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Starting Strength Injury Advice
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Saucey! Offline
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Starting Strength Injury Advice
Hi everyone!

I'm looking for some suggestions on what route to take for a fitness predicament that has reared its head.

Background: I've been doing starting strength off and on for about a year now. More on than off, but I moved across the country, had to reset, blah dee blah. Anyways, I've been hitting it hard the past 2.5 months, going 3 times a week, religiously. I'm 5'10" and 175 lbs, and I was starting to see some nice results, especially considering I have never really been an athlete. So, I was chugging along nicely with my squat at 260, bench at 195, and DL at 300, when I started to develop some hip flexor pain. And then the shoulder pain started. (In actuality, I think they had been there for a bit, but I was ignoring it until it really became apparent.)

I feel pretty solid on the forms (I've gotten several compliments from strangers on how nice my squat looks). Someone recently noted that I'm not "locking my elbows" on bench? The shoulder pain is usually post lifting, but the hip flexor pain is while squatting.

Anyway, I've taken about a week and half off now, and the shoulder has slightly improved, but the hip is still pretty apparent (I did some light lifting today.) I'm considering going to a doctor to get it all checked out, proper.

But in the mean time, (here's where you guys come in) what else could/should I do? I do yoga once or twice a week, and I've been considering doing some cardio...but I don't really want to lose what I've worked my ass off the last 2 and a half months to gain. Should I get on the iso machines? Work more on form? Stop being a pussy and just lift anyway? And do you think it would be worth seeing a doctor? Or is it just going to be rest and stretch/pay for this MRI?

Some direction/similar experiences would be much obliged.

Thanks
03-26-2014 01:14 AM
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berserk Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
Hip and shoulder pain. Yeah that sounds like every 5x5 or SS. I have both those two in my right shoulder and left hip and I've had them for about a year. I think it is very common. Someone more knowledgeable will probably join in, I think the key is stretching, but avoiding smaller injuries like this I dont think is possible if you lift for a longer period.
(This post was last modified: 03-26-2014 01:21 AM by berserk.)
03-26-2014 01:21 AM
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Skye Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
Hip flexor pain could just be a flexibility issue if it's during a squat. Make sure to warm up for both squats and everything else correctly and also cool down with stretches. A deep squat hip stretch should work well. Try and find starting stretching if you haven't hear of it.

Shoulder pain could be a rotator cuff strain depending on where exactly you feel it. If that's the case I would think you would feel it during bench press, though.

It's your call to continue lightly or go see a doctor, but if you keep it up, ICE. Definitely put ice on it. Also don't try to hurry back to full weight, I did that with my lower back (dumb, right?) and simply agitated the strain.

Berserk is right though, you will most likely run into a couple minor strains throughout beginner lifting.
03-26-2014 02:08 AM
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Benoit Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
Keep working on your form for all exercises, often the damage is done elsewhere and shows up later. Don't be afraid to take time off or go light, injuries take longer than you'd think to fully heal.

Get the book MikeCF recommends:

The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook

I had rotator cuff pain for months, and within a couple of sessions it was gone. Now if I get an occasional ache during training I can often 'release' it on the spot and carry on with the rest of my workout with no issues.

"I'd hate myself if I had that kind of attitude, if I were that weak." - Arnold
03-26-2014 06:33 AM
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EddieValiant Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
I hurt my shoulder doing starting strength as well. The cuff is known to heal very slowly and I saw this first hand. My biggest regret was continuing to lift thru the pain so if I were you I'd stop. Figure out what's up and go from there.
(This post was last modified: 03-26-2014 08:06 AM by EddieValiant.)
03-26-2014 08:06 AM
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GTS Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
Starting strength is about creating linear progression for beginners, raising every lift every session. This only lasts 3 months for regular guys and up to 5 months for the genetic freaks. When you can no longer make linear progression, it's time to drop SS and follow an intermediate program for weekly progression.

Keep pushing it with SS after its intended period and you will overtrain very easily, leading to all sorts of problems.

Deload to 90% of your 5 rm and try the texas method for weekly progression. Keep the assistance exercises to a minimum.

Alternatively, you can try leangains and reverse pyramid training if you want to improve body composition for the summer.

As for the hip and shoulder pain, your symptoms generally come up when the joint isn't externally rotated properly during the exercise. Hard to tell without a video though.
(This post was last modified: 03-26-2014 08:50 AM by GTS.)
03-26-2014 08:17 AM
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CaptainChardonnay Away
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Post: #7
RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
Looking into seeing an osteopath
03-26-2014 10:05 AM
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TonySandos
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
Look into doing a handstand push-up progression for your shoulder. It's a great exercise that keeps your cuff strong and protected.

As for squatting, start doing these in order to stay nimble:

http://www.startbodyweight.com/2013/12/f...d-one.html

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03-26-2014 10:14 AM
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samsamsam Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
Make sure you have the right technique. I just realized that I was benching too high - closer to my shoulders rather than more over my chest.

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03-26-2014 10:53 AM
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scorpion Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
Personally (and I know some will disagree) I don't think that any kind of program that has you squatting heavy multiple times per week is going to be sustainable long term. I've tried it multiple times in the past, and every time I end up with hip pain. Cut back the heavy squats to once a week and it's no longer an issue.

This could just be an issue with my anatomy, but heavy squats are definitely tough on the body, particularly the lower back and hips (and knees if your form is bad). You can still make great strength and muscle gains without squatting multiple times per week, so unless you are specifically training for squat strength I would recommend going very light on your squats for the next month or so, then working your way back up to heavier weight with one squat session per week.

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03-26-2014 11:32 AM
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Veloce Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
After a year of SS or SL, you should switch to an intermediate program that has you squatting heavy only once per week.

In the meantime, foam roll your hips, every day. Better to have hip pain than lower back or knee pain. If your hips are sore that probably means your form is solid and you simply need to decrease your workload two days out of the week.

For shoulder pain, make sure you're hanging in between sets. Make sure your back is arched to decrease your range of motion, and feet firmly planted on the ground. Make sure your elbows aren't flaring out to the side, but are slightly more tucked in toward your body. Bar should be above your sternum, not above your mid-chest.

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03-26-2014 12:32 PM
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kbell Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
What are good intermediate programs for after SS.
03-26-2014 03:47 PM
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Farmageddon Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
Quote:What are good intermediate programs for after SS.

You should really check out "Body of a Spartan" by Victor Pride. I've been doing it for about 2 weeks now and I'm enjoying it a lot more than Starting Strength.

It's kind of a combination between a strength routine and a bodybuilding routine. Kind of the best of both worlds.

You can find it at http://www.bodyofaspartan.com or online for, ahem, considerably less than retail. But you should totally buy it because Victor Pride is a great guy. Check out his blog at: http://www.boldandetermined.com

He has several different routines in the book but the beginner/intermediate program that I am doing right now is:

SPARTAN BEGINNERS ROUTINE (4 DAYS PER WEEK)

1st set - 15-20 reps
2nd set - 12-15 reps
3rd set - 8-12 reps
4th set - 6-8 reps
5th set - 5 reps
add weight every rep, try to get 90% of your max on the 5th set
rest about 1-2 minutes tops between sets

Monday: Chest / Back / Triceps
Bench Press: 5 sets, add weigh each set for a top set of 5 repetitions
Deadlift: 5 sets, add weigh each set for a top set of 5 repetitions
Chin-ups: 3 sets to failure
Close Grip Bench Press: 5 sets, add weigh each set for a top set of 5 repetitions
Diamond Pushups: 3 sets to failure

Tuesday: Legs / Shoulders / Biceps
Squats: 5 sets, add weigh each set for a top set of 5 repetitions
Military Press: 5 sets, add weigh each set for a top set of 5 repetitions
Scott Press: 3 sets, 8-12 reps per set
Barbell Curls: 5 sets, add weigh each set for a top set of 5 repetitions

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday : Chest / Back / Triceps / Neck
Bench Press: 5 sets, add weigh each set for a top set of 5 repetitions
Deadlift: 5 sets, add weigh each set for a top set of 5 repetitions
Close Grip Bench Press: 5 sets, add weigh each set for a top set of 5 repetitions
Neck Bridge: 3 sets to failure

Friday: Legs / Shoulders / Biceps / Abs
Squats: 5 sets, add weigh each set for a top set of 5 repetitions
Military Press: 5 sets, add weigh each set for a top set of 5 repetitions
Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 3 sets, 8-12 reps per set
Barbell Curls: 5 sets, add weigh each set for a top set of 5 repetitions
Abdominal Crunches (or any ab exercise): 3 sets to failure

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(This post was last modified: 03-26-2014 05:17 PM by Farmageddon.)
03-26-2014 05:15 PM
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velkrum Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
Pain during lifting should NEVER be a common thing.
Pain during or after lifting means you are doing or have done something wrong.

98% of the time pain stems from improper technique.
Rippetoe is one of the worst instructors for technique.

Most times people think stretching fixes everything when actually it can make things worse.

I have dealt with all of the issues people are complaining about in this thread and I can assure you...

all of your problems can easily go away with adjustments to technique.
03-26-2014 06:15 PM
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TonySandos Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
what about shoulder cuff pain atop my arms when I lift them?
03-26-2014 06:38 PM
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kbell Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
And what technique adjustments would they be for say the deadlift and squat? Squat is my weaker big lift. Don't have great flexibilty when underweight so can only do 230 lbs. Somedays I can hit full parallel others not. I use rippletoe for guidance but always look for improvements.

Do you have to eat a ton to do several big lifts like bench and deadlifts on one day? I usually split my big lifts one a day, 3 times a week. And I do something like pulls up or chin ups as a secondary. And than whatever comes to mind which is often a isolation exercise. I don't usually have a ton of energy though. I don't eat a ton of food usually.
03-26-2014 08:16 PM
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GTS Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
(03-26-2014 06:15 PM)velkrum Wrote:  Pain during lifting should NEVER be a common thing.
Pain during or after lifting means you are doing or have done something wrong.

98% of the time pain stems from improper technique.
Rippetoe is one of the worst instructors for technique.

Most times people think stretching fixes everything when actually it can make things worse.

I have dealt with all of the issues people are complaining about in this thread and I can assure you...

all of your problems can easily go away with adjustments to technique.

I actually found Rippetoe to be the best technique/programming coach for beginners. The problem is in our modern age, people get bored easily and have really short attention span.

Barely anyone has the patience to read through 63 pages on the low bar squat, match it up with his instructional videos where he goes through a bunch of live coaching case studies, and then submit your exercise video on his forum for critique (which is free).

If you're trying to figure it out without in-person coaching, the initial learning curve is quite tedious. As a result of ignorance, the vast majority of people that follow SS and Rippetoe's techniques are doing it wrong
03-26-2014 09:22 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
The problem is that non-athletes and weekend warriors tend to be quite inflexible because they sit around all day staring at a computer and leaning into their screens. Tight and inflexible muscles get injured when they are stressed by intense weight training.

The following simple exercises will help improve your flexibility and prevent injury:

1. Hip abductions for the hips and, crucially, the gluteus medius:





2. Do this amazing stick exercise for rotator cuff flexibility and general shoulder health:





3. Do deep body weight squats:





If you take 10 minutes to do all of these every day you will significantly improved flexibility in areas that get tight and stiff from sitting and staring at a screen, and greatly reduce the potential for injury (with the stick rotator cuff exercise you will also break scar tissue and heal existing tweaks).

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
03-26-2014 10:46 PM
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berserk Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
(03-26-2014 06:38 PM)TonySandos Wrote:  what about shoulder cuff pain atop my arms when I lift them?

I would like an answer to this too. I've had shoulder pain when I lift my arms up like 'wings' extending into my upper outside arm.
03-26-2014 11:00 PM
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The Lizard of Oz Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
(03-26-2014 11:00 PM)berserk Wrote:  
(03-26-2014 06:38 PM)TonySandos Wrote:  what about shoulder cuff pain atop my arms when I lift them?

I would like an answer to this too. I've had shoulder pain when I lift my arms up like 'wings' extending into my upper outside arm.

Take a look at the stick rotator cuff exercise I posted above (#2 of the three flexibility exercises). It's really great for healing rotator cuff tweaks, and for preventive maintenance so you don't get them in the first place.

same old shit, sixes and sevens Shaft...
03-26-2014 11:07 PM
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Post: #21
RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
(03-26-2014 06:15 PM)velkrum Wrote:  Pain during lifting should NEVER be a common thing.
Pain during or after lifting means you are doing or have done something wrong.

98% of the time pain stems from improper technique.
Rippetoe is one of the worst instructors for technique.

Most times people think stretching fixes everything when actually it can make things worse.

I have dealt with all of the issues people are complaining about in this thread and I can assure you...

all of your problems can easily go away with adjustments to technique.

Are you differentiating between pain with joint/tendon soreness with pain due to muscle soreness? After leg day, I can barely walk due to hamstring and glute lactic acid.

Just making sure that my soreness is normal...
03-26-2014 11:22 PM
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Saucey! Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
So general consensus seems to be lighten the load, change up the routine, and stretch my shit out, eh?

As long as I keep lifting...say 60% of what I was doing, I'm not going to see much decrease in muscle mass, right?

Also, any advice on the potential doctor visit? I've got some bangin' insurance and it wouldn't be cost me much to make an appointment. But if he's just going to tell me to rest and stretch, then I feel like it would be a waste of time.

Thanks for all the input.
03-26-2014 11:42 PM
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Bushido Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
(03-26-2014 11:42 PM)Saucey! Wrote:  As long as I keep lifting...say 60% of what I was doing, I'm not going to see much decrease in muscle mass, right?

Just make sure you are moving the bar as quickly as possible and you will continue to make gains.

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03-27-2014 12:30 AM
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Benoit Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
(03-26-2014 11:42 PM)Saucey! Wrote:  Also, any advice on the potential doctor visit? I've got some bangin' insurance and it wouldn't be cost me much to make an appointment. But if he's just going to tell me to rest and stretch, then I feel like it would be a waste of time.

A referral to a sports physio is the best outcome. Unless your doctor lifts.

"I'd hate myself if I had that kind of attitude, if I were that weak." - Arnold
03-27-2014 03:27 AM
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kosko Offline
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RE: Starting Strength Injury Advice
Those are classic hit points for muscle imbalances that Elliot Hulse talks about. Google his YouTube videos on how to stretch and fix them.
03-27-2014 04:00 AM
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