Friday, July 9, 2010

Weekly Q&A Thread

Something I am going to start doing is simply putting up a post like this for a weekly Q&A.  You can ask anything from why I am so ugly and stupid looking to diet, training, movies, music, football, MMA, anything.  

So fire away if you got anything.


  1. what can you can do in your rest day to keep your shoulders sme kind of prehab

  2. Band pull aparts, light cuff work, and the lying rotator cuff stretch.

  3. Paul,
    Great blog and fantastic articles. I was wondering what you do for a living?
    -- Dave

  4. Thanks Dave.

    By trade I am a computer engineer actually. Mostly designing virtualized enterprise unix environments. I'm not even kidding. LOL.

  5. Sore hips from semi-wide squatting and sumo DL'ing. What is the best way to fix this (other than taking up another sport)?

  6. Biglifter -

    If you're squatting and pulling on separate days put them together. Then squat @ 60% every other week. So one week is a heavy squat and pull, then the next week squat @ 60% of the previous week and pull heavy.

    Reduce your pulls down to singles as well -

    Foam roll -

    Do the hip flexor stretch I talked about in my raw squat article -

    If none of this works, take two weeks off from squatting and pulling. Sore hips could be a sign of localized overtraining. Taking two weeks off you would actually come back stronger. Let me know how it goes.

  7. Thanks Paul. Am I reading correctly you're saying it's ok to pull heavy each week?

  8. Paul,
    I have the same problem as biglifter, would groove briefs/power pants or something like that be helpful as well?

  9. Heavy being relative Biglifter. I would not pull for the next week or two, then pull something in the 85% range for a top single. If your hips are hurting/sore/achy at some point the cure is going to be allowing them to rest up a bit. Keep a fast, top single in there at around 80-85% and cut your pulling down to that.

    I don't think that briefs or pants would be helpful Matt, I think taking a layoff would be helpful more than likely. Deload for a week/couple of a weeks and do the same. Think long term guys, not right now. Two weeks to allow your hips to heal up is nothing.

  10. Paul,
    I guessed that you didn't work in the fitness/strength industry b/c you aren't pimping any products. I double my thanks to you for providing such great information just out of your own kindness.

  11. Thanks Dave. I have nothing to pimp but my own ridiculously striking good looks and silky locks of hair. Maybe I should develop a shampoo for lifters and athletes and then I could have something unique to pimp.....

  12. I'm a novice lifter training for a strongman contest in september. The event that has me worried the most is 170 pound log press for max reps in 1 min. Currently, that is well above my max(~135 strict), so I'm going to start really drilling the split jerk, twice a week, adding 5 pounds to my top set each week. Also hitting triceps hard. Does this sound like a good plan to you?

  13. If you need to get better at the 170 pound log press, I suggest you just practice the log press as much as possible. Obviously since you can't do 170 I would advise that you start pressing 3 times a week for singles around the 115 (if 135 is your max) mark. Add 5 pounds a week. If you want to do your split jerk do it after that. But emphasize the press first since that's what you're trying to do.

  14. nice blog bro. whats your prediction 4 brock vs cain?

  15. If Cain can handle Brock's shot he has a great chance. Any heavyweight that can keep it standing against Brock has a legit shot. But Brock is great at getting the take down and pretty masterful at maintaining control once in the mount.

  16. Actually, the split jerk is allowed for this particular log event, but I imagine your advice would still be the same. Thanks for the help.

  17. Yes it would, because you're way behind in the pressing department. being able to clean the log up to press it won't be as hard as the pressing itself. Good luck!

  18. Hey Paul,

    Not a question

    It's not fair that so much people who actually have nothing to offer, are making a lot of money in the fitness/strength industry.. While you give the best advice for free, much like the guys at Elitfts.

    I really like the whole: "keep it simple, oldskool, back to basics" mindset.

    I'm currently adjusting my diet into something like a Paleo of caveman diet.

    If it doesn't run, fly, swim or grow on a tree or in the ground, or has a barcode. I don't eat it.

    Minimum sugar/carbs, maximum protein, vegetables, and healthy fats. Lots of vegetables, red meat, fish, water, fruit, nuts, seeds.

    Training is focussed on squat, bench, deadlift, chins, MP, and healthy shouldercuffs.

    I really think it's great you have this blog, and share the things you learned over the years, and your thoughts with everyone, for free, without asking anything in return.

    Not to kiss-ass, but I think we would be much better off, if a lot more people would be as generous.

    Keep the articles, training updates, interviews and rants coming. It is much appreciated.

    Mark from Holland

  19. Thanks Mark. I appreciate your comments very much.

    The blog serves as a good outlet for me too, plus instead of answering a ton of questions through e-mail I can just do it here.

    Your diet and training look solid. I like to hold the caveman diet ideology myself but my sweet tooth takes over far too much and I find myself eating a Twix more often than I should.

  20. My trainer allows me to maintain a 90/10 balance. 90% of the time I eat the way I should, healthy, strict, no junk. 10% of the time I cheat. So once in a couple of weeks McDonalds or KFC, all-out berserker feeding fest.

    We're just humans, not boring 24/7 bodybuilders.

  21. I've actually switched back to a 3 meals per day diet (sometimes 4) and actually feel better than ever.

    I haven't had any protein powder in a couple of weeks and my digestion and gut feels better than ever. I find that because the meals are bigger that I am satiated longer as well.

    I think I could definitely settle on 4 meals per deal as a staple and will be writing about that soon.

  22. Paul, I have a poo stain on my underwear and it wont go away. I've screamed at it, stomped on it, ignored it, gave it a treat, dropped a 45lb plate on it but it just won't go away! What do I do?!

  23. Paul,

    Not to burn up all my questions in one week, but what are your thoughts on the use of accomodating resistance for a raw lifter trying to improve strength? Some raw guys swear by the bands/chains, but to me it seems ass backwards on the strength curve. Thanks again!

  24. Paul,
    I've noticed that over the years I can get in decent shape (i.e conditioning is good) or I can get strong (for me), but I've yet to be able to put these two things together. I've recently lost almost 30lbs. and improved my conditioning after neglecting it for several years. I'm sitting in the low to mid 260's right now. I'm much leaner than I was at the same weight when I was gaining and on the way up, but by strength doesn't show it. I'm certainly not any stronger than I was on the way up and may be slightly weaker. I'm satisfied with my conditioning right and just want to maintain my conditioning. Do you think a very, very minimalistic approach (ala Wendler) with my lifting would be worthwhile? I've looked back at his logs the last several months and overall it looks like he barely covers the bare minimum in the weight room, yet seems to be getting stronger. I thought this might be a good approach since I don't seem to adapt particularly well to simultaneous strength and conditioning work and I'm getting older (35 with no "assistance" or "replacement"). Just thought I would get someone else's opinion. Thanks.


  25. Poo-stain man - Try washing em. I know, alien concept but it should work.

    Biglifter - You got it right. Straight weight is best for raw.

    Sean - You're hitting on something I figured out a while back. It's not always the leverage associated with weighing more, it's the surplus of calories that drives the lifts up. This is a theory of mine. If you are 220 and eat up to 250 your lifts will skyrocket. However, if you diet down to 220 you will be weaker at 240 on the way down, than you were at 240 on the way up. If it were all about leverages, then your strength should/could/would essentially be the same.

    Anyway with that out, generally if you want to get stronger you can maintain a certain level of conditioning and do that. If you want to improve your conditioning strength gains will take a back seat. It's the ebb and flow of things.

    So if you are just looking to maintain conditioning and improve strength this is doable. Just figure out exactly what it is you want to get stronger at, and do those things. That's what Jim has done and why he has improved so much.

    Cut out the excess, concentrate on the meaningful.

  26. Joined a MMA gym. Going to go there 3x a week. Went today for the first time and
    got my shit wrecked - hardest workout in my life.

    How do I accomodate lifting into this. I've been lifting 4x per week with the