how much weight is too much with osteoporosis? how much weight is too much with osteoporosis?

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Thread: how much weight is too much with osteoporosis?

  1. #1
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    Default how much weight is too much with osteoporosis?

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    I am 53 years old, weigh 112 pounds, and started strength training six months ago after doing Crossfit for one year. I was diagnosed with osteoporosis 3 years ago but a recent dexa scan showed improvement to osteopenia. The worst score was -2.2 in vertebra D-7. My question is, am I putting myself at high risk of a vertebral compression fracture by continuing to increase the weight of my squats & deadlifts? From June to November my 1 rep max deadlift increased from 150 lbs to 200 lbs, and my back squat from 85 lbs. to 130 lbs. I know that I need to keep my form nice & tight, but how likely is it that my muscle strength will dangerously outpace my skeletal strength? I would really appreciate any insight you can give me.

  2. #2
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    The risk is certainly not zero, but the risk of continuing osteopenia in the absence of effective exercise is 100%. My mother had a stress fracture in a thoracic vertebra that, being honest, was probably the result of deadlifts. But she was 82. I suppose it's just a matter of a risk/reward assessment. Have you had any pain in the area?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    The risk is certainly not zero, but the risk of continuing osteopenia in the absence of effective exercise is 100%. My mother had a stress fracture in a thoracic vertebra that, being honest, was probably the result of deadlifts. But she was 82. I suppose it's just a matter of a risk/reward assessment. Have you had any pain in the area?
    On the one hand, this is amazing. On the other hand, Mama Rippetoe being a badass is maybe not so surprising. I look forward to a day when "deadlifts" and "82 [years old]" don't look so weird next to each other.

  4. #4
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    No pain. I guess I need to be vigilant about the possibility of a stress fracture and pay attention to any pain that might develop. Did your mother get enough early warning signs to avoid a catastrophic injury?
    It is frustrating to have to consider the brittleness of my bones as a factor in my workouts. . . I want to be able to just go in and give 100% effort toward increasing my strength without worrying about osteopenia. . . it is a very abstract-seeming diagnosis until a bone is fractured, and I've had no fractures yet.
    Thank you for your input. I guess I should just proceed with caution and pay really close attention to form. Do you have any advice about the process of checking 1 rep max? I've only done this twice, about six months apart.

  5. #5
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    According to Dr. John R. Lee, transdermal natural-progesterone cream (*not* synthetic progestins) plus various co-factors, can reverse bone loss and stabilize at the bone density of a 35-year-old. Various details online; one source reprints a paper from Dr. Lee: http://www.naturodoc.com/library/hormones/osteo_rev.htm

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by marthalamb View Post
    No pain. I guess I need to be vigilant about the possibility of a stress fracture and pay attention to any pain that might develop. Did your mother get enough early warning signs to avoid a catastrophic injury?
    She had no idea at the time, just some minor back pain. The injury was revealed much later on an unrelated x-ray. And one of the ways you are to be careful about this is by NEVER doing a 1RM "check". It will be dangerous, and it will not tell you anything necessary that you don't already know.

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