T Nation

Can't Even Squat to Save my Life Anymore


I was making great progress on the squat, 2,5b per workout, 125kgx5 by squating 2 times a week on the back squat 2 week ago. Got sick, skip on leg workout. Try to squat 5 day ago, fucking low back pain with only 100kg! squat again today, fucking low back pain again, I could not squat 110kg to save my fucking life. Try Front squat, same thing. what the fuck happen?

and I was laghing at those pussy who could not squat because of low back pain.. any tips?


Use lighter weight b/c you got weaker when you got sick.
Not too complicated man.


Are you wearing a belt? At 6'5" I have to wear a belt at 205+. Its just not worth the lower back pump I get without it.


Can you post a video of you squatting? One thing people commonly do is to go too low and button their butts in the hole, which causes low back rounding.

In other words, your form is probably bad. I wear a belt, and I agree with the above poster that it could help tall folks. That said, I know a lot on here will disagree, so it's ultimately your decision.


Unless he squats once a month, I doubt he would lose 50 lbs on his squat after missing just one session. Unless you mean he's still sick and therefor weaker than normal as opposed to meaning he lost all that strength from being sick even after he got better....


or maybe you tightened all up and lost your flexibility


exactly what i tought. my other numbers are almost the same. and 100kg feel light but my low back pain was making it fucking impossible.

gonna do lunges and leg press fuck that suck.


If it feels light that's even better, you probably didn't even lose much strength. You should be able to feel the difference (between strength and technique issue), and you shouldn't get bent out of shape over technique feeling a little off. You just had an off day. That shouldn't be a surprise if you were sick and presumably laying down for days.

Start doing stretches (back and hips), and spend a session where you just focus on technique and doing proper reps (if you aren't sure what that is then ask someone to watch you or get a video). Then work your way back up from whatever weight you can handle, it won't take long to get back where you were and beyond... unless you just stop squatting, then you never will.


still same shit happened yesterday. low back pain with 100kg.. guess Im gonna stay with medium weight 12-15 reps range till that shit go away. I had problem with deadlift to. fuck my life.


I know noobs giving advice is frowned upon but I can't believe the responses here. Let me explain something to the OP:

Dear dude,

Lower back pain = big time problem and no more squats/deadlifts/rows or preferably anything other than foam rolling and lying in the semi-supine position till it's fixed. See a CHIROPRACTOR if pain still present after 1 month.


Weak noob who squats 65kg(ish) x 8-10 but reads books and stuff.


This advice is absolutely terrible on so many levels. Stop giving people advice.

Weak noob who squats more than twice as much as you but has only been squatting since February despite having already had one, gasp, lower back strain.



  1. Are you able to get a vid of you squatting?

  2. Have you watched the EliteFTS videos entitled "So You Think You Know How to Squat?"

  3. When you say low back pain, you're being way too general. Is it a pulling sensation (like a strain), is it a stabbing sort of pain, etc? What sort of pain is it? There are other injuries besides strained muscles--you could have herniated a disc or something.


a stabbing pain I feel like my low back is blocker and about to explode. I will watch the video. I don't get pain from lunges but get it when I front squat more than 80kg...


A stabbing pain does not sound good. Have you considered whether you might have done something other than straining your back? I would ask BBB about this one. I would hazard a guess at something like a herniated disc, but I'm by no means an expert and don't have extensive experience with back injuries (knock on wood).


  1. I'm 'untrained'. See definition in weight lifting standards. Someone who squats 120kg is not 'untrained' regardless of whether or not they have done weight lifting before. The squat is also my weakest lift by far. My deadlift is more than twice my squat. I have muscular imbalance issues. Whilst it is an isolation exercise that doesn't require heavy weight I would venture to brag that I could calf raise more than many people here BTW.

  2. An injury to the lumbar region cannot be diagnosed by guys on the internet. Whilst possibly a muscle strain(serious injury will likely occur if OP continues to squat/dl before it heals), it could also be any of number of more serious things including: muscle or ligament SPRAIN or bulging disc/s(not likely to be herniated disc as OP would have trouble moving let alone squatting). Continuing to squat/dl etc with any of these injuries is about the worst thing someone can do.

  3. 'Sharp spasms' are symptoms consistent with sciatica(not a condition but a symptom). Squatting is not the best remedy this either.

  4. Tell a good chiropractor that you have lower back pain including 'sharp spasms' and you're worried about your inability to squat as much weight as you did before the injury. See what sort of reply you get. They deal with lower back problems every day.


I actually like the chiropractor advice ^

How long were you sick and how severe? Are we talking sniffles or toilet worship? I would purely guess that your back has tightened from whatever time off. A sharp pain would concern me. Any chance of a video?


The last time that happened to me (very similar situation) I found out that it was due to the deadlifts. I had been making progress for months, then took a de-load (little easier work/rest)...then bam! lower back pain each and every time I did DL/squats (despite higher reps and good warming up). It's like I had built up tension in my lower back (via bad technique) and when I gave it a chance to rebound it "snapped".

The solution?

Keep the lower back tight all the time! If this means finding a deadlift variation that stops you from rounding the lower back (e.g. reduces distance) then so be it. Some people have a build which makes it impossible to not round the lower back when deadlifting....for these ones I would recommend a closer grip, and wider stance. You could even deadlift with plates under the bar or something to raise it up more.

Currently, I'm doing a deadlift hybrid I made up myself - I do Romanian Deadlifts with the EZ bar (gripping the highest part of the bar which puts my arms inside the legs) and I stop the movement just past my knees (to stop lower back rounding). I take a shoulder width stance (again, the wider the stance, the less lower back strain). Get a good workout this way in all the right places, feel strong, and best of all, great feeling in my back (no problems since).


OP, IMHO it's going to be really difficult for anybody, even some of the most knowledgeable members here to diagnose your pain on the internet. Whenever I've had a back injury someone needed to lay hands on me and run me through a few different ranges of motion to isolate the issue before having any clue how to proceed. I strongly suggest you see a professional. A regular doctor should be able to help you determine whether you would be better served by a chiropractor (spinal alignment) or a physiotherapist (muscle/soft tissue strength and mobility). If you can find someone more sports oriented, all the better. I'm not someone who runs to the doc whenever I stub my toe, but "stabbing pain" in your low back shouldn't be taken lightly.

If you want to work around this in the gym that's your choice, but understand that there are risks involved. Until you figure out what's wrong, I suggest you exercise extreme caution when training and stick strictly to loads/movement patterns that don't cause any sharp pain. Also I think you should pay a extra attention to your posture when you're handling weights, even if you're setting up for something that doesn't typically hurt you. You are at a greatly elevated risk of injury, particularly since you don't really know what's going on, so be responsible act accordingly. It's possible you have nothing more serious than some tightness going on or it's possible you have an underlying issue of some sort. Either way the longer it goes untreated the greater your risk of it becoming more serious, so just go see somebody FFS, preferably before your next training session.

Just my $.02. Hope you get it sorted soon. All the best.


God damn...you know a thread is full of FAIL when the most sound advice in it is given by HaveIron.


  1. See doctor not internet for diagnosis.
  2. Determine appropriate specialist before spending $ on treatment.
  3. Don't be an idiot, but if you insist on being an idiot at least be careful.
    = FAIL? OK, if you say so.