Thursday, May 19, 2011

Weekly Q&A

Haven't had one in a while (why do I call it weekly then?).

Leave a name and question.

Also, I'd like to open these things up to any questions at all.  Movies, music, life, women, dogs, cats, bananas, and turtles......whatever.  Have a good time with it.  Just LEAVE A NAME please.

Hope everyone is having a good week.


  1. My dead flies off the floor but stalls around the knees. Any ideas how to fix this? Also, what is the deal with wimmin and hair products? My daughters must have 3 or 4 different shampoos in the shower at any one time. I often will just use hand soap.

  2. 1. Means you need more upperback work. Lots of t-bar rows and shrugs. Really focus on getting strong on those.

    2. If you have more than 1 daughter, like I do, they are going to like different shampoos and conditioners. I am with you on the soap. Works just fine.

  3. Dear Paul,

    I had to move recently and here is no rack and no bench, only a barbell set and two very old things looking like kettlebells. So basically what I can do are deadlifts, (clean&)presses, rows, bodyweight and perhaps kettlebell stuff - no bench, no squats.
    1)Do you think a meaningful training is possible in this situation?
    2)How would you organize a training like that?

    Thank you very much in advance,


  4. Hey Paul,

    Forgive me if I am wrong but you do lat pull downs? And if so, do you agree/disagree that they have any carry over to chin/pull ups? Would you include them along with chin ups? I subscribed to the theory a couple of years ago that they were a superficial exercise compared to chins, but am starting to change my view.

    Your PoPT was a good read btw.

    Thanks in advance.

  5. Paul

    Love the blog.

    Just returning to training after a 10 year lay off. What routine would you reccomend?

    (I have purchased your trainig programmes)

  6. What are your thoughts on foot stance for squats, wide, narrow, moderate? Personal preference or only one right way? And the last question about going into the hole, slow and controlled versus quick for a bounce at the bottom? Thanks for your time. Love the blog. I've learned and incorporated a lot into my training.

  7. Tom - Hell yes you can train in a meaningful way.

    First off, the deadlift is still the single best measure of pure static strength. so base your training around a lot of deadlifts.

    Second, you can still squat, however you are just limited by what you can clean and get over your head. However don't view this as a limitation, view this as a way to build overall body power and strength. And do high rep squats. Once you get the bar up there, just know you aren't taking it off until you're wiped out.

    You can do a lot of shit and get freaky strong with just a barbell and some kettlebells/dbs.

    deads and dead variations
    clean and press
    elevated push ups
    clean and push press to squat (then squat high reps)

    Buy a chin bar and do dips between chairs.

    Also for the squatting, here is an idea that is not perfect but I believe has some merit.

    Look at the total tonnage of your squatting when you had a rack.

    If you squatted 315 for 5 sets of 5 that's a total tonnage of 7875.

    If the maximum amount you can clean and push press to get the bar onto your back to squat with is say 185, then 7875/185 = 42

    So you need to do 42 reps to have an equal total tonnage. Is this the same as squatting 315 for 5 sets of 5? No, I'm not saying it is. However since the workload is equal I think strength gains can at least be kept fairly static when you return to the point where you do have a rack.

    Good luck and kick ass.

  8. Zac - All of that is def personal preference. Refer back to my article about raw squatting. I think part I goes into more detail.

    Steven - Yeah I do lay pulldowns. I usually do them about every 3rd workout or so just to get a break from chinning. So I basically chin for 2-3 weeks, then I'll do some lat pulldowns. I don't know if there is carryover, i.e. if you got stronger at lat pulldowns your chins would go up. I personally don't think so. Chinning is so different in that regard even if the musculature being used is the same. In chins your body revolves around the bar. In pulldowns the bar revolves around your body. Totally different. But I do think they have a place.

    TonyB - A particular routine isn't as important as just getting back in and being consistent. If I had to choose one I'd say the split of back/biceps on one day, chest/shoulders/triceps on another and then squat and pull on the third is a good place to start.

  9. Hey Paul, got a question for you about training.

    Right now I am following the Defranco badass program. I like it quite a bit and the conditioning in it helps with my BJJ training. It is basically 5/3/1 with a couple changes to percentages and only one lower body day.

    Here is my question, I like the program except for in it you only squat or deadlift for 12 weeks. One of the two is left out. Every 12 weeks you can switch it up and focus on the other lift. I am not too fond of totally not squatting or deadlifting for 12 weeks. If I take that much time off it takes me awhile to get back what I had. My idea is to squat and dead on lower day but go heavy on one and light on the other for 12 weeks. I was thinking keeping around 70% and around 12 reps over 2-4 sets for the light lift. Once the 12 weeks is up swap the two around and keep one at maintanence while pushing the other.

    What are your thoughts and do you think around 70% would be too light or too heavy for the light lift?


  10. I think that's fine. Even 60% will work. I don't like the idea of not squatting or pulling for 12 weeks either.

    You're on the right track.

  11. Hi Paul,

    Are you going to get the t-shirts set up soon? I'm very interested in purchasing one.

  12. Paul,

    Since the world is ending in 2 more days, any big plans?

  13. Bigs - Staying the course man. I wouldn't change a thing. If the world ended I'd wanna be right there with my three babies and the best wife in the world.

    Will - Yes! I am doing designs because I want them to be truly bad ass and I have settled on a material. I think that straight up cotton t-shirts suck balls. These will be triblend because well, they feel awesome and make you look muscular if you aren't. Seems like a good combination.

  14. My uper arm/triceps hurt when doing strict over head presses...why coudl that be ?

  15. Hi Paul, i'm predicting a huge zombie outbreak soon. Any tips (weapons, strategies, etc...) to share? Thanks.

  16. George - Hmmmm, sounds like pain. I wouldn't do those.

    Seriously, I can't say. I would see a therapist about it and see if you have something physiologically wrong. In the meantime I just wouldn't overhead press until you find out.

    Victor - Gosh lots! That's a great idea. I may do a zombie article soon and what you should really do to survive.

  17. If I wanted to do a 5/3/1-type program, without being able to deadlift (gym rules), what would you recommend? I'd like to lift 2 upper and 2 lower/week. Maybe a second day of squats with a different protocol? Front Squats? I'd like to hear your thoughts. Thank you.

  18. Paul Carter wrote..."These will be triblend because well, they feel awesome and make you look muscular if you aren't..."



  19. Hey Paul,

    I got your ebook, but you don't have any 2 day per week splits. I was wondering what set up you would use for someone trying to maximize recovery while still doing the squat and deadlift. I practice martial arts and I don't have the energy to hit more than 1-2 days per week. I thought about the following split.
    Day 1 Upper body
    1. Bench press
    2. chins
    3. Conditioning: sprints

    Day 2
    1. Squat-heavy/light
    2. Deadlift-light/heavy
    3. Conditioning: prowler push

  20. You're on the right track with that split. The only thing I would do is sub out the bench every other week with an overhead or incline press. Otherwise, looks good.

    Cash - Do stiff legs standing on a block. Problem solved.

  21. Paul: Can you think of ANY useful exercises that can be done in a Smith machine?

  22. I do fronts in there because of my perm separated shoulder. Otherwise the bar sits crooked and one leg takes too much of the load.

    Shrugs in a smith are fine. You're just working traps.

    Rows. Same thing. You're just working rhomboids.

    I like incline and seated overhead in there too because well, who cares?

    Upright rows? Sure. Why not.

    I guess you'd just have to ask yourself this. If you just had a smith machine and a bench, could you get bigger and more muscular in a year just doing movements in the smith? That's a pretty easy yes.

  23. Oh but BTW, I don't incline in the smith I'm just saying I would be ok with doing inclines in there. I just don't ever do that.

    That makes no fucking sense but I wrote it anyway.

  24. I'm assuming your Big 15 program would not be recommended for someone if their primary goal is fat loss.

    But would you recommend Strong 15 for someone currently try to shed some lard -- or something else entirely?


  25. Correct, I wouldn't approach those if your primary goal is fat loss. Train twice a week and do conditioning 3-5 days a week when max fat loss with strength retention is your goal.

  26. Seen any new movies lately?

  27. 127 hours - Great flick. Really liked it a lot.

  28. Any thing to do/not do as far as lifts/reps/etc. when trying to lose some BF? Currently wanting to drop from 15% to 10ish so I can do your Mass15.

  29. You can always keep em high just in an effort to burn more calories. This is never a bad thing anyway IMO. Just keep the diet tight and worry the most about conditioning.

  30. Hey Paul! You know of any badass viking movies like the 13th warrior?

    - Patrick

  31. Hmmmm not really. I haven't seen The Eagle yet but its more Roman based.

    There is a movie called Pathfinder made a while back but I never heard anything good about it. If you watch it let me know what you think.

  32. Look up 'Valhalla Rising'. About vikings that get lost on their christian crusade. It gets a little artsy fartsy in some spots but when the action comes it's brutal. Especially in the beginning.

  33. @ Patrick

    Valhalla Rising...awesome

  34. I looked this up. I almost watched this last weekend! Instead it was Revenge of the Ninja. Ok I will watch it this weekend. Thanks.

  35. If some one told you the world was going to end tomorrow what would you do on your last day?

  36. I would just make sure I told everyone in my life how awesome they are and how much they meant to me. I wouldn't do anything outrageous. I would spend my time with the people I love the most. can't think of a better way to go. :)

  37. No question, but I thought you would enjoy this video......Crazy frickin russians.

  38. hey paul,

    i'm like 6"1' tall and 200lbs. My limbs are very so long, so i should be able to have a stronger conventional deadlift, but i'm much better in the sumo deadlift. do i have any weak points in my physilogy? because all sumo lifters i know are rather small...


  39. This is different for everyone. And yes most sumo guys tend to be shorter/smaller guys. It could be a technique issue with you, I can't say without a video. If you are thicker in the hips and glutes and lack a lot of upperback strength it could easily be that you can pull better sumo right now for that reason. However more than likely you have a higher ceiling with the conventional pull, but are lacking strength overall.

    My suggestion would be to get stronger on the rows, chins, and shrugs and pull both styles. Work on technique and see after a while if one really starts out pacing the other.

  40. Hi Paul. Is that a picture of you dead lifting at the top of the screen?

  41. HAH! I wish. That's Konstaninovs.

  42. Paul,

    Whats your opinion tarp-bar Deads? I've been stuck at 405x1 for months on conventional deads and have been searching for ideas to get progress moving again.

    Im 5'-10", 185lbs, 22y/o. The weak-point in my deadlift seems to be off of the floor, with my low-back being the limiting factor. I've strained my spinal erectors in the past, resulting in a few days of extreme tightness and cramping.

    Is it worthwhile to rotate T-B & conventional deads within a program? I'm open to any other suggestions you may have.


  43. You may have strained your piriformis instead of your spinal erectors. Generally this is the cause of most erector pain or discomfort.

    If you want to get good at straight bar pulls you need to do straight ball pulls. I think the trap bar is an ok alternative movement however there is a lot of quad in it. So it's a "different" movement as well.

    One thing you could do is pull from the floor one week then the trap bar the next week, but both weeks do some heavyish romanians right after.