Warning Signs of Impending Inury?

Discussion in 'Basic Training Principles and Methods' started by TunnelRat, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    I am an old guy (age 62), yet I am a new lifter. I started working out in August of 2006. I've been reading the Hypertrophic Specific forum for many months. I've gotten a great deal of help here. Thanks to all of you who contribute.

    I've been following an HST program and am just finishing my second week of fives (kicked my butt...!!). Over a period of just over a month or so I've gone from 133 lbs to 139 lbs and am noticeably fuller. I'm not a big guy (5' 3"), so six pounds is a significant gain.

    Anyhow (sorry to go on and on...), I have a question about straining or pulling muscles. Somewhere on this site I think I've read about sensing that you're about to injure yourself. I was wondering what the warning signs of an impending injury might be.

    A week ago I was doing my squats with a bit over my bodyweight on the bar (my first big-boy squats...!). As I was in my third set of fives I noticed a slight pain running down the side of my thigh to just above the knee. It wasn't serious -- it felt about like second-day DOMS -- except it was only on my third set! I was concerned if this might be an indication that I am doing something wrong, or if perhaps I am heading for an injury.
     
  2. scientific muscle

    scientific muscle New Member

    I doubt it. I got that pain once, it is your sartorius muscle straining I think. Don't worry too much about it. If it was a sharp pain, then...injury. If it just soreness or strain from exertion, then...normal.
     
  3. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Excellent! Thank you. I shall continue to press on.

    I have little experience with this sort of thing, but working out with split sets three times a week is surely an exertion for me -- especially as I make it a point to increase the weight each time in the gym!
     
  4. Lol

    Lol Super Moderator Staff Member

    A word of caution though TunnelRat: If you do start to feel any kind of discomfort that is unusual during one of your latter sets I would stop the set. All my injuries have occured when I was more fatigued. I don't think I have ever had an injury from my first work sets.

    Recently I sustained a slight groin strain from the third set of ATG squats. I wasn't using a particularly heavy weight for me at 270lbs. Did 2 sets of 10 and all was fine. On the third set I decided to go for 12 reps and uh-oh, got a twinge. Two weeks on and it's still there but it is improving. I learnt the valuable lesson that it is possible to sustain an injury (even if you are thouroughly warmed up) if you push your volume up too much. I am also cutting right now which has definitely left me more susceptible to injury. It may also be due to my age at nearly 42.

    So, do be careful and enjoy your progress. All the best.
     
  5. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Lol wrote:
    A word of caution though TunnelRat: If you do start to feel any kind of discomfort that is unusual during one of your latter sets I would stop the set. All my injuries have occured when I was more fatigued. I don't think I have ever had an injury from my first work sets.


    Yes, thank you. I am still reading and learning as I go. I was squatting with my body weight (that was my PR at the time). I had done four sets of five reps in the morning, and I was working on another four sets of five reps that night.

    Lol wrote:
    I learnt the valuable lesson that it is possible to sustain an injury (even if you are thouroughly warmed up) if you push your volume up too much.


    When I noticed the slight pain, I slowed down but kept on to finish my fourth set. Later I did some research and found that Brian has recommended far fewer sets than what I was doing (whoops!).

    I would much rather learn from reading about your injuries, than learn from writing about my own...! After that I cut down to three sets, now (still doing fives) I'm only doing two sets.

    Lol wrote:
    It may also be due to my age at nearly 42.

    Yeah, you old guys gotta take it easy...
     
  6. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    I'm a bit closer to you at 53, and I'm no stranger to pains. Most muscle tears you can't really see coming; at least most I've read about seem to happen all at once. Joint pains are another matter sometimes. As usual, Lol puts up a good post, and I'd like to add that whenever doing a new exersize, if you should feel pains, always check your form right away. Sometimes just being a few degrees off-line can cause trauma of sorts.
    By now you probably are a little familiar with DOMS - and should know to disregard it, except when it is pronounced (usually a marker of advancing too fast), or it is sharp. DOMS is always a dull, general soreness, rather than a sharp pain.
    You might want to read the threads on squats, specifically ATG vs. parallel if you're doing parallel squats. They can wreak havoc, especially on the knees for some guys.

    I've had to limit certain levels of incline for db presses, had to do Sumo for deadlifts now, had to use a cambered bar and limited ROM for curls; all due to pains and perhaps lack of flexibility, but it doesn't stop me from working out. We just have to lift smarter.
     
  7. TunnelRat

    TunnelRat Active Member

    Quadancer wrote:
    You might want to read the threads on squats, specifically ATG vs. parallel if you're doing parallel squats. They can wreak havoc, especially on the knees for some guys.

    Yes, thanks. You guys are a virtual storehouse of knowledge.

    Mathey wrote (in one of the squat threads):
    Rippetoe's book "Starting Strength" probably has 50 pages on proper barbell squat technique...he also says its one of the hardest exercises to do properly, but when done properly, it's also one of the safest and most beneficial.

    I'll bet i've read that chapter 5 times in the past week, its a lot to remember...its also quite ego deflating to use light weights, but its MUCH more important to nail the form than it is to be playing the numbers game.

    I've got a copy of Rippetoe's book. I've found it to be very helpful -- especially as I am lifting without a coach.

    As I was lifting yesterday I noticed in the mirror (yeah, I know, Rippetoe would roll over in his grave...) that I wasn't getting as low as I should. My hips weren't getting south of my knees. I'd been adding ten pounds each session, so I was about 30 pounds past my body weight (each session has been a new PR for me). Anyhow, I figured maybe I'd better drop my ego down that deep hole and back off the weight for a bit while I got my form right.
     
  8. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    Don't feel bad; I'm once again doing freeweight squats after years off of them and I'm as stiff as an old rope. I'm leaving 135 on the bar and just walking in now and them and squatting down and just sitting there at the bottom, trying to stretch out my stuff. Doing rotator work for my shoulders so I can hold the bar back there, and when I start my next cycle in a couple days, I'll be doing partial reps at the bottom again to build some kicking strength down there.
    I'd wonder what Rippetoe has you do for stiffness?
     

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