Back Tweak Confusion Back Tweak Confusion

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Thread: Back Tweak Confusion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Default Back Tweak Confusion

    • texas starting strength seminar september 2020
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    Rip, I have a question.

    On Thursday during Squat Volume day I tweaked my back pretty badly. 365 @ 5th rep / 1st set.
    I had to leave the gym and get prepared for dealing with the pain and basically being a cripple for the next 2-4 days.
    This same tweak generally happens to me once or twice a year and I have already learned that getting back under the bar as quickly as possible is the only thing that is going to alleviate my back pain and get me back on schedule.
    Yesterday I did some air squats to feel things out and a few hours ago I worked up to squatting 315 for a set of 5 and pulling 315 for 5.
    I already feel almost 100% and I couldn't get off the couch on Friday & Saturday.

    Every other day I'll add 10 lbs for a single set of 5 until I'm back on schedule to my volume day injury weight...should be about 2 weeks. (been here before)

    What I was just trying to figure out is this: why is it, that the same movement that hurt my back, is also the only movement that also fixes my back?
    How does that work?

    Thanks,

  2. #2
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    I don't know. We've all noticed it, and none of us can explain it. Take your shot.

  3. #3
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    While we make analogous comparisons to mechanical systems in analyzing the lifts, we ultimately are not mechanical systems, but biological. When a U joint fails in a drive shaft, you have to replace the U joint. When you tweak you back, it has to repair itself. It does this by adaptation to carefully induced stress. Ergo, tweaking your back with squats requires more squats to adapt to and repair the injury.

  4. #4
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    But why didn't the squats make the back tweak-proof?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    But why didn't the squats make the back tweak-proof?
    He stated that it happened on the 5th rep. I suspect his form was breaking down.

  6. #6
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    Not my point.

  7. #7
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    Same "tweak" just happened to me 2-3 weeks ago. Warming up to work sets in the mid 400s, "tweaked" my back on my second rep with 365. I felt great and was not tired. My back should be "tweak proof" with a normal squat at 365 - yet it wasnt.

    Ive got theories about levels of sodium and hydration based on glycogen depletion due to ketogenic dieting, but thats all they will ever be - theories.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suwannee Dave View Post
    He stated that it happened on the 5th rep. I suspect his form was breaking down.
    It wasn't. It was the first set. Form breakdown on VD generally happens to me on the last reps of the 4th & 5th set. The injury probably happened because I was sitting down in meetings all day and I trained earlier in the day that I normally do. My guess is that I if I did some sort of mobility work (only because I was sitting for 6 straight hours and I am old ) I wouldn't of got hurt.
    But to Rips point this isn't the question.
    The question is: why is it, that the same movement that hurt my back, is also the only movement that also fixes my back?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2016
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    A few weeks back I had trouble getting out of bed because my back hurt from squats the night before. Did deadlifts the same day, all-day back pain 100% cured after one warmup set at 135. None of this makes sense.

    The worst part is nobody will ever believe it until it happens to them, and it'll never happen to them because when you tell them to go lift something heavy to fix their back pain, they back away slowly, talking calmly while looking for a weapon in case you snap.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2007
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    starting strength coach development program
    Could it be due to a momentary loss of mind to muscle focus that causes the lower back muscles to relax?

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