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View Full Version : Stronger guys; constantly having niggles.



Fuzzy
01-05-2010, 02:23 AM
This year I made the step up in my mind from 'strongest of the weak' to 'the weakest of the strong' if that makes any sense. Im at a point where the weights I am moving are respectable and getting some decent bend out of a bar, but still a pup in the scheme of things.

That being said, these past 3 months I have been feeling little niggles all over. My wrists, my right knee, left shoulder and hip. My recovery program is well, and I did take a full week off not too long ago but I am still finding the constant niggles there.

Is this something that people moving 500+ on a regular basis have to put up with and work to minimise? Are there any little tricks besides the big basics such as rest and time off that help make those constant aches go away?

I must be getting old guys...

Ryano
01-05-2010, 05:28 AM
I use ice and booze. :-)

slashkills
01-05-2010, 05:44 AM
Im not moving 500lbs but foam rolling is ****in amazing

ScottYard
01-05-2010, 06:56 AM
I would say unfortunartely that is part of the game. but there are certain things you can do recovery wise. Ice, Light massage with foam rollers ect. Some thing easy to do is think about ETS from Atlarge. You will see a huge drop off in minor dings and pains with this stuff.

Tom Mutaffis
01-05-2010, 07:14 AM
This year I made the step up in my mind from 'strongest of the weak' to 'the weakest of the strong' if that makes any sense. Im at a point where the weights I am moving are respectable and getting some decent bend out of a bar, but still a pup in the scheme of things.

That being said, these past 3 months I have been feeling little niggles all over. My wrists, my right knee, left shoulder and hip. My recovery program is well, and I did take a full week off not too long ago but I am still finding the constant niggles there.

Is this something that people moving 500+ on a regular basis have to put up with and work to minimise? Are there any little tricks besides the big basics such as rest and time off that help make those constant aches go away?

I must be getting old guys...

I think that the 'niggles' are due to a combination of things. Not only does moving heavy weights put a lot of stress on your body, but usually those who have advanced strength levels have been training for a number of years and some of these minor injuries or pains have accumulated over time.

As tempting as it is to lift heavy all of the time, I believe that it is important to really listen to your body and not to push things as frequently.

It is much easier to maintain a physique than it is to build one. Once you get to a certain level you can do very little and still stay at that level; but overtraining or a severe injury could be a drastic setback.

In terms of tricks the things that I have found to be more helpful are neoprene sleeves (knees/elbows), and some topical muscle warming or pain relief creams.

One other important note that is worth mentioning is that you need to modify your program as needed.
Short Story: For a couple of years I deadlifted once every 2-3 weeks and made steady increases. I heard others boasting about making great gains on an intense program and decided to give it a try; about 4-5 weeks into the program I injured my low back which forced me to take about six weeks off from intense training and it probably set me back on my 1RM in that lift by 50+ lbs. Listen to your body and learn what works for you; do not worry about what anyone else is doing and most generic programs that you will come across were designed for intermediate lifters - not the guys who are squatting/pulling/pressing over 500 lbs.

IronDiggy
01-05-2010, 07:57 AM
I'm starting to get that. Mostly in my wrists and elbows but I think that also has part to do with the fact I type all damn day.

Judas
01-05-2010, 08:08 AM
I had to read the thread to figure out what 'niggles' meant...

I prefer to call them 'warning signs', or 'slaps upside the head'. It is very very VERY rare that i get a tweak or minor injury that i cant trace to its trigger. Its always something i'm doing when i know bloody well i shouldn't be, or a sign i'm doing something wrong, or just a tipping point where my body says "Look, dickhead..." I cant seem to keep myself from lifting heavy so i've learned to really REALLY know myself. Body IQ some call it, sensing mishaps before they happen essentially. AVOID the niggles. Those niggles are just trying to tell you something. A very occasional shoulder pain tells me that maybe i'm not quite ready for 100% that day. A slight elbow/lower tricep pain tells me i'm doing too much tricep work, bench, press, jerks, on top ov too much tricep work. Tweaky calves tell me that i need better orthotics in my Adistars and maybe heavy squats and olympic lifts 6 days a week is a bit much... THE WAY I'M PROGRAMMING THEM. A nagging upper back pain tells me i need to get a job and afford a real chiro that knows what the hell he's doing. These are the things i choose to ignore, or monitor for worsening. If i tweak my lower back doing snatches tomorrow, but cant trace it to a form error then i know that yesterdays squat PR and todays rather laborious cleans were just a bit too much.

I dont do much to fix this stuff though, i'm more pre-emptive. If i hurt something and it is something bigger or more involved, like a lower back, upper back, legs, etc, then i'll take a contrast shower, and limp around to take strain off it however i can (cats do this to heal). Better to limp completely tonight and unload the injured part than have to limp around for a week. Sounds dumb, but it works. If its a little part (arm, foot, ab, etc.) i wont waste a shower, and just try not to 'work on it'. My girlfriend always tries to 'work out' her lifting pains, and they never seem to get better. So far i've not bothered to foam-roll, stretch (much), use ice, or take ANY meds (ibuprofin, aspirin, etc.) for anything. I like the heat ov a shower, but thats it. I never use ice or anti-inflammatories, in my opinion they counter what the body naturally tries to do to heal itself.

The biggest thing i'll do to heal little hurts is get more and better sleep than i usually get till its better... and i get 9-10 hours ov solid, quality sleep normally. I'll practically induce a coma, with melatonin, pre-sleep rituals, white-noise and make sure NOBODY will interrupt my sleep, on pain ov mutilation, phone unplugged, clock off, etc. Sleep... is your natural steroid.

JSully
01-05-2010, 08:08 AM
I think it comes with time under the bar. My wrists, knees, shoulders, back and neck all ache pretty regularly.. I take a week off every 6-8 weeks or so and it seems to help.. Don't get me wrong, they are just minor aches, but they definately present themselves.

JK1
01-05-2010, 08:15 AM
Maybe I'm half crazy, but if there isn't something aching I get a bit worried. Aches, pains, dents, and dings.... it goes with lifting heavy. They way I see it, I'm hurting becuase I pushed myself. Thats one heck of alot better to me than having a sore back and shoulders because I sat on my butt all day long in front of the TV eating cheezy puffs and drinking margaritas.

The thing you need to ask yourself is just how bad is it? Is it an ache or a pain that goes away when you get up and start moving or is it pains that are constant and get worse when you get active? If thats the case, then you need to strongly look at what you did to cause that pain in addition to looking at your recooperation and what you are doing to facilitate healing the damage that you are inflicting on yourself.

Sometimes a week layoff/dropping back for a few days will make the pain go away and you'll come back stronger.

Sometimes you need to realize that doing certian exercises just doesn't work for your body, your injury history, your training style.

You may need to increase/change your nutrition adding in supplements like ETS or fish oil or more protein.

Sometimes you just need to say f@#k it and put another plate on the bar.

Fuzzy
01-05-2010, 08:24 AM
Thanks for the responses guys.

I am well aware of the difference between aches and signs of injuries. I also do foam roll and ice.

I assumed that this type of thing is just part of the game, but I was wondering if anyone had little tricks that helped them get over such things. Would be nice to just feel fresh at a session ya know?

JK1
01-05-2010, 08:40 AM
Thanks for the responses guys.

I am well aware of the difference between aches and signs of injuries. I also do foam roll and ice.

I assumed that this type of thing is just part of the game, but I was wondering if anyone had little tricks that helped them get over such things. Would be nice to just feel fresh at a session ya know?

Spike Shooters work nicely for that.

JSully
01-05-2010, 08:43 AM
but I was wondering if anyone had little tricks that helped them get over such things.

dust out your vagina :whiner:









lol..

vdizenzo
01-05-2010, 09:44 AM
Doing all of the little things helps. Massage, stretching, rest, pt, eating right, ice baths, contrast showers, extra workouts, gpp, good diet, supplementation, training instinctively, etc. My success on the platform is as much a result of what I do outside of the gym as I do inside it.

skinny99
01-05-2010, 09:53 AM
Doing all of the little things helps. Massage, stretching, rest, pt, eating right, ice baths, contrast showers, extra workouts, gpp, good diet, supplementation, training instinctively, etc. My success on the platform is as much a result of what I do outside of the gym as I do inside it.

If you could only get that message across to everybody. :bash:

getting there
01-05-2010, 10:28 AM
I always have little aches and pains but usually if I back off the intensity or just outright take time off I am ok. So I took off last week due to travel and the holidays. I had a full week of no lifting. So I go back to the gym today and start to warm up for bench and it feels like someone is jamming a knife into the anterior portion of my left shoulder. I do a few light sets to see if it would go away and it did somewhat in that I was able to get my prescribed sets/reps for this workout. I am pretty sure it is biceps tendonitis because I've had it in my right shoulder before, but what pisses me off is the fact that after a week of letting everything rest I end up developing this. :swear:

Barbaccio
01-05-2010, 10:53 AM
There's a little saying that goes around out gym that "When you're weakest you're strong and when you're strongest you're weak."

What that means is, when everything feels fine, you don't have any aches and pains, and you feel good. It's probably because either you haven't been training or you haven't been training hard enough. When you're going balls out every week you get aches and pains. It's part of the game. There's a reason so many guys tear sh1t, have hernias, and all the other things that go along with this sport. Remember the last time you felt "fresh"? You were probably benching 225 at the time. Doing what we do involves pain. Working through it and developing is what this sport is about. Learn it now because if you're like me and it takes you too long to realize it, you've wasted too much time.

Travis Bell
01-05-2010, 10:57 AM
Doing all of the little things helps. Massage, stretching, rest, pt, eating right, ice baths, contrast showers, extra workouts, gpp, good diet, supplementation, training instinctively, etc. My success on the platform is as much a result of what I do outside of the gym as I do inside it.

I second this big time. Recovery techniques are imperative. Both active and passive

Also, I've found, I'm at my best when my nutrition is where it should be. It's a pain in the neck, but all part of the game.

Notorious
01-05-2010, 10:57 AM
Neoprene knee sleeves help A LOT. I haven't used neoprene shorts or shirts but I assume they would help with your hips and shoulders.

SEOINAGE
01-05-2010, 04:59 PM
Like others have said, some light work will help ease the pain and bring blood flow back into the area. I get some of those niggles in places as well and if I don't train regularly it almost gets worse, so extra workouts like vincent said focussing on some areas, or light work, or remembering that sometimes a deload week is better than taking the whole week off.

joey54
01-05-2010, 05:06 PM
I definitely feel better when I keep up with some lighter weight rep sets, cardio, and stretching on off days.

Sensei
01-05-2010, 05:23 PM
I am well aware of the difference between aches and signs of injuries. I also do foam roll and ice.I wouldn't get too confident about that Fuzzy. I think most people who train hard have a tough time telling the difference from time to time.
Sometimes we push things because we feel weak and we want to feel strong. Sometimes we push things to become stronger when what we really need to get stronger is rest.
When you're young it's a lot easier to ignore what your body is telling you. Bigger (and longest term) returns will demand that pay attention to those signs.

Invain
01-05-2010, 06:24 PM
dust out your vagina :whiner:









lol..

Beat me to it lol.

I don't move huge weight compared to some guys on here but it still seems like something is ALWAYS sore/aching. I have a feeling no matter how perfect your form is once you start moving decent weight around it's impossible to stay 100% healthy all the time.

RayceeIII
01-05-2010, 08:45 PM
So when are we getting the cheesy poofs and margaritas?

mastermonster
01-05-2010, 09:26 PM
I use ice and booze. :-)

That's from page 42 of the "Powerlifting over 50 Training Manuel"! You can get one at 1-800-old-fart! LOL! It's my favorite page!!!

Seriously! Do all you can to minimize the aches and pains; but there is a price to be at or near the strongest men (or women) on earth. That's why most think we're crazy! Maybe they are right? Since I started lifting for football at age 14, I have only had one 'PAIN FREE' day I can remember! That day I took a pain pill made for horses that someone gave me at a meet. Nothing hurt!!!! Now I can't get them...kind of a cruel tease to just have one and get just a taste of not hurting...oh well! More than one might have killed me anyway...I have no idea! Good luck and welcome to the Big Boys Fraternity of PAIN!!!!!! Look at it as your rites of passage to 'ALPHA MANHOOD'!

robchris
01-05-2010, 09:43 PM
Fuzzy,
On the contrary, if I'm not hurtin' somewhere I think something's wrong...

Seriously though, aside from what you mentioned, ie rest and time-off, train instinctively as Vin stated. Meaning, know when to back-off and know when to turn-up the heat. I know its easier said than done but, you gotta listen to your body... Your not going to lose anything by dailing down the intensity every now and then. I wish i had done this when I was a young chap, but I was always "balls to the wall" mentality and I payed the price...

This is a tough sport we've chosen... Look at injuries as "battle scars"! You've earned em' bro...Your Right of passage!