Thursday, June 26, 2008

A word on pain...and more words on how amazing you all are!

I have been focusing on finding answers to your pain questions for the last month. I have asked wonderful coaches, physical therapists, athletes, and researched questions on the internet, in my medical books etc. The more I ask and learn, the more I realize I know so little. But isn’t that how all learning is?

I have a few answers for you. As we’ve discussed, muscle soreness means you worked the area, it needs to recover (rest, good food), the muscle will grow stronger and as it does your body will burn fat and your shape will change (in a good way). Pain, on the other hand, is to be avoided and when it occurs, it should be dealt with quickly.

Many women (not all) who are experiencing knee pain (including myself when I first started) may be doing the movements incorrectly. If you dip forward as you squat, bending at the knee, you are placing too much load on your knees with the repetitive and/or full range of movement. When you dip backward first as you squat, bending at the hips and leaning forward with your shoulders/chest, you are sharing the quadricep load with your glutes/hamstrings and shouldn’t feel knee pain.

One of the best lifters in our Team PINK group was having shoulder pain because of a slightly incorrect position holding the bar overhead. With a minor correction in positioning, it appears we may have eliminated her shoulder pain.

Shelli recently posted a comment I’m adding to the front page: “I have had painful heel spurs for the past year. I had a cortisone shot, shoe inserts and bought elevated blocks to stretch the heel and calf but nothing really helped until now. My main source of exercise has always been walking but I had to stop. I believe everything with the PINK program, the nutrition, stretching and exercising, has helped my feet immensely. I really enjoy the PINK workouts three times a week and I have just realized that I have been without heel pain for the past three weeks. I can actually get out of bed in the morning and walk without any pain.”

Positioning on these lifts is critical. Oh let’s get real, positioning on anything whether your trying to get big arms with bicep curls, or walking down the sidewalk with a bag a groceries, is critical. Improper positioning even in sitting, typing on the computer or sleeping, will create pain and more problems down the road. I see the end result here in the hospital – surgery. Improper positioning in the olympic lifts will be felt quicker than you can say “jerk it”!

Let’s review: Shoulders back (further than that! I can see you!), upper back tight, chest up high, face forward/up, back arched, butt out (further than that – I can still see you!), bend at the hips – stick butt out first as you bend. Do this with every movement – as you approach the snatch, the clean, the jerk, squats, as you sit down to eat, as you bend to get your pencil!

I am so impressed with your commitment level. You have persevered in spite of not only soreness, but pain! You group of ladies are amazing. I thought every one of you would quit when your feet started hurting…then the knees…but when I saw Jodi and Shannon lift in my gym the other night – I was almost in tears. You have really become beautiful olympic-style weightlifters! Absolutely beautiful. There are 4 female olympic lifters in Utah. Probably less than 100 nationwide. I believe it’s because no one has shown us this way to work out - provided a way for us to do this without leaving our families at home - and hidden from us how cool and beautiful these lifts are. You are supporting my theory every day. Your enthusiasm in learning these lifts and then doing them so beautifully – you are truly amazing. So thank you Icon and Scott Watterson for believing that more women than just little ol’ me would fall in love with this type of workout and for putting this program out there for everyone!


Mary Kaye Olsen said...


On Thursday morning, I really concentrated on sticking my butt out further than ever to do my squats and it did not seem to affect my knee. And I still feel it this afternoon, my thighs hurt to walk (good hurt). I missed doing them, so I am glad to know that I can do them now. I am starting to wonder if it was the jumps that was bugging my knee? I have layed off of them to see if it helps, but I am definately going to keep doing squats!!!! Also, I think I just broke my plateau I have been on for 3 weeks!!! I guess that shows that persitance definately pays off and if you stick with it, it will come off, inches and pounds!!!!!!!!! Yeah..... Thanks for this program.... It has truly changed my life in many ways!!!!!!

Jen said...

Dido on the knee pain. I too tried sticking my butt further out and it did the trick. My knees were not sore during yesterdays workout or today- Yeah!

Debbie- I am really missing the variation in the workouts. I was wondering if we will be getting more variation as people are beginning to get the proper positioning? If not, I'll suck it up- Thanks

Debbie Millet said...

Sounds like we are getting on top of the knee pain issue - hooray!

Jen (and anyone else who would like to follow suit),
Since the snatch is such a difficult lift to learn, we planned that your team leads would work with you next week on learning the new positions and then you could practice them on your own (without having to try to figure them out from paper). However, if you are comfortable with the movements - you should feel free to do all three different snatch grip workouts next week (ie. WEEK 4 Mon, Wed, Fri on the workout sheet). Your team lead have the workout sheets if you need a new one.

Then the following week (July 7th) you will begin combining both olympic lifts into one workout. That will really shake things up for you! Or - you'll love it so much you'll be down at my gym ready to sign up as a Team Praxis member!

Jodie said...

I just wanted to thank you Debbie for letting Allison bring Shannon and I down to your gym. I absolutly loved it!! Thanks to your help my knees are doing so much better! Allison had me show the other PINK members the really really poke your butt out move on Thurs. morning and I think it is helping some of their knees also!
I also have been at a plateau for a few weeks, but it's nice to hear that Mary Kaye stuck it out and is past it now! I'll try for the same!
I have to go to girls camp begining this Mon- Thurs. I plan to do my work outs Mon before I go and Thurs after I get home, but the food worries me a bit.
Any tips??
I love lifting weights and plan to do this much longer than just the 12 weeks. See you all when I get back from Camp :) Jodie

Debbie Millet said...

It may be too late to offer advice for your campout, but for the future...I have to deal with this situation frequently. When I have a weightlifting competition, I am required to weighin at a specific bodyweight in order to compete. In order to hit that target bodyweight at the exact time dictated by the competition schedule AND be strong enough to lift the heaviest weight I'm capable of under pressure - you can imagine how tight my nutrition plan has to be. Then you add the craziness of traveling to national or international competitions - oh the stress! So I must plan my food well in advance and then I usually take it all with me. When I went to Budapest, my suitcase was full of food vs. clothes and shoes (what an odd lifestyle).

What I usually plan for are foods requiring very little preparation, lightweight, perfect carb/protein ratio, will get through security, and don't smell too strong -thinking about other people on the plane.

For the plane or car ride:
1. albacore tuna in the single serving package - not can - with an apple.
2. powdered meal supplement (I bring my shaker bottle to mix in the bathroom)
3. meal replacement bars

What I bring with me for eating at my destination:
1. premeasured dry oats in ziplock bags (I enclose a couple packets of splenda in the bag) + whey protein powder premeasured.
2. Apples or cucumbers (stay relatively fresh through travel + single serving albacore tuna or nuts (because the other foods are so low in fat)
3. meal replacement shakes and bars

Buy when I get there:
fat-free cottage cheese

If I need to eat at a restaurant/hotel:
hard boiled eggs
chicken breast
green veggies

I never trust that I will have the time or convenience to go shopping - so I take what I will need to eat with me. It's high maintenance - but required if I am needing to stay strictly to a nutrition plan.

Shannon Byrne said...

Debbie - I know your time is tight, but I was wondering if you were going to be at the gym tomorrow night? I seem to remember that you won't be there, but I wanted to double check. I'd love to do another work out with you. Thanks.

125 Terri T said...

I have not started to workout yet,butI also had painfull heels. almost always,in the mornings was the worst. About one week into P.I.N.K my foot pain was gone....I mean gone... Also my lower back pain at night is also gone. WOW I am impressed with this diet.