Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Weekly Q & A

Leave a name and question!


  1. How much fight training do you feel one can handle before it starts to cut into strength to much?

  2. That's going to be a very individual thing Johan. But I can tell you when I was fight training 3X a week strength retention was HARD, and fleeting. It's trying to serve two masters. Fight has a real mix of being fast and explosive but also so marathon type shit as well. Going 5 5-minute rounds is an absolute fucking chore.

    So your mileage may vary. My suggestion is, if fighting is your #1 priority, do the least amount of strength training to keep getting stronger. You can't train like a pro-strongman or some guy that only does powerlifting to boost or maintain strength while fighting 3+X a week.

  3. Hi Paul,

    I have a question about deadlift repping on low reps. Do you reset for each rep, let go of your grip, just rest it? I assume you deweight. For higher reps I do a touch and go style but I have seemed to have gotten out of sync for my heavier lower reps. Thanks for any suggestions.

  4. Zac - I personally stop each rep. I don't like the touch n go reps personally. What I suggest is to drop the reps for a bit and hit some singles for a while in 5,4,3,2,1,1,1 fashion. Then after a month of that, go to doubles for two weeks, then two weeks of triples. You should feel good about moving heavier weight for reps by then.

  5. Paul,

    Wanted to thank you again for the strong/big 15's. Finally posted an elite PL total this past weekend, and those templates played a big role in getting my programming grounded and focused.

  6. You mention the 5432111 rep scheme in the LRB template. Say I got a 505 one rep max. Do I just plug that into the Big15 spreadsheet, then do two singles after the initial layed out 54321?

  7. Bigs - That is awesome! Send me a write up about it!

    Anonymous - Plug in 505 and follow the rep/set scheme as outlined.

  8. Paul,

    I am looking at starting a power lifting team at my college. I have to provide them a list of equipment needed. We already have the basics (power racks, weights and bars), what would you suggest I have in the budget?


  9. Some dumbbells would be a good start. Good benches.

    Some bands for stuff like leg curls and extensions so you don't have to buy a piece of equipment.

    Other than that the truth is you should be good to go. Maybe an incline bench for variety but that's about it.

  10. Paul,

    I've been away from the gym for a few years. I'll spare you the reasons. Since I stopped working out regularly, I've gained around 30 lbs. Right now I weigh ~225 and would like to get down to 195. I'd like to get stronger,too. I was thinking of doing a full body workout 3x's a week (adding weight when possible) while doing low intensity cardio 4-5 days a week.

    How does that sound? Is there anything that should be changed?

    Thanks in advance,


  11. Just break back in slow. Personally, I'd go with 3 steady state cardio sessions a week, and 2 days of lifting. Lots of people out of the gate get all excited and do too much. Then down the road they go "fuck it" because they burn out. You took time off for a reason. Don't make the same mistake(s). So start off with 2-3 steady state sessions and lift twice a week. That's more than enough right now, and combine it with a solid diet and you'll get a lot of results.

  12. Few questions on specific lifts

    Dips - How many BW reps should be able to do and still benefit from before needing to move to weighted.

    Upright rows - A lot of people say these can be bad for shoulders, thoughts on those and what can be done to make it safer if anything? Does grip width make a difference?


  13. Hey Paul,
    I've been concentrating in improving my back lately and been doing a lot of high rep db rows (190 lbs). A friend criticised me for using the 25lb plates because i don't have long enough handle to use the 10lb ones. Do you think the extra rom is worth buying longer db handles? My budget is kind of tight...
    Thanks in advance.

  14. Andy - 20 dips w bodyweight. Go with a closer grip on the upright rows, and only pull the right about the chest level.

    Peri - No. You're fine. Keep doing what you're doing.

  15. Paul, the same for chins/pull-ups (20 reps BW before ading weigth?)

  16. Actually I found that I could hit 20 chins bodyweight by getting stronger in the 3-5 rep range weighted.

  17. Paul, Squat problem here:
    I bench press the same as I squat (300 lbs x 7 on bench press, 300 lbs x 8 on squats).
    I am 5'9'', 180 lbs, the chest is my best bodypart, but I have too big legs in proportion for the upper body.
    I had long legs, long calves and shorter torso.
    What can I do? 5/4/3/2/1 dont work's for me in squats because I get fatigued in the warmups, it likes my thighs are rusty, I cant explod from the botton position.

  18. Just keep squatting and plugging away at it. I had the same problem in my early years. But eventually your squat will surpass your benching.

    No tricks, no secrets.

  19. Hey Paul, in your raw squatting articles you recommend that lifters with a long torso and short legs use a high bar/close stance/small sitback style of squatting. I believe I fall into that category and wondered if I took this advice to an extreme, or if it looks good?


  20. Paul, what would you recommend or how would you go about incorporating Big 15 into a 2x week set-up? Would you basically do the LRB 2x week you posted a while back? I'm mainly curious about using the backoff sets and how to progress those as you laid out in the Big 15 program. Thanks for your time and for a very informative site.


  21. Paul - You can use the 2X a week LRB template with it yes.

  22. Paul,
    I apologize if I'm incorrect, but from reading through your blog, you don't train with a belt. If someone was to use a belt very sparingly, would a good rule of thumb be to only use it one approaching a 1-3 rep max? I'm thinking of just not using one anymore, just wanted your thoughts on that. Thanks!

  23. If you are going to wear a belt, I would say whatever your last 3 heaviest sets are going to be, put it on for them. So if you plan on working up to 500 put it on at 405, 455, 500. It's not about protecting the low back it's actually about creating internal pressure to give more support.

    So use it accordingly.

  24. Paul,
    Thanks for answering my question about the belt. Would you recommend just ditching it entirely? I have no problems dropping my weights down and taking a few steps back to take many steps forward in the future.

  25. That's up to you man. To each his own in that regard.

  26. Paul,
    I'm in "I've never been big" before group and I'm going with the KISS principle, basic compound exercises with progressive overload.

    My question is one about knowing when to not workout. Last night I was feeling tired, sleepy, lethargic and just generally 'not well'.

    When I was playing and training for sports I figured out when I needed to shut it down or when I could push through the pain/weakness or whatever. But, for me, lifting is very different.

    So my question is, when you are not feeling a workout, what do you look for as an indication that your body is telling you to go rest vs it's time to push through? Or is it just trial and error?

  27. This is how I work with that.

    Even if I am tired, if I have a planned workout, I go in. I am at the point now, where I can tell when I pick up the 45 pound plate if I just need to get warmed up, or if I REALLY need to not lift and take the night off.

    If you go in, and you feel like every warm up set sucks ass. Just dump it, and go back to it the next day. However lots of times I start warming up, and the tiredness goes away and I have a solid session.

    Work it like that if you can.