Ask The Trainer #5 – Recovering From An Injury

Ask The Trainer #5 - Recovering From An Injury

QUESTION:

Chad, I am 65 years old. About 5 years ago I was in the best shape of my life then started having problems with my shoulder. Weights in the gym slowly dropped until I had to quit. Eventually, I had rotator cuff surgery. It’s taken about 18 months now and it is finally started to feel better. I am slowly starting to use weights at home. Would a protein drink be the best supplement to take to help with my shoulder and overall? The doctor told me I would never be able to push the weights I could before. That’s fine. I’d just like to get back into working out more. I enjoyed going to the gym! (I’m 160 lbs and was once able to do 180 lbs per side on a decline chest press machine for 8 reps.)

Thanks,

Don


ANSWER:

Don, I’m impressed you managed to obtain the best shape of your life at the age of 60! I have a good friend who also did the same thing and went on to compete in bodybuilding at a national level. It just goes to show that our bodies are capable of responding in a positive way at virtually any age, as long as you take the correct approach! I’m sorry to hear about the shoulder injury. Thankfully, it sounds like you’re recovering well from the rotator cuff surgery so far. It isn’t uncommon for post-surgery recovery take beyond a year.

You mention you’re starting slowly… that is a very wise thing to do! As you begin to get back into your routine, you are going to want to proceed with extreme caution and stay in tune with how each movement is affecting that shoulder. As soon as you feel any pain, terminate the set! Only increase your weights in small increments; even if it’s just a pound or two at a time.  In time, as your shoulder heals, you will gradually gain more and more confidence with your training. Patience is THE key here.

Protein Drinks

There are innumerable benefits of supplementing a protein drink into your diet. For example, whey protein is rich in amino acids—the building blocks for tissue growth and repair. Whey protein is especially high in branched chain amino acids that increase protein synthesis in the body. This is why whey protein is used as a primary supplement by bodybuilders and athletes post workout to kick-start the recovery process. Whey is also notorious for boosting glutathione levels in the body. Glutathione is an endogenous antioxidant that quenches oxidative stress to help ward off disease associated with aging. Additionally, whey contains beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, glycomacropeptide, and lactoferrin protein, These protein fractions all enhance the immune system.

Considering the aforementioned benefits of whey protein, I do believe a whey protein supplement could be valuable to you. However, I that there are some other supplements that provide benefits more specific to your shoulder. I know of many athletes, myself included, who have obtained great success using the joint supplement known as Kre-Celazine. It contains cetylated fatty acids and creatine monohydrate. Research has shown these ingredients possess potent anti-inflammatory properties to relieve pain and inflammation in aching joints and may aid in the recovery process. Based on the positive feedback I’ve received from customers using Joint Rehab, and also my own experience, I would have to agree this product deserves the respectable reputation it has.

Vitamin C

You should also know that Vitamin C is the main vitamin associated with the synthesis of collagen in the body. Since collagen is a key component in tissue, muscle fibers, tendon, and bone — it may not be a bad idea to consume plenty of vitamin C rich foods, such as citrus fruits, kiwi, berries, tomatoes, kale, yellow bell peppers, broccoli, and guavas, or take a Vitamin C supplement if you’re unable to consume plenty of these foods. Furthermore, some studies have demonstrated that the herb Cissus Quadrangularis can help speed the healing of bones and connective tissues, possibly due to its ability to increase collagen turnover in the tissues and calcium uptake within the bones.

As far as your doctor saying you will never be able to push weights as you did before…Prove ‘Em Wrong! Many years ago, I had orthopedic specialists tell me that due to my spinal scoliosis and deformed knee (that’s missing both the Anterior Cruciate Ligament and Medial Meniscus), I would NEVER be able to lift weights seriously, or even become an athlete.


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BUT… 24 years later, I’m still at it, along with adding a few bodybuilding titles and 3 state deadlifting records under my belt. Doctors typically base their prognosis on the statistics of other people who’ve suffered the same type of injury or are in a similar circumstance. Also, keep in mind many people who’ve been through what you have may not have been as passionate about getting back into the game again. The bottom line is that while doctors can certainly measure odds and statistics, they can’t measure your will, determination, or your ability to overcome!

I wish you all the best in your recovery and bodybuilding endeavors.

Prove ‘Em Wrong,
Chad Shaw

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