THE OFFICIAL BLOG OF RAHUL HARSH RAJE

Sharing nuggets of knowledge and ideas accumulated on health, strength and fitness based experiences. While here, feel free to hit the comments section and share your invaluable feedback about the blog's betterment. Have fun.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Deadlift behind the back and artificial testosterone

Question: I love deadlifts. But more than once have I experienced excruciating low back pain while executing the lift. At one point, I felt this slight spark in the low back/tail bone-ish region while putting the weight back down and then suddenly, OUCH.. I realized it's all over now. The weights I used were indeed heavy and I might have gone a few extra reps on that set. I am a long limbed guy with a sedentary desk jock lifestyle. What could possibly be going wrong here? Am I doomed to never be able to deadlift again?

The Solution: Although long limbed individuals have an unfair advantage with deadlifting, compared to their T-Rex like shorter limbed, longer torso's friends, a continuously seated lifestyle presents an entirely different picture altogether.

So, while a nearly neutral/naturally curved spine looks like the one on the left, the spine of a taller guy with a lot of sitting in his or her life displays an anterior pelvic tilt like the one on the right



That's how you would look if you were sitting with an anteriorly tilted pelvis.



This is most seen with office goers who are unfortunate enough to have a chair that sways back way too far and has a lot of play in the backrest. Chairs that are not upright enough. Something like this:
Anyway, what this does to a super heavy deadlift, especially when done for reps is that, while your glutes get exhausted and fail to trigger fully, the compromised spinal erectors fail to do their job fully as well.

The result is an ouchie.

But I'm sure you are not going to let go of the heavy deadlifts and the gains that come along that easily.

Let's revisit why it happens especially during a deadlift. The devastating demands placed by a deadlift on your entire body aside, the deadlift especially requires a trainee to have forward bending capabilities.

Of course the trap bar deadlift would have been my first suggestion here, but, really, how many gyms around the world that you would travel to would have the hex bar or the trap bar?

The solution to his problem is a deadlift done behind the back.

Yes, something like that does exist, in case you were wondering.

Here's a great deadlift behind the back in action. And by the way, it is not to be confused with a barbell hack squat, which deserves an altogether different blog post on its own.


To state the technique simply, try to execute it as you would a standard deadlift. Just have the bar behind you.

Behind the back deadlifts force your torso to be more upright and eliminates all the low back pain triggers associated with anterior pelvic tilt.

Trainees having had episodes of back pain in regular deadlifts have reported to be able to lift greater poundages in this deadlift variation compared to the standard pull. Which makes it a really great overall hypertrophy drill in case conventional deadlifts are getting contra-indicated for trainees with low back pain.

It's also a fantastic quad-builder. Like really fantastic. Give it a try for some time to witness your quads acquiring that tear drop shape, often even better than regular squats.

Your hamstrings might come in the way of the bar moving up, requiring you to push your hips forward a bit during the mid-lift, which is totally fine. Keeping the chest high and shoulders back throughout helps through this.

So, to put back pain behind you, put the bar behind you.

Question: That friend of mine told me that I may need to inject some artificial testosterone inside me. That's really going to help me with so many things that are going wrong with my health, physique and life in general. But I am kind of worried. Is it really worth all that hype? Am I going to get hurt? Will it benefit me? Should I take it?

The Solution: Well, in my experience so far, to answer you in one sentence: The cons of artificially injecting testosterone far outweigh the pros.

Unless you are someone medically advised for a hormonal replacement, you're better off not taking artificial T.

Which does not mean that you do not need to have your testosterone boosted naturally. The immense benefits of higher testosterone such as increased muscle mass, improved confidence, strength, vigor and vitality and a higher libido cannot be undermined at all.

My take would be to employ the naturally proven ways to enhance testosterone release inside your body such as :

1. Do a lot a back squats
2. Pull a lot of Deadlifts
3. Do all those other big movements such as rows, pull ups and presses.
4. Consume adequate healthy fats. Few people look at it this way. A testosterone molecule is produced by the aid of Omega 3 fatty acids. Walnuts, Salmon, Canola, Flaxseeds are all great sources. If nothing works, supplementation is really fine too.
5. Eliminate undue stressors. Never ever miss sleep.
6. Even herbs such as Shilajit have a proven capability since ages to act as a natural testosterone balancer.
Back Squatting with huge weights for reps beats any testosterone injectible in boosting your T levels in the optimum manner
There's so much more than can delver high testosterone secretion if done correctly and consistently for months and years.

And if you are still not convinced to not go the syringe route, here's what can happen when you quit consuming artificial testosterone. While the normal levels of serum testosterone in healthy males can range circa 1000 ng/dL, super-ambitious juice junkies are known to boost that up to 2000 or even 5000 ng/dL and I have read about some top end bodybuilders to have even boosted it up all the way to 10000.

This chronically suppresses the testes' natural secretion capability. And once we quit, we may need to live all our life with an under or no production of T. Leading us to gynaecomastia and related low-T conditions. And we end up losing way more than what we could have ever gained from the needle. Including our manhood.

The choice, as always, is yours.