Quick Tip For Pissed-Off Joints: Do Stuff That Hurts LAST, Not First!

by tffitness on October 12, 2016

getinstantshoulderpainreliefbyadjustingyourbenchtechnique2661Ever notice how when an exercise hurts, it’s more likely to be the first exercise in the workout? Think about it — if you’re a powerlifter, your bench is more likely to be a source of pain than say, rows or triceps extensions. If you’re a weightlifter, your snatch is more likely to hurt than a clean pull or a squat. Not always mind you, but more often than not.

Why is this? I have a few ideas:

• Typically, your first exercise is your most important exercise (which is why you’re doing it first after all). Your most important exercise, by definition, probably has more miles on it than less important exercises. More wear and tear = more pain.

• Your first exercise probably gets the lion’s share of your energy, especially compared to your later exercises. And obviously, exercises that you attack with more energy tend to lead to more joint abuse than exercises you do later in the workout, with less energy.

• Finally (and this will be the basis of my argument here), earlier exercises get less benefit from warm-ups than later exercises.

I first started playing around with this idea when I was having some knee pain during squats (always the first exercise for me), and Dr. John Rusin suggested that I try doing a few sets of high-rep leg curls before squatting to basically fluff up the hamstrings and lube up the knees in a way that doesn’t irritate them.

Worked like a charm. I’m a skinny 57-year old, and the other day I squatted 315×5 with no pain.

Concurrent with my knee issues, I’ve also been experiencing some relatively minor but chronic shoulder pain, while bench pressing (again, always a first exercise for me). So last Friday (see below), instead of following up my bench presses with military presses and chins, I decided to follow my military presses with chins, and finally, bench presses. First totally pain-free benches I’ve done in weeks. I’m fairly convinced that the military presses and chins served two purposes — they warmed up my shoulders in a manner that didn’t irritate them, and also, they served to increase my upper back and shoulder mobility prior to benching.

Now of course, the only criticism that you might have about this suggestion is that you’ll be training your most important lift last, when you have the least energy, so I have two thoughts for you in that regard:

1) Good! If an exercise is causing orthopedic issues, you should train it with less energy!

2) Who knows, maybe you’ll profit from putting your back burner exercises on the front burner once in a while?

3) Even if you have less energy, won’t it be a relief to finally train your favorite movement(s) without pain, or at least with less pain?

I’m not submitting that this simple tip will solve all exercise-related orthopedic issues, because it certainly won’t. With that said however, this idea has a solid track record, and besides, there’s really very little downside to trying it, right?

Let me know if you’ve ever tried this yourself, and if you did, how it worked for you. I’m honestly curious to hear from you!

The “BIG 3” Clinic with Coach Charles Staley!

Just a quick note to let you know I’ll be teaching the finer points of the squat, bench, and deadlift on November 6th in gorgeous Tucson Arizona — hope to see some of you there, we’re going to have a blast! Here’s more info:

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This Week’s Training

Highlights:

• Deadlift 425×5

Monday, October 3, 2016

Bodyweight: 195.4 Pounds

Goblet Squat

Set 1: 35 lb × 10

Set 2: 53 lb × 10

Set 3: 61 lb × 10

Low Bar Squat

Set 1: 45 lb × 5

Set 2: 95 lb × 5

Set 3: 135 lb × 5

Set 4: 185 lb × 5

Set 5: 225 lb × 5

Set 6: 275 lb × 5

Set 7: 275 lb × 5

Set 8: 275 lb × 5

Set 9: 225 lb × 5

Deadlift

Set 1: 135 lb × 5

Set 2: 185 lb × 5

Set 3: 225 lb × 5

Set 4: 275 lb × 5

Set 5: 315 lb × 3

Set 6: 365 lb × 1

Hack Squat

Set 1: 90 lb × 8

Set 2: 180 lb × 5

Set 3: 180 lb × 5

Set 4: 180 lb × 5

Notes: 4-sec eccentric, 2-second pause

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Bodyweight: 195.4 Pounds

Rusin Shoulder Warm Up

Set 1: 1 lb × 10

Set 2: 1 lb × 10

Set 3: 1 lb × 10

Paused Competition Bench Press

Set 1: 45 lb × 5

Set 2: 95 lb × 5

Set 3: 135 lb × 5

Set 4: 165 lb × 5

Set 5: 185 lb × 8

Set 6: 185 lb × 5

Set 7: 190 lb × 3

Set 8: 190 lb × 5

Set 9: 185 lb × 5

Seated Row

Set 1: 110 lb × 8

Set 2: 130 lb × 6

Set 3: 140 lb × 6

Set 4: 140 lb × 6

Set 5: 140 lb × 6

Set 6: 140 lb × 6

Lying EZ Bar Tricep Extension

Set 1: 55 lb × 8

Set 2: 75 lb × 6

Set 3: 75 lb × 6

EZ Bar Curl

Set 1: 55 lb × 8

Set 2: 75 lb × 6

Set 3: 75 lb × 6

Set 4: 75 lb × 6

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bodyweight: 195 Pounds

Deadlift

Set 1: 135 lb × 10

Set 2: 185 lb × 8

Set 3: 225 lb × 6

Set 4: 275 lb × 5

Set 5: 315 lb × 5

Set 6: 365 lb × 5

Set 7: 405 lb × 5

Set 8: 425 lb × 5 (Video Below)

Leg Press

Set 1: 90 lb × 10

Set 2: 180 lb × 8

Set 3: 270 lb × 6

Set 4: 360 lb × 6

Set 5: 360 lb × 6

Set 6: 360 lb × 6

Toes To Bar

Set 1: 5 reps

Set 2: 5 reps

Set 3: 5 reps

Seated Leg Curl

Set 1: 160 lb × 7

Set 2: 160 lb × 7

Set 3: 160 lb × 7

Friday, October 7, 2016

Bodyweight: 194.2 Pounds

Military Press

Set 1: 45 lb × 10

Set 2: 65 lb × 8

Set 3: 85 lb × 6

Set 4: 95 lb × 5

Set 5: 100 lb × 5

Set 6: 100 lb × 5

Set 7: 85 lb × 7

Chin Up

Set 1: 1 rep

Set 2: 2 reps

Set 3: 3 reps

Set 4: 4 reps

Set 5: 5 reps

Set 6: 5 reps

Set 7: 6 reps

Tricep Pushdowns

Set 1: 140 lb × 8

Set 2: 150 lb × 8

Set 3: 150 lb × 8

Dual Cable Low Cable Curl

Set 1: 100 lb × 8

Set 2: 110 lb × 8

Set 3: 110 lb × 8

Close Grip Bench Press (Pinkies On Rings)

Set 1: 45 lb × 10

Set 2: 95 lb × 8

Set 3: 135 lb × 6

Set 4: 165 lb × 2

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Bodyweight: 196.4 Pounds

Cycling

Set 1: 5.62 mi | 20 min

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