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  1. Lifting With Limitations

    I had my wife on Stronglifts with me for awhile as she is in the long process of losing weight after gaining weight over the last 6 years after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. The good news is it ended up being curable once they found out what exact type it was (not until the 5th year) they were able to change treatment and it is now 100% gone. It has been almost 1 year cancer free. Since she started her weight-loss journey she has lost 30lbs overall!. Maybe 15-20 more and she would be at a healthy weight. She was progressing on all the lifts except she could not do a squat anywhere near the proper form without falling over and without knee pain. I substituted her squats with hack squats. Not really what i prefered her doing but some squats is better than no squats in my book. Once we got to somewhere around 80lbs for the bench press she started having issues with her hands. She actually had a pencil tip size bone spur come thru her palm. This stems from her other aliment Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is totally different than the typical Osteoarthritis. RA attacks the joints specifically of the hands and feet and causes them to be brittle and inflamed at times. After seeing her doctor she was told to continue strength training but to keep weights low enough where they do not cause pain. Her Dr is the one whom suggested losing weight and exercising would help deal with pain from the arthritis which it has. Where the strength training is an important part of her goals we have continued it with some adjustments. It has been a few wasted months as she was on 3rd shift for a while so we are starting all over again. Here is where I need some brainstorming from the group. Here are the limitations we have (from trial an error). -Bench and overhead press weight can not exceed 65lbs. I can think of no way to take the weight off her hands when pressing. Her arms could bench 80lbs but her hands couldn't. Right now she can do about 7 reps for bench at 65lbs. At some point this will become to easy. What then? What I have though of after increasing reps as high as 12 is doing pause sets or partials to make the movement more difficult. OHP is not going to be an issue for awhile as she is nowhere near 65lbs yet. -Squats she can still not do. I figure we start the hack squats back up and build up strength. After building up strength we can try working into barbell squats. I have shown her goblet squats with a dumbell but she bends her body forward to much like a goodmorning. Goblets may be a possibility if I video it and she can she what she is doing wrong. -Pendlay rows, deadlifts,and leg presses are a no-go. The grip on the bar kills her hands on the rows and deadlifts and leg presses are to much weight on her feet. I've had her substitute to DB Rows and they seem to do ok for awhile. After 8 reps is an issue on her left side. She had some shoulder pain a while back and it still is affecting strength. She did 12 reps with her right arm and just 8 with her left at 25lbs. So far I have this as a plan: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday Rotating A-B-A-B etc Workout A Hack Squats 5x5 Bench 5x5-12 DB Rows 5x5 Bicep Curls 3x8 Workout B Hack Squats 5x5 OHP 5x5 Back Extensions 3xF Light close grip pulldowns Any ideas? That was way longer then intended and all over the place. Congrats if you made it this far!
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