Author Topic: Lifting program for the injury prone / alternatives to starting strength  (Read 1035 times)

fallstoclimb

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I've discovered in recent years I LOVE lifting, but I seem to be unfortunately injury prone. I've been following a rough beginner linear progression starting strength type program, but it seems that whenever my deadlift worksets get to be around my bodyweight I set off an old scapular injury.  I also struggle with some knee pain from squats and elbow pain from chin ups.

Form matters of course and I do what I can here - I've read starting strength twice, I record myself and look up videos - but realistically I'm just not going to be perfect every single time, or maybe it doesn't even matter if I am - I just seem to get hurt. I'm a bit hypermobile, which I think gets me in trouble.

I'm a midthirties woman who wants to keep doing this for a long time. I'm fine with very small gains, I'm here for the process and the work. I want something sustainable. I should also note this is all cross training for my primary sport of cycling and I can't dedicate more than 2-3 hours a week to lifting (total gym time).

So, I'm looking for a program with higher volume, lower weight. I don't mind paying for something, particularly if it comes with an easy to use app, but I don't want to jump on the bandwagon of the hottest new instagram fitness trend. I prefer the simple, tried and true movements of powerlifting, with key accessory movements incorporated (not JUST the big lifts), and I want someone else to do the work for me of figuring out what rpe I can safely lift at longterm.

Any recommendations?  Does this exist? 
« Last Edit: July 20, 2019, 11:55:03 AM by fallstoclimb »

GuitarStv

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Strength training is a marathon, not a sprint.

Starting strength is very aggressive.  It's designed for young men who want to pack on muscle in a short period of time.  I've found that older people can do pretty well by following the general outline of starting strength, but decreasing the weight increments a fair amount (doing half to 1/4 of the recommended amounts).  Also, start with weights that you can handle very easily.  Doing this your first month should feel like it's very easy, by the second and third months you start hitting weights that are occasionally challenging, and by month seven or eight you start to stall.  At this point you lower the weights and reset, or move on to a different program.

The other thing to check if you're getting injured is your form.  You need to find someone with experience lifting to watch you and make suggestions.  Video tape yourself and try to see what you're doing wrong.  There are a ton of good form videos on youtube that you can watch to help here.

If you're dead set on doing something else, I had OK luck with 531 the boring but big variation with lots of accessories  . . .  but actually stopped doing it because I found higher volume stuff makes me so tired that I end up getting sloppy on form and hurting myself.  My workouts were taking forever as well.  (If you're also involved in other sports I found the Juggernaut Method was excellent for fitting weight training around other competitive training - but this doesn't sound like your problem if I'm reading you correctly.)

fallstoclimb

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Thank you for saying starting strength is aggressive!!  This makes me feel a lot better.  Perhaps all I need is a deload and then to increase more slowly.

I do want to incorporate accessory movements because I feel like they help a lot in the areas I'm particularly weak in - for instance, I don't think I would have gotten to my first chin up without a lot of bent over rows. My issue here is I'm not really sure which are important and which are bro-exercises, and there is so much dogma out there. 

I'll check out the Juggernaut method, recovering from lifting so as to not impact cycling is a challenge for me. 

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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I am a late-thirties lady who has been lifting for about four years.

I love Starting Strength... at my own pace. I own fractional plates so I can increase super-slowly. A woman's bar, with its narrower diameter, is SUPER helpful for me, and I have successfully nagged 2 successive public rec center gyms into getting one.

BUT, I eventually get bogged down and lose motivation on the all-heavy-weights-all-the-time thing. I hurt my back doing power cleans, and general functional life kinds of things like balance are also important to me. I find that I need to do core work and more variety of upper body exercise than Starting Strength in order to avoid upper back injury.

So I have employed a couple different strategies. I am very partial to New Rules of Lifting Supercharged and I also enjoyed Strong (specifically for women) by the same authors. Right now I am taking a break from Starting Strength and working back through NROL-S. At other times, I have done Starting Strength but have added a couple of things--ab exercises, one-legged exercises, etc.--from NROL-S.

So, basically, one or both of those books might be a good source of either an alternative workout or just some non-bro accessory exercises!

kendallf

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I don't have recommendations about a specific program, but I can tell you the adaptations I'm making as I get into my fifties and struggle with minor injuries.  I work out at a Crossfit gym in addition to cycling, which is also my primary sport.

I've just decided that any workout that has an olympic lifting component that's also aerobic, I will do with very nominal weight.  If there's a strength session where I'm supposed to work up to a single rep, I consciously work to about 75% of my single rep capability.  In both cases, I will sacrifice speed for form.  If I'm slow, so be it.

The other crucial thing is to always, always warm up thoroughly.  In the case of things like deadlifts, power cleans and pull-ups, work up to the full range of motion in addition to increasing weight.  For pull-ups, start with a dead hang, then scapular shrugs, then partial ROM. 

The final thing is that if something feels off, just check the ego and pull the plug.  That's the hardest thing, especially in a competitive group environment.  I'm still working on it.  :-)

Abe

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I used to have a lot of problems with my wrists when I started weight training on my own. After training with a personal trainer, I realized the regimen was too aggressive. Slowly advancing weights 5 pounds every 2-3 weeks allowed my forearm muscles to strengthen and then compensate for the increased strain of heavier weights. Same thing applied to knee joints for leg exercises.

mspym

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I really enjoy Nia Shanks' programs. She has some excellent free ones on her site if you want to try them out.

Johnez

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Just a heads up, Starting Strength is a beginner program. At 3-9 months, depending on your age, you will stall. Some say deload and work back up, however the fault lies in the program itself. One cannot continue with linear growth forever. Many move onto Texas method which is geared toward intermediate lifters.

My go to program is Allpro's beginner routine. It's a full body workout, 7 basic lifts (no deadlift, but a variation called stiff leg dead lift), 3x per week that ramps up reps for 5 weeks, has heavy, medium, and light days, and never feels overwhelming. It's actually got less volume than many people recommend for beginners though, and is slower than many beginners progress. I like it though because it's simple and progress is pretty steady.

DK

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5-3-1 by wendler could work for ya, a bit more realistic starting points and increases, and has a bit of self-regulating aspects of it.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Just a heads up, Starting Strength is a beginner program. At 3-9 months, depending on your age, you will stall. Some say deload and work back up, however the fault lies in the program itself. One cannot continue with linear growth forever. Many move onto Texas method which is geared toward intermediate lifters.

My go to program is Allpro's beginner routine. It's a full body workout, 7 basic lifts (no deadlift, but a variation called stiff leg dead lift), 3x per week that ramps up reps for 5 weeks, has heavy, medium, and light days, and never feels overwhelming. It's actually got less volume than many people recommend for beginners though, and is slower than many beginners progress. I like it though because it's simple and progress is pretty steady.

Well, it does have STARTING in the name. Their second book is Practical Programming for Barbell Training or something like that, but it is really geared toward competitive lifters. The author TELL you it's a beginner program.

katscratch

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After (non-lifting) injuries I've switched to a StrongFirst/Russian kettlebell style practice. I still do straight powerlifts as part of my workouts but also do a lot of Turkish Getups. Like, a lot-- if I could only do one move with weight, I'd do that; I've seen such a benefit in all my stabilizer muscles and overall strength. I do a 15 minute warmup before a 30 minute workout, every time. My gym was started by a cyclist buddy and his trainer and almost all of us attending are year-round cyclists that have seen huge gains in cycling as well as general fitness, so I'm a believer ;)

Padonak

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Ptf

MasterStache

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In my 40s now and battling injuries. I have lingering back issues from years of lifting, military PT and rucking. I am sure my lifting form sucked ass during those years. I started tinkering around with SS around the end of Jan this year because I wanted to really work on form and start incorporating squats in a manner that helps my back, not make it worse. I wasn't trying to acquire any appreciable weight gain so I knew my progression would be limited. Things were going well for several months and my back was even feeling a lot better for once. However, about a week ago I started experiencing pain in my right shoulder. It has sense gotten worse and I literally can't do anything without pain. I am taking a few weeks off, against my will ) : to see if the shoulder feels better. I'm not sure what caused it.

Earlier this year I found out I have a fractured bone spur in my elbow. I had to stop playing volleyball because of it. Externally I am fine. Internally I am a damn mess. I am determined to not let any of this slow me down though, but I need to be more attentive to what my body is telling me and not push it as I have in the past.