Chiropractor Says No Deads or Squats. What to Do?

The guy is a lifter too and seems to know his stuff, he also coaches competitors; he’s done an x-ray of my back and at 56yo, does not recommend squats or deadlift for me anymore. I’ve done 5/3/1 before and really liked it but preferred DC training and am on that now albeit with very low weights in deadlift and squat.

Cutting now and have about 6-8 weeks more to go before adding some calories. I’d like to go back on 5/3/1 but a different version.

So, three questions; 1. Go with a 5/3/1 variant and if so, which? 2. If not, recommendations? 3. Has Jim ever addressed alternatives to squat and/or deadlift? I have the 2nd edition and haven’t seen that in there.

thanks y’all

Maybe the Krypteia program?

I don’t get it. You say your Dr., who really knows his stuff, has advised against doing squats and deadlifts based on x-ray and presumably other factors. Then, you identify krypteia, a program heavy on deads on squats, as a potential program to run? What am I missing?

1 Like

Man, just do sled/prowler in place of squats & deads.

Yeah drop them. Not needed to put on muscle and def not needed to lean out.

Personally would do leg press, loads of mobility moves and bit of extra back work.

Dave Tate got in great shape by dropping them as laid out here…

1 Like

Sorry, I didn’t communicate well. I was interested in a 5/3/1 program but would essentially like to substitute deadlift and squats. I like the programming but the prescribed lifts seem to be a no-go.

1 Like

Thanks for this.

  1. Get a couple more opinions. No fucking way I’d accept that.
  2. If you decide to follow his advice:

Krypteia modified

Bench/Press - alternate workouts.
Assistance - done Krypteia style - alternate between DB Squats and Back Raises or RH.

Your body is supposed to move; don’t let a doctor screw up your life because he has to cover his ass due to soul/dick sucking lawyers.


What did he find wrong with your back in the xray? Usually a recommendation to not do something comes with a better explanation of why. And does he not recommend the lifts at all or just the fact that its a primary lift you are pushing to extremes week after week with “heavy” weight. As Jim said the body is supposed to move, but is it supposed to move with 400+lbs? Depends who you ask. You didn’t mention numbers so not sure what we are talking about here.

TBH, I’m gonna go with Jim’s advice and seek another opinion. Since writing the initial question, I’ve done some extensive stretching/rolling and my back hasn’t felt this good in a very long time. So good, that I did indeed Squat and Deadlift this morning…yes, both. I’m not lifting very heavy (Squat 205x17 and TB Dead 225x14 with one at 290 just cause. I feel good and will give it a day or two to see for sure if my back responds negatively.
The X-Ray did show some compression in my lower back but nothing that was alarming (his words) so maybe its all about nothing? Maybe he’s one of those guys who hates the movements, I didn’t get into that with him.
All this to say I think I’m gonna go Krypteia and in its written form. If I get into some trouble, I’ll revisit and apply what Jim recommends above.

If you’re into self-education as well, you could give a listen to guys like Quinn Henoch (DPT), Jordan Shallow (DC), John Rusin (DPT), Chad Wesley Smith, Matt Wenning and Stuart McGill (PhD). If you look around on YouTube, Spotify, T-Nation, EliteFTS and IG you’ll definitely find some stuff about spinal health.

Sorry that this advice isn’t very directed, although of the top of my head I know Stuart McGill’s book, “Ultimate Back Fitness and Health,” is pretty widely recommended.

1 Like

Awesome, thanks a bunch!

1 Like


1 Like

This could be my next tattoo!! :joy:

Well, to sum it up, I’ve ignored his advice and am doing both. I’ve finally got it through my head that I need to stretch and use the foam roller which have proven immensely beneficial. Foam rolling my hips and lower back literally changed things overnight. Adding weight to the bar in spite of a calorie deficit; looking forward to the Krypteia program in a few weeks.

1 Like

Just throwing my two cents in: have you considered maybe different variants of squats and dead’s that are low back friendly. Like block Pulls or box squats until you feel better?


I would also get a second opinion. I blew both of my knees. If I had listened to everything my docs said I would have been so weak, stiff and in constant pain

Tb deadlifts are more back friendly. Can use blocks as well.