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Back to Lifting, Avoiding Furthur Injury


Due to injuries, I have not trained consistently with free weights for about two years. In high school, I lifted very consistently for four years on a four day a week program formulated by the football coach which was based loosely off of Westside, in that there were two heavy days(raw weight,or board bench, low box squat) and two dynamic days(speed bench/speed squat w/ bands). We did squats twice a week, and bench twice a week as our major lifts. We never did deadlifts, and did not do many pulling movements considering the amount of pressing we were doing.

Although we did do some hang cleans and power cleans, many of us did them wrong because we were thrown into doing them without any real progression.Pretty much everyone I know sustained either a serious shoulder or knee injury. My senior year I sustained a bad sprain to the ac joint in my shoulder and have not lifted seriously since then although i have maintained a decent level of body weight fitness running, doing pullups, pushups, ect. I am 20 now and would like to start lifting again, except in a more intelligent and healthy way. I have been reading articles on this site by Wendler, Thib, ect, to get ideas.
My current workout plan is as follows:

Lower Body/Abs 1
GHR 2-3
Squats 4-5
Good Mornings or Romanian DL 4-5
Hanging Leg Raises/Back Ext 3-4

Upper Body 1
Bench/Dumbbell Rows
Dumbbell Incline/Pullups
Flys/Rear Delts
Tricep Pushdowns/Bicep curls

Lower Body/Abs2
GHR 2-3
Deadlifts 4-5
Lunges 4-5
Hanging Leg Raise/Back Ext 3-4

Upper Body 2
Incline Bench/Pullups
Pushups/Low-Cable Row or Barbell Row
Dips/Neutral Chins
Front Raises/Bent-over Lat Raises

I'd like some feedback on my plan. For the second upper workout, I chose to do Incline bench and some isolation delt exercises because I think that would be better for my shoulder. Also I tried to couple pulling movements with all the presses in order to prevent injury. My lower body workouts are sort of minimalist because I work on my feet everyday, and Id like to avoid any severe DOMS, although I do realize that its unavoidable to an extent. For conditioning, I plan on doing sprints on my lower body days, and going between swimming/running through out the rest of the week, depending on weather, how my joints are feeling, ect. I'm very open to any new ideas/ criticisms of the above plan.
Thank you in advance.


I'm no expert but I believe that you ought to make sure that your rows are targeting the rhomboids more than the lats for your goal of balance. Just rowing is not a magic bullet to balance a lot of pressing. Rowing often uses the lats a good deal. The lats are internal rotators just like the pectorals. If you're interested in balancing properly, you ought to have a look at this: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/pushups_face_pulls_and_shrugs

Also, swimming can be difficult on the shoulders. I don't know much about that though.


hastalles, thank you for that link, this is new information for me. I wish I would have known some of this a long time ago. I would probably only swim once or twice a week just to give my knees a break.


Happy to help!

You might have said and I missed it, but what are your goals?


My main goal is to add strength, with a secondary goal of adding lean mass. I don't really see the point in getting bigger without throwing up big weight. I'm not a marathon runner or anything, however I would also like to maintain my cardiovascular endurance and a decent level of conditioning.


I'll let somebody who knows better weigh in, but I think you might have a bit much variety in your plan. Most plans for beginners (someone who hasn't been training consistently for more than six months or so) have only a few basic "big" exercises that you're supposed to really focus on. I like Starting Strength as a beginner program. (I'm doing it right now) But since your shoulder is not so good, I'd be leary of it, since it has no real upper back work. StrongLifts 5x5 might be a good idea. Make the rows rhomboid dominant instead of lat dominant. If you row the bar to your chest instead of into your stomach, then you should be good. You could also supplement the program a little with some of the exercises out of that article I posted.


They both look like good plans. And like you said I could always supplement some exercise out of that article for my shoulder. My only concern would be the overhead presses and the volume of squats. I'm wondering if it would make sense to substitute a high incline bench press for the overhead presses. Also how much conditioning and what type would be better if I'm squatting 3 days a week?


I don't have enough experience to say if high incline bench pressing is a good alternative. But once you get your shoulder healthy, the overhead pressing might actually help keep it healthy. I used to have shoulder problems and I overhead press now. I think overhead pressing helps balance bench pressing. Here's another good article: ttp://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/in_defense_of_overhead_lifting

I'm finishing up Starting Strength right now and squatting three times a week doesn't give me much DOMS at all. Maybe it's because I'm only squatting 210 x 5 right now. Or because I'm 18.

I don't know much about conditioning. Somebody more experienced than me come help!