T Nation

How Heavy on Good Mornings?

How heavy should I go on Good Mornings? Are they more of a high rep exercise like front and side raises or can I load it up and try to do around 5 reps?

Currently I stay around 6-8 with 165lbs, but am worried to kick it up a notch. It just feels unnatural to have all that weight in that position. Advice welcomed.

Thanks.

When I try to go too heavy I loose my low back arch and I stop feeling my hams working, all the stress goes on my low back which is not good. That said I still keep it in the 6-8 reps range like you do.

Any other insights? Advice appreciated. Thanks.

I personally go high rep and lower weight on Good Mornings

I lose balance on too heavy a weight, and it is a scary exercise too.

Joe

Where are you holding the bar? I know that when I use the high-bar position (on top of traps) I can handle less weght and less range of motion since it feels like it’s gonna roll onto my head.

However, if I use a low-bar position which is where powerlifters hold the bar for squat (on top of rear delts) you can use much more weight, range of motion. and it feels solid. No fear of it rolling up your neck.

myrk- As far as feeling it in your hams, pretend you are trying to scoot your heels backward during the concentric portion. This will help mentally recruit the hams.

cueball

You can go high rep but I’ve seen them mostly prescribed in the low rep range. I wouldn’t recommend high rep because of the relative dangerous position at the bottom position of the lift combined with fatigue could be a problem. I usually keep them around 5 tops and mostly work up to max 3’s. In terms of how heavy, that depends on your strength and how well you can maintain your arch (forgetting rounded back good mornings for a moment). I’ve done 500 for 3 with no belt. As pointed out, bar position (and type of bar) will play a role in your ROM and weight used and where you place the load relative to your feet will affect the lift also (heels v. out over toes). Bottom line; use all variations within your limits, nothing wrong with sets of 10 here and there, rinse repeat and progress.

Final note - its a lift that puts you in a very compromising position. Make sure you got your form nailed down before moving to heavier weights and treat all the reps as if they were heavy. I think Louie Simmons suffered a significant back injury doing good mornings with what was for him an insignificant weight. Great exercise but not one you can “mail in” and not be focused upon.

Read the stuff on elitefitness and Louie Simmons sites; they cover the good a.m. and its variation in great detail.

[quote]xvsanta42 wrote:
How heavy should I go on Good Mornings? Are they more of a high rep exercise like front and side raises or can I load it up and try to do around 5 reps?

Currently I stay around 6-8 with 165lbs, but am worried to kick it up a notch. It just feels unnatural to have all that weight in that position. Advice welcomed.

Thanks.[/quote]

if your looking for strength, GO HEAVY!! You can also try using the safety bar with the pads on it to help get you more comfortable with the heavier weights than switch back over to the regular straight bar…i finished with 250x8 yesterday!! im trying to work up to 315 for 3-5…but go heavy, wear a belt, and go down and up nice and slow…it should be a solid power movement…you can also do them on racks so that the bar is at rest on the bars when you all the way down than you can explode up from the bottom…maybe switch it up every 3 weeks or so

[quote]TheBodyGuard wrote:
You can go high rep but I’ve seen them mostly prescribed in the low rep range. I wouldn’t recommend high rep because of the relative dangerous position at the bottom position of the lift combined with fatigue could be a problem. I usually keep them around 5 tops and mostly work up to max 3’s. In terms of how heavy, that depends on your strength and how well you can maintain your arch (forgetting rounded back good mornings for a moment). I’ve done 500 for 3 with no belt. As pointed out, bar position (and type of bar) will play a role in your ROM and weight used and where you place the load relative to your feet will affect the lift also (heels v. out over toes). Bottom line; use all variations within your limits, nothing wrong with sets of 10 here and there, rinse repeat and progress.

Final note - its a lift that puts you in a very compromising position. Make sure you got your form nailed down before moving to heavier weights and treat all the reps as if they were heavy. I think Louie Simmons suffered a significant back injury doing good mornings with what was for him an insignificant weight. Great exercise but not one you can “mail in” and not be focused upon.

Read the stuff on elitefitness and Louie Simmons sites; they cover the good a.m. and its variation in great detail.[/quote]

Great advice.

Personally I don’t like to go heavy on Good Mornings, the reasons are mainly obvious and already mentioned above.

I repeat these words to myself, when bending, “arse back, arse back, arse back” and with each repetition I go a little lower.

Taken from Dan John’s instructional video on correct form with deads and squats - where he tells the student to “keep his chin up, arse back, chin up, arse back” - really gets the hamstrings involved I find.

I’d personally rather do good mornings with a little lighter weight with higher reps. I don’t generally go higher than 125 because I do them on leg day and they’re usually taxed by the time I’m done with squats.

I can do them with 80% of my squat for a triple.

I would caution anyone from doing heavy Good mornings, as it is an easy way to tear your lower back muscles.

The angle of the exercise and the extreme pressure that is put on the lower back area due to the bar being so far out in the bent over postion can actually cause your hamstrings to pull your lower back apart. I know, as it happened to me, and I have never done this exercise again.

If you want to go heavy, instead try straightleg dead lifts. A much safer exercise and thus more effective.

Always think risk vs reward.

I do high reps for them… kinda scary to think about trying to max out or go low reps

I high-bar squat and as a result I tend to naturally high-bar good morning, and like somebody else mentioned, the bar tends to want to roll down my neck onto my head once I get close to the bottom position.

Obviously, I stopped doing heavy good mornings. I just do heavy RDLs and pullthroughs now.

The heaviest GM I know was a 700lb 1RM. I occasionally test my 1RM for the GM and it seems to lie around 80-85% my squat 1RM. Right now, that means I can GM more than 400. Regardless of a 1RM or a 10RM, I always do them in a power rack.

Actually, I’d rather do low rep GMs for the same reason that oly lifts should be done at low reps.

i heard a good tip for them is to think if it as moving your hips back as far as possible, then locking them foreward.

helps a bit to use that mindset instead of “bend over then get back up”

I hate them and prefer the romanian deadlift variation i.e. kind of sldl where you lower the bar to slightly below knee cap level while keeping the arch of your back.

It’s really the same movement without the weight on you back. There is no risk of the bar moving and it’s easier to keep the back from rounding. It also works your mid traps and rear delts statically while to try to hold the correct position.

You can go really work your way to some very respectable weight on that movement.

Stop the set when your shoulders start to slouch or your back starts rounding (or your grip feel like it’s going to fail, it’s a great grip exercise to if you use no straps).

Load them to the max, FUCK YEAH?
I like to do them heavy, great for beefing up the back, I used to do them light like some of these other fellers, but since I have started doing them heavy my light weight GM have doubled. Also if you have jumpstretch bands doing 50-100 reps over a few sets is a good way to end a workout, or a good extra workout with other stuff.

[quote]2274 wrote:
The heaviest GM I know was a 700lb 1RM. I occasionally test my 1RM for the GM and it seems to lie around 80-85% my squat 1RM. Right now, that means I can GM more than 400. Regardless of a 1RM or a 10RM, I always do them in a power rack.

Actually, I’d rather do low rep GMs for the same reason that oly lifts should be done at low reps.[/quote]

I never thought of it that way. It actually makes perfect sense.