Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Deadlift to fix your back

photo credit:
I was talking to a member yesterday about her nagging back pain, and it reminded me of an interview I heard a while ago about a retired Navy SEAL who healed his back with lots and lots of deadlifts. I can't find a transcript of that interview, but here is an article he wrote about it. The article doesn't mention deadlifting as much as his interview did, but that's what his primary work for strengthening his back was - that and kettlebells.

Ron (pictured above doing the 1st pull on the clean, not a deadlift, but close enough) also had some back issues that took him out of lifting for a little bit. There were a few days where he'd come in, load up the bar for a (very) light squat, go half way down, rack the bar and hobble back out to the car to go home because his back went out again.

We talked about it I remembered the interview and I suggested that he only deadlift for a while. It sounds counter-intuitive because the deadlift is the scary exercise that everyone says will hurt your back, but he believed me and every time he came into the gym he worked up to a heavy deadlift and back down. I think he did 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, if I remember correctly (which is over 100 deadlifts each day). After a couple of weeks he was ready to go back to a regular program and he's had no issues since - plus he beats all of the young Marines during the PT test.


row 500 / run 400
crawling lunge
10 KB swings or snatches
double KB overhead lunge
10 TGUs or windmills
10 goblet squats
5 pull-ups or push-ups or dips


power clean 3-2-5x1


5 push-ups between strength sets

Group Workout

kettlebell clean from ground ladder, increase weight each round:
5L, 5R
4L, 4R
3L, 3R
2L, 2R
1L, 1R


6 rounds:
15 weighted lunges 
10 jump squats 


2 min double kettlebell rack hold


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