I've been Olympic lifting for two months (two to three sessions a week with a proper trainer), and have lots of aches and pains in my legs, back, shoulders- nothing like I've felt before with other sports. In my squats my knees and quads hurt lots. It's come on mostly in the last couple of weeks. Is this normal?! Will it pass? I'm in my late thirties and scared I'm too old for this! But I love it. Do others recommend stretching in between sessions, or anything else? Very grateful for any reassurance and/or advice.
Depends a lot on the type of pain but if it doesn't go away or gets worse you should probably see someone about it.
For your age you should probably be doing a decent amount of stretches and mobility work to make sure you are looking after your body as it won't recover as fast as a younger person. atg has a pretty comprehensive guide http://www.allthingsgym.com/mobility101/
Those are tough questions to answer, especially over the internet. Pain is part of weightlifting, and pretty much part of any physical endeavor which requires one to push themselves to new limits. You have to differentiate discomfort from disability and pain from injury. Are your symptoms symmetrical? You mentioned your knees and quads hurt so I assume they both feel the same. That could point to overtraining or lack of recovery or adaptation. How is your diet? Technique? Do you crash into the bottom position?
Back in the day, we felt if we didn't hurt we weren't pushing ourselves hard enough, since as we gained strength, it took more and more weight to make you sore. You're not getting stronger if you are not getting sore. While we now know DOMS is not due to lactic acid, the cause of muscular pain is not exactly clear. There certainly is an inflammatory element to it and that is not healthy so anti-inflammatory measures are something to look into to.
Joint pain is obviously another matter and the cause needs to be determined. You mentioned doing the lifts for two months, but how long have you trained with weights? In your late 30s, you may need to revise your training. I'm 62 and have lifted for over 40 years. The volume and intensity of what I do is totally dictated/limited by how my body feels on the particular day.
Thank you very much for your reply and for the link. It looks great and I'm going to make sure I do stretches and mobility work from now on. Many thanks again for your help. Hope you had a great Christmas.
Originally Posted by renlok
Thank you very much for replying to my post. I really appreciate your response, particularly given your experience.
Yes, the pain has been symmetrical and isn't constant. I haven't had any these last few days - it seems to come and go. My diet is pretty good as I log everything and make sure I get the right calories and macro combination. I have a protein shake after each work out to make sure I feed recovery. I don't think I overtrain as it's two sessions a week (plus a swim and a strength and conditioning session which includes cardio) properly planned and overseen by a prof coach with heaps of experience. I think it's the fact I'm a beginner at 37 and I haven't been doing enough stretching in between sessions!
I will definitely consider the anti-inflammatory measures. Do you take anything? I heard cherry juice was meant to be beneficial. I just don't want the acid and/or sugar.
Fantastic your lifting career continues. I intend to be doing this for a very, very long time, and therefore want to do everything I can to maintain my body as well as possible. I think one day at a time is a good philosophy. I also have to consider the cycle, being a female. Tons to learn!
Many thanks again for your reply.
Hey Tierra, it makes sense that you may simply be adapting to the new positions. You might try to determine if it is related to a particular lift, volume or intensity. Does it limit your training? Anyway, with an experienced coach it's unlikely a flaw in your training. He/she would be on that.
Believe it or not, I have found that a gluten free diet helped a lot. I don't think I was intolerant, but sensitive. I eat a lot of so-called anti-inflammatory foods. I also use fish oil and turmeric. Something else worth trying, gin soaked raisins. Google it. No real evidence, just anecdotal, but it's cheap and easy enough to try.
As for my "career", that is putting it nicely. At this point, I just work out to stay as strong as I can, the ball is on the other side of the hill and it is not rolling back up. I'm trying to stop it for a while, or at least slow it down. However, in my 30s, I definitely found that I did better with less work.