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Heavy Weight Lifting & the Effects on Hard Flaccid
  • Technical September 2011
    Alright so recently I have switched to a mass building diet, and I'm going hard in the gym. The problem I'm faced with is that heavy compound lifts have been said to cause hard flaccid (Squats, Deadlift.) Post any information you have on the subject in here for people like me who are considering heavy lifting while suffering from Hard Flaccid.

    I'm trying to find alternatives, but these two exercises are so good for you that finding something else equivalent is near impossible.
  • obitoo September 2011
    I'm doing compound weights, though I'm not necessarily trying to build mass. I have a small frame so I'm just cutting fat and toning, plus they help with T production.

    I don't do dead lifts much, but squats are a regular part of my routine. I don't lift very heavy with those, just 25 pounds on each arm.

    Best bet would be to ask your PT what's good and what to avoid.
  • Technical September 2011
    My PT told me to avoid lifting weights completely. So no. Also she's never heard of hard flaccid. I take my PT for what she's worth; internal massage and that's all.
  • obitoo September 2011
    Hmm, I can't say. Mine told me to stop doing dead lifts and Romanian dead lifts, but squats were ok for me. I guess lift at your own risk.
  • Technical September 2011
    obitoo said:

    Hmm, I can't say. Mine told me to stop doing dead lifts and Romanian dead lifts, but squats were ok for me. I guess lift at your own risk.


    So she said squats are okay? That's fine. I can use power cleans instead of dead lifts if squats are still good. Or I can user zerker squats.
  • wishfulthkin September 2011
    I have a few questions about this. I really would like to continue working out. Its the only thing that clears my mind. For those of you who work out what kind of upperbody workouts are you doing?

    Before I knew I had HF I was lifting like crazy, dumbbell press with the 100lbs and taking in calories to gain size. I now have slowed down on the heavy stuff and just lift to keep healthy.

    Do you all do the same? I also try not to flex any pelvic muscles just the muscles I'm working at that moment. This overboard trying to lift upperbody and stay aware of your lower body or is it good habbits? Just wondering what you guys think about this?

  • Technical September 2011
    I'm still compound lifting, I just avoid deadlifts and subbed them with power cleans. As for keeping it loose, sure I try, but it's pretty hard and it's not really important, if you're loose throughout the day, you're going to be more loose in the gym.
  • wishfulthkin October 2011
    Okay cool, nice to hear. Like I read on other posts here, I'm going to do normal things and relax when I should be relaxed. If I'm going to the gym then I'm going to do it normally but not like I'm Mr. Olympian I guess. Thanks
  • rarara December 2011
    Obitoo (or anyone else) did you feel weight training had no negative impact on your recovery? I have lost quite a bit of size since I realised about my pelvic problems and cut out weight training completly and would like to start doing a little lifting again (nothing extreme; just to tone up a bit etc). I meant to ask my PT his thoughts on it today but totally forgot so will have to wait till next week for his opinion.
  • yaka December 2011
    I started lifting again rather recently. I still have issues but my flaccid for whatever reason feels better while lifting. It gets really warm and is at its softest. This goes for a lot of exercise for me now. Not sure why. Im doing pretty much any workout you can with a set of dumbbells. Benching and squatting (just my own body weight no bar or anything)
  • obitoo December 2011
    I've been working out the entire time. In fact, HF is what prompted me to start working out to begin with. I do a compound routine 3 times per week, lots of squats. No issues here. I found it helped the entire time as well. I'm sure there are exercises and activities that could irritate things or make it worse as well. These didn't seem to bother me. Your mileage may vary. Just listen to your body.
  • searchforthecure December 2011
    I've been doing some minor lifting as well. My HF is pretty bad during the lifting, but afterwards it returns to the usual HF. I think lifting is good for you generally, done in moderation of course.
  • kiwiguy December 2011
    My own case of ED was most certainly triggered by squats. The operative word here is 'triggered' because there must have been something else in the mix. People have been squatting since times immemorial, and it's never been linked (to my knowledge) with ED. Unlike cycling for example. I'm thinking I already had a hypertonic perineum, and this just sent it off a cliff.

    One thing I did though, was squat super-low. In fact I spent the best part of a year squatting with no weights at all, just to get the movement down, and learn to go really low. Then one day I was 'ready', and piled on the weight. That's when the fun started.

    When you go down low, your ischios and bulbo get squeezed against the pelvic bone. Factor in the heavy poundage you typically use for squats, and you can see there is the potential for damage - at least if you're not in great shape down there to begin with. And the thing is, you don't even have to go low to get a good workout. So my 2 cents would be to squat if you must, but no lower than you need to.

    *EDIT March 2013*
    I have now conclusively tied my ED to tendonitis of the left adductor magnus, which prevents the left ischiocavernosus as well as the bulbospongiosus from functioning normally.
    My erections "snapped" while edging (a particularly unhealthy way of masturbating) in the 15mn following the squats I describe above. So I don't believe it was the squats themselves, however they did put my adductor magnus in a heightened state in which it was particularly vulnerable. As to why this muscle seems to play such an important role in my erections I dont know, maybe it's just me but I suspect not, given that it attaches to the pelvic bone at the exact same spot as the ischocavernosus.
  • obitoo December 2011
    Good tip. Everything in moderation, as they say. Good advice for a group of overdoers like us. :)
  • Epoh December 2011
    Hey kiwiguy, I just wanted to chime in that I too did heavy weight squats (along with deadlifts) and I went parallel. I always thought going fully down (ass to grass method) would have been better. I felt this way because I noticed that I have some serious limited range of mobility in my ankles now. I can not flex them enough to squat down in proper form (my ankles can not bend up towards my shins as much as they should).
  • kiwiguy December 2011
    Epoh, I can't flex my ankles too far either. Come to think of it, that may be why my squatting style was so lethal. I've just taken up Bikram yoga (on the advice of a forum member), and it's looking like just what the doctor ordered (except he didn't).

  • kiwiguy March 2012
    Short update. Out of 7 urologists I've seen for my HF/ED so far, none of them had much to say about squats and ED, except for the last one. He's a penis surgeon who does a lot of penile implants, and knows his stuff. He says he's seen several people who have badly messed up their perineum doing squats.
  • Epoh March 2012
    Yep, I might have been the original proponent on these boards for Bikram Yoga. Let us know how it affects your condition!

    Another problem with squats is that over time, for many like me it develops an anterior pelvic tilt. When you go to heal and realign the body, the pelvic floor muslces must then be stretched. The problem is that these muscles are essentially surrounded by immovable bone on every side, making it one of the toughest areas of the body to directly and holistically stretch. This is why yoga is so awesome, it treats everything holistically. After having been in a certain state for so long, your body adopts it as the new normal. When you seek to change for the better, it takes a long, long time, because you are quite literally trying to remold the default condition of the body. Since the perineal region is like a hub for every other region, it takes even longer, since just about everything else gets affected!
  • kiwiguy March 2012
    Yes, I did hear about it from you first. I've done 3 sessions so far. Can't say I've seen a difference in my HF/ED, probably because I have almost zero lower-half flexibility right now. However, it has well and truly sorted out my chronic back pain, in just those 3 sessions! That's after countless visits to the physio. So I'm going back as soon as I can.
  • Technical March 2012
    Epoh said:


    Another problem with squats is that over time, for many like me it develops an anterior pelvic tilt. When you go to heal and realign the body, the pelvic floor muslces must then be stretched. The problem is that these muscles are essentially surrounded by immovable bone on every side, making it one of the toughest areas of the body to directly and holistically stretch. This is why yoga is so awesome, it treats everything holistically. After having been in a certain state for so long, your body adopts it as the new normal. When you seek to change for the better, it takes a long, long time, because you are quite literally trying to remold the default condition of the body. Since the perineal region is like a hub for every other region, it takes even longer, since just about everything else gets affected!


    Lol. You're saying things without any evidence.

    Firstly, if you developed anterior pelivc tilt from squatting it's because you weren't squatting correctly. Secondly, there's no evidence that yoga works any better than lifting weights combined with stretching.

  • Epoh March 2012
    Yep, poor form (and bad shoes) probably did it for me. I've been lifting for a long long time, and I know for a fact I'll be returning to a mass gaining program soon. Orbitoo had poor form too, and only had it pointed out much later on by his Dr. Weightlifting combined with stretching might be as good, I don't know, but I have yet to encounter any professionally structured CPPS PT plans which incorporate stretching and weightlifting, but just about all of them include yoga poses and advise to avoid strenuous physical activity for the time being.

    Everything I typed in the post you were asking about is very basic and assumed knowledge by any PT. Which part were you unsure of?
  • Technical March 2012
    Epoh said:

    Yep, poor form (and bad shoes) probably did it for me. I've been lifting for a long long time, and I know for a fact I'll be returning to a mass gaining program soon. Orbitoo had poor form too, and only had it pointed out much later on by his Dr. Weightlifting combined with stretching might be as good, I don't know, but I have yet to encounter any professionally structured CPPS PT plans which incorporate stretching and weightlifting, but just about all of them include yoga poses and advise to avoid strenuous physical activity for the time being.

    Everything I typed in the post you were asking about is very basic and assumed knowledge by any PT. Which part were you unsure of?


    I like how you keep regurgitating the same thing over and over; "Well I haven't seen any professional mention X or Y."

    Here's the problem; there's hardly any actual research done on CPPS. Most of it is anecdotal evidence from professionals in the field, and all of them disagree about different things. There isn't a unified regimen for everything. Just because you've never seen something in a regimen you read from a book doesn't make it any less helpful or any more detrimental. It's all anecdotal.

    Yoga goes across plenty of forms of exercise. Of course you'll see some yoga poses in CPPS treatments, they're not "yoga poses" they're stretches. Yoga could be just as harmful to hard flaccid as weightlifting could be. It involves holding your body in awkward posing and although some of it involves stretching, you're still at times using full body tension to hold poses in order to balance. It takes strength. In saying that, I don't really understand why you seem to think yoga is any better. The reason they say to avoid strenuous activity is because it promotes muscle tension (supposedly.) Yoga does exactly that. If you aren't sweating or tired after a yoga workout it's probably because you weren't doing it properly.
  • obitoo March 2012
    I don't know of anyone who would claim that heavy weight training helps with CPPS, or any chronic inflammatory or muscle tension condition. Weights made me feel generally "better" for a while, mentally, but they definitely did more harm than good as far as pelvic rehab. I wound up with a umbilical hernia on top of it, which has contributed to problems elsewhere.

    I am on the yoga kick as well now and it really just feels right for me. It was always very clear that weights were a punishment on my body, sometimes I enjoyed it, others it left me in a lot of lingering pain. Yoga seems to allow me to build more natural strength.
  • toster March 2012
    My 2c:

    Limited ankle dorsiflexion is mentioned numerously as killer of squatting form. It might be something worth of checking if form is not good.

    Any PT prescribing stretching or strengthening without evaluating first which muscles need stretching and which strengthening will do more harm than good. They need to test muscles first for length/tightness/strength to know what to do. That is rule #1 by professional PT's.
  • Epoh March 2012
    @toster Yep, agree about both the ankle dorsiflexion which I had, and the need for a PT. The primary benefit IMO of a PT is the extensive knowledge which they can bring towards identifying the condition on a personal basis.

    @Technical On one hand I have strong faith in the modern body of knowledge on CPPS and on the other you are not as convinced. We fundamentally disagree. Best of luck and let us know about your progress.
  • Technical March 2012
    Except that many forms of yoga that you continue to practice are just as detrimental as any weight lifting could be. Hot yoga is a trend, not an actual practice of yoga. The only mindful stretching that can be accomplished through Yoga is one that supports the body with props, most yoga practices promote muscle tension rather than release.
  • kiwiguy March 2012
    Think I've found a critical piece of the puzzle re squats. According to these guys, shallow squats work the quads only, but deep squats recruit the hamstrings, glutes and adductors. These articles focus on the adductor magnus in particular, the exact muscle which is causing me grief re my erections.

    http://functionalanatomyblog.com/2010/10/26/the-adductor-magnus-and-its-role-in-squatting-part-1-anatomy/

    http://functionalanatomyblog.com/2010/10/28/the-adductor-magnus-and-its-role-in-squatting-part-ii-issues-of-form-strength-and-safety/

  • Technical March 2012
    I'm not sure where you're going with this?
  • kiwiguy March 2012
    Sorry, my last post was a bit cryptic, I'll try again:

    A surprising number of people on this forum do squats. Whether or not this has contributed to their HF, the question arises as to whether squats can potentially make things worse, or delay recovery.

    In parallel, some of us believe that the adductor magnus is intimately involved in erectile function. The muscle's insertion point at the pelvic bone is directly opposite that of the ischiocavernosus; other people have reported that they contract this muscle during an erection; and my own experience both with the onset of symptoms, as well as with trigger point therapy, seems to support this hypothesis (I'll be posting about it shortly in the 'Adductors and Hamstrings' thread). I have not been able to find any medical source for this.

    In the link I posted above, an MD explains how the adductor magnus is recruited during deep squats, defined as 'hips lower than knees.' He seems to imply that this fact is not widely known, if at all.

    The implication for us HF/CPPS sufferers is that deep squats are liable to make things worse: either your adductor magnus' are fine, but using them will potentially put the ischiocavernosus/pelvic floor under stress; or they are in fact injured and should be spared any kind of weightlifting activity.
  • toster March 2012
    Squats are one of the most demanding exercise for majority of muscles. It doesn't involves only legs, but whole torso & hips ("core"), shoulders too if you lift barbell. It is primary hip and knee extension exercise, and adductor magnus is not prime mover for those actions, so we can assume there is something else wrong that squats irritate.

    In my case, release of add. magnus did help with pelvic tightness symptoms, but not HF firmness. So I wouldn't call it solution, but piece of puzzle to keep an eye on.

    I too read lots of research and theories and I try not to get bought by anything that I can't confirm on myself.
  • kiwiguy March 2012
    Yes, to be honest I haven't found that working on my adductor magnus has had a discernible effect on my moderate HF. My priority though is my case of ED, and I'm definitely seeing an effect there.

    Regarding the role of the adductor magnus in squats, the link I posted says that it's used in an eccentric role, i.e. to slow down the upper body as it drops. As such, it gets dynamically stretched, which could be harmful if trigger points are present?
  • toster March 2012
    Yes. Muscle lost healthy length and should not be forceably stretched beyond its limit.
    Release trigger points, massage, light stretch with warmups. Take it slow and see how it goes.

    I wouldn't be obsessed with it. It didn't cramp up or got TRPs by itself. Something else is there.
  • JohnnyCash August 2012
    obitoo said:

    I don't know of anyone who would claim that heavy weight training helps with CPPS, or any chronic inflammatory or muscle tension condition. Weights made me feel generally "better" for a while, mentally, but they definitely did more harm than good as far as pelvic rehab. I wound up with a umbilical hernia on top of it, which has contributed to problems elsewhere.

    I am on the yoga kick as well now and it really just feels right for me. It was always very clear that weights were a punishment on my body, sometimes I enjoyed it, others it left me in a lot of lingering pain. Yoga seems to allow me to build more natural strength.


    So what kind of exerecise would you recommend for raising T levels without hurting my body?
    I'm also worried that strength exercises could damage my muscles.
    My guess is that if stress has caused an hypertonic situation in the pelvis it can also do the same with other muscles, and training a tight muscle is only harmful.
    I hope you get my point because obviously my English is not the best, :)

  • obitoo August 2012


    So what kind of exerecise would you recommend for raising T levels without hurting my body?



    I don't know man. Honestly after going through this whole ordeal and all the research I've done, I'm not convinced there is any exercise that will significantly raise your testosterone at all. At the end of the day, testosterone production comes down to your testicles and your brain.

    If you want to increase testosterone, my advice would be:

    1. Get mentally and emotionally healthy. When you are under stress and anxiety, your body is producing all sorts of chemicals and hormones which directly inhibit your testosterone production and processing. Meditate, see a shrink, eliminate and deal with the stressors in your life. Do whatever works for you. Stress is the #1 enemy of testosterone, in my experience. Worst thing for your hormones is worrying about your hormones.

    2. Get physically healthy. Eat organic whole foods. Eat organic eggs, meats, milk, etc that are free from pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, etc. Stop eating sugar and build insulin resistance. Eat plenty of calories. Eat plenty of good cholesterol (testosterone is literally made from cholesterol). Lose excess body fat (estrogen is stored in adipose tissue).

    3. Get great sleep. Get 8 hours of deep restful sleep every night. Go to bed early. Wake up early. Testosterone is produced and distributed while you sleep.

    4. Get rid of pelvic tension. If the blood flow in and out of your testicles is hindered, you can't expect them to properly do their job. When you sleep, Leutinizing Hormone is secreted by the Pituitary Gland, and travels via the blood stream to your testicles. Your testicles use it to produce testosterone, which then travels throughout your body and to your brain via the blood stream. If you've got tension down there impinging on veins and arteries, it's really going to get in the way of this process.

    That's about all I'd really concern myself with in regards to maintaining healthy T levels. I'm sure some exercises could be helpful in the short term, but not much. Exercise is important, but exercise and body building are two very different things. Simply taking a long brisk walk is great exercise. Yoga is also very effective. I don't think people with chronic muscular dysfunction and jacked up cortisol levels from stress should really be "working out". Just my opinion, worked for me.
  • JohnnyCash August 2012
    Thank you once again for a great detailed answer.
    I will keep this in mind.
  • burnout August 2012
    @obitoo Do you think body building in general is bad for "us" even if we no longer have HF?
    I'd really like to work out with some weight again if there are any exercises that are "safe" to do without generating any setbacks.
  • Longsuffering August 2012
    "I'm sure some exercises could be helpful in the short term, but not much. Exercise is important, but exercise and body building are two very different things. Simply taking a long brisk walk is great exercise. Yoga is also very effective. I don't think people with chronic muscular dysfunction and jacked up cortisol levels from stress should really be "working out". Just my opinion, worked for me."

    Thank you, that is what I have been trying to get out of someone here for a long time. I agree as well. I go for long walks.

    "Do you think body building in general is bad for "us" even if we no longer have HF?
    I'd really like to work out with some weight again if there are any exercises that are "safe" to do without generating any setbacks."

    Every doctor/PT I have been to that has acknowledged I had a problem told me not to do strenuous exercise. No pushups, situps, pullups, etc. and especally no heavy weight lifting. This is just what I have been told. However, my PT told me that when I got well, I would be able to resume normal activities like everyone else. Just my 2 cents.

    I have finally stopped doing strenuous exercise which was very hard for me. I used to be a thai boxer, and that is just my lifestyle, hard training. However, I do notice that it was making me more tense and the muscles seem to be making more progress in the right direction.
  • JohnnyCash August 2012
    Here is a nice page that tells us what we can and can not do when it comes to sports: http://whria.com.au/page.aspx?docid=119
    I'm going to stick with walking and swimming, which as well as aerobic training may also strengthen muscles.
    Yet I'm not sure if they have any significance in raising T levels (which I am very much concerened about due to my low libido, even though I did not get my T levels checked yet).
  • burnout August 2012
    @JohnnyCash thanks for the link!
  • rarara August 2012
    @Longsuffering

    My PT says we can definetly return to weight lifting once the tension is gone, lots of his patients have.
  • Logger September 2012
    what kind of aerobics can we do while treating the pelvic floor? my penis is numb after I run for about 5-10 hours.
  • Pessoptimist September 2012
    Logger said:

    what kind of aerobics can we do while treating the pelvic floor? my penis is numb after I run for about 5-10 hours.



    Mine would be too after running for that long ;-)
  • T33 September 2012
    I think even Zeus's would be after that.
  • Logger September 2012
    I meant the numbness is for 5-10 hours :) I run only 20-30 minutes.
  • john1960 March 2013
    Just bringing this thread back. I swim but also love my 20-30 minute jogs. I try to swim when I can but it does not always fit into my schedule.

    Would doing 20-30 minutes of elliptical have that much of a negative effect on HF? I have done this a couple times and I get a little more contracted but felt that was somewhat normal. Looking for feedback from others on their experiences with cardio and HF.
  • rarara March 2013
    Weight lifting doesn't appear to have any lasting effect on HF for me, I'd focus more on good form than heavy weights though.

    Running around playing sports definetly does worsen my internal trigger points.
  • meow March 2013
    Lifting rarely irritates my remaining pelvic pain, just focus on correct breathing
  • john1960 March 2013
    Thanks for your feedback guys.

    @rarara Would you equate a mild steady jog as being similar to when you talk about running around playing sports? Do you have experience with less vigorous forms of cardio and hf?
  • rarara March 2013
    Why don't you just try it and see what happens. Everyone reacts differently to things. For me I think my tension comes from my legs so jogging has a negative effect.
  • StepByStep March 2013
    My penis gets numb (blueish, turtles) after a lifting workout, it lasts for a few hours after the workout, no matter how much I try not to clench, even bench-press causes this shrinkage.
  • Monk March 2013
    (skip this, sorry)

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