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Lower back fatigue management

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  • Lower back fatigue management

    I recently finished the bodybuilding template and started strength III 4 weeks ago and have been experiencing increasingly worsening lower back fatigue. My best guess is it is from the high squat and deadlift volume, although i’ve had previous exposure to these lifts as I’ve ran powerlifting 2 twice through. I’ve experienced this lower back fatigue before but it typically doesn’t get this intense. Sitting and laying down for too long tends to exacerbate it, as does bending over. I also feel it during my lifts and even when warming up with just the bar. I’ve never tweaked my back or felt any painful pops before, it just feels very tight like I need to hang from a pull up bar to ease the pain. Although my strength is trending up it has become very uncomfortable and hasn’t gotten any better. It may be possible that i’m overshooting my RPE but I haven’t done any sets that felt like RPE 10 or like i was grinding hard. I was supposed to start week 5 this week but decided not to because I did not want to push it. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

    Some info about me: I’m 175 pounds, 5’9, best 1RM: 415 squat, 295 bench, 515 deadlift, I have 3 years of solid barbell training under my belt and have been running strictly barbell medicine programs for 2 years.

  • #2
    What have you tried for this issue so far, or what do you think may be a good strategy to manage it?
    IG / YT


    • #3
      I went into the gym today on what would have been week 5 day 1 and did leg press and some light deadlifts instead of comp squat to give my lower back a break, This sensation in my back just recently became too much for me to continue with the program so I haven't had the time to really try anything and see what works. My best assumption would be for me to restart the program and scale back the intensity on squats and deadlifts and work back up from there. Maybe a change in exercise selection as well.


      • #4
        Those are some good thoughts!

        Our general advice on this topic is outlined here: , and it seems you're on the right track by starting with an intensity reduction, and potentially a temporary change in some of the exercise selection.
        IG / YT


        • #5
          Would it be a good idea to do a block from the bodybuilding template (leg press, mid shin rack pulls, hip thrust) if someone is experiencing similar symptoms as OP?

          I was doing General S&C template and started feeling similar low back fatigue at the end of week 3. Prior to this, I did block one from the bodybuilding template.


          • #6
            I don't think the specific block is the solution, but rather load selection in the squat and deadlift and their variations. If you can perform those lifts currently, I'd do them at reduced loads working back towards the prescribed RPE, volume, etc. in the template over time.
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