T Nation

poor deadlift


#1

Long story....I'm about 6'1", 250lbs, 20% bodyfat (little fat sorry)...I've been lifting seriously for years.

Best bench about 350, squat 315 for reps with good form...

I have a very weak lower back. Hurt it originally in football in highschool. Hurt it again rounding back during squat in college. Went to a doctor he said something like (wish I could remember) "you have a genetic deficiency which is going to always cause you to have a weak lower back". Something about the bones being unable to support muscle growth. It might have been spondlothesis...not sure. He said weightlifting was out.

Another doctor years later said my back was fine and seemed confused as to the previous diagnosis.

I can deadlift maybe 200 pounds. I'll do sets of 10 with 135 and that seems to take alot out of my lower back. I can do more if I keep my hips really low...but I'm trying to see if I can strengthen my lower back.

Form: I'm a little hazy on form, but I do stiff legged (straight legs...hips even with shoulders) and regular (shoulders higher)...and always keep my back arched.

Have any of you ever heard of someone being somehow unable to improve in the DL due to a muscular/skeletor weakness?

I do do goodmornings, but with really light weight (45/65 pounds). This stretches things and helps me warm up for squats more than anything else.

I don't have access to a reverse hyperextension maching. I'm not even really sure what it does.

Thanks for any advice.


#2

doh... a reverse hyper would work wonders for you.

anyways, don't let this bother you.

i certainly hope that you're not letting this back thing keep you from using heavier weights. if it genuinely hurts to use heavier weights then I understand. if you're afraid, then you're gonna have to find a way to get over it.

besides that, you might want to see a couple more doctors and get their opinion. sounds like you're ok?

hey, good luck. i know back problems can be a real bitch. you just have to find a way to get around it.

p.s. try to stay away from doing more than 5 reps on the deadlift. i would even stay away from doing more than 3. when fatigue sets in, your form will degrade and that will hurt your lower back.


#3

First, I would like to second the ideas of keeping your deadlift reps lower and seeeing another doctor. There is no need to do high rep deadlifts and this only increases any chance of injury.

Secondly, you did not say anything about your squat form, but chances are, if you can do 315 for reps in the squat, your lower back can handle a greater weight in the DL. If you squat with your torso upright, and you squat at all below parallel, this requires excellent lower back strength, and if you squat to parallel and let your upper body bend forward (like a powerlifter), this would also require your back to support more weight.


#4

Get your postier chain strong.Also do some core work to work all the stabilizer muscles that contribute to a good D.L.You get these strong i guarentee yuor D.L. will come up.


#5

How are you built? If you have short limbs, particularly your arms, this could explain your relative weakness in the DL.

HOWEVER, there are several variables that may be affecting you:

-Weak abs: don't just work them, learn to really blow your gut out like hell right before you begin your pull
-Poor form: are you consciously trying to maintain an arch in your back? Staying down too long before you start to pull? Thrusting your hips forward near lockout or relying on your back all the way? I could go on...
-And of course, some kind of back pathology. For that you need to go to a doc, don't rely on us armchair experts to diagnose any problems.


#6

Steve is right but you should also do sets of 15 with a hyperextension machine. Always with each rep pause at the top, back down , then up and pause at the top.
Chances are if you can squat it you can pull it (for the most part especially if you're squatting 315. Me, I'm a much better puller than squatter (over 100lbs stronger in the dead than squat). If I were you, I'd concentrate on stabilizers and core strength.
good luck man.

RAGINGHULK