T Nation

MR on PT


I'm on from 8-10 EST; shoot me any questions you might have!

Stay strong


Hi Mike,

I've been doing CW's Singles Club program, which is basically an upper/lower split with two heavy days (14-17 singles with a 3 RM) and two lighter days (3x18 with a 20 RM). I've worked up to 385 for my squat singles. Should I wrapping my knees with this much weight? I have no history of knee (or any other joint) injuries, but today my right knee was feeling a little painful after 8 or 9 singles of 385. I've never even used the things.


Hey Mike

finally got my mri- posted a topic aboot it on the knee pain thread. I would greatly appreciate your thoughts. If you want me to give you the info on this thread also, just say so. Thanks



I would try and figure out what is causing the pain, then address it.

I always wear knee sleeves when I squat, b/c they give a little compression, but keep the knees warm throughout the workout. I only use wraps when I'm around 90% or so of my max.

Stay strong


Will a neutral grip DB row work the scapular/"balance out tooooo much benching" muscles as well as doing barbell row?
It's time for me to change my horizontal row but I don't want to start having a shoulder imbalance again.


Yes, the main drawback is a decrease in load. However, you can make sure you are working each side independently, helping bring up side-to-side imbalances.

As well, EC made a great point in the fact that most people need to do more rowing than pressing indefinitely. With most of our postures the way they are, rowing is one of the things we can always do to help keep us injury-free!

Stay strong



I just have a quick question. I am recently experiencing severe forearm pain when I do any type of reverse curls.
I was curious if there is any type of exercise I can do or should do that can speed up recovery or prevent this once the pain subsides.


First off, if there's a certain exercise that's consistently causing problems, I wouldn't be doing that exercise.

There are several stretches you can do for the forearms, I'll see if I can't post a few later tonight. As well, massage/ART can usually be of benefit as well.

Stay strong


Mike, I have begun to notice that I have a pain right below my knee cap on my right legt, where the shin seems to start. It feels like a little bump that is sore to the touch, almost like a bruise would be. It doesn't bother me at all during normal activities, running, or any of my pc exercises. The only time that it seems to hurt is when I do movements that are squat based. Whenever I do movements such as squats or lunges I tend to get a sharp pain right in the area.

I am icing it during the day and after I workout as well as applying a hot pack to it before my leg workouts. Is there anything else that I should be doing either in the weightroom with exercises or stretches or at home with recovery techniques to help the problem?


Hey Mike,

I wanted to incorporate O-lifts to my regimen, but I'm not sure if I'm performing them correctly.

Are there any references or sites you can direct me to on how to perform these lifts?



All right, this may sound like a stupid question, but I'm Cream. Also, I can't imagine I'm the only person who has done this.

I sprained my ankle practicing the most underappreciated shots in basketball -- the full court sky hook and the full court alley-oop to the dunk (being strong is great, having basketball judgement would be better, hanging out with powerlifters who would compete at any goddamned thing is apparently dangerous).

Anyways, the pain is on the ventral side of the medial malleolus. It didn't really swell up when I did it in January, but it usually hurts AFTER I do any kind of hard plantarflexion (high pulls, occasional O lifts) and sometimes after heavy singles in deadlifts and box squats. Range of motion is full, pain isn't anything crazy just irritating.

My family doc said no more 800 pound calf raises for a while. My personal doctor of choice is my training partner -- he said stop being such a pussy. My chiropractor nodded sagely, and then cracked my back.

Any tips on rehab and then prehab? Is there anything active I can do or does it just take a long time to go away? Any time I hurt myself I try to learn what I can to make that area stronger than ever to avoid the injury again, but I am new to ankle destruction.





Are you running in your training as well? W/the location you describe, it sounds like some patellar tendinopathy. I know EC discussed the differences in one of his ACSM pieces, so you should check that out.

As well, the requisite stretching of the quads/hip flexors, and any soft tissue work available to you (ART, massage, foam roll) could help you out as well. For now, you might consider at least decreasing the volume of the irritating exercises until you get things under control. Good luck!

Stay strong


Find a certified Olympic weightlifting coach. Here's the web address for ya:


I believe they have a coach finder on here that can help you out.

Stay strong



You've lucked out, you are actually talking to THE MASTER of ankle destruction! I've rolled both ankles more times than I could ever hope to remember.

I would have someone versed in soft tissue work check out all the surrounding areas, e.g. the calves, tibialis anterior, peroneals, etc. Make sure there's no scar tissue built up, and if there is, get rid of it.

Next, focus on regaining proprioception around the joint. This is a great place to use wobble boards and such. Standing on one leg for time, Airex pads, etc. are great as well. Make sure you get both sides equal before moving on.

Finally, the best way I've found to strengthen the muscles around the ankle are via manual resistance. Just have a partner move your ankle in every imaginable direction while you resist.

Stay strong



This is more of a general question so I hope you don't mind.

  1. What attracted you to powerlifting versus olifting?

  2. How's the rehab going?

  3. What are your best lifts?

  4. Do you still like playing basketball at all and if you do has your powerlifting improved your court performance?



One other question that is PT related:

  1. Do you think that overhead squatting barefoot is good for ankle stability/strengthening/prehab? I've noticed that I feel my injured ankle (it hasn't been injured in about 1-2 years but it's still has slightly less rom than the other ankle) working hard when I do the overhead squats especially ass to grass barefoot. Thoughts?

  2. Also, do you think that increasing your max squat and deadlift will improve your vertical leap as much as the olifts?


Great questions! Your answers are below:

I love the Olympic lifts, but we didn't have an O-lifting team at BSU. I actually think I could've been better at those than powerlifting, simply because I have a lot of fast-twitch fibers (Dad was a collegiate thrower). However, all my goals and trainnig are based on powerlifting, so I can't wait to get back into heavy training and back on the platform.

Going really well, but I realize it's a long road back. Today was my first "leg" workout; consisted of glute walks, bridges, body weight squats, step-ups/downs, and some reverse hypers and abs. Once the swelling is gone, I'll get after it even more.

530 squat, 335 bench (blows), 535 pull.

I think I had more squat and pull strength in the last meet, just didn't come together quite like I wanted it to.

Ah, not much hooping going on anymore. However, when I was training with some Olympic lifts and squatting heavy, I was also jumping higher than ever before, with basically no jump training whatsoever. Makes me wonder what I could've done having ever put the two together? :wink:

Stay strong


Answers below:

If it works for you, then by all means use it. If you are simply looking to improve proprioception around the joint, you can always just try single-leg standing exercises and/or instable surfaces. They blow for performance training, but for rehab purposes they are great (I'm using them now in my rehab).

If you are an explosive person but need max strength (like I did), they will. If you are already slower than snot, you need to focus on improving your SSC capabilities instead. This just totally depends on the lifter you are working with.

Stay strong


Thanks for your answers Mike.

  1. That's really interesting about the olifts.

  2. I feel you man. I partially tore a pec tendon while benching when I first began lifting. It is a long, sucky road ahead but you'll get back to where you were and then some more I'm sure especially with your knowledge. So it looks like most of your rehab right now is geared towards: regaining rom, motor control and flushing the area w/lots of blood w/high rep stuff? Is that the thinking? I'm getting my general ed taken care of now, but I'd like to pursue Physical therapy and performance enhancement.

  3. Those are GREAT lifts! So Eric Cressey only pulls a little bit more than you?

  4. It's amazing what weight training can do. Sometimes I grab a 45 lb dumbbell when I'm done working out and jump up and touch the ceiling which is about 9 1/2 feet to 10 feet tall (w/no running start) just for fun like Dan John talked about.

  5. As a former hoopster, I'm assuming you are very competitive, so don't you miss bangin' around under the boards trying to get a rebound, etc just basically going against other in shape athletes besides competing on a lifting platform?


  1. Thanks. Yes, I do pistols (one leg squats) occasionally for fun.

  2. That makes a lot of sense and I think I'm already fairly explosive. However, I'm really focusing on increasing my power snatch, my overhead squat, and dumbbell clean and press.

Thanks a lot Mike. You are a nice guy. Sometimes w/all of this testosterone flyin around here, politeness is forgotten. Forgive my rant, but I'm a Southern Military man:)

Good luck on the rehab and hang in there.