Thanks for all the input, guys.
The pain is right underneath my patella, i.e. if you were to remove the kneecap like taking a lid off a jar, the pain would be located right underneath the lid.
Let me try my pseudo-A/P speak. It is not distal to the patella. It is medial (towards the center?). So I never made it to vet school.
Anyhow. It started last Monday. The prior two weeks had been actually quite motivating in that my back felt great and I was moving back up in weight after a tax-season long layoff from going heavy.
I had been up to 325 for 5X3. But Monday, I went back down to 255 to start CW’s QD program. The third set was when I felt the pain. It was more than just a creaky-knee, or a sore knee. It felt like there was a knife blade laying across my knee, and from about parallel to just short of lock out - the knife was stabbing my knee.
The next day was 2X25 - so I only put 135 on the bar after a painless warmup set using only the bar. I got to about the 12th or 13th rep on the first set before I had to holler calf-rope, and rack tthe bar. Same pain. Same location. Same ROM.
Saturday was 6X3 power reps using 18RM. I was doing power lunges with only 115lbs. First rep out of the box, and I racked the weight. Pain was more intense - seemed to be more concentrated in the lower half of the knee cap.
What botheres me is that doing BW squats, or minimal weight - there is no pain. There is no pain when I walk, or sit. Only when I have the bar loaded with weight.
And this was supposed to be “The Summer of Squat”.