any bodybuilding questions?

member since Oct'09

rep

Hi rkl140,

It depends what you are doing your Deadlifts for? Some people include them on a Leg Day, others on a Back Day and some will even consider it as part of the Trapz Day workout. The most common Day )or reason for your Deadlifts is for your Legs, so your best substitute in this case would be your Squats (you may consider a Hack Squat depending how bad your lower back issue is) or simply just the Leg Press. One final substitute would be your Lunges but be a little cautious because these are sometimes bad on knees.

If your Deadlift was included on your Back workout, you have many options to substitute it with. Lat Pulldown, Pull-ups (Chin-ups), T-Bar Row, Seated Row to name a few. I would recommend using an overhand grip (wide) to mimic the Deadlift as much as possible. Again, all these depend on how bad that lower back is.

One final thing to consider would be choosing to do a Rack Deadlift. This is basically the same as a Deadlift but you set the safety bars in the Power Rack to be high enough so the bar can only travel down to your knees (a normal Deadlift allows the bar to start at your Shin). This will put far less strain on your lower back and will focus more on the upper body muscles used in a Deadlift which include the Lats, Trapz, Rear Deltoids to again name a few). Your Lower Back will still be taking some load through it but nowhere near as much when compared to lifting the bar from the ground. This version also uses very few Leg muscles as they are really only engaged in the first half of the movement (when lifting it from the ground).

I hope this gives you some ideas, but if the back is hurting and you haven't already done so, get it checked out by a professional (Doctor and/or specialist). Pain is a very good indicator that something is wrong and you really shouldn't be messing around with lower back pain.

James

posted : 5/17/2012 at 5:32 PM

member since Oct'09

rep

Hi rkl140,

It depends what you are doing your Deadlifts for? Some people include them on a Leg Day, others on a Back Day and some will even consider it as part of the Trapz Day workout. The most common Day )or reason for your Deadlifts is for your Legs, so your best substitute in this case would be your Squats (you may consider a Hack Squat depending how bad your lower back issue is) or simply just the Leg Press. One final substitute would be your Lunges but be a little cautious because these are sometimes bad on knees.

If your Deadlift was included on your Back workout, you have many options to substitute it with. Lat Pulldown, Pull-ups (Chin-ups), T-Bar Row, Seated Row to name a few. I would recommend using an overhand grip (wide) to mimic the Deadlift as much as possible. Again, all these depend on how bad that lower back is.

One final thing to consider would be choosing to do a Rack Deadlift. This is basically the same as a Deadlift but you set the safety bars in the Power Rack to be high enough so the bar can only travel down to your knees (a normal Deadlift allows the bar to start at your Shin). This will put far less strain on your lower back and will focus more on the upper body muscles used in a Deadlift which include the Lats, Trapz, Rear Deltoids to again name a few). Your Lower Back will still be taking some load through it but nowhere near as much when compared to lifting the bar from the ground. This version also uses very few Leg muscles as they are really only engaged in the first half of the movement (when lifting it from the ground).

I hope this gives you some ideas, but if the back is hurting and you haven't already done so, get it checked out by a professional (Doctor and/or specialist). Pain is a very good indicator that something is wrong and you really shouldn't be messing around with lower back pain.

James

posted : 5/17/2012 at 5:32 PM

member since Oct'09

rep

Hi Shannon,

In order to grow (get bigger) you must go to negative failure (this means go until you can no longer go anymore without someone helping you), but this does mean in good form AND with a spotter. Something you should all appreciate is that every single exercise you do in the gym has a risk of injury associated with it...EVERYTHING. It is just that some things (exercises) put you at a higher risk than others, and when form is compromised, it again puts you into an even higher category. Everything we teach as personal trainers is to ensure there is the smallest amount of risk possible but it can become a ‘balancing act’. There is a fine line between sacrificing a little form to get that last rep out in order to grow versus throwing your back into an exercise and 'jerking' the movement which does little for joint health or muscle growth and development (i.e. you risk hurting yourself). You ALWAYS should be able to control the weight you are lifting on the 'negative' (eccentric) phase of a lift but you will often need a spotter there to help you safely get the harder, 'concentric' phase of the lift. You can actual lift 120% more weight during the negative, 'eccentric' (muscle lengthening under tension) phase when compared to the positive, 'concentric' (muscle shortening under tension) phase of a movement. This is why again, it is so important to have a spotter help you SAFELY lift the loads you can't handle and then you control it down while the muscle is lengthening. You also want to go to Absolute Muscle Fatigue in order to stimulate growth. This is where drop sets come in handy. When you can no longer perform reps on a heavy weight, immediately drop the weight so you can perform more reps (in good form), and repeat until the muscle feels like it’s about to explode with blood being forced to it combined with the accumulation of lactic acid (which often becomes unbearable). These are the things which stimulate muscle growth.

James

posted : 5/17/2012 at 5:45 PM

member since Oct'09

rep

Hi Shannon,

In order to grow (get bigger) you must go to negative failure (this means go until you can no longer go anymore without someone helping you), but this does mean in good form AND with a spotter. Something you should all appreciate is that every single exercise you do in the gym has a risk of injury associated with it...EVERYTHING. It is just that some things (exercises) put you at a higher risk than others, and when form is compromised, it again puts you into an even higher category. Everything we teach as personal trainers is to ensure there is the smallest amount of risk possible but it can become a ‘balancing act’. There is a fine line between sacrificing a little form to get that last rep out in order to grow versus throwing your back into an exercise and 'jerking' the movement which does little for joint health or muscle growth and development (i.e. you risk hurting yourself). You ALWAYS should be able to control the weight you are lifting on the 'negative' (eccentric) phase of a lift but you will often need a spotter there to help you safely get the harder, 'concentric' phase of the lift. You can actual lift 120% more weight during the negative, 'eccentric' (muscle lengthening under tension) phase when compared to the positive, 'concentric' (muscle shortening under tension) phase of a movement. This is why again, it is so important to have a spotter help you SAFELY lift the loads you can't handle and then you control it down while the muscle is lengthening. You also want to go to Absolute Muscle Fatigue in order to stimulate growth. This is where drop sets come in handy. When you can no longer perform reps on a heavy weight, immediately drop the weight so you can perform more reps (in good form), and repeat until the muscle feels like it’s about to explode with blood being forced to it combined with the accumulation of lactic acid (which often becomes unbearable). These are the things which stimulate muscle growth.

James

posted : 5/17/2012 at 5:45 PM

member since Oct'09

rep

Hi RMckoy,

My best suggestion to you is to ensure you adequately warm up your back through the implementation of warm-up sets. I highly suggest you do NOT ever stretch a cold muscle in an attempt to 'warm it up' as this can be more harmful than good. You are far better of warming up the joint/s and muscle/s specifically to the exercise you are about to perform. When I Deadlift, I perform 5 warm-up sets before I get into my working sets. Yes, it might take a little away from my actual lift, but I'm 6'4'' and I am very paranoid of hurting my lower back as I am so tall (for a Deadlift). I will start as low as just the bar on my first set, 1 plate on the second 1 and a quarter on the 3rd, 2 plates on the 4th and 3 plates on the 5th warm up set. The idea of 'warm up' sets is not to go to failure, simply 'warm' everything up. From there I can go up to whatever my working sets are and know that I am as warm as I will ever be. I also am a big advocate of performing at least 1 or 2 warm up sets each exercise EVEN if it’s an exercise of the same muscle group which you have already done previous to it in your workout. Again, you don't need to go to failure on these sets and I don’t usually count them as actual 'sets'. I suggest doing the exact same things for your T-Bar Rows and Bent Over Rows and if you are still experiencing back pain/discomfort/tightness after adequate warm up sets, I highly suggest having your back looked at as it should not feel so. Anything which requires you to 'isometricly' contract your back in a bent over position does put a HUGE amount of strain through your lower back and it must be treated with caution. These are HIGH RISK exercises, and sometimes the risks do NOT out way the PRO's.

James

posted : 5/17/2012 at 5:56 PM

member since Oct'09

rep

Hi RMckoy,

My best suggestion to you is to ensure you adequately warm up your back through the implementation of warm-up sets. I highly suggest you do NOT ever stretch a cold muscle in an attempt to 'warm it up' as this can be more harmful than good. You are far better of warming up the joint/s and muscle/s specifically to the exercise you are about to perform. When I Deadlift, I perform 5 warm-up sets before I get into my working sets. Yes, it might take a little away from my actual lift, but I'm 6'4'' and I am very paranoid of hurting my lower back as I am so tall (for a Deadlift). I will start as low as just the bar on my first set, 1 plate on the second 1 and a quarter on the 3rd, 2 plates on the 4th and 3 plates on the 5th warm up set. The idea of 'warm up' sets is not to go to failure, simply 'warm' everything up. From there I can go up to whatever my working sets are and know that I am as warm as I will ever be. I also am a big advocate of performing at least 1 or 2 warm up sets each exercise EVEN if it’s an exercise of the same muscle group which you have already done previous to it in your workout. Again, you don't need to go to failure on these sets and I don’t usually count them as actual 'sets'. I suggest doing the exact same things for your T-Bar Rows and Bent Over Rows and if you are still experiencing back pain/discomfort/tightness after adequate warm up sets, I highly suggest having your back looked at as it should not feel so. Anything which requires you to 'isometricly' contract your back in a bent over position does put a HUGE amount of strain through your lower back and it must be treated with caution. These are HIGH RISK exercises, and sometimes the risks do NOT out way the PRO's.

James

posted : 5/17/2012 at 5:56 PM

rmckoy member since Mar'12

136 rep

Thanks James,

I do make warm up sets a practice in every aspect of training. I like you am cautious about injury, I don't want to stop lifting !!! I know that rows/deadlift's and squatting can be risky but in studying some of the science it is stated this type of heavy lifting will release HGH and testosterone into the system promoting muscle growth during rest. Can you speak to this ?? There are A lot of views... one can contradict the other and the supplement aspect of the sport is out of hand. I want to push my system to optimal health,well being and develop the best physique I can.

posted : 5/18/2012 at 10:55 AM

rmckoy member since Mar'12

136 rep

Thanks James,

I do make warm up sets a practice in every aspect of training. I like you am cautious about injury, I don't want to stop lifting !!! I know that rows/deadlift's and squatting can be risky but in studying some of the science it is stated this type of heavy lifting will release HGH and testosterone into the system promoting muscle growth during rest. Can you speak to this ?? There are A lot of views... one can contradict the other and the supplement aspect of the sport is out of hand. I want to push my system to optimal health,well being and develop the best physique I can.

posted : 5/18/2012 at 10:55 AM

member since Oct'09

rep

Hi RMckoy,

You are 100% correct in stating that those exercises (Deadlifts and Squats) increases and releases more of your body’s natural production of both testosterone and HGH (I wrote an article on it for my gyms not so long ago). The reason these exercises do this is because you are using such a large amount of muscle mass (recruiting so many different muscles) to perform the lifts, combined with the weight you typically move with these 2 lifts is so great, it puts a tremendous amount of 'stress' on your body which in turn causes a cascade of chemical reactions and hormonal signaling that the result is more testosterone and HGH. The problem is, the risk of injury is still very high when lifting these types of weights (even if perfect form is kept throughout the movement). I’m not trying to scare you in anyway nor am I telling you not to do them, BUT you need to be cautious and make sure your body has adequate rest between these types of workouts and if there is any sign of pain in the trouble spots, you really need to get it checked over. The risk if you don't could mean you have to spend a month or more out of the weights room ALL together, and this is not worth losing all your hard work and progress. Train smart.

James

posted : 5/18/2012 at 12:08 PM

member since Oct'09

rep

Hi RMckoy,

You are 100% correct in stating that those exercises (Deadlifts and Squats) increases and releases more of your body’s natural production of both testosterone and HGH (I wrote an article on it for my gyms not so long ago). The reason these exercises do this is because you are using such a large amount of muscle mass (recruiting so many different muscles) to perform the lifts, combined with the weight you typically move with these 2 lifts is so great, it puts a tremendous amount of 'stress' on your body which in turn causes a cascade of chemical reactions and hormonal signaling that the result is more testosterone and HGH. The problem is, the risk of injury is still very high when lifting these types of weights (even if perfect form is kept throughout the movement). I’m not trying to scare you in anyway nor am I telling you not to do them, BUT you need to be cautious and make sure your body has adequate rest between these types of workouts and if there is any sign of pain in the trouble spots, you really need to get it checked over. The risk if you don't could mean you have to spend a month or more out of the weights room ALL together, and this is not worth losing all your hard work and progress. Train smart.

James

posted : 5/18/2012 at 12:08 PM

rmckoy member since Mar'12

136 rep

Thanks Again James and I agree... you wont release anything laid up and out of the weight room. Another question. What is an adaquate weight to ensure chemical reaction? "I know that is subjective" body type,diet,time put in to training are all contributing factors. Is the reaction relative to the weight ?? To stressing the system to failure?

posted : 5/18/2012 at 1:01 PM

rmckoy member since Mar'12

136 rep

Thanks Again James and I agree... you wont release anything laid up and out of the weight room. Another question. What is an adaquate weight to ensure chemical reaction? "I know that is subjective" body type,diet,time put in to training are all contributing factors. Is the reaction relative to the weight ?? To stressing the system to failure?

posted : 5/18/2012 at 1:01 PM

shannon krywulak member since Oct'11

420 rep

Thanks for the advice Greg & James.

I should add that I'm training for strength not size.All sets are 5 reps,lifting heavy.

posted : 5/23/2012 at 1:42 AM

shannon krywulak member since Oct'11

420 rep

Thanks for the advice Greg & James.

I should add that I'm training for strength not size.All sets are 5 reps,lifting heavy.

posted : 5/23/2012 at 1:42 AM

mkoldste member since May'12

2.1k rep

Can anyone help me? I used to workout back in '03. 2 years ago I lost 4 fingers in a work accident, and I want to do some strength training. All I have on my right hand is my thumb.

posted : 6/3/2012 at 8:40 PM

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