Author Topic: Frequency With Permanent Knee Injury  (Read 4183 times)

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Gary

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Frequency With Permanent Knee Injury
« on: December 11, 2011, 12:48:09 pm »
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I might have made my knees permanently sensitive to loading and they fill up with synovial fluid whenever I stress them in any way. It started three years with my right knee when I sprained the MCL. Over time my left knee also started to fill up as it took most of the stress during training.

I kept draining the right knee (and posting about it in other forums like Starting Strength) and it eventually stabilized. But I was also doing stuff like repeated Smolov base phases throughout the year. Eventually I had to start draining the left knee. It's been about a year and I'm still having to drain it.

In any case, things were looking pretty good and the left knee seemed to be stabilizing. Then I went and did some dunk practice (with half-sized balls on a 9'10" rim) before some power snatch singles and squats. I'd also upped my squat frequency from the careful once per week I'd been doing to three times per week. Now this past week my knees have gone to hell.

They tend to fill up most when I stand around and drink. After all that increased stress, I had to fly in for the company Christmans part where I stood around for four hours and drank. That night I drained twice as much as normal from my left knee (40cc +) and had to drain my right knee again (30cc +). Today I've drained another 20 from the left and 15 from the right. The extreme pain is gone, but I'm sure the refilling will continue.

I think it was a combination of those landings from the dunks (the court is some kind of rubberized material covering the old concrete slab) and the increased squat frequency.

I wonder if I should squat at all anymore or try to jump. My knees clearly cannot take much stress and I wonder if I should be training at all anymore. I hit a double bodyweight Olympic squat this year and was excited about pushing toward 2.5 x bodyweight and dunking. I'm reluctant to give it all up and lose my quad mass and go back to being weak, skinny and slow. But I'm about to turn 36 and no one is paying me to abuse my body like this.

(And of course I use knee protection. Had Rehbands and just added Tommy Konos. I got through Smolov last time by using wraps on the work sets.)
Height: 5'9.5"
Wingspan: 6'4"
Standing Reach Barefoot: 7'10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Standing Vertical Jump: 29"
Running Vertical Jump Bilateral: 30.5"
Running Vertical Jump, Unilateral: 25"
Standing Broad Jump: 9'3"
Beltless High Bar Squat: 365
Beltless Conventional Deadlift: 450
Low Bar Squat w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 418
Sumo Deadlift w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 506

LanceSTS

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Re: Frequency With Permanent Knee Injury
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2011, 05:20:43 pm »
+1


   I think you can still jump and train to jump higher/get stronger in the squat, but I would definitely consider starting over with a gpp type plan and progressing through the intensity levels, rather than something like high frequency max loading and all out jumps. 

  First thing is, using pause squats can help a ton, takes some of the connective tissue beating away and really loads the musculature.  Start with highish reps, give the body a chance to prepare for the higher intensity stuff later down the line.  Couple that with movement efficiency type jumps, low intensity hops, low hurdles, skips, jump rope, etc.  Its really tonic work for the connective tissue and tendons so that you can progress to higher intensity contacts later on without causing damage.

  Next, I would start doing something like a hang snatch, glute bridge, etc., to really emphasize hip extension before jumping.  Try and teach the body to use the hips to contribute more to the movement.  I know kelly b has talked about this a lot as well, but its important, especially if your knees are giving you trouble.  Ive had some success with guys using a complex of behind the neck push jerks coupled with max effort jumps, you can visually see the difference in the jumps and your knees will thank you.

  Last, make sure youre keeping up with soft tissue work, foam rolling, a.r.t., pnf stretches, etc.  The older we get the more that stuff makes a difference, and it catches up with you quickly if you dont do it.  High rep blood work with light leg curls, tkes, etc. will definitely help as well, but it has to be very consistent to make much of a difference.

 good luck bud, hope it works out for you.
Relax.

Gary

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Re: Frequency With Permanent Knee Injury
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2011, 11:14:46 pm »
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Thanks very much for responding, Lance! Everything you wrote makes perfect sense.

Looking back, I realize that I'd been spending every squat session going to over 90%. I need to spend more time in the blood pump rep range and build up tissue and resilience.

I really like the idea of the pause squats. The last couple of sessions I did the first couple of warm up sets with controlled descent and a slight paused and noticed immediately that my knees felt better. I would then switch to the usual bounce style after 225 or so. I thought handling the most possible weight was important for progress and that using the SSC was preferable, but I am more than willing to try them out.
Height: 5'9.5"
Wingspan: 6'4"
Standing Reach Barefoot: 7'10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Standing Vertical Jump: 29"
Running Vertical Jump Bilateral: 30.5"
Running Vertical Jump, Unilateral: 25"
Standing Broad Jump: 9'3"
Beltless High Bar Squat: 365
Beltless Conventional Deadlift: 450
Low Bar Squat w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 418
Sumo Deadlift w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 506

LBSS

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Re: Frequency With Permanent Knee Injury
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2011, 11:29:10 pm »
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fwiw, i started doing pause squats during my warm ups recently also, almost by accident, and have found they help not just my knees but my hips and core. i get way better activation all over on work sets if i do pause squats through 185 or 225. up to 135 i'll even do a 2- or 3-count before coming out of the hole.

just my n=1.
Muscles are nonsensical they have nothing to do with this bullshit.

- Avishek

sunday: long very easy run 80+ mins @ 5:40+ (14+ km)
monday: strength/cross training
tuesday: extensive tempo (7 km) OR fartlek (mostly easy pace with mix of strides, hills, long tempo) 45 mins (8+ km)
wednesday: easy run 60+ mins @ 5:20-5:30 (11+ km)
thursday: easy run 60+ mins @ 5:20-5:30 (11+ km), strength/cross-training
friday: rest
saturday: short tempo 6-8x500 @ sub-4:00 (7 km)

strength would be:
- hops 2x10
- box jumps or ME SVJ 2x5
- squats 3x6-8 or weighted BSS/lunges 3x10/leg
- RDL/hypers 2x10-12 or SLRDL 2x10-12/leg
- upper push myo-reps or sets to technical failure
- upper pull myo-reps or sets to technical failure
- leg raises, holds, pallof presses

Raptor

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Re: Frequency With Permanent Knee Injury
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2011, 07:25:21 am »
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Interesting. Never tried paused squats. Should give that a go.

Gary

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Re: Frequency With Permanent Knee Injury
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2011, 12:11:58 pm »
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I've been meaning to implement this "24 Total Reps" thing I came up with a while ago. Progressing through 12x2, 8x3, 6x4, 4x6, 3x8, 2x12. Moving from a set of twelve down to a set of two over a few months. I'll do it now with the paused squat and start really light with the numbers set so I end up doing a paused squat with my current max after four months or so...

set x reps
2x12
135
145
155

3x8
165
175
185

4x6
195
205
215

6x4
225
235
245

8x3
255
265
275

12x2
295
305
315

3x1
325
335
345

x1
355

After that I can spend some time working on the standard squat and probably add 50 or more pounds to that number with a bounce at the bottom. That's the plan anyway. Subject to change if I get stuck. Who knows if I can actually hit these numbers, right? Eventually, I may end up spending most of my time in the 8-12 rep range for squats. I'll probably be using pauses most of the time from now on too.

This would be one barbell squat session a week. I would include at least one other day a week for Hindu/bodyweight-only squats for higher volume. I did some of those this morning and my knees felt better almost immediately. Higher rep isolation work on the barbell squat days including extensions and curls and TKEs.
Height: 5'9.5"
Wingspan: 6'4"
Standing Reach Barefoot: 7'10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Standing Vertical Jump: 29"
Running Vertical Jump Bilateral: 30.5"
Running Vertical Jump, Unilateral: 25"
Standing Broad Jump: 9'3"
Beltless High Bar Squat: 365
Beltless Conventional Deadlift: 450
Low Bar Squat w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 418
Sumo Deadlift w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 506

LanceSTS

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Re: Frequency With Permanent Knee Injury
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2011, 03:58:40 pm »
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  Hey Gary, that can work but if you wave the rep range youre likely to do MUCH better in the long run . I cant find it right now but poloquin has a great write up on this as well.  Basically, your 2x12 week/2 weeks, could be immediately followed by 3 x 5 etc, but then go BACK to 3 x10 etc. etc. for a higher rep week/micro cycle, before waving the intensity back up again, (6 x 2 etc).  You can literally do that to infinity if you want, and you dont lose the benefits of the previous cycles when you drastically switch up the emphasis.

  Also, be sure to not neglect the sub max hops, jumps, movement effeciency and prep work for the tendons and ligaments.  That will for SURE help you if youre planning on jumping higher.  You could easily cycle the less intense higher volume stuff with the high rep weight work, and then up the intensity and lower the volume on the lower high intensity weight work weeks.  Hard to burn out when you do it that way and I think your knees will love you for it. 
Relax.

Gary

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Re: Frequency With Permanent Knee Injury
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2011, 09:55:56 pm »
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Lance, thanks again! I will take the advice on alternating rep schemes. Did 50-rep leg curls tonight and they did make my knees feel a lot better. Still had to drain them both a bit and they still hurt, but they feel more "solid" after the pump.

This all makes me wonder about trends and "lost" training knowledge. Back before the 80's, powerlifters often did isolation work, did they not? Nowadays, everything's all "Bulgarian" and minimalist specialization, but there seems to be a lot of wisdom in including bodybuilding/isolation work, especially as a trainee ages.

I think we all assume that the main lifts will take care of everything, but that ain't necessarily so. The main lifts can really beat up the joints and connective tissue without developing them, especially as things get heavier.

And also training more often over time may not be for every trainee. Those blessed with unusual resilience and recovery (and aided by drugs) may thrive on it, but a lot of us may be better off cutting the frequency over time.

Height: 5'9.5"
Wingspan: 6'4"
Standing Reach Barefoot: 7'10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Standing Vertical Jump: 29"
Running Vertical Jump Bilateral: 30.5"
Running Vertical Jump, Unilateral: 25"
Standing Broad Jump: 9'3"
Beltless High Bar Squat: 365
Beltless Conventional Deadlift: 450
Low Bar Squat w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 418
Sumo Deadlift w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 506

LanceSTS

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Re: Frequency With Permanent Knee Injury
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2011, 12:35:47 am »
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Lance, thanks again! I will take the advice on alternating rep schemes. Did 50-rep leg curls tonight and they did make my knees feel a lot better. Still had to drain them both a bit and they still hurt, but they feel more "solid" after the pump.

You bet man, glad your knees felt better and hopefully you can make some big strides with it and not have to drain them as much eventually.

Quote
This all makes me wonder about trends and "lost" training knowledge. Back before the 80's, powerlifters often did isolation work, did they not? Nowadays, everything's all "Bulgarian" and minimalist specialization, but there seems to be a lot of wisdom in including bodybuilding/isolation work, especially as a trainee ages.

thats a great point.  Back then, things that worked were figured out in the gym by trial and error, and not from listening to so much theory on the internet and in magazines.  What made it through over time were the same things that still work today, sure we have some solid improvements in some aspects, but there is also a decay away from smart, focused, CONSISTENT training, where many are searching for magical methods that dont exist.

Quote
I think we all assume that the main lifts will take care of everything, but that ain't necessarily so. The main lifts can really beat up the joints and connective tissue without developing them, especially as things get heavier.

absolutely, ESPECIALLY if someone is trying to specialize in something other than the lifts, like jumping.  Most those bulgarian based coaches will tell you that if youre an athlete, the training program has to accommodate the other actives needed, as lifting is supplementary to the main event/schedule.  Sometimes you have to do other work, to be able to safely and successfully do the main lifts.

Quote
And also training more often over time may not be for every trainee. Those blessed with unusual resilience and recovery (and aided by drugs) may thrive on it, but a lot of us may be better off cutting the frequency over time.

 yep, everything has to be progressed, and if frequency is increased, something has to give, or youre gonna dig a hole for yourself.  I like increased frequency IF the volume is cut down, and the cns and muscular fatigue is monitored, but thats very hard for many to do, especially without having someone who has been there and done it before to tell them when to stop and call it a day. 


  Just look at broz vids, rarely ever do you see a big "strain" on those squats.  I would imagine hes putting up the heaviest set of the day on youtube as well, as that would be the most impressive load.  Most the guys trying to implement his style of lifting dont have someone there to tell them thats it for the day and back off, and they end up going waaaaay too far with the load, grinding up reps, beating up the cns and soft/connective tissue etc.  Do that enough times and you have a big issue.

 Hell, just look at mendes 800 squat, thats the most "grind" on pretty much any lift on his channel, and I would imagine that was a pretty infrequent event, and had to be accounted for the next few days as well.  If you look at many of the lifts you see in other peoples videos, they might have a few SETS at that intensity, and grind nearly every time they train.  Those two things wont ever go together, high frequency and grinding up reps, its one or the other, and its hard to tell the difference in many cases.  There are many different things going on muscularly, cns wise, and joint/tendon/ligament wise, when someone grinds reps vs doing an explosive rep that is capable of being constantly accelerated throughout the rom.

   


Relax.

Gary

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Re: Frequency With Permanent Knee Injury
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2011, 08:05:58 am »
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It's the next day and my knees are feeling way better than they should be at this point. I think it was the leg curls.

We keep hearing how we need to balance upper body pushing (pressing) with upper body pulling (chinning/rowing) in order to avoid imbalances that could easily lead to pain and dysfunction of the shoulder. Yet we're told that leg curls are a waste of time...as if the relatively delicate load-bearing joint of the knee doesn't need some balance.

I've spent a couple of years training the extensors of the knee to get much, much stronger. Meanwhile I haven't trained the flexing function at all. The common wisdom now says that it's fine just to train the proximal function of the hamstrings (hip extension). But  I think a horrible imbalance has built up in my case by avoiding the distal hamstring function (knee flexion).

I suspect the high rep leg curls from last night created some residual tonus that restored a semblance of balance. That's my theory right now anyway. It's too soon for the curls to have induced any benefit from actual thickening of the connective tissue.
Height: 5'9.5"
Wingspan: 6'4"
Standing Reach Barefoot: 7'10"
Weight: 175 lbs
Standing Vertical Jump: 29"
Running Vertical Jump Bilateral: 30.5"
Running Vertical Jump, Unilateral: 25"
Standing Broad Jump: 9'3"
Beltless High Bar Squat: 365
Beltless Conventional Deadlift: 450
Low Bar Squat w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 418
Sumo Deadlift w/ Belt (in USAPL raw): 506