Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekly Q&A........



  1. Is Westside's conjugate method an appropriate program for raw lifters? If so, what is the minimal level of strength you would recommend before implementation (e.g. class I, II, Master)?

  2. Weighted chinups progress has hit a wall. I'm stuck at 4-5 reps with a 60lb DB on a dip belt. Couldn't grind out a 6th rep with a gun to my head and fire under my ass. Any tips to keep progressing? Thx.

  3. I am not a WSB fan for raw lifting. I know a lot of guys swear by it but I personally don't care for it for raw powerlifting. I have always believed for most raw guys that you need to practice the lifts you are doing and limit the assistance work to things that matter. that's my own personal opinion, I do know some raw guys who have made the WSB template work for them. I don't think there is a minimal or maximal strength level per say, but you definitely need to be able to keep your technique in check when you do go back to the actual lifts. So really it's more about how much practice you've spent on the lifts, rather than strength levels. If that makes any sense.

  4. One great thing about lifting weights is that it is concrete and measurable, and it's possible to plan for concrete numbers.

    What are your thoughts on doing the same for conditioning? I use the C2 rower times as a way to make conditioning measurable. I guess it would be possible to time hill sprints as well.

    But I believe the conditioning yardsticks should be basic and measurable in the same way that the big 4 (deadlift, press, squat, bench) are.


  5. What do you think of Sheiko for raw powerlifting?

  6. Martin - Yeah you can definitely do this, however you have to remember to keep things in perspective. For example if you can consistently run 10 hills then what you would want to do is time how long it takes you to run all 10 hills. Then try to beat that time each week. I never suggest adding a huge amount of volume to conditioning work, but concentrate on beating times.

    Sheiko - Works for some guys, but a lot of the guys I have talked to that ran it for a long time said they ended up living in the gym those 3 days a week and after a while dread set in.

    Big -
    Go to ladders with the 60 pounder. 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3 one day a week then do 5-8 sets of 5 reps bodyweight only on another day of the week.

  7. I was wondering what you thought of specialization programs vs. trying to increase the main lifts all at once. Are there cases/populations you would or would not specifically recommend this to? Specifically, my bench is horrible, though it's currently (albeit slowly) progressing on 5/3/1. Smolov Jr. for bench is very tempting, as I'd love to be benching 225+ lbs, but I am reminded of the maxim "if it (5/3/1) ain't broke, don't fix it".

  8. Yup. I have written about this before. Sometimes when you're making progress you get greedy and want more. Then you change everything up and it goes to hell in a hand basket. And you ask yourself "why did I stop doing what was working?"

    Trust me I have had many of these moments. If your bench is moving, even if slowly, stick with it. Progress is progress is it not? Don't worry about rushing things. Training is a lifelong pursuit, not a sprint. Chip away here and there and the next thing you know you're a pretty good lifter. So be patient and stick with what's working.

  9. Important question: Are you ever going to post a picture of the gym chick with dark hair and big cans?

    Also, do you offer any sort of online coaching where you set up a training and diet program (for a fee)

  10. I did post a pic of the hot chic with big cans! :)


    Yes I do online coaching. I am training a powerlifter for a meet in October right now. I am cheap too (as you notice I don't sell shit here). So if you are genuinely interested just shoot me an e-mail plcj58@gmail.com

  11. I just wanted some input about squat stance width. I'm relatively tall (6'1") for a lifter and even for my height I have relatively long legs and a short torso. Thus if I sit back in a SQ with a narrow stance I end up with my torso in an almost horizontal position to keep the weight centered over my feet. I know from a purely biomechanical leverage standpoint a wider (wide being relative) stance is more favorable as it keeps my hips closer to the bar. The problem is right now I feel slightly stronger with a stance that isn't as biomechanically "favorable". Am I better off working with the slightly wider stance and building strength in that stance and hoping in the long-term this will give me better poundages due to the leverages? (Of course it's not so wide I can't get depth or hurt my hips.)


  12. ps3 or xbox 360 ??? just kidding

    wat about pulling sumo for a while to increase your conventional deadlift. good or bad idea ??

  13. Carlos - 360 all the way dude.

    Lots of guys have done the sumo for a while then gone back to regular deads and pulled PR's. Hell Chuck Miller pulled conventional for months and then hit a HUGE PR in a meet switching back over to sumo (right in the meet!). So give it a whirl. I plan on it.

    Sean -

    Squatting too wide raw over a period of time is going to reek havoc on your hips. I can't say because you don't have a video but forward lean in a squat isn't a bad thing for everyone. I have a lot of forward lean in my squat and I'm kind of built to squat. So I don't fight it. What you could play with, is bar placement. Try high bar, and try keeping your chest HIGH and forward with a really tight arch. Or try low bar, and try to maintain the same angle of your torso throughout the lift, from start to finish. This way your lean doesn't turn you into a good morning.

    Hope this helps.

  14. Paul,

    Any suggestions on assistance exercises for the Sumo Pull? I tend not stand too wide, more like a Coan type of stance. Sticking point is from the floor, whatever I can break off the floor I can lockout. Also I train unequipped.

    Cheers,. Fazc

  15. Fazc,
    With sumo that is generally the case. Whatever you can break off the floor you will get. With conventional the sticking point is usually around mid shin.

    The best supplemental exercise I constantly hear from sumo guys is the front squat. Try pushing your front squat up in sets of 3 and 5 for a while and see if your sumo responds with it.

  16. Paul,

    What do you use for monitoring bodyfat? Calipers?

  17. Yup. Just make sure to do each site 3 times and take an average of the 3. It's not an exact science but it'll get you in the ball park.