T Nation

Don't Call it a Comeback


Alright, I'm new to these boards and have really never participated in Internet discussions before, so here goes: I'm the ripe old age of 34. When I was in college, I trained with some of the best power lifters in North Carolina. I was a drug free lifter and had a bench of about 325. Problem is/was even back then I was injury proned--dealt with chronic shoulder pain.

Joined the army in my early 20's and got punted on a medical (told you I was injury prone). But, I met a buddy that introduced me to the concept of functional strength. I moved to dc about nine years ago and took up Olympic style lifting. Tried that for a couple years, but started to get bulging discs in my low back and decided to move on.

Was in the cross fit church for a little while, but moved away from my gym and actually took up boxing. I gave up resistance training all together for about four years, but started swinging kettlebellsport around. Of course I developed back spasms and a rotator cuff issue.

So my question is this, I would like to start doing some resistance training again. I'd like to put on a little strength/size. Given my injury history and the fact my knees, shoulders and low back aren't the greatest, I was hoping to get some ideas on program ideas-training methods I can use to get back in the gym, but not take myself out of the fight for too long with yet another injury.

I've started farting around with some machines at my gym, but am a little reticent to doing the free weight compound movements (bench, squat, dead lift)...at least right now.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


John Meadows is a well-known online bodybuilder and trainer with a prominent presence here on T-Nation. His method of workout programming is very joint/tendon-friendly. He has written a number of training articles for this site; you can find them with the Search function. He also has his own sub-forum in the Training section. Definitely worth checking out. Good luck.


What ED said, Meadows is joint friendly but that doesn’t mean its easy. What little direct arm work I do is based on Meadows work.


Do you have a congenital back issue or is it just injury prone? Good to verify first if you are getting an online program, as he can’t see you and the information would help him make sure you have a safe program.