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Lower back holding me back

I am personally built to deadlift (450) and squat (400)at a weight of 165 but I beleive that my lower back gives out way before my legs in the squat or my upper back in the deadlift. I feel that if I had a stronger lower back I could increase the weight signficantly. So im asking for some low back exercises suggestions. I currently do reglular hyperextions (sp) and good mornings for my lower back for high reps of 15 or so. Im taking a bodybuilder approach to training right now so I am looking to put muscle on rather than gain strength.

Any advice would be appreciated
Thank you

Try Reverse Hypers. Personally, I don’t perform my good mornings in reps of 15. I perform them in the 8-10 rep range. That is, if I ain’t performing a 5x5 protocol.

Oh, here' s what may help you, it helped me! Read Dave Tate's article, "The Dead Zone". Scroll down to mistake #3. Very illuminating. By following his suggestions, I have made definite gains in my deads w/out my low back hurting!

To add to what Patricia said, have you tried seated good mornings? Your hamstrings will be taken out of the movement almost completely, and you will see dramatic increases in lower back strength, after a few weeks. Hope this helps.

Lots of different approaches to this but one very direct one would be the inclusion of Zerchers (both Squat/Deadlift & Good Morning). Good Luck - In faith, Coach Davies

Correct me if im wrong but the reason to do higher reps for the lower back was to build endurance rather than strength or size. Am I taking the wrong approach to strengthing the lower back? In other words should I switch from 15 reps to 8-12?
Although I don’t have access to a reverse hyper I tried those seated good mornings which worked great and zercher deadlifts. My question about the zercher deadlifts though is that I had an extremly hard time keeping my back from rounding due to the weight being so far in front of me. How can I improve my technique?
Thanks again
Matt L

The lower back has a stunningly high static strength potential, much greater than its ability to lift. For most people, deadlifts and squats develop their static strength, and they don’t really tap into what it is capable of.

You, on the other hand, seem to have maximized that potential. Congrats! This means that you will have to hypertrophy the muscles before they can get much stronger (you’d be amazed at how few squaters need to get a bigger lower back to squat more, usually they just need to become more efficient). I’d suggest working on lower back hypertrophy. Don’t forget to include the rest of your abdomen, however, you’ll need to do more focus work there as well.

What type of weight did you use for your zerchers? I wouldn’t go very heavy at first. You’d have to get used to the form first. Did you try the zercher good mornings? Man, I totally forgot about zerchers, too!

As for rep range. This has been discussed here in the forum before- what would be a good rep range for mass gains. Generally, 8-12 rep range was the agreed range. However that, let me ask you this. If you haven't been seeing any noticeable improvements in your low back strength, don't you think you should consider trying something different? Perhaps a lower rep range can help. OR try the above suggested exercises for 6-weeks and see if they help. Also, how's your midsection? What type of midsection work do you perform? Oh, let me add that I found that once I began performing power cleans regularly, my deads picked up significantly. Wild, huh? But true.

You know I've never tried the seated good mornings - those look cool. Gonna try 'em out tomorow.

I would drop the rep ranges and increase the variety of exercises that you are doing.

If you are trying to support 400 lbs on your back and are doing high rep hyperextensions and GM's with 25% of that weight, you not really addressing the problem.

If a weak lower back is holding you back, you need to overload it in the 1-5 rep range for max effort work. Heavy good mornings, pull-thrus, hyperextensions, SLDLs, and zercher lifts worked through both the 1-5 and 6-8 rep range will do you much more good.

Before I answer your questions I want to thank you all for your help, its very appreciated.

Im going to go and try a lower rep range of 6-8 the range that I use while I squat and deadlift.

I haven’t done direct ab work in some time because it negativly effected most of my lifts ie olympic lifts, squats, deadlifts, gm,pullups etc. My abs were not recovering fast enough from direct work so I thought I was getting enough ab work by doing these complex lifts. From the responses it seems like I should work them directly. That being the case should I do a meso cycle of isolation movements so that my abs and lower back have proper time to repair? If not how and when could I fit abs into my workouts?

My workout schedule is:
incline bench
flat bench
push press
rear delt flys db

wide stance squat
BB hack squat
good mornings
seated calves
standing calves

deadlifts or sumo deadlifts
power cleans or power snatches
incline db curls
reverse curls on preacher

I generally due 3 sets of each exercise for 6-8 reps. And do hyperextensions and gm with 15 reps.
Thanks again

You’re contradicting yourself in this post. You first explain how you want a stronger lower back in order to drive up your Squat/Dead poundages, but then you explain how you’re training it in a bodybuilding fashion, looking to “put on muscle rather than gain strength.”

So which is it going to be? Would you like to be stronger, or work hypertrophy? Let’s clarify your goal and then we can work from there.

Could you be more specific when you say your lower back gives out. Is it a breakdown in technique or just feels fatigued?

Sorry for being confusing let me try to explain this more clearly. I squat and deadlifts those heavy amounts for muscle building purposes. I have a muscle inbalance in which my lower back is much weaker than my legs or upper back. I beleive this is the case because during a set my lower back becomes completely fatigued where it seems like my upper back or legs are not fully fatigued. So my purpose is finding certain exercises to bring my lower back on par with the rest of my back and legs. I hope that answered your guys questions.

Matt L

You say you don’t do any abdominal work. I would highly suggest that you start. Maybe its you Rectus Abdominal and Obliques are weak and not your lower back.

Core Stability begins with the inner unit ie… the transversus abdominus. in addition you want to work the transversospinal muscle the multifidus etc… this will help with gross and segmental stabilization of the low back (spine) Your low back is obviousy very strong, but it sounds as though you are lacking the support of your tonic stabilizers. Also be sure to include exercises that challenge the musculature in all planes of motion not just the saggital plane. And as always be sure to follow the “form” principle as descibed by polliquin

Another thing your work-outs do not look like a bodybuilder’s work-out. Usually bodybuliders would train one bodypart per day such as chest on M back on T Quads & HAM on W Shoulders TH Arms F rest on Sat and Sun. OR they would split there routine for example chest & back on M off T Quads and Hams on W off TH Arms F and either off sat and sun or repeate the cycle. You are not taking the boybuilders approach to working out.

I meant shoulders and arms on fri.

I will add some core exercises into my workout to address my problems. Maybe as some suggested that its my abs rather than my lower back, which is interesting to me. Would using Christian T’s babehound workout from a couple weeks ago be a good start for my abs? Any suggestions on certain ab exercises?

Fitone as most of us that read t-mag ive tried many different exercise meso cycles. Though its it seems to me when I use a one body part per day split my performance is influenced since there isn’t alot of time for recovery. For example if I did chest on monday my front delts and tris woudn’t be fully recovered by wed when I would do shoulders. But I beleive every different kind of workout works because it is different for a certain amount of time. So I woudnt consider a one body part per day the only bodybuilding way of gaining muscle.