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Barbell Regaining lost strength


Level 4 Valued Member
Hello all. I went on a vacation and had surgery after. After a total 5 weeks off, I retested my major lifts and lost 20-40 lbs on them. Everyone says I’ll get it back quickly. I’m partial to Reload, as I’ve had success with it, and have used S&S, PTTP, ETK, NW successfully in the past as well.

These routines are about slow consistent progression, which I’m generally fine with. Is there a recommended routine which will get me back where I was without making 5-10lb improvements every 7 weeks? I’d like to avoid spending 6 months undoing 5 weeks of damage if possible.

Thanks in advance.


Level 6 Valued Member
Daily Dose Deadlifts took me 2 months and was definitely low impact and had good effect. 5 Daily deadlifts 75% max with occasional spikes of intensity brought my max deadlift from 315 to 365.

I assume this could be applied to other lifts.

That said, I don't see why one wouldn't just cycle the weights up 5lbs each workout via PTTP and knock off 10-25% if you hit a wall, and keep cycling .
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Level 5 Valued Member
Is there a recommended routine which will get me back where I was without making 5-10lb improvements every 7 weeks?
I have had success regaining strength after injury atrophy using set replacement step cycles with the same format as S&S. I used 75%x5 for S and 85%x5 for S+.

I would also do periodic 6th sets at 65% for as many as possible. After an all S+ period, recalculate based on an AMAP 6th set using the original 75%.

You should be able to replace a set every one-two weeks rather every month.

Steve Freides

Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@WarrenEllis, a simple approach would be to test your max every 4-8 weeks as you recover and reprogram accordingly. Since you will be in recovery mode, I don't think I'd go 100% on all those tests - 100% is really best done just a few times a year.

A simple training approach would be 5 x 5 - just put 70% of your current 1RM on the bar, perform 5 sets of 5 of each lift once a week, and see how that goes for you. Add a second, lighter day for SQ and BP. When you feel like you've reached a weight where 5 x 5 will be very difficult, if not impossible, then start reducing the volume and point yourself to a 1RM test.


william bad butt

Level 6 Valued Member
Just do a few weeks of linear progression until you are back to week 1 of your old Reload program... If it's just a 5 week layoff, you will bounce back quickly.

I'm excluding the impact of your surgery... Depending on how serious this is or any complications...



Level 6 Valued Member
You didn't state what type of surgery you had but at 5 weeks post op my main focus would be not to undo the benefit the surgery provided.
After my shoulder reconstruction as a young man in my early twenties I was told that it wouldn't be considered to be completely healed for at least 12 months. My knee surgeries were also a long term prospect (for a young man) which took well over 6 months recovery before I could embark on the training regime I was on prior to surgery.
Sure if it's cleared by your surgeon go as hard they suggest but if it's a structural issue you've had repaired it's better to take a slower approach and adapt your training to suit until it's fully healed. Don't feel compelled to compare yourself to other people, your training has to fit your individual set of circumstances.
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