First time poster and hoping to get some advice regarding training 531 with “ageing” knees.
As a bit of background, I have been training seriously (to stay in shape / build strength) for around 10 years or so now which includes lots of reading and learning within the gym and progressed from programs such as Starting Strength onwards.
I have Trained mainly using 531 (with odd venture to other programs) for a number of years now attempting the various assistance templates (mainly BBB) and would like to thank Jim for the work as this is the only program I find I can consistently use without the risk of getting bored / un-motivated from time to time.
However I have suffered with bad knees throughout this period and since a young age generally caused through Soccer (Football to us from UK!) and a lot of road running when I was younger (big regret). Following an MRI Scan and subsequent visits to Doctor / Surgeon it was determined that due to patella mal-tracking I have worn away the majority of the cartilage at the back of my knee cap through arthritis caused by this and was informed that MRI images resembled a 65 Year old! (Im 30 BTW). I was advised to stop anything that aggravated the condition which meant an end to soccer and to quote the doctor “Heavy Lifting” or risk a “knee replacement by the time I’m 40”.
Despite this I have always found that squatting and deadlifting to strengthen around the knees has always helped me, so I continued to lift heavy for a couple of years. However recently I have had to dial back the amount of heavy lifting due to pain developing slightly in knees.
I have combated this with the usual supplements and now use wraps on my knees to try and improve the patella tracking by wrapping knee cap into correct position. This has all helped but Im beginning to struggle to Lift as regular due to niggling pain.
To combat this I was trying to come up with a more knee friendly option that would still allow me to work the muscles and maintain the 531 philosophy, which I did (looked a lot like the building the monolith template with less volume). Then Jim has released the Building the Monolith Template which I really like the look of and would like to give a go generally as written as I can see it achieving results and will re-motivate me following holiday season.
Finally to my question…
With regard to the Building the Monolith template, would it work were I to substitute the Squats for Box Squats (generally to Bench Height as I work out in garage with only basic Power Rack, Barbell, Kettle bells etc.) with the exception of the 20 Rep squats which I would be able to do as full squats do to the reduced loads and because knees are warm by that stage. I always find 20 Rep squats seem to work wonders for me so eager to keep them in.
And also substitute the Deadlifts with Stiff-Leg-Deadlifts?
(Deadlifts never used to cause me any problems, but recently have done so could potentially do a cycle with deads followed by a cycle with SLDL?)
Or does anyone recommend any other main lift substitutions that may be more knee friendly but still work within the template? Bearing in mind limited equipment.
Apologies for length of post!
Thanks in advance