Hi Jim, all
First of all, thank you for an amazing programme. I have been doing various other routines for years, mainly ‘eastern’ powerlifting programmes, such as Korte, Sheiko, Fomin, but your 5/3/1 programme simply brings something new and challenging. I have only read your first book, but I would like to stick with it for the time being, as I like the simplicity and philosophy behind it (I truly believe that 5/3/1 is more than a training, it’s a way of life really…).
Anyway, back to the issue mentioned in the subject. I did basic 5/3/1 BBB for just over six weeks, but started suffering from low back pain few weeks into the routine. The low back got simply strained, nothing acute (i.e. nothing like not being able to stand up from bed), but I was getting close to it. I therefore decided to back up and moved to Sheiko after deload.
I would, however, want to get back to 5/3/1 BBB and, in fact, I have already started with first two weeks completed. Unfortunately, the low back pain has returned. I personally think that my problem is in BBB sets. I have no issues going heavy, but the BBB 5x10 sets, which I do immediately after the PR set, are just killing me. Especially on deadlifts, but I can feel my back also on squats. I believe I keep a good form when doing these, but my body does not seem to be used to this kind of overload (all the above mentioned routines keep the reps to 5 maximum).
I used to have problems with my lower back also before doing 5/3/1, but in a manageable way (occasional minor strains and one major incident 4 years ago, but fully recovered). I believe my main mistake was that when I started with powerlifting, I was using belt on every moderate to heavy set. I have stopped doing that 4 years ago to strengthen my core and lower back, and now I take belt only if I do 1 rep PRs. However, ever since the injury, I have been on and off training, as the life got into way (moving to different country, work, etc.). I know, I shouldn’t be bullshitting myself - I was just weak!
I have now done nine months of training without any major interruptions and feel in a good shape in terms of strength (I hit my all-time PRs again). However, I have also added quite a lot of fat over the last few years (went from 92 to 100 kg) and my work means sitting behind PC for 12 hours a day in average, which probably does not help the low back case neither. My goals have now changed, as I am not competing any more, but I would like to keep getting stronger (and maybe compete once again, just for fun?) and also get back into shape (i.e. lose that f*cking fat). Any advice on how to continue with 5/3/1 to achieve these goals, but prevent any low back injuries will be much appreciated.
P.S.: I used to do DeFranco’s Agile 8, but recently moved to his Limber 11 routine, which I do at the start of each training session.