Can't offer much of a solution as I am in the same boat, so I am glad to read this thread. I'm 47 and almost anywhere I go, there are virtually NO women deadlifting. I have been for 2 years now. I also applaud any woman doing a 1RM of 260, if that's middle of the road, I am missing the boat! I too have injured myself in kind of the same way as you describe SB. Six months ago, I had a 1RM of 225 and had a top set that had climbed to 205x4. Then something tweaked, and I had to really scale way back for quite awhile. Cut to the present... I steadily worked my way back carefully to 185x5 for top set last week, and on my last set at 165, rep 5 (I had done 10 the week before) something tweaked and that was it, but luckily I stopped in time, don't think I have to back track too much. I will say though, one of the things that I noticed the last 8 weeks that DID increase my strength and got me back to 185, was not cutting calories. Whenever I have been trying to cut, no real gains. I have been on an "accidental" bulk and I swear, I have made progress, felt like a beast, and recovered faster... despite the small bump last week (and the extra padding around the hips). I also agree with eKatherine completely. This stuff is for life, so if progress takes longer in order to stay injury free, and there are some setbacks or plateaus, just keep going, what's the rush. Stay safe and know that we are likely stronger than a lot of women in our age groups already
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