Injury prone? Injury prone?

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Thread: Injury prone?

  1. #1
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    Default Injury prone?

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    Hey Rip,

    I'm around 185lbs 5ft10 and 22 years old. I've been training for over 2 years now, but much of that has been blighted by injuries. The past year I've made little to no progress because of literally going from one injury to another. I've had hamstring, groin, rotator cuff, lower back, tricep, pectorial and many other niggling problems over the past year and I'm now beginning to feel as if there may be something fundamentally wrong with my body. Believe me, it's not a low pain threshold that is the problem, in fact at first it was the very opposite- I used to train even after the tell tail signs; although I don't do that anymore.

    I know this all seems very vague, and it may seem more important to talk about each injury in turn and try to find a corresponding flaw in my form, but I've also been training with friends that haven't adhered to form as strictly as I have and they haven't had half the trouble.

    I'd find it really helpful if you could share your knowledge of anything similar you might have come across with any particular individual(s) who are 'injury prone', is that possible?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Some people have poorer soft-tissue integrity than others. But most are just too damned light for their height and for heavy training. Gain 15 pounds and let's see how you feel.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Gain 15 pounds and let's see how you feel.
    I used to frequently get injured trying to lift at 6'2" and 180 pounds. Putting on 50 pounds, lifting correctly, and getting stronger resulted in my joints feeling better and I recover from little tweaks much faster.

  4. #4
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    Just to echo your sentiments, jmz

    I've been plagued with weak hamstrings (tore my left one two days ago), knee problems, tendonitis, random back injuries, ankle strains, for as long as I can remember

    Something ALWAYS seems to be getting in the way. It's depressing at times, but the alternative always seems worse.

    All you can do is roll with the punches and keep on going.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ello View Post
    Just to echo your sentiments, jmz

    I've been plagued with weak hamstrings (tore my left one two days ago), knee problems, tendonitis, random back injuries, ankle strains, for as long as I can remember

    Something ALWAYS seems to be getting in the way. It's depressing at times, but the alternative always seems worse.

    All you can do is roll with the punches and keep on going.
    Yup. This is pretty much my M.O. No one in my family is strong and most of us are bean poles.

    When I started lifting I was 6-1 155, now at 200 I'm less prone to injury, but they always seem to pop up every 3 months or so.

    I'm not sure it's a bad thing, though. I say that if you never get hurt, you'll never learn how to heal. Dealing with adversity is an important life lesson, and something that few people never learn until something really bad happens and they become unable to cope.

    It's a mental and physical journey and for 4 years of trying, my numbers don't reflect what I've been through, and I don't care. I wouldn't trade the experience for an added 150lbs-200lbs on my squat.

    Most people will chastise you for what you do, but they don't get it, and never will, and I personally don't give a fuck what they think.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Some people have poorer soft-tissue integrity than others. But most are just too damned light for their height and for heavy training. Gain 15 pounds and let's see how you feel.
    I'm currently doing a program as close to Starting Strength as I can- do you recommend sticking to that for the weight gain? Or would it be more beneficial doing some higher rep work with lower weights, given my problems? As much as the latter would bore me to death I think it would be more effective since I've pretty much been trying to do the former for quite a while now with setback after setback.

    Just to be a bit clearer, I've had virtually no joint, ligament or tendon problems whatsoever- it's just soft tissue injuries so it sounds consistent with what Rip said about poor soft tissue integrity.

    @ello

    I want to just man up and carry on like I've been doing, but you do begin to feel if it's actually doing you long term harm.

  7. #7
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    Hi,

    I've gone through a similarly bad patch last year. From December 09 to July 10 I hurt my back deadlifting, than pulled my gracilis, then tore twice the same portion of vastus medialis.
    For a few months I literally went something like: injury - Starr rehab - get back to previous weights - new injury.

    And I think that was the problem. I put so much into the rehab, that I just fatigued myself too much, making my body even more prone to injury (my fault for not applying the Starr's protocol correctly, of course).

    After the last episode I went away on holiday for two weeks, and when I got back I started almost anew, paying more attention to my recovery (at the tender age of 42 recovering is more of an issue than it is when you are 21).
    Since then I'm made slow progress, but I've been injury-free (I'm touching wood and performing all the scaramantic rituals I know of, all at the same time, while typing this). I've also improved my technique, and that made a difference too.
    Last but not least, I've added some bodyweight.

    My suggestion would be to give your body (and your mind) a total break from training, something like a couple of weeks. Then, start again, from easy weights, and work your way up.
    Check again your techinque, because even if you think it's good, it might not be good enough to prevent injuries.

    Take your time, and listen to your body. If you miss a training it's at most a week delay on the program. If you get injured, you are looking at a minimum of 3/4 weeks before you are back to where you stopped. Really, it's a no brainer.


    Hope this helps,

    IPB

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmz34 View Post
    I'm currently doing a program as close to Starting Strength as I can- do you recommend sticking to that for the weight gain? Or would it be more beneficial doing some higher rep work with lower weights, given my problems?
    If you change the program, it won't work as well. You're not doing the program anyway, or you'd be gaining weight. The program includes food.

    Just to be a bit clearer, I've had virtually no joint, ligament or tendon problems whatsoever- it's just soft tissue injuries so it sounds consistent with what Rip said about poor soft tissue integrity.
    "Soft Tissue" means everything except bone.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Some people have poorer soft-tissue integrity than others. But most are just too damned light for their height and for heavy training. Gain 15 pounds and let's see how you feel.
    I'm your height. I was once your size, and had very similar chronic issues with connective tissue and minor injuries - especially in my shoulders. Today I weight 220 and the biggest hurdle for me is a collarbone that gets in the way when I clean - all my old chronic issues are gone. Drink some milk and eat more protein.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmz34 View Post
    I'm currently doing a program as close to Starting Strength as I can- do you recommend sticking to that for the weight gain? Or would it be more beneficial doing some higher rep work with lower weights, given my problems? As much as the latter would bore me to death I think it would be more effective since I've pretty much been trying to do the former for quite a while now with setback after setback.

    Just to be a bit clearer, I've had virtually no joint, ligament or tendon problems whatsoever- it's just soft tissue injuries so it sounds consistent with what Rip said about poor soft tissue integrity.

    @ello

    I want to just man up and carry on like I've been doing, but you do begin to feel if it's actually doing you long term harm.

    This is something I've asked myself more than a few times

    "I enjoy being stronger, but strength training always seems to get me injured sooner or later. Is this really adding to my quality of life, or is it robbing me of it?"

    I can't answer that question even now. But, learning how to deal with disappointment and failure in my strength training has helped me in life far beyond the weight room. My favorite quote, that I always go back to when I feel like shit, is from one of the articles on this website:

    "Consciously forcing yourself to do what’s necessary is how you increase your control over your actions, and your will. It may not be an easy task, but no one said manifesting dreams was easy. Just do it." - Tommy Suggs

    There's ALWAYS SOMETHING that's going to get in the way of your goals. So, how do we deal with it? We either push through because we believe the benefit exceed the costs, or we reevaluate our goals. At this point, I'm still going to see strength training through until my body says otherwise. Best of luck to you!

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