Good Coaching and Bad Backs Good Coaching and Bad Backs

starting strength gym
Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Good Coaching and Bad Backs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Drink Wisconsinbly

    Default Good Coaching and Bad Backs

    • starting strength seminar december 2023
    • starting strength seminar february 2024
    • starting strength seminar april 2024
    Two years ago I was lying on the sidewalk in front of a restaurant telling my wife not to call an ambulance. I hurt my back. This was nothing unique. I had what is commonly known as a ďbad back.Ē What was different here is I had signed up for a Starting Strength Seminar and that was two weeks away. Ten days later I still couldnít stand up straight and almost made the biggest mistake of my life. I was considering canceling the Seminar.

    I starting lifting about eighteen months prior to this. A series of internet searches on exercises to strengthen the back ultimately led me to the Dan Duane article, Everything You Know About Fitness is A Lie. This is how I discovered the book Starting Strength. I found some used equipment on Craig's List and began training.

    My linear progression went terribly. I unknowingly started with a 33 pound barbell, I broke my elbow and had to start over from zero, and I was still hurting my back. The difference now; however, was the injuries were less severe and recovered more quickly. I could tell I was at least doing something right.

    The benefit of a broken arm is that it gives you more time to read. It brought me to the forum and is how I discovered the seminars. Previous to picking up the books, all I knew about weight lifting was it was part of the Olympic Games, before they became a gymnastics showcase, and Arnold Schwartzeneggar lifted weights. I had zero exposure to coaching. For someone like me the seminar was such an incredible experience it's hard to describe. It was like a previously unused part of my brain woke up and started yelling at me.

    My problem was that my coach was incompetent. Me!

    I almost cancelled the seminar because two days earlier I was still unable to stand up straight. Lucky for me, Rip doesn't put up with that kind of nonsense. He returned my phone call and said something to the effect of, "Bullshit! You need to get to the seminar so we can find out what you're doing wrong and get you to stop hurting yourself."

    The first lift we learned was the squat. Rip leaned over and told the platform coach to fix whatever I was doing wrong with my back. The platform coach diagnosed me immediately as not knowing how to set my back straight and showed me the proper way to do the valsalva. It took about a minute. If nothing else, this alone showed me the value of a properly educated and experienced coach.

    I am one of the many who failed certification, but I didnít take the seminar in order to coach others. I did it to coach myself. The education I received at the seminar is priceless. You learn the lifts, of course, but what is far more important is you are given knowledge that will help you live a better, longer, and more productive life. I was on the verge of finding a new career because my job is physical and it was destroying me. A work day is no longer fatiguing. I donít crawl out of my car when I get home. Iím not searching for a better chair or mattress anymore.

    I managed to squat 205 that day. Two years later my squat is up to 415. I haven't been to a doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist, or any other "professionals" since the seminar. I didn't have a bad back. I had a weak back. The only way to fix being weak is to get stronger and I want to express my sincere gratitude to Rip, the platform coaches, and all the helpful people on the forums. One of the things Rip talked about at the seminar was taking an old man who couldnít stand up straight into the gym and giving him his life back. That was where I was headed and Iím lucky I found the people who donít just see strength as a contest, but a vital component of life.

    Clay Simczyk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    The Big Beav(er) County, PA


    Bravo, Clay. Good writeup. Music? Megadeth: Victory!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008


    Had a similar experience in 2007 or 2008 or so when I attended the course. At that time, it was associated with Crossfit, but I went with a back injury, learned to squat and deadlift correctly, and was amazed at how much better my chronic back and knee pain became. The stronger I got, the less it has affected me.
    Lesson learned

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2014


    Put much more succinctly that I could. I tore up my back moving a paint fixture when I worked retail, and again being dragged by a car. Deadlifts, squats, and all other forms of strength training were the cure. Sure, I get twinges now and again, but they never last long and aren't as painful as they once were.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts