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How do I change gym mindset??

tobefitt

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I am looking for a little advice from some old timers here who may have experienced something like I am going through. I have been here a while, I don't post often however I read lots. I am 45 and I have had some serious injuries over time to both my shoulder and back. I just found out this past Thursday that after a L4-L5 fusion I went through on 8/2/2007 I now need the next level fused. They also advised the previous fusion didn't take and I now need L4-S1 fused. They are going in around the first week of December and going to remove the rods and screws, refuse the old fusion and then add to the next level. It will be another long and difficult recovery a head of me. When all said and done 6 scews and 2 rods. I have never been "BIG", but I have been in very good shape for a long time. Some local competitions years ago! I have never used steroids, but I have used pro homones over time. (I realize I may get blasted for that statement, but because of my job, the consequences out weighed me losing my career). I see my body going through some changes that I have never delt with before and I am not so sure how exactly to deal with that. Due to current back issues and pain, I have been out of the gym almost 2 months now. I know I have to change my mindset for my love for the gym and lifting weights. Are there any of you who have had to deal with something like this and any thoughts or ideas to help me get to a healthier place during this long recovery process. Obviously I know I need to change eating habits since little to no exercise can be done for a while. Discipline will be huge getting through the holidays. Thanks for any input you can give.
 

B DOG

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This is a tough deal no doubt. I've had two back surgeries (last one was this August). I'm fortunate to not have had a fusion. I know fusions are sketchy because they put alot of added strain on the areas above and below the fusion. My best advice would be to take care of your health first and foremost. You can still stay in good shape without lifting heavy or overdoing it. You'll probably have to eliminate certain exercises all together like squats, deads, and certain free weights that put added strain on the lower back. Don't sweat it though, the machines these days do a great job. It's all about stimulating the muscle and feeding it. Most importantly, keep a positive mental attitude and you'll be fine. You're health should come first, there will be a day where you won't be in the gym. You don't want to be so broken down and wrecked that your quality of life isn't worth a shit. And no one should be blasting you because you haven't used aas, just prohormones.
 

shortyshort

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maybe you can check out a HRT dr and get something prescribed for faster recovery?
 

tobefitt

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Thanks B Dog, I appreciate the feed back!
Shorty, I am going to look into that route and see what is best, thanks also!
 

Anafit

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I had a similar long unproductive stretch a while back. Fused c4-5 due to an impingement which lead to atrophy in my left arm. After waiting out my time to recover I headed back to the gym and in a short time pulled off my distal bicep tendon due to the atrophy. Atrophy and my insistence that I could just go back to lifting heavy after 5 weeks. Shortly after my recovery and lay off I pulled off the proximal bicep tendon. On a roll.

There's no secret way to get through these times in your life. You just have to keep telling yourself that you will get past it and be looking back at it eventually. I was unable to stay out of the gym however. I went even though I couldn't train much. I would do light stuff on machines just to pass the time. Being there helped.
 

Drift Wood

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First off my apologies for not reading your entire post.... I have the attention span of a humming bird on crack... I think.... maybe... I should read your post... I'll be right back..................................................... OK I'm back. How many domains/areas of you life will be affected by this... What kind of support do you have post-op? Do you have friends, real friends who care about you and will provide you with whatever supports you may need. Are you poor? (no insult intended). If you are poor enough you may qualify for public assistance... if that's the case shoot me a pm and I can help you navigate through whatever system you're connected with.

Changing topics: Ever hear of NeuroLinguistic Programming. There are stories upon stories of guys who took time off from their sport and came back and played better than they had ever played before... They used NLP techniques...
 

tobefitt

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Anafit-
Wow, sorry to hear about the injuries you have sustained. I know how the love for our sport makes it very hard to leave it, even for a short time. I hope you can fully recover and move forward. Thanks for the input.

leelee-
Well, that is a lot easier said then done which is the reason for my post. According to the team of surgeons I spoke to last week, I will need to stay away from all free weights for at least the first 6 months possibly up to the first year. But we all know even with the new technology with machines we still want to do what works best for our bodies to make them grow! I just don't see me doing machine workouts the rest of my life. I realize I have to make changes and I am just trying to get input on how to achieve that and remain healthy from some, who might have gone through a simular major setback. I am not young so my body recovers and heals much slower these days. Thanks for the words of encouragement!!

Drift Wood-
Well you are hitting home! I learned a lot from my first back surgery in 2007 about who my real friends are. It is amazing how many people say they will be there for you but when the time comes there everyday lives are just too busy. I learned true friendship over the last few years and I now consider my friends list much smaller, in fact just a select few. I thought I had many!!
How this will effect me is huge. It may be career ending for me but luckily I have my 20 years and I can retire if necessary with full benifits. That is still an issue in todays economic times at my age.
I have a very good team of surgeons and the aftercare is going to be closly followed by the doctors. After my initial hospital stay 2-5 days depending on how it all goes, I will go home and I have a live in girlfriend who will assist me greatly. She is a school teacher so I will be a lone most of the day, so little to no help during her work hours. My family is all out of state, so other then that small group of friends it may be tough! I live a comfortable life so I wouldn't qualify for and type of public assistance nor do I think that would be an issue.
I do not know about NLP, but I will start reading up on it to find out what it is and what if any benifits I may get from it. Thank you for your time and re-reading the post and offering this input. It is all appreciated!! Because I have gone through one of these surgeries and this one will be much worse then the first, I know the road a head of me is going to be tough, both physically and mentally!
Thanks guys...
 

oldfella

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First I want to say sorry to hear about the injuries. Ok now that the sympathy is over with I will say this.......I do not have nor have I had the issues you are going through. But I do suspect I have some deterioration in the c4-c5 areas and lower lumbar. I was hit by a car as a teenager and got smashed up pretty good, I suspect that as my orthsurgeon told me back then to expect troubles later on in life. But when you are 15 you don't want to know about such things. Ok Back to your dilemma, I think you simply need to acknowledge that your lifting pathway will now change for the rest of your life or as long as you want to continue to lift. You will need to accept that you are not going to be as strong or as capable of punishing workouts in the gym. I am 51 now and I do what I can to keep going. I love the gym and would be totally lost if I had to quit altogether. What I do not do is agonise over my glory days gone by. What I do is lift to my potential and try to squeeze out the very best of my training within my capacity. What I can no longer do, I do not worry about, I focus on what I can do, focus on adapting movements to train effectively and efficiently. I even create some moves to get certain muscle groups involved without the strain and risk of injury to those areas. I think you will find that by being creative, proactive and smart you will still manage some excellent workouts and manage to stay in pretty damn good shape, who knows you might even surprise yourself at how much strength you can salvage. Above all, liten to your doctors, go all the way through any rehab process no matter how ridiculous and you will come out the other end ok. Your mindset must be that of a survivor and warrior, but with age comes wisdom so be the smart warrior and set some new goal for yourself. One more thing....do not let this consume what is left of your life, go out and enjoy bro.......you earned it. All the very best to you.:)
 

animal eater

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First I want to say sorry to hear about the injuries. Ok now that the sympathy is over with I will say this.......I do not have nor have I had the issues you are going through. But I do suspect I have some deterioration in the c4-c5 areas and lower lumbar. I was hit by a car as a teenager and got smashed up pretty good, I suspect that as my orthsurgeon told me back then to expect troubles later on in life. But when you are 15 you don't want to know about such things. Ok Back to your dilemma, I think you simply need to acknowledge that your lifting pathway will now change for the rest of your life or as long as you want to continue to lift. You will need to accept that you are not going to be as strong or as capable of punishing workouts in the gym. I am 51 now and I do what I can to keep going. I love the gym and would be totally lost if I had to quit altogether. What I do not do is agonise over my glory days gone by. What I do is lift to my potential and try to squeeze out the very best of my training within my capacity. What I can no longer do, I do not worry about, I focus on what I can do, focus on adapting movements to train effectively and efficiently. I even create some moves to get certain muscle groups involved without the strain and risk of injury to those areas. I think you will find that by being creative, proactive and smart you will still manage some excellent workouts and manage to stay in pretty damn good shape, who knows you might even surprise yourself at how much strength you can salvage. Above all, liten to your doctors, go all the way through any rehab process no matter how ridiculous and you will come out the other end ok. Your mindset must be that of a survivor and warrior, but with age comes wisdom so be the smart warrior and set some new goal for yourself. One more thing....do not let this consume what is left of your life, go out and enjoy bro.......you earned it. All the very best to you.:)
Brilliant Post Oldfella.
 

tobefitt

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old fella-
Thank you for your post, I appreciate you taking the time to address my issue. I value your words as I have followed your post over the years.
I would just like to clarify that I didn't post here to wine. Trust me I know years of abuse and not listening to those who said, "you will pay for that later." is a contributing circumstance to where I currently am. Like you said when we are younger we don't want to here those things. I keep on hearing words like I should quit working out completely and find another sport like swimming to enjoy. Not exactly what I want to do, although I do understand it can help in my recovery. I use my gym time not just as a part of a healthy body but a healthier mind. It is my release daily where I can go and concentrate on lifting and not worry about everything else in and around my daily life.
I know I have the dedication, discipline and heart to comeback, or get to a better place, I just need to pull that "wisdom" aspect out and do it all smarter this time.
Again thanks to all that have given your input!! I will have a lot of down time so this board will take up a few hours of my day, looking forward to learning from the experience on this board in the future.
Semper Fi
 

Pekkerwood

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ToBeFit:

Sorry about your health issues. I wish you a good recovery. I've had health issues in the past (heart failure) that kept me out of the gym for about a year. I am inline for a hip replacement that may keep me out for a couple months as well.

I used the break at the heart failure junction, (as well as my age) to serve as a tipping point for changing my approach. I also had the recurring shoulder, neck injuries for years and have just accepted them albeit with the occasional tear on certain lifts. Not the smartest idea.

I too, was told, not to lift, to find something new. I relate to the part of your post describing your lifting time as a release and mental as well as physical. It certainly plays that role for me. The simple fact is in may daily business life my associates and customers are just different folks than the people I train with. Not more or less successful. just different. I think if you have been dedicated to moving iron for thirty plus years you get a certain bond with those who have also done it. I was not willing to let this go as I thought the detoriating mental health aspect of not lifting would be a negative for me.

I did make rules for myself that I found beneficial. I stopped taking steroids and HGH and do TRT at small dosages. I stopped putting over three big plates a side on any lift. I do not pick up dumbells greater than 100lbs. If it means 18 reps instead of 5, so be it. I rarely do less than 12 reps a set. This limits my weight increases. This is not a recipe for getting large or strong but those have faded for me in exchange for better health and less injuries.

After hip surgery, I plan to change even further. I plan to incorporate more yoga, and maybe even pilates into my normal exercise regime. I can hear the snickering from here!:) I want to become more athletic, flexible, and limber as I approach older age. I see to many stiff older folks and I do not want to become one.

I guess I'm saying use this as an opportunity to re-assess and make a new better beginning. Do not focus and getting "Back to where you were". Focus on going to a new, better. place.

Pekkerwood
 

oldfella

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old fella-
Thank you for your post, I appreciate you taking the time to address my issue. I value your words as I have followed your post over the years.
I would just like to clarify that I didn't post here to wine. Trust me I know years of abuse and not listening to those who said, "you will pay for that later." is a contributing circumstance to where I currently am. Like you said when we are younger we don't want to here those things. I keep on hearing words like I should quit working out completely and find another sport like swimming to enjoy. Not exactly what I want to do, although I do understand it can help in my recovery. I use my gym time not just as a part of a healthy body but a healthier mind. It is my release daily where I can go and concentrate on lifting and not worry about everything else in and around my daily life.
I know I have the dedication, discipline and heart to comeback, or get to a better place, I just need to pull that "wisdom" aspect out and do it all smarter this time.
Again thanks to all that have given your input!! I will have a lot of down time so this board will take up a few hours of my day, looking forward to learning from the experience on this board in the future.
Semper Fi
Your post is far from a whine! I only wrote "enough of the sympathy" as in You don't need sympathy, you need to hear from others that have had to change the way they do things for one reason or another, especially to look after themselves. I too am paying for the excesses of my youth. Years of heavy lifting, getting it wrong sometimes is now showing up as wear and tear. So the objective now is to enjoy going to the gym and doing the best you can, not continue to tear shit up and wear it down further. I have also been told, like Pekkerwood and others here, by my doctors to give it away. All I tell them is "next subject". You simply cannot "give away" something that means so much to you, that has given you pleasure and made you stronger. But along the way the old saying "no such thing as a free lunch" comes to mind. So we pay our dues later on for the things we did, and enjoyed earlier on. I will take dumbells to my grave and defy the doctors till I die. I will continue to go to the gym, enjoy the smell of the iron, the sting of the weights and the soreness in every muscle in my body. It is what I do. I committed to it many years ago, I will not abandon it now or ever. tobefit, At the gym my partner and I currently go to, my worst workout is stilll miles ahead of the young guns' best workouts!! LOL. my best workout still puts a big smile on my face because I can walk out of the gym, tell myself "I did pretty fuckin good today for an old man!!!" HAHAHAHA that is the new mindset of the old school lifters! Good luck on your recovery, you will be fine, it is all about attitude!!
 

Ashop

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I am looking for a little advice from some old timers here who may have experienced something like I am going through. I have been here a while, I don't post often however I read lots. I am 45 and I have had some serious injuries over time to both my shoulder and back. I just found out this past Thursday that after a L4-L5 fusion I went through on 8/2/2007 I now need the next level fused. They also advised the previous fusion didn't take and I now need L4-S1 fused. They are going in around the first week of December and going to remove the rods and screws, refuse the old fusion and then add to the next level. It will be another long and difficult recovery a head of me. When all said and done 6 scews and 2 rods. I have never been "BIG", but I have been in very good shape for a long time. Some local competitions years ago! I have never used steroids, but I have used pro homones over time. (I realize I may get blasted for that statement, but because of my job, the consequences out weighed me losing my career). I see my body going through some changes that I have never delt with before and I am not so sure how exactly to deal with that. Due to current back issues and pain, I have been out of the gym almost 2 months now. I know I have to change my mindset for my love for the gym and lifting weights. Are there any of you who have had to deal with something like this and any thoughts or ideas to help me get to a healthier place during this long recovery process. Obviously I know I need to change eating habits since little to no exercise can be done for a while. Discipline will be huge getting through the holidays. Thanks for any input you can give.
Do your best to rehab your injury and as you mentioned keep the diet tight,,that will make all the difference. Are you able to do any cardio?
 

tobefitt

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ToBeFit:

Sorry about your health issues. I wish you a good recovery. I've had health issues in the past (heart failure) that kept me out of the gym for about a year. I am inline for a hip replacement that may keep me out for a couple months as well.

I used the break at the heart failure junction, (as well as my age) to serve as a tipping point for changing my approach. I also had the recurring shoulder, neck injuries for years and have just accepted them albeit with the occasional tear on certain lifts. Not the smartest idea.

I too, was told, not to lift, to find something new. I relate to the part of your post describing your lifting time as a release and mental as well as physical. It certainly plays that role for me. The simple fact is in may daily business life my associates and customers are just different folks than the people I train with. Not more or less successful. just different. I think if you have been dedicated to moving iron for thirty plus years you get a certain bond with those who have also done it. I was not willing to let this go as I thought the detoriating mental health aspect of not lifting would be a negative for me.

I did make rules for myself that I found beneficial. I stopped taking steroids and HGH and do TRT at small dosages. I stopped putting over three big plates a side on any lift. I do not pick up dumbells greater than 100lbs. If it means 18 reps instead of 5, so be it. I rarely do less than 12 reps a set. This limits my weight increases. This is not a recipe for getting large or strong but those have faded for me in exchange for better health and less injuries.

After hip surgery, I plan to change even further. I plan to incorporate more yoga, and maybe even pilates into my normal exercise regime. I can hear the snickering from here!:) I want to become more athletic, flexible, and limber as I approach older age. I see to many stiff older folks and I do not want to become one.

I guess I'm saying use this as an opportunity to re-assess and make a new better beginning. Do not focus and getting "Back to where you were". Focus on going to a new, better. place.

Pekkerwood
I do hope your hip surgery goes well and your recovery is quick, of course within your goals.
I am "getting it" as I read these post. I know I will have to make some changes and I guess like everything else it will all come down to what choices I make and the approach I take as to the outcome. I have a friend who has been trying to get me into stretching and into yoga for some time. He is a big boy with many years of lifting experience. I have avoided it only because of the lack of flexibilty I have from my first back surgery. I don't feel as though I am able to succeed at a high level therefore I resist even trying it. I know it will have to be done in order to make a healthier recovery down the road. That is a great qoute, I guess that is what I keep thinking about, where I once was and not where I need to go! Which is a different place, even better!!
Thank you for your input and I hope you get yourself to that better place as well!! Good luck!!
 

tobefitt

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Your post is far from a whine! I only wrote "enough of the sympathy" as in You don't need sympathy, you need to hear from others that have had to change the way they do things for one reason or another, especially to look after themselves. I too am paying for the excesses of my youth. Years of heavy lifting, getting it wrong sometimes is now showing up as wear and tear. So the objective now is to enjoy going to the gym and doing the best you can, not continue to tear shit up and wear it down further. I have also been told, like Pekkerwood and others here, by my doctors to give it away. All I tell them is "next subject". You simply cannot "give away" something that means so much to you, that has given you pleasure and made you stronger. But along the way the old saying "no such thing as a free lunch" comes to mind. So we pay our dues later on for the things we did, and enjoyed earlier on. I will take dumbells to my grave and defy the doctors till I die. I will continue to go to the gym, enjoy the smell of the iron, the sting of the weights and the soreness in every muscle in my body. It is what I do. I committed to it many years ago, I will not abandon it now or ever. tobefit, At the gym my partner and I currently go to, my worst workout is stilll miles ahead of the young guns' best workouts!! LOL. my best workout still puts a big smile on my face because I can walk out of the gym, tell myself "I did pretty fuckin good today for an old man!!!" HAHAHAHA that is the new mindset of the old school lifters! Good luck on your recovery, you will be fine, it is all about attitude!!
Once again your words offer inspiration and hope!! Thank you and I feel like that often. At 45 with a screwed up body I hold my own pretty well. I suffer like hell afterwards! LOL
Thank you again!
 

tobefitt

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Do your best to rehab your injury and as you mentioned keep the diet tight,,that will make all the difference. Are you able to do any cardio?
I will be very restricted right after the surgery, with NO BLT's (bending, lifting or twisting) As soon as allowed I will start cardio, but according to my last surgery it will be a while before I can actually hit a machine. It will be limited to walking and just add more distance. I have not been able to do much of anything the last 2 months since the ER visit and going through all the test and getting ready for the surgery, which is now just a few weeks away. My right leg goes numb and aches something terrible. So it is just a waiting game right now!
Thank you
 

Drift Wood

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So.... it's been a few weeks from your last post... Have you had surgery yet??? If so please let us know how you are doing. With regards to getting help during the day you might be able to request that you surgeon put in an order for a visiting nurse to come by and check on you... you may not actually need this... but it can be nice to have someone simply spot in and check in on you...
 

tobefitt

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So.... it's been a few weeks from your last post... Have you had surgery yet??? If so please let us know how you are doing. With regards to getting help during the day you might be able to request that you surgeon put in an order for a visiting nurse to come by and check on you... you may not actually need this... but it can be nice to have someone simply spot in and check in on you...
Actually it has only been a week, and I just found out that the surgery is scheduled for Nov. 23rd, unless this date is bad for the second surgeon involved. I have been suffering a lot this past week with major back and leg pain. I go to work, come home and just veg, I hate it as I want to go to the gym and at least do some cardio, but the doctors requested no workouts before surgery. So no Thanksgiving for me. I will be in the hospital until that Friday following Thanksgiving Day, then home to start the long journey to my recovery. I still have get a lot done and get the house somewhat winter ready so my girlfriend will not have to worry about things. I am working on aftercare needs, but too soon right now to know what they (insurance) will approve. I should learn a bit more this week and I will start all my pre op physical and blood work with in the next week as well, no issues expected!! I will keep the board posted before the surgery and once I get out of the hospital. Everyone enjoy the rest of the weekend!!
Thank you!!
 

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