Friday, June 4, 2010

Lower Back Training

One question that comes up from time to time is about lower back training in relation to the Max-OT workouts. I receive this question because most Max-OT routines don't have any specific lower back exercises. Here's my answer:

I don’t do any direct exercises to target my lower back. This is due to the degree the lower back is recruited during many compound exercises to stabilize the upper body. I feel that any additional work is not necessary and could possibly lead to over training the area.

One of the things that makes Max-OT the most effective way to train is because it is centered on basic compound exercises which are the best for maximum muscle recruitment and stimulation.

Movements like squats, deadlifts, stiff leg deadlifts, and bent over barbell rows all involve the lower back quite a bit. I feel that a Max-OT routine that includes many of these exercises gives the lower back plenty of work already.

If you feel your lower back is a weak point, you may want to include a couple sets of direct work to target the area. But remember, the lower back has already received a good deal of stimulation throughout the entire training week and doesn’t require a lot extra. I would say 2 to 3 sets of good mornings or weighted hyper extensions would be plenty.

Believe. Achieve.


  1. Hi Jeff, thanks for the great advice. I have a question about the lat pull downs. Where would you say is the best position for holding the bar? Should it be at the very ends of the bar or just where the ends start to angle (which is shoulder width)? In the picture of the bar below, I grip the bar in the areas marked by a '+':


    My shoulders impinge if I hold it any further than the '+' es. Is this correct Jeff?

    Kind Regards, Shanx.

  2. Hey Jeff, thanks for posting all this valuable information on your blog, and answering all our questions.

    I was wondering if you have ever tried the creatine cycling that Paul Cribb advocates? (3days with 20-25g of creatine following 3 days without and repeat)
    Is it worth switching to? i take 10g every day right now (5g before/after workout and 5gmorning/night on rest days)

    Also im taking Muscle XGF 2 times a day which has creatine in it allready (3g/ serving), would that mess up the cycling?

    You think its worth switching to or would it just be a unnecessary hassle?

    Also, you mentioned in your newsletter that you would have some new products coming up in the near future, any updates on those? (or was your new cool t-shirt one of those new items?)

    Thanks in advance and keep up the good work Jeff!

    //Richard from Sweden

  3. Yes, I would say that is a good position to grip the bar.

  4. I have not tried Paul C's creatine cycling method so I really can't offer any specific advise.

    I have 2 books coming out and the first one may be available as early as the end of this week.

  5. Speaking of lower back.... I love doing my deads, but I always feel like I have "one in the bank." This is the one that usually looks like crap. You can tell my body is tired and I'm compromising my form. The more obvious answer is don't compromise form for the 'one more.' Do you have any thoughts? I don't want to cheat myself at the gym by not doing as many reps as I can. If its between doing 5 or 6 i'm going to shoot for 6.

  6. Leave "one in the bank" on a movement like deadlifts. You never want to compromise form because you put too much at risk.