T Nation

New Program or New Advice?


Hi I am relatively new to weight training, I have been doing stronglifts 5x5 for the past 2 months.

I have been progressing well on stronglifts until now, I keep injuring my back in the squat or deadlift. I believe it is because once I get to a decent weight my lower back rounds on the concentric phase of the lifts. I have checked my form with guides on this site, and the video by Mark Rippletoe and they seem to be OK, until anything over 100kg goes on my back.

My Stats below:
Age - 24
Weight - 82kg/180lbs
Height - 184cm/6ft
Body Fat - 15%

Current weights for 5x5
Squat - 120kg/264lbs
Deadlift - 110kg/242lbs
Bent-Over Row - 55kg/121lbs
Over-Head Press - 60kg/13lbs
Bench Press - 80kg/176lbs

I bumped into a personal trainer today and told him my problem, he seems to think that because I am so new to this that I shouldn't be lifting this much weight just yet. He suggests I move to a program that has higher reps at lower weights. I am inclined to agree with him.

I was thinking of doing the same program but doing a 3x12 set/rep combination instead of the 5x5, and using 70% of the weight that I am doing now. I'll do this for a couple of months at half the progression speed and hopefully this will give my core time to catch-up to my legs.

Am I right to take this approach? Or should I find a new program?


[quote]egenrod wrote:

I bumped into a personal trainer today and told him my problem… I am inclined to agree with him.



Most personal trainers are idiots. Out of 10 or so PTs that work at my gym, there is only 1 I can think of that I might actually listen to if he were talking training.

There are obviously guys on this site that are far more qualified than me to help you fix what sounds like a lumbar flexion issue, so I’ll be brief in my suggestions.

Go the Authors section of this website and read everything that Eric Cressey has written about deadlifts/posture/hip mobility/core stability. There is a great series called “Neanderthal no More” that was written a while ago, and I can’t wait til his third installment of “Lower Back Savers” graces the front page.


[quote]CrookedCrown wrote:

Most personal trainers are idiots. [/quote]

Thats why I thought it best to post on here before changing my program.

I have read all the deadlifting and squatting guides on here. From what I can tell I am dead-on, until the weight gets heavy, its just my core/glutes aren’t strong enough to support me when it gets tuff.

I would love to get my form checked out and to get some coaching when I am actually doing the heavy weight, but as you said PT’s are idiots, my gym doesn’t even have them. I wouldn’t know where to find a strength/lifting coach, the closest I know is in Sydney and he trains the Olympic team so I don’t think I would be able to get access to that sought of person.

I have followed the advice of a few of the guides on here and started to do hip flexor flexibility and glute activation exercises about a month before having the troubles. I haven’t yet read “Neanderthal no More”, and like you I have just been hanging for the next “Lower Back Savers” article.

At least while my back is still buggered would moving to a 3x12 program with 70% of the weight be a good idea? Or should I move to a different program?


Take a video of yourself doing the lifts, and post them here. There are plenty of guys who can look over them and give you some pointers. Also, if you can’t keep your back from rounding, drop the weight. You don’t need to change your rep scheme, but once you can’t keep your form, you’ve hit technical failure. Try moving back to 90kg, and then proceeding from there.