The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
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    Squat & Deadlift technique analysis videos - getting low back pain

    I'm doing the StrongLifts Advanced 5x5 workout (very similar to Madcow, SS, etc) where I squat 3 times a week. It has been BRUTAL on my low back. I think I'm doing something wrong in my squat or deadlift (or both), so I've posted vids for analysis.

    I know I need to get this worked out or I'm going to hurt myself. I can feel it.

    Deadlifts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGdU9pP3GCo
    Squats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL7D64xD5ZQ

    Note: in the squat video I'm (trying) to do LOW BAR squats, as that's what Rippetoe, Medhi at Stronglifts, and others recommend. I had been doing (up til now) high bar squats. I didn't even realize there were different ways to squat until very recently and was doing high bars by default. Rippetoe says in his squat videos on youtube that low bar is easier on the lower back, which was very counter-intuitive for me because it seems that the additional forward flexion of the back would ADD stress. But what do I know...

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  3. #2
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    Your form is actually pretty solid on the deadlift. One thing you can try is squatting down and sitting back farther before the pull, so the major of the initial movement is bound to your legs, but your back remains arched throughout the movement, thats good.

    On the squat, you sit back great, but you are losing your lower back tightness at the bottom...still, even if you fix this, you might still get pain and this is why...

    StrongLifts is straight sets right? So are you picking a weight and doing it for 25 reps total? If that is the case, this will really takes its toll on your lower back doing it 3 times a week...that is the cause of your discomfort, because your form is pretty solid (with the exception of the slight loss in arch at the bottom).

    I would switch to madcow intermediate, personally. I also recommend getting a lifting belt....Warm up beltless until your work sets, then put the belt on. It will help your durability and you will make gains faster...it is 60 bucks you will never regret and saves you from injury when you are grinding out those last reps teetering on the edge of failure.
    Last edited by mchicia1; 05-05-2011 at 11:28 AM.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    Your form is actually pretty solid on the deadlift. One thing you can try is squatting down and sitting back farther before the pull, so the major of the initial movement is bound to your legs, but your back remains arched throughout the movement, thats good.
    I got similar advice over at BB.com. Many said that they thought it looked too much like a stiff leg DL and that my hips were starting too high resulting in too little leg recruitment. I think your advice to think of it as pulling up AND back (vs. just up) may help me execute more on the "push through your heels" concept.

    On the squat, you sit back great, but you are losing your lower back tightness at the bottom...still, even if you fix this, you might still get pain and this is why...

    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    StrongLifts is straight sets right?
    I think SL 5x5 standard is, but I'm doing advanced. Advanced has it where one day is straight sets with a moderately heavy weight, one day is straight sets with a light weight (15% less than moderate day) and 3rd day is ramped sets up to a (hopefully) new PR on 1x5.

    I think that is very similar to madcow, no? maybe even a total rip off of it lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by mchicia1 View Post
    I also recommend getting a lifting belt....Warm up beltless until your work sets, then put the belt on. It will help your durability and you will make gains faster...it is 60 bucks you will never regret and saves you from injury when you are grinding out those last reps teetering on the edge of failure.
    The weighbelt debate rages on. Over the years I've heard just as much advice for them as against them. Don't know what to believe (sigh). Clearly I know your camp.

  5. #4
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    The weight belt is only detrimental if you rely on it as a crutch for poor form. As long as the program cycles volume and intensity (and it sounds like it is) then keep going with it. You really need a belt if you are going to squat 3 times a week and throw deads in there too. Look at any strong powerlifter or bodybuilder...they all use belts. I wouldn't rely on advice from BB.com either. Just make sure its a quality belt, like an inzer or from EFTS.
    Last edited by mchicia1; 05-05-2011 at 12:12 PM.

  6. #5
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    You are right, your hips shoot up fast which means your lower back is doing most of the work. Pulling back will help with that. Squat looks pretty good too, its not bad at all.

    You seem to know what to do form wise so just practice and keep making video's to check form.

  7. #6
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    RvNijnatten,

    Unrelated to my post, but just curious. I saw ur #s in your sig. how is that you DL so much more than you squat?

  8. #7
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Along with the others I agree that your technique is actually pretty spot on. Some minor tweaking with the DL and you'll be good to go.

    There really is no weight belt debate. There is no way a weight belt can make you weak since it does not do any of the lifting for you. The belt really works by creating more tension in your core and giving you more abdominal pressure. Your lower back will greatly thank you. Like mchia said, if you use it as a crutch for sloppy form it will be a problem, but with correct form it's going to be a very good saftey issue.

    Those who think weight belts make you weak are uninformed is all Now just choosing to not use one is personal preference. But the assumption that they will make you weak is incorrect.


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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    Along with the others I agree that your technique is actually pretty spot on. Some minor tweaking with the DL and you'll be good to go.

    There really is no weight belt debate. There is no way a weight belt can make you weak since it does not do any of the lifting for you. The belt really works by creating more tension in your core and giving you more abdominal pressure. Your lower back will greatly thank you. Like mchia said, if you use it as a crutch for sloppy form it will be a problem, but with correct form it's going to be a very good saftey issue.

    Those who think weight belts make you weak are uninformed is all Now just choosing to not use one is personal preference. But the assumption that they will make you weak is incorrect.
    Yup...

    I know I stated it above, but it is worth mentioning again. You will rarely (never?) see a guy with a 600+ deadlift and 500+ squat not training with a belt.

    Man, there was a good post on 70sbig.com proving why a belt actually makes your core stronger, not weaker...but that place is impossible to dig up old information.

  10. #9
    Senior Member waynemeat's Avatar
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    Looks good but maybe:

    Deadlifts
    Lean backward a little more when lifting so that the pressure of the weight is on your heels. Syncronise your legs with your back.
    Don't lock out your legs completely before lifting.

    Squats
    Lean back into the squat a bit more. I'm only saying this because your knee's appear to be slightly in front of your feet.
    Last edited by waynemeat; 05-07-2011 at 12:05 AM.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    It doesn't look like the bar is in a low-bar position to me. I don't know if this describes you, but a chunk of people I see squatting "low-bar" aren't... They WERE squatting w. the bar on their necks and moved the bar down to a proper high-bar position.
    These might help you. There are pics of low bar positioning. In the first post, I'm squatting low bar in the pic (not that easy to see maybe), and the second pic of the second post shows and describes a proper low bar position.
    http://squatrx.blogspot.com/2009/01/...squatting.html
    http://squatrx.blogspot.com/2008/06/...back-pain.html
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  12. #11
    Senior Member waynemeat's Avatar
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    Sensei's post looks spot on. I watched your squat video again. The 3rd set does show the bar to be a bit high.
    Try lowering the bar about an inch or 2 so that it sits on the top of your blades and rear delts.

    If it feels too tight or uncomfortable on your wrists and shoulders then move your arms and hands out a little bit.
    And instead of gripping the bar keep your thump behind it.

  13. #12
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    Um for deadlifts I don't think you want to be pulling back.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql-N9hAuxNs


    This guy wrote the starting strength book and probably knows what he is talking about.

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