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  1. #1
    Registered User CharlesBronson's Avatar
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    Really Bad Knees, Alternative to Starting Strength?

    Hi, I'm new to the forum but have been looking on here for about a month or so picking up workout/nutrition information and such. I recently (about 2 weeks ago) started doing Starting Strength, a while I can handle the upper body lifts fine, the lower lifts (squats, DL's & cleans) KILL my knees. It affects me so much that I'm literally hobbling after I do it. I went to the doctor and they say I don't have any severe damage, but I know after trying to squat that my knees are not what they used to be. I developed really bad knees towards the end of high school. I believe this is a result of poor form/too much weight in my leg lifts while training for football. A couple months ago I started cycling 3 times a week, and find that to be a much less painful way to work my legs.

    My question is, what type of routine could I use to work my upper body similar to Starting Strength? My weightlifting goal is mainly to put on a bit of strength and some size but not a lot, I have no desire to be huge. I have a decent strength base across the board from lifting throughout high school and afterwards, but I haven't made much progress since my football days, so any advice would help. Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Eleventy Nuwin's Avatar
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    Perhaps you started with too much weight. Additionally, I would suspect that your form is poor. But that can't really be verified unless we can see it. Can you post a video?

    Two weeks seems too early to throw in the towel to me. Perhaps you can lower the weight and start the progression over. I believe the book states it is better to start too low than too high.

    Cycling isn't going to net you any size or strength.
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  3. #3
    Registered User CharlesBronson's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nuwin View Post
    Perhaps you started with too much weight. Additionally, I would suspect that your form is poor. But that can't really be verified unless we can see it. Can you post a video?

    Two weeks seems too early to throw in the towel to me. Perhaps you can lower the weight and start the progression over. I believe the book states it is better to start too low than too high.

    Cycling isn't going to net you any size or strength.
    I started at 155 and that killed my knees. When I used to lift for football I could rep 255 for 10/8/6 and maxed at over 300 (I don't remember what it was exactly). I have been squatting on and off after high school, but knee pain has been recurring and forces me to stop for a while. The weight doesn't feel heavy on my legs, my knees just grind when I go down and are sore in between sets, and extremely sore afterwards. When I mentioned poor form for my leg lifts that was mainly regarding my cleans/dead lifts. After I was taught how to squat in high school, all my coaches said I was one of the best on the team regarding form (parallel squats, feet a little wider than shoulder width, toes pointed out a bit, back straight, butt out, etc.). I still squat the same way now, I think it's fine but I don't have any way of showing you.

    The way my knees feel after doing even light squats make me sure that doing them cannot be good for them. At this point I want to just keep my legs in shape and keep them healthy, I don't really care if they get any bigger/stronger. And I know cycling will not build up my legs, but I have naturally big legs, and don't want them any bigger than they already are. When I said a bit of size/strength, I meant adding it to my upper body, mainly because it's pretty small compared to my legs.
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  4. #4
    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    You are probably using bad form. I've had knee surgury and can squat 300 without even a murmur from my knees
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  5. #5
    Prepare Perform Prevail SuicideGripMe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CharlesBronson View Post
    Hi, I'm new to the forum but have been looking on here for about a month or so picking up workout/nutrition information and such. I recently (about 2 weeks ago) started doing Starting Strength, a while I can handle the upper body lifts fine, the lower lifts (squats, DL's & cleans) KILL my knees. It affects me so much that I'm literally hobbling after I do it. I went to the doctor and they say I don't have any severe damage, but I know after trying to squat that my knees are not what they used to be. I developed really bad knees towards the end of high school. I believe this is a result of poor form/too much weight in my leg lifts while training for football. A couple months ago I started cycling 3 times a week, and find that to be a much less painful way to work my legs.

    My question is, what type of routine could I use to work my upper body similar to Starting Strength? My weightlifting goal is mainly to put on a bit of strength and some size but not a lot, I have no desire to be huge. I have a decent strength base across the board from lifting throughout high school and afterwards, but I haven't made much progress since my football days, so any advice would help. Thanks.
    Squats are great for adding mass and strength when combined with a good diet. Are they neccessary? Not unless youre a competetive powerlifter or olympic lifter. Your pain is probably just a form problem or lack of conditioning, but if you really dont want to do traditional back squats and are going to wind up not doing them at all, atleast do some leg work.

    Bulgarian Split Squats, Split Squats, Hack Squats, Sled Squats, Leg Press, SLDL's, RDL's, Step Ups, Lunges, Reverse Lunges, Sled Dragging, Leg Extensions, Leg Curls, Goblet Squats, etc. There are plenty of excercises you can choose from that will probably be less stressful on your knees or atleast stress the knee differently.
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  6. #6
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    Start light and build up leg strength. As you progress your knee pain will probably reduce.
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  7. #7
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    read the book. You are not squatting correctly. I say this with 100% certainty.
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  8. #8
    Lift Heavy. Lift Hard jwa254's Avatar
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  9. #9
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    Get your form in order.

    Pay particular attention to the possibility of your knees going far in front of your toes or collapsing inwards. They should track over your feet/toes.
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