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More gym goodness - 8 week update

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TheGymGuy

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Jan 3, 2011
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981
Location
Rockville, MD
EDITED: I needed to come back to be as strong and healthy as I was during my peak. My motivation behind the recovery and trying so hard is to get back to my previous levels. As you will read below, it was very gradual and slow, but completely doable.


This is a little over 8 weeks post OHS for me and I have been gymming 3-4 times a week. It used to be 6, but I do not want to push it for now. I am lifting with my powerlifting team as they are getting ready for a big competition this June, 2012. I will not be competing but will be there to support them and take lots of pictures. Being with these guys inspires me and since everyone works very very hard it makes it that much easier for me to try a tiny bit harder to get in better condition. My main goal at the moment is to get healthier, change the body composition for the better and regain some strength and muscle mass in that order ;)

I have been progressing slowly and so far so good. Even though some muscle mass has been lost (on the order of 10 lbs), I found that the body remembers most everything and in just 4 short weeks I have made lots of progress.

EDITED: Added history of exercise activities in historical order:
5 days post surgery: 2 mile walk - http://www.valvereplacement.org/forums/showthread.php?39987-2-mile-walk-today
9 days post surgery: 4 mile walk - http://www.valvereplacement.org/forums/showthread.php?40029-Almost-a-4-mile-brisk-walk-today
4 week update with links to 1,2,3 weeks: http://www.valvereplacement.org/forums/showthread.php?40146-4-week-update
5 weeks post surgery: 5 mile speed walk and jog in an hour - http://www.valvereplacement.org/forums/showthread.php?40226-Runners-and-Joggers-5-miles-today-week-5
6 weeks post surgery back to gym: http://www.valvereplacement.org/forums/showthread.php?40281-GymGuy-went-back-to-gym-Week-6
List of exercises I deemed safe at 4 weeks or as your body allows you: http://www.valvereplacement.org/forums/showthread.php?40147-A-little-bit-of-exercising


These next several videos are detailing my progress (I do not tape every session, just some) and even though I am at around 70% of where I was (used to work with 400+ weekly), things are looking very promising. If you were going to watch just one video, please watch the last one, it makes me the most happy with the little progress I made.

week 4 It all started here with Cable Squats. Cable SQ - 70x15 - 2012-04-22 -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw4Q0dlCX-I
week 6 Several sessions after, I was here: SQ - 135x10, 155x10- 2012-05-08 -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qohDfS0OTP0
week 7 Another week later: SQ - 185x10, 225x10 - 2012-05-15 -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6p8_50ZDhkQ
week 7 Two days later, still feeling good: Paused SQ + minis bands 250x2, 275x1 - 2012-05-17 -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZhAh2MflK4
week 8 A week later, which was 2 days ago: SQ - 275x3, 315x3 + bonus 255x10 - 2012-05-22 -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFh_pROKVlg

One thing that I need to share is that I wear heart monitor at all times and it beeps at me when my HR gets over 140 which happens more than I like at the moment. Also, I measure my BP before and after and monitor my Heart Function/Behavior by taking 1 quite minute breaks to look for PVC, A-fib, etc. I have had some PVC here and there, but very little and it does not bother me. Not enough to get Beta-blockers or anything like that.

My cardiologist told me to be smart and play it by the ear. He said I will feel and know when to back off. I am listening to my body and consistently do tripple checks while I am in the gym. I will be meeting my surgeon next week and will run these things by him.


EDITED: 22 months update detailed here: http://www.valvereplacement.org/for...ate-Powerlifting-10k-runs-and-other-fun-stuff


GymGuy

P.S. I had CT scan and and Echo past week. Nothing that we would not expected after surgery has popped up. Matter of fact the ECHO is awesome. Other than my HR which is higher now than before everything else looks better. The mean pressure gradient across Aortic Valve is 10 and peak is 18, with my native valve it used to be mean 45 and peak 78!!!!!!!!! My left ventricle is now mildly-moderately dilated and used to be moderately to severe. I forgot what else, but most things were decent. A tiny bit of pericardial effusion, says minimal, (which should work itself out), some other little things, all of which my cardiologist said to ignore.
 
Last edited:

Kristen

Member
Joined
May 14, 2012
Messages
20
Location
Salem, NH
You are such an inspiration! I am six days away from surgery and I hope my recovery is as smooth as yours, you give me something to look forward to. Thank you and keep up the good work!
 

RobThatsMe

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Joined
Jun 11, 2001
Messages
1,439
Location
USA - TN
Fantastic Gymguy!

Sounds like you a really doing well with your forward progress!
Keep on Rock'n those gym days out!

Rob
 

Rachel

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Joined
Feb 1, 2012
Messages
539
Location
Holland, Michigan
You just flat out rock!!!

I watched the last video and really enjoyed seeing your smiles after you lifted!

Rachel
 

TheGymGuy

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Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
981
Location
Rockville, MD
@Kristen, your recovery for the most part is up to you. I have been fortunate with many things during and post OHS. However, I can assure you, you have to have an attitude of not giving up, working through the pain and treating every moment as a moment for improvement and work. It is ok to baby yourself a good amount to give your body a chance to heal and grow, but there is a little bit (a tiny bit) of pushing through that we need to do to get our body to listen to us and recover faster. I read that power of belief plays a huge part in our physical accomplishments. Just like I had to believe that when I approach the weight I was training for I can do it, I had to believe that my body is strong and I need to walk, use spirometer with my whole might and full lungs and set records on how much air I can slowly suck/breath in, etc. If you are prepared to fight and are feeling mentally strong, if you are ready to not let the recovery kick you to the ground, you will do really well. If on the other hand you take it easy for the most part, you will still do fine, albeit it will take a little longer to recover. Great news is that at the most a year from surgery you will be back to normal, shoot a lot sooner, even if you do very little. Our body has an amazing healing power. As to me, I do not have a year to wait. Well, I have my whole life, but I would love to get back to things faster.


@Rob and @Rachel, it's the Best feeling in the world when you challenge your body and it listens to you and does what it's asked. I get a serious workout high when I lift, its similar to runners high but comes a bit faster, I suppose it could do with level of exertion. I am not a meathead, well, maybe a little bit, but being fit, healthy and feeling strong does do a lot for positive outlook in life. I have another leg day today, it's leg day #2 of the week, and I will try to update you guys with my adventures from today as well.
 

TheGymGuy

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Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
981
Location
Rockville, MD
Week 9 went well as well. Worked up to a 385lb Squat single and even repped out 275x10. This video is what I work up to and I how I do it. Please excuse the profanity, I get pretty excited when I am working in the 85% of where I was at only 9 weeks post-OHS - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3JJj3w0LVk

Also, in about 4 weeks (well, 3 from today) my surgeon will clear me for full training, benching, etc.
 

TheGymGuy

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Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
981
Location
Rockville, MD
Week 10 update. Back up to 90% of my Squat and will start light Bench Pressing and light Deadlifting next week or week after - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ohqt1SqcFEw
At 192lb bodyweight putting up a 405lb squat is decent for being 10 weeks post surgery and not being able to use a belt.

Hope everyone else is hitting new PRs (personal records) in their exercising as much as possible.

GymGuy out ;)
 

bocco

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Mar 29, 2012
Messages
183
Location
Livermore, CA. USA
I've got my bench press to 135 at 11 weeks. I was going to go for 150 this morning but didn't quite feel that I was ready yet. I also got my first full chin up (wide grip) with no pain or problem so I think I will start working those in on back day.
 

TheGymGuy

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Jan 3, 2011
Messages
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Location
Rockville, MD
Thanks for the support guys. If I am to do a competition this late fall or winter, I need to make sure to hit some good numbers.

Excellent work bocco. I did do a little bit of benching too. I have been doing 1-arm dumbbell presses (lay down, use 1 arm for dumbbell, legs spread wide for stability and second arm on hip or in the air) once a week and worked up to 70lbs per arm for 3 sets of 10. ;) This puts minimal pressure on sternum as you are only using half your body and hold the hand and DB close in.

Did light close-grip bench yesterday and worked up to 115 for 10. I am going to bench close grip for a while until I trust my sternum. Maybe 2-4 more weeks.
 

bocco

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Mar 29, 2012
Messages
183
Location
Livermore, CA. USA
Hit 150 on the bench press today. Gotta remember to try those 1-arm dumbbell presses.

Got 2 pull ups. Gotta start working those multiple times a week. The next hurdle is bar dips.
 

TheGymGuy

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Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
981
Location
Rockville, MD
Hells yeah. Very nice!!! Did a 185x2 close grip BP on wednesday and will do a 205x2 today. Close grip emphasized triceps and minimizes chest use but does still load it up a bit.

Also, did some light deadlifts yesterday and pulled a nice 405x1, which was great. In addition started my conditioning up again. Did 6 rounds with a prowler with 90 pounds for about 17 yards each trip, kept my heart rate nice and even at 140 or so ;)

Can't wait to turn up the intensity.
 

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