothing).

                Sorry for the very long post, and thanks for reading, but I thought maybe some extra background/explanation was in order here.

                Thanks...Mike

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