T Nation

So This Is What Being Old Feels Like!

I’m turning 41 in August and have been lifting seriously since 2013. I am 100% natty (and it shows) and my testosterone level was most recently tested at 270. My most recent PR’s are Squat 370 (belted), Bench 300x2, OHP 190, Deadlift 410. After my 370 squat I had some pretty intense pain on the outside of my right knee so I took a full week off where I continued to do LISS cardio and foam rolled. I was feeling good and my knee was not painful at all after that week off. This morning I went in to start my new 5/3/1 cycle with a goal of a 335x5 squat. Well, during my warmups with just the bar I felt a lot of pain in my quads at the bottom of the squat. It’s like my quads just tensed up and yelled at me. I continued to warm up with 135, 185, and 225. But the pain did not subside and I didn’t want to risk tearing something so for the first time since I can remember I just packed things up and went home. I didn’t have muscle pain in the quads the whole week so I’m wondering if the quad pain is tendinitis?

So here I am at home wondering if age has just caught up with me and it’s time to do machine circuits! Okay, I’m kidding there (sort of). But I am rethinking my goals and strategy in the gym. I don’t want to be in pain and gimpy all the time. I lift to enhance my life, not make it worse. I’m also 6ft1, 240lbs and 30% bodyfat so I know I should trim up a bit too. Any other 40+ lifters have advice? Maybe just do a serious reset with lighter weights? I have been lifting 4 days/week like this:

MON: Squat/rows
TUES: OHP, light bench
THURS: Deads, light squat
FRI: Bench, light OHP.

Any thoughts/advice is appreciated.

I’m only 32 but I think your suggestion to lower the TM is a good option. The PR set is the money set so if you feel that the heavier loads are beating you up then go lighter and do more reps. You might have to join those of us in the group of “if it hurts then don’t do it”.

I’ve been able to continue deadlifting heavy while doing no squats due to some nagging hip pain. I’m increasing my running workouts to make up for missing squats. Creativity and flexibility are the keys to long term success in the weight room.

You don’t have to back off on everything; perhaps a lower squat TM and using the 5’s (increased volume with lower intensity) progression will do the trick.

Good luck!

Love this by the way! It was a good reminder for me about why I train.

What are your goals vis a vis training? Do you want to compete in PLing? Do you simply want to get as strong as possible? Do you want to improve your physique? Or do you simply want to do certain movements in certain rep ranges because that’s what you enjoy?

I want to stay as strong as I can and I really enjoy working the basic compound movements. It is just a hobby though, no plans or desires to compete in anything. I just got back from a deep tissue massage, felt great. Just not sure what to do next. The weight felt light during my warmups, but the quad pain was enough to make me pack it up and go home. Maybe I’ll give it another go tomorrow and see how I feel. I just don’t want to take more time off, I’ve already been away from the weights for over a week now.

I think I might drop to two days a week and lower my TM:

  1. Squats 5/3/1
  2. OHP 5/3/1
  3. Pendlay Rows 3x5


  1. Deads 5/3/1
  2. Bench 5/3/1
  3. Light Squat (80% of Monday’s top set for 2-3x5)

One alternative that you could try is box squats. If you sit all the way back in a box squat, you might find it changes it enough to keep the pain out of your knees.

Just a suggestion from someone nearing the big 4-0 myself. I don’t think Wendler is a big fan of box squats, but I’m pretty sure he’d say that if the choice is between a box squat and no squat, box squats win.



I got a real good deep tissue massage today and when I got home I foam rolled my quads for the first time in forever. I almost fainted from the foam rolling pain! Maybe that’s a good sign because that means I found the problem and solution. I will just foam roll the crap out of my quads until the pain goes away and maybe then I will be able to squat again? Hell, worth a shot. In the meantime I might just skip squats altogether and just do Deads/OHP/Rows for a couple weeks or something while I foam roll the bejezzus out of my quads.

The pain isn’t in my knees, it’s in my quads.

Sorry. I must have misread or had my mind elsewhere.

Is the pain in your IT band or quads?
what kind of mobility stuff are you doing.

Im 45 and squat modestly I have to spend quite a bit of time at this age working up to being able to train.

I have a physical job that impairs my recovery quite allot.
so I have to take some steps to offset that.

It’s all in my quads. My left knee has been an issue too ever since I sprained it when I was a kid. I’m foam rolling and stretching. I also do LISS cardio for 30 mins a day (treadmill incline walk). I’m laying off the squats for now. I wanted to hit 405x1 but not if it means turning into a gimp. For now I’m sticking with OHP/CDL/BP/Rows. Age is definitley catching up to me but I’m trying to adapt to it instead of quitting the gym.

I honestly am too much of a sadist to give out sound advice on this thread.

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