Maintaining lean mass while injured

natureman4

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Hey guys, I have what I believe is minor left shoulder impingement (pain at 90 degree shoulder flexion and external rotation, especially when scapula is protracted) and may not be able to lift heavy for a few weeks while it clears up. My question is, what is your advice for maintaining lean body mass during healing, when there won't be as much anabolic activity going on? Advice on anything from exercises to nutrition to supplements would be appreciated. I was planning on doing a 20% calorie deficit cut with 1.1g protein/lb and using XI-KT and Ursa Major as supps until October but now not sure if that would be a good idea. I have PT exercises and I'll keep leg and back days going as much as I can. Thanks a bunch
 
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ChilledFaith

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Being through several (major) injuries in the past couple years and maintaining what I consider a decent physique here’s what I’ve learned:

You have three options, focus on healing, focus on maintaining/improving your physique, or both. Surprisingly many people choose one of the first two, but I believe both are possible. Although I will add, focusing on one generally means that will get better the quickest.

Supplements I believe help:
HMB: good anti-catabolic agent
Bpc-157: helps with the healing process
Creatine: generally good (very descriptive, I know)
Plenty of protein
I also try and get plenty of collagen for healing

Next would be to figure out how you can workout without injury or pain. That’s more of a self evaluation and talk with your PT/doc deal, but training light is better than not training at all. And training the opposite side of the injury is beneficial as well since the body likes to keep both sides “even” (I don’t know the technical terms, homeostasis maybe?) that working out one side can actually slightly improve the other.

The main takeaways are to get plenty of calories to help stave off muscle loss, you may lose some muscle and gain some fat, but the more you cut calories while not training the more catabolic you will be. Ursa Major is also good for this situation since you plan to take it. I would train as much as possible, and try and do a protein heavy diet. These are just my experiences!
 
Smont

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Your not going to maintain much if you can't do what it takes to build or maintain in the gym. So leave it alone, get healed up and muscle memory will bring it right back after your healed up and back to work.

Just focus on keeping your bodyfat in check.

But you will NOT maintain muscle while in a caloric deficit and not able to train intensely. Don't waste your money on a bunch of stuff right now, save it for later
 

slickwillie

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Being through several (major) injuries in the past couple years and maintaining what I consider a decent physique here’s what I’ve learned:

You have three options, focus on healing, focus on maintaining/improving your physique, or both. Surprisingly many people choose one of the first two, but I believe both are possible. Although I will add, focusing on one generally means that will get better the quickest.

Supplements I believe help:
HMB: good anti-catabolic agent
Bpc-157: helps with the healing process
Creatine: generally good (very descriptive, I know)
Plenty of protein
I also try and get plenty of collagen for healing

Next would be to figure out how you can workout without injury or pain. That’s more of a self evaluation and talk with your PT/doc deal, but training light is better than not training at all. And training the opposite side of the injury is beneficial as well since the body likes to keep both sides “even” (I don’t know the technical terms, homeostasis maybe?) that working out one side can actually slightly improve the other.

The main takeaways are to get plenty of calories to help stave off muscle loss, you may lose some muscle and gain some fat, but the more you cut calories while not training the more catabolic you will be. Ursa Major is also good for this situation since you plan to take it. I would train as much as possible, and try and do a protein heavy diet. These are just my experiences!
Good advice. “Contralateral effects” or “cross education” -If you train the non-injured side, the neural connections, the blood flow, it all helps the injured side from atrophying as much. You won’t lose as much size and strength in the injured side if you continue to work the other side.
 
Smont

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Good advice. “Contralateral effects” or “cross education” -If you train the non-injured side, the neural connections, the blood flow, it all helps the injured side from atrophying as much. You won’t lose as much size and strength in the injured side if you continue to work the other side.
Sounds good on paper, I know there was a "study" somewhere on this but it's not panning out in real life
 
Hyde

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Sounds good on paper, I know there was a "study" somewhere on this but it's not panning out in real life
It definitely panned out for me when my bicep was reattached. I benched within 5lbs of a lifetime best several months after I was able to start training bilaterally again, after just doing some unilateral db work on my good arm & legs 3x a week.

It also panned out in studies:


IMG_6891.JPG


Most relevantly to us also, I cannot see any good reason NOT to train your healthy side while you are healing, if you enjoy lifting.

I’m not trying to argue; I just want to make sure people know they have options while they are working through injury (something we all suffer eventually).
 
Smont

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It definitely panned out for me when my bicep was reattached. I benched within 5lbs of a lifetime best several months after I was able to start training bilaterally again, after just doing some unilateral db work on my good arm & legs 3x a week.

It also panned out in studies:


View attachment 220424

Most relevantly to us also, I cannot see any good reason NOT to train your healthy side while you are healing, if you enjoy lifting.

I’m not trying to argue; I just want to make sure people know they have options while they are working through injury (something we all suffer eventually).
Power to ya👍, but I'm not buying it, I'm also not looking to be sold on it. I tried it when I broke my ankle, my bad leg turned into a toothpick. It atrophied to worse then it was before I ever lifted a weight in my life. Did the same thing when I hurt my wrist and the results were zero
 

Resolve10

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It definitely panned out for me when my bicep was reattached. I benched within 5lbs of a lifetime best several months after I was able to start training bilaterally again, after just doing some unilateral db work on my good arm & legs 3x a week.

It also panned out in studies:


View attachment 220424

Most relevantly to us also, I cannot see any good reason NOT to train your healthy side while you are healing, if you enjoy lifting.

I’m not trying to argue; I just want to make sure people know they have options while they are working through injury (something we all suffer eventually).
Ya it is definitely effective, both with studies and plenty of anecdotal experience here.

OP I also wouldn’t stress as long as it isn’t a huge cessation you’ll be fine and bounce back quick. Better to get healed up and be able to crush it again anyways.
 
Smont

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It definitely panned out for me when my bicep was reattached. I benched within 5lbs of a lifetime best several months after I was able to start training bilaterally again, after just doing some unilateral db work on my good arm & legs 3x a week.

It also panned out in studies:


View attachment 220424

Most relevantly to us also, I cannot see any good reason NOT to train your healthy side while you are healing, if you enjoy lifting.

I’m not trying to argue; I just want to make sure people know they have options while they are working through injury (something we all suffer eventually).
I also don't see a reason not to train. I just don't train the injury and I don't train 1 limb if the other is injured. At least not with anything significant. I have spent the past few years training around injury. As I'm sure you have seen I hurt myself regularly lol
 
Hyde

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Power to ya, but I'm not buying it, I'm also not looking to be sold on it. I tried it when I broke my ankle, my bad leg turned into a toothpick. It atrophied to worse then it was before I ever lifted a weight in my life. Did the same thing when I hurt my wrist and the results were zero
I think it’s going to be a results may vary type of situation. It’s definitely naive to assume you can keep most size. The right arm I was training slowly got smaller and weaker despite high intensity/failure type protocols like rest pause, and the left that was healing got even smaller for sure. Definitely not pre-lifting small, but embarrassingly small from where I was.

Still, I don’t think that’s even the biggest point: my belief is that it’s about maintenance of motor patterns. My left side never forgot those firing paths. When I returned to training it, I had basically no stability issues and I was able to get right back to it, and the muscle practically exploded back to size with a high frequency/low intensity volume approach and some anabolic use typical or even mild for myself.
 

Resolve10

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Again it can be tough without a more specific diagnosis and possible hands on work, but if you are able to still do some stuff you may also want to check out blood flow restriction training. Make sure to research the what, how, and why sufficiently to see if it is possible or fits your situation, but also have had quite a bit of success with this maintaining muscle mass and return to full form with its use.
 

natureman4

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I appreciate the conversation guys! I think it'll only be a couple weeks before I'm back at it since it's super mild but this has been helpful to read through for my inevitable next worse injury.
 
Julianbee

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There’s some good answers in this thread. Creatine and unilateral training have worked for me in the past, but if you’re only off 2-3 weeks I wouldn’t worry too much.
Chances are, assuming you’re back healthy, you’ll regain your strength in 1-2 weeks after being off 2-3 weeks.
 

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