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Help w/ Program, Bulging Discs

Hey guys i have had a bad back for a while now, hurt it 6 years ago lifting at work, bulging L1-5 with the most damage in l1,l2,l3.

Now 16 weeks ago i did it again i was in really good shape deadlifting 100kgs(nothing huge but beacause of my back pretty good) with no pain, beanching 125kgs, in pretty good shape. I was even runing on the treadmill for the first time in my life, so anyway i thought as i had been runing on the treadmil id go for a road run, i did a 20 mins run and when i got back my back was really tight, two days later i went to the gym and was hlping a friend learn to deadlift back was still really tight but i was moving around and i felt sorta lose, finished helping friend thought to myself id do some deadlifts and some other things.I put 20kg on the bar did warm up then put 50kg on the bar and BAM my back went again.

MRI scan showed 3 bulged disc L1, L4,L5 and some facet joint damage, this made me really sad due to all the work i have done to get into really good shape and trust me after u hurt ur back big time my form was not a problem in anything i do 100% form.

This is my program now due to i cant lift free weights because of my back ill tell you guys what i do and maby someone can help me with something i should be doing.

Monday Back/Shoulders

Reversed grip Lat pulldown 3 sets 10-12 reps
High Row machine 2 sets 10-12 reps
Close grip Lat pulldown 2 set 10-12 reps
Machine seated Row 3 sets 10 reps
Fitball seated cable row 3 sets 10-12 reps

Shoulder press Machine 3 sets 10 reps
Reverse Fly machine 3 sets 10 reps
Cable Lat raises 3 sets 10-12 reps
Cable front raises 3 sets 10-12 reps

Have to do alot of machine work for shoulders as free weights os to much on my back. With back i cant seem to improve due to my forearms seems to lock up and i cant pull the weights anymore, nit sure what to do to fix this.

Wednesday Chest/Triceps

Cable Chest Press 3 sets 10-12 reps
machine chest press 2 sets 10 reps
machine Flys 3 set 10-12 reps
machine Pullover 3 sets 10-12 reps

i used to do 50kg dumbell(each hand) press its really frustrating going back to machines.

Tri pulldown with rope 3 sets 10 reps
Tri pushdown bar 3 sets 10 reps
Tri overhead extension
with rope on cable machine 3 set 10 reps
Single arm reverse tri
extension 3 sets 10 reps

Friday Biceps/Legs

hammer curls across the chest 3 sets 10 reps
seated Bi curls 3 sets 10 reps
preacher curl with bar 4 set 10 reps
wrist curls with bar for forearms 3 sets 10-15 reps

seat calf raise 4 set 10-15 reps
seated leg press 3 sets 10 reps
going deep seated leg press 2 sets 15 reps
walking lunges 3 sets 10-15 steps

for core ill do Fitball crunches and fitball roll outs. Thats pretty much it, cardio 4 times a week for 30-40mins
Any help on anything would be very helpfull, am i doing ok is there more i could be doing or adding/changing to help my back out?


You need to see a GOOD orthopaedic surgeon, preferably one who works with athletes. Also may have to consult a good physical therapist (most I’ve seen are clueless however). IMO avoid chiros, way too many quacks, some good though.
You have to rest, and rehab. The inflammation must recede either via meds, injections or on it’s own.

After that, figure out how you got that way in the first place. If you’re like myself and every other male in the US, you have a very weak anterior core, very tight hips and poor general flexibility. Your deadlift should never be less than your bench!

Thanks… I think i will give up on deadlifts all together to much risk for me i never wana hurt my lower back again.

Ill try and work on core strengh and hope to get lower back muscle stronger

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Thx for the help Bushy

I’ve had 2 disc ruptures.

My Rules to avoid injusry:

The object is to work legs and back without straining the discs.


  1. Pullups (helps with some decompression and is an underrated movement)

  2. Dumbell rows (Sit on your left heal to minimized spinal movement/shifting.)

Legs: (Bummer)

Try single leg moves:

  1. lunges
  2. Single leg squats