A Squat Related Injury, And No, It’s Not My Back

airplane
Photo: stateimpact.npr.org

Today did not go well.

I spent most of yesterday with my grandchildren, well mainly with my 9-month-old granddaughter since my grandson is of school age. It was a blast, but except when she naps, she pretty much needs undivided attention.

I was able to turn them back over to their Dad in time to go pick the missus up at the airport. She was “jetlagged” out of her mind and although she had a great trip, she was glad to be home.

But the day’s activities left me pretty keyed up, and I didn’t get to bed until late. This morning as the clock crept closer to 4 a.m., I kept debating inside my head whether or not to A: Go to the gym, and B: if I went, whether to lift or do cardio.

I decided to go and to lift. Maybe that was a mistake, but I don’t think waiting another day would have made much difference.

Here’s what I mean.

5/5/5+

Main Lifts

Back Squat in Squat Rack

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
10x 95lbs/43.0913kg (warm up)
5x 115lbs/52.1631kg
5x 130lbs/58.967kg
6x 150lbs/68.0389kg
2x 165lbs/74.8427kg (joker)
1x 180lbs/81.6466kg (joker)
0x 195lbs/88.4505kg (joker) -failed rep-
0x 190lbs/86.1826kg (joker) -failed rep-

overhead press
Photo: strongfirst.com

Overhead Press in Squat Rack

10x 45lbs/20.4117kg (warm up)
5x 60lbs/27.2155kg
5x 70lbs/31.7515kg
3x 80lbs/36.2874kg -failed 5+ rep-
2x 90lbs/40.8233kg (joker)
1x 90lbs/40.8233kg (joker)

Assistance Lift

Overhead Cable Triceps Ext (5×10)

10x 90lbs/40.8233kg
10x 75lbs/34.0194kg
10x 75lbs/34.0194kg
10x 75lbs/34.0194kg
10x 75lbs/34.0194kg

Core Work

Balancing on one foot
30 seconds each side

Leg Back Raises
Lx10, Rx10
Lx10, Rx10
Lx10, Rx10

Leg Side Raises
Lx10, Rx10
Lx10, Rx10
Lx10, Rx10

Alternating Arm/Leg Raises (Bird Dog)
10x each side
10x each side
10x each side

I knew something was amiss right when I started my first warm up set of squats. My left thigh, the area on the left and a little behind my thigh, has been aching all this week, but I figured it was just ordinary muscle soreness and paid it no attention. However, squatting at warm up weights aggravated it, not too badly at first, but it was still uncomfortable.

knee pain after squat
Photo: healthtap.com

Also, that intermittent sharp pain in my right knee just to the left of the kneecap, which I noticed the last time I did deadlifts, started acting up again.

I got past both warm up sets OK and progressed through my working sets. The jokers were another matter. I could only do 2 reps with a 165 pound barbell and only a single at 180. I should have been able to do more.

But I figured I’d just increase the weights and keep doing singles, hoping on at least matching my previous PR of 195 pounds and maybe going up to 200.

No such luck. When I tried 195, my thigh gave out at the bottom of the hole and I couldn’t push back up. Good thing I had the safety bars in place.

Not to be deterred, I unloaded the barbell, placed it back in the rack, loaded it up to 190, and tried again. Unfortunately, it was the same result.

Time to consult Kasey the Killer Chiropractor on this. I hope he can help.

I moved on to my overhead press hoping for better results. No pain this time, but I may have been a bit ambitious on the weight increase. I did 5 reps for the first 2 working sets but surprised myself in only doing 3 of the required 5 reps for the last working set with an 80 pound barbell.

This is the very first time I’ve failed at a working set.

I don’t know if joker sets are appropriate in such circumstances, but I increased the weight to 90 pounds and tried again. I managed 2 reps, and based on the degree of difficulty, knew I wasn’t going to be able to go heavier. I did a second joker set for a single at the same weight and called it.

By this point, the weight room was packed, but I managed to get a cable station and did triceps assistance lifts…and even they felt heavy.

I can excuse my squats based on my new injury, but what the heck happened to my overhead press. Oh, yeah. I overestimated the amount of weight I could handle because of that one PR with 100 pounds. Maybe that was a fluke. I don’t know.

The final surprise came when I started my Kasey Core Work. All of the leg work hurt my thigh. Something is really wrong, since they put practically no significant load on my legs.

Two ideas. The first is that, even though I’ve reduced my lifting to 2 days a week, I haven’t had a deload week in several cycles. Maybe I’m overdue.

chiropractor
Photo: lfchiro.com

The other idea is that reducing the frequency of lifting was a mistake and I’m sliding backward.

I’ll see how I do next Sunday and then find out what Kasey thinks before making a decision, but I may have to “abandon” this cycle and switch to a deload week if, for no other reason, than to let my thigh get some rest.

Even now as I write this, getting out of a chair is uncomfortable, and I have to use the arm rests to lighten the strain on my left leg. Fortunately, I can walk OK.

Last week, after completing a new PR in squats at 195 pounds, I felt like left thigh was bruised, so somehow I probably injured it. Today, it felt worse. How ironic. My lower back, which historically has always been my problem area, is fine, but now other parts of my body are complaining. Go figure.

I was hoping to get a little further down the road, even to my next birthday or so, before encountering new limitations.

Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.

James Dean

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