So this guy tells me a story. He used to be a marathon runner before becoming a powerlifter, and was running with his friend. They did a 20 mile circuit that ended at a public park with a long flight of stairs. His friend decided to sprint the stairs at the end of the 20 mile run, and came back down the stairs limping and in pain saying, "Shouldn't have run those stairs." His reply, "gosh, do you think it was the stairs, the 20 mile run, or maybe both?" Moral: don't be so quick to blame the last thing you did for a problem.
Some weeks ago I went heavy on leg press while also doing something I have not tried in months and months, a very heavy set of 4 deadlifts. Then my lower back hurt. So I blamed the leg press tentatively.
Well I dropped deadlift to every 2 weeks, returning to lots of singles and double, and hit the leg press again and no back pain at all.
So I'm thinking maybe the leg press wasn't the problem.
I think the issue is, it's pretty stressful on the lower back. And so are heavy deadlifts. Maybe that day it hurt you, if all you did was leg press then you would of been fine.
I think of it like a credit card. Leg press probably just put your over your limit. If you spend less on deadlifts you have more to spend on other things.
I was training leg press at the end of each leg day for a while. The first time doing them, I had lower back pain that night, which I very rarely if ever get. However the weeks going forward I didn't have that, although it definitely feels uncomfortable. Limiting ROM helps, the closer the knees go to the chest the more horrible it is on the back.
I think the leg press puts a hell of a lot of stress on it though, in comparison to other movements.
I think you can adapt to the stress as well (so you increase your credit card limit). Generally if you suddenly add a whole bunch of anything, it can cause problems. If you think of the weight you can use on a leg press, this makes sense.
A typical deadlift day for me was - speed DL's, deficit DL's, Pendlay rows, BB shrugs, natural GHR's (sometimes finished with 50KG Swings). No pain or discomfort whatsoever.
Now I do deadlift, block deadlifts, Pendlay rows, still nothing.
A squat day just now is - Back squat, front squat, good mornings, BB reverse lunges. Nothing. Even doing this squat and DL day in the same week.
Random leg press session and I'm weary, if not in pain.
I've dropped them. My plan was to get significantly stronger on them and see what happens. I'll still do this but I want this Meet out of the way before I re visit them again.