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  1. #1
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    Go slow on the free weights




    Dear Forum,
    made a really dumb mistake, have been training more agressively, and decided
    to add a little free weight to the mix...
    No Problems till I hit the Squat Sled and thought I am stronger than I was 2 years
    ago when I did mostly free weight and jogging
    Yes the legs are powerful from cycling but the tendons are now more addept
    at cycling and not holding up 400 pounds of free weight, did 20 easy dips and moved on.to quaDS AND CURLES..
    the next morning my knee was sore, I must have strained or mildly sprained the meidialtendon of my R leg.CRAAAAAAA____!mY LEG feels like my shoulder after tossing a baseball from the outfield!!!
    My guess is the Fibers of the tendon may have been streched too the tearing point..
    DUMB DUmb DUMB. Now I limp a little and will have to gently re-hab that tendon, to much actiion could cause more damage, it should heal nicely in a few weeks God willing
    The Achmee knee brace in my closet all covered in dust fixed the pain when walking. not sure about cyclmg may just spin for a while/// dumb dumb.....

    Never will I do heavy lifting with my legs they are to strong for the supoortive structures of the laterial and medial tendons, not to mention the risk of cartlidge
    damage from grinding the patellia into the heads of bones... DUMB DUMB,, I know better but the weights felt great at the time...
    So trust me on this Cyclist may not realize how powerfull their legs are till they sprain a
    tendon that provides colateral support to the knee a very delicate structure,
    not to mention I overlooked the age thing at 61 going on 62...The Medial Coalteral tendon R Leg Interiror notice how delicate the tendons look this type of strain or sprain in football or soccer not free weight.... be warned,,,,,


    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...iagram.svg.png
    Last edited by djnzlab1; 12-27-11 at 12:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ericm979's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear you got injured. Every time I go to the gym I say to myself "you are a cyclist, not a weight lifter", even though its obvious whenever I look in the mirror. On exercises like leg press where I can move large weights, I gradually work up to heavy weights rather than going for my max right off. If anything hurts, I stop that exercise for the day. When I come back after stopping for a while, I try to be careful not to get carried away.

  3. #3
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    Squats put so much pressure on the lower back most orthopedic surgeons would say never to do them. Do step-ups instead. Or controlled lunges with a straight back.
    FS: Shimano DA 7900 brake calipers, DA 7900 Crankset 50/34 175mm and BB

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    Senior Member CrankyFranky's Avatar
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    OP - thank you for the reminder! I hope you heal well. Tendons seem to me like aging plastic - they just get more brittle as we get older, even though we can maintain muscle mass.

  5. #5
    Senior Member DGlenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    Squats put so much pressure on the lower back most orthopedic surgeons would say never to do them. Do step-ups instead. Or controlled lunges with a straight back.
    Most orthopedic surgeons are wrong - IMO.

    I would suspect that most orthopedic surgeons have never done many squats, and have not discovered the tremendous benefits they offer.

    The few orthopedic surgeons who work with olympians, bodybuilders, power lifters, and (yes) cyclists, actually recommend them strongly.

    Taking it further, there's a lot of evidence that - contrary to popular misconception - when done properly, with good form, and built up slowly, squats and most heavy core exercises such as deadlifts can help rebuild lost bone mass and thinning cartilage.

    The problem is the we fifty-plusses tend to think we're still twenty-plusses, so we go at it to hard and too fast. (At least - that's what I do. Causes injuries every time )

    Personal - admittedly anecdotal - evidence:

    When I first started mountain climbing, at age 52, my knees gave me 5 kinds of hell on the descents. Someone pointed me at the evidence about the value of squats, deads, and other heavy resistance training. I asked my orthopedic specialist about it, and he said it was nonsense. But I got into a carefully planned routine of leg and core buildup exercises anyway. Now? Two months ago I came down one of the world's highest mountain without the slightest twinge in my knees.

    Summary:
    - Do your squats.
    - Do them right
    - Build up slowly
    - There's no shame in doing a low-weight / high-reps routine
    - They, along with deadlifts, will help in almost every aspect of your life.
    Regards,
    Duncan

  6. #6
    Senior Member DGlenday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    Squats put so much pressure on the lower back most orthopedic surgeons would say never to do them. Do step-ups instead. Or controlled lunges with a straight back.
    Most orthopedic surgeons are wrong - IMO.

    I would suspect that most orthopedic surgeons have never done many squats, and have not discovered the tremendous benefits they offer.

    The few orthopedic surgeons who work with olympians, bodybuilders, power lifters, and (yes) cyclists, actually recommend them strongly.

    Taking it further, there's a lot of evidence that - contrary to popular misconception - when done properly, with good form, and built up slowly, squats and most heavy core exercises such as deadlifts can help rebuild lost bone mass and thinning cartilage.

    The problem is the we fifty-plusses tend to think we're still twenty-plusses, so we go at it to hard and too fast. (At least - that's what I do. Causes injuries every time )

    Personal - admittedly anecdotal - evidence:

    When I first started mountain climbing, at age 52, my knees gave me 5 kinds of hell on the descents. Someone pointed me at the evidence about the value of squats, deads, and other heavy resistance training. I asked my orthopedic specialist about it, and he said it was nonsense. But I got into a carefully planned routine of leg and core buildup exercises anyway. Now? Two months ago I came down one of the world's highest mountain without the slightest twinge in my knees.

    Summary:
    - Do your squats.
    - Do them right
    - Build up slowly
    - There's no shame in doing a low-weight / high-reps routine
    - They, along with deadlifts, will help in almost every aspect of your life.



    All very much I M (very) H O...
    Regards,
    Duncan

  7. #7
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    It is not wise to start out after two years with heavy weights for any exercise. I do several weekly, and I have absolutely no problems, but I have been doing them for 25 years - regularly.

    You need to build up the capacity of your tendons, ligament, etc. and supporting muscles over a period of time.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGlenday View Post
    Most orthopedic surgeons are wrong - IMO.
    Taking it further, there's a lot of evidence that - contrary to popular misconception - when done properly, with good form, and built up slowly, squats and most heavy core exercises such as deadlifts can help rebuild lost bone mass and thinning cartilage.
    When I hung out in a gym a long time ago, the bodybuilders suggested precisely what you are saying. One of the old body building books I owned called for a year of stretches and calisthenics to build up all the tendons and stabilizer muscles before you touched a weight.

    The real hard core old times were suspicious of most of the weight machines, in the belief that that they sometimes prevented the development of the stabilizer muscles, etc.

    One thing to think about is to learn to do squats correctly, and stay off of the squat sled. This is only my opinion, but a watching folks at the gym, it seems like a squat sled seems to offer a lot of mechanical advantage - too much in my ignorant opinion. It seems like there were a lot of guys who could do 750 lbs on the squat sled that I had never seen do much over 300 lbs in a free weight (or Smith machine) squat.

    My own wacky theory is the mechanical advantage affects some muscles more than others - so that even though 750 lbs on the squad sled may have felt like 300 lbs in a free weight squat to the quads, it may feel like a lot more to some of the stabilizer muscles.

    It seems to me that the weight machines were designed for to help young athletes who want to pack on lot of muscle fast - who would so so without proper form - keep from injuring themselves. But by limiting the axes of motion to prevent injuring in those guys, those machines may people like us - who need help stretching tendons/developing stabilizer muscles - injure ourselves.

    I recognize that this is a wacky theory.

    I am more focused on yoga when I am not riding right now - for balance, flexibility, and strength. Once I am no longer gaining strength from yoga, I will go back to free weights. My plan at that point:

    1. Start with very deep squats with a an empty bar - and a very high rep count.
    2. Add weight very slowly - listening to what my knees tell me each step of the way.
    3. As I get stronger, I expect to do less reps with more weight.


    I have an Ironmaster at home (a kind of Smith machine), but I'd probably rather have a squat cage.

  9. #9
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Smith machines and the like do not build the stabilizer muscles. I have the cage.
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    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    I agree with others that you don't need to max out the weight stand to do squats. My current routine is a super set that will have my legs quivering at the end. My continuous set goes like this: 15 x 16" box jumps, right to 10 x upside down bocu ball squats, right to 10 squats balancing on two medicine balls, right to failure to 10 reps of squats standing/balancing on a 55 cm stability ball.

    That level of effort might not be for everyone but modifying it to an extent will provide a great and effective set that won't kill the knees.
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  11. #11
    Semper Fi, A way of life. qcpmsame's Avatar
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    I never had any use for the squat sled, I always did them in the rack or else did donkey calf raises and used the leg press machine in both front and back positions. And always did a lot of stretching first. Right now I am fighting an inflamed Achilles tendon from just standing up wrong a few nights ago. Knees have done remarkably well for a former lineman and catcher.

    Bill
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    I wonder where you are finding these "most orthopedic surgeons"? All of my orthopedically or neurologically trained medical providers endorse free weights as heavy as I wish. At the same time they reinforce what I know and practice about progressive training.

    Sorry you hurt yourself. I hope you heal quickly and you return to weight lifting with a new sense of purpose and caution.

    I should add that if a person hasn't done free weights in a long time it is well worth the effort to get a refresher course from a proffessional teacher. Form is almost everything in free weights. Having someone who is well qualified critique your form will prevent a lot of pain while speeding the benefits.
    Last edited by HawkOwl; 12-27-11 at 03:54 PM.
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  13. #13
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    The thing about squats:

    In the 90's I was unhappy with my ski performance. Then I regularly did three sets of 12 reps of squats using the mid-boggling weight of 35 lbs. After six months I had all the leg I needed (sadly, I still lacked coordination).

    But anyone our age who goes onto weight training full bore is just asking for some nasty tendinitis.

  14. #14
    Senior Member DGlenday's Avatar
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    Mike,

    Quote Originally Posted by mikepwagner View Post
    (said many wise things)
    You've clearly been around gyms for a while. And I agree about the squats working the stabilizers, while machine exercises (including - to some extent - the smith machine) do nothing for stabilizer muscles.

    I gave up my BB routine when I started focusing on cycling and mountain hiking/climbing. But when I was at my peak, I could push over 800 lbs on a leg press but only 315 in proper squats. I did, however, find that those two exercises hit slightly different muscle groups. The leg press, for example, hit the glutes so hard that I couldn't sit without pain for 3 days afterward :lol

    I'm still doing squats now, to help cycling and climbing, but I've change to 5 sets of 20 at 135. It seems to suit my current needs better.



    But to (re) endorse what everyone has said here:
    - Start slowly
    - Use perfect form
    Regards,
    Duncan

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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Smith machines and the like do not build the stabilizer muscles. I have the cage.
    Yeah, after New Years. I think that I will put my Smith machine on CL for sale or trade for a high quality cage.

    One time, after I had been using the Smith machine for a while, I decided just for the heck of it to do a free weight squat with very little weight. That was an eye opener - the weight was at most a 1/3 of what I could squat with the Smith machine for several sets, and I could not do more than a couple of squats. My quads and glutes were plenty strong, but I was wobbling all over the place. I was pretty surprised.

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    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikepwagner View Post
    Yeah, after New Years. I think that I will put my Smith machine on CL for sale or trade for a high quality cage.

    One time, after I had been using the Smith machine for a while, I decided just for the heck of it to do a free weight squat with very little weight. That was an eye opener - the weight was at most a 1/3 of what I could squat with the Smith machine for several sets, and I could not do more than a couple of squats. My quads and glutes were plenty strong, but I was wobbling all over the place. I was pretty surprised.
    Here you go - my workout area:

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    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    The rectangular piping on the cage is a homemade dip bar, which comes out easily.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 12-28-11 at 06:37 AM.
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  18. #18
    Motorcycle RoadRacer cehowardGS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DGlenday View Post

    Summary:
    - Do your squats.
    - Do them right
    - Build up slowly
    - There's no shame in doing a low-weight / high-reps routine
    - They, along with deadlifts, will help in almost every aspect of your life
    .
    Can't be put or said any better!

    On squats with free weights, one should just go right in and bang up to their max. You ease up to you heavier weights. Now, if you a regular, you still ease up to your max..

    The feeling from doing leg squats with a barbell is awesome. I have banged my knees before, I know the warning signs, and most of what not to do. After I warm up, with stretching I do a couple sets of squats at a quarter of what I lift. Then I do 3 sets of 10 or 12 without taking the bar down, and about 7 to 10 seconds pause. Then I put the bar down.. Do 3 more sets. I found out that helps me more on the bicycle.
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  19. #19
    Watching and waiting. jethro56's Avatar
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    I have a belief that momentum is the great injurer and the object of resistance training is to work the muscle. With free weights and most weight machines it's all too easy to "cheat" and gain that next step up in weight by "exploding" in the beginning of a rep. It's a behavior that takes a lot of disipline to control. Something that I lack. The Y got in a 10 station rubber band based circuit. My joints are much happier. The rubberband resistance has very little mass so changing direction doesn't jerk. There is much less benefit to exploding. You still can if you want to but it will deaccelerate much quicker.

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    Semper Fi, A way of life. qcpmsame's Avatar
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    Denver,
    That workout area looks great. What trainer are you using for the suffer fest time?

    Bill
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  21. #21
    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    Denver,
    That workout area looks great. What trainer are you using for the suffer fest time?

    Bill
    That's an old picture.

    [EDIT] - posted a new pic as of today.

    I am going to replace it with a new one today, if I have time. I now have a Spec Hardrock on the mag trainer, which I use ONLY in the most desperate of times - i.e., it is 20 degrees below zero and the wind is blowing at 50 mph and it is a blizzard.

    I live 1 mile on the MUP from our rec center, and I will walk the mile under most circumstances, swim for about 50 minutes and walk back - all in place of using the trainer.

    I have videos (Spinervals) and they help some, but I just detest being inside.

    I also am a strong believer in cross training, which, for me, at 72, consists of walking, swimming, bicycling, resistance exercises, stretching and typing this on the computer So, bicycling is not my entire life.

    I got out for a nice ride yesterday. I had to walk the bike about 1/2 mile through the ice in our neighborhood, but after that the MUPs are well plowed, except a bit of ice under the bridges.

    My life has been complicated of late by a return of my Trigeminal Neuralgia which has been in remission for a bit.

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    requiring some rather strong medications which affect me in a variety of ways; particularly painful while swimming.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 12-28-11 at 06:52 AM.
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    My physical therapist had me get a proper size Balance Ball. (There is a big blue one in the image of Denver's workout room) I started out a doubter about how much that thing could do for me. But, with body weight only and doing the prescribed exercises it has amazed me just how much stability and strength I've developed over the past few months. They are cheap and very effective if done right. Get the correct size and you won't regret it.
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  23. #23
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    I agree with others that you don't need to max out the weight stand to do squats. My current routine is a super set that will have my legs quivering at the end. My continuous set goes like this: 15 x 16" box jumps, right to 10 x upside down bocu ball squats, right to 10 squats balancing on two medicine balls, right to failure to 10 reps of squats standing/balancing on a 55 cm stability ball.

    That level of effort might not be for everyone but modifying it to an extent will provide a great and effective set that won't kill the knees.
    +1 Get better fast! I do something similar to AJ. I use the gym to work the muscles that cycling does not and add balance to the workout. I do most of my "weight" training on the bike. The gym work is low to no weight and lots of reps and builds the foundation for work on the bike. On the bike, I do low cadence climbing intervals, 100 meter jumps and standing starts. I find that doing standing starts at maximum power where I push down and pull up on the pedals and handlebars as hard as possible trying to break the bike in two pieces is one of the best all body workouts to increase strength for the first few pedal strokes. It also creates the neuromuscular pathways to coordinate the upper and lower body for the first 3 to 6 pedal strokes that are required to jump to create or close a gap in a paceline.

    I do not do any heavy leg squats or presses, olympic lifts, dead lifts and etc. I know several very successful sprinters who do lift heavy weights to success on the bike.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  24. #24
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    Nice workout area Plus you have one of the best outdoor workout area Colorado!!
    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    Here you go - my workout area:


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    Thanks for all the post,
    I guess this was meant to be a friendly warning about changing methods IE
    weights, It was really easiy to exceed my tendons ability, while only
    using the ease of lifting the weight mechanically assisted.
    The reps makes sense.
    My Injury has been slowly healing ,( I beleive) It was only a level 1 sprain, by my assesment of
    current medical research I did.
    The pain is now a mild throbing easily controlled by naprisin, slowly increasing
    milleage avoiding hammering and a soft knee brace supports the medial tendon
    when walking for extended periods.
    In about another couple months it should be 100% pain free.
    I was very lucky , I don't want anyone to experience this type of Injury
    it was due to weaker tendons not frequently used in cycling.
    It was the medial tendon of the right knee..My stronger leg.
    No warning it just surfaces 24 hours post injury, most likely
    due to tendons that have frayed or bruised from excessive strain.
    Thanks again...
    Doug

    The good new I realize how unbalanced my cycling effort has been
    working on strenght training my left leg, and focusing on form,
    and position of balanced pedal effort, now seeing improvment from
    this way of training we tend to develope less than optimal pedal
    stokes, that twinge sort of says hey bring that knee in....
    Last edited by djnzlab1; 01-09-12 at 07:58 AM.

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