T Nation

So How Does Your Body Really Feel?

I am just curious as to how some of the members who have a lot of years under the bar are feeling this day and age?

Reason I ask is I am in my mid twenties, and I have some minor, but nagging injuries. Most likely a cartilage issue in my left knee. Bothers me with some exercises. But I can still do any exercise I want after I am warmed up.

Tweaked my lower back a few years ago, stiffness is pretty common, but doesn’t get irritated really during lifting.

Most recently my ankle is acting up, I have blown it out a few times playing sports and soreness is starting to become pretty common.

For the most part I warm up well, use good biomechanics, and don’t ego lift too much. I feel like these are injuries I will probably just have to put up with.

Have a lot guys had nagging injuries when they were younger turn into problematic, major injuries when they got older? Are these just things that you have to deal with when you lift hard for a number years and push yourself? Or are there some big guys, who have spent years under the bar, without nagging injuries and their bodies feel great?

interesting question. With my left shoulder bothering me from about 8 months I’m interested what other folks here thinks

I just turned twenty and my knees are sore after every leg day.

…but by the same token, I play basketball daily, go really heavy, don’t take my fish oil like I’m supposed to, don’t stretch, and don’t foam roll, etc.

I feel like if we did things we were supposed to (or at least if I did things I was supposed to) like properly warming up, stretching, deep tissue massages every now and then, ice baths every now and then, we’d feel brand new. And I’m sure that if we want to walk when we’re 40, it’s gonna become a necessity at some point

Not a bad question.

Personally I have no nagging injuries and never had anything serious, except for some muscle strains here and there. And I train rather heavy.

However, because I beat myself up in the gym all the time, I don’t really feel “great” outside of the gym. Towards the end of the training week I feel especially broken down.

At my age, pain is so ever-present, I almost don’t notice it… unless it impedes my performance in simple tasks. Pain creeps up on me as the weights get heavier during a weeks-long training cycle. I often don’t notice it much until it reaches a critical point and almost cripples me suddenly. Chronic tendinitis in my knees, as well as a nasty stabbing pain in my shoulder.

Look great, feel shitty is my motto.

I’m 39, and have been training almost 20 years now. Aside from a back injury in '07 doing some Strongman stuff, I’ve been pretty lucky in that all of my little aches and pains were never really larger issues. Sure I’d wake up sometimes feeling certain workouts from the day before more in my joints than in my muscles, but time, and being smart about assessing my progress enabled me to work around that type of stuation more often than not.

Even with my current shoulder issue (labrum surgery 5 weeks ago). I didn’t really have shoulder problems over the years. There was a bit of scar tissue by my other shoulder, but we’re going back to when I threw discus in high school, and that never caused any problems aside from some strange clicking.

Something I would always notice though, when I would take a few days off from training, was that I felt more aches and pains than I routinely did when I was training on a daily basis. I guess I really do need to keep the muscles strong in order to hold myself together. This is something I’ve heard quite often from PTs when they talk down to Chiropractors -lol.

All in all though, I’ve held together pretty well. If I hadn’t had that one odd moment removing a shirt that was a bit too tight back in July (which finally snapped something), I wouldn’t have even suspected I had a shoulder problem. I credit a lot of my being as competitive as I have been at an ‘older’ age to smart training, good diet, and intelligent supplementation. It’s never just as easy as “just lift heavy things and eat a lot” if you want real longevity in the sport.

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I’m 39, and have been training almost 20 years now. Aside from a back injury in '07 doing some Strongman stuff, I’ve been pretty lucky in that all of my little aches and pains were never really larger issues. Sure I’d wake up sometimes feeling certain workouts from the day before more in my joints than in my muscles, but time, and being smart about assessing my progress enabled me to work around that type of stuation more often than not.

Even with my current shoulder issue (labrum surgery 5 weeks ago). I didn’t really have shoulder problems over the years. There was a bit of scar tissue by my other shoulder, but we’re going back to when I threw discus in high school, and that never caused any problems aside from some strange clicking.

Something I would always notice though, when I would take a few days off from training, was that I felt more aches and pains than I routinely did when I was training on a daily basis. I guess I really do need to keep the muscles strong in order to hold myself together. This is something I’ve heard quite often from PTs when they talk down to Chiropractors -lol.

All in all though, I’ve held together pretty well. If I hadn’t had that one odd moment removing a shirt that was a bit too tight back in July (which finally snapped something), I wouldn’t have even suspected I had a shoulder problem. I credit a lot of my being as competitive as I have been at an ‘older’ age to smart training, good diet, and intelligent supplementation. It’s never just as easy as “just lift heavy things and eat a lot” if you want real longevity in the sport.

S[/quote]

Serves you right for stealing Iron Dwarfs shirt.

For shame…

Definitely have aches and pains, but honestly, they don’t seem to be nearly as bad as the problems my couch potato friends have.

People talk about back injuries and squats are bad for your knees, when most of the lazy people I know are throwing out their backs in mundane tasks, and tearing up their knees walking down a flight of stairs.

I started out with back issues, and I believe I have less pain than I would have without training.

My mid late twenties was when injuries started to stick around and nag. I played basketball every day squatted 10x10, benched 10x10 4 days a week, rode my bike everywhere and ran a few days a week. Thursday I drank coors light at hooters til I all sports was off, Friday was a 750 ml VSOP, Saturday was Vodka and Red bull until about 5 am, Grey Papaya hot dogs then 7:30 am I’m playing bb with the old heads.

I say all this to say that their was a reason for my injuries. Early last year around 33 I started to care about my body a little more and have been feeling better every since.

I’m 42, soon to be 43, and honestly there are days when I do feel “beat up”. I think it’s hard to make real lasting progress without some minor injuries along the way. But those injuries are also part of what helped me progress. As I moved into my 30’s, it really hit me that I needed to train smarter, not just rest when I got injured and then start doing the same thing over again.

Talk to guys who have been doing this day in and day out for 15-20 years and usually they are experts in knowing how their body responds to certain movements. There is little if any wasted effort by these guys. If you want to keep moving forward, start paying attention early to things like joint health. Sure you’ll get some laughs from the 20 year old bros, but you’ll still be lifting when they’re long gone.

Some good responses so far. I’ve had a few people tell me that I am going to be a wreck if I want to keep lifting hard as I get older. But as a few have alluded to, people that are sedentary seem to end up with just as many aches and pains, only difference is they look like crap lol.

I will be 50 on my next birthday and have been training for 26 years. I have competed mostly in powerlifting but have occasionally contested as a cyclist, runner, strongman, and bobybuilder. My peak years were from 30-38, today I couldn’t even stand in the shadow of the lifter I was then. I hurt here and there depending on what I am doing or have done, but as has been mentioned IMO I hurt more when I am idle than active. It has also been mentioned that many people that were never ‘fitness directed’ are in worse shape both from a health and function standpoint.

Something I was told many years ago seems to apply here: We all end up at the Doctor, the only thing you’re deciding is whether it’s going to be the orthopedic or the cardiologist!

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
I will be 50 on my next birthday and have been training for 26 years. I have competed mostly in powerlifting but have occasionally contested as a cyclist, runner, strongman, and bobybuilder. My peak years were from 30-38, today I couldn’t even stand in the shadow of the lifter I was then. I hurt here and there depending on what I am doing or have done, but as has been mentioned IMO I hurt more when I am idle than active. It has also been mentioned that many people that were never ‘fitness directed’ are in worse shape both from a health and function standpoint.

Something I was told many years ago seems to apply here: We all end up at the Doctor, the only thing you’re deciding is whether it’s going to be the orthopedic or the cardiologist! [/quote]
that’s inspiring, I’ve seen some of your squat videos and you’re leagues stronger than 99% of people at my gym.

[quote]schanz_05 wrote:
Some good responses so far. I’ve had a few people tell me that I am going to be a wreck if I want to keep lifting hard as I get older. But as a few have alluded to, people that are sedentary seem to end up with just as many aches and pains, only difference is they look like crap lol.

[/quote]

If you mix pump training with heavy you will go much father without wrecking your body. Also pay attention to how the body should move and when you think you know it tell yourself you don’t. The better your movements the less likely you’ll get hurt. Look at Dave Tate now, he probably feels 10x better then the average day 5 years ago, but is still pushing weight and changing his body. I look at being sedentary as the opposite end of the spectrum so yes you will have aches, find the middle ground and it’s smooth sailing.

“If I could go back 30 yrs ago with what I know now” I have trained consistently for 30+ years. I would have trained a lot differently than I did.

I would:

  1. I would follow Wendlers 531. Understanding that there is a philosophy that you can be strong enough and
    pushing it will not help your growth, but get you hurt.
  2. Assistance movements
    a. Always controlled.
    b. Always go for the “feel”.
    c. Use higher reps 10-15.
    d. Short rest periods.
    e. Never train to failure.
  3. Start shoulder rehab movements “shoulder horn,broomstick stretches, YTWL” before I needed them.
  4. Always do more rows than I think I need.
  5. Do not do movements that compromise my joints in any way, like guillotine press, Behing the neck" ____".
  6. No the difference between DOMS and injury.
  7. Never ignore “nagging” pains, they will turn into a chronic injury that WILL limit your training.
  8. Read and educate yourself, sources should be credible,ex. T-Nation authors.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
I’m 39, and have been training almost 20 years now. Aside from a back injury in '07 doing some Strongman stuff, I’ve been pretty lucky in that all of my little aches and pains were never really larger issues. Sure I’d wake up sometimes feeling certain workouts from the day before more in my joints than in my muscles, but time, and being smart about assessing my progress enabled me to work around that type of [u]stuation[/u] more often than not.

S[/quote]

I see what you did there

I’m 30, and now starting to understand why people say “train smart”.

I think taking a deload week the week before you think you need one, would be my advice to a 20 year old me. Saying that, I wouldn’t of listened to myself.

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Interesting question that I was recently wondering about my aches. Most of the older folks that I know that got injuries from playing sports when they were younger and are hurt now are that way because they just ignored the pain and kept doing what they were doing. It’s funny because I’m 23 now, I’m getting little aches and pains here and there but nothing major. I always wonder how long will I be able to keep this up. But from the sound of it, a lot of you more experienced folks are still at it, so why not me?

26… maybe 10 years of lifting.

Left elbow, when i do push ups my left elbow sounds like someones throwing rocks into a wood chipper.
Left knee
Right wrist.

First thing that came to my mind good shoes(for you) about knee problem.
Second thing same about ankle problem. See an expert.
Next 5 things TRAIN SMART.
I got that from my nephew, from 18 to 28 he added 40 pounds of muscles to his 5 9 frame never bulking, never injured. He laughs about macho guys training hard.
Also mentioned previously…

Use higher reps 10-15.
d. Short rest periods.
e. Never train to failure

All the best !