I'm feeling hurt up.

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jackthestrat
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I'm feeling hurt up.

Post by jackthestrat » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:25 am

Please forgive this post, I'm going to sound like a true noob (which I am) so I hope you guys don't mind.

Lately I have been not feeling 100% around my workouts. Various aches and pains. I'm a couple months in to my training schedule and I'm worried I've upped my weights too far, too fast.

Currently I do an AXBXAX / BXAXBX split

A:
Squat
Bench
Deadlift

B:
Squat
OHP
Chins

I have added 150lbs+ to my squat, 200+ to my deads, ~50 to my OHP, ~40 to my bench since I started in October (I started very light specifically to avoid injury and ego) and maintained the SS weight progression guidelines, but I didn't really have a point where my lifts "slow down" by which to judge lessening the weight jumps. I've been kind of fumbling my way through things. I work with a spotter who is also new to the SS thing and hasn't lifted since his 30's (he is now pushing 70). I don't "own" the SS book, I'm getting it as a present for Christmas and I borrowed it for 3 weeks or so from the Library so I could devour it.

I've got this nagging pain in my shoulder/neck, under my shoulder blades, that makes it difficult to turn my head to the left or right. I think that Chinups or my OHP is causing this as it is aggravated after those lifting days. I think it is most likely Chinups, as I have had a couple specific incidents where immediately after, it flares up hardcore.

I've got nagging lower back pain, and I'm not sure if it is just due to general fatigue from my workouts or if it is an actually injury due to something I am doing with my form. It's just a vague uncomfortableness.

I have a nasty pain in what I believe is my right hip flexor (where my leg meets my crotch) that is making my heavy squats completely miserable. On Monday I actually cut back to 250lbs from 280 so that I didn't feel like I was going to rip my hips in half.

I have this really annoying tight feeling in my midback that feels almost like a muscle that needs to be stretched - but I can't quite stretch it.

I know that (most of) you guys aren't doctors and even if you were diagnosis over the internet is ridiculous, but my question boils down to - do you think that there is some major flaw in my programming, or technique, or am I just being a wuss about these things and are they normal newbie growing pains?


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Stephen Johnson
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Re: I'm feeling hurt up.

Post by Stephen Johnson » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:38 am

jackthestrat wrote:Lately I have been not feeling 100% around my workouts. Various aches and pains. I'm a couple months in to my training schedule and I'm worried I've upped my weights too far, too fast
Constant heavy lifting takes its toll on the body once you advance past the newbie stage. And if you try to work through nagging pains, minor problems can soon become major ones.

Even competitive powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters don't train with the goal of being at peak strength 100% of the time. It's time for you to take a break from your current routine and spend a month or so in maintenance mode. Some people are terrified at the prospect of their numbers going down on their lifts, but trust me, they will come back - if you stay healthy.

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Post by antsea » Thu Dec 23, 2010 9:51 am

People are skeptical to varying degrees about myofascial pain. All I can say is that having treated myself with trigger point therapy for several years, I don't really get many of these kind of aches and pains anymore. When I say treated, I mean really doing it properly. Massaging one muscle 6-12 times a day for as long as it takes to really get rid of the points..a few weeks maybe..before moving on to the next thing.

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Post by Johnny » Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:03 am

The pain in your neck probably comes from the OHP. When the weight you used is challenging and you try to squeeze it out that your form is breaked, for instance your head lends to the side of your stronger arm or your back archs too much. I used to have it.

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Post by stuward » Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:10 pm

I've had just about all those pains over the last few years. You need to do some more reading. Starting Strength is good but it only takes you so far. You need to start reading Eric Cressey, Gray Cook, Mike Boyle, Mike Robertson, etc. Learn about foam rolling and learn the structure of the shoulder, hips and back. Eric had a nice stretch that helped me out with my hip. lying knee-to-knee stretch


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Post by jml » Thu Dec 23, 2010 7:59 pm

I second foam rolling. It can really get at the back muscles.
Also, a stick (thestick.com) can really help loosen up your hips as it allows you to apply a lot of pressure to the hamstrings and groin.
If I were you I would take a few days off (or really light), at least.

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Post by Jungledoc » Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:49 am

I agree with what's been said. I'd suggest maybe a week off completely, then a time of light lifting. Maybe try some new accessory lifts, or do a sport, or something fun as part of your W/O, but keep it light. Then start your routine again with slightly lower weights than you have been using, and work back up. If you stall, it is probably time for some sort of periodized program.

From now on, plan a deload week about every 4th week, when you do your regular lifts, but at about half the usual loading.

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Post by jackthestrat » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:45 am

So I decided to back off a bit and take from 12/22 - 1/4 off from lifting (except for some light dumbell complexes just to do something), enjoy the holidays, then get back into it.

I figure I'll knock 20 lbs off the top of my lifts on 1/4/2011, and start over with 5lb jumps on my squat / DL and microloads on my Bench and OHP, then work in Power Cleans per the program at a low weight.
I might try having Wednesday be a "light" squat day, where I keep it at 70%.

Also going to plan on being more rigorous with the warmups, I may not have been doing them precisely per the program. I got SS and PPST for Christmas along with the supplemental DVD so I don't have to go off memory anymore, and I'll just be strict as hell (except for the milk) and see what happens.

Thanks for your help guys - any other thoughts on my plan above?

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Post by Jungledoc » Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:51 pm

jackthestrat wrote:I might try having Wednesday be a "light" squat day, where I keep it at 70%.
70% isn't light. Medium, maybe, but not light. "Light" is 40-60%, IMHO.

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Post by NightFaLL » Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:29 pm

Light can be 70% if you're stopping short of failure. 70% of 1RM for 8 would seem about right.

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Post by stuward » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:02 pm

The light day on 5,3,1 tops out at 60% x 5 reps.

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... e_strength

70%x8 reps may not be a max effort but it's not light.

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Post by pdellorto » Wed Dec 29, 2010 8:04 pm

When I do a light day, I want to go home feeling like I didn't do any serious work. 8 x 70% is probably the bottom edge of that. For deadlifts, for me, that would be 8 x 235 . . . I'd probably top out at 5 x 225 instead, just to make sure I didn't hit "workout creep" and end up doing 5 x 8 x 235 + accessory work + conditioning.

That could just be me though.

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Post by Jungledoc » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:07 pm

There can be an ego issue here. "I can't let people see me lifting this, and then just walking away." The purpose of the light day is to keep the groove greased, add a little volume to the lift, but not to interrupt recovery from the heavy days.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:14 pm

jackthestrat wrote:I figure I'll knock 20 lbs off the top of my lifts on 1/4/2011, and start over with 5lb jumps on my squat / DL and microloads on my Bench and OHP, then work in Power Cleans per the program at a low weight.
I might try having Wednesday be a "light" squat day, where I keep it at 70%

any other thoughts on my plan above?
Taking 20# off lifts in the 200#+ range isn't much of a reduction.

Rather than set target weights now, you should use the first set of workouts as practice sessions with light weights to see if you still have any pain issues in your hip, neck and lower back. Your initial focuses should be on absence of pain, exercise form and range of motion, not on how much you are lifting.

Being competitive and setting goals can serve a lifter well if they are tempered with common sense. And basic common sense for a lifter is not to dismiss exercise-induced pain.

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Post by jackthestrat » Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:08 am

I want to thank all of you folks for the input in this thread.

I did take a break as suggested, then went through a significant reset, and worked myself beyond the strength levels from the initial post.

My numbers now put me into the "Intermediate" strength standards on exrx.net. I'm also finding it very, very difficult to recover enough within the recovery window unless I eat a ridiculous amount of food. And I don't want to gain much more body fat than I am currently carrying around.

At this point I am considering a switch to 5-3-1 Boring But Big and reeling in my diet to 3500-4000 "mostly" paleo calories. Any thoughts / input from folks who have done 5-3-1 or are currently implementing it?


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