T Nation

Knee Pain

Need some help fellas.
Just turned 35.
6’2, 265
I have been lifting really hard for the last 6 months and making some huge gains. During this time I have lost 25 pounds of fat. I’m shooting for 250. I have been lifting all my life. I’m a newbie to the site (outstanding by the way) but I’m not a newbie when it comes to pushing iron. My current work out:
Day 1: Chest, 5 different exercises, 5 sets, pyramids heavy.
30 minutes cardio, abs
Day 2: Bis and Tris, 5 different exercises, 5 sets, pyramids heavy.
30 minutes cardio, abs
Day 3: Shoulders, 5 different exercises, 5 sets, pyramids heavy.
Bay 4: Back, 5 different exercises, 5 sets, pyramids heavy.
30 minutes cardio, abs
Day 5: Rest day for upper body.
30 minutes cardio, abs.
Day 6: Repeat cycle.
I do cardio on a precorp elliptical and I do five sets of abs everyday, but they are different exercises for every day.
The problem is I have had 2 knee surgerys, both ACL tears on the same knee. The days of heavy leg exercises are over for me and I have accepted that. This is the reason that I cardio train on the elliptical, because there is less strain on my knees. You can see from the above workout that I only weight train with my uppper body only.
Any sugguestions with exercises that I could slowly work into without getting really heavy, and that would reduce stress on the knee? I have no knee pain right now.
I have asked doctors and others and had viewed different sites with no luck really other than don’t do it.
From reading some of the posts and replys on this site: you guys really know the complex science of buidling muscle and what it takes to get there. Be easy on the everyday new teenager with the stupid questions, they will only learn from their own experiences.
Any helped will work and thanks for your time.
One hell of a site with TONS of info. I have been viewing the site everyday since I joined. I only wished I would have come across this earlier.

honestly, i would shop around for a good physcial therapist to help with your training. with two ACL tears…that’s something you definately want an expert to help you with.

Maybe deadlifts would be OK? Or RDLs? Both great for glutes/hamstrings, but not hard on the knees (well, not my knees anyway).

I blew my ACL while palying for the junior national rugby team and I had an ACL repair on the right knee using fiber carbon ligaments.

Best method I used to build up the legs was in the swimming pool doing the following exercise progression;

1)I would put on a life vest and some old converse sneakers and go in and do front/rear scissor kicks, and sided to side scissor kicks.

  1. Once strength built up, I had a pair of special strap on shoe soles made that had 3 inch plates (one running down the middle of the sole to the heel, and another the bisected in the middle. I would strap these on and do the scissors exercises again.

  2. Once strength built up, I would strap on some ankle weights or iron shoe weights and do scissors again.

  3. Every other workout I would get in the pool and put on some scuba fins. I started by just doing lengths over and over again using a flutter board held out in front flat on the surface while swimming on my stomach, and held flat under my head while on my back.

  4. Once I built up strength I would strap on the scuba fins only this time I grabbed the ends of the flutter board and held it straight out in front of me under the water as if I was trying to push a giant squegee. I also held it this way under my neck when I was on my back.

  5. Once I built up strength this way, I used a spinal board they had at the pool doing the same exercise both front and back. When you get to doing this resistance, your legs will be incredibly strong.

Each training session in the pool I would do as many lengths as I could for 1 hour (30 minutes on front front and 30 minutes on back )

The best way I found to train the legs was in the water using the scuba fins doing the aforementioned exercises. It will strengthen all of your leg muscles, tendons, and ligaments while giving you a great anaroebic workout.

I was also strapped to a Russian EMS (Electro muscular stimulation) machine twice a week, and tortured myself using varying intensities and time durations. This also can help you develop some strength if you have access to one.

Another great tool that I used was a machine called a fitter, which I would balance on using one leg while moving front to back and side to side.

Hope this helps.

P.S. After doing this training, I have had no problems with full squats, deadlifts, running, etc.

Whatever you do, ease into it. Based on your upper body work out, you sound like you like to push hard. With your legs be careful and slow. First have a qualified PT check yoour ROM both passively and actively. Make sure your flexibility is appropriate. then make sure your supporting musculature is srtong enough…VMO’s hamstrings, etc. my guess is, if you go about it corretlty and pragmatically you’ll be able to do about anything.

How long ago did you have the surgery. I’ve torn both of my ACL’s and had both reconstructed using my own tendon.

My first one was 6 years ago in november, the second was 5 years ago next may. I shied away from heavy lifting for far too long and in the last year or so I’ve built my legs back up.

If your surgery was recent, find a good PT to help you get started, and from there just slowly work back into it. Just don’t rush it too quickly.

Thanks for you time. Will consider the therapist session.

Talked to a PT last night. I have a friend of a friend of a friends wife. I told her some of the basic exercises that I was considering:

A. Self squats 5 sets, 15

B. Leg extentions 5 sets, 15. 10 pounds

C. Kickbacks 5 sets of 15.

D. Hamstring extentions (bent over) 5 sets of 15, with just the 45 lb. bar.

This is a start. I did this today after working shoulders, with no pain. Every 2 weeks I will probably go up in reps by 5. After then and only then will I increase the weight. The only thing that will probably bother me in the future is the squats. I will probably get on the smith machine and just start with the bar then go up. This is a slow process but the PT said to increase the weight only after I increased the reps to get the ligament s and tendons strong again. My legs are big enough anyway.
Its pretty typical to go to a gym and see a woman doing those kick backs, but have any of you guys tried that machine? It will give your ass a major burn.
Thanks guys, will let you know about my progrss in about 3 months.