I am 69 and have fairly severe osteoarthritis in both knees as diagnosed by at least 3 different orthopedists. I lift 3X weekly.
Every other workout I do the following routine for my legs:
Squat, fairly wide stance, go down about 2/3 of the way to parallel. 150X15, 220X15, 280X15
Dead lift just short of stiff legged. 135X12, 225X10.
I also do Nautilus adductor and abductor machines and single leg calf raises on a step while holding 40 lbs.
I don’t feel pain either while I do these or afterwards. However, my knees hurt while walking and sometimes in the middle of the night. This is the arthritis. I take Naproxen 250mg 2X daily, glucosamine/chondroitin/MSM, and other anti-inflammatory supplements such as Omega 3 oil, curcumin and ginger.
One doctor, a renowned knee specialist, told me to stop the squats and deadlifts because they were hastening the destruction of the cartilage I had left.
Another doctor, a general sports medicine orthopedist, said that since I wasn’t even going to parallel on the squat, I wasn’t hurting my knees, but that for my age I was lifting too heavy on both lifts. The explanation? was that as one ages one’s tissues dry up and become more prone to injury.
He said that I wouldn’t even get any warning of impending injury; it could just happen suddenly even though my form was good and I wasn’t going to failure, and even though I do extensive static stretching after every workout. (I also do stationary biking and elliptical machine 2-3X a week.)
I feel that the squats and deadlifts are of central importance to my weight training and find the idea of abandoning them very disturbing. I’m also not too eager to use less weight. I have worked hard to get my strength to this level.
What is your opinion?