Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Weekly Q & A.......

Leave a name with your question please........



  1. Hijacking your Q&A for a sec to wish a happy veterans day to any fellow vets who follow the blog. And a happy Marine Corps birthday shout to all the devildogs.

  2. That's a great hijack bigs. Thanks man.

  3. I just went from working 80-90 hours a week for several months, during which I lost strength and weight (squat 405#x5 to 335#x5, bodyweight 245# to 225#), to working 15-20 hours with plenty of free time to lift and eat. There's a meet, December 4, in three and a half weeks. What do I do between now and then? I am thinking Starting Strength style, squat 3 sets of 5, three times a week, increasing the weight each time 5# or 10#, then doing some heavy singles the weekend before the meet to see how things are looking. 1 to 5 sets of 3 to 5 reps is what has worked for me, and sticking with 3x5 makes progress more simple and consistent. Plan for bench is to do 3x5 twice a week, press 3x5 once. Start pausing the last week and switch to triples or something. Deadlifts, work up to a heavy triple this week, 5 singles across week after, then whatever I feel like in the last week. Rows and other accessory bullshit as I feel like. Anyways, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on a 3 week meet prep plan.

  4. Paul: In regards the below knee block deads, would you run them like you do regular deads, ramp up to a single for the day, then back off for reps, or would you continue to do them like you have in the past, as a 2nd exercise for reps? I did some today and liked 'em. I was going to alternate them weekly with regular deads or lighter speed deads(per your reference to Andy Bolton).I'm 50 and have to watch my volume and heavy work to avoid hip pain. I made a 600 at 43 and want to get back up there if I can.

    Thanks again for the great blog.
    May God bless all our veterans. We all owe you more than we can repay.

  5. Frank -

    You are on the right track Frank! The two ways I would do them would either be to do them after deadlifting light, then go heavy on the below the knee pulls (or vice versa), or do them every other week, alternating with deadlifts.

    So a few different cycles could be like so.

    heavy light alternate weeks -
    week 1 - light deads 5 sets of 3
    week 2 - heavy block deads - to a top single for 3 singles

    heavy light on same day
    light deadlifts - 5 sets of 3
    heavy block deads - 3 singles at top weight

    alternate heavy/light in same day
    heavy deadlifts - up to top single then back off set of 3-5
    light block deads - 1-2 sets of 10-12

    All of these will work well.

    Alex -

    Pick another meet. Seriously, 3 weeks isn't enough time to really prepare yourself. You're not going to be a lot stronger in 3 weeks than you are now more than likely. There are meets everywhere year round. Look around and plot for one about 10 weeks out. If you'd like my help send me an e-mail and we can talk about things.

  6. der mr.carter,

    i am a 24 year old student with BW 190@1,8m and Squat 350(lbs), clean&press 150 and deadlift 410. I can`t do bench press because of gym and from now on I am only able to hit gym twice a week because of gym times(can`t change, because this gym is free for students and I have no money ^^)

    I work with old Soviet kettlebells at home. What kind of (barbell) routine would you suggest to 1)improve my personal "big three" and 2)gain serious muscle mass.

    Thank you in advance,


  7. Karel -

    You can still gain mass on twice a week. Really it's all about eating. Since you have no money I suggest investing in peanut butter as the main supplement to your diet.

    For lifting I suggest using my Skinny Guy with Training ADD split. Substitute feet elevated push ups for the bench press and do it at the end of the workout.

    Workout A (warm ups are included)

    Squats, 5 sets of 10 to a top set of 10

    Deadlifts, 5 sets of 3 to a top set of 3

    Dips, 4 sets of as many reps as possible for each set. If you can’t do 8 reps per set, have someone hold your legs. If no one is there to hold your legs, set your feet up on a bench behind you. This works for both dips and chin-ups.

    Chin-ups, I don’t care how many sets it is, but equal the number you did for dips. Yea, I know dips are easier than chin-ups, but almost everyone has shitty chin-up strength so remedy that early on. An easy way to do this is to do a set of dips followed by a set of chin-ups. Don’t go back to dips until you hit the number you did for that set of dips.
    Rest 1–2 days between workouts.

    Workout B (warm ups are included)

    Clean and press, clean every rep (so clean, press, lower, clean press, lower), 5 sets to a top set of 6

    T-bar rows, 6 sets to a top set of 10

    Curls, 3 sets of 8

    Push Ups - 5 sets of as many as possible.

  8. Paul,

    Sunday I am going to start the Madcow 5x5 intermediate for 9 weeks, then take a week off and run the Madcow 5x5 Advanced for 9 weeks, take a week off and repeat. I am really interested in strength and size. However, I know that I need to condition, so if I work out Sunday and then two other days during the week plus one day conditioning, would that be a solid idea?

    Sunday: Weights

    Wednesday: Weights

    Friday: Weights

    Saturday: 10 minutes hard conditioning

  9. Just do the 10 minutes after either Sunday or Friday (assuming those are the days you squat).

    It will make for a long workout but it's better than adding an extra day. Use that for sleeping and eating.

  10. My foot always hurts the day afer bench press day, wat could it be ??

  11. DO you arch your feet or are they flat on the floor?

  12. Paul-

    Why is it so god damn hard to hang a chandelier? I am on my 5th rewire and about to throw the thing out the window.

    Better question yet...why are women so persistent when it comes to having a certain chandelier??? Won't a hanging work light work just as well??

    Just venting...


  13. Dude I hired someone to do that. It was well worth the money I spent not to have to deal with that!

  14. Paul,

    Your thoughts on using the following for assistance for 5/3/1:

    Your own 50% sets?
    5x10,12,15, etc?
    Two working sets at around 12-15 reps?


  15. It's just assistance. Just whatever feels best. The main lifts are what matter.

  16. Do you have any recommendations for a beginner who is chasing a 300/400/500 bench, squat, deadlift total? Possibly a progression scheme>

  17. Paul,

    Any good music you've come across lately (old school or new)? Need to update the mix. Thx!

  18. Bigs - I added the cover version of Beat It by Jameson to my mp3 player. Look it up on youtube.

    Stronglifter -

    Be consistent.

    Focus on the big 3 all the time.

    Use 5/3/1 if you can't decide what to do.

  19. You made comment a while back about hip muscle group/tendon in particular that I can't remember the name of (flexes your thigh out I believe). Looking for recommendations on general hip flexibility work, as my lack of it has been causing some serious lower-back issues. Thanks!

  20. Check my raw squat series about that.

    You may be thinking of the piriformis. That is an issue with almost everyone.

  21. Paul,

    Damn this cold! I live in Illinois and it is starting to get freezing outside. I hate doing sprints in the cold. What do you think about ending my training sessions with barbell complexes until it gets warmer? Or I suppose I could just man up and do them! Let me know what you think.

  22. It does suck man but I've done plenty of sprinting in the snow.

    Since a lot of guys are having this problem I am going to write an article about some bodyweight circuit stuff I have done in the past that is awesome for this. I will probably incorporate it into my own training this winter after this meet.

  23. Paul,

    Love the idea of a 2/5/10 method. I intend on using for all my lifts with an A/B schedule of lifting as follows:

    Squat-5x5, reach 7 reps up it by 5%
    Deadlift 5x5-reach 7 reps up it by 5%
    Dips 4 sets
    10 minutes of Hard conditioning

    Bench-5x5, reach 7 reps up it by 5%
    Row-5x5, reach 7 reps up it by 5%
    Military 5x5, reach 7 reps up it by 5%
    Chins 4 sets

  24. Paul,

    What is your recomended order for your programs on this site?

    Your Elitefts ADD Guy Program, then Ultimate Beastdom?

  25. That would be a good order, yes. The ultimate Beastdom one is multi tiered for guys with a good foundation under their belt.

  26. Paul,

    Thoughts of the Madcow 5x5 intermediate and advanced programs?

  27. I like em both a lot. Just plug in really conservative maxes. Otherwise you will get beat down early in the program.

  28. Paul,

    You have often written about squatting and deadlifting in the same workout. You have also talked about squatting heavy one workout and deadlifting light then reversing that for the next workout. How do you decide what is "light" and what is "heavy"? Based on feel? Percentage?

  29. If I had to throw out a percentage I'd say a set of 3-5 with 50-60% of what you did the previous week.

    So if you squatted heavy week 1 and did 400 for 5 then the next week, 205-225 for 3-5 would be fine. Remember, it's just to keep the motor pathways in tune so as not to lose muscle memory in regards to that movement. It should not be taxing.

  30. Paul,

    Do you have any specific thoughts on using 5x5 with the same weight implemented in an Upper/Lower style ala:


  31. That'd be fine if you kept it to 1 heavy squat day with a light dead, then reversed it the next week.

  32. Hey Paul,

    Your blog rocks dude. Enjoy it very much! Keep up the good work! Quick question: I was wondering what your thoughts on speed work are, particularly for bench pressing?? Does it have a place for a RAW lifter or is it all hype? I've used it in the past and was rewarded with sore shoulders and elbows. Is it worthless?

  33. Thanks for the props JP.

    Lots of guys like speed work for the squat and dead, and I can see how it would benefit some guys in that regard (I even do some now and then but not for the same reason most guys do it). However for the bench the great majority of guys just ended up with the same thing you experienced. Sore elbows and shoulders and nothing to show for it. I think speed bench is about as worthless as anything in lifting is personally. If you're pressing heavy WTF do you need speed benching for? Do your "speed work" on warm ups all the way up to the heavy set. That is the best way to teach yourself how to press explosively. Not have a separate day with 50% of nothing on the bar, and pressing it fast.

    I think it's funny that people talk about the CNS by training maximally then have speed days to say they are training it to fire explosively. It's like they don't even think about this shit.

    Anyway, don't do it.