This is my first post on T-Nation. I've been reading stuff on here for the past 9 months or so and have found I spend most time reading/respecting the posts in this forum, so I figured best to post here.
Firsts things first, I must confess my sins of being a squat rack curler - I was that guy back in my college days. I was the guy who never missed his Monday "chest and tri" workout but rarely made it in for the scheduled Wednesday "leg day". And if I did, you'd see me on the Smith Machine or leg press.
After college I did manual labor for a couple years and my time in the gym significantly decreased (although I was probably in better shape than when I did go to the gym). Now, I'm 26 and work a desk job. The time I spent working outside made me rethink what I should be doing in the gym, so I bought a power rack, put it in my garage, and work out there. Despite my years of dicking around in the gym, I consider my true starting date of working out to be January '07.
I gleaned tremendous amounts of information the T-Nation articles and forum posts and applied it the best way I could. I want to make my body as strong as it can be. That's my goal.
Now that some personal info is out of the way, here's the situation so maybe I can get some advice.
I'm 6'3 200, short torso, long-limbed. Legs are pathetic (well, everything is pathetic just the legs moreso). Most of my mass is above the waist. Bench 285, Standing Military 170, Power Snatch 135, Power Clean 200, OHS 135 for 5 reps, Deadlift 335 pre injury, Squat 235 ATG pre injury.
Okay, those numbers should give an indicator of how out of whack I am.
Back in early May of this year, I tried to improve my deadlift. I was hammering away and then I felt a pain in my lower back. I've had pain before after doing deads, so I didn't really worry about it, just eased off for a week and though it'd be fine.
That month I read about the Smolov squat cycle on tnation. Enamored with the pain and results it promised, I decided to give it a try. Day 3 of the squat cycle, going ATG with 185 - sad, I know - something went in my back, yet I finished the set figuring the pain would not be a big deal. Boy, was I wrong! For the next 2 months, I couldn't sit for more than 5 minutes without pain. I eventually went to a doctor, but he said I didn't have any sort of herniation after having me do some movements in the office.
He suggested that I kept aggravating it (he was probably right, because I kept trying to work out). Anyway, the pain finally subsided by August and I could resume normal activity - it's still not 100% but I am able to train.
alternate with OHS - 4 sets of 5 for each
natural GHRs - 3 sets of 7
Barbell Lunges - 2 sets of 7
Calves (if time)
alternate with weighted chins - 4 sets of 5 for each
alternate with incline BB rows - 3 sets of 7 for each
Front squats (4 sets of 5)
alternate with cable pull throughs (4 sets of 8)
natural GHRs - 3 sets of 7
DB bulgarian split squats - 2 sets of 7
calves (if time)
Face Pulls (4 sets of 8)
alternate with Incline BB Bench (4 sets of 5)
Inverted rows (3 sets of 10)
alternate with pushups (3 sets of 20)
The squats and RDLs I started off very light back in august and have been adding since. All exercises are increased by 5lbs per week until I can't complete 4 sets of 2 reps (for the main exercises) - once that happens, I reduce the weight to a weight I can get 4 sets of 5 reps then repeat.
I haven't back squatted or deadlifted since my injury. Front squats and OHS feel okay and romanian deads feel great on my back. Today I decided to try something different.
My partner I usually train with couldn't come, so I decided to try deadlifts - first time since I hurt my lower back. I kept adding weight and doing a rep or two until I got up to 300 and got a single. But fuck me, my back was hurting again and I felt so damned frustrated. As soon as the weight gets to my knee level it's so easy, but it was nearly impossible getting it off the floor - that's where my pain is.
Is there anyone who has this sort of pain? What were your experiences? What can I do to get my lower back strong enough? Does anyone with a similar build/similar problems have any explanations or exercise suggestions that will help someone with my build get past these limitations?
Thanks. (and sorry for the length of the post)