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Lower Back Fatigue


I know it's not really an injury question but I thought you guys would probably be the ones with the right knowledge. Been training for 20 years+ with no back problems. I'm currently training 5 sets of 5 on deadlift on monday, 5x5 front squats on wednesday and 5x5 back squats on friday (all 5 sets are work sets), so a fair volume. I've been making really good gains over the last 6 months and my strength is going up weekly but I am starting to get a fair bit of lower back fatigue.

My question is can I carry on training through this?, Is lower back muscle essentially like all other muscle and eventually I'll adapt to the workload or am I setting myself up for an impending injury?. Many thanks for any replies and only from suitably qualified people please. No opinions please from people who've only been training a week. Thanks.


Yes, your lower back can get totally sore. Deload once in a while to let things heal, and do ab work to support your lower back (it's all symbiotic). As long as you keep good form and you don't have symptoms other than muscle soreness, you're fine. Take some walks.


make sure you're "popping your hips" forward on your leg lifts (at lockout) with good form and not relying on hyperextending your lower back to complete the lift (technically this isn't even a lockout). x2 on the deloading. Every other day for 5x5 seems like a lot of work, esp if you're really loading up the bar and pushing yourself. Try mixing up your split or your set/rep scheme for a few weeks.


I don't think it's a form issue. The feeling I'm getting is just the same as you'd get in your quads after a squat workout, a sort of dead, heavy, "worked" feeling, but in my lower and middle back (the muscles either side of my spine). No sharp pain or anything that feels like it's injured.

I don't really want to change my routine because it's working well and I'm only planning on running this until Xmas when I'll drop down to triples, doubles and singles. I was just worried that this soreness might mean my back was weakenened and more succeptible to injury if I trained on it again whilst still a bit sore. I know there's no logic there because I don't worry about getting a knee injury when my quads are tired, but I guess we're all a bit paranoid about our backs.


Why not drop it back to 3 work sets? Maybe a little less with your frequency will help. You could also look to ramp up to one heavy work sets and then maybe more volume sets with a bit of a lighter load. If you are getting the indication that you are starting to fatigue, it makes sense to listen to those symptoms.


That does sound the most sensible thing to do, but it's not what I wanted to hear. I wanted to hear "yeah, carry on as you are, a bit of lower back fatigue is fine and its not a signal for impending injury!".


I get this from time to time,Its always gone when I do a few weeks on the rowing machine;5 mins before and after training moderate pace not enough to affect your session though.When you've finished rowing spend a little time stretching the area.
Works every time for me.


Let's examine the facts here.
1)your back feels funny, like your quads after a squat workout.
2)your back muscle is pretty much the same stuff as your quads: muscle fibers
3)your form's fine.
4)your weights are going up.

There's only one conclusion here: keep doing exactly what you're doing until it doesn't work any more. There's no reason to cut volume, 5x5 is tried and true. You will get sore sometimes. If you want a hobby that leaves you comfortable all the time, take up knitting. Nut up and keep going.


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Thanks for your "slightly disrespectful" comment thirdnalga. I am not some novice complaining that lifting weights makes me sore, I have been training consistantly for more than 20 years but have never experienced lower back soreness/fatigue on such a regular basis. I have experienced training soreness thousands of times and trained through it and I have also trained while ignoring warning signs and ended up injured.

What I am asking is does lower back fatigue pre-dispose me to injury? or because I'm more than 30lbs past my old deadlift PR, should I expect this each time I train now as each week I am doing more than I have ever done before?. The last thing I want to do is "nut up" as you say and then miss months of training rehabbing an injury.


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Thanks BBB I was hoping you would comment I always like reading your advice. I am 41. I was just thinking along the lines of a combination of the large workload and tight hip flexors (which I am stretching am and pm) being responsible. What other symptoms are there for prostate issues?

Assuming prostate is OK what do you think of the is it safe to keep exercising on sore lower back muscles question?