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First of all thank you for such a fantastic online resource and all your efforts here!!!

My history:

I am 26 years old and have been lifting weights for approximately 7-8 years. My training style during those years was always 5-10 reps, double progression method, using the 'main' lifts.... back squat, deadlift, OHP, chins, a few 'accessory' curl, abs....

very recently I have been inspired by crossfit and your site here.

4 months ago I began making serious efforts to learn the oly lifts. Through practicing 1-2hrs, 5-6 days per week, solidly for 3months, i managed to achieve a 50kg full snatch and 70kg C&J (I know they are not huge numbers, but I had to work so damn hard to rack up even these measly numbers!!!)

The problem:

Towards the end of that 3 month oly lifting period, my knees were really starting to suffer. I never felt any pain during a lifting session, and never noticed myself receiving injury at any point. However, the pain started to wake me up during the nights following a session. Then the pain became chronic (mild yet always present) Then one day in December, while simply strolling, i felt a twinge followed by sharp pain in my right knee. The sharp pain subsided within a minute. Following this incident, I decided to rest my knees for a substantial period.

I havent used my knees for anything more strenuous than strolling for a month now. Yet I still have a chronic pain in both my knees. The pain gets sharper when squatting to pick something up off the floor.

If you look down at your knees while sitting, the pain is located on the right side of the left knee, and left side of the right knee.

My question is whether such pain is normal? Have i damaged my knees beyond repair? Should I not return to performing full snatches and cleans? Is there anything recommended for sorting this out? I am especially worried because my father underwent surgery to rectify pain caused by dodgy knee cartilage (sorry I dont have a technical diagnosis) in his late 30s. Will i suffer the same fate?

I have seriously loved every moment of oly lifting. It has given me new inspiration and enthusiasm for lifting. However, i am starting to think that my knees cannot handle the stresses involved.

Thank you for your time, and any help you may offer.

Stephen | 2007-01-08

did you have any problems with your knees during your 7-8 yrs of prior lifting before the oly lifts? pain in the knees because of all the jumping and extending then landing or receiving the bar is normal....that is why you see oly lifters using ice after each workout, using knee bands while they workout. the sharp pain is not normal. i am not sure what you have done and i certainly am no doc or physical therapist.....what i would do is put my knees in a bucket of ice or a cold, cold pool after each walking or training session to see if this helps......i would also start taking glucosime condroitin (sp) along with aleve or other similiar n saids. if that does not help, then for sure stop doing full movements and do the power movements assuming you want to do the lifts. i am not sure what dodgy knee cartilage is.....but genetics might play a big role in that.....i would find a sports orthopedic and discuss this with them.....a regular doc will tell you to rest.....but a sports doc knows and usually understands that you want back in the saddle again. what are your goals in lifting? do you want to seriously compete or have some fun? if it is have some fun and enjoy the lifts, i would suggest you train 1-2 times per week at a reduced rate and see what happens after i ice and take the other stuff i suggest. let me know what happens....another thought is fish oils help reduce inflamation as well.....good luck. coach b
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Thank you very much for the advice and comments. I have since reduced the training volume as you suggested, and have not since had any knee pain.