I recently perused through one of Chad Waterbury's books; ''Huge In A Hurry''. I learnt some stuff here and there and would probably learn more if i read it properly.
However, there was a section that really caught my eye and i ended up reading it like 20 times. Here it is;
''8. DON'T COMPRESS YOUR
SPINE IN EVERY WORKOUT
Most powerlifters who've been in the game for
more than a decade are shorter than when they
started. I don't mean a little shorter; they lose
several inches. It's easy to figure out the reason:
A steady routine of heavy squats and dead lifts will compress the spinal column, specifically
the jelly-doughnut-like discs between your
vertebrae. Many powerlifters are forced to retire
with back injuries, to no one's surprise. The less
space there is between discs, the harder it is for
your nerves to transmit electrical signals to your
muscles. If you've ever put a kink into a garden
hose, you get the idea. Water still gets through,
but not as much, and not as fast.
Ifheavy squats and deadlifts are crucial to
the results you want but also compress your
spine, how can you make gains now without
injuries you'll pay for later? I recommend two
DON'T LIFT HEAVY
IN EVERY WORKOUT
You know that fast contractions allow you to
recruit big motor units without using max
weights. (If you don't know that by now, you
must've skipped every chapter before this one.)
So, even if one of your goals is to improve
your strength, you can reach that goal with two
heavy workouts a week, and use the third
workout for faster lifts with lighter weights.
That'll take some burden off your spine.
DON'T DO EVERY
EXERCISE ON TWO LEGS
At least one workout each week should include
single-leg versions of the squat and deadlift.
You'll get two important benefits:
Â»These exercises recruit a lot of stabilizer
muscles that might be understimulated by
traditional squats and deadlifts.
Â»They unload your spine, since you're forced to
use less weight. A guy who can deadlift 300
pounds might use 50-pound dumbbells when
doing a single-leg dead lift. If he maxes out
with 275 on the squat, he'd have all he could
handle with a 25-pound weight plate on a
Each of those exercises gives muscles
plenty of work, with hardly any load on your spine. I've tried them with professional athletes
and serious competitive powerlifters, and
I've seen how it works for them. Sometimes
we'll go a week to 10 days doing nothing but
single-leg exercises. Invariably, they get
stronger when they return to their normal exercises
with heavy loads, thanks to the restoration
of the normal spaces between their
vertebrae and the improvement in nerve
If it works for them, it should work for you.''
I was wondering about the heavy squats and deadlifts part. I already know that its a myth that they make you short but hearing Chad Waterbury say it made me think twice....AND start worrying. Im only 5'8 and i definitely don't wanna get ANY shorter!
My question is this; should i be worried since i ain't a powerlifter??
-Currently as my plan to keep stuff simple im using the 5x5 program, which means im squatting in EVERY workout and deadlifting+overhead press in the alternate ones.
-Since 5x5 is about progressing each workout, the load becomes relatively heavy eventually.
-Now that im in school i squat a minimum of once a week and during the holidays i squat 3 times a week as per the program.
-I really don't deload since i feel im already training too little. The closest thing i have to a ''deload'' is when im swamped with schoolwork and can't make it to the gym.
Im not asking you to crap on Chad's work or anything but i'd really appreciate any help i can get. As a beginner its possible i could be fretting over nothing really.
Iv considered taking the SQUAT,OVERHEAD PRESS & DEADLIFT workout and alternating it with a RFESS,OVERHEAD PRESS & SINGLE LEG RDL workout.
What do you think about that?
Any help will be highly appreciated. Cheers.