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  • Low back issues again

    Hey guys. I've had several low back tweaks and I've gotten pretty good at working through them, but this time is much different.
    I usually experience severe pain and stiffness for a few days after a tweak, and lifting usually makes it better. I can normally work up to a normal working weight without pain.
    This time however, I do not ot have any pain or stiffness in the course of my daily life, bit when I try to lift I am having severe pain even at moderately light weights.
    To put this in perspective, I finished Hypertrophy 3 day. I had a week off die to illness, and then began the Bridge 1.0. The first low stress week felt great, RPE felt appropriate. But when I started week 2, everything was fine until I got to the second set of rack pulls. It felt like it was glued to the floor, even though the first set at that weight felt fine. I eeked out 2 reps but my back was feelin it. It's my first time doing rack pulls and I've found them to be fairly taxing on my back, even at weights far lighter than my comp deadlift. So I felt okay after the workout, come back 2 days later and start with pause squats, and it felt terrible. My back was screaming and I just could not hit depth without my back stopping me. I couldn't get anywhere near the weight I had done the previous week. Then I could even do my rows even at 95 lbs I just couldn't tolerate the position. 2 days later I have deadlifts, starts out fine until I reach 225 which should've been an @6. My back felt kinda off so I only added 5 lbs for the next set, got 1 rep halfway up and had to drop it due to low back pain. I'm not sure where to go from here. I feel like continuing with the program isn't the right choice here. I'm having to work with like 40% to be able to tolerate the pain. I'm thinking of doing a pivot and then starting over. Any thoughts on what to ? And I'd like to figure out why this keeps happening. It seems like any time volume goes up I have back issues. I even raised my calories in anticipation of the added volume, I had been getting plenty of sleep, low stress outside the gym, every thing was perfect. I just don't get it. Please help if you can.

  • #2
    Im sorry to hear youre having pain, your plan could work out. If it was me in this situation i would probably continue to lift only lighten the weight exponentially till you can get through the entire workout firstly and see if you can exercise with reduced discomfort. Remember, working out in pain isnt the worst thing in the world and if you can tolerate a small amount of it then great! Youre still building capacity whilst the discomfort stays the same. You could try and do less stressful movements ie instead of rack pulls do RDLs for high reps and low intensity, for rows you could change it out to cable rows. I for one tweaked my back after trying to do squats, pen rows then pull a DL single the next day. Just wasnt accustomed to the stress but it did get better. Good luck.

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    • #3
      Yeh I had to DL 135 to be able to tolerate it, and that's normally my first warm up. I know it's better to train, it just felt pointless to train at such low intensity. That's why I figured I would mix things up a bit this week, I like the RDL idea. Those usually dont bother me. My theory is that the added volume hit me hard, that's what usually happens. I would like to find a way to avoid this in the future. I dont fully understand all the programming variables but it seems to me like I peak earlier than what the program intends. Maybe it's the added stress of working 24 hr shifts, along with a history of back pain. But I was thinking I could just modify the programs to add volume more gradually.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Mills124 View Post
        Yeh I had to DL 135 to be able to tolerate it, and that's normally my first warm up. I know it's better to train, it just felt pointless to train at such low intensity. That's why I figured I would mix things up a bit this week, I like the RDL idea. Those usually dont bother me. My theory is that the added volume hit me hard, that's what usually happens. I would like to find a way to avoid this in the future. I dont fully understand all the programming variables but it seems to me like I peak earlier than what the program intends. Maybe it's the added stress of working 24 hr shifts, along with a history of back pain. But I was thinking I could just modify the programs to add volume more gradually.
        Not a bad idea, its ok to use just 135 to DL. You'll gain/regain the strength you may POTENTIALLY lose so dont sweat it. I think just getting used to the volume youre at right now then adding slowly will increase your adaptability to any future stresses you have. Back Pain is complex but it doesnt have to be if you 1. Dont catastrophize about it. 2. Dont think about your discomfort all the time. 3. Keep moving and being active ie keep resistance training and reforming the way you see pain and its processes.

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        • #5
          I know, I can usually work through it pretty well. I'm honestly just getting frustrated, bc I seem to have a back tweak every month or 2 and it's just hard to make any progress that way. I went ahead today and did some DB lunges, seated DB press, and some RDLs. Felt fine. On Wednesday I may play around with sumo, probably some goblet squats and maybe ssb since ive never used one. Are there any lower stress variations youd recommend?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mills124 View Post
            I know, I can usually work through it pretty well. I'm honestly just getting frustrated, bc I seem to have a back tweak every month or 2 and it's just hard to make any progress that way. I went ahead today and did some DB lunges, seated DB press, and some RDLs. Felt fine. On Wednesday I may play around with sumo, probably some goblet squats and maybe ssb since ive never used one. Are there any lower stress variations youd recommend?
            Hey sorry, im just now seeing this.
            Deadlifts: you can start from a block or rack position that seems tolerable to enable you to lift the desired weight for however many sets and reps, i like the idea of sumo and RDLS. If RDLS felt ok then i'd probably continue and see if you can tolerate progressing through that movement.
            Squats: SSB is a good idea too as well as Goblet squats. Only low stress stuff i'd say is smaller ROM and decreasing intensity which seems like you've already done. So carry on, I definitely think you're on the right track. What programs have you been running recently? I think most of what BBM says towards recurrent back tweaks is that it COULD be due to not having adapted to the stress youre exposing yourself to.

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