T Nation

Minor Landmark

I’ve been reading this site off and on for several months – I’ve even found myself posting now and then, which I hadn’t anticipated doing until I’d properly introduced myself and outlined my goals and training. This isn’t the post where I do that – not properly, anyway.

I do want to say this much, though: Last week I squatted 185 pounds (just over my bodyweight) for six disciplined, below-parallel-for-real reps.

I am in the process of coming back from several injuries (notably a torn-up knee, bad back, and badly impinged shoulder), exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle for the last half-decade-plus (I am 31. I was active – running, mountain-biking, climbing, swimming, playing pick-up ball – 'til I turned 25), work/school stress (many, many multiple all-nighters) and some difficult personal/family events.

I don’t mean to dwell on that here or to say I’ve got it harder than everyone else. I know I don’t. I merely want to note that six months ago I was suffering from frequent, wrenching back-spasms and couldn’t walk down a flight of stairs without wincing at the pain in my right knee.

Four months ago I was squatting 85 pounds, knees wandering wildly, to 30 degrees above parallel on my heaviest sets. Two months ago, 135 with okay form to almost-parallel. Now I break parallel on each rep and my form is “good” according to at least one ranked powerlifter. (I have asked people who know what they’re doing to check my form whenever I’ve had the opportunity. I know that my form isn’t perfect, but I also know I’m not clueless now, either.)

I’m still sporadic in my training, still not eating the greatest, and still in horrible cardiovascular shape, but the hardest thing now for me is working training back into my life – the training itself is a relief.

I still feel a mess – I still don’t feel my body is one whole, functioning piece – and while I’ve had luck with my knee and back, I’ve had little with my shoulder… but I’ll get into that later. For now it is good to feel that I’ve made some progress, and that I’m not a hopeless case as far as making more.

Incidentally, deadlifts make my back feel good.

Take care.

First of all, congrats on the landmark and hope you get better soon. If deads make your back feel good, then keep doing them.

I feel ya on the knee pain. I had ACL/MCL/PCL reconstruction in my right knee, and it was painful. The only way for it to get better is to be aggressive in your recovery. Walk stairs, do leg extensions, leg lifts, and single leg exercises. Also, running in water is good for your knee.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Good work man keep it up.

Phill

Thanks, both. I’ll post more about my actual routine later (I’m not just squatting and deadlifting – though I admit I’m still figuring things out), as well as post when there is progress of note.

I have been going back and reading lots of the articles on here, such as “18 Tips for Bulletproof Knees”, “The Joint Health Checklist”, “Shoulder Savers” and others. I’m doing some lateral-resistance/bandwork w/my knee as part of my warm-up, too, which seems to help.

What I like about squats and deads is that they help me feel like I’m “integrating” my body again. Doing them helps me feel like things are starting to work in concert again, instead of like a sack of parts connected by ligaments.

[quote]Feist wrote:
What I like about squats and deads is that they help me feel like I’m “integrating” my body again. Doing them helps me feel like things are starting to work in concert again, instead of like a sack of parts connected by ligaments.[/quote]

Pure Poetry my friend. Keep it up and great job.

I want to agree with Panik here… that was a very eloquent way of explaining what’s so great about squats and deads… I feel exactly the same way.

Keep up the good work, bro! I started out pretty similar to you, except I wasn’t active up til 25! In fact, from about 21 to 30 it was mostly beer, Taco Bell, and TV. Now that you’ve tasted a little success, I’ll bet you’re ready to set and crush some more goals. MOTOR ON!

Bob

[quote]Panik (akajbodzi wrote:
Feist wrote:
What I like about squats and deads is that they help me feel like I’m “integrating” my body again. Doing them helps me feel like things are starting to work in concert again, instead of like a sack of parts connected by ligaments.

Pure Poetry my friend. Keep it up and great job.[/quote]