str8flexed

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I've lifted for a long part of my life, and have been varying sizes (due to differing levels of dedication/obsession). For example, I was pretty big right after second year but less so during third year. :laugh: Well, I know there are some surgeons out there who are pretty muscular, but I can also see how having too much muscle may hinder fine dexterity, especially in the fingers.

Would this interfere with fine sewing? Fine manual movements? I can see how working out until your arms and forearms explode and you can't hold a fork for the next day would interfere with operating, but would any wrist curls and building any forearm muscle be counterproductive? Would one tire easier? It seems that since fine proprioception is so important for a surgeon, doing anything that might compromise their dexterity to any degree is a no no. However, despite this I still see some residents (and much fewer attendings) who are built up, but I suppose nobody can tell them to "stop." Or maybe it's a trade off they are willing to risk because they have had such a lifestyle all their lives and like looking good. I don't know.

 

Winged Scapula

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While I am a bit stymied by all these "will X hinder my surgical career" questions, the answer is, as above: NO.

If a surgeon can operate with 1 arm, essential tremors, missing fingers, being color blind, then you can operate with hypertrophic finger musculature. Then again, if you have that much time available as a resident to get *that* big then you aren't reading/working enough.:smuggrin:

And BTW, unless you are doing microvascular anastomoses, "fine proprioception" is overrated.

Synopsis:

You CAN be a surgeon and:
- lift weights
- ride a bike
- participate in triathalons
- have a family
- be single
- be color blind
- have back problems
- be ADHD
- have a learning disability
- work part-time
- be pregnant

We ("SDN") have decided that being deaf makes it difficult and practically impossible but this seems to be the consensus - nearly anything is possible.
 

LucidSplash

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I feel like there is an obvious ortho joke which should be inserted here.
 

JackADeli

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...If a surgeon can operate with 1 arm, ...
Before we have a cadre of single armed wannabees asking how they can be surgeons too, I want to add the caveat...

You MIGHT be able to continue to practice as a surgeon with a single arm should you loose an arm AFTER completing training and gaining some experience. However, I don't see you becoming a surgeon if you start with a single arm before enterring training. There are too many things you must do as a resident and subsequently as a chief resident that requires two limbs... especially when these things are often emergent and/or by yourself.:scared:

I too am surprised at how much reassurance folks are seeking....:confused:
 

njbmd

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Before we have a cadre of single armed wannabees asking how they can be surgeons too, I want to add the caveat...

You MIGHT be able to continue to practice as a surgeon with a single arm should you loose an arm AFTER completing training and gaining some experience. However, I don't see you becoming a surgeon if you start with a single arm before enterring training. There are too many things you must do as a resident and subsequently as a chief resident that requires two limbs... especially when these things are often emergent and/or by yourself.:scared:

I too am surprised at how much reassurance folks are seeking....:confused:
At the risk of invoking "Schirmer's Law":

The older we get, the more neurotic the newbies seem.



We have had more than the usual number this year though. I have to agree with you on the above.
 

46&2

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Lifting weights would only effect you for a few hours after lifting. This was studied by orthopedic surgeons holding a microvascular needle; the time to recovery was about 4 hours working out your upper body. If you're concerned about the long term effects of muscle hypertrophy, in one word: no.
 

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Leforte

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While I am a bit stymied by all these "will X hinder my surgical career" questions, the answer is, as above: NO.

If a surgeon can operate with 1 arm, essential tremors, missing fingers, being color blind, then you can operate with hypertrophic finger musculature. Then again, if you have that much time available as a resident to get *that* big then you aren't reading/working enough.:smuggrin:

And BTW, unless you are doing microvascular anastomoses, "fine proprioception" is overrated.

Synopsis:

You CAN be a surgeon and:
- lift weights
- ride a bike
- participate in triathalons
- have a family
- be single
- be color blind
- have back problems
- be ADHD
- have a learning disability
- work part-time
- be pregnant

We ("SDN") have decided that being deaf makes it difficult and practically impossible but this seems to be the consensus - nearly anything is possible.
I love this summary. I do find it interesting that people who are outside of medicine or early in their medical career's have this belief that someone needs to be technically gifted, always looking out for their "hands" and neurotic to be a surgeon. The fact is that surgeons are just normal people that have the same interests as everyone else. We have the same faults as everyone else, too. Well, maybe we are a bit more neurotic.
 

Rabbit Hole

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And BTW, unless you are doing microvascular anastomoses, "fine proprioception" is overrated.

Synopsis:

You CAN be a surgeon and:
- lift weights
- ride a bike
- participate in triathalons
- have a family
- be single
- be color blind
- have back problems
- be ADHD
- have a learning disability
- work part-time
- be pregnant
I hate saying lol, but this was funny :laugh:

I love this summary. I do find it interesting that people who are outside of medicine or early in their medical career's have this belief that someone needs to be technically gifted, always looking out for their "hands" and neurotic to be a surgeon. The fact is that surgeons are just normal people that have the same interests as everyone else. We have the same faults as everyone else, too. Well, maybe we are a bit more neurotic.
Agreed. Also, it's how you use the instruments you use in your hands that really count. You can stabilize your instrument if you're doing fine procedures so 'shakiness' isn't really a big deal (unless you got Parkinson's). I've seen surgeons with fingers like sausages do some crafty work and it has never gotten in the way. If anything, a little muscle is necessary in general surgery because some of the stuff they do in the abdomen isn't quite dainty.. to say the least.
 

Buzz Me

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Agreed. Also, it's how you use the instruments you use in your hands that really count. You can stabilize your instrument if you're doing fine procedures so 'shakiness' isn't really a big deal (unless you got Parkinson's).
Well, actually, to be fair, I'd argue that those with an uncontrollable tremor (typically intention vs. resting) would have a tough time doing delicate work such as anastomoses (CT Surg, Vasc). Forget about microsurg.

Big difference between sewing soft tissue/bowel and vasculature.
 

JackADeli

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Synopsis said:
Nearly anything is possible.
You CAN be a surgeon and:
- be ADHD
- have a learning disability (i.e. dyslexia, etc...)
- have personality disorder (but relatively under control, check with your psychiatrist first)
- are bipolar (but relatively under control, check with your psychiatrist first)
- Short or tall
- Fat or skinny
- lift weights
- ride a bike
- participate in triathalons
- be single
- have a family
- be pregnant
- work part-time
- be color blind
- have back problems
- have Type 1 or 2 diabetes
- have migraines
- have ostomy, Crohns, UC
- have ~any chronic disease (but still have two reasonably functioning arms & brain)

We ("SDN") have decided that being blind is a contraindication; missing an arm or being deaf makes it difficult and practically impossible but this seems to be the consensus.
I just wanted to update and combine.... not a definitive list. But, I think in general it represents current realities.:D
 
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JackADeli

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Overactive bladder ?? :)
There's an app for that.
If you can't take a pill then place a catheter & leg bag as needed.
Synopsis said:
Nearly anything is possible.
You CAN be a surgeon and:
- be ADHD
- have a learning disability (i.e. dyslexia, etc...)
- have personality disorder (but relatively under control, check with your psychiatrist first)
- are bipolar (but relatively under control, check with your psychiatrist first)
- Short or tall
- Fat or skinny
- lift weights
- ride a bike
- participate in triathalons
- be single
- have a family
- be pregnant
- work part-time
- be color blind
- have back problems
- have Type 1 or 2 diabetes
- have migraines
- have ostomy, Crohns, UC
- have ~any chronic disease (but still have two reasonably functioning arms & brain)

We ("SDN") have decided that being blind is a contraindication; missing an arm or being deaf makes it difficult and practically impossible but this seems to be the consensus.
Yes, you can even have athletes foot/tinea pedis..... See list above. If you can not fit your "condition" into any particular descriptor, you should speak with your primary care physician and medical school guidance/career counselor.
 

basupran

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I highly doubt that heavy lifting has an effect...
 

SLUser11

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Yes, you can even have athletes foot/tinea pedis..... See list above. If you can not fit your "condition" into any particular descriptor, you should speak with your primary care physician and medical school guidance/career counselor.
Based on my med school experience, I think a few of my attendings may have had some Tourette's going on......

As for the original question, I've done a decent amount of heavy lifting over the years, and it hasn't affected my dexterity. The only thing I don't suggest is doing heavy squats 1-2 days before a long OR day....also if you look like a full-fledged meathead, be prepared for some jokes and nicknames....
 

meathooks

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I do tend to have issues when my MASSIVE PECS obstruct my line of site into the field. That and occasional roid rage. Other than that I'm good.
 

str8flexed

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I don't think this is such a ridiculous question.

I can remember one incident just several months ago when I had a brutal bicep and tricep workout. Later on that night, at the bar, I couldn't even throw a ping pong ball more than 2 feet--let alone to the cups on the other side of the table. I couldn't contract my triceps fast enough to execute a throw because they were Jell-o. I shamefully retracted from the beer pong table before attempting a second shot and hope nobody noticed. And fyi, I rarely drink and play beer pong probably a couple times a semester at most.

And often, after doing multiple sets of squats 'til failure, for the next several days if I didn't lock my knees I can be walking down the sidewalk and just collapse if because my quadriceps would give in. I would endure excruciating pain when going up stairs, leaning heavily on the rails.

A lot of you who are joking and calling this a silly inquiry, probably have never lifted a weight in their lives, can't bench >135lbs, or ever worked out HARD to the point of exhaustion (not that this is necessary). For those of you who have received their fair amount of punishment in the gym, feel free to chime.
 

Smurfette

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I don't think this is such a ridiculous question.

I can remember one incident just several months ago when I had a brutal bicep and tricep workout. Later on that night, at the bar, I couldn't even throw a ping pong ball more than 2 feet--let alone to the cups on the other side of the table. I couldn't contract my triceps fast enough to execute a throw because they were Jell-o. I shamefully retracted from the beer pong table before attempting a second shot and hope nobody noticed. And fyi, I rarely drink and play beer pong probably a couple times a semester at most.

And often, after doing multiple sets of squats 'til failure, for the next several days if I didn't lock my knees I can be walking down the sidewalk and just collapse if because my quadriceps would give in. I would endure excruciating pain when going up stairs, leaning heavily on the rails.

A lot of you who are joking and calling this a silly inquiry, probably have never lifted a weight in their lives, can't bench >135lbs, or ever worked out HARD to the point of exhaustion (not that this is necessary). For those of you who have received their fair amount of punishment in the gym, feel free to chime.
I think you pretty much answered your own question with your response above. If you are lifting weights or working out to the point of it impeding your ability to scrub or do laparoscopic procedures (arm and back positions can be quite awkward or uncomfortable), you need to make a decision as to what your priority is and either tone down your workouts when you have cases the next day or find another calling.

Keep in mind that there is less time for the gym in residency and so you are MORE likely to be sore after working out since it's harder to keep a regular workout schedule.
 

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I don't think this is such a ridiculous question...
...you pretty much answered your own question with your response above...
Your question has been asked and ANSWERED. You apparently already had the answer from your own experience!
I've lifted for...
...surgeons... too much muscle may...

Would this interfere with fine sewing? Fine manual movements?..
No.
...the answer is, as above: NO...
Lifting ...This was studied by orthopedic surgeons ...long term effects of muscle hypertrophy, in one word: no.
You posted the question on an online forum and got direct straightforward answers.... yes, some may poke fun too. That is what you get on-line. If you want all clinical/scientific responses, go to the medical library and look upt the article noted, etc... Otherwise, enjoy the humor.... cause, we recognize none of us are as athletic as you.
 

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I can remember one incident just several months ago when I had a brutal bicep and tricep workout. Later on that night, at the bar, I couldn't even throw a ping pong ball more than 2 feet--let alone to the cups on the other side of the table.
This is one of the most tragic things I've ever read. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't cry a little.

I just want you to know that you're not alone, and if you drop that ping pong ball out of exhaustion, your SDN community will be there to catch it for you. Stay strong, and beer pong.
 

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This is one of the most tragic things I've ever read. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't cry a little.

I just want you to know that you're not alone, and if you drop that ping pong ball out of exhaustion, your SDN community will be there to catch it for you. Stay strong, and beer pong.
:laugh:
 

dienekes88

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we recognize none of us are as athletic as you.
Except for Leforte who did Ironman Florida and a few marathons during ENT residency. :smuggrin:

I definitely can't bench >135lbs. Then again, I'm only 138lbs. 135lbs wouldn't be too bad! :laugh:
 

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A lot of you who are joking and calling this a silly inquiry, probably have never lifted a weight in their lives, can't bench >135lbs, or ever worked out HARD to the point of exhaustion (not that this is necessary). For those of you who have received their fair amount of punishment in the gym, feel free to chime.
As someone who once frequented the gym, I just want to know why you are pushing yourself so hard with the weights. Are you competitive or is it just for show? The only times I ever worked out to the point of exhaustion was in high school, when I was playing football and I needed to be stronger than the guy across from me. In college and med school, I lifted to stay in shape and as a social thing with my friends, but I haven't "maxed out" or pushed myself to exhaustion since high school, as there has been no reason.

Don't think I don't know what it is like to enjoy being in the gym and lifting. This is my grandfather, and he is the one who really started me working out (I hated high school football workouts; it wasn't until college that I actually enjoyed it). Even when he was training for a competition, he would never push himself to exhaustion. I just don't see the end-point of doing that. I guess I've never had a runner's high, either, so perhaps there is some sort of euphoria that you get, but I don't think it is necessary to temporarily physically handicap yourself when you don't really gain anything from it. As a surgeon, it is completely possible to have a vigorous workout to maintain your health and tone without going nuts and causing temporary muscle incapacity. Everything in moderation...
 
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Winged Scapula

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Agree with Socialist and others. While I may not be able to bench press 135 #, I am a former Division 1 college athlete, spent part of my post-college years as a coach and was, until residency, in pretty good shape. ;) Slowly getting back.

So its not that we don't understand dedication but I don't understand lifting weights to the point of injury or incapacitation. Even if there was a point, you simply cannot lift to the point of pain and possible injury and expect to keep working as a resident. If you can't play beer pong, how do you expect to hold a retractor in the neck for hours on end, suture fine vascular anastomoses or just stand for hours on end if your quads give out?

And Soc - I can't see anything in the link of you grandfather you provided.
 
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SLUser11

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And Soc - I can't see anything in the link of you grandfather you provided.
Me, neither, but I think we can assume he's huge and likely shirtless in the picture.

Since we're all pretty successful, type A people in surgery, a large percentage of us are accomplished athletes or gym rats. I think the desire to work out until exhaustion is not exclusive to powerlifting, and Socialist already mentioned the "runner's high."

I'm not condemning the OP's desire to get huge, but once it starts compromising your beer pong skills, you know you've gone too far. And, I believe exercise in moderation is better suited for a surgical career. You can still be "built up" as the OP mentions without collapsing from exhaustion during your workout.
 

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With my enormous biceps I can barely work the instruments. A lap appy takes me five hours. I'm like a freaking tyrannosaurus over here.
 

Winged Scapula

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With my enormous biceps I can barely work the instruments. A lap appy takes me five hours. I'm like a freaking tyrannosaurus over here.
:laugh:

Isn't that the guy from that show on TLC (?) entitled something like, "The Man Whose Arms Exploded?"
 

str8flexed

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With my enormous biceps I can barely work the instruments. A lap appy takes me five hours. I'm like a freaking tyrannosaurus over here.
Yeah, that guy's Greg Valentino, a disgrace to the bodybuilding community. Those aren't even real biceps. He used Synthol (or similar products) which are oil based and injected directly into the bicep to make it look larger.

I guess my drive to work out hard comes from my inspiration in high school: Arnold Schwarzenegger. His rags to riches story is truly inspirational, being an immigrant and becoming the most famous bodybuilder in the world, then becoming a Hollywood Star, and now even a Governator. Plus, a lot of us are Type A personalities, and there's the the drive to be the best at everything we do. Why spend 1 hr working out if you don't give it 100%; anything less would just be a waste of time.

http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_interviews/the_most_hated_man_in_bodybuilding
 

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This is one of the most tragic things I've ever read. I'd be lying if I said that I didn't cry a little.

I just want you to know that you're not alone, and if you drop that ping pong ball out of exhaustion, your SDN community will be there to catch it for you. Stay strong, and beer pong.
:lol: That made my day.
 

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And Soc - I can't see anything in the link of you grandfather you provided.
It was a link to an article about him. Here is a video of him announcing to the local media that he's hanging it up. Basically, at 68 years old he set the world record for >65 year old men with a 418 lb bench press. He's freakishly strong.

str8flexed said:
Why spend 1 hr working out if you don't give it 100%; anything less would just be a waste of time.
That's what I'm trying to say; it isn't a waste of time unless your goal is competition. If your goal is to stay fit and healthy, one hour a day is plenty of time to accomplish that feat.

If Arnold is your inspiration, emulate his work ethic instead of his workout routine; you aren't trying to become Mr. Olympia, you are trying to become a physician. Work out for your health and spend that other time developing skills that will help you as a physician. Or don't. I just don't see working out to exhaustion without any real end point to be a waste of time, but that's just me.
 
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I'd leave the thick bar at home. Might have to start using straps for some heavy deadlifts.

It is something that is hard for a lot of people to understand. I have lots of friends that are/were D1 athletes, do it for "fitness", etc. and as soon as they are done with their sport they ditch the hard training part. I've actually worked with refining some programs at D1 schools since they were pretty pathetic in what they had their athletes doing. I do understand your drive to lift. I am in constant communication with some of the greatest powerlifters of all time. I also know what kind of hand soreness you are talking about though and I can't fathom doing much of anything the next day that involves more than signing my name or opening doors. My hands would cramp after about 20 minutes of notes. If you are in the same position and need regular use of your hands, then alter your workout. No thick bars, use straps and chalk. If you can get a safety squat bar then you can hit most of the posterior chain used in deadlifts without the hand problems and you can squat without the shoulder pain.

This isn't for "surgical dexterity" as much as it is for not wrecking your hands in daily life. If you're a competitive powerlifter or strongman then obviously you have some decisions to make because cutting back on grip work will be the end of any chance of success.
 

JackADeli

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can my unique situation handle a general surgery residency/lifestyle?
Yes, you can have a colectomy and still be a surgeon. The final decision needs to be made by you. Only you will know if you can do it. No one on a online forum/BB can answer this question.
Synopsis said:
Nearly anything is possible.
You CAN be a surgeon and:
- be ADHD
- have a learning disability (i.e. dyslexia, etc...)
- have personality disorder (but relatively under control, check with your psychiatrist first)
- are bipolar (but relatively under control, check with your psychiatrist first)
- Short or tall
- Fat or skinny
- lift weights
- ride a bike
- participate in triathalons
- be single
- have a family
- be pregnant
- work part-time
- be color blind
- have back problems
- have Type 1 or 2 diabetes
- have migraines
- have ostomy, Crohns, UC
- have ~any chronic disease (but still have two reasonably functioning arms & brain)

We ("SDN") have decided that being blind is a contraindication; missing an arm or being deaf makes it difficult and practically impossible but this seems to be the consensus.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M.Furfur
Overactive bladder ?? :) Quote:
Originally Posted by Rabbit Hole
There's an app for that.



If you can't take a pill then place a catheter & leg bag as needed.

Really?? Anyone know if this is how it's done if you have a weak bladder?
 

JackADeli

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...If you can't take a pill then place a catheter & leg bag as needed...
Really?? Anyone know if this is how it's done if you have a weak bladder?
Not even sure what you mean. But, "weak bladder", if you mean bladder dysfunction with incontinence is not uncommonly dealt with via ~diaper. In other circumstances catheterization is used.... There may also be medications.... If one has a "weak bladder" like any of the other assorted conditions, the answer will be found via discussion between the afflicted and their PCP....
 

Valadi

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I don't think this is such a ridiculous question.

I can remember one incident just several months ago when I had a brutal bicep and tricep workout. Later on that night, at the bar, I couldn't even throw a ping pong ball more than 2 feet--let alone to the cups on the other side of the table. I couldn't contract my triceps fast enough to execute a throw because they were Jell-o. I shamefully retracted from the beer pong table before attempting a second shot and hope nobody noticed. And fyi, I rarely drink and play beer pong probably a couple times a semester at most.

And often, after doing multiple sets of squats 'til failure, for the next several days if I didn't lock my knees I can be walking down the sidewalk and just collapse if because my quadriceps would give in. I would endure excruciating pain when going up stairs, leaning heavily on the rails.

A lot of you who are joking and calling this a silly inquiry, probably have never lifted a weight in their lives, can't bench >135lbs, or ever worked out HARD to the point of exhaustion (not that this is necessary). For those of you who have received their fair amount of punishment in the gym, feel free to chime.
I love my workouts that leave me leaning on rails afterward. It means you worked hard. Then again, I also know not to do it if I have cases where I'll be standing in the next 3 days. And, unless you're operating with your arms over your head, an arm workout won't significantly impair you. If it does, lighten up. Simple answers..

I don't think this needs to turn into a muscle builders v. others discussion. The question is simple: Do you want to be a body builder or a surgeon?

For the record, Arnie is also one of my top 3 inspirations (not sure I'd call him a role model...). In fact, I'm revising my previous question to this: "What is best in life?!"
 

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my aspiration is to be a surgeon one day and powerlifting is my hobby. i have no intention of dropping it at all. arnold is one of my inspiration but i have no intention of ever looking like him one day...not that i dont want to but it is impossible (he has the better genes) plus i am staying natural...but this doesn't mean i won't try to be as freakishly big and strong as possible with what i can do lol!
 

kitsunepixie

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I was actually thinking of posting this on the Ortho forum, but I need some good exercises to build up upper body strength, especially in my forearms and supinators...in Neurosurg we do these delicate surgeries under the scope like half of the time, and the rest of the time we have these big open spine cases. I'm a petite, thin girl who does yoga every day and it certainly helps with maintaining my posture and stamina during our long craniotomies and retracting during lumbar cases, but I struggle with some of the brute strength aspects...some of the newer instruments that we have obviate the need for bringing out my guns but today I had a rough time when we were doing a huge lumbosacral fusion. My chief tried to encourage me by saying, "Your fiancee is trapped under a car! Pick up that car!" Needless to say, my fiancee is still trapped under that car. :p
 

DHT

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I was actually thinking of posting this on the Ortho forum, but I need some good exercises to build up upper body strength, especially in my forearms and supinators...in Neurosurg we do these delicate surgeries under the scope like half of the time, and the rest of the time we have these big open spine cases. I'm a petite, thin girl who does yoga every day and it certainly helps with maintaining my posture and stamina during our long craniotomies and retracting during lumbar cases, but I struggle with some of the brute strength aspects...some of the newer instruments that we have obviate the need for bringing out my guns but today I had a rough time when we were doing a huge lumbosacral fusion. My chief tried to encourage me by saying, "Your fiancee is trapped under a car! Pick up that car!" Needless to say, my fiancee is still trapped under that car. :p
Things I like:

Try buying those hand grip things that you squeeze. Also, buy a wooden bar (about 1 inch thick and >3 feet long). Drill a hole through the middle and tie a rope around it. Tie a weight to the end of the rope (for you probably 5-10 pounds). Then holding the bar between your two hands, roll up the weight forehand and backhand. Do not drop it on your toes when you get to the top. Do not do these exercises in the morning because it takes hours to recover. Wear gloves or get hockey tape and put it where your hands grip so you don't get splinters/blisters.

Don't forget that nutrition is probably 50-70% of getting swolled up. Buy some whey protein and drink after you do this so your body can rebuild. People say you need to consume 1-1.5g protein (from all sources) per pound of body weight per day. Don't worry you won't get huge and bulky unless you have testicles.

I think that will be the best for you to help with retracting and cobb strength/endurance. If you're petite, I doubt anything you do will make you very useful in positioning for spine cases (other than dead lifts and HGH).
 

Winged Scapula

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While DHTs suggestions will work, it sounds a little time intensive (i.e., making your own work out equipment).

Why not just purchase a cheap pair of dumbbells and/or resistance bands and do some hammer curls and reverse bicep curls? Those will strengthen brachioradialis and other forearm muscles.
 

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The rolling up the rope one though actually works really really well. Enough that it might be worth making it.

I know nothing about surgery, but hopping in the pool a couple times a week makes for good upper body strength with no weights required. ;)
 

DHT

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Yes, it is by far the best thing you can do for your forearms and grip strength. Using a Cobb in spine surgery is 90% forearms and grip and can be extremely exhausting if you are working at a reasonable pace. I don't think any meaningful results will be appreciated doing reverse/hammer/traditional curls as forearms and grip are secondary muscle groups not directly targeted by the exercise. It would take hours of curls to equal the benefits of 15 minutes of the rope bar (time well saved for a busy neurosurgery resident). I do think it is worth the investment for anyone who does spine surgery (especially the less strong). It took me an afternoon to get all the supplies and make it. I've had mine for several years now.

If this is too much trouble to make, buy those hand grips and just use them whenever you read or prepare for cases. These won't work the wrist flexors/ulnar deviators, but the improvement in grip strength will be noticeable in a couple weeks and will make using the cobb much more enjoyable for you, and the attending watching you.
 

kitsunepixie

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Using a Cobb in spine surgery is 90% forearms and grip and can be extremely exhausting if you are working at a reasonable pace. I don't think any meaningful results will be appreciated doing reverse/hammer/traditional curls as forearms and grip are secondary muscle groups not directly targeted by the exercise. It would take hours of curls to equal the benefits of 15 minutes of the rope bar (time well saved for a busy neurosurgery resident). I do think it is worth the investment for anyone who does spine surgery (especially the less strong). It took me an afternoon to get all the supplies and make it. I've had mine for several years now.

If this is too much trouble to make, buy those hand grips and just use them whenever you read or prepare for cases. These won't work the wrist flexors/ulnar deviators, but the improvement in grip strength will be noticeable in a couple weeks and will make using the cobb much more enjoyable for you, and the attending watching you.
THANKS! This is exactly what I'm talking about. I do dumbbells several times a week and it just doesn't cut it. I used to swim all the time in undergrad but none since med school...maybe I will pick it back up when I'm a senior and take home call.