Circumferential Lower Body Lift Week 12: Recap and How To Prepare

So, it’s been twelve weeks since the circumferential lower body lift and I figure it’s high time for a recap post of the experience.

But first, here’s this week’s training log. As a general note things are going well but I definitely overdid it by hitting hill sprints today so I feel like complete crap. I hit 225x3x5 on squats and I may just hold here and focus on sitting back and getting reliable depth while keeping my knees right at my toes, perhaps moving out towards a slightly wider stance just to set myself up for success as the LP progresses. T-spine and hamstrings are the culprits with lift mechanics as usual. Diet is on point and I feel pretty comfortable working in the 250-350 g protein/day range at 2000-2500 calories. Upping the protein is getting me some good results, so I’ll just take a slow ride down to 220 and hold there. Should have an accurate weigh-in tomorrow AM, followed by my weekly carb-up.

Squat: 45×5, 95×5, 135×5, 185×3 (felt heavy), 210x3x5. Depth wasn’t there and I’m losing lumbar extension.
Military press: 45×5, 70x3x5 (weak sauce but I have to remind myself this is an LP)
Ring rows 4×8, about 30 degrees
Dumbbell front raise (bro) 15sx4x8
Banded good morning 4×10

Squat: 45×5,5 135×5, 185×5, 215x3x5, 165×8
Bench: 45×10, 65×10, 95×5, 105x3x5
DL: 135×5, 195×4 conventional, 195×5 sumo (back angle was much flatter sumo)
Incline DB bench: 35sx12,12,10,10
EZ Bar curl: 45x12x4
Rollbacks: 20sx12,10,8
Band triceps pushdown: 15×3 with holds at the bottom

Squat: 45×10, 135×5, 185×5, 225x3x5 (first set beltless, second and third belted)
MP: 45×5,5, 65×5, 75x3x5
Cleans: 95x3x5, did not film but probably awful form
NHEs: 80×12, 60x4x20
DB row: 50sx5x12
Hill sprints: 30 seconds-ish, 100 yards or so, maybe 50 feet in elevation gain on concrete, five rounds.


Preparing for a circumferential lower body lift

The most important thing I want to recap on here is preparing for the procedure. In an athletic sense, my main goal in preparing for the circumferential lower body lift was to get as strong as possible and put on as much muscle mass as I could in the months before the procedure. I had good success in this endeavor at the expense of about 10 unwanted pounds of fat because I was a little too frenetic with my diet. In any event, I did end up losing a few pounds of lean body mass during recovery but this was expected and can be dealt with relatively easily. Regardless of your athletic goals, I strongly recommend that you consider trying to put some lean body mass on because you will lose some lean body mass during recovery.

I’ve touched quite a bit on the recovery process here and you can tell that it’s kind of a lot. The main thing I want to say is this: the most important thing that you can do for this procedure is to prepare and set things up ahead of time so you can just go on autopilot to the greatest extent possible. Unexpected things can and will crop up, and you had better save the strength you have for dealing with them instead of worrying about day-to-day stuff like grocery shopping, laundry, etc etc.

Here are the most critical things that need to get done in the weeks before the procedure:

  • Have someone on tap to help you. In addition to needing a lift to and from the hospital, you’ll need someone around to lend you a hand afterwards. You may need prescriptions to be picked up, rides to your surgeon’s office to get drains messed with, laundry to be done, things of this nature. My wife was an absolute angel and I could not have gotten through this without her constant support. I am forever indebted to her love and kindness.
  • Stock up on food. My wife and I were very fortunate that her folks provided us with several pre-cooked meals. This, in addition to stocking the fridge a few days before the surgery and the freezer with meat and frozen veggies, held us through the first few weeks pretty well with minimal grocery store trips. You may still have the pizzeria on auto-dial, but this should hold you with some quality nutrition.
  • Get your meds filled NOW. Get a script from the doctor and have a few weeks worth of pills ready. The doctor should have this covered for you but it’s important to have your pain management dialed in and waiting before the procedure ever begins.
  • Get dat protein in dere. Even if you’re not a lifter, you may find yourself very appetite suppressed due to the painkillers. Food just seems dumb. I know, hard to imagine, but this is a fairly common reaction to painkillers. Get five or ten pounds of a quality whey protein and just take 50 grams a day or so like medicine. This will minimize lean body mass loss, because eating a steak or some chicken will seem like a real chore when you’re appetite suppressed.
  • Make sure you have laxatives, a pack of enemas and/or glycerin suppositories in the house. Narcotic-based painkillers back you up. You don’t want to wait on your point man or woman to run to the store at 2AM because you need to go and can’t do the deed without some help. I suggest taking the full dose of Miralax as soon as you get home from the hospital just to get things moving again as the general works its way out of your system.
  • Invest in a toilet seat riser. Trust me. Sitting is going to be a bitch, especially with your britches around your ankles.
  • Invest in a good place to park your ass. I highly recommend Ekornes Stressless recliners because they look awesome and are incredibly comfortable. They’re super expensive new but can be had used (on Craigslist or eBay) for a good price. You will want something you can sleep in in a semi-upright position and you can recline in easily and gently. These fit the bill perfectly.
  • No matter what your pride says, get a walker. Again, trust me on this one. Check your pride at the door and just do it. Remove any large area rugs between your chair and the bathroom to minimize the chance of tripping.
  • Be prepared for this to suck. I have an average pain tolerance and had, according to my surgeon, an average recovery time and was physically back to work in four weeks. This procedure is a motherfucker, make no bones about it. You need to prepare for the very real possibility that you will be in a lot of pain and you may feel pretty shitty about having just dropped many thousands of dollars only to be laid up with all these stitches and drain tubes. Your sleep cycle will be fucked up beyond all recognition and it may be very trying to just wake up, eat food, take naps, use the bathroom, and push fluids. This is why part of the drug regimen for recovery included a hefty dose of Valium, which is a good drug for short-term use to combat anxiety and depression associated with feeling “trapped” in an injured body or freaking out about buyer’s remorse.

And that, gentle reader, brings this series of posts about circumferential lower body lift recovery to a close. The procedure is now in my past; I am training again and feel much better with the extra skin gone. For individuals who have gone through massive weight loss of any kind, it is a bitter pill to swallow: after working tirelessly and doing everything “right” to correct a major problem, you’re smacked down for a couple months by a very invasive procedure that will very likely be paid for out of pocket without assistance from most medical insurance plans. It really, really sucks, but that’s life. The important thing to remember is that you are going to turn something like this:

belly preInto something like this:

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  • Tinier Tim  On September 25, 2013 at 8:33 am

    Holy Hell.

    Dude I started at 440 and sit around 225 and my body shape is almost exactly like your before surgery picture. I heard you on Tips of the Scale this morning (I was the guy on show #2) and had to come check out the skin surgery info. Are you on twitter? Can I hit you up with questions?

    Your interview was definitely the best I’ve heard on there and I’ve listened to all of them so far. Thanks for doing that. Great info. Our journeys are pretty damn similar except you’ve sure progressed on your lifts a lot better than I have.

    • J.T.  On September 25, 2013 at 8:36 am

      Hi Tim,

      Thanks for the kudos. I also enjoyed your interview, you hit a lot of the same topics as well as a bunch of stuff that I didn’t get a chance to hit.

      Feel free to hit me up with questions here, on Twitter (@ruckerfoad), or via email (I’ll email you shortly).




  • […] a condition medically referred to as Gynecomastia. This complemented the prior two surgeries, a circumferential lower body lift performed in March of 2013 and dual bilateral thighplasties (recap links part 1 and part […]

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