T Nation

Older Beginner Aches and Pains

I’m 34 years old started working out to lose a little weight … was 6’2 245 now down to like 6’2 230… still 25% body fat so pretty out of shape, but i’ve lost the double chin and got my energy back. I started out using just like elliptical and machines for weights, did that for like a month and a half and then switched to light free weights for the last month because the machines just werent cutting it anymore for me.

My big problem is that i’m like a hank hill … u know tall skinny legs but still got a little gut… I can easily hurt my knees, shoulders, back, whatever. I always take it easy, never maxing maybe like

125 bench press 10x, 85 lbs on squat 10x… just working on form. I never feel pain during working out but i always dread the next day thinking ‘will my tendinitis come back, or did i pull something yesterday and not know it’

Sure enough i wake up this morning and my left back is a little sore… in the middle… near the rib cage. Dont really know what caused it. It’s not the good sore its the if i twist this way it twinges kinda sore. Like you got a stiff neck cuz u slept on it funny.

Nothing serious but could easily become something serious if i worked out again. But as a precaution these strains basically put me out of commission for 3-4 days, until i have pain-free full range of motion. And no, its not DOMs… i know what feels like.

I read these forums and its all a bunch of supermen squatting 500 lbs and never having any problems.

Is there any advice out there for the guys who creak, twinge, strain, pinch, etc just by getting to the gym? I usually warm up and lift fairly light. I like my initial results and dont want to give up altogether but i think i speak for the silent majority out there who always give up when this kind of stuff happens.

Go see a doctor? Well the doctor always just tells you stop working out its too dangerous. That’s the safest bet, of course, they cant get sued for telling someone to just take it easy as you balloon up into a lethargic diabetic 10 years down the road.

[quote]samfarkus wrote:
I’m 34 years old started working out to lose a little weight … was 6’2 245 now down to like 6’2 230… still 25% body fat so pretty out of shape, but i’ve lost the double chin and got my energy back. I started out using just like elliptical and machines for weights, did that for like a month and a half and then switched to light free weights for the last month because the machines just werent cutting it anymore for me.

My big problem is that i’m like a hank hill … u know tall skinny legs but still got a little gut… I can easily hurt my knees, shoulders, back, whatever. I always take it easy, never maxing maybe like

125 bench press 10x, 85 lbs on squat 10x… just working on form. I never feel pain during working out but i always dread the next day thinking ‘will my tendinitis come back, or did i pull something yesterday and not know it’

Sure enough i wake up this morning and my left back is a little sore… in the middle… near the rib cage. Dont really know what caused it. It’s not the good sore its the if i twist this way it twinges kinda sore. Like you got a stiff neck cuz u slept on it funny. Nothing serious but could easily become something serious if i worked out again. But as a precaution these strains basically put me out of commission for 3-4 days, until i have pain-free full range of motion. And no, its not DOMs… i know what feels like.

I read these forums and its all a bunch of supermen suqatting 500 lbs and never having any problems. Is there any advice out there for the guys who creak, twinge, strain, pinch, etc just by getting to the gym? I usually warm up and lift fairly light. I like my initial results and dont want to give up altogether but i think i speak for the silent majority out there who always give up when this kind of stuff happens.

Go see a doctor? Well the doctor always just tells you stop working out its too dangerous. That’s the safest bet, of course, they cant get sued for telling someone to just take it easy as you balloon up into a lethargic diabetic 10 years down the road.

[/quote]

this may sound wierd to you non powerlifters out there. but if you have problems back squatting try a box out. I’m lifting with a totally new guy and it’s doing great for his cofidence under the bar to have a box beneath him. Not that you shouldn’t normal backsquat. Also try front squats. THey may or may not be for you, pick a variation but don’t only do that variation for months. for ever pressing excersize you want a corresponding pull.

for bench:bent over row
overhead press: chinup

something along those lines. Don’t skip deadlifts because of the stigma associated with them. Done correctly, tehy will strengthen your back, legs, and abs. Lastly. eat a good diet with plenty of protien, and pick a routine here that has planned progression inclolved. IE: 5x5 madcows/stronglifts, rippetoes.

ill definitely take the advice in trying to do push/pull pairs… I dont quite understand why thats important but im interested #1 in the injury prevention. These minor strains and pinches and crimps that take u out for 3-4 days eventually wear down your body and take you out just as sure as a big injury will.

I think some people are just more cut out for weightlifting than others.

[quote]samfarkus wrote:
ill definitely take the advice in trying to do push/pull pairs… I dont quite understand why thats important but im interested #1 in the injury prevention. These minor strains and pinches and crimps that take u out for 3-4 days eventually wear down your body and take you out just as sure as a big injury will.

I think some people are just more cut out for weightlifting than others.[/quote]

that may be, I’d just start with a lower workload and increase it when you think your ready. If you have a real concern get it checked out by someone who knows what they are talking about. Your average run of the mill doctor will just tell you lifting is bad.

I addition to what zephead said, I would recommend doing some mobility work. I like Cressey’s Magnificent Mobility myself.

[quote]samfarkus wrote:
ill definitely take the advice in trying to do push/pull pairs… I dont quite understand why thats important but im interested #1 in the injury prevention.[/quote]
Pus/pull pairs help make sure that your opposing muscle groups develop at the same speed. Otherwise you could end up with posture problems, and the stronger muscles could end up stretching the weaker ones, which can lead to big problems in the future.

Yeah i thought light cardio + some stretching was good enough. Guess I was wrong. It turns out i have a lat strain on the left side. There was no ‘oh shit’ moment… it just happened. Alot of exercises hit the lats and i was doing too many in one day without realizing there was too much overlap on that particular muscle. It’s not really painful and should be better in a few days… just would like to avoid these little pitfalls.

I clicked on that link and got a big ad but really didnt see exactly what the mobiility stuff does. Cuz to be honest stretching never helped much for me… the cardio warmup seems to be alot better… but not perfect. In my opinion this is the kind of stuff that would help a beginner more than anything… i assume its some wierd ass yoda exercises or something that i’d be afraid to do in the gym for fear of looking like a freaktard. I wanna get in shape but i dont wanna dance around like a ballerina doing crouching tiger hidden dragon yoda moves.

Try this list of exercises.
www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

It may be that you have to play around exercise selection. I know what you’re talking about. It seems that some body parts just don’t seem to recover before you hit it again. There are a lot of little stabalizer muscles that come into play when you don’t expect them. You need to design your program so that you train everything but don’t keep hitting the same little muscle every time.

I hope you are using free weights as much as possible.

I’d like to continue in this discussion but I’ve getting ready to go to work.

Stu

[quote]samfarkus wrote:
I clicked on that link and got a big ad but really didnt see exactly what the mobiility stuff does. Cuz to be honest stretching never helped much for me… the cardio warmup seems to be alot better… but not perfect. In my opinion this is the kind of stuff that would help a beginner more than anything… i assume its some wierd ass yoda exercises or something that i’d be afraid to do in the gym for fear of looking like a freaktard. I wanna get in shape but i dont wanna dance around like a ballerina doing crouching tiger hidden dragon yoda moves.[/quote]

I don’t think you have to worry about looking like a freaktard, as long as you stay off the bosu balls and don’t do curls in the squat rack. A good set of mobility drills will help you stabilize certain joints, like the lumbar spine, and teach your body to flex at the proper joints, like the hip, and ankle. It does this by helping your muscles learn how to fire properly.

For example, doing supine bridges will help you get your glutes firing. I know that Cressey also throws in some dynamic stretching( which is what you want to be doing, static stretching before lifting can be counterproductive) and some spinal flossing movements, which will help your lower back feel much better. You might want to check out http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=459846 for some of the lat stretching exercises.

[quote]samfarkus wrote:

I clicked on that link and got a big ad but really didnt see exactly what the mobiility stuff does. Cuz to be honest stretching never helped much for me…
[/quote]

Mobility complexes for warming up are probably THE best thing to do to keep yourself from getting hurt. If you don’t understand how these help you then you REALLY need to start reading articles on this site.

Reading through that stuff I’m pretty sure my problem is weak glutes/hips, which in turn throws the entire rest of my body out of proportion “anterior pelvic tilt”. Hank Hill/skinny white man + gut syndrome. This is where you have the really high waist/hip ratio like 0.99. When I do squats my huge quads do 100% of the work and it doesnt do me much good, except my already large quads get even larger and more dominant while my ass is sucked inward turning into a negative ass. If I try to go deep my body knows my scrawny butt/hips cant handle it so it locks me up and i cant go down too low. My balance also just plain SUCKS, preventing anything too fancy.

The exercises i see like one leg supine bridge and bench leg kicks etc never do anything for me either, because either my lower back muscles just take over and do the work easily or in the really glute-specific exercises my glutes can easily move my scrawny leg and its not much of a workout at all. I mean I used to walking around as a 250 lbs fat ass so yes that fat ass can move one skinny hank hill leg thru the air easily, no matter how many reps u force it to do, especially now that ive lost weight. I’m out of shape yes, but I still have a lot of natural strength from just being big so doing little woman exercises isnt going to do anything for me. Bottom line i think all the big muscles are above body-weight strength but some of them are way stronger than others, on top of that because of bad body mechanics i probably have alot of little muscles which never get used and have 0 strength. Really I’m an injury waiting to happen if I try to really exert myself.

[quote]samfarkus wrote:
Reading through that stuff I’m pretty sure my problem is weak glutes/hips, which in turn throws the entire rest of my body out of proportion “anterior pelvic tilt”. Hank Hill/skinny white man + gut syndrome. This is where you have the really high waist/hip ratio like 0.99. When I do squats my huge quads do 100% of the work and it doesnt do me much good, except my already large quads get even larger and more dominant while my ass is sucked inward turning into a negative ass. If I try to go deep my body knows my scrawny butt/hips cant handle it so it locks me up and i cant go down too low. My balance also just plain SUCKS, preventing anything too fancy.

The exercises i see like one leg supine bridge and bench leg kicks etc never do anything for me either, because either my lower back muscles just take over and do the work easily or in the really glute-specific exercises my glutes can easily move my scrawny leg and its not much of a workout at all. [/quote]

The point of mobility work is to fix those issues. Doing a supine bridge or a birddog might not give you a huge boost of strength, but they will help your ankle and hip mobility(which is likely the reason your body panics on the deep squats, not the lack butt/hip strength, try holding just the bar straight overhead and squatting, if you tip forward its a mobility issue, not a strength one), and more importantly, they will help build some muscle memory and teach your glutes to fire properly.

Also, here are some articles that might help you with building some strength in those muscles.
http://www.T-Nation.com/article/performance_training/hips_dont_lie_fixing_your_force_couples&cr=


20 minutes of mobility work before your main exercise will do wonders for you. All your other lifts will improve over time if you get your issues sorted out.

[quote]samfarkus wrote:
I’m 34 years old started working out to lose a little weight … was 6’2 245 now down to like 6’2 230… still 25% body fat so pretty out of shape, but i’ve lost the double chin and got my energy back. I started out using just like elliptical and machines for weights, did that for like a month and a half and then switched to light free weights for the last month because the machines just werent cutting it anymore for me.

My big problem is that i’m like a hank hill … u know tall skinny legs but still got a little gut… I can easily hurt my knees, shoulders, back, whatever. I always take it easy, never maxing maybe like

125 bench press 10x, 85 lbs on squat 10x… just working on form. I never feel pain during working out but i always dread the next day thinking ‘will my tendinitis come back, or did i pull something yesterday and not know it’

Sure enough i wake up this morning and my left back is a little sore… in the middle… near the rib cage. Dont really know what caused it. It’s not the good sore its the if i twist this way it twinges kinda sore. Like you got a stiff neck cuz u slept on it funny.

Nothing serious but could easily become something serious if i worked out again. But as a precaution these strains basically put me out of commission for 3-4 days, until i have pain-free full range of motion. And no, its not DOMs… i know what feels like.

I read these forums and its all a bunch of supermen squatting 500 lbs and never having any problems.

Is there any advice out there for the guys who creak, twinge, strain, pinch, etc just by getting to the gym? I usually warm up and lift fairly light. I like my initial results and dont want to give up altogether but i think i speak for the silent majority out there who always give up when this kind of stuff happens.

Go see a doctor? Well the doctor always just tells you stop working out its too dangerous. That’s the safest bet, of course, they cant get sued for telling someone to just take it easy as you balloon up into a lethargic diabetic 10 years down the road.

[/quote]

At the beginning there are a lot of tendon and ligament adjustments as your body gets used to the loading. You muscles adjust more rapidly than the tendons. If you are conservative at the beginning, these will go away after a pretty short period. I always get these after a long layoff (15 years one time), but they have always gone away after my body got used to the idea I was going to work it.

Also, lifting even lighter (30-50% of max) on the off days for high reps can push more blood into the tendons and speed recovery/growth of those structures.

Thanks for the advice guys… #1 that muscle strain has gone away i guess it was just doms in a place i never had doms in the lats before so didnt know.

#2 the mobility exercises really helped alot. I didnt think they were doing anything but sure enough today i squat down and i could touch my elbows to my knees (no bar just body weight)… i never even used to get close to that low. Also for the first time i felt myself not tilting forward… actually tilted a little back once (i didnt even know this was possible). Also my knees didnt hurt when i did this… i looked more like a real sumo rather than a lurch. Before my hips were permaclenched and i was not swivelling through the hips before at all. I thought having hips permaclenched was just normal. I have always had a strong back and abs so I could compensate but if i had continued on with this bad form i would have definitely destroyed my back if i tried heavy weight

I ate alot of bad carbs last week and sure enough my weight started shooting right back up… Really when you are 34 you have to be perfect or you body will instantly revolt against you. So back to low carb.

Good to hear about the increase in ROM. As you start to see more and more progress you will become addicted to this.

Just think that in a few months you will be squatting with massive amounts of weights on the bar IF you keep busting your ass to improve.