Week 16 & 17 - Gym, Gym, Gym

Glad to say no recurrance so far of the problem behind the knee. Driving my car now feels as though I have never been away from it. I am seeing my sports physio about every 2 weeks. The physio sessions focus on gauging progress, updating the workout sessions, deep soft tissue massage and manipulation/articulation of joints.

gym gym gymI have continued the gym workouts, but have not gone back to the hydrotherapy (largely due to practicalities/ convenience rather than any aversion to more hydroptherapy). In addition, I am doing 2 legged calf raises and short walks wherever I can fit them in. The objectives at this stage are to improve muscle strength, gait re-education, proprioception, and general body conditioning.

For these 2 weeks only, I targeted 6 gym workouts in each week with 1 day in between to allow the achilles tendon and other muscles a rest. [Note: this is not sustainable and I will drop workout frequency to 2 or 3 days on with 1 day off for Week 18 onwards]

The gym workout for Week 15/16 was as follows :

- static bike 2 x 5 min
- rowing machine 2 x 5 mins
- cross trainer 2 x 5 mins
- wobble cushion for balance 5 mins
- resistance settings for machine were low at the start and progressed to medium by the end of week 16
- leg extension machine - 2-legged & single legs 3 x 7 reps
- weights on leg extensions kept low for first 2-3 sessions, then set high enough so that final reps induce fatigue in muscles.
- use hand massager daily and home ultrasound 3-4 times a week

The gym workout for Week 17 was as follows :

- static bike 5 min
- rowing machine 5 mins
- cross trainer 5 mins
- treadmill (walking only) 15 mins
- wobble cushion for balance 5 mins
- resistance settings kept at medium, short higher resistance peaks and inclines added.
- leg extension machine - 2-legged & single legs 2 x 10 reps
- leg press - 2-legged & single legs 2 x 10 reps
- leg curls 2-legged 1 x 10 reps
- seated long row (i.e. weighted) - 2 x 10 reps
- weights kept low for first 2-3 sessions, then set high enough so that final reps induce fatigue in muscles.
- use hand massager daily and home ultrasound 3-4 times a week

leg extensions leg press

leg curlseated long row

wobble cushion

21 Responses to “Week 16 & 17 - Gym, Gym, Gym”

  1. That’s awesome man. I’m only making it to the gym 3-4 times a week (usually 3) for 90-100 minute sessions. I also try to put in 2 walks or hike between 3-5 miles in length a week. Although, I’m pushing myself with longer bike rides and more reps. I also think my job (teaching) has me more or less standing and/or walking for 8 hours a day makes it very hard to rest. Anyway, it sounds like you are doing great, so keep up the good work and I’ll do the same.

  2. I gotta say that 6 days of work a week and only one day of rest is a tough regiment and would borderline on overdoing it. Your muscles and tendons repair and grow/strengthen at rest so do not downplay the importance of sleep and rest. Many follow a 2 on and 1 off sequence to ensure proper rest. Hope the progression keeps going well!

  3. Dusman, you’re right this level is not sustainable for me either as I push up the resistance and weights. I’ll edit the post to make clear this was only applicable to Weeks 16 & 17, and that I have switched to a 3 on 1 off routine in week 18 which will probably drop to 2 on 1 off longer term. A lot of Week 16 & 17 workouts were about blowing the “cobwebs away” and I would have forced a rest day in had I woken up feeling particularly stiff or sore.

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  4. Thanks kkirk. Having to stay on your feet for work when the legs are tired/sore is tough, but I reckon your overall routine is much better balanced than mine with the walks/hikes, bike rides, daily functional use on top of the gym work. I spend a fair amount of time either travelling to different offices or sitting whilst there. I need to increase the outdoor walks which should become easier to fit in as our daylight hours are extending in the UK and the snow/ice disappears, as its spring now !?!

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  5. Wow, your regimen is impressive. I think I will need to familiarise myself more with the weights and resistance section of the gym when I go back as I really kept to the cross trainer/treadmill routine before.

    I can’t believe how much I miss the endorphins. I used to go for about 45 - 60 mins 2-3 times a week.

    what sort of hand massager do you have? Is an ultrasound painful?

  6. Thanks georgiemac. I have never done gym workouts before, but surprised myself as I have really got into it this programme and enjoyed it.

    The calf/tendon is improving albeit steadily, however, I’m seeing some real improvements in my general conditioning which was poor when I began gym about a month ago now. I should have done more on upper body and quads in the early weeks after ATR.

  7. georgiemac, whoops, didn’t answer your questions. To see the hand held massager I have been using click on this page link

    The ultrasound is pain free. The main reason to use ultrasound was to help control swelling, plus there is some animal study evidence that ultrasound may assist tendon repair in early stages.

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  8. I’ve noticed development of my upper body purely from the crutches! I got comments from a personal trainer colleague today to try and keep it up when the crutches go. I’ve been doing bicycle action and yoga while lying on my back to keep my quads active. I look pretty silly though!

  9. Hi Alton I viewed your YouTube videos posted questions but do not need answers because I’ve just read all of your excellent blogs, many thanks keep recovering

  10. Ripraproar, thanks for the positive feedback. I am glad they are helpful. I was worried the videos were just going to be for my own amusement. :-D

    I am going to post shortly an update on the latest weeks including a video on my walk and heel lift progress (- not quite there yet :-x )

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  11. Hi Alton
    How are things now? I guess your well pass the safety zone of the dreaded re rupture

  12. Hi Ripraproar, good to hear from you. I have been off the blog for a couple of weeks with Easter. I am doing great thanks and well past the 20 week “danger zone”. Progress is slow and steady at this stage, but so many day to day movements feel normal again. The limp rarely shows itself now and I am now jogging on the treadmill, gardening, lifting heavy items etc.

    Now Easter is over I will update as promised (honest). I drafted an update post for weeks 18 & 19, but then haven’t had the time to edit and add the video updates. I should keep my posts simpler, then I wouldn’t fall behind….!

    Have you set up a blog? How are you progressing ?

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  13. Hi Alton
    Great news , I’ve been watching your YouTube vids again tonight, I’ve been having a bit of pain whilst walking, I’m only 5 days in shoes 9weeks post ATR, I think my stride to wide sowill try tomorrow shorter stride to see how it goes,
    I have set up blog but can’t change title .
    Great to hear your on the way,move read a lot of your post, I think I recall you being a villa fan is that right

  14. Hey Ripraproar, no, I’m not a villa fan. I like watching good football but don’t follow any particular club.

    Good to hear you are in 2-shoes. Unfortunately aches and pains during rehab do keep popping up. If its the heel that is sore then try adding gel pads or using more cushioned shoes. Just take care if the pain becomes severe or doesn’t subside after a few days rest, then a call to the doc or physio may be worth some piece of mind.

  15. Hi Alton,
    Hope your well, I’ve had a real good week, still got nerve issue but physio did firm tissue massage and it did feel much better, still feel good today but did hit a disappointment, nothing major, I’ve been as instructed doing standing calf raises,leg bench press and seated calf raises, told to increase weight each time I go, been really happy to do this, but noticed its my good leg that feels tired so I wondered if I’m sub consciously using the good leg more , I’ve got to 60 kilo on each exercise, but when I set out to test my theory of the good leg doing the work, i put the seated calf raise to 22 kilo my bad leg couldn’t budge the thing, the next lowest setting was a mere 7 kilo which I could move but this made my calf tired , so my theory is right the good legs been taking all the load. Alton have you any advice on what I can do just with my bad leg to get the calf stronger, I’m wondering now when I’ve been doing my 2 leg toe lifts if the bad leg is actually doing that much work, I must be doing something on it coz calf feels more like a calf than jelly , I’m at physio next week so will run it by her, however all this it’s just a blip on what’s been a real good ATR week. I’m walking much better, slight limp, can walk fair distance, can walk up stairs forever but flat footed,no real push off lots of people at work commented on the improvement.

  16. Hi RRR, great to hear you are making progress. I have had a look at my gym diary and can give you some comparisons of good vs bad leg. I used the seated leg press machine to do my heel raises (shown above, where you put your feet up against the board, set the seat high so that the leg is straight and push off from the toes). I did one-legged heel raises on this machine throughout so was tracking both relative strength, good vs bad, and absolute improvements in the bad leg.

    I have worked out you are in week 18 now. At the same stage my readings were 20 moving upto 30Kg on single leg using the bad leg. I was able to do 10 reps, reasonable quality at the start and poor quality/struggling by the 10th rep. With a short rest in between I was able to do about 3 x 10 reps. The good leg, I could manage 60Kg, however I kept my workout at 40Kg so as not to push the good leg too hard and risk injury.

    I started on bad leg at no weight Week 15, 10Kg Week 16, 20Kg Week 17, 30Kg Week 18, 40Kg Week 19-20. I would suggest doing standing single leg calf raises with fingertips for balance on wall. Also do single leg weighted raises at the lowest weight that you can do 10 reps on, step up the number of reps as it becomes easier. Periodically check whether you are ready for the next available weight up. Hope that is of help. Good luck

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  17. Hi Alton, thanks for speedy reply, will try using seated leg press for ball of feet this sounds good, I’m doing single leg at 60 k but with flat of foot ill try ball of foot lowest weight and progress from there, when you say try single leg weighted you mean seated right?

  18. Debuff hi
    When I try to read your last 3 entries , I can’t open page it says to many redirects not sure what this means

  19. RRR, yes, my suggestion was to do it seated. Although it is possible to use weighted bars standing up, I prefer seated leg press as it feels safer and more controlled when starting out on the gym work.

    For your info on my bad leg at week 18, I was doing about 70-80 Kg single leg press with foot flat on the board. This translated to 20-30 Kg only when pressing off the bottom of the board with just the ball of the foot. As stated above I had built up to this over 3-4 weeks, being incremental is important to avoid injury. Also for safety set the seat high enough that you are automatically stopped from going too far into dorsiflexion as your tendon tires out from the repetitions.

  20. I tried to post some photos. So obviously didn’t do correctly. I’ll try again.

  21. Great Alton thanks for the tips

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