Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekly Q & A

Leave a name and question.  All topics are on the table.....


  1. I'm starting Strong 15 today! I'm pretty excited too. One observation that I have is the beginning weeks of any program almost seem too easy while it seems like once it gets hard it's ball busting hard. However this time I put in accurate max's and I'm utilizing your program for the first time also. Any tips? I love the idea of test weeks with the backoff sets.

    Thanks, Sam

  2. This is something I have heard a few times. The beginning weeks are set up perfectly. Just go ballz out on the back off sets for the high reps. Trust me, if you've been doing a lot of low rep work you will be surprised.

  3. Hey, a followup:

    Thanks for "talking me off the ledge". I'm back down to 241 after freaking out and going up to 260.

    Cleaned up my diet since I'm on a business trip and the food in this country blows. Just lifting 3 times/wk, eating meat, rice, eggs, beans, and protein powder, and getting cardio by walking my crazy-ass dog in the morning for the past week or so.

    I'm dealing with a nagging foot injury because I competed barefoot in a Strongman show (I forgot them at home), so I'd have to be really careful with the more intense cardio. Since this is the first time I've eaten like a regular person and I've got foot issues, do I just calm the fuck down and continue this for a couple of months before even thinking about sprints?

  4. A while back you posted your DC training layout that you used for a long time. What was that again?

  5. Tony - Good to hear you got it together. Great progress.

    The steady state stuff will work just fine for now and has a ton of benefits that interval training does not. I do steady state almost every day. Just let the foot heal up because sprinting is famous for overuse injuries that won't go away. Big picture man, big picture.

    Anonymous - If you are talking about the one I turned into more of a powerlifting template it was like this......

    pressing #1 -
    bench - 5 x 5 or whatever
    db bench press - 3 x 12-15
    chins - 30 total reps

    pressing #2 -
    standing press or incline - 5 x 5
    seated db press - 3 x 12
    rows - 3 x 10

    Then you do your squatting and deadlifting on the other day -

    Squat/Dead #1 -
    squats - work up to 1 x 5, 1 x 3, 2 x 1
    SLDL - 5 x 5
    Abs - 5 sets of 10-15

    Squat/Dead #2 -
    Fronts - 5 x 5
    Rack deads or pulls from the floor - 5 x 5 for racks and 6 x 1 for deads from floor
    Abs - 5 sets of 10-15

  6. Hey Paul,
    Awesome blog, I look forward to new posts every day.
    Due to some weaknesses, lack of flexibility, shitty form, and sitting in a chair all day I jacked my legs and knees up squatting.
    I am almost back to 100% and ready to squat again.
    I am wondering if you know anyone in the Seattle area who would be able to help me learn proper form so I am not sidelined from doing the greatest mass producing exercise again.

  7. I got no one in the Seattle area that I can think of.

    Can anyone help Steve out?

  8. Did you ever see the "so you think you can squat series?" I think it's great.
    very helpful.

  9. Any recommendations for eating somewhat healthy while traveling? Mainly airport traveling where your limited on what you bring. A few weeks ago I got a sandwich at the airport deli (only food place in a small terminal). It was tiny and probably the worst tasting sandwich I've had in my life.

  10. Paul, if you end up going out drinking and wake up with a hangover how do you cope with it?
    do you try and get a scheduled workout in, do some cardio, lounge about all day? just interested as i find these days incredibly tough psychologically (why i try not to go out drinking too often!)
    thanks man

  11. Bud - Great question. I have only had 1 bad hangover in the past decade and I actually found a recipe online for a shake you blend up. You would have to look it up but it's like soy milk, banana, cayenne pepper, blueberries, strawberries, orange juice or something like that. Anyway I blended it up and drank it and within an hour or so I felt about a zillion times better and perfectly normal a few hours after that.

    Drinking too much will kill training. Keep that in check.

    Anon - Most airports now have some decent restaurants in them so it shouldn't be that difficult. A couple of options are to take some protein bars, or ready to drink shakes with you. Then just add in a salad here or there from a good spot. I don't fret that too much. If you have to, ask for something specially prepared. If they say no you haven't lost anything.

  12. paul - if diet is basically "maintainance" - i.e not calorie dense enough to gain weight on - is it a waste of time training in the hypertrophy rep range? thanks.

  13. Paul, whats your opinion on stims?

    I'm using a supplement containing 1,3 dimethylamylamine. It's not super high dosed but I do notice increased focus and energy, strength a tad more.


  14. Maurice - I like some stimulants but you need to be careful about using them too much. I try to only use em when I feel like total ass, and then it still doesn't always work. Your mileage may vary.

    Geoff - If you are trying to gain you need to have a calorie surplus. Can you gain some on maintenance? I would say it's possible, but effort to results wouldn't be worth it. You don't have to have a huge calorie surplus to gain at a steady rate. Just log your calories, weight, and bodyfat and go from there.

  15. paul - prob focus more on increasing strength at present bw but could poss do with dropping bf% a little so looked at some of your old articles like UBeastdom conditioning block,and Increase strength-Maintain weight-Conditioning variable routines and noticed the lower rep ranges (but i quite like the back-off set thing!)Maybe that template you posted above might be a good one to try for a coupla months. thanks, geoff.

  16. I have a new template coming out that is going to be the fucking bomb. It comprises all of my philosophies into a template and covers EVERYTHING.

  17. Paul,

    Any general diet templates for gaining and losing weight. Not foods to eat, but some general ideas to follow. Thanks.

  18. Gonna be part of the next article in the Getting Jacked series!

  19. Been curious about your take on core work for a while:
    During a strength cycle how much is too much, how much is not enough?
    As of right now I try to hit 3-4 quick sets of some combination of ab rollers, hanging windshield wipers, barbell twists on top of the strong-15 work, whenever I have the time/inclination, which usually works out to 2-3 times a week.

    Say you're training for hypertrophy, is it worth it to make a concerted effort to build mass in core muscles by hitting them separately?

    The goal here, ultimately, is building strength overall, not really concerned about looking like and abercrombie and fitch model.

    Also, ever tried using a rumble roller on your shoulders? I've never had any serious issues requiring surgery, so my opinion isn't really worth a whole lot, but using it has kept my shoulders feeling ridiculously good. Just an idea.


  20. Working the abs is important. I generally do a lot of boxing and bag work so when I am doing that, I don't do a ton of abs because they get plenty during rotation of punching and kicking.

    My advice is approach ab training just like any other body part, but keep the reps slightly higher. A minimum of 10 reps or so.

    I'm already hearing some good stuff about the rumble roller. I haven't used one but I've heard it's dandy.

  21. When signing up for a powerlifting meet, do you have to qualify, as in prove that you can lift at least a certain amount? In other words, is there anything stopping a 50 pound bench presser from signing up? lol


  22. Paul,

    Really looking forward to your new template. Are you going to put it on the site or will it be a purchase? If a purchase, do we that have purchased your others get it free? One has got to try!!!!!

    Keep it up mate you have an avid following.

    Tony B (UK)

  23. Tony - The new template will be free.

    Dan - It depends. If it's say a "worlds" you generally need to go place at a national qualifier. Sometimes even a national qualifier makes you do that as well. But generally most meets are open to everyone/anyone.

  24. 1. spent some time reading through the C&P blog as just noticed the link. the guy is absolutely hilarious but not sure about his training recs - any thoughts?
    2. what about DC's rec that over 35s should stay away from singles/low reps?

  25. Yes Jamie's writing is awesome.

    I couldn't train that way. I know it works for him but I've tried it and after a while I just watch my training die. I know other people who have done well with it too.

    I don't remember DC saying that (not saying he didn't I just don't remember) but it's hard not to build absolute maximum strength without venturing into the singles for a while.

  26. paul - dc def wrote that in a thread relating to injuries etc. for a while it was actually a sticky at his site but, when i've went there to try to post a link for you it seems most of the stickies have been deleted! thanks. g

  27. I believe it man. I just didn't remember it, that's all. I don't know that I ever read all the stickies.

  28. yo paul, when are you going to release this template? BTW, who do like in week 2, bama or penn state!!?? go penn state



  29. Paul,

    How do you handle shit talking at work? Confront it or say fuck it and let it roll off...


  30. Greg - Bama dude. Sorry. Template will be out soon. It's going to be the shit.

    Dave - I just say what I have to say, but try to be non-confrontational about it. Most ppl at my work know I have no problem giving my opinion, but I do so in a way that isn't fighting words. Always feel free to give your opinion if people ask. If someone says shit to you with the intention of starting shit have a laugh about it. That tends to piss them off even more and makes you look level headed.

  31. Paul,

    Tonight while I was doing chins I felt a pop in my traps. About 90 minutes later my left trap is hurting. I don't train traps all that much, I dead and clean and thats it. Could my traps need to get stronger? I am thnking of doing Deads, Cleans, and Traps on one of my lower body days. Thoughts?


  32. I'm guessing you mean the mid-trap area? If so you probably just strained it (that or your rhomboid). So some LIGHT bench rows everyday for a week, 3 sets of 15 and that should clear it up. It just sounds like you need more overall back work for one, and two shit like this just happens sometimes.

  33. Paul,

    Any simple ways to get good at pullups/ chins? I can only knock out 1-2. Thanks!

  34. Yup.

    One really solid progression model I used was like so....

    week 1 - 5-7 sets of 5, bodyweight only

    week 2 - lat pulldowns 5 sets of 10

    week 3 - 5,4,3,2,1 back off sets

    Since you can only do the 5-7 sets with a band to provide assistance or on the gravitron

    on week 2 do the lat pulldowns

    on week 3 do 5-6 singles, then do lat pulldowns for 2 sets of high reps (15-20) after.