T Nation

Alternatives (Bad Knees)

To first start it off, I’m 20 years old, body building for over 1 year. I went from 150 lbs to 215 lbs in about 6 months following a bulking plan. I then went on a cutting diet, shed some fat, and did one more bulk (which I am on currently).

I weigh almost 230 lbs (around 225+ at the moment) my goal is 250 lbs, and just recently my knees have been screwing up. I’ve been squatting ever since I picked up a barbell for the first time, and over the last 2 months I’ve been dreading leg day because of the pain I have to deal with, outside of the gym as well.

And no, it’s definitely not an uncomfortable pain. It’s the sharp, stop-you-in-the-middle-of-something pain. It hurts a lot during squats, and the aftermath is even worse outside of the gym as the following day I’m having to wear heating wraps.

I JUST now got back from the gym and decided to try the hack squat machine. Without any plates, I had no issue going parallel and ATG. As soon as I put something on there, that familiar pain started.

I immediately went on the leg press only to be disappointed with the same problem. I continued to mess with the hack squat and leg press machines for about 45 minutes before I become so frustrated, I left. And this is after coming back from an almost 2 week break from leg day.

I’m not exactly concerned with strength (I know that strength follows size, size follows strength, etc. etc. but size is my main priority), but I’m wondering if there are any alternative workouts to my problem, for size.

I usually NEVER do leg extensions and I climbed on it before started with my experimentation and I had no pain in my knees even with weight, and while the thought to use this instead has crossed my mind (anything’s better than nothing), I DO know nothing will ever have the benefits of lower body exercises as squats do. I tried body weight lunges as well, and the sharp intense pain would start reaching the bottom.

Please, any feedback will help me.

[quote]One Sexy Korean wrote:
To first start it off, I’m 20 years old, body building for over 1 year. I went from 150 lbs to 215 lbs in about 6 months following a bulking plan. I then went on a cutting diet, shed some fat, and did one more bulk (which I am on currently).

I weigh almost 230 lbs (around 225+ at the moment) my goal is 250 lbs, and just recently my knees have been screwing up. I’ve been squatting ever since I picked up a barbell for the first time, and over the last 2 months I’ve been dreading leg day because of the pain I have to deal with, outside of the gym as well.

And no, it’s definitely not an uncomfortable pain. It’s the sharp, stop-you-in-the-middle-of-something pain. It hurts a lot during squats, and the aftermath is even worse outside of the gym as the following day I’m having to wear heating wraps.

I JUST now got back from the gym and decided to try the hack squat machine. Without any plates, I had no issue going parallel and ATG. As soon as I put something on there, that familiar pain started.

I immediately went on the leg press only to be disappointed with the same problem. I continued to mess with the hack squat and leg press machines for about 45 minutes before I become so frustrated, I left. And this is after coming back from an almost 2 week break from leg day.

I’m not exactly concerned with strength (I know that strength follows size, size follows strength, etc. etc. but size is my main priority), but I’m wondering if there are any alternative workouts to my problem, for size.

I usually NEVER do leg extensions and I climbed on it before started with my experimentation and I had no pain in my knees even with weight, and while the thought to use this instead has crossed my mind (anything’s better than nothing), I DO know nothing will ever have the benefits of lower body exercises as squats do. I tried body weight lunges as well, and the sharp intense pain would start reaching the bottom.

Please, any feedback will help me.[/quote]

My advice is take about two weeks off from training legs to allow the area to rest. I would then try again using either leg presses or hack squats and see if the pain is still there.

Intense pain, especially DURING a movement, is the indicator to stop unless you want to be injured seriously.

This may be as simple as allowing more time for your body to adjust to the increased weight you are carrying.

Agree with the Prof. In addition you may want to look into doing romanian deadlifts, lunges, pull-throughs, any hamstring movements. Might be a problem with overly tight quads and relatively weak hamstrings.

At any rate, if after a couple weeks you go back to it and it still hurts, take some time to concentrate on hamstrings instead of your squats–that way you’ll get to rest the quads and still get good compound strength movements going.

Also, pick up a foam roller and start rolling the quads. It will probably hurt like a bitch, but most of the time doing it regularly really helps soften up the tissue and relieve pain.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
One Sexy Korean wrote:
To first start it off, I’m 20 years old, body building for over 1 year. I went from 150 lbs to 215 lbs in about 6 months following a bulking plan. I then went on a cutting diet, shed some fat, and did one more bulk (which I am on currently).

I weigh almost 230 lbs (around 225+ at the moment) my goal is 250 lbs, and just recently my knees have been screwing up. I’ve been squatting ever since I picked up a barbell for the first time, and over the last 2 months I’ve been dreading leg day because of the pain I have to deal with, outside of the gym as well.

And no, it’s definitely not an uncomfortable pain. It’s the sharp, stop-you-in-the-middle-of-something pain. It hurts a lot during squats, and the aftermath is even worse outside of the gym as the following day I’m having to wear heating wraps.

I JUST now got back from the gym and decided to try the hack squat machine. Without any plates, I had no issue going parallel and ATG. As soon as I put something on there, that familiar pain started.

I immediately went on the leg press only to be disappointed with the same problem. I continued to mess with the hack squat and leg press machines for about 45 minutes before I become so frustrated, I left. And this is after coming back from an almost 2 week break from leg day.

I’m not exactly concerned with strength (I know that strength follows size, size follows strength, etc. etc. but size is my main priority), but I’m wondering if there are any alternative workouts to my problem, for size.

I usually NEVER do leg extensions and I climbed on it before started with my experimentation and I had no pain in my knees even with weight, and while the thought to use this instead has crossed my mind (anything’s better than nothing), I DO know nothing will ever have the benefits of lower body exercises as squats do. I tried body weight lunges as well, and the sharp intense pain would start reaching the bottom.

Please, any feedback will help me.

My advice is take about two weeks off from training legs to allow the area to rest. I would then try again using either leg presses or hack squats and see if the pain is still there.

Intense pain, especially DURING a movement, is the indicator to stop unless you want to be injured seriously.

This may be as simple as allowing more time for your body to adjust to the increased weight you are carrying.[/quote]

I like this thread. I have moreless the same problem. The point is that most of the time I really need to warm up my legs extensively, or I get cramps in my hams and glutes that don’t let me go through the whole workout. I feel with my hand my right and my left knee and they feel different. Recently I got really worried because first I felt a pain in my right meniscus that didn’t let me walk the same day I did my leg workout. The other time I was doing steady state cardio on a bike and couldn’t go through all the 30 minutes. I have a contest a year from now, so I was wondering if it’s convenient to let them rest for a bit, I don’t want to fuck up and want to improve my legs in the months I have left for building mass.

Any thoughts?

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

Also, pick up a foam roller and start rolling the quads. It will probably hurt like a bitch, but most of the time doing it regularly really helps soften up the tissue and relieve pain.[/quote]

I was going to suggest this, but roll the entire leg. Quads, Hams, Abductors, Hip Flexors and IT Band(this one sucks). I’m not sure if it will fix the problem but its beneficial to do regardless, and if I were in your situation I’d try all my options.

[quote]MEYMZ wrote:

I like this thread. I have moreless the same problem. The point is that most of the time I really need to warm up my legs extensively, or I get cramps in my hams and glutes that don’t let me go through the whole workout. I feel with my hand my right and my left knee and they feel different. Recently I got really worried because first I felt a pain in my right meniscus that didn’t let me walk the same day I did my leg workout. The other time I was doing steady state cardio on a bike and couldn’t go through all the 30 minutes. I have a contest a year from now, so I was wondering if it’s convenient to let them rest for a bit, I don’t want to fuck up and want to improve my legs in the months I have left for building mass.

Any thoughts?[/quote]

Lactic acid-like pain in the hams and glutes is normal if you are going deep enough. Joint pain depends on the severity. If you literally can’t walk for days after a leg day, then you probably need to give it more rest in between sessions.

I have severe joint pain, especially in the winter, that limits my leg training. I can go heavy, but I pay the price for it for several days afterward.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
MEYMZ wrote:

I like this thread. I have moreless the same problem. The point is that most of the time I really need to warm up my legs extensively, or I get cramps in my hams and glutes that don’t let me go through the whole workout. I feel with my hand my right and my left knee and they feel different. Recently I got really worried because first I felt a pain in my right meniscus that didn’t let me walk the same day I did my leg workout. The other time I was doing steady state cardio on a bike and couldn’t go through all the 30 minutes. I have a contest a year from now, so I was wondering if it’s convenient to let them rest for a bit, I don’t want to fuck up and want to improve my legs in the months I have left for building mass.

Any thoughts?

Lactic acid-like pain in the hams and glutes is normal if you are going deep enough. Joint pain depends on the severity. If you literally can’t walk for days after a leg day, then you probably need to give it more rest in between sessions.

I have severe joint pain, especially in the winter, that limits my leg training. I can go heavy, but I pay the price for it for several days afterward.[/quote]

Thanks X, I guess I’ll be more careful on exercise selection as well as on my form. I knew you have moreless the same problem, so I was waiting for a thread like this instead of opening my own and being told “Fucking pussy, just do some squats”.

I appreciate the response and feedback. I’ll wait it out as suggested and then go from there. I’ll be picking up a foam roller tomorrow to test it out and see if I get any positives out of that.

Thanks for all the support and information, guys!

This is going to sound weird. I used to train horses, and several of them experienced stress injuries. We would put them on a high quality joint suppliment and within a few months they were better than healthy.

Since I started lifting, I’ve constantly been hearing about knees going out combined with the word “squats” and not just from people doing them wrong. But I’ve never heard of anyone taking joint suppliments while squatting to prevent or heal an injury. Why is that?

You should try it. Seriously, find a high quality joint suppliment and go for it. It wont hurt and the potential for help is high.

Personnally I’ve not seen any improvements from joint supplements.

Form, mobility, a good warm-up, sensible build up to working sets and knee sleeves have benefited me.

High doses of fish oil do seem to receive some credit on here.

[quote]plateau wrote:
Personnally I’ve not seen any improvements from joint supplements.

Form, mobility, a good warm-up, sensible build up to working sets and knee sleeves have benefited me.

High doses of fish oil do seem to receive some credit on here.[/quote]

I have an INSANE amount of fish oil I have not even opened yet. All bottles full and from some back when I was a skinny bastard. I’m planning on beginning to work on them, as I’ve heard the response from joint issues is great with fish oil, as well as looking into Oleena’s recommendation.

We’ll see how it goes. All in all, it could be just like what ProfX already stated and I might just need the time off. I’ll start there before I begin shelling out money.

Fish oil might help - a little? I take on average 4 regular, 4 salmon and 4 Flameout per day but it only marginally helps my elbow and knees. Maybe I am not taking enough of a dosage?

FWIW, the difference between when I’m regularly taking in 10-15g of fish oil and when I’m taking none, or less than 5g/day, is HUGE when it comes to joint comfort.

I’d also give neoprene sleeves a shot. A few guys in my gym use them and they love them for ‘problem areas.’

Check out that article, too.

PS, nice progress on the bulk!

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:
FWIW, the difference between when I’m regularly taking in 10-15g of fish oil and when I’m taking none, or less than 5g/day, is HUGE when it comes to joint comfort.

I’d also give neoprene sleeves a shot. A few guys in my gym use them and they love them for ‘problem areas.’[/quote]

So I take this as an okay that I just now swallowed 5 300mg fish oil capsules at once, right? 3 times a day of that sounds good to me! Thanks JC!

[quote]rrjc5488 wrote:

Check out that article, too.

PS, nice progress on the bulk![/quote]

Ah, I have more stretch marks than imaginable from gaining so much weight in the past year (upper shoulder, arms, and upper chest regions big time). Now that I’m just about 230 lbs, I’ve gained roughly 80 pounds in one year. Maybe not healthy at all, but fuck it. I’m only doing it once, right? Haha, anyway thanks for the compliment!