T Nation

I Want to Be Super Strong and Solid But...


Due to a lower back injury 3 years ago I can no longer squat and deadlift with a straight bar. But I can use a trap bar. Just over a year ago I dedicated myself to the TBDL. If I could TBDL 500 lbs I would be STRONG!

Well a year later my 1 rep max TBDL went from 345lbs to 375 lbs. Iam hoping to greatly improve on that progression this year. But how? Whats wrong? Iam 6'2 205lbs.

My current workout:

Mon and Friday:
Heavy TBDL: 10x1 Rest Pause
2 Hand Dumbell Over head Press: 3x5
Pull Downs: 3x5
Heavy Weighted Incline Sit Ups: 3x5
Heavy Weighted Back Extenstensions: 3x5
Farmers Walk

Speed TBDL: 60% 1 rep max 10x2
Dips: 3x5
Rows: 3x5

I was thinking of starting Good Mornings on Mon and Wed.

Why is my progress so damn slow?


ITs said that deadlift weights dont go up by deadlifting, they go up from everything else. If you cant squat definitely hit good mornings at the minimum. And really get those hamstrings, glutes, and lower back stronger.


The workout you are doing is very reminiscent of the stuuf that Brawn and Dinosaur training discuss.

To improve the TBDL I would focus on building up the posterior chain. As has ben said before deadlifting wont always bring up your deadlift. It will for a while but you need to mix it up a little.

Good mornings, pull throughs, glute ham raises, stiff legged deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, cleans, snatches etc will all aif in building up your pulling strength.

For more specifics read Goldbergs posts and anything relating to Westside.


Without knowing your specific injury it is difficult to give advice and I am no expert, but most people damage their back at some point in their lifting career.

Louie Simmons, owner of Westside Barbell had some terrible lower back injuries, including slipped discs, fractured vetrabrae, compressed discs but through the correct application of training he went on to total 2100 at over 50yo (including a 920lb squat!)

Rather than avoiding things and training around your injury I would strongly suggest seeing a really good chiropractor, reading about the Westside Barbell method of training and sorting out your back. You mention you are considering doing GM's. So perhaps you are limiting yourself by catergorically stating that you can't squat or deadlift?


Try a couple of cycles of 5x3. Mix things up a little bit, see if that doesn't shake things loose.

Remember to actually cycle your poundages--striving to increase the weight every session without fail is destined to crash and burn eventually. If a linear progression actually worked, I would be deadlifting about 1000 pounds right now. But I don't--I've had to cycle forward and back for every pound I've got.


I like your program though. Basics.

Dan "Doin' it Sumo style." McVicker


I was reading the 8 Keys by Dave Tate.

Maybe its time to give this Westside stuff a try.


By the way Thank you for the replys. By your responses I should spend more time training the Back of my body (lower back, glutes, hamstrings).

This is a lifetime experiment. Maybe one day I will find the right formula!


Dan Mc: Iam glad to hear Iam not the only one with slow progression. But I believe mine is exceptionally slow.