T Nation

SS Sans Squats

I’ve been doing starting strength again for a few months now, but hurt my knee doing front squats ( http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_beginner/getting_front_squats_out_of_the_hole ).

It was getting better, but I pushed it too hard and ended up hurting it again, so I think it will be a while. I’m hoping I can start bodyweight squats in a couple days. It’s too bad too, because I was halfway through my third deload on back squats.

In any event, I can’t squat. I figure I’ll ride out SS for my OHP and Bench, since I’m on my last deload anyway (keep getting stuck at 160 OHP and 195 bench).

What sort of alterations should I make as a result? I’m finding that I’m not nearly as hungry, so I have cut back slightly on the eating, but I don’t really know what else I can do. Once I start BW squats, I figured I would start RDLs or good mornings, but I don’t want to make the same mistake and hurt my knee again. What else can I do?

I am confused… Are you doing the squats out of the bottom? HOW did you hurt your knee? WHY does your knee hurt? Body weight squats will absolutely not be the same thing as doing the loaded squats in this program.

Why are you not back squatting? Is it only front squatting that hurts your knee?

If this is the program you want to be on you simply must find a suitable replacement. The leg press, hack squat machine, Trap bar dead lift… Something that you can use Linear Progression on.

On top of this you are eating less? This sounds like a bad plan as well. Provided you are not getting fat, you should not be eating only when you are hungry. YOU DO NOT EAT WHEN YOU ARE HUNGRY, YOU EAT TO FUEL YOUR BODY NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES.

Sorry if I wasn’t clear above.

The BW squats aren’t to replace heavy squats. They’re just to rehab my knee and get used to moving it w/ out pain more than anything.

I am currently not doing any leg work because my knee hurts no matter what and I need to let it heal.

I am also not eating as much because my body does not need as much fuel, as I’m currently only doing bench or OHP, pullups/chinups, and abs in a session. The linear progression on bench/ohp will likely stop in a couple weeks.

I figure I don’t need to incorporate my weekly 2 days of rest, since I’m not squatting heavy, and this is always what killed me. I would focus on bringing the other leg up, but my left leg is stronger than my right as it is.

I’m not opposed to getting on another program until I can do legwork again, but for now, I’m riding out my linear gains on bench and OHP.


Lonnie’s first question was how you hurt your knee. You still didn’t answer that question.

Did you hurt it squatting? Or did Tanya Harding hire henchmen to hit you in the knee with a bat? Something else?

If you hurt it squatting you need to get healed up and figure out what’s going wrong. If you are squatting correctly you shouldn’t get any knee injuries.

I hurt my knee experimenting with front squat form out of the hole, as mentioned in the link of the original post (http://tnation.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_beginner/getting_front_squats_out_of_the_hole).

I then didn’t wait long enough for it to heal and hurt it again slightly doing hill sprints and then more seriously doing heavy back squats. The injury is not related to back squat form.

I am not opposed to altering my goal to fat loss from strength if not being able to squat will prevent any meaningful gains. I have plenty of fat to spare.

I had this happen recently. If you can, do things like RDL’s and lying hamstring curls for lower body, while working on mobility and flexibility. For me, even though I thought I had the correct form, my issue was form due to imbalances I had. You might not have the same problem obviously, but this would be a good time to be humble and really analyze your form, mobility, weaknesses, etc that may have lead to an injury.

For upper body I upped the volume and frequency. There’s no reason to limit your upper body work so much unless you have 1 hour a week for the gym.

I would focus on upper body and other healthy areas. 3 weeks ago i started doing pulldown 6 days weekly and i am growing ang getting stronger so you might try it. I had a shloulder issue so my upper body progress was lagging. Keeping about the same time of training there is no food intake to adjust. I keep my program allmost unchanged.
All the best !

I hate(d) squatting since I haven’t got a safety rack. So when I was on SS I did my own version of SS: I replaced all the squats by deadlifts and viceversa. So I was deadlifting 3x per week and squatting 1x per week. Which is possible, given that as a beginner I can’t deadlift dangerously heavy anyway. But I’m just a novice, so I haven’t really got a clue.

Like browndisaster said you could do RDLs. My suggestion would be stiff leg deadlifts if you have knee problems. Hamstring curls and calf raises too even… This should help with any concerns about your metabolism slowing.

Oh yeah… Forgot to mention farmers walks and sled drags. If you have tje equipment these can be pretty good for injured knees. It all depends on your situation and how these make you feel. Upside is they will provide you with some of what squats will have given you