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 Post subject: Damnit.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 4:11 pm 
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Gorilla
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Location: Idyllwild, CA
Today while doing hack squats at 250lbs I felt some strange uncomfortable tugging in the muscles behind my ostomy and immediately stopped. I felt the same tugging when doing heavy walking lunges later and again stopped. I had to cut today short.

My ostomy is just essentially my intestine pulled through the abdominal wall on the right side.

It creates an imbalance that just became aware to me.

Where do I go from here? I can't risk lifting that heavy anymore, I'm not willing to risk severely injuring myself and ending up needing surgery.

How can I possible train my legs without hack squats, standard squats, and dead lifts, without going over 250lbs when my body weight goal is 175-200lbs.

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 Post subject: Re: Damnit.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:56 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Not sure if any of this will be useful, but here goes:

1. Is there any belief that strengthening the core around the osotmy area would have a positive impact on making it less susceptible to injury? If so, then perhaps a change of course to do more work on your core for a period of time would be ideal, putting that in the top spot while cutting back on heavy work that strains the area, at least until the core is better suited to handle the workload.

2. If you don't feel safe doing compound lifts for a while, then make the most of what you've got with machines, single-leg lifts, etc. where you can take some of the strain off of the affected area while still training hard to make progress. Plenty of people have added size and built impressive physiques without relying on heavy compound movements and by doing more machine work and unilateral movements, so change things up to make things easier on the ostomy area. Ideas would be single-leg split squats (still letting you squat and work each leg effectively, but the reduced load on the back may make it easier on the ostomy for injury prevention), single-leg presses or hack squats, 1-legged Romanian deadlifts/regular deadlifts, leg extensions, leg curls, glute/ham raises, weighted step-ups...there's plenty you can do to work around the basic stuff when needed while still making progress. Perhaps you'll need to lighten the load and increase the reps a bit, but whatever it takes, work around things when needed.

So, the essential question comes down to whether or not you can strengthen the area around the ostomy to reduce the chances of it being something to hold you back down the line. If so, put the focus on improving that area so that it doesn't become something to negatively affect your progress over time, do what you can to maintain and hopefully continue to build your lower body around it, and see where things go in time. Not much more I can say than that, but also, if you haven't seen this page before, perhaps this guy can help with more questions since he's in the same boat regarding the osotmy situation:

http://www.ostomates.org/mark1.html

Hope this helps a bit!

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 Post subject: Re: Damnit.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:20 pm 
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Gorilla
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I avoid direct core work because it is easy to stress the area out and cause damage. I thought all my other work that includes core stabilization would be enough.

I'm hesitant to use a belt for fear of further weakening it. So I'm going to try some sort of light compression wrap to give it stability.

I'm going to drop my weights on certain things I think might cause issues. I know standard squats put a ton of stress on the area, but I'm not sure about hacks, deadlifts, etc.

I'm going to back off on the weight and do a bit of experimenting. It might be as simple as choosing a deadlift, hack squat, or other variant every other week, and doing a leg press on the weeks in between.

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 Post subject: Re: Damnit.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 5:21 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Cellar Yeti wrote:
I avoid direct core work because it is easy to stress the area out and cause damage. I thought all my other work that includes core stabilization would be enough.


The compound lifts WILL give core work, but I wasn't sure if perhaps some direct work on the abs and obliques might help out with that as well. Otherwise, have you ever tried doing things like overloading your squat weight and just doing a walkout, then hold the bar on your back? That works nicely as well, just standing there with weight on your back for a period of time will do more to work the core as well.

Cellar Yeti wrote:
I'm hesitant to use a belt for fear of further weakening it. So I'm going to try some sort of light compression wrap to give it stability.


To ask, how would a belt further weaken the area? Just curious as to if the belt over the ostomy area would have a negative impact, or if you're thinking that a belt would make things worse in other ways. Honestly, I used to be very anti-belt, but have come around more since learning that using one for squats and deadlifts may be the only way I can keep my core stable enough to still train with any real weight. I don't find that it weakens my core at all - on the contrary, having a belt reminds me to keep my belly full of air rather than my chest, and helps me keep the core more stable by making me want to push my abs into the belt, giving a more solid base. I don't necessarily recommend a belt for anyone who doesn't really need one, but if it could help your case out, then it may be worth looking into.

I'm going to drop my weights on certain things I think might cause issues. I know standard squats put a ton of stress on the area, but I'm not sure about hacks, deadlifts, etc.

Cellar Yeti wrote:
I'm going to back off on the weight and do a bit of experimenting. It might be as simple as choosing a deadlift, hack squat, or other variant every other week, and doing a leg press on the weeks in between.


I would think that deads will put a fair amount of stress on the area as well, which is why I suggested trying some of the single-leg stuff, as you will still be able to work each leg hard and heavy, but the decreased load on the back or off the floor should put less strain on your core as you won't be supporting as much weight. So, if you were squatting, say, 250x5 for 5 sets normally, you could try something like 125x5 for 1-legged squats with your trailing foot behind you on a bench, taking out some of the heaviness on your core while letting you still work the legs just as hard. Just some ideas to kick around!

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 Post subject: Re: Damnit.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:15 pm 
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Elephant
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I echo VE about the single leg stuff (try out bulgarian split squats - beast!) and machine weights for when compound lifts become too much.

What kinda sets/reps you doing on the compound lifts?

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 Post subject: Re: Damnit.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:59 pm 
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Manatee

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Can you do heavy step ups and lunges?

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 Post subject: Re: Damnit.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:33 pm 
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Single-leg squats. I think VeganEssentials is being a bit optimistic with the weight. :shock:

If you weigh 180 you are lifting your weight above the knees, say 150 plus the 250 barbell. That is 400lb. If you do a SLS, your one leg is lifting 180 - 15 = 165. So you would need to add a 35 dumbbell to equal 250 with both legs. That is 200 lb with the single leg.

I was thinking about this for ages and worked it out for myself and then saw something on Tarnation (T-nation) that confirmed it.

I would also add that 35lb with one leg would actually be harder than 250 with both because the one leg also has to do more stabilisation work. 10 - 15 lb would probably be nearer the mark, especially if you're not familiar with SLS.

Make sure you do full range of motion - ATG, as some people inelegantly put it. If you must do partials, I would say it is better to stop slightly above parallel in case the theory that at parallel the ligaments are in a vulnerable position if you stop there and then reverse the movement. And don't bounce up from the lower position.

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 Post subject: Re: Damnit.
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:06 am 
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Stegosaurus
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MartinVegartin wrote:
Single-leg squats. I think VeganEssentials is being a bit optimistic with the weight. :shock:

If you weigh 180 you are lifting your weight above the knees, say 150 plus the 250 barbell. That is 400lb. If you do a SLS, your one leg is lifting 180 - 15 = 165. So you would need to add a 35 dumbbell to equal 250 with both legs. That is 200 lb with the single leg.


I'm not necessarily saying that he needs to take his normal squat weight and halve it for starting with single-leg squats, just that it's an alternative that could still give a good leg workout without taxing the core as much as having to support quite as much weight. There's no question, single-leg squats such as the dreaded Bulgarian split squat need to be done MUCH lighter, it's not just like a regular squat. But, it's entirely possible to use much less weight and make great gains with single-leg movements if it's getting too heavy for him with dual-leg squatting due to strain on his core. Just trying to throw out some other options, not necessarily trying to say "Just halve the weight you normally use", as Cellar Yeti would find out how damned tough it would be really quickly if he didn't start slowly!

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 Post subject: Re: Damnit.
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:44 pm 
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Manatee

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Yes, it's a very good alternative. My favourite lower body exercise. The single-leg Romanian deadlift is also very good. It's effective in working the glutes and hamstrings. Even a light weight is taxing.

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 Post subject: Re: Damnit.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:09 pm 
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Gorilla
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I think I'm giving myself psychosis. I started back on squats, deads, and hacks. I dropped the weight and I'm adding 5lbs a week, using strict form. A buddy of mine PLs and has no issues with his ostomy. So screw it, we'll see what happens. I'll cap myself at 250lbs until I get my belt, but I NEED these exercises.

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 Post subject: Re: Damnit.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:27 pm 
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Do you have a doctor's blessing on all of this? I mean I know vegans don't necessarily see eye to eye with doctors but....

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 Post subject: Re: Damnit.
PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:43 pm 
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Gorilla
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Funny, had a talk with my doctor, he told me to stop weightlifting and tried to prescribe me painkillers. I told him to fly a kite.

My friend Josh has an Ostomy as well, same location, he powerlifts. No problems whatsoever and he is putting up 315 on deadlifts.

I'll take care of myself, and accept the consequences, but I will do this religiously to protect myself.

I'm going to slowly increase the weight of my deadlifts and squats, as well as their variants, alternating deadlifts with rack deadlifts weekly (floor deadlifts put the most strain on this region) and subbing out squats with single leg work weekly to reduce stress on the area and allow it to get strong.

My goal is to very slowly up the weight to strengthen the area and stop at 1.5-1.7x my body weight until I get a belt. I've been wrapping the area tight with an ace bandage to provide stability as the belt sits just above my ostomy and while it does provide some support behind it by compressing the abdominal bubble, it can't hurt to get my guts and extra wrap.

So far I have done deadlifts 205lbs 4x8 plus a hand full of warm up sets with no belt and with absolutely no issues, it actually felt extremely good.

Perhaps I am being TOO cautious, but by only upping the weight 5lbs a week when I know I can do more I am ensuring the area is strong, also by doing this slowly, if I have issues, 5lbs won't break me if the week before with 5lbs less I had no issues.

About to order my belt from the UK Monday.

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