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Killing my Lower Back

Hi everyone. Have a question regarding lower back overload.
My training program is as follows:

ABC once a week.

A:
Deadlifts & Arms

B:
Legs & Shoulders

C:
Chest & Back

Now, it so happens that my lower back gets some work at every workout. A has deadlift, B has squats that have some pressure, and C has bent-over 75-80 degree barbell rows.

While I’m doing fine and going up with weights and reps, my lower back suffers. I can deal with the DOMS, but the immediate post-exercise minutes are killing me.

I haven’t injured myself (yet! ^_^), but after deadlift/squats/rows I’m so sore I become almost crippled and have to sit or lay down for 3-4 minutes so I could keep on the workout and walk (!) properly. I should mention I’m very strict about stretching, and have proper rest and good hot baths. Deadlifting and Squatting is all in the 3-8 rep range, rowing 8-14.

Am I overdoing it? I really don’t want to give up any of these exercises, for they all work very well for me. What should I do?

If you are having pain that “cripples” you, chances are you aren’t practicing strict form.

I Bench, Squat, and Deadlift every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. My back took a pounding at first, but it seems to have adjusted to the workload after the 1st 2 weeks.

I’ve only recently come back to barbell-squatting (two seeks ago, used to do pistols), so maybe this is the case. I’m doing everything in a very strict form and with full ROM. I’m fine after 3-4 min rest, but asking myself if feeling so sore is a hint from my body that I’m overdoing it.

I was getting alot of lower back pain a few weeks back when I started doing snatch grip deadlifts. These are known to work your erectors hard and I know my form was good so I didn’t worry. It happened for about 3-4 workouts and I’m fine now.

What training program are you on? I really wonder how you can do anything other then legs on leg day…

My leg day:

Squat:
6 sets X 6-10 reps
Walking Barbell Lunge:
3 sets X 20 reps (10 for each leg)
Leg Curl machine:
3 sets X 8-10 reps
Inner-thigh machine:
3 sets X 14 reps
(since I’ve stacked all the weight that was possible
on both inner-thigh machines we have at our gym)

I don’t do any calf work. I don’t like it that much, and
have them rather strong and well sized (for someone who
doesn’t train them) genetically.
Additional leg work are the deadlifts on deadlift and arms day, and Xing-Yi (a type of gong-fu) lessons twice a week + training some Xing-Yi at home.

I don’t find the shoulder work to be a problem. I rest about 10 minutes between finishing legs and starting shoulders. Then I do the following:

Dumbell Shoulder Press:
3 sets X 5 reps
Lateral Raise:
3 sets X 6 reps
(Just increased weight on the first two
shoulder exercises, aiming for 12 reps)
Bent-over Rear Lateral raise:
3 sets X 10 reps

Messing up the lower back is so not worth it.

Why not just reconfigure your program to provide adequate recovery for the low back? It’s not like this is the only split you could use to make progress.

Do you do any core work?

Nope.
For my abs I do some crunches, straight leg-raises to head level and some other static exercise which is a form of core work - I’m in a push-up position with my hands stretched to the front holding to something (a wooden gym ladder in my case), maintaining my body straight and about 10cm above floor level for some time. That shit is though as nails.

My Xing-Yi training is all “whole body” movement, plus training with a long spear, which kinda counts like some sort of core work. I’ve just started with it lately, but later down the road we have some spear exercises that my teacher views as a form of “core work”. He has written an article (in Hebrew) regarding the matter, titled “Spear Shaking - Ancient Wisdom in Modern View”:


In his article he compares the two following videos:

http://il.youtube.com/watch?v=7Cdoyq37WHs

Interesting stuff.

btw, since writing the topic I’ve had one more leg workout, and felt much better this time. I guess it’s a matter of getting used to the load as some suggested.

[quote]the.israeli wrote:
Hi everyone. Have a question regarding lower back overload.
My training program is as follows:

ABC once a week.

A:
Deadlifts & Arms

B:
Legs & Shoulders

C:
Chest & Back

Now, it so happens that my lower back gets some work at every workout. A has deadlift, B has squats that have some pressure, and C has bent-over 75-80 degree barbell rows.

While I’m doing fine and going up with weights and reps, my lower back suffers. I can deal with the DOMS, but the immediate post-exercise minutes are killing me.

I haven’t injured myself (yet! ^_^), but after deadlift/squats/rows I’m so sore I become almost crippled and have to sit or lay down for 3-4 minutes so I could keep on the workout and walk (!) properly.

I should mention I’m very strict about stretching, and have proper rest and good hot baths. Deadlifting and Squatting is all in the 3-8 rep range, rowing 8-14.

Am I overdoing it? I really don’t want to give up any of these exercises, for they all work very well for me. What should I do?
[/quote]

Try a different squat variation: front squats, hack squats, etc. Something that hits the quads more and the back less. Also, if your shoulder work involves military presses, then your lower back gets hit pretty good with that as well.