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New here; having some back issues!

V

VikingBoss

New Member
Aug 3, 2022
5
1
I've been doing 5x5 for the past few weeks and it was going great. I've progressed my dead lift and squat from 95lbs to 225lbs and want to keep going.

Bench and Bent over petered out around 145lbs and overhead at a sad 100 lbs.

My back seems to be sore and stiff from bottom of rib cage up into the shoulders and I get the odd pulling/pinching feeling especially doing overhead but now its also in everyday life. Shoulders and arms can feel weak and things feel heavier to lift (even a water bottle)

I had nerve damage 2.5 years back that saw my right arm fully paralyzed for 6 months (my previous pr during this time was 285lbs S/DL and then last summer tweaked something in my left back that had me bent over for 6 weeks. I do not want a repeat of either of those, but I really don't want to stop progressing. I'm sick of making headway to have to stop for extended periods because of an injury.

Am I just not meant to lift heavy? Is it my form (I do check it regularly so doubt it)? Should I lower the weight and just do hypertrophy? Any tips or advice are welcome!

I am 6'4 at 250 lbs. I supplement protein, BCAAs and Salmon/Fish Oils and eat a 85% of the time great diet (weekends are my weakness).
 
genetic freak

genetic freak

VIP Member
Dec 28, 2015
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To me the 5x5 program is for more advanced lifters. You are eventually going to start getting into weights that are not really safe to perform for 5 reps. While your weights are not high for your body weight you may have some muscular structural issues going on that will prevent you from progressing much doing the 5x5 with compound movements.

It could also be that your form just sucks.

The smart thing to do right now is not aggravate the affected areas and work around them the best you can. I am not going to lie, compound movements are a big reason I was able to pack on the mass I have now, but over the last couple years 85% of the work I do in the gym is on machines for safety reasons. I think my physique has improved because of it, mainly due to not having as much down time from injuries caused by heavy compound free-weight movements.
 
fasttwitch

fasttwitch

VIP Member
Mar 17, 2011
391
434
I've been doing 5x5 for the past few weeks and it was going great. I've progressed my dead lift and squat from 95lbs to 225lbs and want to keep going.

Bench and Bent over petered out around 145lbs and overhead at a sad 100 lbs.

My back seems to be sore and stiff from bottom of rib cage up into the shoulders and I get the odd pulling/pinching feeling especially doing overhead but now its also in everyday life. Shoulders and arms can feel weak and things feel heavier to lift (even a water bottle)

I had nerve damage 2.5 years back that saw my right arm fully paralyzed for 6 months (my previous pr during this time was 285lbs S/DL and then last summer tweaked something in my left back that had me bent over for 6 weeks. I do not want a repeat of either of those, but I really don't want to stop progressing. I'm sick of making headway to have to stop for extended periods because of an injury.

Am I just not meant to lift heavy? Is it my form (I do check it regularly so doubt it)? Should I lower the weight and just do hypertrophy? Any tips or advice are welcome!

I am 6'4 at 250 lbs. I supplement protein, BCAAs and Salmon/Fish Oils and eat a 85% of the time great diet (weekends are my weakness).

I had a similar issue. My ortho did an MRI. In my case the pain was coming from inflammation of a root nerve coming from a thoracic vertebra.
 
V

VikingBoss

New Member
Aug 3, 2022
5
1
I had a similar issue. My ortho did an MRI. In my case the pain was coming from inflammation of a root nerve coming from a thoracic vertebra.
That is something to consider for for sure, I will be looking into that. Was there a fix for it or just a "let it heal" approach?
 
V

VikingBoss

New Member
Aug 3, 2022
5
1
To me the 5x5 program is for more advanced lifters. You are eventually going to start getting into weights that are not really safe to perform for 5 reps. While your weights are not high for your body weight you may have some muscular structural issues going on that will prevent you from progressing much doing the 5x5 with compound movements.

It could also be that your form just sucks.

The smart thing to do right now is not aggravate the affected areas and work around them the best you can. I am not going to lie, compound movements are a big reason I was able to pack on the mass I have now, but over the last couple years 85% of the work I do in the gym is on machines for safety reasons. I think my physique has improved because of it, mainly due to not having as much down time from injuries caused by heavy compound free-weight movements.
That makes sense about it getting unsafe eventually, I just felt like I hadn't reached that point considering before my big injury I was approaching 300lbs with the goal of hitting 400 asap. I will set up a camera for my next few routines to see if form is the culprit. It usually is and I like to pretend mine is perfect.

I would love to switch to machines, but all I have access to is my home gym consisting of cage, bench, bar and rowing machine. And obviously the plates haha.

Thanks for the advice!
 
Tuffoldman

Tuffoldman

VIP Member
May 23, 2011
1,095
758
Already has been mentioned but to reiterate good advice.


Form before heavier weights.

Make sure you are completely warmed up using a foam roller especially across your shoulders and thoracic spine.

If you had trouble before and you're having trouble again I personally would find a certified FMS (functional movement specialist) practitioner or strength one coach. Not so much for the training itself but let them screen you and find out where your imbalances are and let them point you in the right direction to alleviate not only posible impinging movement but poor form also.


What I see a lot with my clients when they first come to me when they do an overhead press they do more of a standing incline chest press and by this I mean they Lean Back slightly and they try and push from their chest rather from their shoulders. One way to correct that quickly is doing seated high back overhead press so you can't lean back that will tell you very quickly if your form is that far off.

If you're using barbells I would consider switching to dumbbells. You may have one shoulder that has impingement and it's not letting it rotate correctly as you lift it's throwing both sides off and then putting the pressure on your mid to upper back.

That is the couple of places that I would start
 
genetic freak

genetic freak

VIP Member
Dec 28, 2015
721
702
That makes sense about it getting unsafe eventually, I just felt like I hadn't reached that point considering before my big injury I was approaching 300lbs with the goal of hitting 400 asap. I will set up a camera for my next few routines to see if form is the culprit. It usually is and I like to pretend mine is perfect.

I would love to switch to machines, but all I have access to is my home gym consisting of cage, bench, bar and rowing machine. And obviously the plates haha.

Thanks for the advice!
I can understand that. You can get creative with the home gym. When the gyms were closed and I was working out in my home gym I pretty much had the same equipment: cage, adjustable bench, bar, plates, adjustable dumbbells and I rigged up a pulley to the top of the cage for extensions and such. Then I built a lever to do belt squats from the safety pins of the cage. Figured out reverse hamstring curls, placing my heels under the safety pins of the cage and knees on the bench, developed my hamstrings better than any leg curl, laying, standing or seated ever did. Then started doing split squats and sissy squats and seen better separation in my quads. There are ways to train efficiently at home without injury.
 
fasttwitch

fasttwitch

VIP Member
Mar 17, 2011
391
434
That is something to consider for for sure, I will be looking into that. Was there a fix for it or just a "let it heal" approach?

For me there were two options. Another back surgery or attempting to get the inflammation under control. The back surgery through wasn't recommended. I've got so much wrong with my back that the ortho said he doesn't even know where to begin. (I have issues from lumbar to mid thoracic.)But if I'd had surgery for this specific issue it would required chiseling away the arthritic deposits surrounding the T10 root.

I ended up (at least for now) getting the inflammation manageable. I blasted it with ibuprofen, Meloxicam, methocarbamol. I started a super low carb diet to get inflammation down. I also started doing upper back specific stretches. Here's a link to the Youtube video who's advise I followed for stretches.


 
V

VikingBoss

New Member
Aug 3, 2022
5
1
Thanks all! This has been a lot of fantastic help. I videoed today's session and while my form was good on most, Tuffoldman called it! My overhead was a mess, so I tried the seated press so I couldn't tilt back and wow, what a world of difference.

Going to seek out an FMS and check out the stretches in the video. Thank you all!
 
LosaHilly

LosaHilly

New Member
Aug 4, 2022
7
1
Hello! Do you have a photo or video ?
 
S

searay

VIP Member
Dec 20, 2017
631
537
Have you seen a Dr. ? X-rays, MRI, etc. ??? This is #1 on solving your back issues.
 
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