Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weekly Q & A.......

I'm actually making this thing weekly so fire away.  Name and question please.  Anything any everything.....


  1. Deficit Deads - You said that if the deficit is too great then they don't transfer to regular deadlifts. I've been pulling off 2" or so. Could I go up to 3-3.5"?

  2. I just bought the steel tip collection by dr.Ken and it's awesome. Have you read it? Anyway what do you think of this routine recommended by the good doc.
    Workout A:
    Squat 1x15
    OHP/Chins 2x5-8
    SLDL 1x15
    Pushups- amap in 1min
    Workout B:
    Power clean 1-2x3-5
    Squat 1x30
    Dips/rows 50% sets
    Barbell shrugs 1-2x10-20

    Workouts performed 10 times a month. 3 times one week, twice the next.
    Any thoughts Paul?

  3. Nick - I like Doc Ken's stuff a lot and it was a big influence on my training for many years. I love those 3X 1 week, 2X the next splits.

    Purp - 2" is about perfect. Remember if it changes too much of the technique the carryover becomes less. If the deficit gets too high then it becomes less like a regular deadlift and the variation is too different. Run the shorter box like you have been.

  4. Paul,

    In a slight, but good, conundrum. Running strong15 for the 2nd time and need to take this action to the platform ASAP. Although I usually plan meets at least 6 months out, there is one 4 weeks away I'm going to jump into while the iron is hot. Could use a suggestion or two on how to plan training for only 3 weeks leading up to the week prior to the meet. Where I'm at is just finishing up week 2 of my 3rd time through strong15, so a spontaneous detour in the plans, but just feel the need to bang some PR's. Thx man. Appreciate the expertise.

  5. Just run the last phase. So run the 3 weeks that would be based on your 3rd attempts.

  6. Was there ever a point in your younger life when you were not into lifting or other sports when other people your age were? If so about when did you start or get serious about it? I pretty much suck at sports and didn't get into lifting until I was about 20.


  7. lifting the hed when benching

    is just a bad habit ?

  8. Hi Paul, What are you thoughts on Rep Pause training? any good or just a fad? as I was doing a 5x5 routine but started to hit some plateaus as your 5x5 whats all the fuss article talks about. I spoke to an olympic trainer who looked at my lifting technique (thanks I got this idea from your blog) and he said my technique was fine, I should incorporate some extra reps at lower weights and some speed work. So in addition this, I read about rep pause training so am trying that as a break from 5X5. Seems to be working well so far although have not challenged my 1RM yet. Cheers, Vik

  9. Hi,

    What are your thoughts/experiences running ladders like the one Shaf posts at P&B? The major drawback I see is time and I would suspect minimal size gains. I just finished a year of 5/3/1 (using your variations and inspirations) and toying with the idea of changing things up.

  10. Andy - Yeah I had a period in my teens after my best friend got killed and my parents split that I pretty much had no interest in life. I don't mean I was suicidal, just that I was apathetic to everything. Some people are late bloomers man. Don't sweat that stuff.

    Carlos - Nope. I lift the head when I bench. I feel like I can drive my upperback into the bench harder because of it.

    Vik - I think R/P training is awesome for size gains and strength gains in the upper rep range.

    Zac - I ran ladders a LOT many years ago for bodyweight stuff in a circuit. I don't know that I care for it for the big lifts but I know several guys that have had good success with it.

  11. What are a couple good ways to increase pressing volume in a 531 template (other than adding backoff sets)?

  12. Hey Paul-
    I posed this question to wendler on his FB
    recently, but I thought I'd run it by you also:

    I live in upstate NY and need a good winter replacement for hill sprints.
    I don't have access to stadium stairs or an indoor track to do sprints.

    I'm thinking bike sprints, barbell complexes, 2-story stair sprints (maybe w/ weight vest), or kettlebell swings.

    Wendler recommended treadmill sprints or weighted vest walks, and nixed the complexes of course.

    Any thoughts?

  13. MB - I like both the treadmill sprints and weighted vest walks. To add to that I'd say buy a heavy bag and do some bag work (you don't have to go all out and break your hand) and farmers walks.

    Mitch - Run up and down the ladder is really the best way I know of.

  14. Hey Paul, first things first thanks for the awesome blog, you are providing alot of quality information.

    I developed strong legs/chest/back, but my arms were seriously lacking from my linerar progression program I was on and I ended up getting micro tears in my bicep tendons from heavy BB shrugs.
    My bicep tendons start hurting every few months which screws me over for pressing movements big time. I think I need some hypertrophy to help out my joints/connective tissue.

    My question is, which of your programs do would think would be best for my situation? I was looking at doing the LRB 3x week template but I am also waiting for the big/strong 15. Any advice is appreciated.

  15. Paul, how do you feel about Wendler's mantra "Train to be awesome, and let the pieces fall where they may" (paraphrasing)


  16. Paul,

    How do you feel about Wendler's mantra "train to be awesome, let the pieces fall where they may (paraphrasing)"


  17. Hey Paul, what do you do to take care of your shoulders? I got my bench moving again and my shoulders feel like a timebomb waiting to go off. Some movements sound like making a bag of popcorn.



  18. Hey Paul,

    What are some good OTC prohormones? You mentioned M-Drol in one of your books (forgot which one), but since that is not made anymore, are there any good OTC alternatives to it?


  19. i also feel like lifting my hed helps me to keep my elbows tucked..but my neck hurts when i do it

    and the ipf doesnt allow lifting the head off the bench

  20. Derek - Ice the elbows and get a lot of solid forearm work in and don't worry about going heavy on it. Wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, hammers, and behind the back barbell curls. Lots of reps and sets twice a week. Get your pain under control first before you start ANY program.

    Tyler - Wendler sucks dude cock. No seriously, he's pretty much spot on with this method of thinking. Don't train to "look" a certain way. Eat properly, train to get strong, run and shit to get in shape and you will "look" like you want. Don't train for looks, train for function and the "look" will come with it.

    Justin - Move that fuckin grip in. Also look up DeFranco's upperbody mobility routine/warm up. Really good for taking care of the shoulders.

    Mike - I you can look up the actual pro-hormone used in m-drol and it's sold in other PH's. Start there. I can't recommend any because I am not currently running any.

    Carlos - When in Rome......

  21. been reading over your "running 5/3/1" article from a while back paul as i like the structure of alt deads/sqts (and also press/inc). noticed you run 3/5/1 no deload.

    do you structure like wk1: sqts@3's wk2:deads@3s wk3:sqts@5s etc i.e each phase of the cycle takes 2weeks.

    or wk1:sqts@3s wk2:deads@5s wk3:sqts@5/3/1 etc.?


  22. GSP or Condit?

    BJ or Diaz?

  23. GSP and BJ, Proto.

    Geoff -

    I ran it like this -

    week 1 - squats - 3's for max reps

    week 2 - deads - 3's for max reps

    week 3 - squats - 5's just do the required reps

    week 4 - deads - 5's just do the required reps

    week 5 - squats - 5/3/1 max reps

    week 6 - deads - 5/3/1 max reps


  24. Why do you choose krav maga over other styles?

    This isn't some judgemental thing, i'm considering choosing a fight style to persue for fun now that I have some extra time.


  25. Because I'm not just an "MMA guy" per say. Krav is based on combat fighting, i.e. surviving in the street. With MMA training you can get into a "rules" mode that isn't as effective in a street fight. I'm not saying a top notch MMA fighter can't street fight, what I'm saying is if you are fighting for your life you need to not be in a mode of "rules fighting" and in the mode of "kill this guy at all costs".

  26. with no deload, wk6 runs back into wk1 so 4 consecutive max rep weeks?

  27. It's 1 all out set per week on the squats or deads. No need to deload for that little of work really.

  28. so those wks - 3s and 5/3/1s - it just one all out on the top set then onto whatever assistance; no back-off sets or anything. ok, thanks paul.

  29. Hey Paul,
    Just wondering what you thought of this split...

    Sunday: 5/3/1 Bench, Steady State Cardio
    Monday: 5/3/1 Squat and Deadlift, Hard Conditioning
    Tuesday: SSC
    Wednesday: 5/3/1 Military Press, Hard Conditioning
    Thursday: SSC and or hard conditioning
    Friday: Hypertrophy/Accessory Day Full Body
    Saturday: SSC

    I feel like the squatting and deadlifting on the same day will help my recovery since I want to really emphasize conditioning, and the hypertrophy day will let me scratch the bodybuilder itch. Let me know if you think I should make any tweaks. Thanks!


  30. I don't like the hypertrophy day in there. If that's what you're looking for, limit the 5/3/1 work and up the volume and movements on the assistance work after the bench and overhead work.

    If you are wanting to emphasize conditioning then hypertrophy is going to take a back seat for a while. Remember those are two masters that cannot be served at the same time.

  31. Paul,
    The conditioning definitely needs to be prioritized, so I will not do the hypertrophy day. Thanks for all your work on the website.


  32. Hi Paul.I'm just a guy who wants to add strength and some size. Hang cleans look cool as hell but I'm not sure if they worth incorporating into a 5-3-1 routine that already consists of Deads, Rows , and Chins. What do you think of hang cleans Paul?

  33. Are you wanting to do hang cleans because they LOOK cool or because you think they will serve a purpose?

  34. Paul,

    I am a coach and our season has just started. I train using 5/3/1 but I don't have time to train 3-4 times a week. What are your thoughts on me using 5/3/1 twice a week (on saturday and sunday) and hit the conditioning hard after each session (6-10 hill sprints)?

  35. Coach - During the season you aren't going to be building strength. The important part of the season is doing your best to try and maintain strength that was built in the offseason, and prehab/rehab work.

    The best thing is to do your hardest workout the day after the game, then have an easier workout sometime a little later in the week. So if the games are on Friday, have the toughest workout on Saturday, then on Wednesday have a light workout to get the kinks out.