T Nation

How to Prevent Back Injury?


Usually I train squats to failure, and when I am setting up for my next set, I have to take the weights off, put them on the ground, and then attempt to hoist them onto the bar again, doing it each time for 4 plates, times 5 sets, which is 20 times in total for just one squat workout. Since I have slight scoliosis and my back/erector spinae in general is usually very sore from the workout itself, are there any way to more efficiently pick the heavy-ass weights up, without having to resort to bending the back into a upside-down U magnet everytime?


45 lbs. shouldnt be that heavy.


Picking up plates? Knock all the dimes and nickels off and put the 45s on the higher posts if bending over is troublesome.


Dont train squats to failure maybe?

You could always do your heavy sets of squats first and stop one to two reps short of failure, and then use a "safer" exercise to and past failure


What about ramping up in weight on each set stopping at the heaviest weight you can handle for however many reps you hope to get, and only train that one set to failure.


I'm lost.....help!


How about picking up the weights with good posture? Hips back, nuetral spine, and glute activation.

Oh, and if I read that right you are training to failure with 225. Unless you are doing something like 20+ reps per set, how about not training to failure as it may not be working for you.

Bending you back into an upsidedown "U" is not a good idea.


Huh? I'm not quite following you here... Why do you have to remove ALL the plates after every set and then put them back on?

Did I misread?

What's so difficult about keeping the weight on the bar and just adding more as necessary... And then removing all the weight at the end of your squat session, like everyone else does?


That's the part I don't get. Why take them off after every set?


He trains to failure, meaning the bar and the weights are probably on the waist high safety rack at the end of the set.


he takes them off because he evidentily takes every set to absolute failure until he is stapled to the floor. Then he must take all the weight off.. and pic the bar up... .

then reload.

I say..... save that failure business for the last set!


All drop sets??


Ah... Ok. Time to change training philosophies then, seeing as how literally no one else has the same problem :wink:

Hmm. My widowmakers are to failure, but it's not that difficult to know in advance when you won't be able to get out of the hole on the next rep... I mean, if you can barely make it back up on this rep, why do another? (and why do 5 sets to failure at the same weight...)

Don't make this stuff more complicated than it needs to be, OP...

Care to give us some detail as to how many reps you do etc/your leg day format?


Why on Earth would people do squats to failure on a regular basis (specially with a high rep count)?

Now, I'm assuming you are going to failure because you seek sarcoplasmic hyperthropy. In that case, if for some reasons your legs (and your body) respond better with working to failure, use the leg press (and go to failure with it) AFTER doing your squat workouts.

That should work better for you if you are experiencing back problems.

If there are two workouts you shouldn't be doing to failure, specially if your back is giving you problems, those two are the squats and dead lifts. And explosive lifts like cleans and snatches.

Now, if you are on the juice, then that changes the rules of the game (because of its recuperative, healing and anti-inflamatory properties.)

But even then, if you are having back problems, even with the juice, you should use better judgment and stop doing squats to failure.

If I were you, I would also consult a chiro and get some x-rays, or at least evaluate my external hip rotator, glute and iliopsas flexibility if I were you - a deficiency in either one of them will cause mobility problems on the bottom part of the squat. That's how I got my fucked up disks.

So don't be a fool and learn the hard way. Train intelligently.

Good luck.