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Thread: 76 year old olympic weightlifter

  1. #21
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    • wichita falls texas december seminar 2020
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    I've also read going all out all the time leads to injury and setbacks no matter what age we are.
    Greetings friend Jerry. I am glad someone on this site understands this.
    I enjoy following your workout thread, & indeed look for inspiration and experiences from everyone 60 or more.

    Do you have any joint issues (knees, ankles, etc.)? Any lessons on how to avoid them, or deal with them?
    Greetings Uncle Joe.
    I have had training injuries at odd times. The first was at age 17, when my left knee became painful after sitting in the lotus posture for over an hour and a half. That injury flares up at times.
    About 8 years ago, it came back suddenly, so i couldn't do a deep squat or a squat snatch because of the pain. To get around it i did hi rep heavy quarter squats, front and back, & split lifts with my good leg forward. It cleared up after about 6 months or so.
    Another time a National level coach designed a program for me. The first night i so badly injured my back, i couldn't lift for the best part of a year.
    i had always been a back sleeper, but had such bad sciatic pain that i had to sleep on my stomach. have never been able to go back to back sleeping.
    While i remained injured, i went to the gym & practiced lifts & exercises sitting in a chair. I could also do tricep pressdowns, because that stretched the spine & didn't put pressure on it. And i could do 1 leg leg presses and calf raises with my good leg.
    Had chiro & it cleared up after many months.
    Also had a shoulder injury, which again stopped me from squat snatching, but i could do the split because the catch didn't hurt. That cleared up after a time also.
    Then a couuple of years ago, i hurt my shoulder again, trying the BP after not having done it for 10 years. So now it is P.O.B. time for me.
    That's about it for injuries.
    In my training, i stretch daily - spine every which way, shoulders with dislocates, etc, hip flexors with deep lunge. because i do them every day, i have become very flexible & impress the young ones at the non-lifting gym i have to use.
    I take care to regulate my training to what i can recover from & improve in my twice a week gym visits.

    Welcome aboard. Keep us current.
    Thanks Johnathon. My training is on my competitive lifter thread, but for the next 3 or 6 months i will be using weights that your grandmother would warm up with, so don't trouble yourself to look.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 76now View Post
    I have had training injuries at odd times. The first was at age 17, when my left knee became painful after sitting in the lotus posture for over an hour and a half. That injury flares up at times.
    About 8 years ago, it came back suddenly, so i couldn't do a deep squat or a squat snatch because of the pain. To get around it i did hi rep heavy quarter squats, front and back, & split lifts with my good leg forward. It cleared up after about 6 months or so.
    Another time a National level coach designed a program for me. The first night i so badly injured my back, i couldn't lift for the best part of a year.
    i had always been a back sleeper, but had such bad sciatic pain that i had to sleep on my stomach. have never been able to go back to back sleeping.
    While i remained injured, i went to the gym & practiced lifts & exercises sitting in a chair. I could also do tricep pressdowns, because that stretched the spine & didn't put pressure on it. And i could do 1 leg leg presses and calf raises with my good leg.
    Had chiro & it cleared up after many months.
    Also had a shoulder injury, which again stopped me from squat snatching, but i could do the split because the catch didn't hurt. That cleared up after a time also.
    Then a couple of years ago, i hurt my shoulder again, trying the BP after not having done it for 10 years. So now it is P.O.B. time for me.
    That's about it for injuries.
    In my training, i stretch daily - spine every which way, shoulders with dislocates, etc, hip flexors with deep lunge. because i do them every day, i have become very flexible & impress the young ones at the non-lifting gym i have to use.
    I take care to regulate my training to what i can recover from & improve in my twice a week gym visits.
    "...my left knee became painful after sitting in the lotus posture...." I keep telling my wife yoga is bad for you.

    Thanks for the rundown on your injury and recovery history. I admire your diligence and intelligence in devising ways to work the joints after injuries until they more or less work right again. This is the approach I'm taking with my knees. They work fine except for serious pain when the thigh is just above, at, or below parallel in movements like the power clean and power snatch. I've never attempted a squat clean or snatch. I am sore afraid.

    What I'm doing are squat jumps (unweighted, obviously), as there's little pain and they work the whole range of motion. Seems to have some good effect, though I'm early in the process. Inspired in this by the exciting finale of Dr. Sullivan's recent talk on joints.

  3. #23
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    I keep telling my wife yoga is bad for you.
    RAFL !
    But, really, Joe, she should be fine unless she tries to sit in the Lotus Posture for 3 hours.

    [my knees.] They work fine except for serious pain when the thigh is just above, at, or below parallel in movements like the power clean and power snatch.
    You are doing just fine Joe.
    Just a question on your power clean/power snatch. Is that “parallel” pain from when you are bending to set up for the pull, or is it when you are catching the lifts?
    If the latter, you don't need to go that low. Power clean/snatch are caught in a quarter squat.
    For the “mature” man in the street, it's not worthwhile learning the techniques involved in the Olympic Lifts. You can get plenty of explosive power practice & learning from the power versions.

    Exceptions are those mental defectives who have to learn them or die.

    If your pain is coming from trying to drop lower to get closer to the full lifts, there are other possibilities, depending on your knees.
    If you have one sound and one bung knee, you could use split snatches and cleans, with your good knee forward. That can let you go really deep.
    If it is both knees, VE HAF VAYS to train them, strengthen them, and get down without pain.

    At any rate, explosive training is the bees knees. Everyone should be doing it unless they want to be strong and slow.

    We should also be using the explosive movement of the Jerk, which generates more power than all other lifts and exercises.
    Not real jerks maybe, but you can do power jerks, power presses, and jerk thrusts with huge weights from shoulder to nose. That one will also help your presses.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 76now View Post
    RAFL !
    Just a question on your power clean/power snatch. Is that “parallel” pain from when you are bending to set up for the pull, or is it when you are catching the lifts?

    If the latter, you don't need to go that low. Power clean/snatch are caught in a quarter squat.
    For the “mature” man in the street, it's not worthwhile learning the techniques involved in the Olympic Lifts. You can get plenty of explosive power practice & learning from the power versions.

    Exceptions are those mental defectives who have to learn them or die.

    If your pain is coming from trying to drop lower to get closer to the full lifts, there are other possibilities, depending on your knees.
    If you have one sound and one bung knee, you could use split snatches and cleans, with your good knee forward. That can let you go really deep.
    If it is both knees, VE HAF VAYS to train them, strengthen them, and get down without pain.

    At any rate, explosive training is the bees knees. Everyone should be doing it unless they want to be strong and slow.

    We should also be using the explosive movement of the Jerk, which generates more power than all other lifts and exercises.
    Not real jerks maybe, but you can do power jerks, power presses, and jerk thrusts with huge weights from shoulder to nose. That one will also help your presses.
    I don't typically have pain with the power clean or snatch, because I rarely achieve even a quarter squat. Usually an eighth or sixth squat. This limits my progress and makes heavier weights difficult, as I'm 6'1" and the bar must leap far to reach my glorious shoulders. My legs instinctively stop before reaching the pain point (both knees). Right now I'm doing single cleans at 75 kg and double snatches at 52.5 kg (52yo, 92kg).

    With adequate warmup and good form, I do back squats just below parallel with no knee pain. I can do unweighted squat jumps with the full range of motion with only a little pain, so I'm doing that now in the hopes that this will encourage useful adaptation in the knees. The pain seems to come from the patelar and lateral regions when I do an unweighted clean or snatch motion, landing at or below a quarter squat. Also when standing slowly from a crouch (front squat sort of movements).

    I started doing rack jerks about a month ago for (1) the reasons you state, (2) the love of saying "rack jerk," (3) spontaneous cursing in Russian.

    Vat ah deez vays you speak of? Fery, fery interestink.

  5. #25
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    Split snatches are an excellent alternative to both the full and power clean. This is the variant I do to save my knees.

    I can't power clean. The high squat position just devastates my poor old knees. Strangely, I can full squat clean. It makes my knees sore (actually, it's the front squat out of the hole, more than the clean itself), but I tolerate it much better than the power. I can do a fair split clean, and it's a good alternative too. I'd prefer to do it for the same reasons I prefer the split position for the snatch. Left forward split really gives my creaky old right knee a lot of relief. But I just can't clean as much into the split as I can the squat clean. Moreover, I also jerk, and I find it much easier to transition into the jerk position from the power or full squat clean than from the split clean. I can do it, but it always feels awkward, and it's rough on my wrists. So I do the full clean and put up with the knee soreness. One day I'll have to stop, but not yet.

    YMMV.

    Just an opportunity to reiterate that I don't think the O-lift variants are off-limits to us geezers. Not all of us can do them, but some can. And they sure are fun.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathon Sullivan View Post
    Split snatches are an excellent alternative to both the full and power clean. This is the variant I do to save my knees.

    Strangely, I can full squat clean. It makes my knees sore (actually, it's the front squat out of the hole, more than the clean itself), but I tolerate it much better than the power.
    I stand in awe of 50+ y.o. full squat cleaners. My knees salute you all.

  7. #27
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    Vat ah deez vays you speak of?
    Uncle Joe
    Greetings Uncle Joe.

    Your snatches and cleans are way above what I can do now.
    Looks like your knees are fairly sound, if you can parallel squat ok. Looks like they really don't like the ballistic shock of the catch in the clean and snatch.

    I am olde skool. A long learning & experiments with a research pool of one.

    With joint and tendon problems, know that their healing and recovery is a very slow process.
    They do not have the abundant blood supply & regenerative power that muscles have.
    Tendons are nourished by diffusion from synovial fluid.

    They can be strengthened by judicious use of heavy weights

    AND

    THEY NEED EXTENSIVE PERIODS OF TRAINING WITH FLEXION AND A HIGH NUMBER OF REPS WITH MINIMAL RESISTANCE.
    We are talking about 20-30 reps to stimulate blood flow and stretch muscle.

    These periods to be alternated with times of heavy weights.

    Case studies.
    Anthony Ditillo recovering from a serious shoulder injury from Bench Pressing. [Bet you never heard of that happening.]
    He did partial presses, front & back of neck, which didn't hurt. From shoulders up to about eye height. Warmups, then a dozen sets of 3-5 with one minute rests. Healed him up and gave a lot of power and size.

    Me, when I dun my knee in. I could do quarter front and back squats, sets of 20 reps. After months I was healed up.

    I've never attempted a squat clean or snatch. I am sore afraid.
    Uncle Joe
    Now being scairt of dropping under a jerk or snatch or clean is nothing to be ashamed of ….

    Even now I tend to pull like Hell on a limit weight & drop in a not very elegant fashion.

    Here is my VAYS to train them -

    I pull a snatch or clean, go under it, and stop dead.
    Do not recover, but ease your way deeper by bending your legs to slowly go as deep as you can.
    This slow gentle stretch under the weight gradually improves your flexibility, if you keep doing them, and gets you comfortable with going deep.
    This training works too, if you are just using a broomstick.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 76now View Post
    Greetings Uncle Joe.

    THEY NEED EXTENSIVE PERIODS OF TRAINING WITH FLEXION AND A HIGH NUMBER OF REPS WITH MINIMAL RESISTANCE.
    We are talking about 20-30 reps to stimulate blood flow and stretch muscle.

    These periods to be alternated with times of heavy weights.
    I finished my last workout with some unweighted front squats. That movement and knee position seems to hit the angle/flexion at the pain point, without much pain as would otherwise result from a ballistic movement. I'll try that with 20-30 reps, and begin alternating with 5 rep sets with the empty bar, slowly adding weight over the weeks/months.

    Quote Originally Posted by 76now View Post
    I pull a snatch or clean, go under it, and stop dead.
    Do not recover, but ease your way deeper by bending your legs to slowly go as deep as you can.
    This slow gentle stretch under the weight gradually improves your flexibility, if you keep doing them, and gets you comfortable with going deep.
    This training works too, if you are just using a broomstick.
    I like this idea, I see olympic lifters on youtube doing something similar in their warmups. I'll start to do it in my clean and snatch warmups with light weights.

    Many thanks for the advice, I hope that in the year 2043 on my 77th birthday I can put up numbers like yours. You must be in the top 0.01% of your bracket.

  9. #29
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    I can't power clean. The high squat position just devastates my poor old knees. Johnathon.
    You poor old thing.

    Really, Johnathon, there are VAYS if you want to power clean.

    Option 1. A bit lighter than max PC that comes up to the shoulders with a slight softening of your knees.

    Option 2. As Heavy As, but received at the shoulders with a short high split. When you get really comfortable with this, you can work down to quarter squat depth.

    I just can't clean as much into the split as I can the squat clean.
    Johnathon
    Power cleaning and split cleaning for the jerk is a mere fraction of the exertion of a full squat clean, so that can be a factor in lifting competition, where many jerks are missed after a hard clean.

    I fell in love with split lifting since an overseas illness lost me my sense of balance and made squat snatches a lost cause.

    Did you know that Dave Sheppard, the chief pathfinder for squat lifting in the USA, along with Pete George, was able to split snatch and clean and jerk within a couple of pounds of his best squat lifts?

    And Bill Starr was able to split snatch more than he could squat snatch.

    I find it much easier to transition into the jerk position from the power or full squat clean than from the split clean.
    Johnathon.
    Well, it is what it is. But I would have thought a split move after a split move would have been an easier transition than a split after a squat

    You must be in the top 0.01% of your bracket.
    Uncle Joe.

    Yes, I am.

    Because 99.98 % of those lifters are dead and buried.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 76now View Post
    You poor old thing.
    Yes. Precisely.

    Really, Johnathon, there are VAYS if you want to power clean.
    I've tried them all.

    Option 1. A bit lighter than max PC that comes up to the shoulders with a slight softening of your knees.
    I don't catch them on hard straight knees. I catch them in the quarter-squat--which hurts worse than muscle-cleaning to a straight-leg rack.

    Option 2. As Heavy As, but received at the shoulders with a short high split. When you get really comfortable with this, you can work down to quarter squat depth.
    I'm at quarter-squat depth....that's where it hurts. I can do the split clean, but it never feels as sweet and powerful as the squat clean, and the transition to the jerk is awkward and uncomfortable.


    Well, it is what it is. But I would have thought a split move after a split move would have been an easier transition than a split after a squat
    It's the subtle change in grip to prepare the jerk that's the issue--an easy transition from the power clean or squat clean, but clumsy AF for me out of the split. Anyway, I seem to be tolerating the full squat clean again, and better now, at least for the moment. I have the split clean in reserve if I need it. And the split snatch is my standard snatch variant.

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