MuscleComeBack saidThe longer we lift, the more stress we put on our joints. The stronger we grow the more pressure an Olympic bar puts on your spine, with particular concern for the C5 disc in men over 40. The statistics of protruding, bulging or ruptured C5 in lifters over 50 is substantial, and thinking forward is not something serious lifters can ever start too soon, in my opinion. Strong thick traps don't offset this pressure, and so preventative measures are perfectly acceptable if the form and function of the movement isn't compromised.
Not acceptable in competition power lifting. Perfectly acceptable in bodybuilding training. Anyone who says otherwise is a douche.
If somebody squawks shit about how real lifters don't do it, point them to this unit invented by former Mr. Olympia Frank Zane, who created it for the very reasons stated above.
I'm very impressed with the authoritative tone of this post. (I especially like the finesse of "anyone who disagrees with me is a douche.") So can you enlighten me? I googled "squat vertebrae c5" and found almost nothing. Where do you come up with "substantial statistics" on this alleged problem? C5 is the fifth cervical vertebrae, i.e. the lower part of the neck. I was taught by an excellent weightlifting coach -- and every strength coach I am aware of teaches the same thing -- that the bar should NEVER rest on the neck, for obvious reasons. It must be below the "lump" where C7 fuses with the first thoracic vertebrae.
I'm over forty, and while my traps are not enormously strong or thick, that is where I rest the bar. I squat three plates and have never noticed any particular stress on C5 or any other part of my neck, which is well away from the bar.
Perhaps you could clarify?
Btw, Musclecomeback, I saw Frank Zane at the Arnold Expo two years ago and he looked like shit. You could not tell at all that he had once been a world-class bodybuilder. It was impossible to avoid concluding that drugs were a major part of his success. So I don't really consider him an authority based on his past Olympia status (he could be very knowledgeable for other reasons, of which I am not aware.)