T Nation

Rate or Change My Workout


I have been doing this work out on and off for a while now (still in school and I work too so sometimes I just can't make it to the gym)and I was thinking of changing it. But it just seems so solid that replacing anything seems pointless. What do you guys think?

MWF Full body
Pull-ups 3 sets as many as I can do
Leg lifts 3x8-12
standing Overhead press (military) 3x8-12
Preacher Curl 3x8-12
Bench Press 3x8-12
Leg Press machine 3x8-12 (Back problems prevent me from squats and dead lifts)


If its working for you why change it?


If your set on your excersize choice, a start would be to do it in the reverse order. You do curls and leg lifts before bench and leg press? You should try to do you heavy compounds lifts at the start of your workouts because they recruit the most muscle fibre as well as expend more energy you will see the best gains in both muscle and strength if you start with the main lifts and supplement them with things like preacher curls and hamstring curls. Hope this helps.


What kind of back problems do you have?

Rather than avoiding working your posterior chain, maybe we can figure out something that can gradually strengthen it so you don't feel pain anymore. It just depends on the nature of your injury.


clutz good call I forgot about that.

GSD: I use to squat all the time, but gradually I got like this compression pain in the center of my spine from the weight. I would be hurt in the beginning, but once I got into it, it would not hurt during the exercise. I figured that is not go givin how sensitive the back is so I stopped.


I've heard of a lot of injuries to the lower back during squats, but not many to the middle. This is a little out of my usual experience so I'm not sure exactly what to suggest. How is your posture when you're standing naturally? Have you tried any massage therapy or foam rolling?

As for your workout, like I said earlier, you don't have anything for the posterior chain. Leg presses target the quads and only use the hamstrings as a dynamic stabilizer. Until you figure out your back, I'm just going to suggest Leg Curls for the hamstrings, then maybe superset Supermans with Leg Lifts for your lower back.


Lack of any lifts targeting your traps, triceps, hamstrings (as mentioned), and back in general make this less than the ideal routine. Can you do shrugs, dips, or rows? Not sure about the back pain issue, but deadlifts will target most of what you are missing and then some. Try starting out light, and only if you have someone to coach your form.


My pain is in the lower back it feels like my spine is getting compressed. My standing posture in very poor IMO, my shoulder slouch forward, I guess my back it like a C curve. I'll try getting back into deadlifts, and see what happens. Do you recommend anything else for my posture?

I used to do bent rows but I switched them to pull-ups. I have be doing dips lately but when I do them it hurts my sternum like hell. It feels like just so much pressure squeezing it. I end up leaning forward and it helps with the pain.


Here's a link to the Neanderthal No More articles on this site. The link is for part 4 of the series, which has links to the first three parts. Check it out.

Regarding lower back pain/injury:
Have you ever been unable to walk or get up because of the pain? Have you ever lost bowel or bladder control (sign of nerve damage) since the injury? Have you seen a doctor about the pain or needed surgery?

It's difficult to say for sure without seeing you or a video of your lifts, but your pain can likely be fixed by correcting your posture and lifting technique. That is assuming that there is no nerve damage already. Make correcting your posture your priority for now. If that is your problem, don't start lifting heavy until you fix your posture or else you're going to cause permanent damage.


I have non of those symptoms, my back is fine now. I just think the pain will come back if I start doing them again.
Am I supposed to add those posture exercises to the beginning of my workout? I'll change my routine to this:

T-Nation Posture exercises
Leg Press
Standing Military
BB Curl
Lat Raise
Cross pull down


I think the workout in that article is a workout plan on it's own. If you take a look through it, it already has squats, deadlifts, a lot of back exercises and some chest work. A lot of it is to correct muscle imbalances. So just give that program a try for the time being. It's already broken into 4 days.


Yeah I did it yesterday. It was pretty good it took a while though. I really didn't have time to do to much else. My only concern was it did not work out the arms much so I went off and did curls and bench. I'll do Tuesday's routine today.


You're right, it doesn't work the arms much. A lot of posture problems are caused by imbalances between the back and chest. When people work their chest out frequently but neglect their back, it causes the chest to tighten and pulls the shoulders forward. This workout tries to balance out this problem by working the back more.

I wouldn't add any bench press to the program. I think on either the 3rd or 4th day they have a close-grip bench press in there. Also, this is one of the imbalances the program is trying to fix. I don't think there is anything directly targeting the arms in this, it just uses them to support the target (synergist muscles). I have a tendency to stick with the program as designed, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to add a round of curls or chin ups.

I hope it works out for you. Let me know how it's going in a month or two.


Right, cool. I'll check back in in a month.