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Jasper

Continuous Stream Of Injuries - Normal?

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Since just over two months I've continuously had injuries. From late september on my wrists/elbows/forearms started to hurt when benching, so I had to take some weeks off from that. A month later when I returned to benching I was fine again. However, by that time I had hurt my back deadlifting (accumulated fatigue from both lifting and work, I think). The back is now, after a month or so, almost fine. But, now my right quad is hurting - even though I was doing no lower body lifting for weeks, I felt my quad suddenly becoming painful and sensitive, and after yesterday's deadlifting session it suddenly feels like there's a trigger point in each of my quad muscles.

Similar things happened last year: one injury subsided, and was soon replaced by another one. They're all not very serious, but always bothering my lifting and halting progress in some way.

So my question is: is this normal when you reach more intermediate stages of lifting? I.e. when you're not a novice any longer, is it normal to constantly have some pain because of the weights your dealing with? I always thought that was more something for people who routinely perform exercises at several times bodyweight (i.e. highly advanced/elite)

I personally don't think it's overtraining, because I lift only twice or thrice a week, and not even very heavy weights. Moreover, I'm mentally fine with lifting, not tired of it at all, so I don't think it's overtraining.

One of the causes might be stress - this is always a great recovery killer for me. But unfortunately most stress comes from external factors I can't really do a fucking thing about. So how do you guys deal with that?

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I have had a similar experience this year - at least one body part was injured all year, but it was down to lack of mobility (knee) poor form at heavy weights (Bench press torn muscle) bad luck (shitty finger) Shoulder (keeping training when I wasn't right and making it worse) and coupled with overtraining generally through 2 things

1 - training too close to my max (80-90%) week in week out

2 - just simply doing too much assistance work, up to 9 exercises at one stage for at least 3 sets each.

It may be worth summarising your current training plan, warm ups, etc etc - just to be sure when you write it down that you are not (for example) hammering lower back 3 times a week etc etc?

If you don't believe form or overtraining to be an issue - then it comes down to one of these 2 things.

Food - If Diet is good

Sleep - If no good then recovery needs sorting.

As for stressing over things you cannot control, as daft as it may sound to say, just fucking don't. If life has taught me anything is that there is no point, at all, in stressing over that you cannot control. You have to ask yourself why you stress over such things - and just learn not to...

maybe find a relaxing hobby to counter the physicality of training?

One other suggestion - get a deep tissue/sports massage. I had one a while back and it worked wonders, ironed out some knots mostly in the upper back but also a bit in the legs.

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How diligent are you about soft tissue work?

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Maybe your problem is that you just stopped.

If you start having these pains but never figured out why they were happening taking time off does not fix the problem.

It is normal to be hurting sometimes. Heavier weights tend to make things more sore, but injuries are not normal.

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Thanks, that's all very helpful.

How diligent are you about soft tissue work?

Could be better. When I do it I sometimes feel like it doesn't help much because my foam roller turns out to be shit quality and is very soft after six months.

Maybe your problem is that you just stopped.

If you start having these pains but never figured out why they were happening taking time off does not fix the problem.

It is normal to be hurting sometimes. Heavier weights tend to make things more sore, but injuries are not normal.

That's true, good point.

Edit: I can add another injury to the list in my upperback/lat. I was doing pullups yesterday and when I was doing I walked downstairs, leaned onto the handrail and suddenly I felt this weird sensation in my upper lat/lower trap near the spine, and it still feels like somebody's pinching me all the time there. I had a similar injury on the other side of my spine over a year ago, also right after pullups, and took months to completely go away. This is how silly my injuries are getting. Unbefuckinglievabl.e

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It's certainly not normal and I agree with Frozen.

If you're regularly getting injuries you're doing something wrong or have some other problems which you should consider. If you think it could be something related to you movement patterns, seeing a physiotherapist and asking about all the positions you have or get pain from with might help you fix this.

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Jasper, you are not normal. Try being normal for a while and see if that helps.

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I have had a similar experience this year - at least one body part was injured all year, but it was down to lack of mobility (knee) poor form at heavy weights (Bench press torn muscle) bad luck (shitty finger) Shoulder (keeping training when I wasn't right and making it worse) and coupled with overtraining generally through 2 things

1 - training too close to my max (80-90%) week in week out

2 - just simply doing too much assistance work, up to 9 exercises at one stage for at least 3 sets each.

It may be worth summarising your current training plan, warm ups, etc etc - just to be sure when you write it down that you are not (for example) hammering lower back 3 times a week etc etc?

If you don't believe form or overtraining to be an issue - then it comes down to one of these 2 things.

Food - If Diet is good

Sleep - If no good then recovery needs sorting.

As for stressing over things you cannot control, as daft as it may sound to say, just fucking don't. If life has taught me anything is that there is no point, at all, in stressing over that you cannot control. You have to ask yourself why you stress over such things - and just learn not to...

maybe find a relaxing hobby to counter the physicality of training?

One other suggestion - get a deep tissue/sports massage. I had one a while back and it worked wonders, ironed out some knots mostly in the upper back but also a bit in the legs.

Sorry for quoting your entire post, but this way it'll be easier to read together with my answers:

1. Sleep - I sleep on average 8-9 hours a night

2. Diet - I eat 'clean' foods 70% of the time, 3000kcal on regular days, up to 4500 on training days. Milk is my main source of protein, I take one or two omega 3 supps a day and a vitamin supp every other day. I eat a lot of meat, both lean and fatty (from lean chicken breast to sausage like chorizo). Goods like chips (crisps for you brits, right? :P) are also still quite common (I know, I know).

3. Training program - Quite chaotic, if you want an impression I suggest quickly browsing through the last few pages of my log http://ironstrong.or...s-training-log/ Like you, I have the habit of working in the 80-90% range for 90% of the time. Mainly because I'm impatient as fuck and can't wait to get stronger.

4. Relaxing - you're completely right about the attitude on stress, I'll look into meditation and things like that.

5. I called my gym's masseuse (massager? massagist? No idea what that's called in english for a male), they said he'll call me back asap. He's one of the BBer PTs and definitely knows his shit, so I hope he can give me a decent massage.

It's certainly not normal and I agree with Frozen.

If you're regularly getting injuries you're doing something wrong or have some other problems which you should consider. If you think it could be something related to you movement patterns, seeing a physiotherapist and asking about all the positions you have or get pain from with might help you fix this.

Do you mean a physio checking my entire movement patterns? Isn't that something very complex? I'd need a damn good physio for that... who also agrees with lifting, as most of them are part of the 3x10 50kg partial squats army :/

Jasper, you are not normal. Try being normal for a while and see if that helps.

I doubt I could ask you for any advice on being normal :P

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Do you mean a physio checking my entire movement patterns? Isn't that something very complex? I'd need a damn good physio for that... who also agrees with lifting, as most of them are part of the 3x10 50kg partial squats army :/

Well that's basically their job so yes. If you explain to them what you are doing and how it hurts they should be able to give you some sort of diagnosis. Then you would know the reasons for your problems and try to fix them by yourself even if they couldn't help you. If you get a reasonable one I'm sure they won't tell you to stop squatting heavy and start doing partials.

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Well that's basically their job so yes. If you explain to them what you are doing and how it hurts they should be able to give you some sort of diagnosis. Then you would know the reasons for your problems and try to fix them by yourself even if they couldn't help you. If you get a reasonable one I'm sure they won't tell you to stop squatting heavy and start doing partials.

Hmm I used to train at a place which was also a centre for physios, and I don't think they're good enough to do that, to be honest. I'll try some other things first and if that doesn't work out I'll try this and possibly seek new physios.

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I have the habit of working in the 80-90% range for 90% of the time. Mainly because I'm impatient as fuck and can't wait to get stronger.

Well, then stop doing that.

Operating close to your max all the time doesn´t really make you stronger. Judging from your stats (especially the difference between your squat and deadlift), I can´t see how you can consistently apply sound technique at those intensities. I would say that bad form with subjectively heavy weights, repeated often enough, is a great recipe to have your shit hurt all the time.

I know, lower weights (70-80%) aren´t sexy, but that´s where the actual strength is built.

Volume + "good enough" form + recovery + PATIENCE = strong & healthy

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Most of what I was going to say has already been said. Lower the percentages you are working at, do some foam rolling, get some massage, see a chiropractor, meditation/deep breathing de-stress, take walks. Build up slow and steady and always work on technique, even if you think you have an exercise down. Also stick to one program for awhile (3-6 months or more) so you can really gauge what is and isn't working for you.

Seems you are getting the sleep and nutrition aspects right. 8-9 hours of sleep must feel amazing!

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Well, then stop doing that.

Operating close to your max all the time doesn´t really make you stronger. Judging from your stats (especially the difference between your squat and deadlift), I can´t see how you can consistently apply sound technique at those intensities. I would say that bad form with subjectively heavy weights, repeated often enough, is a great recipe to have your shit hurt all the time.

I know, lower weights (70-80%) aren´t sexy, but that´s where the actual strength is built.

Volume + "good enough" form + recovery + PATIENCE = strong & healthy

This. At your stats, you will gain more strength at 70% than 90% anyway.

I would add to daniel's comment that if you are flirting with injury, "good enough" form is not sufficient. You need perfect form until your body stops talking to you, then you can go back to "good enough" form.

As for is it "normal"? Sort of -- some injuries are part of the lifting life, but if they are chronic and systemic, you need to rethink your plan before they become catastrophic. I've spent much of this year dealing with random little things here and there but I think backing off when they moved from acute to chronic spared me any serious injury that would have required time off.

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Well, then stop doing that.

Operating close to your max all the time doesn´t really make you stronger. Judging from your stats (especially the difference between your squat and deadlift), I can´t see how you can consistently apply sound technique at those intensities. I would say that bad form with subjectively heavy weights, repeated often enough, is a great recipe to have your shit hurt all the time.

I know, lower weights (70-80%) aren´t sexy, but that´s where the actual strength is built.

Volume + "good enough" form + recovery + PATIENCE = strong & healthy

You hit the nail on the head - I'm impatient as fuck. Also, what can you judge from the difference between my squat and deadlift in particular?

Most of what I was going to say has already been said. Lower the percentages you are working at, do some foam rolling, get some massage, see a chiropractor, meditation/deep breathing de-stress, take walks. Build up slow and steady and always work on technique, even if you think you have an exercise down. Also stick to one program for awhile (3-6 months or more) so you can really gauge what is and isn't working for you.

Seems you are getting the sleep and nutrition aspects right. 8-9 hours of sleep must feel amazing!

Yeah, I'm a lucky guy sleeping 8-9 hours a night. Thanks for the input :)

This. At your stats, you will gain more strength at 70% than 90% anyway.

I would add to daniel's comment that if you are flirting with injury, "good enough" form is not sufficient. You need perfect form until your body stops talking to you, then you can go back to "good enough" form.

As for is it "normal"? Sort of -- some injuries are part of the lifting life, but if they are chronic and systemic, you need to rethink your plan before they become catastrophic. I've spent much of this year dealing with random little things here and there but I think backing off when they moved from acute to chronic spared me any serious injury that would have required time off.

Putting it like that definitely made me realize that that's true.

Just out of curiosity, you say that at my stats I'd gain more strength at 70% than 90%, at what stats would someone gain more strength at 90%?

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  1. You hit the nail on the head - I'm impatient as fuck. Also, what can you judge from the difference between my squat and deadlift in particular?
  2. Just out of curiosity, you say that at my stats I'd gain more strength at 70% than 90%, at what stats would someone gain more strength at 90%?

  1. They´re way too far apart. The squat is more technical than the deadlift, so I am basically assuming that you just bruteforce your deadlifts up or you have no idea how to squat or both. Both lifts use basically the same muscles, so they shouldn´t be this far apart.
  2. It doesn´t matter. 90%+ is only ever necessary close to competition and in competition. You can cite the Westside guys all you want, it´s not gonna change anything about the fact that most lifters, especially very strong raw guys, don´t do that much max effort stuff.

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  1. They´re way too far apart. The squat is more technical than the deadlift, so I am basically assuming that you just bruteforce your deadlifts up or you have no idea how to squat or both. Both lifts use basically the same muscles, so they shouldn´t be this far apart.
  2. It doesn´t matter. 90%+ is only ever necessary close to competition and in competition. You can cite the Westside guys all you want, it´s not gonna change anything about the fact that most lifters, especially very strong raw guys, don´t do that much max effort stuff.

Add natural to that last line too...

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Add natural to that last line too...

Yup… don’t train like a guy on sauce.

3. Training program - Quite chaotic, if you want an impression I suggest quickly browsing through the last few pages of my log http://ironstrong.or...s-training-log/ Like you, I have the habit of working in the 80-90% range for 90% of the time. Mainly because I'm impatient as fuck and can't wait to get stronger.

I think you answered it in #3.

Be patient…there are no shortcuts. Follow a program and quit the free stylin’ due to impatience.

Everything what the guys said above make sense and is from experience.

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As a rough rule of thumb, I'd say when you reach 90% of your genetic potential it becomes necessary to train at 90% of your 1rm on a somewhat regular basis, but that does not mean exclusively at 90%+. Maybe even sooner. I'm not at 90% potential yet and I know I feel weak when I'm not putting up the occasional heavy double or triple.

As a general rule, the vast majority of your volume should come at the following % of 1rm depending on your training level:

-Newbies: 60%

-Intermediates: 70%

-Advanced: 80%

-Elite/Competition lifters: 90%

^^This is 100% my opinion. Feel free to disagree.

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Yea, don't be this guy:

http://www.lift-run-bang.com/2012/12/more-wrong-and-brokeded-programming.html

Man, wouldn't listen to a word he says either... Noob mistakes... (waits for people to realize I'm the guy being ripped apart)...

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Good timing with that.

That's great he spent all that time breaking down your email and responding in detail. Due to that, I'm going to pick up his ebook.

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As a general rule, the vast majority of your volume should come at the following % of 1rm depending on your training level:

-Newbies: 60%

-Intermediates: 70%

-Advanced: 80%

-Elite/Competition lifters: 90%

^^This is 100% my opinion. Feel free to disagree.

I disagree whole-heartedly. Well, only about the last category. Look at what the succesful guys are doing. Doubles and triples @90%+ the whole time? Nope, because it just beats you up. When you´re at that level, you built up for a competition and then you cruise for a while and repeat.

While the LRB blog is a shining example of explaining this, I have additional evidence. Look at the Sheiko programs, rarely ever do you lift over 90% in those. Guess what, the eastern europeans who dominate powerlifting are mostly on Sheiko or similar programs.

I have trained with VERY succesful powerlifters and they all do the same, they cycle up and rarely ever go over 90%. One of the guys was desperately trying to squat 300+. He managed to squat that in training but never at meets, which totally defeats the whole point of training for powerlifting.

Personally, I´ve seen the same. During my entire preparation cycle for the nationals (~16 weeks) I had only 2 squat and deadlifts session that featured weights @90% and slightly above. On the bench I was way more aggressive and went for a different progression, which led to elbow and shoulder pain prior to the nationals and a shitty performance on the bench. My squat and deadlift however went really well.

Weightlifting is a different story, though ...

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  1. They´re way too far apart. The squat is more technical than the deadlift, so I am basically assuming that you just bruteforce your deadlifts up or you have no idea how to squat or both. Both lifts use basically the same muscles, so they shouldn´t be this far apart.
  2. It doesn´t matter. 90%+ is only ever necessary close to competition and in competition. You can cite the Westside guys all you want, it´s not gonna change anything about the fact that most lifters, especially very strong raw guys, don´t do that much max effort stuff.

1. The 90k squat is somewhat outdated, if my back doesn't give in I'm sure I'd be able to do 100-110kg within a few sessions. Nevertheless, I know that my squat is my problem lift because of the lack in mobility and flexibility. Deadlift might indeed be brute force because I know my technique wasn't always flawless with 85%+ weights - I know, that's a great set up for injury.

2. That makes sense. I often read Jamie Lewis, who does a lot of lifting at said intensity. Even though I never directly applied his principles, I'm sure it indirectly influenced my training. Thanks for you input, much appreciated :)

Yup… don’t train like a guy on sauce.

I think you answered it in #3.

Be patient…there are no shortcuts. Follow a program and quit the free stylin’ due to impatience.

Everything what the guys said above make sense and is from experience.

Thanks :)

As a rough rule of thumb, I'd say when you reach 90% of your genetic potential it becomes necessary to train at 90% of your 1rm on a somewhat regular basis, but that does not mean exclusively at 90%+. Maybe even sooner. I'm not at 90% potential yet and I know I feel weak when I'm not putting up the occasional heavy double or triple.

As a general rule, the vast majority of your volume should come at the following % of 1rm depending on your training level:

-Newbies: 60%

-Intermediates: 70%

-Advanced: 80%

-Elite/Competition lifters: 90%

^^This is 100% my opinion. Feel free to disagree.

Hmm interesting view, but that's of course an entirely different discussion :P

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1. The 90k squat is somewhat outdated, if my back doesn't give in I'm sure I'd be able to do 100-110kg within a few sessions. Nevertheless, I know that my squat is my problem lift because of the lack in mobility and flexibility. Deadlift might indeed be brute force because I know my technique wasn't always flawless with 85%+ weights - I know, that's a great set up for injury.

2. That makes sense. I often read Jamie Lewis, who does a lot of lifting at said intensity. Even though I never directly applied his principles, I'm sure it indirectly influenced my training. Thanks for you input, much appreciated :)

  1. That doesn´t change anything 40-50kg are still too much. And you mentioned mobility issues...get crackin´ on those, your body will thank you!

  2. Jamie Lewis is one of the few people who kinda get away with stuff like that. Nevertheless, he reported about some severe pains earlier. Also, I am pretty sure he is way smarter about his actual training than what most people make of his blog. Pretty much everyone I´ve seen so far that said "Oh, I´m on the C&P bandwagon" ended up having his shit hurt and not making any progress. They are literally on Chaos & Pain and refuse to do anything other than "herpderp, heavy singles every day, so hardcore", even though everything hurts and nothing moves forward. Jamie is a smart dude, who has adapted to this sort of training over the years and actually has good technique. Never forget that. Also, he released some ebook about powerlifting, in which he outlines some training plans. Haven´t read it, so I can´t comment...but I am sure he outlines a more reasonable approach in there.

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I disagree whole-heartedly. Well, only about the last category. Look at what the succesful guys are doing. Doubles and triples @90%+ the whole time? Nope, because it just beats you up. When you´re at that level, you built up for a competition and then you cruise for a while and repeat.

While the LRB blog is a shining example of explaining this, I have additional evidence. Look at the Sheiko programs, rarely ever do you lift over 90% in those. Guess what, the eastern europeans who dominate powerlifting are mostly on Sheiko or similar programs.

I have trained with VERY succesful powerlifters and they all do the same, they cycle up and rarely ever go over 90%. One of the guys was desperately trying to squat 300+. He managed to squat that in training but never at meets, which totally defeats the whole point of training for powerlifting.

Personally, I´ve seen the same. During my entire preparation cycle for the nationals (~16 weeks) I had only 2 squat and deadlifts session that featured weights @90% and slightly above. On the bench I was way more aggressive and went for a different progression, which led to elbow and shoulder pain prior to the nationals and a shitty performance on the bench. My squat and deadlift however went really well.

Weightlifting is a different story, though ...

Fair enough. I guess I figure if you're working doubles and triples, you're at ~90%. I haven't really heard much about the stronger guys working more than 3-5 reps, so that suggests 85-90% 1RM to me.

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I dont know about this never training in 90-100% range. Isnt it important to hit heavier weights at regular intervals? For example I hit hard triples/singles once a week. As I become more advanced I plan to space these out more but still have scheduled and regular training in the 90-100% range. In this way every week I get a good gauge of what Im capable of and more importantly I learn how to lift very hard weights (which is an important skill in its own way. If you plan to compete then even more so). Right now Im not being beat up by it, and of course if you are running yourself into the ground with heavy work you wont go far.

Though I guess there are a million and one ways to get stronger so it depends on which method you respond well to.

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