T Nation

Any Substitute Lifts Recommended?

Greetings. I am on the cusp of entering your world, and am looking for some advice as I begin my planning. I come from a world of triathlon, and can no longer participate due to knee issues.

I’m 45 years old, 6 foot, 230 pounds (was 178 before I had to quit running/triathlon). I am able to lift weights, however, and am structuring a gameplan. Hence my login name 180degrees; pretty opposite endeavor from my cardio world.

It seems as though nearly every leg routine includes leg extensions. This is one exercise my knees prohibit. What would most closely replicate this movement for that specific development?

The one upper body movement I cannot make due to shoulder issues is the incline press (poor swimming form for years took that toll). What might replicate the incline press?
Thank you for reading my long post!

Don’t worry about leg extensions, just do squats for now, start off with back until your good then try front squats. Work them until you can get atg, it will be better for your knees.

If your doing a flat bench and military press you don’t need an incline while your starting off. Don’t worry about it.

If you absolutely can’t miss it, use hammer machines, or dumbells with a comfortable range of motion. Or pushups off a platform.

you could just leave the leg extensions out. maybe try sissy squats or something if you really want.

i always had shoulder pain when inclining at ‘normal’ angles. using a more shallow angle, or even just stopping a few inches above the chest (and using a little closer grip) both relieved any shoulder discomfort, and i also felt the upper chest working better, as well.

if any and all incline works really bothers you (machines, dumbell flys, etc.) just dont do it. no reason to risk injury over it.

good luck with your training.

edit: airtruths post didnt show up when i posted, so ill just give a x2 to his advice lol

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
Don’t worry about leg extensions, just do squats for now, start off with back until your good then try front squats. Work them until you can get atg, it will be better for your knees.

If your doing a flat bench and military press you don’t need an incline while your starting off. Don’t worry about it.

If you absolutely can’t miss it, use hammer machines, or dumbells with a comfortable range of motion. Or pushups off a platform.[/quote]

Agreed…regular back squats and perhaps box squats would do ya fine. Hammer machines actually give my shoulders a little trouble when going heavy, but the dumbell presses with an incline don’t hurt at all.

[quote]180degrees wrote:
Greetings. I am on the cusp of entering your world, and am looking for some advice as I begin my planning. I come from a world of triathlon, and can no longer participate due to knee issues.

I’m 45 years old, 6 foot, 230 pounds (was 178 before I had to quit running/triathlon). I am able to lift weights, however, and am structuring a gameplan. Hence my login name 180degrees; pretty opposite endeavor from my cardio world.

It seems as though nearly every leg routine includes leg extensions. This is one exercise my knees prohibit. What would most closely replicate this movement for that specific development?

The one upper body movement I cannot make due to shoulder issues is the incline press (poor swimming form for years took that toll). What might replicate the incline press?
Thank you for reading my long post![/quote]

Welcome to the forum. I to have done triathlons, locally. Also cycle racing and half marathons. Spent years weight training prior to that. Now I weight train to increase my ability to speed blade at high speeds, for long periods of time.

As mentioned, leg extensions way later if you want or sissy squats (which I prefer).

Same with incline, as the guy mentioned. I find it easier to to use dumbbells rather than the bar. I think the bar makes my shoulders hold a postion that causes pain.

As your strength increases you will find it easier to do different exercises. Like you said, it’s a new world. Have fun exploring it.

Thanks very much to you all, Airtruth, Hypnotoad, Daddyzombie, & Streamline. I value your input.

It sounds like dumbells may be my friend over the barbell for a few movements.

I hate to hijack my own thread here, but I have another question concerning deadlifts. My reading and studies indicate this is a “back day” lift.

My own experience tells me my legs ache moreso than my back after these. Poor form? Incorrect form? When do I fit them in, and if it’s on back day, I would guess I should have a day between legs and back then for optimal strength, right?
Sorry again for the long post, but I’m hungry for knowlege here from my peers!

[quote]180degrees wrote:
Thanks very much to you all, Airtruth, Hypnotoad, Daddyzombie, & Streamline. I value your input.

It sounds like dumbells may be my friend over the barbell for a few movements.

I hate to hijack my own thread here, but I have another question concerning dead lifts. My reading and studies indicate this is a “back day” lift. My own experience tells me my legs ache moreso than my back after these.

Poor form? Incorrect form? When do I fit them in, and if it’s on back day, I would guess I should have a day between legs and back then for optimal strength, right?

Sorry again for the long post, but I’m hungry for knowlege here from my peers![/quote]

Welcome to the site.

Difficult to pigeon hole the dead lift.

It’s a total body exercise, for convenience I call it a lower body lift and super set it with bench press and pull ups or chin ups.

I like total body routines. All my routines center around either a ten set squat or dead lift. I do rows with squats.

In short I would consider dl a leg day.

I use DL on lower body day, but as daudowen says, it’s tough to pigeonhole it because it works everything.

Since you come from triathlon, you’re probably pretty used to eating a lot of carbohydrates. You might want to re-examine your intake and possibly adjust it downwards for a while if you’re looking to reduce fat/weight.

Welcome.

Thanks, Daudowen and Skidmark. I’m glad to know I’m not completely nuts for thinking deadlift can be part of the lower body routine.

You are right on in regards with my diet, Skidmark. Part of the reason I’m wanting to go down this path is my poor diet. Really needing to clean out some of the fats and sugars.

Also, as my lifting history is pretty limited, every gain will be a new personal record! With triathlon, after a point, I was gradually getting slower every year. With this new endeavor, everything will be improvement (for quite some time, anyway). I’m having nightmares about giving up milk though! Is the non-fat really that bad?

Milk:

Carbs
Protein
Calcium
Riboflavin
Vitamin D
Vitamin C
B-12
1/2 cup = 5g protein

I drink non fat- others will argue for whole.

Only give up if allergic-I drink 1-2 quarts a day. If I was younger, I would drink more.

[quote]daudowen wrote:

Only give up if allergic-I drink 1-2 quarts a day. If I was younger, I would drink more.[/quote]

That’s the best news I’ve heard all day! I’m a milk junkie.

about the deadlifts:

i would try them on both days a few times, see what you prefer. some people do just fine with them on leg day. others feel that one of the main lifts (deadlifts and a squat or legpress) suffers too much to make it worthwhile. for some others (like myself), the lower back is SCREAMING for a few days after doing deadlifts on the same day as squats, especially if i use what are heavy weights for me.

its all about what works for you.

[quote]hypnotoad wrote:
about the deadlifts:

i would try them on both days a few times, see what you prefer. some people do just fine with them on leg day. others feel that one of the main lifts (deadlifts and a squat or legpress) suffers too much to make it worthwhile. for some others (like myself), the lower back is SCREAMING for a few days after doing deadlifts on the same day as squats, especially if i use what are heavy weights for me.

its all about what works for you.[/quote]

Thanks, Hynotoad. I see that one theme running through the answers here is, “There are rules, but be flexible.” Sounds contradictory, but I see that it’s not.
I also have a huge advantage in my bride. She’s the most knowledgeable nutritionist you could meet. She eats cleaner than any bodybuilder I’ve ever seen. And that’s ALL the time, too! She’s excited for me to finally listen to her. I never cared before, as I burned everything off with all my cardio. Didn’t worry that it wasn’t heart healthy food. Only worried about weight. New objectives now, however.

boiled eggs, then more boiled eggs. It will take a week for you system to get used to them, but for that week you will be a fragrant individual.

Skim milk = greater risk of prostate cancer. A little milk fat will help protect you and the milk is good for you, as milk or yogurt.

You can also do adductor and abductor machine work instead of leg extensions, and body weight squats – I find deep body weight squats actually help my knees.

I’ve only deadlifted three times, so I’m not ready to have much to say about it.

But you can do a lot with machine presses and dumb bell presses in finding an angle that works for your chest. You can also do dips (dip machines and weighted dips and supported dips, etc.) as a push exercise and a number of shoulder exercises to work around things.

Start with a limited set of exercises until you find what works for you.

stronglifts.com/files/stronglifts-5x5.pdf is an example of a beginning system that is pretty simple and meant as an introduction. The document is filled with links and explanations.

Wish you the best.

i find that a solid stretch routine before my leg days helps me immensely. i think that if im not adequately stretched, my legs wont take the load evenly - which affects my form - and some of that extra stress gets translated to my knees. i think stretching is often overlooked, and becomes more important as we grow older.

my leg routine does not include leg extensions. i think that especially in your case, a routine that includes more compound exercises may help to get around your knee problems. id start with some light squats, which should work most of the muscles in the leg simultaneously. give yourself plenty of time to recover.