3/19/13

Grow a Lumber Lumbar


The other day I watched a few dozen burlesque men participate in a good ‘ol fashioned Texas Strongman meet. Looking around I saw all types of bodies and ages. One guy looked like he was about 60 years old and 230 pounds. He lifted the open heavy weight atlas stone (325 lbs) 5 times, without a shirt on. Anybody that had an excuse for not lifting just lost it.


Being around these guys I had an opportunity to listen and learn from what they were saying. The most common problem that everyone was suffering from seemed to be a core or stability problem. Maybe you don’t want to do strongman, but anyone that wants to lift heavy needs to pay attention to this.
Lumbar strength in the lower back comes from heavy pulls. As for core strength we can say the exact same. What a lot of these guys, and most gym monsters, lack is the ability to load that area with excessive weights for prolonged durations. Things like heavy rack pulls below the knee, snatch or clean pulls, or heavy deadlifts for reps can fill in these gaps.

If you don’t have a strong lumbar/core area, it doesn’t matter how strong you think you are, you won’t be able to move the weights. This is where the gap between leg press and squat comes in. In the real world a strong back is practical, anything else is wasted potential.

My prescription is incorporating heavy pull variations after your main lift. What I mean is after you do your heavy/explosive sets (which should always come first), drop it a few pounds and add a couple of reps. For the guy that can do a set of 2 on deadlift at 500 lbs, do rack pulls for a set of 5 at 405 afterwards. Another good idea is to pre exhaust with explosive sets on squat, and then do heavy doubles [sets of 2] or triples [sets of 3] on deadlift. This will induce some myofibril hypertrophy (dense big muscles) and help with end of the meet strength.

The last thing that should stop you from showing your best strengths is a weak back or core. Buckle down and secure your stability before making huge leaps. I have a motto, if you can’t deadlift within 5% of your max after squatting, your back needs some work. Okay so it’s not a good saying but you get the point. 

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.