Bad Back Clan: Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Training Forum' started by SomeRandoGuy, Mar 24, 2020.

  1. SomeRandoGuy

    SomeRandoGuy Member Supporter

    I’ve been spending my extra time going through training program after training program for a complete beginner like myself and I’m almost certain I’m going with Stronglifts 5x5 approach and using the basic 5 lifts.

    I realize how absolutely critical form is and watching dozens of YouTube videos from Rippetoe and others on form and having been someone that ruptured L4/5 in my late teens/early twenties then had a microdiscectomy about 10 years ago and the lifts that scare me are the barbell row and the deadlift. I don’t have any current pain/limitations and haven’t for 8+ years but it’s always in the back of my mind the fear of another injury. But I realize I need to strengthen my core significantly to help my back. My plan is to approach these lifts very slowly and perhaps not even increment weight every session until I’m comfortable.

    I’m curious if anyone has had back issues before to this extent and how it has or hasn’t affected your routine. Any and all advice is appreciated.
    Millard Baker likes this.
  2. Storm127

    Storm127 Junior Member

    Good form and periodization type training works best for me and i have had discectomy surgery at L4/5, epidural shots and Facet joint injections over the years. I was pain free for 5 years up until this winter. Minor strain doing something stupid around the house. I do like TM and 5-3-1 training. I recover and progress a little better on 5-3-1. My back actually feels worse when I am not consistently strength training.
  3. puckhog

    puckhog Member Supporter

    I don’t wanna be negative but maybe your best bet is to avoid anything that puts pressure on your spine. That would mean no back squats, deadlifts, good mornings, bent over rows and possibly leg press.

    I have a history of back problems I won’t bore you with. I have done everything medically. Surgery is next. I am avoiding it as long as possible.

    Try front squats or hack squats with lighter weight and impeccable form. Definitely no exercises that cause you to bend while holding weight.

    I wish you the best. I understand your dilemma. Good luck bud.
  4. SomeRandoGuy

    SomeRandoGuy Member Supporter

    thank you! I sincerely appreciate the response. I recall seeing various 5-3-1 templates in my research but probably went off down a different track instead of digging deeper into 5-3-1. I’m ordering the book as I like the idea of additional days/assistance training.

    I don’t care about breaking a PR every session or every month. I want to get get form and overall definition while building strength. If that takes two years so be it.

    thanks again—
  5. SomeRandoGuy

    SomeRandoGuy Member Supporter

    Thank you and I don’t take it negative at all. I will always accept advice and seek to grow from those with a lot more experience than I have. Much appreciated.

    Good luck with the surgery. It will change your life. I recall popping my back at least 1-2x a year and having it knock me on my ass for anywhere from a couple of days to a week or so. Finally the last time was too much and I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy.

    Had the surgery and what a difference. Immediate complete relief—numbness and weakness gone. There are no limitations to my activities today but then again I’m not throwing weights around either.

    Prayers for your surgery and a speedy recovery. You won’t regret it—take the time to recover and follow the doc and PT’s advice.
    Millard Baker and Villain like this.
  6. shawn2551

    shawn2551 Member

    I too battle with lumbar injury. You will be able to do all the lifts there is just some changes tou may have to make to your training days


    Barbell rows stress my back more then anything. I can do them fine with good form now. Bit I had to build my strength up to do these. There were times I could deadlift 600 lbs and couldn't row 225.

    Squats do not fatigue my back as much as deadlifts. If I deadlifts before my squat session my squat session is shit.

    Watch out for bench. Proper bench form will stress your back. So I put my feet up for a session a week give me back a break.

    Be mindful of how many lower body sets you do a day
    .may have to take it easy and attack on.your rway day

    To protect my back when I peak.
    My program without specific excersises looks like

    Mon, upperback including BBRows and Snatcj grip Shrugs or above the knee rack pulls
    Little bicep work

    Tues, bench all its variations minor cable and dumbell with tricep work

    Wed, leg day including squats and glute work


    Friday deadlifts in all its forms with hamstring work.

    Shoulders.on.any day tou choose
    CrispyRockClimber likes this.
  7. gr8whitetrukker

    gr8whitetrukker Member Supporter

    Yeah ive been dealing with back issues since i was discharged. Its been tear inducing in the early phases. I gave up back squatting and traditional deadlifting entirely because both cannot be done w/o significant residual pain during and days after. Ive found front squats are a better alternative and rack pulls. Your lower back is only as strong as your abdominal wall. So progressive overload on my FS have helped tremendously. I went thru A FUCKING LOT to get to where i am and the dogma of BS and deadlift has to go out the window. I truly feel FS is superior to BS. At least for my body type. Never got the growth outta BS in the legs where its supposed to be. That and the bar path is insufficient for leg stimulation for me. I could go on and on about schemes and rep ranges and programs but ive found anything super high rep in FS will eventually lead to abdominal and form fatigue and it will breakdown causing lower back pain. Make sure your breathing is right is also key.

    As for rack pulls if hypertrophy is your goal for erectors and upper back then it is superior to traditional deads. I know the NFL has moved on to rack pulls over deads as a means of gaining the benefits of the dead w/o the risks. Ive found the same thing to be true

    Im a lil distracted now to give a full detailed write up but i hope this helps
  8. SomeRandoGuy

    SomeRandoGuy Member Supporter

    I really appreciate and respect your advice. Thanks brother.