Lower back feels 'pumped' all the time Lower back feels 'pumped' all the time

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Thread: Lower back feels 'pumped' all the time

  1. #1
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    Default Lower back feels 'pumped' all the time

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    Well, not all the time, but more than it should. I'm 60, 5' 10", 216 lbs. Squats in the mid-300's, deadlift in mid-400's. For the last month or two after my squat and/or deadlift workouts, my lower back has had an extreme pumped feeling for a half hour or so after the workout ends, with walking out of the gym to my car being a somewhat uncomfortable experience. I had a hard and deep massage yesterday, concentrated on my lower back and my it felt much better for the rest of the day after that. This morning, though, it felt pretty much the same as before the massage. I spent the morning working in the yard and I felt that same stiff tightness. It's not present all the time, just when standing for extended periods or bending over for a few minutes (and after squat or deadlift work sets).

    Training-wise, I've been mostly doing HLM, so I never have a heavy squat and heavy deadlift on the same day, deadlifting only on the light squat day. There is never any sharp pain, just a dull, tight, 'pumped' feeling, like after holding a Superman position for a long time. Coach Santana has looked at my form (in-person and via video) and saw my knee slide in my squats as a contributing factor. I think I've learned to set my knees properly now, at least up to three plates, but I have to work on leaning over more.

    I've had my share of tweaks, pulls and tears over the years, and I've always trained through them. I've deloaded from 365 for triples down to 315 x 5 x 3, concentrating on form and haven't pulled heavy for 2-3 weeks, just one session of light snatch grip DL. This is the only situation I've faced where more training has not made the pain lessen. Is this a situation where rest might be useful or should I deload even more and really get form locked in? I'm planning on competing in Santana's meet again this fall and I'm hoping this doesn't set my training back to far.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Default Lower back feels 'pumped' all the time

    Bit of an update. First, here are the links to the lifts I've posted in the Technique forum:

    Technique forum - Squat
    Technique forum - Deadlift

    I really don't think my squat is the issue as I've done 355 x 3 x 5 and 325 x 5 x 3 as my last two squat workouts and I didn't feel any soreness or tightness afterwards. Same with deadlift at 415 x 5. But today, I was moving furniture out of my daughter's apartment and my lower back became actually pretty sore and 'pumped'. When I got home, I used the electric shiatsu massager and that loosened things up again. I've tried some stretches on an irregular basis, based on Defranco's Limber Eleven, but not really seeing any effect with them.

    Any thoughts from anyone on how to reduce this discomfort?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by Rob Plano; 08-22-2021 at 09:54 PM.

  3. #3
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    I experienced something similar, but not exactly the same. My back would get “pumped” after almost any activity 1 to 2 days after squats and deadlifts. I just assumed I was just fatigued from the previous day training; however the effect was very noticeable. Just walking or any activity that required even a modest amount of bending over such as raking leaves or working on my car would trigger this pump.

    I had decompression lumbar laminectomy surgery just over 4 months ago (L3-5) due to severe stenosis and neurogenic claudication, and have not noticed this symptom since. While the weights aren’t quite back to previous PRs (~ 80 to 85%), they’re getting reasonably challenging. Possibly the severe stenosis contributed to my “easily pumped” lower back? Not sure if it’s the same underlying issue that you’re experiencing.
    But I did find a combination of post-training shiatsu massager w/ hamstring / piriformis stretching to be helpful.

    Good numbers and good luck!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply there, ML.

    How was your back condition diagnosed and do you know if it was caused by lifting or did lifting aggravate and existing condition?

    Thanks again.

    Edit:
    Never mind, I just saw your other post that explained everything. Good luck with the rest of your recovery, seems to be going well so far!
    Last edited by Rob Plano; 08-24-2021 at 07:56 PM.

  5. #5
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    Anyone else have any insight on this? As I mentioned, this is the only soreness I've had in seven years of lifting that has not responded to continued training, so I'm not quite sure what to do. Deload? Cut down on frequency? Continue as I'm doing (HLM variation, adding weight consistently), with my usual two days rest in between? Find a chiropractor? If so, how do I find a good one? I've got no problem training through the soreness, I just don't want to make this worse, and by worse I mean aggravating whatever might be there already so the discomfort becomes acute and starts affecting every day tasks, as described by ML67 above.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    Another update on the off chance that anyone has any interest in this.

    Santana has really helped me continue to improve my squat form. I now realize that while I was bracing with the Valsalva, I wasn't bracing my lower back in the correct position; I was putting it into too much extension. Santana had me deload down to 165 and do three sets of ten box squats. My knee slide is gone, I'm leaning over more and keeping my back rigid in the correct position. I'm going to continue with the 3x10 for a few more workouts, adding 20lbs per session. Also deadlifted 315 x 5 yesterday, that felt fine. I haven't felt that 'pumped' sensation for a week or so but I'll be doing some more yard work this weekend and I'll see if it crops up then, as that seemed to be a trigger in the past. Not going to do the meet in October, rather work on preparing for the AZ State Championship meet in March.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Plano View Post
    Another update on the off chance that anyone has any interest in this.

    Santana has really helped me continue to improve my squat form. I now realize that while I was bracing with the Valsalva, I wasn't bracing my lower back in the correct position; I was putting it into too much extension. Santana had me deload down to 165 and do three sets of ten box squats. My knee slide is gone, I'm leaning over more and keeping my back rigid in the correct position. I'm going to continue with the 3x10 for a few more workouts, adding 20lbs per session. Also deadlifted 315 x 5 yesterday, that felt fine. I haven't felt that 'pumped' sensation for a week or so but I'll be doing some more yard work this weekend and I'll see if it crops up then, as that seemed to be a trigger in the past. Not going to do the meet in October, rather work on preparing for the AZ State Championship meet in March.
    That's great news - hopefully it resolves the issue. My one question is do you think the pump elimination is from improved form/technique (always a good thing) or possible from the deload? Had you previously tried a similar level of deload? I guess you'll find out as you quickly reload to previous and beyond levels.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ML67 View Post
    That's great news - hopefully it resolves the issue. My one question is do you think the pump elimination is from improved form/technique (always a good thing) or possible from the deload? Had you previously tried a similar level of deload? I guess you'll find out as you quickly reload to previous and beyond levels.

    Good luck!
    I've actually never done a planned deload before this. Previously the only thing that caused me to reduce weight on the bar were injuries or other layoffs. My squat is very different now: bar a bit lower on my back, leaning over more, grip narrowed by about a half inch per side, back more rigid and not overextended during the whole movement, hips and knees breaking together, knee slide pretty much (but not totally) gone. Yesterday I did 225 x 10 x 3, back felt fine during all reps (quite the cardio workout though!) and deadlifted 365 x 5. Feeling good today. Fingers crossed that it stays this way as I crawl my way back up to previous numbers. Thanks for your interest and encouragement!

  9. #9
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    If it happens again, a myofascial release might help.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Plano View Post
    I've actually never done a planned deload before this. Previously the only thing that caused me to reduce weight on the bar were injuries or other layoffs. My squat is very different now: bar a bit lower on my back, leaning over more, grip narrowed by about a half inch per side, back more rigid and not overextended during the whole movement, hips and knees breaking together, knee slide pretty much (but not totally) gone. Yesterday I did 225 x 10 x 3, back felt fine during all reps (quite the cardio workout though!) and deadlifted 365 x 5. Feeling good today. Fingers crossed that it stays this way as I crawl my way back up to previous numbers. Thanks for your interest and encouragement!
    That's great to read that you're on your way back up, Rob.

    Plus, it answers the question that I had in my mind a few days ago - "I wonder what RJPinAZ is up to these days. I haven't seen anything out of him in a while."

    Keep at it!

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