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General Stalin's Progress Thread
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redonion Offline
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Post: #101
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Got any film on your squats? You could be having a form breakdown.

A common cause of low back pain in back squats is butt wink. It's basically when your lower back/butt tucks under your hamstrings when you're in the hole. It could be due to not keeping your chest up enough or tight hamstrings.
(This post was last modified: 08-23-2016 08:21 PM by redonion.)
08-23-2016 08:21 PM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #102
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
My squat form is pretty good. Chest up, butt out, back neutral. I'm pretty sure my lowerback is sore from poor squat form and over-doing it a few weeks ago with heavy weight. That combined with the fact that I sit most of the day is not helping.
08-23-2016 08:58 PM
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RexImperator Offline
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Post: #103
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Look up the Kelly Starrett 10 minute squat test on YouTube and do that every day for a month.

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(This post was last modified: 08-23-2016 09:19 PM by RexImperator.)
08-23-2016 09:18 PM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #104
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Shit meant to say poor deadlift form in my last post. Squat form is good. Deadlift form needs reworking.
08-24-2016 01:04 AM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #105
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Had a great OHP night the other night. Kept the volume light again.

Overhead Press - 1 x 10 x 95
1 x 5 x 115
4 x 3 x 135

Incline Bench Press - 3 x 10 x 115

Side Lat Raise - 4 x 10 x 22 >SS> Front Lat Raise - 4 x 10 x 32 >SS> Shrugs - 4 x 15 x 220

Face pulls - 3 x 12 x 90 >SS> Tricep pull down - 3 x 12 x 90

Finished off my workout with a series of stretches and mobility exercises for my lower back.

Weight was 207.8 lbs. but I weighed myself right after I finished my protein shake which was made with whole milk. Taking another rest day today and tomorrow I will go in and do some light back work.
08-26-2016 11:06 PM
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Balkan Offline
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Post: #106
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
(08-26-2016 11:06 PM)General Stalin Wrote:  Had a great OHP night the other night. Kept the volume light again.

Overhead Press - 1 x 10 x 95
1 x 5 x 115
4 x 3 x 135

Incline Bench Press - 3 x 10 x 115

Side Lat Raise - 4 x 10 x 22 >SS> Front Lat Raise - 4 x 10 x 32 >SS> Shrugs - 4 x 15 x 220

Face pulls - 3 x 12 x 90 >SS> Tricep pull down - 3 x 12 x 90

Finished off my workout with a series of stretches and mobility exercises for my lower back.

Weight was 207.8 lbs. but I weighed myself right after I finished my protein shake which was made with whole milk. Taking another rest day today and tomorrow I will go in and do some light back work.

[Image: giphy.gif]

Nice progress man! I really believe OHP is the most important lift. About 10 weeks ago you couldn't get up 135lb. Now you're repping it easy.
08-27-2016 04:01 PM
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General Stalin
General Stalin Offline
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Post: #107
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Thanks man! Yeah I've also been very happy with my overhead progression. I also attribute some of my bench press gains to it as well, and vice versa.
08-27-2016 04:34 PM
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realologist Offline
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Post: #108
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
(08-26-2016 11:06 PM)General Stalin Wrote:  Had a great OHP night the other night. Kept the volume light again.

Overhead Press - 1 x 10 x 95
1 x 5 x 115
4 x 3 x 135

Incline Bench Press - 3 x 10 x 115

Side Lat Raise - 4 x 10 x 22 >SS> Front Lat Raise - 4 x 10 x 32 >SS> Shrugs - 4 x 15 x 220

Face pulls - 3 x 12 x 90 >SS> Tricep pull down - 3 x 12 x 90

Finished off my workout with a series of stretches and mobility exercises for my lower back.

Weight was 207.8 lbs. but I weighed myself right after I finished my protein shake which was made with whole milk. Taking another rest day today and tomorrow I will go in and do some light back work.

Good progress on that lift. It's a GREAT indicator of upper body strength.

Do you do strict OHP or a push press with the quarter front squat?
08-27-2016 04:34 PM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #109
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Strict overhead press. The only part of my body that moves when I perform the exercise is my arms and shoulders (and my hips slightly as I have to tilt back to clear my chin when pressing and lowering the bar). I also do pause OHP as an accessory lift where I will strict press and then pause with the bar just over head at the sticking point.

Interesting thing is, even though I don't push press, when doing heavier weight I feel it in my legs a lot as I tighten my glutes and quads when pressing.
(This post was last modified: 08-27-2016 05:23 PM by General Stalin.)
08-27-2016 05:18 PM
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realologist Offline
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Post: #110
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
(08-27-2016 05:18 PM)General Stalin Wrote:  Strict overhead press. The only part of my body that moves when I perform the exercise is my arms and shoulders (and my hips slightly as I have to tilt back to clear my chin when pressing and lowering the bar). I also do pause OHP as an accessory lift where I will strict press and then pause with the bar just over head at the sticking point.

Interesting thing is, even though I don't push press, when doing heavier weight I feel it in my legs a lot as I tighten my glutes and quads when pressing.

That's how you know you have good form. For your goals strict is probably more important. Push press is more for explosiveness in athletes as compared to building muscle.
08-27-2016 05:38 PM
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General Stalin
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Post: #111
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Took a few days off to let my lower back rest up a bit. Been doing a few stretches and mobility exercises to loosen it up and I think it's having a decent effect so far. Time will tell over the next week or so. Today I went to the gym and did a bench press workout and some light back/glute/hamstring work. Started my workout with about 20 minutes of back and hip stretches.

I think taking a few days off from lifting really invigorated me - I was blasting my bench workout today. My working sets moved quick and fluid from beginning to end. Very pleased with the progress. I could have put more weight on the bar...

Romanian Dead Lift - 3 x 10 x 95

Bench Press - 1 x 8 x 95
1 x 10 x 135
1 x 5 x 185
4 x 3 x 205

Leg Curl - 3 x 9 x 50 >SS> Incline DB Press - 3 x 10 x 55

Did an upper body circuit for the end of my workout:
Hammer Curl w/ rope - 3 x 10 x 100 >SS> Tri Pulldown w/ rope - 3 x 10 x 100 >SS> Facepulls w/ rope - 3 x 10 x 100 >SS> Shrugs - 3 x 15 x 220 >SS> Dips - 3 x 10

Weight 205.8 lbs. I seem to be getting stronger while maintaining the same weight which is good, though because of my injury I've dialed back my squat and cut out dead lift all together.
08-29-2016 11:16 PM
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Repo Online
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Post: #112
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Not sure if it was already mentioned, but hip thrusters are a good excercise for your core and glutes if you aren't doing deadlifts.
08-30-2016 10:20 PM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #113
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Thanks I need to start incorporating those.

Had a squat day today and it was good and bad. I did about 20 minutes of stretching and mobility for my lower back, glutes, and hamstrings and doing back squats actually felt okay. Once I got to 205 during my warm up my back was feeling a little uncomfortable so I threw on a belt when I moved up to 225 which felt fine.

Good news is my strength still seems to be there, but bad news is squatting heavy wasn't a great idea as my back was sore after. Not super painful or anything but squatting heavy certainly isn't something I should be doing until my back is feeling better.

Squat - 1 x 8 x 95
1 x 5 x 135
1 x 5 x 185
1 x 4 x 205
1 x 4 x 225
2 x 3 x 265
2 x 3 x 245

I dropped the weight back down on my second 2 sets as my back was bothering me and it was causing me to not hit depth. Realistically I should have just stopped squatting but I wanted to finish the reps real bad. Actually moving the weight didn't feel bad; the strength was there. The limiting factor was certainly my back,

RDL - 2 x 8 x 95

Leg press 21's - 3 x 7 x 290 >SS> Calf raise - 3 x 15 x 290 >SS> Shrugs - 3 x 20 x 200 >SS> Pull up - 3 x 5

Back is feeling better right now. Weight still 205.4 lbs.
(This post was last modified: 08-30-2016 11:28 PM by General Stalin.)
08-30-2016 11:25 PM
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Post: #114
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Very often, if the injury is not chronic, it can be an effective form of rehab to perform the movement that you injured yourself with, but using very light weights for high reps. Say I strained a quad, or did some other moderate muscular damage - rather than stop altogether, I would instead focus on very high volume and pump as much blood as possible through the muscle. So I might start a squat workout with an injured quad by doing sets of 50 BW squats arse to heels. If that warmed me up, I'd be knocking out sets of 20+ with just the bar. Depending on the severity of the injury, I might work up to 30-35% of my training max and try to keep all the sets up around 15 reps or more, with a very strict focus on form, ending a set as soon as form deteriorated. A few weeks of this would most likely fix the issue, and you could probably ramp the weight back up to where you were over 6 weeks or so.

I've given you stick for it before, but I think the overemphasis on pressing in your programming at the expense of serious back work, is hurting your deadlift and forcing your lower back to do more work than perhaps it ideally should. If you work at a desk during the day then that would also exacerbate a fundamental lack of back/postural strength.
08-31-2016 03:50 AM
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RexImperator Offline
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Post: #115
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
^^^ Starr rehab protocol.

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08-31-2016 05:23 AM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #116
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
(08-31-2016 03:50 AM)H1N1 Wrote:  Very often, if the injury is not chronic, it can be an effective form of rehab to perform the movement that you injured yourself with, but using very light weights for high reps. Say I strained a quad, or did some other moderate muscular damage - rather than stop altogether, I would instead focus on very high volume and pump as much blood as possible through the muscle. So I might start a squat workout with an injured quad by doing sets of 50 BW squats arse to heels. If that warmed me up, I'd be knocking out sets of 20+ with just the bar. Depending on the severity of the injury, I might work up to 30-35% of my training max and try to keep all the sets up around 15 reps or more, with a very strict focus on form, ending a set as soon as form deteriorated. A few weeks of this would most likely fix the issue, and you could probably ramp the weight back up to where you were over 6 weeks or so.

This sounds appealing but the issue is chronic. It doesn't only come up when I use my lower back doing lifts. I feel it everyday, when I bend over, when I sit certain ways, when I stand up from a squatted position, etc. Stretching and doing some mobility exercises does loosen it up a bit. If you think that may work for more, or at least not do any more damage then I would certainly be willing to try it.
08-31-2016 10:45 AM
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H1N1 Offline
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Post: #117
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
I don't have an opinion on whether you should do it, or whether it won't do any more damage. I don't have enough information from the thread, and I am not sufficiently adept medically to give you that kind of advice. I would google 'chronic injury' and see whether what you have sort of defined as chronic above (hurts in day to day life) matches with the accepted definition, and whether the type of injury appears to you to correspond. Many acute injuries will be perfectly painful as you go about your daily business, so I don't think it can be ruled out, but that's about as far as I'm willing to go with my level of knowledge. There are others here better placed to advise.

In your position, if I decided that perhaps my injury may still be acute rather than a long term chronic one, I would probably do some minimal deadlifting (2 or 3 sets of 10-15) with 100lbs or so (from blocks to get the height right), and then simply do a ton of back extensions afterwards. I'd shoot for at least 100 reps of unweighted back extensions first time round (edit: perhaps even with my knees bent if I felt that it was required), and would probably build up to 500 over the course of 6 weeks, assuming the injury showed progress.

If you decide that the injury is chronic then it would seem that the only sensible thing to do is to contact a specialist, as chronic injuries are rather more serious potentially.
(This post was last modified: 08-31-2016 11:21 AM by H1N1.)
08-31-2016 11:20 AM
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General Stalin Offline
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Post: #118
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Thanks man. I will give that a try and see how it works out for a week or two. I mean I won't be doing crazy weight so if it start to feel worse rather than better I can surely stop without doing any real damage. I do sit many hour during the work day as you mentioned so that is certainly not doing me any favors.
08-31-2016 11:24 AM
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H1N1 Offline
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RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
It goes without saying that I do not intend for you to do 100 straight reps with the back extensions - just in case that wasn't clear! Sets of 10-20 will do fine. Better to go lighter (bent knees) and do higher reps initially. Really focus on the quality of the rep. This is an excellent opportunity to work on your mind-muscle connection that the body builders go on about, and if you use the time well you may find that the knowledge gained from this period sets you up for all round progress in years to come. Good luck with it mate.
(This post was last modified: 08-31-2016 12:31 PM by H1N1.)
08-31-2016 12:26 PM
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RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Had another fantastic day in the gym last night. My OHP still going up strong and steady. My working sets felt like my working sets for bench the other day - easy. The bar moved steady and none of my reps had any grind to them at all. I also took relatively short rests in between sets. I likely could/should have gone up in weight. I did 15 reps and a gym bro came over and wanted to work in for one set just to see what his amrap was on 135. After his set I did 4 more reps.

Overhead Press - 1 x 10 x 95
1 x 5 x 115
5 x 3 x 135
1 x 4 x 135

Pause Bench Press - 3 x 10 x 155

Front Lat Raise - 3 x 12 x 30 >SS> Face Pulls - 3 x 12 x 95 >SS> Shrugs - 3 x 20 x 200

Weight = 206.6 lbs.
(This post was last modified: 09-01-2016 09:48 AM by General Stalin.)
09-01-2016 09:47 AM
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General Stalin Offline
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RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Went to the gym in a bad mood last night which actually had me excited as I want to fucking throw some real dickhead weight around, but I tempered my rage as it was supposed to be my "deadlift day" which I've been treating as a light work/recovery day since I've been having this lowback issue.

I did back squats, front squats, rack pulls, lat work, and hip thrusts. All light weight for the most part.

Squat - 3 x 10 x 135

Front Squat - 2 x 10 x 135

Rack pull - 3 x 10 x 135

T bar row - 3 x 10 x 90 >SS> Lat Pull Down - 3 x 12 x 90 >SS> Shrugs - 3 x 20 x 200

Hip thrusts w/ black band - 5 x 10

I figured something out last night that may be contributing a lot to any weakness/imbalance with lower body movements I've been having. Here's a brief history:

I had knee surgery a little over a year and a half ago. ACL repair. They took tissue from my right hamstring to repair the ligament. Ever since then I've had a loss of ROM on my right hamstring. Can only lift the heel of my foot about parallel with the ground, I can pretty much kick my own ass with my left one though. Anyway, since I've been doing a lot of stretches and mobility exercises to loosen up my back, glutes, and hammies, I've notices my left hamstring is incredibly tight. Last night one of the trainers at the gym had me try an exercise that exposed a huge imbalance: single leg eccentric leg curls. I get on the leg curl/ext machine and curl the weight up with both legs and slowly lower the weight with only one of my legs. Doing this I finally saw that my right hamstring is a lot weaker than my left, which also means in all movements where hamstrings are used, my left one is doing most of the work.

I think working out this imbalance will be instrumental in solving other issues I've been having, as well as getting my main lifts stronger as it certainly has a big factor in my squat and deadlift.
09-03-2016 11:48 AM
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Ringo Offline
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Post: #122
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
^ Beat me to it.

I was having similar back pains for a few weeks and was very worried it could be sciatica. I'm already pretty flexible so I didn't figure it would be the issue, but turns out my lower back, lower leg and feet are pretty flexible - the hamstrings aren't.

I've been using some yoga poses everyday and feel great again. Maybe give these a try - do them slowly and feel the stretch.

[Image: suptapada.jpg?t=1471555398898]

[Image: Yoga_StandingForwardFold_01_300x350.jpg]

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09-03-2016 02:19 PM
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RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Popping in to congratulate GS on his dedication and progress, well done man!

Relating to lower back pain, I don't know if it's been mentioned on this thread, but I would get a really sore back from poor squat feet positioning/usage which, compounded with deadlifts, would cause a load of stress and pain to my lower back.
I used to lift with my weight mostly on my toes, instead of evenly spread out on your feet as it should be; that forced me to recruit my lower back muscles way more than is generally prescribed for proper form ATG squats.
09-04-2016 04:23 PM
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General Stalin
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Post: #124
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
@GS

I've had long term low back issues and deadlifting in the last few months has been painful. I found an excercise that helped called the Jefferson deadlift where you lift with one foot on either side of the bar. You should try them.

I'm switching back to sumo deadlifting now to see if that variation is pain free, but the good thing about Jeffersons is because the bar is directly below you it eliminates a lot of the low back stress, so you can deadlift even if your back isn't 100%
09-05-2016 05:27 PM
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Post: #125
RE: General Stalin's Progress Thread
Thanks man. Interesting I just watched a video on it. I will try that out next timer I do back at the gym.





I've taken a few days off now and my back is feeling decent. Have not been stretching as much as I should be though. I think the next couple days I'm going to see where my Bench and OHP max is at seeing as how I'm at the end of my 2nd training cycle.
09-06-2016 01:31 AM
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