Thursday, December 8, 2011

Death is something in 2012

I'm not really a big new years resolution person.  I think every day, every week, every month you should be trying to get better.  Better not just at lifting, but life and the things you are attempting to conquer.

Mediocre people are always satisfied.  Don't be satisfied with where you are at.

I'm constantly reinforcing the fact that you need to have goals.  Goals in life, professional goals, and lifting goals.  Just remarking that you "want to get better" or "want to be awesome" doesn't really define anything.

Setting your sights on goals gives you something tangible to go after.  Gives you a reason to plan, and makes you think about your plan of action.  Remember to always ask yourself why it is you are doing what you are doing.  You should be able to give an answer to why it is you are doing the things you are doing.

I will give some examples of this from my last meet, and the goals I put in place following that.

After the meet I knew I didn't want to compete in the 275's anymore.  I feel like shit at that weight.  Second, I'm not really any stronger at 270 than I am at around 250.  I lift as good at 250 as any weight.  But eating is fun, and so up and away I'd go to 265 or so.

But I wanted to be a "bigger 242".  In other words, I need to be 245-250 but leaner at that weight than I usually am.

I also wanted to shore up some more injury issues, and some muscular imbalances.  As much as I love minimalistic training there are some downfalls to training that way all the time.  Namely you lose mobility and get tight in some very common areas (hip flexors, piriformis, rotators, etc), overdevelop some areas, and under utilize others.  This is how imbalances come about, how training comes to a standstill and how you get injured.

My goal after the last meet, in order was -

  • Get healthier (injury wise)
  • Drop fat
  • Get back in shape
These things are done.  I am injury free right now and feeling good.  I have dropped down to 235 at around 8.5% bodyfat from a high of 272.  I will continue to diet and work on conditioning.  But as I do here are the things I have been working to shore up as well.  

So for months I used the LRB template, which is centered around all of those things.  

Getting into shape - Shoring up weak areas - Maintaining foundation level strength or improving it slightly

The LRB template did this amazingly.  I shed bodyfat while keeping a solid baseline of strength, and even improving in a lot of areas, I shored up all of the nagging injuries I had been dealing with, and got back into great condition.  

After that.......

  • The yoke program.  This has worked damn well.  Will post up pics in the next week or so.  On a very limited diet my traps have grown quite a bit I believe.  
  • The yoke specialization wasn't just about vanity, it's the first stage in moving my deadlift to a new level. I wanted to get my shrug into the 600-700 range for reps.  I'm hitting 635x5 now but that needs to be more like 705x5 consistently.  So some of that work will continue.  I wanted to use this time to improve my upperback strength so that I know it's over what I am shooting for in the deadlift.  This is why 705x5 is still a goal and will remain a goal.  I know my upperback and traps will be damn strong when I am hitting 705x5 with quality ROM.  
  • The next phase, which starts next week, is extreme fucking core and back work.  I mean erectors, abs, obliques, lats, rhomboids and traps (still).  Emphasis will be placed on the erectors and midback especially.  I believe my erectors need to come way up in terms of strength to move my deadlift into the 700's.  I will lay out how I plan on doing this by Monday.  

More than likely, the phase after that will be meet prep, which I intend to do in April.  During this time I will change the diet around just a bit (will talk about getting lean, staying lean, and adding QUALITY mass by making a few subtle changes in your diet so you don't get sloppy fat again but feel awesome).  I will run the strong-15 just as outlined however I am already planning to do as little as possible in meet prep as I've ever done.  Literally this means......

Saturday - 
Pause Squat

Monday - 

Wednesday - 
Stiff Legs/Shrugs

This is literally as bare bones as I can get.  The adductor work is in for injury prevention.  The curl is for elbow injury prevention.  My bench and incline seem to move each other so I always put them in together.  I could do PBN every other week but that's not really that important.

Not only that, but I have decided to do some things with the TIME I train in order to better prepare me for the next meet.

Squats will be done on Saturday morning.  This makes sense because you squat first at the meet, and it's usually in the morning.  Deadlifts will be done late at night when I am tired as fuck.  I expect pulling to be a bitch during this time.  I figure if I can smoke 675 or so while I am tired, 700+ should be a no brainer.

The point about all this is, I have had a plan since the last meet ended.  I didn't drift about wondering what the fuck I should do (ok so I did for a few weeks after when my body felt destroyed but I eventually got my shit together).

Decide what the fuck it is you want to conquer and go after it like Genghis Khan on trenbolone!

Now bitches, tell me what it is you plan on accomplishing in the next year.........


  1. The info in the blog is pure gold. The LRB template has worked extremely well for me as I lean down. Shooting for a strength and mass phase in 10-12 weeks after I am in the 8-9% bf range.

  2. Bench 365
    Hit 10% BF
    Launch my product

  3. I'll definitely make a list of ambitious but attainable goals for 2012. Weight training is definitely going to be a foundation for establishing what is realistic, and what is selling myself short. I hope to rebuild my life after a very difficult year. Speaking of weight though, this song is hilarious

  4. Great post. And funny, my goals right now are just the same as yours were following your meet - get myself healthy, lose some fat and get in shape.

    Have wasted pretty much the past 18 months trying to convince myself my body is okay to lift hard - when it isn't. Problem wasn't knowing what was wrong, it was lack of patience. Result - continually running into a brick wall.

    That changes now, and it's a great opportunity to get back into running and get into some sort of shape.

    Thanks again for this blog man, can't think of a more solid source of training info on the net. Hope you and yours have a great festive season - will catch you bigger and better in the new year.


  5. My goal is qualify for nationals in the USAPL as a 242 before I turn 24. Which is a 1400 total. RAR!

  6. Do you find it easier to prepare for a meet squatting and deadlifting each week or going the JPS style rotating each movement?

  7. I've got long, medium and short term goals strength trainging-wise.

    I'm not interested in PLing, but a short-term goal I intend to accomplish in the next year is to combine better form with milking the last of my novice gains to get a 1000 lb. gym total around 200 lbs. bodyweight. Not amazing to most people here I imagine, but it would represent a drastic change in me. I started off in June and by mid-July had a total around 650 at about 175. I'm lifting around 760 now at about 192.

    In October, I started running 531 3-4 times a week with 2-3 days of conditioning, and I'm going to continue that into the asshole of winter when I'll switch to your UB template. By the time I finish the first (strength) phase of that I should be right around a 900 lb. total. I'll run the next two phases to make sure to keep my conditioning and all-around strength in check (and look good for summer), then I'll start running something for strength again. Whatever seemed to work best over the previous 12 months since I started lifting this way.

    I also want to progress to weighted chins at some point.

  8. Anonymous - I like doing both in the week. However I will be cutting down almost all assistance.

  9. -190 lbs BW by March, maintain what strength I can till then. (Holding well)

    Following that,

    - Squat 405 and immediately run 15 sprints (375 and 10 sprints right now)
    -OHP 225 (215 now)
    -Pull ups with 50 lbs around my waist (25# as of today)

  10. I'm focusing on conditioning while maintaining or increasing my strength. I'm following Easy Strength (Dan John) and working sprints, swings or intervals for my hard conditioning (3-4)days a week. I'm doing steady state cardio on days that I'm not doing hard conditioning. I cleaned up the diet big time too.

    Love the blog man. Keep up the awesome work.

  11. I started training earlier this year and made good progress in some areas, not so great in others. Just trying to figure out what has the best carryover mostly.

    I'm wanting to close grip bench 250 or so, overhead press about 180 or so, squat 400 (hopefully front squat 300 before then) and deadlift 500 in the next year. I managed to fuck up a lot of things and consistency this past year, and gave myself a couple of injuries learning how to squat that ended up knocking off something like 4-5 months out of squatting for the year, but still managed to go from a way above parallel 205 squat to a way below parallel 315 earlier this year (2 months ago). Right now I'm trying to ingrain a constant back angle as I either rounded it or shot my hips before, so I'm only squatting up to 285 on a regular basis.

    400 pound squat is way more important to me than 500 pound deadlift, as back strength comes a lot more easily to me. I deadlifted 400 pounds after a month and a half of fucking around in the beginning of the year, just adding an extra 10-20 pounds every single session.

  12. Not sure if I was in the middle of editing that, but whatever. You get the gist.

  13. 1.I want to drop weight down to 200lbs and work my way down to 10%-- This will take a while.

    2. Squat 405, Deadlift 500, Incline Bench 225, Strict press 180 @ 200-205lbs

    3. Run 20 x 20 second incline treadmill sprints @ highest speed on the machine & highest incline

    4.20 Dead hang v-handle chin ups

  14. Starting back up after a 4 month layoff. Im itching to return to the iron. Shooting for 215lb bodyweight.550lb squat, 365lb bench, 575lb deadlift. 43 years old.

  15. Plain and simple, I want to improve my back and yoke, LOL! a heavy dose of shrugs, cleans and of course deadlift variants. Looking forward to seeing your new plan for BACK work on monday



  16. I am going to win the 220lb class at USAPL raw nationals.

  17. Paul, any thoughts of the velocity diet?

  18. Hopefully, I will have a speedy recovery from my hip resurfacing and then in 2013, I will have the other side done.

  19. Justin - I think you can do it without filling t-bags pockets any further. Oh and Christian Thibedeaux is a douche. I will be touching on that next week too.

  20. I am definitely looking forward to you ripping on CT. Its like the new T-nat motto is to make things as complicated as possible to confuse people into giving them money.

  21. I plan on getting my deadlift to 400 lbs by early next year and squatting 315x20 before the end of next year. Right now 315 is just above my max.

  22. 1) Stare at my laptop until strong-15 reloaded magically appears
    2) 1350 by end of the year

    On the end of year theme, thanks again for putting all the effort into this blog. It's very much appreciated.

  23. I plan to follow the advice from "The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness 2011".

    I can't go wrong...can I?

  24. Curious Paul do you Squat and Deadlift beltless?

  25. Yeah I never wear a belt. I don't even own one.

  26. My plans for the next year are as follows, some extremely ambitious
    -Squat 550
    -Deadlift 600
    -Bench 350
    -Relaunch my real estate career in a tough market, and focus on commercial real estate. Have my web-based business self-sufficient by April
    -Finish my degree
    -Earn enough money to tour Europe by summer
    -Reunite with my son

  27. hey paul what do u do for adducotr on ur squat day, like what exercise and sets and reps, ramped or straight weight?-

    thjank jhohn

  28. I ran my first 10 mile race 3 weeks ago. Doing my first half marathon on Saturday. For 2012 want to be as strong as possible at 6' 165lbs. Need to get my squat above my bench and my deadlift above that since my totals are all in reverse with my bench being strongest.

  29. Just the adductor machine. Go as heavy as I can for sets of 10-20.

  30. What (other than deadlifts) do you plan on doing for your spinal erectors in the next phase of your deadlift program? I thought I knew how to strengthen my back and increase my deadlift (a few heavy singles weekly) and was making great progress, but after I hit 600, I stalled like a car does when you take the wheels off.

  31. All coming Monday. You guys are impatient as hell!

  32. Win a judo tournament.
    Clean 315.
    Not pick up any injuries that require surgery.

  33. Conservative goals for 2012: 450/315/600.
    Aggressive goals: 500/350/650.

    Paul, just wanted to let you know that I have made pause squats a staple of my 5/3/1 assistance after reading your recommendation, and they have caused a huge improvement in my bottom position strength and form in general. Also been doing pause benches, defecit and slow-decent deads, basically just making my assistance harder than the main lift, and I've been busting out new PRs like crazy.

    Also think I saw that you are located in KC - me too. Where do you train if I might ask? Gyms around here suck donkey balls.

  34. Lately it's been at lifetime fitness. It's great for eye candy.

    Hit me up if you ever want to get a session in.

  35. I plan on breaking the jr bench records in the 93kg class (150kg for raw and 157.5kg for equipped) and getting to 10% bf. Basics!

  36. blog is the greatest man, always have great information and never get bored reading the articles! Been piecing in some of your diet techniques along with what I've learned in school (studying exercise science) was at an all time high around 370, I'm now hopping in the 300-310 range its different every day, but strength and overall health are at an all time high, thanks for everything you put into this! A lot of my success has came from the wisdom of you PC.
    Have a great holiday

  37. It's always uplifting for me to read whenever I have written or done anything to help someone in a meaningful way.

    Thanks Miller.

  38. Where can I get this t-shirt?!