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  1. #1
    Registered User VTLifts's Avatar
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    Are regular aches, pains, nags etc... just a fact of lifting?

    I'm mid 30s, been active whole life, eat well and pretty healthy.

    Throughout 20s and early 30s I used to do a mix of cardio, free-weights, plyo and machines (when I lifted, focused on ~15 rep ranges) but last 2-3 years shifted to more strength / bodybuilding routine with almost exclusive barbell, dumbbell and cable work.

    I don't remember in earlier years battling regular aches (sublux shoulder every few years was about it, trouble began in college), but now I feel that every few months I'm battling some nagging ache / pain / strain.

    It seems impossible for me to go more than 4-6 months without something popping up.

    Primarily lower back, but also lower neck and now even glutes. Generally not serious enough to take more than a few days or possibly a week off. But it's very frustrating.

    I lift ~5x per week, typically one muscle group per day.

    I wouldn't consider the weights I'm lifting to be heavy for my body weight. I never a lift a weight that I can't rep 5x for at least three sets. And I tend to stay in 8-10 rep range.

    I recently saw chiropractor for back & neck woes, and found it complete waste of time and $$.

    So my question to you regular lifters, especially those in your 30s, is whether this is just the price to pay for lifting? Does my form just constantly stink? I must have some other health woes?
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VTLifts View Post
    So my question to you regular lifters, especially those in your 30s, is whether this is just the price to pay for lifting? Does my form just constantly stink? I must have some other health woes?
    Your form, workout routine and other health problems could certainly be factors, but weightlifting (and any sports activity) done over time takes a toll on your body, especially joints. You may start to feel things in your 30s that you wouldn't have felt earlier, and it gets worse over time.

    That being said, you can adjust how you do things based on what problems you have - strategically pick exercises that don't aggravate specific joint or other issues or old injuries, wear elbow/knee sleeves and wrist wraps, start moving away from free weights and more to cables/machines, stretch more (dynamic before, static after), etc.

    You certainly can keep lifting as you get older, you just have to be smarter about it.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    I certainly agree with air2fakie above^^^.
    The older you get some aches and pains happen that you didn't have before.
    Repetitive movement under the stress of weight over time causes some issues.
    You have to learn to adjust your exercise movements so you work around what ever issue you have.
    It will be individual to you specifically on what you can do that doesn't hurt and what does.
    Like a car being driven every day something is going to wear out/break down and has to be fixed.
    You may have to have periods of back off where you may be doing light weight or bodyweight/strap workout sessions.
    Good luck.
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  4. #4
    Registered User BromanianDL's Avatar
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    For lower back pain, there is only one person to listen to, stuart mcgill:

    https://www.amazon.com/Back-Mechanic...s%2C196&sr=8-1

    Does your form stink? Probably... why don't you post some form videos and find out.
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  5. #5
    Toronto Millz12323's Avatar
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    I actually have far fewer aches and pains in my 30s than I did in my 20s.

    I found myself always getting injured in my 20s and hurting my back pretty badly on more than a couple occasions. but I've been largely injury free in my 30s and training pretty consistently for the last 2 years.

    Focusing more on strength lately and really trying to have better form than I did before. Not trying to grind out any deadlifts. Always benching in the rack. If I'm having lower back pain from squatting a certain way then find a way to squat without pain.

    If benching hurts your shoulder then do something else and figure out how to bench without pain.
    Recent best lifts
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    Squat - 295x8, 340x5, 355x1
    Deadlift - 430x11, 445x8 455x7, 485x5, 495x1
    OHP - 145x10, 150x9, 155 5x5, 170x6, 190x1(@180 bw)
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  6. #6
    Registered User HanleyTucks's Avatar
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    There are a lot of factors.
    • Previous injury. If you have previously pinged a bit, you will probably ping that bit again. Sorry.
    • Form, as you mentioned.
    • Nutrition. If you're not giving you body the fuel to recover from workouts, they will eventually take their toll on you
    • Sleep.
    • Programming. Too aggressive is common. If you have a meet in 6 weeks, you need to be aggressive. If it's for health, not.
    • Variety. If you only ever front squat, and with the same stance and tempo, things get worn out. If you occasionally back squat and adjust stance etc, you'll be more rounded strength-wise.
    • Mobility. Most people do zero mobility work. People will spend hours lifting and hours running but think just swinging their legs and arms around a bit between sets is plenty of mobility work. Imagine if you did 2 hours a week lifting, 2 hours endurance, and 2 hours mobility.
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  7. #7
    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BromanianDL View Post
    For lower back pain, there is only one person to listen to, stuart mcgill:

    https://www.amazon.com/Back-Mechanic...s%2C196&sr=8-1

    Does your form stink? Probably... why don't you post some form videos and find out.
    Hes literally the word person to listen too about any form of pain.

    I'd suggest any genuine pain scientist.
    Michael from Barbell Medicine is decent, I'm sure there are many others
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  8. #8
    Registered User Heisman2's Avatar
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    Consider trying paused reps if you haven't.

    Chiropractors are generally a waste of money (I am biased as I am a physician).

    Try to identify what causes injuries when you do get them so you can work to prevent them in the future.
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  9. #9
    Banned Jimbotla's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    Consider trying paused reps if you haven't.

    Chiropractors are generally a waste of money (I am biased as I am a physician).

    Try to identify what causes injuries when you do get them so you can work to prevent them in the future.
    Me too - I have not had good experience with them
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  10. #10
    Toronto Millz12323's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Heisman2 View Post
    Consider trying paused reps if you haven't.
    I concur with this. I've been doing paused reps on my bench and OHP and my shoulders are feeling pretty great lately.
    Recent best lifts
    Bench - 235x9, 250x6, 270x1
    Squat - 295x8, 340x5, 355x1
    Deadlift - 430x11, 445x8 455x7, 485x5, 495x1
    OHP - 145x10, 150x9, 155 5x5, 170x6, 190x1(@180 bw)
    3 mile run: 21:59 @ 170 bw.
    BW - 190 Getting fat mode
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  11. #11
    Registered User dc3119's Avatar
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    Make sure you give your body some time to rest. Also, maybe what you outside of working out is contributing to the aches and pains. I work in front of a computer all day and my posture sucks, which causes back and neck issues. Everyone I know in a computer job says the same. Also, sleeping position is important. In my 20s, none of these things were an issue, but in my 30s, I definitely feel it more.
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  12. #12
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Yep, late 30's here and I made a post not so long ago complaining I keep getting nagging injuries.

    In my 20's I was invincible, lifted a lot heavier than I am now, and never once had "aches and pains" let alone an injury.

    My form is good, and so is my nutrition and rest. So I can only put it down to age, and things wearing out.

    Like Garage Rat said above, you just have to figure out what aggravates your body and what doesn't, and work around the issues. There are exercises I know that will cause me aches and pains, so I avoid them and focus on things that I know are compatible for me.

    And as someone pointed out above, sleeping position seems to make a big difference now in terms of recovery and not making the aches and pains worse.
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