T Nation

Deadlift/Hamstring Advice Needed

My workout routine (see below) includes deadlifts and romanian (straight-leg) deadlifts, each twice a week. I thought I would be able to handle the stress because my lower back muscles have always been pretty tough and responded better to training than most of my body, but lately I have been experiencing some soreness down there. After the last round of workouts I’m sore enough to know that if I keep this up I’m going to end up injured. So I need to change my hamstring/lower back routine and am looking for advice on what to replace the romanian deadlifts with.

I am working out for four weeks and then taking a week off to just do cardio, and after every two months I switch the 5x5 sets to 3x8 or 2x2 for a month to break the monotony and to give myself a break from 5x5, which I can’t do for extended periods. I am not a competitive bodybuilder, don’t use any drugs, and do this mostly because I need exercise and enjoy lifting, so this isn’t an especially intense workout routine.

My complete routine, done with a day off between days three and one, follows:

Day One, Back
30 Minutes Cardio
Oblique Hyperextensions, 3x30
3x8 Bicep Curls
5x5 Chin Ups
5x5 Lat Pulldowns
5x5 Upright Rows
5x5 Deadlifts

Day Two, Chest
30 Minutes Cardio
Crunches, rotating styles, reps, and difficulty
Dumbbell Tricep Press, 3x8
Chest Press (Hammer Strength) 5x5
Standing Military Press, 5x5
Incline Dumbbell Press, 5x5
Dips, 5 sets to failure

Day Three, Legs
Hamstring Curls, 5x5
Romanian Deadlifts, 5x5
Leg Extension, 5x5
Squats, 5x5
Standing Calf Press, 5x5
Seated Calf Press, 3x8

if your lower back is getting fried, decrease the amount of stress you’re putting on it.

maybe do only one kind of deadlift a week, or do each only once per week.

any specific reasons why you are doing arm exercises before compound push/pull movements?

I know I only need to do one kind of deadlift. I am asking what exercise would be a good replacement for the romanian deadlift.

I do the arm exercises first to warm them up before I go into the compound exercises.

You should probably do cardio AFTER lifting.

I would try some good mornings, it’s not too taxing on the lower back compared to deadlift/squat variations.

I would not do the oblique hyperextensions before deadlifts.

You’re also doing deadlifts with only one day’s rest after Romanian deadlifts and squats, which is not making the situation better either.

Nor, IMO, is doing Romanian deadlifts before the squats.

I wouldn’t particularly recommend a beginner decide he need not do deadlifts because he is doing Romanians.

Yeah you should probably rethink the whole thing sir.

Do the lifts that use the most weight first. If you are not “warm” after your 30 minutes of cardio [some of which i hope is joint mobilization and not just a random jog on the hamster wheel] then you need to do something different for “cardio.”

And squats and romanians on the same day is a recipe for spinal disaster and ultimate failure in the squat.

Doing back extensions or zercher good mornings would be better replacements. but still not before squats. maybe somthing like 20m sprints would be a better option given that there is zero spinal load and all kinds of hamstring glute recruitment.


Myself actually I do do Romanians and squats on the same day, but most certainly not in that order.

dont curl before back, do deadlifts first on back day and dont do abs before compound movements do them last, dont deadlift before squatting squat first

When a program is already fairly close to being good all around, then I will try to stick with the original conception and offer a suggestion that is very similar but just some fixes.

This one has enough problems that the thing to do really, IMO, is to start again and employ or adopt one of the very many good programs that are already out there rather than attempt to patch this one up. It just has too many problems and nothing really particularly standing out in its favor.

No offense intended, it’s just that sometimes the answer is to tweak a given thing or give it a patch or two, and sometimes the answer is to just get a fresh start entirely.