Thursday, February 17, 2011

Weekly Q & A.......

You guys know the drill.  Leave a NAME and question......



  1. Future scenario: squatting 3x a week, pressing 2x a week, and deadlifting once a week heavy, trying to add 5lbs a week to the dead. I'm wanting to pull more often using assistance work to help the dead along. Is it too much to do deficits one day, rows one day, and dead from the floor one day? What would you substitute for the deficits and rows if anything?

  2. in latest article by joe de fanco in the t nation , he recomended to stop doing overhead presses to prevent shoulder injuries.

    any comments

  3. Carlos - I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. If you really want the truth, you'd have to quit doing almost all pressing of any kind to completely save your shoulders. I couldn't bench properly for years because of my shoulder separation but I could still overhead press. I think pressing overhead is a pretty natural motion and overhead strength is pretty important in the realm of functional strength training.

    Chad - That sounds like death to me. Remember my article about how the deadlift will run up real fast, then if you continue to press it hard, it will backfire and fight against you, and you'll regress. This is commonly seen. Coax the dead slow and steady and reread my article on how I put 100 pounds on my deadlift over the past few years. If you want to still squat 3X a week and press 2X a week, I recommend switching out 1 of those squat days with with a front squat.

  4. Paul:
    Here is my 5/3/1 Template. Wanted to get your thoughts on it.
    Just finished a meet - 450/310/520 at 215 (no cut, but would like to compete in 198s next time, so getting down to 208 is the goal).
    What is your take on this set-up? The goal is to get stronger, but my bench seems to be lacking the most compared to the other lifts.

    5/3/1 Template

    T-Shirt or Paused Bench/Chins
    Close-Grip Incline/DB Rows

    Back Off Deads (couple sets of 5 with lighter weight)
    Block Deads
    Leg Press/Reverse Hyper
    Shrugs/Cond. (Done with Farmer's Handles - 12-15 reps and then down and back conditioning)

    Log Press/Chins
    Floor Press
    Shoulders Blast/Abs

    Paused Squat
    Good Mornings/Abs
    Adductor (Good Girl Machine)

  5. Well I can tell you if you lose weight your bench probably isn't going to get any better. Maybe going the other direction is a better option? If you're 215, gain 10, cut only 5 to make the 220's and you're bench will improve. I can promise you that.

    If you're actually deadlifting via the 5/3/1 template I wouldn't do both back off deadlifts AND block deads. If you go back down the 5/3/1 ladder for the backoffs, don't do the block deads. If you don't do the back offs, do the block deads.

    Drop the floor press on shoulder day. You're already doing a lot of flat work. Sub dips if you want to there.

    But yeah if your bench is lacking, gaining 10 extra will boost it and the squat. If you lose weight that bench is going to continue to lag.

  6. Hi Paul. Which would you say puts less stress on the shoulders, low bar or high bar squatting?

  7. Mr carter..since i cant squat right now or pull really heavy due to back problems, and i can only train 2...maeby 3 times per week

    wat do you think about this split to train the press while i get better and not lose much pulling strenght

    bench day

    bench/close grip bench press
    incline for high/moderate rep range
    high reps overhead press
    somethig for some extension or dips

    light/moderate weight deadlift
    row:some kind of rows with a bar or dumbell
    bar curls

    really apreciate your opinion
    my Body weight around 220 lbs

  8. Thanks a lot, Paul. Great info and tips.
    I don't know what it is about my bench. Might be mental more than anything.
    I do well with lighter weight and high reps. 310 was easy, but then I bombed on 320 and I should have gotten it.
    Anyway, I'll take out that floor press and put in dips.
    Do you think weighted or just bw for high reps would be best?
    Also, if it was your choice, would you pick the block deads or back off deads (just a couple more sets of 5 or so at lighter weight)?
    Thanks again for all your help/advice.
    It is all very helpful.

  9. Carlos - Sorry to hear about the back. Get some seated leg curls and leg extensions in there too.

    If your back is in bad shape, make sure to be careful with the rows as they too can place a great deal of strain on the low back. I wouldn't mess with shrugs either. Lots of chins and pulldowns.

    FA - high bar puts more strain on the traps, low back puts way more strain on the shoulders for sure.

  10. Funny Josh, I just wrote an article about the mental side of things.

    Bodyweight on the dips.

    As far as the deads go, it all depends on you. If the block deads below the knee are super hard, go with them. If you find that the back offs make your dead go up, go with them. One way to remedy this is to do both but not on the same workout. Do the block deads 1 week, then the back offs the next.

  11. Yeah, that article hit the spot. I really enjoy your writing style. Informative, motivating and to the point, all at the same time.

    Thanks for the help.
    Can't wait to start this on Monday.

  12. Paul: I've read the "don't do presses" thing for years too, from people I consider experts. But my shoulders felt like crap for years until I put the presses back in. I've worked in a warehouse for 26 years, lifting 25-75 lbs. overhead a few hundred times a day, and I feel at least as good in the shoulders now(since adding the OP back in) as I did in my 20's(when I stopped pressing to concentrate on my bench).

    So, am I supposed to believe I'm a ticking time bomb whose shoulders are going to blow up soon?
    I just don't get it.

  13. I read that I shouldn't do press behind the neck for years and that I was setting myself up for all kinds of bad shit. I found out later that the PBN actually helped me keep a lot of shoulder flexibility and my shoulders never bothered me. Yet all these benchers that don't overhead press have all sorts of shoulder issues.

    Overhead press till your heart is content dude.

  14. Mark Rippetoe has a new article over at tnation, basically restating that newish trainers(ie not far from average weight for their height) should forget about their abs chow down at least 5000 calories including a gallon of whole milk and can expect to gain 40 pounds in 4 months, around 65% of which will be muscle.
    do you think such rapid weight gain is a good idea/the best way to eventually build a strong, muscular, relatively lean body?

  15. I think for new guys who are skinny as shit this is great advice.

    Which is something I'll touch on as well, since I had a similar article at elitefts.

    These dumbasses who think you can take a super skinny guy, have him eat clean, and get in enough calories to get big have their heads buried firmly in their asses.

    My diet regarding the same thing in that article was centered around PBNJ sandwiches, whole milk, and even junk got me a lot of hate. One guy even called me "dickhead of the year". Said guy also said if I had advised his son of this, he'd take things a bit further. If said guy ever reads that I will freely give up my address so he can take it up with me.

    These people are clueless idiots who have never trained a super frail skinny guy in their life and if their training knowledge was gasoline they wouldn't have enough to drive an ants motorcycle around a b.b.

    When a young guy with a super fast metabolism needs to gain weight you load him down with calories any way you can. That includes whole milk, candy bars, cereals, breads, pastas, oils, nut butters and anything else you can find. Because their body will in fact use, and use it properly. I'll worry about getting that guy lean when he is big enough to worry about that shit. Until then, I'll force calorie defense foods down his throat as much as possible.

    Sorry about the minor rant.

    Rippetoe is hinting there on exactly what I did to get out of being a skinny teenager. And it wasn't until I did this (big eating) that it happened. So I'm with him on that.

  16. Hi Paul. What is your opinion of explosive reps for strength training? As opposed to only doing heavy grinding reps.

  17. I actually don't do a lot of grinding reps.

    Funny you mention this because we had this discussion on a board.

    All of yours should be done as explosively as possible on the eccentric portion.

  18. Thx. Now do you mean you would go a little lighter to be more explosive on the rep or just to be as explosive as possible regardless.

  19. Paul-

    Sick as hell right now with the flu...but I got this in my email and you have spoke of it before, so I thought I would pass it on:


  20. Finns - Do all of your reps as explosive as possible on the positive portion of the rep. Lower under control, and explode like a raging beast on the position portion.

    Rick - That's sad as hell. People have life going by right in front of them (or are losing their life) and are missing it because of cell phones.

  21. Sorry Rick, couldn't finish the video. Gets me too worked up. I live with my emotions on my sleeve so I have to keep myself in check as to what I will watch or read. But I put the link on my FaceBook as well so others could watch it. Thanks again man.

  22. Do you or did you ever do any direct neck training? And if not, Why?

  23. Paul - Oh yeah for a while I was pretty obsessed with it. My main exercise was plate neck raises where you lie down on a bench and put plates on your forehead and do like neck crunches. I got up to 3 plates for reps on those at one time.

    Neck work should always be done, but to be honest I mainly forget about it more than anything. Not an excuse, just the reason. And not a good one either.

  24. Have you ever seen the interviews with Donny Shankle? I dont really watching Olympic lifting too much but hes got a voice that can compete with Kratos from God of War and has good stuff to say regarding training and badass character.

    Heres the second interview. I think you might enjoy it.


  25. i havent been able to bench for years because of some kind of instability/separation issue in my acromial area but can military/shoulder press no problem. I did however drop the PBN due to all the bad press (excuse the pun!) it received, yet have seen vids of Mariuz Pud handling BIG weights PBN and hear of more shoulder problems due to flat bench perhaps more than any other movement Makes me wonder . .

  26. I was wondering if I could have your input on my 5/3/1 pushing program. I am trying to put size and strength on, just come off doing a lot of constant tension, high reps, slow eccentrics which did zero for my strength or even size.



    Close grip bench: ramp/work up to a max set about 20 lbs off my top bench set. + another bench set if I feel good.

    pushdowns: 4 x 12-15

    Seated OH press:


    incline DB - up to a max set of 5

    rolling decline ext's - 4 x 12-15.

    I'm having real issues with my pressing now, with neither having moved in a while. Bench is stuck at 120 kg x 3 and seated OH press at 60 kg x 6. Thanks.

  27. Jez- When is that last time you gained any weight?

  28. Probably 3-4 months ago. In fact I have recently shed about 2 kgs without meaning to although I'm fairly sure it was fat. My job is quite physical so I'm planning on spending this next cycle eating with pretty much no regards to body comp. Good plan?

    Probably sitting at about 15% bf at 89 kg (6 foot) at the moment.

  29. Not ideal to me. I think it's better to eat big like that when you are well under 10%. The body does a great job at first of using all those extra cals because it's been in fat burning mode so long. When you are already above 12% or so it doesn't do the same.

    You also gotta remember that you're gonna want that fat off at some point, and then the bench goes back down. Be smart and don't give in to the quick and easy road.

  30. Hey Paul. First I'd like to thank you for the awesome blog you have here :).
    My question is: how would you set up training for someone who can dedicate all their time in the week to just lifting, eating and sleeping? Would you still put them on a program like what you describe in "Ultimate Beastdom"?
    Thanks in advance.

  31. Oh man to have that kind of setup. Awesome.

    Yes. I still think that training 3x per week is ideal for strength and mass. Recovery is still a big factor and something people don't take into account.

    I would just condition more often. That would be the only difference.