Weightlifting & Exercise/resuming lifting after down time
QUESTION: Hello Mr. Dickeson. You have mentioned at least once being off your routine due to injuries from a car crash. You worried at the time about regaining the strength you had achieved with your weekly lift. Could you please recount just how you went about doing that? How much less weight did you use, in what increments, and for how long to get back to where you left off?
- Jim S.
ANSWER: Great question.
Here I am, going to the gym and lifting heavy.
Along comes car crash!
Wham! I am not allowed near the gym for 3 months....
Finally, I am allowed to go back to the gym.
My first day I can BARELY lift more than 1-3 pounds. I am totally out of breath. I am sweating like crazy. My muscles are shaking.
I walk out the door thinking "I am ruined!!" My lifting days are over.
So I wait, go back a week later. Hmmmm. The sweating has stopped, and I can do more reps. Even though it is still 1-3 pounds of lifting. Body does not shake as badly.
So week after week I keep going back. VERY SLOWLY I re-gain what I have lost. About 4 months later, I am back to lifting what I lifted BEFORE my accident.
I - AM - BACK!
The accident was 11 years ago. I am still lifting, still the same size and mass from 10 years ago. I am not loosing anything, even now at my age of 61. Yea, I turned 61 last month.
The big difference in lifting NOW, vs when I was age 50, I now lift lighter. And amazingly, my weight/mass/size/height stay the same. What ever top goal you achieve, apparently you KEEP, no matter how old you get. Just lift and it stays with you. Even with lighter weights.
Glad I went for big and massive when I was younger then. I am benefiting NOW. People still say I am big, huge. Especially when you consider my age. Life, is good.
Another plus for me. I LOVE the Terminator character. Accidents have given me scars all over my body. Adds character to the look. I got another big scar when I tripped over my leg press machine a couple of weeks ago. Damn hurt. But yet another scar to add to the collection.
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: I find your answer, and past answers, very inspiring! If a person doing the weekly one-minute shoulder press were to need strict bed rest for a month, say, how would he begin again? Would he subtract six or eight pounds from the bar to equal about twice the lost time? Or would he begin with just the bar and add, say, ten pounds per week to get back?
Do what I did; lift the bar ONLY.
A week later, add 1 pound to the bar.
FEEL your body. If you feel ok after the lift, then add more weight to the bar for the next lift. If you are in pain afterwards, too much weight. Cut back what you lift and try again.
10 lbs. per week may be too much. Start out with 5 lbs.
As you go along, and your body reconditions itself, keep increasing the weight.
Before you know it, you will be back to lifting your normal weight.
You CAN come back from injuries and sicknesses. The key is to lift. Doing nothing is the worse thing you can do with your body.