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  1. #1
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    Rip, Iím a 51-year old masters athlete and I just started doing linear progression two months ago, hit a wall at 235 for work sets in the squat. I had a spinal injury at age 24 and entire spine is arthritic now- pain is what stopped me yesterday. I am considering some of the volume-reducing options presented in The Barbell Prescription book (2 sets of 5, 3 sets of 3, 2 squat days per week). I intend to continue increasing intensity. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thank you for all that you have contributed to the culture.

  2. #2
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    Is the back hurting when you get to the gym, before you even start the workout?? If so then you might look at frequency reduction to allow a bit more recovery between sessions

    If the back is hurting towards the end of the work sets then you might look at a per session reduction in volume and/or intensity. You can accomplish this by working up to just one main heavy work set of 5 and then backing off by 5-10% for two lighter sets, or just dropping down to triples. Problem with triples is they don't tend to last long. You get a few weeks out of them and then you are gonna hit a wall. So if you are still progressing well and think you have plenty of LP left in you, I'd do the back off 5s. If you think you are about to flame out anyways then drop down to 3x3

  3. #3
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    Thank you Andy that reply is very helpful. Yeah the back hurts quite a bit all the time and i figured reducing frequency would help.

  4. #4
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    Do you do any other sports?

  5. #5
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    I do personal training for adult clients, teach strength & conditioning at a high school and coach baseball. Going to get an MRI at VA and may try dry needling the trigger points in the deep spinals. I thought about using a hip belt for squats but do not want to stop getting under the bar because I know it is making my back stronger and I do have good lifting days.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Schmidt View Post
    Rip, Iím a 51-year old masters athlete and I just started doing linear progression two months ago, hit a wall at 235 for work sets in the squat. I had a spinal injury at age 24 and entire spine is arthritic now- pain is what stopped me yesterday. I am considering some of the volume-reducing options presented in The Barbell Prescription book (2 sets of 5, 3 sets of 3, 2 squat days per week). I intend to continue increasing intensity. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thank you for all that you have contributed to the culture.
    I feel for you. I have significant amount of arthritis in my facet joints in the lumbar region. It has altered a lot of workouts the last couple years. Rip asked if you played sports, that is part of my issue, as i'm a competitive Open level racquetball player and often play anywhere from 10-15 hours a week in addition to lifting. Here is what i've found that works for me. I do this before most lifts and racquetball days. I use a Compex Muscle Stimulator on the Pre-Warmup setting with an Infrared Heat Pad. This seems to work wonders for me. Then i will put on some good muscle rub (i prefer the Rock Sauce) and use a neoprene back wrap/belt for driving to the gym/warmup, etc. It's a pain in the ass and a cumbersome process, but what i need to do to be able to play/lift with the condition. When it's particularly cranky i'll also take 2 tylenol + 4 ibuprofen combo.

  7. #7
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    Clarification is needed on the original post: what stopped me 4 reps into the first squat set at 235 was not a loss of power in the hip drive, but extreme pain in my neck and arms from that good tight bar position on my upper back. Excessive volume, not intensity, is the problem, along with back muscles that in the 25+ years since my injury have never really felt fully relaxed when not working.

  8. #8
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    Post a video of your squat. I have an idea that may be the problem.

  9. #9
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    This is today, third set at 205. If form changes need to be made they should be made now. Coaches, i welcome your critiques. I did not tighten the upper back as much as I was and therefore had less of the neck and arm pain, but some. I intend to squat again on Tuesday and want to get under the 235 again. Not looking forward to it but it needs to be done. YouTube

  10. #10
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    There's not much wrong with these. Toes could be out a little more, and elbows could be down a little more. If I were standing there I'd probably bring your grip in a finger-width or so and have you keep your elbows lower to see if this takes the pressure off of your neck and shoulders.

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