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  • Question of training with Chronic Pain inducing condition

    Hello Doctors,

    I have been training for nearly two years now, and my journey has been fraught with pain. My progress hits snags so often (due to increased pain) I have regressed in most lifts. This can occur even at reasonable intensities. I was wondering if making a change to higher-rep sets would be more optimal for a person like me. For the main lifts I am usually doing 5 reps per set (not including variations), and I was thinking of maybe making 8-10 reps per set the norm. Would this help me with my pain (and thus lack of progress), or is it a bad idea? If it is not a good idea, what sort of advice would you give me? I have been trying to train like a normal person, but at times, it definitely doesn't seem to work out that well.

    Thanks,
    ColoradoMinesCole

  • #2
    1) Pain is normal. It's part of being human.

    2) In a powerlifting context, pain can be a product of intensity/volume mismanagement.

    3) When I experience low back pain, I can go from 300x6 at RPE 8 on squat to 85x10 at RPE 10. So you're not alone with massive intensity and RPE shifts as a result of pain.

    4) It sounds like you could use a programming change. Have you tried The Bridge?

    Comment


    • #3
      Sorry to hear about the pain man, I would ask more specifically what kind of program (or programs) you have been going through? I frequently recommend my patients going to higher rep/lower weight programs if you feel like it is more tolerable initially and depending on what your goals are for training, as WonderCat said massive swings are sometimes common during training, very rarely does anyone not have any drops of weights depending on a number of factors, if you are not already I would start with using an RPE training scale based program as it allows for some day to day adjustment as opposed to a linear program that just presets the needed weight/rep, not that you won’t get any injuries using RPE but it does allow for some auto regulation, keep us updated

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ColoradoMinesCole View Post
        Hello Doctors,

        I have been training for nearly two years now, and my journey has been fraught with pain. My progress hits snags so often (due to increased pain) I have regressed in most lifts. This can occur even at reasonable intensities. I was wondering if making a change to higher-rep sets would be more optimal for a person like me. For the main lifts I am usually doing 5 reps per set (not including variations), and I was thinking of maybe making 8-10 reps per set the norm. Would this help me with my pain (and thus lack of progress), or is it a bad idea? If it is not a good idea, what sort of advice would you give me? I have been trying to train like a normal person, but at times, it definitely doesn't seem to work out that well.

        Thanks,
        ColoradoMinesCole
        Hey ColoradoMinesCole sounds like you've gotten some good advice so far. Perhaps you can provide us with some background about yourself?

        How old are you?

        What type of symptoms are you experiencing?

        Have you looked into our content on pain and training?

        Ultimately finding the right program for you is heavily dependent on your goals.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Michael Ray View Post

          Hey ColoradoMinesCole sounds like you've gotten some good advice so far. Perhaps you can provide us with some background about yourself?

          How old are you?

          What type of symptoms are you experiencing?

          Have you looked into our content on pain and training?

          Ultimately finding the right program for you is heavily dependent on your goals.
          Sorry that I haven't remembered to check for responses.

          -I am 20 years old (will be 21 in 4 months)

          -The symptoms are very spread out and unpredictable, which is why I am so frustrated. Some days my groin is acting up, other days my elbow is acting up, then my knee, then my hip, then my shoulder, etc. The pain often is not bad (and pretty much never acute), but it is very distracting and keeps me from having the confidence in my body that I wish I could have. The thing is that this happens regardless of lifting heavy or lifting lighter, and sometimes the symptoms seemingly start after doing a normal everyday task. An example of this is my feet. They can bother me just from walking around for a decent amount of time during the day. I don't even trust my body enough to run around and play some leisurely sports. Obviously one problem is that I am not following a set program, but I feel like I can't really stick to a program due to all the changes I have to make to accommodate my unpredictable pain responses. I try to program my workouts based on how I feel (which I am probably pretty bad at doing).

          -I have looked at your content on pain and training, although my knowledge on the subject may still be lacking or rusty. And I definitely can't make all the right calls when so many things are bothering me.

          -My goal is to just get strong and be resilient so that no matter what life throws at me, my body can take it. If I stopped training altogether, I would probably still have similar responses, but I would be weaker, which means even less strenuous life situations would elicit a pain response (just my theory).



          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ColoradoMinesCole View Post

            Sorry that I haven't remembered to check for responses.

            -I am 20 years old (will be 21 in 4 months)

            -The symptoms are very spread out and unpredictable, which is why I am so frustrated. Some days my groin is acting up, other days my elbow is acting up, then my knee, then my hip, then my shoulder, etc. The pain often is not bad (and pretty much never acute), but it is very distracting and keeps me from having the confidence in my body that I wish I could have. The thing is that this happens regardless of lifting heavy or lifting lighter, and sometimes the symptoms seemingly start after doing a normal everyday task. An example of this is my feet. They can bother me just from walking around for a decent amount of time during the day. I don't even trust my body enough to run around and play some leisurely sports. Obviously one problem is that I am not following a set program, but I feel like I can't really stick to a program due to all the changes I have to make to accommodate my unpredictable pain responses. I try to program my workouts based on how I feel (which I am probably pretty bad at doing).

            -I have looked at your content on pain and training, although my knowledge on the subject may still be lacking or rusty. And I definitely can't make all the right calls when so many things are bothering me.

            -My goal is to just get strong and be resilient so that no matter what life throws at me, my body can take it. If I stopped training altogether, I would probably still have similar responses, but I would be weaker, which means even less strenuous life situations would elicit a pain response (just my theory).


            Thanks for the additional information.

            Have you sought consult for the pain you are experiencing?

            What do you think the pain you are experiencing means?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Michael Ray View Post

              Thanks for the additional information.

              Have you sought consult for the pain you are experiencing?

              What do you think the pain you are experiencing means?
              I have not sought out a consult about this. It is relatively expensive for a college student, and there are so many things going on at once that I feel like it would pretty difficult to address all the issues.

              I don't know what this pain means. I mean there is some occasional pain that I do think can be directly contributed to too high of loading, but there is also a lot of pain that I think seems very random. Often, I do believe that pain that I experience is more serious than it turns out to be, which is a very bad habit of mine.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ColoradoMinesCole View Post

                I have not sought out a consult about this. It is relatively expensive for a college student, and there are so many things going on at once that I feel like it would pretty difficult to address all the issues.

                I don't know what this pain means. I mean there is some occasional pain that I do think can be directly contributed to too high of loading, but there is also a lot of pain that I think seems very random. Often, I do believe that pain that I experience is more serious than it turns out to be, which is a very bad habit of mine.
                Gotcha. I definitely recommend getting a consult with us so we can address some of your beliefs about pain and how best to cope. https://www.barbellmedicine.com/consults-and-contact/

                In the meantime, perhaps check out this podcast I did a while back on pain: https://www.spreaker.com/user/philwe...th-michael-ray

                "Often, I do believe that pain that I experience is more serious than it turns out to be, which is a very bad habit of mine." - This happens and is also a place where a clinician can help address your thoughts/beliefs about pain and the meaning you are assigning to it.

                Comment

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