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  1. #61
    Texan Canuk Linds33's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KaraPhoto View Post
    Speaking for myself, no. I work out by myself and I'm the only one of my friends who lifts "real" weights anyway (as opposed to girlfriends of mine who do the whole Barbie-weight thing), so even when they come to the gym with me, they won't enter the free weight section!

    I am very careful about my form and I probably squat a little less than I *could* because I know I don't have a spotter. I'm also not afraid to dump the weight if I need to - and I have in the past.
    I don't really use a spotter either for just a regular workout. I use a Power Cage and I put the "safety bars" up so that I can dump the weight if it gets too heavy.

    If i am going to go for a PR or ORM I would get a spotter. Always good to be on the safe size. You just want to make sure that your spotter knows what they are doing
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  2. #62
    Registered User marioana's Avatar
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    When I started a year ago I was squatting just with the bar. On Monday I did 135lb, and I was so proud when I saw the guys looking at me like I was crazy doing squats with a 45lb plate on each side. Probably I could do more but I don't have a spotter so I take it slow. The important thing is to up the weight when you feel you can and keep a correct form. It doesn't matter how much others can do, it matters that you progress even by a little bit.
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  3. #63
    Registered User IronCitGrl's Avatar
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    I did 75# for 6 reps but I know I can do a little more than that on a better day (which is not today). I'd say 80# and that is going past parallel. I don't like to call it ATG anymore because I think that might give people the wrong impression that you are supposed to go as low as possible and that might really mess up your back if it rounds out so I like to just call it "going past parallel" lol.

    Oh and there's no point of comparing yourself to others if they have completely different stats than you. Also a lot of people think they are going below parallel really aren't. What one person may call a squat is a mere 1/4 or 1/2 squat and they will be able to lift a lot more weight.
    Last edited by IronCitGrl; 09-22-2010 at 10:20 AM.
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  4. #64
    Registered User IronPeach_79's Avatar
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    Ya'll are so right on lifts being relative. I'm a great "Presser" ... today I pressed 95lbs on the Incline Press! Then I turned around and did my Stage 7 of New Rules Circuit with 68 total regular pushups over the course of 4 sets. But squats? Deadlifts? Like I said before, hate them...but I'll get them down over time!
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  5. #65
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    Originally Posted by marioana View Post
    When I started a year ago I was squatting just with the bar. On Monday I did 135lb, and I was so proud when I saw the guys looking at me like I was crazy doing squats with a 45lb plate on each side. Probably I could do more but I don't have a spotter so I take it slow. The important thing is to up the weight when you feel you can and keep a correct form. It doesn't matter how much others can do, it matters that you progress even by a little bit.
    Holy cow! You're 105 squatting 135? That's very impressive to me.
    ... in transition ...
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  6. #66
    Registered User Kelvandros's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DrivenAgain View Post
    I'm sorry that you have to do through it too... but I'm glad to know that someone understands. Boy, do I know back pain, after 20 years of it. LOL It's funny how some odd movements seem completely normal to us. I actually went through 3 days of zero pain and zero stiffness last week.... for the first time in years. I'd forgotten how well my body reacts to lifting weights. After only a few weeks back in the gym, this was my reward. I originally started lifting in my teens as therapy for my back.

    I was thrilled!!... but it wasn't until experiencing that feeling that made me realize how many things my body compensates for on a daily basis. We don't lean over, bend down, turn, reach, sit, or even stand like everyone else. There might only be small minute differences, but there really are differences. It felt SO GOOD not to have ANY pain or stiffness at all that it actually felt alien to me because we're so used to living with it and working around it, and all of a sudden, I could move normally. My new goal is to have that experience EVERY DAY!

    You have a good point... I don't think I could ever squat before. That's why I never made a point to add it into my workouts. Even body weight squats were hard for me. Holy cow! I'm doing it! Funny huh? I didn't even remember why I hadn't done them in the past until you mentioned it. Sometimes a bad memory has it's perks. I forgot that I couldn't do something.... so I was able to do it. LOL I guess I fooled me.

    When my back is stiff, the first thing I reach for is water. I feel dehydration in my low back right away. When it gets too painful, or pinpoint, I take some ibuprofen, stretch, massage or sit on an exercise ball all day long (balancing and stretching), if I can take it. I haven't had a real attack for a long time, thank God. The last time, it took me 4 days to be able to walk across the room without crutches. I'm glad that days like that are in my past.... and pray that no more of them are in my future.

    I can't wait to get back to the gym tomorrow to lift again!!
    I've been trying to spread this message to some friends and my parents. After doing only a few weeks of regular squats and deadlifts, my back pain was gone. It's amazing what some working out can do.
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  7. #67
    Registered User MaliaBot's Avatar
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    I had a personal trainer for a while. One of the goals I had at the time was to squat my body weight (at the time around 180lbs). Well, that was my 1RM the first time we trained. I generally do 135 or 155, depending on my goals for the day.
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  8. #68
    Suck it up! CottageChz's Avatar
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    This thread has been SO informative!! Thank you to all of you and especially the OP for starting it
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  9. #69
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    Originally Posted by Kelvandros View Post
    I've been trying to spread this message to some friends and my parents. After doing only a few weeks of regular squats and deadlifts, my back pain was gone. It's amazing what some working out can do.
    Wow. That's great! I wonder why? I wish I could say that. Unfortunately my problem is a chronic one and now I have bad disks. But believe it or not heavier weighted exercise is relieving a lot of the disk burning/pain. My chiro always complains about me exercising so I don't mention it much now. It aggravates the hell outta me. How are you ever gonna get stronger if you don't exercise? I think he wants me to use the 'barbie" weights or something :-). He says pretty soon I'm gonna look like Arnold. Hmm.
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    Talking

    Originally Posted by DrivenAgain View Post
    Holy cow! You're 105 squatting 135? That's very impressive to me.
    That's impressive to me too! One can dream eh? ha ha.
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  11. #71
    Registered User marioana's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by StannaRad View Post
    That's impressive to me too! One can dream eh? ha ha.
    It's not that hard, just up the weight by a little bit when you can do 3 sets of 10. Anyhow I don't go beyond parallel, probably I won't be able to squat this weight if I did.
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  12. #72
    Registered User DrivenAgain's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by StannaRad View Post
    Wow. That's great! I wonder why? I wish I could say that. Unfortunately my problem is a chronic one and now I have bad disks. But believe it or not heavier weighted exercise is relieving a lot of the disk burning/pain. My chiro always complains about me exercising so I don't mention it much now. It aggravates the hell outta me. How are you ever gonna get stronger if you don't exercise? I think he wants me to use the 'barbie" weights or something :-). He says pretty soon I'm gonna look like Arnold. Hmm.
    My suggestion.... take it or leave it.... is find another chiropractor who is more concerned with your body being healed, than he is with losing a regular attending patient. I have had herniated disks for 20 years.... had 2 levels operated on bilaterally in 2000 (L4-L5 & L5-S1), and since then, I ONLY deal with back pain on a regular basis when I DON'T workout.

    Through it all, my chiro NEVER told me to stop lifting. He encouraged it and even trained me at the gym once to make sure I was using correct form. I RARELY ever have to see him, unless I do something stupid now... or stop lifting for a while.
    ... in transition ...
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  13. #73
    Focus on yourself kimm4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DrivenAgain View Post
    My suggestion.... take it or leave it.... is find another chiropractor who is more concerned with your body being healed, than he is with losing a regular attending patient. I have had herniated disks for 20 years.... had 2 levels operated on bilaterally in 2000 (L4-L5 & L5-S1), and since then, I ONLY deal with back pain on a regular basis when I DON'T workout.

    Through it all, my chiro NEVER told me to stop lifting. He encouraged it and even trained me at the gym once to make sure I was using correct form. I RARELY ever have to see him, unless I do something stupid now... or stop lifting for a while.
    Agreed, the heavy compound lifts are crucial for building a strong core. I've had some major lower back issues in the past and had to drop out a few shows because of it. I had to pull squats/deads out of my program for 3 yrs. Here some great lower back/core exercises that I scatter throughout my programs. Since doing these, I haven't had any back issues since 05 and I squat and do deads heavier then I ever have pain free!

    Anti rotation barbell
    Cable woodchops
    Paloff presses
    Pirifomis stretching
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  14. #74
    Fat Powerlift-ette birdiefu's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    Pirifomis stretching
    I do this one all the time after I workout, especially after deads! I had an SI-area issue for months a while back, with occasional sciatica thought to be brought on by a tight piriformis. It was mostly exacerbated by horseback riding moreso than lifting, as I could keep the joint area stable if I made sure I had good lifting form, but that area flexes a ton riding. Anyhow, after months of PT, I discovered that the above stretching was so very imperative to bring my back/hip/butt area back to normalcy. I have kept the stretch in my post-workout repertoire, it also seems to help with hip mobility in going deeper for squats (along with other hip stretches).

    I think stretching is often under-emphasized in the weightlifting world. Yes, dynamic stretching is recommended before lifting, but I think really good static stretching after a workout (and on off days) is very important to keep everything working right.
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  15. #75
    Registered User DrivenAgain's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    Agreed, the heavy compound lifts are crucial for building a strong core. I've had some major lower back issues in the past and had to drop out a few shows because of it. I had to pull squats/deads out of my program for 3 yrs. Here some great lower back/core exercises that I scatter throughout my programs. Since doing these, I haven't had any back issues since 05 and I squat and do deads heavier then I ever have pain free!

    Anti rotation barbell
    Cable woodchops
    Paloff presses
    Pirifomis stretching

    Thanks Kimm.... I'll look those up. You're one strong woman.... and if they worked for you, they can work for me too. I'll make sure to incorporate them into my workouts.
    ... in transition ...
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    Originally Posted by birdiefu View Post
    I do this one all the time after I workout, especially after deads! I had an SI-area issue for months a while back, with occasional sciatica thought to be brought on by a tight piriformis. It was mostly exacerbated by horseback riding moreso than lifting, as I could keep the joint area stable if I made sure I had good lifting form, but that area flexes a ton riding. Anyhow, after months of PT, I discovered that the above stretching was so very imperative to bring my back/hip/butt area back to normalcy. I have kept the stretch in my post-workout repertoire, it also seems to help with hip mobility in going deeper for squats (along with other hip stretches).

    I think stretching is often under-emphasized in the weightlifting world. Yes, dynamic stretching is recommended before lifting, but I think really good static stretching after a workout (and on off days) is very important to keep everything working right.
    I've always been told that the typical stretching exercises for lower back issues (the one's our doctors give us) are the worst things you can do. Over time they supposedly make it worse...it's like the constant picking of a scab...don't know how else to describe it.

    That's why I've always used exercises instead of stretching.

    This is the only piriformis stretch I use: I do it in between my sets on squats and deads and it's great.

    Don't mind the Dr's babble...it's the only one I could find.

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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    I've always been told that the typical stretching exercises for lower back issues (the one's our doctors give us) are the worst things you can do. Over time they supposedly make it worse...it's like the constant picking of a scab...don't know how else to describe it.

    That's why I've always used exercises instead of stretching.

    This is the only piriformis stretch I use: I do it in between my sets on squats and deads and it's great.

    Don't mind the Dr's babble...it's the only one I could find.

    Kim...thanks for posting this.

    And thanks to Emma-Leigh for helping me discover this.

    Y'all may think this is really funny or really stupid. But I had a situation in TKD last night. We sere supposed to do an escape technique. It's really hard to explain, but it didn't work and all of a sudden, I was going through back spasms.

    The first thing I did was a squat, with my hands and feet flat on the floor, with proper form. Now, three weeks ago, I couldn't do that...period. But this time, I was able to do it and it helped stop the spams. I stood up, back spasm again, went back down did the same thing. I took me three times to get the muscles to stop freaking out...but it worked.

    You may not get this huge victory...it WORKED! I didn't end up in bed for two weeks!

    I know it's no biggie...but for me this is HUGE!

    I don't care how much weight someone can squat...I was able to get through a spasm that would normally put me down. I've been there, done that, don't want to do it again. I know it's no big deal but this is wonderful for me. I'm so happy!
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    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    I've always been told that the typical stretching exercises for lower back issues (the one's our doctors give us) are the worst things you can do. Over time they supposedly make it worse...it's like the constant picking of a scab...don't know how else to describe it.

    That's why I've always used exercises instead of stretching.

    This is the only piriformis stretch I use: I do it in between my sets on squats and deads and it's great.

    Don't mind the Dr's babble...it's the only one I could find.

    I agree that some of the stretches Dr's give out aren't actually good for the back- pulling the knees to the chest is one that comes to mind. When my left shoulder went out a few months ago and conventional docs didn't help me, I went to see an NMT therapist. I was thoroughly surprised at first how gentle he was with the stretching and trigger point stuff as I was expecting some painful massage and hard stretching (built up to harder trigger point methods after a week or so of therapy). He basically was of the mind that when the muscle is stressed to the point of extreme pain and especially (in my case) nerve involvement, stretching should only go to the point of just barely feeling a tiny bit of stretch and that you should not push your limits, as the muscle fights back (tries to contract to protect itself), which defeats the whole purpose and can actually worsen things. One must gently increase the stretch consistently over time (weeks, etc) and that is the best way to maintain flexibility and muscle health. Proper stretching method and positions were also emphasized for particular muscles, too.

    I am also of the mind that correct posture is also very important to prevent and help remedy muscular and joint problems, which is unfortunately something that a lot of people don't think about much. I have been constantly trying to improve my body position the past 3 years since my neck got messed up, it is something that I still have to consciously think of, especially while at the computer or driving. Posture seems to really affect all major points of the body over time, and my neck does not flare unless I have been lax in my posture or sleeping position.
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  19. #79
    Registered User Silera's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    ...

    Practice bodyweight squats every day. Make them wide stance (feet outside hip-width) and deep (crease of hip-thigh should drop below kneecap). Begin with a total of 20 - doesn't matter if it's 20 in one go, 10,10, or 5,5,5,5, or 4,3,2,1 x2, or 1,1,1... etc. Just get 20. Tomorrow, 21. Day after, 22. And so on. You can go up quicker if you like, but must always do more today than yesterday. So if you do 20 today, 30 tomorrow, well then you must do 31 the day after.

    Do them slowly and with good form. Keep a straight back. The cues are "weight through heels, knees out, hip drive, chest up." This last is the cue that straightens your spine, and brings the core strength in.

    When you can do 100 bodyweight squats in total, you will certainly be able to do 20+ in one go. And when you can do 20 wide and deep bodyweight squats, you will definitely be ready to have a 45lb bar on your back. And you will then find that you are no longer caving in.
    I am going to start this today. Embarrassed as all hell to say I am scared to squat, deadlift or benchpress.

    Everyone else in the gym looks like they know what they're doing so I just stick to the machines I've been able to figure out. On the leg press I'm up to 3 x 10 x 150lbs in the 3 months since I joined the gym.

    Thanks for the reasonable starting point!
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    I was so excited about squatting 120lb in the smith machine last week ... now I'm not so excited about possibly getting injured. Off to doing 100 bodyweight squats...
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    I squat 155lbs for 8-10 reps. I noticed the next day my lower back kills after though... been having terrible lower back pain from deadlifting wrong a couple of months ago. Thanks for the stretch exercise
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    Originally Posted by equestrian View Post
    Kim...thanks for posting this.

    And thanks to Emma-Leigh for helping me discover this.

    Y'all may think this is really funny or really stupid. But I had a situation in TKD last night. We sere supposed to do an escape technique. It's really hard to explain, but it didn't work and all of a sudden, I was going through back spasms.

    The first thing I did was a squat, with my hands and feet flat on the floor, with proper form. Now, three weeks ago, I couldn't do that...period. But this time, I was able to do it and it helped stop the spams. I stood up, back spasm again, went back down did the same thing. I took me three times to get the muscles to stop freaking out...but it worked.

    You may not get this huge victory...it WORKED! I didn't end up in bed for two weeks!

    I know it's no biggie...but for me this is HUGE!

    I don't care how much weight someone can squat...I was able to get through a spasm that would normally put me down. I've been there, done that, don't want to do it again. I know it's no big deal but this is wonderful for me. I'm so happy!
    That is huge! Thanks for this great tip.

    Thankfully, I haven't had a significant back spasm in many years, but I have had them and ... well, don't ever want to experience that again.

    I assume this was a lower back spasm? My worst spasms have been in my upper back (neck and just below, actually), though I've also had lower back spasms which haven't been quite as debilitating.

    Any thoughts on how to nip an upper back spasm in the bud?

    I'm definitely going to squat the next time I feel a twinge! Thanks again.
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    Originally Posted by Silera View Post
    I am going to start this today. Embarrassed as all hell to say I am scared to squat, deadlift or benchpress.

    Everyone else in the gym looks like they know what they're doing so I just stick to the machines I've been able to figure out. On the leg press I'm up to 3 x 10 x 150lbs in the 3 months since I joined the gym.

    Thanks for the reasonable starting point!
    Trust me, they don't necessarily know what they're doing!

    I felt exactly as you do and it took me a long time to finally get to the free weight section of the gym. I slowly worked my way in from the outer perimeter, in concentric rings; first ring was cardio equipment and yoga studios, the next the "womens' machines" (LOL), then the "big boy machines" and finally the free weights. I really wish I had just jumped right into the free weights and quit wasting time on the machines! Anyway, it was a journey I had to take, I guess ...

    Now I'm one of those in the free weight section that you might think knows what they're doing ... well, I know what I've learned here and what I've watched on YouTube videos. Believe me, most of the others there are the same. I comfort myself in knowing that a) most of them are too wound up with what they're doing to notice what you're doing and b) there are so many variations to most exercises that, if you're doing something slightly different from someone else, well, it might be because you're doing a different variation. So there.

    Anyway, once you take a deep breath and jump in, it'll be easy. Try it.
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  24. #84
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    Thumbs up

    Originally Posted by kimm4 View Post
    Agreed, the heavy compound lifts are crucial for building a strong core. I've had some major lower back issues in the past and had to drop out a few shows because of it. I had to pull squats/deads out of my program for 3 yrs. Here some great lower back/core exercises that I scatter throughout my programs. Since doing these, I haven't had any back issues since 05 and I squat and do deads heavier then I ever have pain free!

    Anti rotation barbell
    Cable woodchops
    Paloff presses
    Pirifomis stretching
    Kimm4 Thank you for posting this! Just in time too, as I had worked legs. I felt like so good after these stretches. Stretching & foam rolling made a huge difference in my legs & body.
    The DOMS that I usually experience was more mild and I didn't feel so so crippled. Your a goddess!
    Last edited by Tiny bit; 09-27-2010 at 10:49 AM.
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    Thanks Kim! You rock!
    ... in transition ...
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    170 for 5 reps
    Give 'er hell!
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